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Thread: "We can rebuild him. We have the technology."

  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    147
    Any update? I haven't been able to get on-line for more than a few minutes at a time because of my daughter's weird theater schedule! (I'll be so glad when her show goes on this weekend!) Linda

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    19
    I got some sleep! At least I think so. The missus and I laid in bed and read for about an hour, she then retired to the couch (no point in both of us not getting any rest), then I popped my Tylenol PM, and awaited the land of Nod. I'm not sure how long I waited, I just know I fond myself lying on my stomach in a puddle of my own drool several hours later. I changed positions, wiped my face dry, and went to sleep again. Not quite a full eight hours, but it's a start.

    I've been using our treadmill to start some serious walking. We've gone outside for walks, but this is Austin where there are really only two seasons - summer and really freaking hot summer - and season number two is starting. So its inside with the A/C for me. I did about ten minutes before the bone graft started making my leg really hurt and wobbly.

    A personal triumph for me - I can finally wipe myself. This is one of those little things you don't think about until you're right in the middle of it. Remeber what I said about caregivers and sainthood, well here is a big part of it. This my get a little gross, but I promised full discloure. Now, I've worked as plumber (briefly), so I know everybody's poopy stinks. Since this procedure, mine has gotten downright noxious. Early on, the missus would come in to "assist" me donning a surgical mask and latex gloves, and half expected her to come in also wearing a radioactive suit. Yeah, it's that bad. Since dumping the narcotics, and becoming a little more flexible, things are improving all around.

    I've also dropped twenty pounds in weight. I'm a big guy and have had to work hard to maintain a certain weight. Hopefully I can keep this off.

    On today's agenda - shaving. I normally wear a full beard, and it's gotten completely out of control. Then it's off to the shower. Have you ever seen those movies (usually prison movies) where a person stands in a tiled room while another person blasts them with a hose? That's pretty much the idea.
    Except in my case it's the missus doing the spraying (and she gets as wet as I do ).
    Bryan

    Corrected T4 to L4 in May 2006
    Thoracolumbar Curve
    Before 65 Degrees - After 26 Degrees
    Thoracic Curve
    Before 52 Degrees - After 25 Degrees

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Houston area
    Posts
    129
    It is a good thing I haven't had my surgery yet or I would have busted all the hardware loose from laughing at your post. I read it to my husband and we both laughed so hard it hurt. Knowing that this is what we will be facing makes it real but tolerable if you can see the humor in it. Being from the Houston area, I relate to your description of the weather too!

    Thanks for your honest posts! I look forward to them. By the way, it is good to hear how well you are progressing also!
    Last edited by Marcia; 05-20-2006 at 09:04 AM.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Ohmigod, your descriptions are priceless. I made my husband read your last post and he went a bit pale, though he did manage a small chuckle. Keep up the good work!

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    19
    Howdy all. Sorry about not posting for the last few days. Everything has pretty much been status quo - still not hungry, still not sleeping well, bone graft still hurts, legs still wobbly, you get the idea. I do feel like I'm making some progress, though. Today I walked a quarter of a mile in ten and a half minutes on the treadmill. It completely wore me out, but it felt good to do it.

    The missus has gone back to work, so I'm on my own for eight hours of the day. It was a little scary at first, but I'm getting along just fine.

    I went to see the doc on Tuesday. Everything is going well. I finally got the final correction numbers, as you can see in my signature. In the beginning, he told me I would only be corrected around fifty percent. Looks like he was able to get a little more out of it.

    The other reason for posting today is I've decided to put up some pictures for everyone to see. I figure after spending 2 weeks in a (rather revealing) hospital gown, what's the point of being modest. Go to
    http://www.2wheelers.com/myback.htm
    to see some before and after x-rays, and a nasty scar.
    Last edited by CorkScrew; 05-25-2006 at 09:09 PM.
    Bryan

    Corrected T4 to L4 in May 2006
    Thoracolumbar Curve
    Before 65 Degrees - After 26 Degrees
    Thoracic Curve
    Before 52 Degrees - After 25 Degrees

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    313

    Thanks so much for the before/after pics

    Bryan,

    Have been following your surgery journey with great interest as I am awaiting surgery, probably later this summer myself. The pictures you posted are so great; you got a very good correction. Your scar looks like it is healing very well.

    You mentioned in an earlier post that you could feel the hardware in your back afterwards and that it was uncomfortable. Do you still have that feeling or has it gone away?

    Deb

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Wow Bryan, those pictures are awesome. It's really interesting to see how the curves/rotation play out on a guy's back, as opposed to what we usually see on a woman's back. The correction looks excellent. Thanks for posting those.
    --Chris

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    Great correction. I'm also amazed that in the before pic(not the Xray), I really don't see a hump on your back.
    35 y/old female from Montreal, Canada
    Diagnosed with scoliosis(double major) at age 12, wore Boston brace 4 years at least 23 hours a day-curve progressed
    Surgery age 26 for 60 degree curve in Oct. 1997 by Dr.Max Aebi-fused T5 to L2
    Surgery age 28 for a hook removal in Feb. 1999 by Dr.Max Aebi-pain free for 5 years
    Surgery age 34 in Dec.2005 for broken rod replacement, bigger screws and crosslinks added and pseudarthrosis(non union) by Dr. Jean Ouellet

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    19
    The hump was really on my lower back, on my left. I have a picture of me leaning forward that really shows it. I may put that up later.

