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Thread: Surgery Scheduled June 24 and Scared!

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Ed...

    I think cervical corpectomies are more common than thoracic or lumbar corpectomies, but all types definitely exist. I don't think that the removal of endplates (which is a fairly common procedure in anterior fusions), without the removal of part of the vertebral body would ever be considered a partial corpectomy, but I'll check on it.

    --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
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    88

    Kathy - quick update

    Happy 4th of July everyone.

    Constipation got the best of me this long weekend Tried pretty much everything. DOC X Plus 8.6 was what I was given leaving the hospital (combination laxative/stool softener). I supplemented that with ClearLax, Milk of Magnesia, and suppositories – no go. Then I went with liquid dynamite (Mag Cit) – lots of gurgling but no go. ˝ bottle, then another ˝ bottle. Finally a mineral enema broke the dam about 6:30PM. Until about 2 hours ago (1-2PM) I had been having occasional sessions in the bathroom, but at least things are moving. My nutrition intake has been poor, so now am so weak and having trouble getting the strength to walk.

    On top of that, the hospital sent me home without enough Valium and said it was illegal to refill during the weekend or holiday, so I had to ration Valium the last couple days. Appears to me that there is a 20 hour or so lag with the Valium, which I feel is the most beneficial drug. If I cut back, it is 20 hours later that my pain level raises… and takes about that long to get it back. I am sure that changes over time too! Dang this is quite the game! I now have her on the prescribed drugs: Delaudid (1-2 every 4), Flexeril (1-2 every 8), Valium (1 every 6), KFlex (antibiotic) every meal, Docusate Sodium and DOC X Plus 8.6 (1 each twice per day) and Tylenol (no more than 8 per day).

    Have not found a comfortable place to ‘lounge’ in our son’s apartment, so looking for ideas on comfortable sitting/lounging/eating position. Any particular brand of chairs? Companies? He has an office chair that is pretty nice that is working about as good as anything, but looking for something to sit in. I know I am not supposed to sit a lot, but at least need to sit and eat!

    Speaking of eating, thoughts on what I can do to get energy in my body? Appetite not there, but know I need the energy.

    Kathy in Iowa (well, in Minnesota right now)

  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,531
    Quote Originally Posted by KathyInIowa View Post

    Speaking of eating, thoughts on what I can do to get energy in my body? Appetite not there, but know I need the energy.

    Kathy in Iowa (well, in Minnesota right now)
    Kathy

    You need to eat. Nutrition is very important for healing.....

    I loved my smoothies....they really helped...

    In a blender,

    1 Yogurt
    1/2 banana
    1/2 cup whey protein powder
    30 blueberries
    15 raspberries
    10 strawberries
    12 almonds

    Buy the berries frozen, its easier and they don’t spoil so soon.

    I would simply store in the fridge and re-blend. Take small sips....

    Get some sliced roast beef....this is an easy way to get protein. Eat it out of the bag.

    Also after my event, I was sipping on pedialyte for electrolytes. The laxatives really drain you of energy.

    I also ate dry granola for heartburn.

    Hang in there.....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    758
    Kathy you may be able to eat a little more now that things are moving along. You also can try a product like ensure for more nutrition.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    57
    Hi Kathy,

    We are surgery buds! I was fused T4-L4 on June 14th. I too am on Dilaudid 2mg, 2 pills every 4 hours. I feel they help but they give me terrifying nightmares and constipation of course. I have struggled with eating, such a poor appetite but I do like smoothies and frozen yogurt. I try to just eat protein with a veggie for dinner. It is just hard. I can't move around the kitchen at all and am totally dependent on my sweet parents. I use ice packs all day-my PT told me how to make them. 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, 2 cups of water mix and put in a ziplock, then put that zip,ice in a second one to prevent leaks. Life saver. During the day I made a "station" on the couch-put a sheet down and all the back cushions removed them stacked pillows all around and lay partially reclined. I have ups and downs with pain too and generally feeling weak, sick and drugged. It is so far away from my normal. Day by day.
    Best in recovery!
    Jana
    Diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis at age 11
    Dr. Edgar Dawson of UCLA
    Braced and "stopped" below 50 degrees
    Age 25: 47 degrees, 48 degrees
    Age 38 (3 babies later): 60 degrees, 63 degrees and 2.5 inches shorter
    Age 41: 64 degrees, 70 degrees
    Dr. Gregory Mundis Jr. of Scripps Hospital, La Jolla CA
    June 2015-ALIF on L5-S1 for a slipped and degenerated disk
    June 14, 2016-T4-L4 spinal fusion with instrumentation
    Post-surgery: 16 degrees, 12 degrees and 2 inches taller

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    88

    3 weeks post op -feeling decent

    Hi everybody! Tomorrow is my 3-week post op mark. I'm feeling pretty good considering.

