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Thread: Must Haves For Post Op

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Question Must Haves For Post Op

    To All The Vets: I will be in a residential rehab for an unknown number of weeks > my release from The Spine Hospital. My insurance put me into one for 8 days for a broken femur, so I am certain I will be a resident for an extended period. I will have several EZ Reacher grabbers, sock and shoe tools, & a tablet for email/entertainment with me. I have seen a lot of talk about mattress toppers. The beds in these rehabs are not exactly like my Tempur. I will have nobody waiting at my beck and call when I finally return to my home. I fear this will prolong my stay at the rehab. Dr. Lenke wants to keep everything local so his staff can do status checks, which means I will be stuck in NYC with nobody who can drop off the odd item I might need- I will be totally dependent on the rehab. That degree of dependence is unsettling. If anything comes to mind that you found particularly handy during those first few months post op, please post it so I can be prepared as possible. Thanks, RJM

  2. #2
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    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    Chet, You will have to let go....I know exactly what you are saying.

    For devices, you will be ok.....on the foam, you might have to have somebody bring one in for you, “if you need it”. Or, simply have one delivered to the rehab facility. UPS delivers anywhere, if you need photos of UPS trucks delivering out in the Arizona desert I can post photos of this for you. I would bet that UPS will deliver to you room #. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to call them up and ask about this. Amazon is also doing food now, you can order a prime rib with a loaded baked potato, but you might get caught by the Lenke staff.....wouldn’t that be something? Who ordered the banana split?

    https://primenow.amazon.com/restaurants

    What bothered me the most was that people will come in while you are sleeping and move the table next to the bed. The phone is always an inch too far to reach, then you have to find the nurse call button. (Don’t worry, it will get moved also) I guess these are little things but you cant let this stuff drive you crazy, its not worth it.

    Its REALLY good having the Lenke staff close....

    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    34

    Hi Chet,

    Quote Originally Posted by rjmacready View Post
    To All The Vets: I will be in a residential rehab for an unknown number of weeks > my release from The Spine Hospital. My insurance put me into one for 8 days for a broken femur, so I am certain I will be a resident for an extended period. I will have several EZ Reacher grabbers, sock and shoe tools, & a tablet for email/entertainment with me. I have seen a lot of talk about mattress toppers. The beds in these rehabs are not exactly like my Tempur. I will have nobody waiting at my beck and call when I finally return to my home. I fear this will prolong my stay at the rehab. Dr. Lenke wants to keep everything local so his staff can do status checks, which means I will be stuck in NYC with nobody who can drop off the odd item I might need- I will be totally dependent on the rehab. That degree of dependence is unsettling. If anything comes to mind that you found particularly handy during those first few months post op, please post it so I can be prepared as possible. Thanks, RJM

    Hi Chet,

    I just want you to know that I will be praying for you. I am sorry that you must go this alone. I wish my husband and I could help, but we are so far away and I'm about to have my surgery as well. I agree with Ed about Amazon delivering anything anywhere. Frankly, it amazes me what they can/will do. I will be thinking of you.

    Sincerely,
    Sheryl in TX

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Posts
    87

    You are not alone

    Quote Originally Posted by rjmacready View Post
    To All The Vets: I will be in a residential rehab for an unknown number of weeks > my release from The Spine Hospital. My insurance put me into one for 8 days for a broken femur, so I am certain I will be a resident for an extended period. I will have several EZ Reacher grabbers, sock and shoe tools, & a tablet for email/entertainment with me. I have seen a lot of talk about mattress toppers. The beds in these rehabs are not exactly like my Tempur. I will have nobody waiting at my beck and call when I finally return to my home. I fear this will prolong my stay at the rehab. Dr. Lenke wants to keep everything local so his staff can do status checks, which means I will be stuck in NYC with nobody who can drop off the odd item I might need- I will be totally dependent on the rehab. That degree of dependence is unsettling. If anything comes to mind that you found particularly handy during those first few months post op, please post it so I can be prepared as possible. Thanks, RJM
    I live on Long Island about an hour away. If you really need something I can help.
    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...