    I don't notice the hardware in my back as much as I did. There is still a different sort of sensation back there, but it's not as uncomfortable. The muscles are still pretty bunched up, though. Actually, now that I think about it, the real discomfort went away after I had the last of my staples removed on Tuesday. Maybe I was mistaken as to which hardware I was actually feeling.

    The missus says the scar looks like it is healing very well. The pic you all saw is about 3 days post surgery.

    It feels like my bone graft is starting to subside a little. While I was on the treadmill today (quarter mile in under ten minutes...yeah!), I noticed it didn't feel as painful as it has.

    My doc gave a new set of prescriptions for both pain and muscle relaxation. I took one of each last night and really got some decent sleep. It feels great to finally have some rest.

    For those who have already done this, how long were you able to sit comfortably early on? I can go about two and a half hours before my lower back starts to really ache and feel tired.
    Last edited by CorkScrew; 05-26-2006 at 04:53 PM.
    Bryan

    Corrected T4 to L4 in May 2006
    Thoracolumbar Curve
    Before 65 Degrees - After 26 Degrees
    Thoracic Curve
    Before 52 Degrees - After 25 Degrees

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sacramento,Calif.
    Posts
    420

    sitting time

    Bryan, you are doing great! I wasn't able to sit at the computer that long at your stage of recovery! I still (at 3 mos. post-op) can't really do more then 3ish hours. My curve was all lumbar so maybe that is why. You look great, hope you feel that way, & it Looks like you gained height. Thanks for posting your pictures. Curious why you bothered to blur out your plumbers crack, aren't all plumbers proud of them? You know we've all seen them, everywhere! Tee Hee... It's been great getting a mans perspective on here. Best wishes.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    Quote Originally Posted by CorkScrew
    For those who have already done this, how long were you able to sit comfortably early on? I can go about two and a half hours before my lower back starts to really ache and feel tired.
    That's much longer than I could the first time. This last surgery, I did about the same time as you, but it was easier b/c of the office chair that is so comfortable that I finally bought, so having arm and lumbar support helps.
    35 y/old female from Montreal, Canada
    Diagnosed with scoliosis(double major) at age 12, wore Boston brace 4 years at least 23 hours a day-curve progressed
    Surgery age 26 for 60 degree curve in Oct. 1997 by Dr.Max Aebi-fused T5 to L2
    Surgery age 28 for a hook removal in Feb. 1999 by Dr.Max Aebi-pain free for 5 years
    Surgery age 34 in Dec.2005 for broken rod replacement, bigger screws and crosslinks added and pseudarthrosis(non union) by Dr. Jean Ouellet

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    19
    I gained about three inches in height. It feels like a lot more. Suddenly I can look over the top of people's heads that I used to be eye to eye with - including my wife. As far as editing the plumber's crack - I guess I just wasn't ready to share mine with the world. I know we've all got 'em, and I know we've all seen 'em, but putting mine up on the internet was just a little more daring than I was willing to go. Who knows what kind of weird fetish site I could have ended up on?

    I'm sleeping well enough that the missus is able to return to our bed, which is great...I really missed her.

    The feeling is slowly starting to return to my back. Unfortunately, that feeling is pretty uncomfortable. It feels like a continuous dull ache on either side of my scar...like how your muscles feel after a hard workout. There is also the occasional back spasm, which is quite annoying.

    My wife says the scar itself looks great. Most of the scabs have come off, and it seems to be sealed and healing well. It's still pretty numb, so it doesn't itch, but the areas on either side are starting to. It's probably a combination of the feeling coming back and the hair growing back in. So far it's tolerable, but I'll more than likely be climbing the walls in a few weeks.

    Riding in the SUV is much better now. I can actually sit up front. I'm still fairly sensitive to how rough the road is, but it's getting better.

    It was a good weekend rehab-wise. We went to the mall and walked around a lot. While the missus shopped, I sat on a bench and caught my breath. I also went to the grocery store with her. Having the cart really helped as we neared the end of our shopping spree and the legs started getting tired.
    Bryan

    Corrected T4 to L4 in May 2006
    Thoracolumbar Curve
    Before 65 Degrees - After 26 Degrees
    Thoracic Curve
    Before 52 Degrees - After 25 Degrees

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    LMAO at the fetish site comment.

    3 inches??? Good God. The wonders of this surgery. I gained about an inch and felt really tall and it took some getting used to for months. I could have gained even more b/c I still am not 100% straight, wich is weird since my legs are much shorter than my torso already.
    35 y/old female from Montreal, Canada
    Diagnosed with scoliosis(double major) at age 12, wore Boston brace 4 years at least 23 hours a day-curve progressed
    Surgery age 26 for 60 degree curve in Oct. 1997 by Dr.Max Aebi-fused T5 to L2
    Surgery age 28 for a hook removal in Feb. 1999 by Dr.Max Aebi-pain free for 5 years
    Surgery age 34 in Dec.2005 for broken rod replacement, bigger screws and crosslinks added and pseudarthrosis(non union) by Dr. Jean Ouellet

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