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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Hey y'all. Just a note to report that I am doing very well since my rods were removed in Sept. I am walking about a mile and a half each day. There is some pain but it' so minor. 'Sides, it gives me cause to lay down and take it easy. Nothing wrong with that! This was definitely my quickest recovery. The best part was only having to wear a brace for 6 weeks this time.
    Nostalgia calling....Since it's fun to look back on 40 years of experience with scoli, I'd like to recall the first time. It was 1969 in the largest hospital in Portland, Maine at the time. I was in the pediatric ward although I was 16. One afternoon, I needed the bedpan. Plaster cast from chin to below hips made it virtually impossible to find the pull cord to call the nurse. I felt along the wall as far as my hands could stretch. To no avail. Finally I located it with my left foot. Grasping it with my toes, I was ultimately able to feed it into my right hand. Oh my God, what a feat! After all that glory I expected a squadron of nurses to swoop through my door-all waving stainless steel pee receptacles built for elephants. Alas, evidently they were consumed in a poker tournament or playing charades in the next zip code. I don't know. ANyway, it was at leeaasst 14 hours before someone finally sent a little 8 year old boy from across the hall over to see what all the moaning was about. Now I look back and remember the blood running from my lip as I told him, no thanks, I'd wait for the nurse.
    Hospital horror stories? I've got a few. Anyone else wanna share a laugh?
    Jeralyn is Queen!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Thanks for sharing Jeralyn! Okay…one of my nostalgia moments….back in 1976 right after being operated our city experienced a hurricane and as a result, the hospital that I was in flooded and we lost all power. Shortly after, emergency lights were turned on for certain floors, not the one that I was on.

    I remember a friend of my parents, a minister, who walked up the long stairs in extremely dim lighting up to every floor until he reached mine and then he walked with his back pressed against the wall and with his arms outstretched “feeling” his way past people, machines and stepping over unknown objects in the dark until finally reaching my room just to sneak in a pizza for me. There we were eating pizza in the dark while outside my room was chaotic. How that man managed to walk such a long way in a dark chaotic hospital, hugging a wall with his back and holding a pizza is beyond me. He was a determined man and what a treat for a very frightened 13-year old after her first serious operation stuck in a hospital!


    1975 Clear hard plastic body cast worn
    1976 Operated for high grade Spondylolisthesis; lumbar fused from L2-Sacrum and Harrington rods inserted
    1976 Wore regular type body cast and in bed rest for 1 year
    1977 Rods removed
    2006 Diagnosed with Flat back syndrome with sagittal imbalance
    2008 Scheduled for wide pedicle subtraction osteotomy, sooner if pain increases

    My email is

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Hey if anyone is really nostalgic I have a photo of my old Milwaukee, the leather one. I used to be more reserved about sharing it with anyone but I have found a new level of comfort here.

    Call button. Not a funny story but a story about two heroines. Both RNs. One was my sister.

    Story one: post op, no cast yet, a nice dose of morphine and being packed in with the pillows. Unfortunately they left my call button on the other side. I had a private room. The morphine wore off and I woke up. I couldn't move. I was on my right side, packed in. At 15, I didn't really know "how" to call for help etc and initially it seemed a melodramatic to do. I was embarrassed.

    After awhile howeverI couldn't stop the tears,they just were running out of my eyes, and I was shuddering so the whole bed was "moving" and all the suspension bars above me were swinging and clanging. I tried to scream for help but it was a whisper. I do kind of laugh at that poor little girl saying, "help" the first few times. I was weak, I couldn't "scream" for help. I don't know how long this went on but the cacophony made it all the more real.

    An Angel of the Night walked by and immediately went into action. Light on. What she brought in that room was more than morphine, but caring love, and light. I had never seen her before and would never again. She was the first black woman I had ever come into contact with. I was fascinated on several planes. Just the LIGHT of her, the radiant warmth, the seriousness. Her sense of "undoing the evil" and putting a child out of misery. My savior who asked why I hadn't called out. I tried I told her. I was afraid to ask for help and then I couldn't. I fell asleep while she was still in the room and I felt safe by her presence.

    I had been out of surgery long enough for my shoulders to be like rocks from injections. Yes, ladies, I took it in the, well hip actually. I had my choice. My point only being I had been there long enough that I would have remembered this "mother."

    Alright. I have at least one funny story. I'm very glad that nobody told me that an enema was par for the course, the night before surgery. At 15 I would have been mortified, and I was but t'would be done. Even now I blush. After surgery, my stomach became like a drum. Dr. Hurley even thumped on it which cheered me up. I was in pain. Alot of pain. Welcome to in-flo, out-flo enemas. Ah what a relief all that gas. I believe I requested two more and was happy to ask.