  5. #5
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    Aug 2009
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    Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathydrew View Post
    I live on Long Island about an hour away. If you really need something I can help.
    If this doesn't show how amazing the people on this forum are... It's just great.
    Pre-surgery- 80°+ thoracic/ 60°+ lumbar
    Still unsure of post-op numbers
    37 yrs. old, 6'7" ish
    Scoli pics

  6. #6
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    May 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by osumike View Post
    If this doesn't show how amazing the people on this forum are... It's just great.
    Oh Yeah....Love it.

    Cathy made it....(BIG SMILES!!)

    If I were in NY, I would do the same thing.....I used to live in Jersey, you know, out west. (Only a New Yorker would understand) Ha ha

    I would actually sneak prime rib into the hospital for my dad when he had ALS. That’s why I mentioned it....I would get the EVIL eye from the floor nurses. You have to be smooth.... to pull this off.

    You gotta do what you gotta do. (smiley face)

    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    48

    Gracious offers

    Ed, Certainly your and Cathy's sentiments are most gracious. You may be correct in the fact I could be overthinking this upcoming affair. Seeing as this is a result of a previous surgery, I always ask myself if I had been more diligent, asked more questions, etc. the outcome might have been different.

    I'm sure I'm not the 1st patient who has no family extant, nor people who can simply put their lives on hold & wet nurse me. Dr. Lenke strikes me as the kind of person who has seen it all. C

  8. #8
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    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
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    1,525

    From a Vet of 5 spinal rehabs

    Quote Originally Posted by rjmacready View Post
    To All The Vets: I will be in a residential rehab for an unknown number of weeks > my release from The Spine Hospital. My insurance put me into one for 8 days for a broken femur, so I am certain I will be a resident for an extended period. I will have several EZ Reacher grabbers, sock and shoe tools, & a tablet for email/entertainment with me. I have seen a lot of talk about mattress toppers. The beds in these rehabs are not exactly like my Tempur. I will have nobody waiting at my beck and call when I finally return to my home. I fear this will prolong my stay at the rehab. Dr. Lenke wants to keep everything local so his staff can do status checks, which means I will be stuck in NYC with nobody who can drop off the odd item I might need- I will be totally dependent on the rehab. That degree of dependence is unsettling. If anything comes to mind that you found particularly handy during those first few months post op, please post it so I can be prepared as possible. Thanks, RJM
    Hi there, sad to admit that I am a 5 times vet of spinal rehab surgery. My thoughts:

    - make sure that you are sent to "intensive rehab", which means that you need at least 2 of 3 kinds of rehab: PT, OT, or speech. PT and OT are what you need. You also must agree to 3 hours/day....usually 5-6 days a week of rehab. That amount is exhausting, esp right after surgery, but buck up and do it.

    - check on laundry options. Some rehab places that I "endured" had laundry and others expected family members to clean your clothes.

    - I personally never found rehab mattresses uncomfortable. If you do, ask the rehab place to find you a better mattress instead of your sending for one.

    - my biggest frustration was being able to find the call bell. Bring a tie [those ties for electronics work well, thanks Irina for your idea].

    Good luck!
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  9. #9
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    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjmacready View Post
    Ed, Certainly your and Cathy's sentiments are most gracious. You may be correct in the fact I could be overthinking this upcoming affair. Seeing as this is a result of a previous surgery, I always ask myself if I had been more diligent, asked more questions, etc. the outcome might have been different.

    I'm sure I'm not the 1st patient who has no family extant, nor people who can simply put their lives on hold & wet nurse me. Dr. Lenke strikes me as the kind of person who has seen it all. C
    Overthink our surgeries? Perhaps......It was a 32 year wait for me. Of course, I ignored scoliosis for many years and lived my life..... I watched scoliosis technology progress over a really long time waiting for my day. The pedicle screw was the cats meow in 1986. That got my attention and offered more hope.

    For my actual surgeries, I didn’t plan or buy anything, maybe I had too much on the plate....Lawyers, contracts, the sale of my precision manufacturing business with 54 employees, A/P deformity surgeries with no guarantees. I guess that’s a plate load.

    I DID have a lot of trust in my surgeons....All the other stuff doesn’t matter, its about faith, will, and positive attitude. My commitment was powerful regardless of what happened. The docs even commented on this in my hospital reports. Wanting to get up out of bed standing there with a spider web of hoses. I was ready for anything in ICU. They had me bombed, I didn’t feel anything in ICU. I was there for around 4 days before they moved me to the ortho wing. The IV and injectable meds are extremely powerful....Man-o-man!

