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Thread: 1st Scoliosis Surgery at age 63

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina_R View Post
    I described my shower routine in detail. Let me now talk about cooking and housework. For me, after fusion surgery, it is impossible to do normal cooking without help. So many things I can't do on my own yet with a 5-pound lifting limit. I used to love my heavy stoneware dishes, now they are my enemy. Meat pans are on a low level shelf and I am not allowed to bend down. The oven door is too low and too heavy, likewise the freezer door (mine is on the bottom, actually a massive drawer you pull out.) A pot full of pasta and water is too heavy, I can't drain it. I can't load the bottom shelf of the dishwasher, it is too low.

    I can slide a chair over and sometimes open the freezer door from a sitting position when I really need to, but I can't search it to the bottom because that requires bending. Moving a chair up to the oven does not help, I can't reach across the open door to insert or remove pans, it will compromise my back. Can't get to it from the side, either.

    The microwave is one of the few things I can handle on my own. For the rest I am lucky to have help.

    I would say have meals prepared in advance the first few days if possible. Use the microwave a lot. Use paper plates so you don't have to put plates on the lower level of the dishwasher. Get help from anyone you can.

    As for housework? Forget it. There's very little housework you can do. I'm too weak to clean the top of my flat top stove right now, scraping and scouring the burnt stuff hurts my back - that's another problem with cooking. Impossible to lift the mattress to change the sheets. Laundry is difficult because of the angle of the doors on my front load washer and dryer, wet clothes weigh a ton, and you have to bend down to get them or pick them out one by one with a grabber tool.

    The only housework I can do is clean counters with Lysol and light, limited sweeping. And maybe wash a few dishes by hand.

    I just want you to be ready for this, Nancy. It's good to know what to expect.
    Tina...

    You should check with your surgeon's office. Most restrictions for adults are usually dropped somewhere in the first 6-12 months.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Tina...

    You should check with your surgeon's office. Most restrictions for adults are usually dropped somewhere in the first 6-12 months.

    --Linda
    I'm just trying to tell someone who is getting fusion surgery what to possibly expect after surgery and before recovery. I realize my experience might differ a bit from other people's.

    I am not yet recovered according to my doctor and from what my body is telling me, and these are the limitations I currently have.

  3. #78
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    Donít know what Iím going to do

    I really appreciate the details you gave. I NEED the DETAILS vs generalities. I am totally overwhelmed & donít know how Ií manage 3-12 months after surgery. X is only giving $18,000 towards surgeries & recovery at present time which wonít be enough but slay 1 dragon at a time I guess. I canít afford to hire house cleaner, pedicures, etc. My car is 2006 CRV Honda which dies not have electric seats only the knobs that allows you to adjust but itís paid off. Wonít know how much of my neck will be fused so will wait to find out about buying those extra mirrors. I feel horrible both emotionally & physically. Seldom can I stand long enough to cook (Loved to cook from scratch). Canít make up bed & sheets donít get changed often (gross I know). Missed my 2 PT appt last week due to pain. I donít think itís helping me now-will hopefully talk w/ PT tomorrow re: just going to pool as after PT sessions pain increases immobilizing me. I already have arthritis in both knees, left arm, wrist & hand which have been very painful. I watched Edís video but Iím not the type of person who can handle that kind of curve ball life throws at us. Never thought I would be facing such difficulties at this stage of life plus alone. I emphasize w/ the difficulties you are experiencing. Hope youíre husband is supportive & helping you.

