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Thread: One year ago today.....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sacramento,Calif.
    Posts
    420

    One year ago today.....

    Hello all,

    I woke up this morning at around 6:15 and thought back to the morning of my surgery. That was about the time I needed to get up to shower and head off to the hospital. So much has happened in the last year I can't believe it.

    Everyday since my surgery I have continually improved. I actually have my life back the way it was before all hell broke loose with my back. I went from being able to only run errands for a max of three hours per day to skiing two days ago! I haven't found anything I can't do. (Well, I can't bend forward to touch my toes or do side bends but I really don't need to!) I am back in heels, dancing, doing everything I use to do before my surgery but now am pain free. Rollerblading and scuba diving are the last two things I have yet to get back to. I tear up at the thought of how lucky I was to have this surgery. Those of you who are facing surgery are truly embarking on a new life. I bet most of you who have had this surgery feel this way. Sure, there were times I was worried about my up coming surgery. As I did my research and got questions answered here on the forum I became more and more confident about my decision. I actually looked forward to it after the vacation my husband and I took 6 weeks prior. I was ready to get on with my life and that is exactly how it has been for me. My back actually looks normal now. Straight, no hump and I have a waist on both sides. My scar is a reminder of the mental and physical battle that I won!

    I think the most important thing that I can pass on to those of you facing this surgery is to keep a positive attitude heading into it. You can't continue to have doubts once you make your decision to have surgery. You must face it head on and realise your curves aren't going to correct themselves. We are so fortunate to have this surgery available to us. I knew going into this there were risks. However, the life I would have had without surgery was not one I wanted to live. I really believe a positive attitude through this whole journey helped me to recover faster and better then my Dr. or Physical Therapists ever thought I would.



    Surgery 2/22/06 Lumbar curve 49* corrected to 8* At age 43 Fused T10 to L4
    Last edited by Suzy; 02-22-2007 at 07:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    850

    go girl!

    Yea!!! you go Suzy!!!! I agree totally. A positive attitude is the key!!!! I'm 6 mos. behind you & still numb but I'm getting there...keeping in mind I'm older than you chick...so give me a little slack!
    I'm so happy you are doing what you want to do & your back is happy!
    Just don't rollerblade too soon or you'll make me jealous.....Ly
    http://lynnebackattack.blogspot.com
    6 mos post op!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,950
    Excellent post Suzy. It's nice for people contemplating surgery to see that there are excellent outcomes out there. Unfortunately, most people who have good outcomes just disappear from these forums.

    --Linda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    65

    Smile

    Good for you Suzy!!

    It makes me smile to read about your great outcome. I am only 4 months post-op and still having some rough days here and there. From now on though, I will remember to be patient and keep looking forward to a day when I too am celebrating like you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    105
    Suzy...you sound great one year post-op. It's a real milestone...It is amazing over time how you sort of get back into the groove and can put the surgery behind you. You're brave to want to try roller blading again. I'm still paranoid about falling down. I used to horseback ride, but I don't think I'll be getting on a horse any time soon...maybe one day, I'll get on a very old horse who doesn't want to move much!
    Heather
    Surgery date: April 20, 2004
    Anterior/posterior surgery
    Fused T-11 to L-5
    Pre op lumbar curve: 70 degrees, thoracic curve: 42 degrees
    Post op lumbar curve: 19 degrees, thoracic curve: 18
    Surgeon: Dr. Boachie-Adjei
    Had successful pregnancy and birth 2 years post-op

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    311
    Thanks Suzy!
    You have no idea how much that post means to me as I have to make my surgical decision one week from today.

    Keep up the good work.
    Best,
    Anya
    "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

    Previously 55 degree thoracolumbar curve
    Surgery June 5, 2007 - Dr. Clifford Tribus, University of Wisconsin Hospital
    19 degrees post-op!

    http://abhbarry.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    206
    Suzy,

    Congrats! I'm real happy to hear that you are doing so well. In my mind, it boils down to a quality of life issue.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408
    Congratulations Suzy!

    I was so happy to read your post and read all the things you have been able to accomplish since having surgery. It is so important for those contemplating surgery to know that so many of us emerge from this stronger and better than ever. It's about making a choice to reclaim your life. I'm not trying to trivialize a very serious operation, but isn't that really what it's all about? It sounds like that's exactly what you've done. Happy Anniversary!
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    135
    Thank you Suzy!
    Your post is so timely. I don't know if others experience this, but I am moving between acceptance and denial about this surgery on a daily basis. I've been recommended for surgery by one specialist, and now I am waiting to get in to see a second. This sort of downtime has me thinking "maybe I can get away without surgery"; I guess you could say I've lost the momentum I had before seeing the first surgeon.
    Anyways, it is SO good to read about your experience, and how positive you sound. Like Linda said, it is very considerate of you to continue to share your thoughts as you get on with your life.
    31 year old female
    55* (day of surgery) thoracic curve w/compensatory lumbar
    T4-T12 on Aug 15, 2007

    MRI, pre-surgery
    Xray, 3 mos. post-op
    Machu Picchu, 8 mos. post-op

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    19
    Dear Suzy,
    Thank you so very much for your post! I am going to print it out and post it all over my house. I especially related to "running errands for 2-3 hours" and now SKIING Congratulations!!!
    My surgery is scheduled for April 17 and 18 and I too go back and forth...do I need to put myself and my family through all this...or just go on like I am. I work as a wildlife rehabilitator, and have had to put that on hold.My life has certainly become curtailed. Your post has inspired me more than any other!
    It is nice that so many have great outcomes, and no longer need this forum, but it is great that some of you angels stick around and guide us on our way.
    Thanks to all,
    Julie

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Hi Suzy,

    I have to chime in on this one, and congratulate you on your successful outcome and thank you for that very inspiring and encouraging post!!!

    I can't even imagine how many people your words have touched. And you give credibility to those of us that stay here for the support and encouragement for others and ourselves.

    Thank You,
    Shari

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    82
    Dear Suzy,

    I, like Julie, printed out your message and plan to read it every day. It's been so incredibly challenging for me to keep up a positive attitude about my upcoming surgeries (May 15 and 18). I have decided to deal with them as if I'm in training for a big marathon. That mindset helps, but I still have a lot of ups and downs (like dealing with Trudy's death.) It's so important for us to focus on the possibility that surgery will mean a whole new life for us. Over the last few years I've had to give up a lot of things that were meaningful to me in my life, like playing the piano, because of my ever-increasing back pain. The thought that I may be able to play again (or just to sit on a stool without having to lean against something) is just amazing. So you are a "light shiner". Good for you, and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    Brynn

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