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Thread: Happy 10th Anniversary To Me!!!

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312

    Happy 10th Anniversary To Me!!!

    I have been away from the Forum for a long time - which is probably the usual story for people who have their surgery, recover, and get on with daily life. I may have drifted away, but I've never stopped being grateful for this place.
    Ten years ago today, I was fused from T-3 to L-3, at the age of 48. My thoracic curve was 86* (no idea what it is now). Dr. Tribus (UW - Madison) was my surgeon. My post-op course was pretty uneventful, other than a hemethorax - and a couple days with a chest tube (at about 1 month post-op) took care of that, in short order.
    About a year post-op, I began to feel more uncomfortable. Dr. Tribus suspected a possible non-union. He removed all instrumentation (at least then, this was how he handled checking for a non-union - remove hardware, wait 6 months and do a CT. If the spine looks as smooth as a sheet of ice, you're fused). That first month was ok, but then my pain increased to a daily 9/10 (even with the crazy amount of narcotics that I needed to just barely make it through a sedentary day). Sooo...less than 4 months from the removal surgery, I was back in the OR. Three levels had not fused, and one vertebrae was moving about so freely that my pain level was explained. Dr. Tribus fused those levels. The first 2 weeks were rough, and then...I was pain-free. Seriously! I took what would be my last dose of oxycodone, in the night. When I woke up in the morning, I was fine. From early December until the end of February, I had required daily, around-the-clock Oxycodone, Oxycotin, and a muscle relaxer. I know that wisdom would have had me wean off these medications under a doctor's supervision...but I didn't. I kept "not taking any, at all" because I kept feeling fine. No withdrawals, at all, ever. Everyone else, don't do what I did - be smart.
    Through all of this, there was NEVER even a second that I regretted, nor questioned, having spinal fusion surgery.
    The absolute, NUMBER ONE thing that helped me pre-op AND post-op...every step of the way...is THIS FORUM. Thank you, Linda!

    My life now: I'm fine. The sensations in my back, which began with my first fusion surgery have become my "normal", but I only notice them when I am tired. I notice them, but they don't bother me. I have taken several longer road trips, many domestic flights, and a few flights to/from Europe, with no problem at all. I suspect that I may need further surgery down the line, but until actual pain kicks in, why bother? My days are good!!!

    Before I started typing this, I looked at some of my old posts. A trip down memory lane. Being here feels like a trip home.
    Good luck to everyone!!!
    Last edited by mgs; 08-25-2019 at 04:08 PM.
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

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