  4. #79
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    Council of Aging

    Quote Originally Posted by Scared View Post
    I really appreciate the details you gave. I NEED the DETAILS vs generalities. I am totally overwhelmed & don’t know how I’ manage 3-12 months after surgery. X is only giving $18,000 towards surgeries & recovery at present time which won’t be enough but slay 1 dragon at a time I guess. I can’t afford to hire house cleaner, pedicures, etc. My car is 2006 CRV Honda which dies not have electric seats only the knobs that allows you to adjust but it’s paid off. Won’t know how much of my neck will be fused so will wait to find out about buying those extra mirrors. I feel horrible both emotionally & physically. Seldom can I stand long enough to cook (Loved to cook from scratch). Can’t make up bed & sheets don’t get changed often (gross I know). Missed my 2 PT appt last week due to pain. I don’t think it’s helping me now-will hopefully talk w/ PT tomorrow re: just going to pool as after PT sessions pain increases immobilizing me. I already have arthritis in both knees, left arm, wrist & hand which have been very painful. I watched Ed’s video but I’m not the type of person who can handle that kind of curve ball life throws at us. Never thought I would be facing such difficulties at this stage of life plus alone. I emphasize w/ the difficulties you are experiencing. Hope you’re husband is supportive & helping you.
    Nancy, I don't want to depress you with all this, I just want you to know what to possibly expect. My husband is great but he has serious back and shoulder problems himself and can't do much around the house. We do get on each other's nerves sometimes when we are both feeling helpless, but we know we're lucky to have each other. It is tough at this time in life for many people and no one thinks about that in their younger years. You get illnesses and you lose people who would support you, that's just how it is.

    Is there a Council of Aging in your town? They can be very helpful. Their services vary depending on the town. In my town they provide low cost rides to medical appointments and shopping, though to limited locations, and if they don't go there they will arrange an Uber for me. They also are a good place to gather and enjoy the company of other people with activities and events and a library or just to hang out. There might be other benefits they can provide. There's undoubtedly a social worker there you can talk to. Check it out. Make your presence known there and you might find some friendly support from the staff later, if they are a good place.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 11-28-2019 at 09:56 PM.

  5. #80
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    Thanks for sharing

    You havenít caused my depression as itís already there (too much pain over too many years). I want to emphasize how helpful it is to receive details of others experiences. This type of info is so important to share for those of us facing 1st time surgery. This is my only avenue to obtain such info. Even though itís difficult I rather know upfront than post-op. For me I donít consider myself a ďsenior ď. My dr a couple of weeks ago during our conversation told me ď you need to take it easy & enjoy your golden yearsĒ - I wanted to hit him over his head with my cane (just joking). But REALLY?? I feel like Iím 90 but Iím not.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared View Post
    You haven’t caused my depression as it’s already there (too much pain over too many years). I want to emphasize how helpful it is to receive details of others experiences. This type of info is so important to share for those of us facing 1st time surgery. This is my only avenue to obtain such info. Even though it’s difficult I rather know upfront than post-op. For me I don’t consider myself a “senior “. My dr a couple of weeks ago during our conversation told me “ you need to take it easy & enjoy your golden years” - I wanted to hit him over his head with my cane (just joking). But REALLY?? I feel like I’m 90 but I’m not.

    "For me I don’t consider myself a “senior “.
    Do you mean you are too young to look into the council on aging? I thought I was, too. But there are people of all ages there, fifties and above. Some people are elderly and frail and sit there knitting and conversing as you'd expect to see. Others are very strong and take exercise classes and use the gym there. Or they participate in walking tours of museums and casinos, some of the activities and trips offered. Many are sharp and even know how to use cell phones and computers very well.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 12-01-2019 at 02:51 PM.

  7. #82
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    X-Rays

    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Instructions for attachments (NSF) attachments will be on the NSF server. Only NSF members can look at these after logging in.

    Get the file on desktop, right click to re-name (Example Front View, Side View etc)

    While doing a post...(after logging in)

    1) Click manage attachments (look down)
    2) Click Add Files (upper right)
    3) Click choose file
    4) Desktop (small box)
    5) Upload (small box)
    6) Select, insert line, done

    You should see the file below the manage attachments button

    Select preview post (look below for attachment)

    Ed
    Ed back in 12/17 my fiancť at the time (mechanical engineer) could only get 1 pic from CD. Any advice as to how to download the other pics from X-Rays taken on computer? There were at least 4-5 films shown to me during the appt.

