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Thread: 14 yr old son surgery in june questions

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Northeastern Oregon
    Posts
    515
    Gigi,
    You can get a body pillow at Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer's, and possibly any department store that carries pillows. The come in different colors and patterns. My daughters is leopard print, because her room is decorated in leopard print.

    I graduated from Cascade in 1979. I really enjoyed going my junior and senior years there. So, now I've dated myself. My husband and I were late starters in life with our family. I was 31 when I had my youngest child. I was 28 when I had Crystal, and had another one in between the youngest and oldest.

    Crystal is wearing a brace, partly because she is a hard kid to slow down, and I think her doctor sensed that. The main reasons are it will keep her from rolling her shoulders forward because she has Scheuermann's Kyphosis, which is what her surgery was for, and to protect her fusion. From what I understand braces aren't all that common, but I'd rather have her slowed down and safe for a while. Crystal will be three weeks post-op next Tuesday and is going back to school this coming Monday.

    I can only stress to you that his physical fitness is very important going into this surgery. There was a girl that had surgery done at the same time as Crystal and the mom had a hard time that her daughter wasn't doing as well as Crystal. Well, it was kind of like comparing a marshmallow to a rock. Crystal had the will to get up and going because she wants to be playing ball next season.

    Keep us posted on how things are going.

    I can't believe how small this world is. These things seem to happen more and more as I get older.

    I will keep your family in my prayers as you go through this. It gets very stressful, because we are moms. But, the kids survive this, and believe it or not we do to. I wonder now why I got so stressed out before surgery. But, I know when the doctor schedules surgery on Crystal's feet, I will probably go through the same thing.

    'til later,
    Nikki

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    62
    Gigi,

    Your husband's comments were funny. Griff will probably be out of the shower faster after surgery since he won't have the endurance!

    As far as your question, Bill was given the OK to wear the backpack at his 3 months post op appointment, but again, it seems every doctor is different as well as every kid. Bill's school, as well as most schools, provides a set of textbooks in the classroom and he has a set at home so that he doesn't have to lug those back and forth. Additionally, his school is on block scheduling so he only has four classes a day. So, he just carried his binders in his arms until he could wear the backpack again (although it still makes me nervous that he is wearing one). Again, it was something that seemed like it would be a hassle and it really wasn't.

    I agree with Nikki about staying in good physical shape to prepare for surgery. As I've mentioned, Bill's a band kid not an athlete, but those marching band kids are used to marching for hours while carrying an instrument. I know that helped him tremendously in his recovery.

    One last thing - just wanted to mention that Bill had no trouble sleeping on his own regular bed after surgery. He didn't need any extra pillows or pads. Again, I think it was easier for him overall - despite the six hour surgery! - because he did not donate his own bone for fusion so he did not have a separate incision or site of healing.

    Whew. My messages are always so long!

    Talk to you later.

    Susan

  3. #18
    Mary Lou Guest
    Susan,

    May I ask what instrument Bill plays and also, has he marched since his surgery. If he has marched, does he mention any problems? My daughter is almost 4 months post-op and all of her restrictions (except for bending) are still in place and will be in place until at least June when she goes back to the surgeon. She still has to leave class after everyone else; no lifting more than 5-10 pounds; no running, jumping, gym, no riding the bus, etc. She too is in marching and concert band, but is going to be starting high school marching band come fall, but as you know, practice starts in the summer. I guess my thoughts/concerns are her indurance level since she really can't do much right now. We do go for walks and she has had p.t., but it still isn't the same as all the marching.

    Like Bill, Jamie had no trouble sleeping in her own bed after surgery. She also, didn't have bone removed from her hip or any ribs and her surgery was a long one as was her fusion. Her doctor did several osteotomies (sp?) and used that bone and artificial bone for her fusion. I truly believe that helped with her quick recovery.

    Mary Lou

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    20

    soo helpful

    I really appreciate all the info and the prayers are ESPECIALLY welcome. Hmmm. side benefit-we can get Griff out of the shower faster?

    I know the HS marching band is pretty intense. Your Bill will have until August to get ready for that. I will like to know how that goes for him.

    I hope school goes well for Crystal tomorrow. Let us know!

    Griff likes the idea of the body pillow. He really has muscle stiffness now, especially in his neck. Did any of your kids have that, and if so, is it better now?

    The dr will be using the bone bank for Griff's fusion as well. His position seems to be what you are seeing; avoiding another incision and pain site is much better for healing. I am glad to see it has helped your kids.

    One thing that has happened with Griff is habit of internalizing has given him Irritable Bowel Syndrome. His pediatrician said it was stress induced. Do you have any relaxation/stress relieving tips?