    Story 3: Someone brought my clock radio from home. The clock helped me in an unexpected way. I did not listen to it, I used the numbers to know how much longer I had to take pain when the pain would kick up. "I only have to get to 3, I only have to get to 3, then I can press the call button and they will come. I only have to hold it together until 3. You can hold it together until 3. Don't cry, it's okay."

    My sister, a nurse was visiting one day, and the nurse on shift got it into her head that I was "clock watching." Boy the judgement of some people, like a little girl could sweat like that or hide pain ((although I suspect we ae all very good at putting on a game face with the public, or at least back then I tried to....) She also decides I've made a mistake as to the time for my morphine.

    Anyway of you pouting yet with me? So my sister is there and she watches the transformation, everything that had been hidden in the dark that other night of pain, open to her view. Sure enough the bed starts shaking, the tears are flowing out of my eyes, cacophony. I had been telling my sister repeatedly, that I didn't lie, I know what time my dose is due. All I had had to do was get to three and that other nurse ruined in. I could not maintain my dignity (big word for a little girl) and pride nor soldier on.

    My sister saved the day of course. She ran and grabbed the nurse and drug her in so she could see for herself. My sister was calm but confrontative and assertive. The signs were certainly there that I hadn't made it all up. My sister saved me. She was my "witness."

    In 1999, my sister was dying of cancer and she was on morphine. It was a frightening drug in many ways a frightening hospital. It was a terrifying experience. I was my sister's voice. The cancer from her breast gone into her brain. She would have seemed "retarded" to some. She could keep her mouth closed, and she had a difficult time speaking but she was all there. She came back from some "procedure" and she was absolutely terrified. It was either an MRI. She said they wouldn't let her out and they wouldn't stop.

    I was there and I was touching her and talking to her. She told me, if you are not Carmie, I will kill you. I said one or two sentences, both pertaining to those earlier years and how she had saved me. I said, "You were my witness. I will be yours." Absolutely it was, Carmie.

    Eventually "I" got her off the morphine and onto a different drug. I cancelled our her husband's efforts to keep her drugged and "out of it." They kept knocking her out and that only made sister more frightened. My sister said, now on Dilaudid, "Something's different." I said, "Yes."

    Wait for me. The story returns to "scoli" and that brace.

    My sister and I were psychically connected and I have a bit of a rare gift anyway for "perception." One night I sense while I had been doing an "accurate" job of speaking for her, I wasn't getting it quite right. I wasn't at all surprised, putting on "Titanic" that I nor my husband, could not get Titanic to play without a bunch of lines and horizontal imaging. I couldn't see the picture but I could hear the words. It was symbolic. I still have that tape and have never had a problem with it.

    After she died, I was haunted by whatever I had not got right for her. I wasn't going to move on. I have had three visits from her, one of which I can not remember at all in the silghtest detail. One dream had to do with my sense of leaving her, at the hospital and she showed me I never left her. Fascinating dream. Absolutely fascinating.

    The second one, she was wearing a pre-scoli sweater of mine. It was memorable because it was new, and I rarely back then got many new things. I also have a school picture in the sweater. My sister is youthful, beautiful with long brown hair. We are in our "childhood" room, or what was her room that inherited. My brace is there and she puts it on, without lacing it.

    We are not "talking" but we are talking, "Was that what it was like? I thought that's what it was like, but almost, not quite, I was pretty right." I "asked" her the same. I was lying down. I don't know what I was wearing but I was fully clothed. I just couldn't believe she had picked up the brace and embraced it so to speak, stepping inside it.

    She put on my brace, over the sweater, just stepped right in and looked at herself in the mirror, as she "talked." Can you veterans believe that? She embraced it/me, that horrible thing.

    After the dream, I could move on. I had got it as right as I could have. "She" had got it as right as she could have. You have to understand that I am a bit of an "oddity" in this life but when she went to the hospital I made sense. Every quirk of intuition, every job I had ever had, every skill were born up for her in the last moments of her life, and I had "failed" her and failed my "mission" from above. I had failed a human beng and I had failed God. She gave it all back. What a clever dream.
    Traction at 13, body cast 1 mos., Milwaukee, first plastic (severe allergy, abdomen skin burst, watery) then leather. Harrington Rod @ 15, 9 mos body cast, hips up. 9 more mos being careful and protective. Degenerated disc C4-5 I think well above the rod. Degenerated disc below the rod now? Probably.

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