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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    11

    Upcoming Surgery

    Hi All,

    My surgery is coming up with Dr. Arlet here in Philadelphia and wanted to get some input on a few things.

    1. How did you tell your employer of your surgery? How did they react?

    2. How long did it take for you to go back to your previous job?

    3. How long did it take until you felt comfortable enough to not be on pain medication?

    4. How long before you were able to shower and do basic things around your home?

    5. Any advice for post surgery life?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,551
    I was a business owner, and sold my business when I went in. I did have employees have their own surgeries, these things are unavoidable....If you get fired as a result of your surgeries, you don't want t work for those people anyway.... You move on.....It seems we have to get used to all sorts of changes in our lives. If you need surgery, you need surgery. Explaining scoliosis and scoliosis surgery can be a task and its also something we have to get used to. Many times, you will hear the words "You have to do what?" in disbelief.....Yes, I have to do it. It really doesn't matter what others might think as its our own major challenge we have to absorb in our minds.

    I was told my recovery was going to take a year. I figured 2 years, and it took 2 years. If you can work out of the house, that's a great way to go. I took 18 months off from going into the office on a daily basis.....I wouldn't want to be pressured to have to return to work after a full A/P. Our recoveries are our time to recover and we only get one chance at it. Our recoveries also have the mental aspects....mainly the will, drive, and total commitment to follow through. There is no divorce from scoliosis.

    I quit cold turkey at 6 weeks mainly due to lower GI and constipation problems. It wasn't about spine pain, or surgical pain, it was all about lower GI pain in my recovery. I also wanted my mind back. I used a lot of hot water soaks in a deep and wide bathtub. 106F degree hot water works well for bone and nerve pain. Hot salty water also works well for dental pain. I took 60 minute hot soaks, 5 times per day for 3 months after my surgeries.

    I showered in the hospital on the 8th day. Boy, did that feel good. I drained all the hospitals hot water on that one (smiley face) I had no problems showering, and my arm and shoulder were broken and not working. I had one arm, at least I didn't have to change a tire without arms. If you look through my threads, you will find video proof that this is possible. The thread is titled, no arms, no problem. Remember that you will figure all this stuff out.

    Post surgery life is about getting through our long recoveries.....managing all these strange pains and feelings. There is always something new it seems, I try not to get excited about it. Its the "alarming" pains, nerve pains that are extreme that we have to get past. A day by day thing, prepared for, but not expecting. Almost like firemen who have their fire trucks in the firehouse, hoping they don't have to do battle again. Lets pray for the people of Northern California who have their own recoveries and loss to deal with. The situation has been grim down there with massive fire storms that engulf homes in 30 seconds.

    When is your date?

    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
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    89
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimist View Post
    Hi All,

    My surgery is coming up with Dr. Arlet here in Philadelphia and wanted to get some input on a few things.

    1. How did you tell your employer of your surgery? How did they react?

    2. How long did it take for you to go back to your previous job?

    3. How long did it take until you felt comfortable enough to not be on pain medication?

    4. How long before you were able to shower and do basic things around your home?

    5. Any advice for post surgery life?
    Hi, Optimist.

    I, like Ed, was a self employed business owner so I just adjusted my staff to cover my duties. 4 months after my surgery we sold our business so that took a lot of pressure of me. Having said that, I had a lot of trouble sitting after my surgery so if I'd had a full-time desk job, it would have been hard for me to go back to work before 4 months or so. But, it wasn't my back that was the trouble, it was my left hip which I had A LOT of trouble with my left hip before my surgery. So, I don't think my sitting problem was really the norm after this surgery - you might be way better off than I was in regards to sitting.

    I started weaning off my meds at 4 weeks, and at my 6 week check up I was completely off them. I still had pain, and sometimes it would be fairly high level pain, but I hated the way the narcotics made me feel. I had terrible, chronic insomnia, I was sweating, I was emotional, they were messing with my mind - I really just couldn't take it anymore. So, that was my motivation to get off drugs. Most of my pain was muscular (left hip and lower back at the spot where my rib hump was) so I was controlling that with movement and heat/ice. But, I had a short fusion (T11 - S1) so I wasn't dealing with my WHOLE back.

    I was able to shower alone after about 2 weeks. I don't really have a memory of the first 2 weeks after surgery, the drugs created a sort of "amnesia" in me. But, once I was "with it" I could take a short shower. I did have to have help turning the water on and off (I recovered at my son's apartment as my surgery was not in my own town) and he lived in a older apartment complex. The knobs were low by the tub and they were hard to turn. I wasn't able to squat enough to even turn on the water, my legs were super sore. But, if I had been at my own house where the water handles were up higher, I would have been fine. So, you might want to think about the mechanics of your shower.

    I was pretty self sufficient around 3 or 4 weeks. I didn't like being up for long periods, so I was eating small meals that were easy to fix. I was super tired (the chronic insomnia didn't help with that) so I was doing my walking at a little eating and then laying around. In the beginning, taking a shower felt like I had just run a marathon..... The narcotics took away my appetite so I was eating only healthy food - I figured if I wasn't eating much, I better make it good for my body!

    I felt pretty good at my 6-week checkup and then I got to go home. Which I was super excited to go home! Once home, it was all about eating right, going on short walks and getting rest.

    I don't know your situation, but I was 55 years old at the time of my surgery, in pretty good shape going into surgery and I had a short fusion (in the scoliosis world anyway - seems long to me!).

    Good luck with your surgery. Keep us updated!

    Kathy
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

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