    Thanks again for being a sounding board.

    Gigi

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Northeastern Oregon
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    515
    Gigi,
    I am so glad that Crystal's doctor used the bone bank for her fusion. I think having only one incision makes a difference too.

    If Griff really likes the body pillow, it may worthwhile to get him another one. He put his arm and leg over one and use the other one to support his back. There is also a horsehoe shaped pillow that might help with the neck tension. Crystal was always sore and stiff, until after her surgery. She told me today that it is nice to not be sore and stiff all the time. Crystal is anxious to see how she feels during basketball season. She plays a post position and is pretty intense when she plays. Not very many rebounds get by her, and when one does it is usually because she is sore and can't jump and reach.

    Have you ever had Griff listen to white noise, babbling brook noise, etc? Sometimes those noises make a person relax. I know when I really need to relax, the first place I head is to the barn to get my horse and then to our creek. Something about watching the water and hearing it trickle by makes me relax. How far do you live from Mill Creek, I know it goes right through town? Crystal internalizes a lot too and has a mild case of the same problem, but we try to encourage her to do the things she enjoys. Our saving grace for this surgery was the doctor telling her at her appointment last October to go ahead and do her sports and be a normal kid until her surgery. I think they get to hurting so much, we get tired of hearing the complaint, especially when we have more than one child, that they keep their pain to themselves. I know that is what Crystal did.

    After being in Portland for a week, I realized I miss living in the middle of nowhere and my creek.

    My love and prayers to your guys.

    'til later,
    Nikki

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    62
    Mary Lou,

    Bill plays French Horn in concert band and I never can remember the name of the horn that he plays in marching. What does Jamie play?

    He has not marched since his surgery. He will go for walks now and then, but for the most part he is very sedentary. I'm sure that could be a problem in August, but August is ALWAYS a rude awakening for him! He is not very physically minded, so the heat and exercise of August (coupled with asthma) always make it challenging. I think we'll just push physical things this summer - swimming, walking - and he'll be good to go. Plus, his band directors have been so understanding through this whole ordeal that I think they'll work with him. If you get in touch with the band directors before practice starts this summer and explain about Jamie's surgery, I'm sure they'll keep an eye on her. I know it's tough because she doesn't want to be different - especially being a freshman - but sometimes you just have to be an exception.

    Gigi,

    When I discovered Bill's back, I took him to a chiropractor that I trust and have used for years. He did a little muscle manipulation and that helped ease the pain. I know chiropractors are not discussed favorably on this board (for the most part) but it really helped with his spasms. Perhaps it could help with Griff's pain. With all that hardware in there now, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable taking Bill back to the chiropractor, but before surgery it really helped ease his pain.

    So sorry to hear about his IBS. Poor kid. Hope you can find something that helps. All my kids struggle with anxiety, so I can relate. Never have found anything that helps 100% although I think prayer has been the most helpful to Bill. (His prayers and other people's for him. So we'll add y'all to our list!)

    Susan

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Posts
    299
    Is Tenor Horn the name your looking for??

    Alison

  8. #23
    Mary Lou Guest
    Susan,

    Thankfully Jamie plays the flute (her sister plays the drum) so it isn't going to be an issue of the weight of her instrument. The marching and keeping her arms up for that length of time is what I am curious about. Band practice starts the beginning of July and Jamie will be seven months post-op at that point. As I said, her restrictions are in place until at least June, so even if her restrictions are lifted then, it will only be a few short weeks that we'll have to build up her strength and endurance. I will talk to the band director beforehand and I'm sure he will keep an eye on her for me.

    Thanks for you input. We'll have to compare notes over the summer.

    Mary Lou

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    62
    Thanks Alison, but nope that's not it. It's called a mellophone. (I had to ask my husband!)

    Susan

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    62
    Mary Lou,

    Bill's sister plays the flute. It's nice to have one instrument in the family that you can easily carry around - but you are right about the arm position. I'll be interested in how that goes for Jamie.

    I can't believe your hs band starts in July. That sure cuts into summer vacation. Our hs band does a week of intro for incoming freshmen in May. Assuming we get the OK from his doctor, I may "encourage" him to do that and see how it goes. And we will definitely need to keep in touch.

    Susan

  11. #26
    Mary Lou Guest
    Susan,
    I had to laugh when you had to ask your husband about the name of the horn. My youngest laughs at me because she plays the snare drum, but is now of course learning all of percussion and I can't keep track of all of the instruments she now plays. Oh,well. As for h.s. practice it starts July 11 and isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It is only for Tuesday evenings through July and increases from there. But still, practice is three hours long which is a lot when our kids haven't done much of anything physical for, in Jamie's case, it will be at least six months.