  8. #83
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    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    In the shower.
    Linda I am not stupid. I knew that I would have to shower (already have a shower seat). But just wanted DETAILS. I am alone trying my best to get prepared as much as 1 can. Donít understand why you have given other folks on forum detailed info but donít appear to want to give me some? I have appreciated other info shared but was rather irritated by your response. Donít understand.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared View Post
    Linda I am not stupid. I knew that I would have to shower (already have a shower seat). But just wanted DETAILS. I am alone trying my best to get prepared as much as 1 can. Donít understand why you have given other folks on forum detailed info but donít appear to want to give me some? I have appreciated other info shared but was rather irritated by your response. Donít understand.
    I wasn't trying to infer that you are stupid. I assumed that everyone knew how to wash their hair in the shower, but I learn something new most days, so this is what I would do:

    * either stand or sit (with a handheld shower), head tilted back, to wet hair.
    * apply shampoo and massage in.
    * tilt head back again and rinse.
    If one's fusion starts mid-thoracic (T7 or below), one could also tilt their head forward to accomplish the same thing.

    If you're having cervical surgery, you would need to follow your surgeon's guidelines. There might be an extended period during early recovery, where shampooing your hair would be ill advised. In that case, dry shampoo is always an option.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  10. #85
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    Your Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    I used "Can" in parenthesis influencing the probability that it can happen. There is going to be a probability on everything we do. Percentages of risk. It can be a few years or never happen. We have seen fusion extensions around here and its good to be aware....I don't know the stats on this. I suppose I could look them up but in seniors, its logical that the probability is going to be higher. Put it this way, if you were walking on an icy sidewalk, I would write it the same way. You "can" fall emphasizing the probability. How often do people fall on ice?

    Surgeons and doctors are medically trained. Many of the times, they can be short with us, with single word answers. It depends on if they think you have a grasp and at least know some of the material. It also depends on if they think you will get scared. Scoliosis surgery is invasive, let face it, its scary. If they come out and say this is going to happen or that is going to happen, they could run off a patient. My surgeon after 2-1/2 years of talks told me specifically and guaranteed me 100% that something was going to go wrong and that my situation was extremely serious. He knew I could handle it only when I told him that I could hang no matter what happens. We do a full commitment with our surgeries. There is no divorcing scoliosis. When we commit, we commit for life. We take what we can get, and do the best with what we have.

    As a patient you have to ask. As a patient you have to learn. Its our disease. I am an idiopathic so its been a lot of years now. I was a Luque wire candidate in 1975. Harrington rods did not fuse to the pelvis. Also surgeon's DO NOT like fusing kids to the pelvis. Many thoracic fusions on teens down to T12 or high lumbar straighten up lumbar curves. Non structural lumbar curves. S curves of any magnitude have both curves structural. Determined by bender x-rays.

    Peripheral nerves heal. (Most of the time) We had a 3rd cranial infarction here where the patients eyelids would not open and after 110 days she suddenly could open them. I told her that things will get better, installing faith to combat depression when things go wrong. You have to believe in healing. You just have to. Sometimes we need a lot of time for nerves to heal as they can be really stubborn and hurt like the dickens. When something like this happens, answers are limited because they might not know. Infarction is lack of blood supply. Our blood pressure drops when we go under, this can limit blood flow, and scoliosis patients are usually concerned with being paralyzed which is rare. There are other things that happen that surgeons can not explain. That's why you can't be too quick to assign blame if something goes wrong.

    I am also amazed I didn't kill myself skiing. I skied hard on the edge of death most of the time.(Big mountain style, with big airs) I am an old skier, started in 1962, that's how I ended up in Tahoe. I didn't crash much but when I did, they were nuts and I usually broke things. I did my scoliosis surgeries with a broken arm and shoulder from a ski crash around 12 days before my spine surgeries. I had so much back pain, I never did anything about the arm and shoulder, it didn't matter. I shattered my humeral head like glass so there was nothing they could do. I made it on ESPN for my skiing on an invite since I was not on the pro circuit which is a rare thing. That was cool.

