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Thread: After 4 years, I'm finally dooing it

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Posts
    87

    After 4 years, I'm finally dooing it

    I will be 53 in March, Dr. Lonner doing T3-S1 with pelvic fixation and numerous osteotomies April 8. My main question for all you wonderful people, for whom I am so thankful because I read this forum DAILY....

    I teach 5th grade, I want to come back end of this year for a few days and their graduation to middle school end of June, and resume full time in September. It is NOT physically demanding, the pain I have NOW is. If all goes as planned, does this seem reasonable to you?

    Thanks in advance.

    Cathy
    T76
    L66

    Slight spondy of L4 no other problems beside pain - progressed from 66 T to 76 in four years. I actually think it happened in the last four months.
    Cathy
    2 sons, one Syracuse University graduate (working for the Mets now), one college sophomore, one great husband and two fabulous cats
    54 years old March 5
    AIS 45 degrees Thoracic at 14, Milwaukee brace for one year in 1977 then in 2012 I found Dr. Baron Lonner ❤️
    Surgery April 8 2015
    Presurgical curves T77 L66
    Post surgical T27 L22
    Fused T3-S1 pelvic fixation, osteotomies and all the other stuff but you know what? It's done...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    766
    Cathy, I think it is possible. No book carrying. Or bending but they are not small children that can't help picking things up from the floor. You may not be able to stand up all day but for a few days and graduation you should be alright. Take your time getting in and out of the car. And watch out for running children. Request them not to hug you as it may still be sore. What caring teacher you must be! You will be fine .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Grove City, OH
    Posts
    275
    Hi Cathy!
    Congrats on your decision.
    I'm older than you, 60. I'm also a retired teacher, so I 'get' your desire to be with your students. I was fused T-3 through S-1 with osteotomies & cages on 10/27/14. I really began to feel better, decrease drugs & do more for myself around the 2.5 month mark. Prior to that, I would not have been up to any commitment that lasted more than an hour! I'm wondering if you should plan on graduation, only. What does your surgeon have to say about going back to work at the end of the school year?
    Peg
    61 yrs old
    75 degree lumbar curve with thoracic kyphosis
    T3 - S1 surgery with Dr. Buchowski in St. Louis, on 10/27/14
    Working on healing in Columbus, Ohio!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    hi Cathy
    i am a retired social worker and before that a special ed teacher,
    all for NYC public schools....
    so i have some idea what is involved in a classroom setting...

    end of year.....there is a lot of putting away of books, etc, and cleaning up...
    and an end of school party or two...
    i KNOW you are not up to that part of it....the cleaning of classroom, etc.
    perhaps you could stop in and wish them all good luck next year in 6th
    grade....
    then, if you do attend graduation, sit in the back, so you can slip out early
    if need be, and not disturb the proceedings.

    might help if you can contact "Admoul" on forum....she was patient of
    Dr Lonner as well, and i believe she went back to teaching after some months of
    healing....i know she is doing very well, as she stops in here on forum
    once in a while.....she might be able to give you some advice from her own
    experience.

    just my thoughts on it....
    best of luck to you...hope you have successful surgery, &
    have an uneventful recovery

    jess....and Sparky
    Last edited by jrnyc; 02-06-2015 at 07:20 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    570
    Hi Cathy,

    I think going back to work in September is possible. You will be 5 months out, so it should be ok, but you might be tired. I went back to work after 8 months (new job). I could have resumed working at 6 months, but I decided to take my time to fully recover. Oh, these were sweet times - saying home worry-free...

    Good luck with your surgery!
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,161
    Hi there,

    Great advice above, and I especially agree with PeggyS that maybe you should only plan on graduation at the end of the year. I also think you may be too tired and sore, not to mention it is hard to focus and concentrate for long periods early on. I went back to work at 14 weeks post-op due to financial pressure and job fears. I am a nurse in a busy cardiac cath lab. I was grudgingly allowed seated duty for 3 months, and it was really hard, especially the first month or two. If I had it to do over again I would opt to stay out longer if possible. This recovery takes a long time, it is not just something you can suck up and power through, no matter how tough you are! I think by September you will probably be ready.

    Take care and good luck!
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by cathydrew View Post
    I will be 53 in March, Dr. Lonner doing T3-S1 with pelvic fixation and numerous osteotomies April 8. My main question for all you wonderful people, for whom I am so thankful because I read this forum DAILY....

    I teach 5th grade, I want to come back end of this year for a few days and their graduation to middle school end of June, and resume full time in September. It is NOT physically demanding, the pain I have NOW is. If all goes as planned, does this seem reasonable to you?

    Thanks in advance.

    Cathy
    T76
    L66

    Slight spondy of L4 no other problems beside pain - progressed from 66 T to 76 in four years. I actually think it happened in the last four months.
    Hi Cathy...

    If you're talking about full days in June, I think you have a reasonable risk of being disappointed. If you're talking about half a day, it's still a risk, but less so than the full days. Having a day or two in between events can be helpful. What you have going for you is that you don't have to sit (or stand) full-time. If you had to sit all day, I think 2-1/2 months would be almost impossible.

    Hope that you make it.