    Mary Lou

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    401
    Hi Gigi,

    My daughter had surgery 3 weeks ago. Before surgery, she had a lot of trouble with muscle spasms and tightness in her upper back and neck. She also internalizes her stress, so I know where you're coming from. Post-op, the whole thing's still too new to know what her pain and stiffness levels will be. She has a lot of pain still around her incision and ribs (she had anterior surgery, and had a chest tube in her side and a couple ribs removed for the fusion). She doesn't complain of pain in her neck and shoulders anymore, but it could be that the pain in her side is more intense and blocking out other aches and pains she might be having otherwise.

    I don't know if you'll have any luck getting your big macho boy to try this, but yoga is an incredible stress reliever, and there are several postures that are great at releasing the upper back and neck, and also using yoga relaxation techniques for overall stress reduction. There's probably a class at the local YMCA, or get a tape from the library. Also, the local Y probably has a masseuse, and a couple of sessions might be just the ticket to loosen those muscles.

    After surgery, since all the muscles get shifted again, I have seen many kids on these boards that have pain in their neck and shoulders. Post-op, hopefully he'll get some PT to work through those issues.
    Susanna
    ~~~~~~
    Mother of a 17 year old daughter. Her "S" curve was 40 degree thoracic from T3 to T9, and a 70 degree rotatory thorcolumbar from T9 to L4. She was operated on March 9th, 2005 by Dr. Boachie-Adjei at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. She was fused from T11 to L3, using an anterior approach, and the major curve corrected to 20 degrees. She's doing great!

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Northeastern Oregon
    Posts
    515
    Gigi,
    You may also want to try a massage therapist for Griff. They can do amazing things. We used to take Crystal to the Chiropractor, just to get her through basketball season, then when we finally knew what the problem was, we only took her occassionally because he was trying to tell us that she had lazy posture. Wrong. But, either one might work. I would maybe try the massage therapist, personally, because they will work on the muscles that are spasming. Anyhow, just an idea.

    'til later,
    Nikki

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    20

    as always..thnx

    First off; prayers are always welcome; my prayers are with you all as you either anticipate surgery ro are dealing with the kids' recoveries.

    Next; I played the French Horn all the way through college. What a great instrument. Griff is playing it this year, but probably be giving it up next year in high school. Sigh. Anyway, after my first year carrying the horn in marching band, I gave it up for flag/dance team. If only they had mellophones. Or I had taken up flute! But I can see the constant holding the instrument up could be painful. Does the dr have any suggestions to work the upper body? I am curious. What about swimming (your creek, Nikki!)

    Susanna; the yoga is a good idea. I had never thought about it. How is your daughter doing as far as getting around?

    Susan; we have a friend who is a sports massage therapist, and I did just ask him about Griff. I feel bad; I should have thought about this a long time ago. He is so still he doesn't like to bend over to pick things up off of the ground.

    Mary Lou: Did your dr have any other ideas for exercise?

    Nikki: i will look into the tapes. Ahem. CDs. Dating myself! He got a little stereo for his room and I will see what he thinks. How was Crystal's first day back at school?

    This board is wonderful and I see you all as real blessings.

    Gigi

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Northeastern Oregon
    Posts
    515
    Gigi,
    Swimming is excellent for the upper body. Crystal will probably start out swimming once the doctor releases her. However, not in our creek. The cows like to visit there for a little drink of water once in a while. It's not the drinking that isn't healthy. Its they don't think about where they poop. We also have 4 ponds have the same problem with them. I will have to take Crystal into the pool in town a couple of times a week. It will help build her lung capacity up again and build up her stanima without stressing her fusion. Isn't funny how you talk about things after surgery, fusion, grafts, rods, pins, screws, hooks. It is unbelievable. It sounds like the Million Dollar Man, oops dated myself.

    I am so glad to know I am not the only one from the cassett tape era. How many of you remember 8 track tapes. Now I feel really dated. As we still have some very old ones that you can't get cassetts or cds to replace them.

    Crystal had a great day at school. She made it through 5 out of 7 classes today. I thought that was pretty good. She wasn't sore when she got home, but she was tired and just layed on the couch to rest the remainder of the afternoon.

    How's Griff doing? I see you talked to a massage therapist. Did he get an appointment to go in for a massage. You know the only problem is he may get so relaxed you'll never get him off the table to go home. He might be like jelly when they are done with him. But, this would be good.

    Praying, praying, praying for everyone.

    'til later,
    Nikki

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