    Athletes and recovery go together....Like a boxer, you beat on the body, your going to recover. The doctors were amazed at my healing capacity. They stated it in the hospitals reports. Its my mentality. Things go wrong, you do your recovery and you get through it. Part of the sport I guess. Athlete mentality? I guess so.

    Ed
    Ed , I really believe that youíre years of skiing & diving made you stronger than the average person. Takes very strong legs to Ski especially at the level you were doing. Plus you appear to have come into this world with a positive outlook on life or at least positive attitude. Great personality traits & physical body to go thru the surgery you did + a good recovery. I think it takes both to get thru this type of surgery & have at least a decent recovery.

  11. #86
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    Another thing that might be useful in my kitchen would be a chair on wheels, an office chair. In a seated position I'd be able to reach things in low-lying locations that I can't reach standing. Ordinary kitchen chairs are not easy to move for this purpose.

  12. #87
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    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared View Post
    Ed , I really believe that youíre years of skiing & diving made you stronger than the average person. Takes very strong legs to Ski especially at the level you were doing. Plus you appear to have come into this world with a positive outlook on life or at least positive attitude. Great personality traits & physical body to go thru the surgery you did + a good recovery. I think it takes both to get thru this type of surgery & have at least a decent recovery.
    Yeah, my body was rock hard for many years.....In the movie below, I consider this skiing the ultimate 10 level skiing, the skiers are all pro and built like steel. Many of the skiing sequences are slowed down in the video so you dont get any idea of some of the impacts and g forces you hit while skiing like this. You just dont hop off a plane and do this and think your going to impress anyone, you have to be in top shape, and mountain and skiing skills need to be completely honed. This is what I used to do. This is how I destroyed my lumbar discs. Hopping down the pillows. Jan 2002. I really miss it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dNxiRpgN7k

    Diving is all about relaxing and keeping your cool. You are not allowed to panic underwater, and dive instructors train you this way. You train until it all becomes 2nd nature. Including the night dives which are freaky in the beginning, but if I dive now, I never miss a night dive. I will miss a day dive before missing a night dive. The underwater world is facinating. The only exercise you get from diving is watching your younger dive partners carry your gear.....He he Leni Riefenstahl dove till she was 100. Diving is truly complete relaxation....weightlessness. It gives all your joints a break with the most incredible views.

    Both require the right mindset. Its not a negative mindset, its all positive. Extremely stoked about the outcome. You dont worry about hitting a tree or getting bit by sharks, and that goes for surgery. How many trees are there to hit, how many sharks are there? more than surgical complications, thats for sure. Which tree do you worry about? I had so much stuff to worry about with my surgeries that I put the horse blinders and stared straight ahead knowing that it was going to work out no matter what happened.

    When you dont have a choice, you pull the old boot straps up and get it done no matter what.

    They will be looking at your blood work real close. My surgeons decision was based on me, my attitude and my bloodwork.

    You have to want surgery, and want it bad. I almost had the door slam shut myself, so you have to do everything to get that foot in the door.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves 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

  13. #88
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    Blood work?

    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Yeah, my body was rock hard for many years.....In the movie below, I consider this skiing the ultimate 10 level skiing, the skiers are all pro and built like steel. Many of the skiing sequences are slowed down in the video so you dont get any idea of some of the impacts and g forces you hit while skiing like this. You just dont hop off a plane and do this and think your going to impress anyone, you have to be in top shape, and mountain and skiing skills need to be completely honed. This is what I used to do. This is how I destroyed my lumbar discs. Hopping down the pillows. Jan 2002. I really miss it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dNxiRpgN7k

    Diving is all about relaxing and keeping your cool. You are not allowed to panic underwater, and dive instructors train you this way. You train until it all becomes 2nd nature. Including the night dives which are freaky in the beginning, but if I dive now, I never miss a night dive. I will miss a day dive before missing a night dive. The underwater world is facinating. The only exercise you get from diving is watching your younger dive partners carry your gear.....He he Leni Riefenstahl dove till she was 100. Diving is truly complete relaxation....weightlessness. It gives all your joints a break with the most incredible views.