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    I am also a retired teacher (kindergarten) and understand the attachment one has for her students. I am sure your class would enjoy visits from you when you are feeling up to it. Getting out of the house briefly started at 5 weeks for me. I think it is realistic to be able to teach in September, especially with older children. Being able to sit, stand, and walk while teaching is a plus for sure.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974
    I'll just highlight Linda's word about being disappointed. I was an elementary librarian when I had my surgery, responsible for teaching classes in 45 minute increments from K-5 all week long, no prep, and of course the lesson plans and library books, story-telling/reading/lessons, bulletin boards, book-fairs, lunch and recess duties, etc. Re-shelving books was a real bear and so was checking shelve order on the bottom shelves. I only mention these because I think some people picture a school librarian as just sitting behind a check-out counter all day. Mine was a taxing job and I just retired last May. (Big smile, except I still have some problems...)

    I had my surgery in early May, thinking I would be good to go when school started up around Aug. 12th or so that year. Everyone is different, and there would probably be plenty who could do it. A few weeks before school was to start, I went out shopping for the first time (live in the sticks) and realized I could barely make it across a big store using a shopping cart as my prop. Yes, I had been walking every day at home, so this surprised me! After the 40 minute drive home, I was exhausted from our outing. I was so disappointed, but realized there was no way I could teach all day. I took the fall semester off. By the end of Oct. they needed to know if I would be able to handle it the 2nd semester and I just decided I needed to work on my strength as I was weak still and didn't know what I'd be like in January. I had PT at 6 months and 11 months post-op. The rest of the school year and summer I spent my days doing the PT exercises I'd been given to do and built myself back up. I really worked hard.

    When I went back to school the next year, I did fine, but it was still all I could do to get through the days. I would come home and nap and my husband fixed dinner most of the time. I really consider that library job to have been non-stop energy level. When I read your post I wasn't sure whether to respond or not. I don't want to discourage you, but I want to let you know that there are some of us that have a harder time bouncing back to a full school-day setting. Students themselves can be draining. I even had a difficult time opening the heavy doors at first. And that is after working out with weights and other strength building equipment. I wish you all the best and I hope I haven't been a downer. You may do just fine but I would try just a little bit at first if I were you. I just wanted to let you get a glimpse of how it was for me-- not at all what I had envisioned!
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    766
    Hi Cathy, my surgery was done through workers comp and was forced back to work at 7 weeks. I had 2 jobs. Both walking and standing. It was rough but I made it. The first 12 hour day almost did me in. I slept the next day. It was the way it was but I survived. You are 10 years younger than I was. I do think that early return made recovery longer. When I returned to work it was winter here and I live near Chicago so I also had to deal with weather. At first it was part time but the 2 jobs together it was near full time. You will have the BLT restrictions and will require help with that.everyone is different but I did not have a choice. Good luck on your decision but you sound so positive.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Posts
    87

    Red face

    Thanks for all that advice..... I guess I will have to "wait and see" as they say. Fortunately, my husband is a retired New York City firefighter and is strong as an OX and will be doing most of the packing up, unpacking etc. as well as all the house stuff - he already does a LOT including all the shopping and cooking. I think I have a good substitute coming in so I can relax more and know the class will be in good hands. Yes, I can sit, stand or walk at any time. I have colleagues close by who can always cover if I need to leave the room for a few minutes. Very supportive building, staff and administration. I plan to have stuff ready for September before I even leave now, to make it easier to come back. Fingers crossed it all just is uneventful. Another thing I should mention is I am in terrific aerobic health, I am a singer and its keeping my lungs and my core relatively strong. I am SO WORRIED about returning to singing too.... How long til I should get full lung capacity back? It's the only thing getting me through this anticipation period, I don't feel pain and I don't think about anything when I am onstage - or even rehearsals. UGH I have days where I am excited to get this done, tired of the pain, but also so many WHY ME days lately....

    I spoke to Annie (ADMoul) way back when I first planned this, she was very helpful... I don't see her posting at all lately though, I might drop her a PM.

    Thanks
    Cathy
    2 sons, one Syracuse University graduate (working for the Mets now), one college sophomore, one great husband and two fabulous cats
    54 years old March 5
    AIS 45 degrees Thoracic at 14, Milwaukee brace for one year in 1977 then in 2012 I found Dr. Baron Lonner ❤️
    Surgery April 8 2015
    Presurgical curves T77 L66
    Post surgical T27 L22
    Fused T3-S1 pelvic fixation, osteotomies and all the other stuff but you know what? It's done...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    766
    Hi Cathy, you sound so much like my daughter in law that is a teacher. Realistic and optimistic. A wonderful way to be. I believe having something to look forward to as a goal actually helps. It is easy to get depressed with this surgery and the body changes . Your school sounds like a great place to work.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    Hi Cathy,
    I know we're probably going to chat at some point soon but my only thoughts would be to take it one day at a time and listen to your body. Sometimes recovery is 2 steps forward and 1 step backward and I wouldn't put myself in a position where I felt I had to be somewhere or was obligated to do something. That being said, I had my surgery in early Feb. with some complications. By late March, I started going back to rehearsals with my choral group and ended up singing the concerts at the end of April standing the whole time like everyone else. I wasn't working so I had plenty of time to rest, walk and heal. I think I went in at the end of the school year just to help with logistics and felt perfectly ok doing that and was totally ready to teach full-time in Sept. Looking forward to talking with you. You can do this and you have a wonderful Dr.!


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

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