    I was one of those along with Tonibunny who was kicked to the dirt as kids with scoliosis many years ago. I am still bitter, it was a different time period, but it created a strong survival instinct in us. “Its just a curved spine” and ”It doesn’t hurt” comments are NOT what you say to scoliosis kids.... She had it a lot worse that me, she admitted to me in e-mails. She passed from cancer. She was an angelic soul.....

    I didn’t tell my family I was doing my surgeries....I actually only told just a few inner circle friends and the people I work with. So, I guess a solo thing....

    The only people who truly understand are the scoli members here who have done battle.

    You have a damn good surgeon, now its all up to you. We are with you Chet, and you are going to get through this. Forget everything in the past, scoliosis is an ever changing evolution of events, pain, and mind. It truly is an adapt as you go program....which we make the best of in each case scenario. Worry and anxiety is this unnecessary self induced stress that we all go through, but you can control things using your mind....and deep breathing.

    One of my worries was the bed pan question.....But, I didn’t worry too much, and guess what? It didn’t happen because I was NPO. No food by mouth, stubborn ileus, no poop. No food, no poop. Simple stuff. (smiley face)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_by_mouth

    The benefits of ileus!...wow! Glad I didn’t worry too much about that one..... There are a thousand things to worry about. Which one do you worry about?

    All of them or none of them?

    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    48

    Excellent Information

    Good luck!
    Susan[/QUOTE]
    Hi Susan, I am truly sorry for the amount and severity of the trials you have endured. It does make one wonder- some people seem to walk between the raindrops all their life; their idea of a major medical trauma is a tonsilectomy. For others it seems the storms never stop and hit broadside- they just take a break now and then. Your tips are most welcome. I will raise these questions before any commitments are made. I don't know Dr. Lenke's support staff very well at all, so don't have the same amount of trust in them. They have been forthcoming and responsive so far. I tailor my inquiries to the most pressing issues as to not be viewed as a problematic patient. I certainly got that feeling from Kebaish's staff at Hopkins. Questions were treated as an affront to their expertise, and information was guarded as if I had umitigated hubris in even inquiring about it. They're not removing an ingrown toe nail, they're gutting me like a fish. I felt I had a right to know the surgical plan, etc; they did not see it that way. Dr. Lenke provided me with a surgical plan on my first visit. Your rehab facility information is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you, and I sincerely hope your tribulations are confined to the past. As a local politician who was a high ranking member of the US Navy said, he wished me "calm seas." I hope the same for you. Chet

  11. #11
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    May 2016
    Posts
    48

    Which one do you worry about?

    Ed, If I were to allow it, the questions/worries would overwhelm me and possibly even cause me to cancel. My immediate personal connection with Dr.Lenke has allayed many of the fears I had with Kebaish. My biggest concerns used to be things such as neurological damage, infection. Now, it is the post op period and loss of independence. The vast majority of people would not live as I do I suspect, but I still manage by myself. I am surrendering that control. I am a regimented person who is only content in a well defined, spartan routine that does not rely upon anyone else. This will be a virtual tsunami of change; change that is enormous in magnitude, and most of all celerity. I will find myself with no real control over anything for quite some time. Total loss of control is abhorrent to me, but I recognize its unavoidability. Chet

  12. #12
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    Dec 2016
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    Hi Chet,

    Quote Originally Posted by rjmacready View Post
    Ed, If I were to allow it, the questions/worries would overwhelm me and possibly even cause me to cancel. My immediate personal connection with Dr.Lenke has allayed many of the fears I had with Kebaish. My biggest concerns used to be things such as neurological damage, infection. Now, it is the post op period and loss of independence. The vast majority of people would not live as I do I suspect, but I still manage by myself. I am surrendering that control. I am a regimented person who is only content in a well defined, spartan routine that does not rely upon anyone else. This will be a virtual tsunami of change; change that is enormous in magnitude, and most of all celerity. I will find myself with no real control over anything for quite some time. Total loss of control is abhorrent to me, but I recognize its unavoidability. Chet

    Hi Chet,

    This is Sheryl. My surgery is upcoming. I've changed the date to Mar 21 and 23 and I'm much happier about that.