    The first 2 weeks are definitely the worst. Everyone says it and it is true! By week 3 I feel fairly human again. I did get my appetite back which I think is a good sign. I still eat fairly bland food, yogurt, toast, eggs, applesauce, smoothies, cereal, turkey lunch meat.

    I have cut back some on my meds. I'm still taking (1) Dilaudid 2 mg every 4 hours (Rx is (2) every 4 hours). I take (1) flexeril 10 mg twice a day (Rx is for 3 times a day) and (1) valium 2 mg at 10 pm to help me sleep (Rx is for 4 times a day). I'm also still taking the stool softener they gave me. They seem to be working.

    All in all I feel good. I'm still tired a lot which I'm sure is normal. My family has been helping a lot. I'm fairly self sufficient but since I can't bend much I still need help with things like socks (which I only wear when walking), drying lower legs after shower, getting my feel through the leg hole of pants.

    I will have like 3 awesome days then for an unknown reason I'll feel like a truck hit me. Is that normal? It got super hot & humid here so I quit walking outside. The heat was making me dizzy. So I walk the halls of this apartment. This week my walking schedule is (3) 15-minute walks. Next week is (2) 20-minute walks. I can do more if I feel like it, but they suggest adding only small 5 or 10 minute walks.

    My incisions seem to be healing nicely. Boy, they are long!

    I like putting my hands on my lower back and not feeling my rib hump! Even my front torso looks different without the distorted rib cage!

    I can't seem to get comfortable sitting half way up to read or watch TV. I'm only comfortable laying flat. So I have to put a small pillow on my chest & put my book or iPad on the pillow. So I haven't been able to watch TV.

    I'm so happy to be on "the other side." I've known for a whole year I would be doing this surgery. That is a long time to have it "looming" over me.

    I know John was posting on this forum earlier. I'd like to thank all of you for supporting him. This is not easy on the caregiver. It is hard for him to watch me feel so bad and then all he had to do to help manage my pain & food & general discomfort.

    I have 3 more weeks to be in the Twin Cities. Hopefully my 6-week post op check up will go well and I can go home. The good thing about being here is there is nothing for me to do but walk, eat & rest!

    Kathy in Iowa

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by Jjohnsonphd View Post
    Hi Kathy,

    We are surgery buds! I was fused T4-L4 on June 14th. I too am on Dilaudid 2mg, 2 pills every 4 hours. I feel they help but they give me terrifying nightmares and constipation of course. I have struggled with eating, such a poor appetite but I do like smoothies and frozen yogurt. I try to just eat protein with a veggie for dinner. It is just hard. I can't move around the kitchen at all and am totally dependent on my sweet parents. I use ice packs all day-my PT told me how to make them. 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, 2 cups of water mix and put in a ziplock, then put that zip,ice in a second one to prevent leaks. Life saver. During the day I made a "station" on the couch-put a sheet down and all the back cushions removed them stacked pillows all around and lay partially reclined. I have ups and downs with pain too and generally feeling weak, sick and drugged. It is so far away from my normal. Day by day.
    Best in recovery!
    Jana
    Hi Jana! It's good to have a surgery bud - nice to know someone who is on the same path as me. I will have to try your ice pack recipe. I had purchased one of those with the little "beads" in them, it has a Velcro belt on it so you can walk around with it on. But I can also just lay on it so I have been icing my low back.

    I wish you all the best in your recovery. We can "hang in there" together!
    Kathy

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,531
    Quote Originally Posted by KathyInIowa View Post
    I will have like 3 awesome days then for an unknown reason I'll feel like a truck hit me. Is that normal?
    Yup. Your still extremely early......Good days and bad days are normal. Wasn’t that a Led Zeppelin song?

    Keep up the good work!

    Congratulations...

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    Ed is right. You will have good days and then bad days.
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

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