    Both require the right mindset. Its not a negative mindset, its all positive. Extremely stoked about the outcome. You dont worry about hitting a tree or getting bit by sharks, and that goes for surgery. How many trees are there to hit, how many sharks are there? more than surgical complications, thats for sure. Which tree do you worry about? I had so much stuff to worry about with my surgeries that I put the horse blinders and stared straight ahead knowing that it was going to work out no matter what happened.

    When you dont have a choice, you pull the old boot straps up and get it done no matter what.

    They will be looking at your blood work real close. My surgeons decision was based on me, my attitude and my bloodwork.

    You have to want surgery, and want it bad. I almost had the door slam shut myself, so you have to do everything to get that foot in the door.

    Ed
    So anything specific they look for in blood work other than youí healthy? Which Iím not in the best shape.

  14. #89
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    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    Tests Before Surgery Healthcare Proxy

    Nancy, Here are some links.....

    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heal...before-surgery

    https://www.spineuniverse.com/treatm...spinal-surgery

    https://www.spineuniverse.com/condit...liosis-surgery

    I had to lose some weight, and quitting cafeine was not easy. My surgeon did not want me going into withdrawl in ICU.

    Medications and chemicals can add to the complexity of anesthesia and your well being. Be sure to address all of this with your surgeon. If they dont think you can handle a long surgery, they will stage it. Not everyone goes and has the works done, some of us cant handle that much surgery. My front surgery was done on a Tuesday, and the back was done 2 days later on Thursday. Your surgeon will determine all of this.

    I was out for my stage, they only woke me up for 1 minute for permission to proceed with the second surgery. This is law. I did not have a healthcare proxy or advanced healthcare directive

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_proxy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanc...care_directive

    If a doctor sees a value thats out of whack, he is going to question that and possibly proceed with more testing. For example; If they suspect you are smoking, they will be looking, and will pull the plug and stop your surgery.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves 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

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Kentucky
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    Were you crazy?

    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Yeah, my body was rock hard for many years.....In the movie below, I consider this skiing the ultimate 10 level skiing, the skiers are all pro and built like steel. Many of the skiing sequences are slowed down in the video so you dont get any idea of some of the impacts and g forces you hit while skiing like this. You just dont hop off a plane and do this and think your going to impress anyone, you have to be in top shape, and mountain and skiing skills need to be completely honed. This is what I used to do. This is how I destroyed my lumbar discs. Hopping down the pillows. Jan 2002. I really miss it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dNxiRpgN7k

    Diving is all about relaxing and keeping your cool. You are not allowed to panic underwater, and dive instructors train you this way. You train until it all becomes 2nd nature. Including the night dives which are freaky in the beginning, but if I dive now, I never miss a night dive. I will miss a day dive before missing a night dive. The underwater world is facinating. The only exercise you get from diving is watching your younger dive partners carry your gear.....He he Leni Riefenstahl dove till she was 100. Diving is truly complete relaxation....weightlessness. It gives all your joints a break with the most incredible views.

    Both require the right mindset. Its not a negative mindset, its all positive. Extremely stoked about the outcome. You dont worry about hitting a tree or getting bit by sharks, and that goes for surgery. How many trees are there to hit, how many sharks are there? more than surgical complications, thats for sure. Which tree do you worry about? I had so much stuff to worry about with my surgeries that I put the horse blinders and stared straight ahead knowing that it was going to work out no matter what happened.

    When you dont have a choice, you pull the old boot straps up and get it done no matter what.

    They will be looking at your blood work real close. My surgeons decision was based on me, my attitude and my bloodwork.

    You have to want surgery, and want it bad. I almost had the door slam shut myself, so you have to do everything to get that foot in the door.

    Ed
    Jesus Christ Ed - you must have had a death wish to do that type of skiing-ha ha- (sorry couldnít resist) I know you must miss those earlier years when you could ski - I miss dancing- not such a high risk activity- 1 of my so called bucket list items is to swim with the dolphins in Kona even though I donít know how to swim- Ií keep it on just in case a couple of years later I recover enough to go - BTW you didnít respond to my ? re: blood work???

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