    When is your surgery scheduled? Do you have anyone that you can depend on to give you some help? Have you thought about Visiting Angels or a service such as them? Also, I've been praying for you and I will continue to do so.

    Talk to you soon,
    Sheryl

  13. #13
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    May 2016
    Posts
    48

    Two surgeries?

    Hi Sheryl, You said Mar 21 and 23. Are you having the double procedure like Ed did? Be it for better or worse, mine is scheduled for July 10 as a 12 hour marathon. All done via posterior. Ed said it was a very extensive list of procedures, so hooray for me. I'll be lucky if I know where I am for days afterwards. T1-Sacrum, the whole nine yards. Multiple osteotomies, one resection, ad nauseum... I could have attenuated the amount of trauma by acting on this earlier, I suspect most everyone looks at videos of this surgery and balks. I've reached the point I have to do something, so it is all up to chance and Dr. Lenke. I have no illusions of a perfect outcome with no complications along the way. You've got ~ 6 weeks, is time slowing or accelerating for you? Chet

  14. #14
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    Dec 2016
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    Hi Chet,

    he
    Quote Originally Posted by rjmacready View Post
    Hi Sheryl, You said Mar 21 and 23. Are you having the double procedure like Ed did? Be it for better or worse, mine is scheduled for July 10 as a 12 hour marathon. All done via posterior. Ed said it was a very extensive list of procedures, so hooray for me. I'll be lucky if I know where I am for days afterwards. T1-Sacrum, the whole nine yards. Multiple osteotomies, one resection, ad nauseum... I could have attenuated the amount of trauma by acting on this earlier, I suspect most everyone looks at videos of this surgery and balks. I've reached the point I have to do something, so it is all up to chance and Dr. Lenke. I have no illusions of a perfect outcome with no complications along the way. You've got ~ 6 weeks, is time slowing or accelerating for you? Chet
    Hi Chet,
    Thanks so much for replying. Yes, mine is the same type procedure that Ed had. Here is my surgery plan and I'll have to abbreviate it for time sake:

    Pelvic fixation
    Arthrodesis Posterior Single; Thoracic
    Arthrodesis, Posterior, 7 - 12 vertebral segments. I'm scheduled for a nine level in total, so I guess this numeration is just the description, unless the doctor is suspecting more. I'm not sure.
    Arthrodesis, Anterior inter body technique to prepare interspace.
    Arthrodesis ...... Including laminectomy or discectomy sufficient to prepare interspace....
    Arthrodesis, Posterior or posterolateral single level lumber.....
    Insertion of inter body biomechanics like device -- synthetic cage/mesh, Anchoring, etc.
    Another arthrodesis of lumbar to prepare interspace. There's a bunch of these, and I'm trying to get through the list.
    Osteomotomy, a few of these
    Posterior segmental instrumentation, hooks, wires, rods, pedicle fixation, etc. etc.

    I'm not sure what all this means other than a bunch of hardware after I'm straightened. HaHa!

    Chet, is your surgery not until summer because of Dr. Lenke's schedule? Is that the earliest that you could get in?

    The doctor that I'm using at St. Luke's wants to do this over two days. The doctor I went to here in Austin, was a one day surgery guy. I guess they are all different. Anyway, they all have teams to work with them in the OR, so you will be well cared for during the surgery. I suppose that Dr. Lenke will need to take a short break or two, and then a colleague will relieve him for a very short time. I have heard very good things here about him. He seems to be one of the foremost fellows that does this. My doctor is definitely well versed and we chose him in Houston over a very good one here in Austin. I'm confident of both, but the doc in Houston has some minimally invasive techniques to do the first day (2-3 hours) and then the long surgery 8+ hours, the second day of surgery.

    I asked you before if you have anyone that can come in and help. I noted that you mentioned rehab for one month. Is that because no one lives near to help? I wish some of us here on the board could help you. I will be recovering myself, but honestly, we would help if we could get there. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. God can do mighty and great things and He can use Dr. Lenke to straighten you right up and make you well. I will be praying for the best result possible, even pain free, if that is to be.

    Sheryl

  15. #15
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    Dec 2016
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    Hi again Chet,

    P.S. I guess I won't know where I'll be for days too. I imagine that Ed and everyone else here went through that as well. From what I read, that's a good thing! Ha!

    Sheryl

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