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Thread: New to forum and Surgery is on Oct 22!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
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    New to forum and Surgery is on Oct 22!!

    Hello everyone. I can't believe I didn't find this forum years ago! It's such a relief! I am 34 years old, diagnosed at 12, wore a brace for a year, then used the ScoliTron for 3 months and stopped treatment. I wanted to live a normal teenage life! But I've been monitoring the progression of my curves since 2000 when i started to have back pain - it was getting worse every year - expecially when the cold weather started to come around.

    A couple years ago, i found out a co-worker was researching doctors because he too had scoliosis and needed surgery. He interviewed doctors in Utah, Vegas, and SoCal and decided with Dr. McNulty, here in Vegas. He came highly recommended through a personal referral to me and I didn't feel comfortable with my exisiting doctor anyway because he just kept telling me to exercise, take motrin, and come back in 6 months... so i made my appointment with McNulty. Everything he said to me made sense! Of course i need surgery! I should have had it a long time ago! My co-worker had a successful surgery and was on his Harley after 5 or 6 months! And now, he's studying Jiu-Jitsu!!

    Anyways - my surgery is scheduled for Oct 22nd. I'm nervous, excited and all that but the thing I'm worried about the most is - depending on others and my kids. I have two growing kids whom do not understand how things are going to change after this surgery. Heck - I don't even know myself! My oldest boy is 11 and the youngest is only 6. Oh and we live in a 2-story home. My husband is great and he'll do fine but he's only taking 1 week off of work? Should he look into taking more time off? FMLA?

    Out of all the threads I've read - i can't seem to figure out if anyone has kids?

    Jane
    T2-L3 Oct. 22, 2007
    Dr. McNulty - UMC Hospital

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    96
    Hi Jane

    I sent you 2 private messages. I would love to chat with you if possible before I leave for LA.

    Debbie
    Last edited by DebbieM; 10-13-2007 at 07:16 PM.
    A/P Surgery Oct.15 and 18, 2007
    T2 to Sacrum
    Pre-surgery 56* T 60* L
    Post-surgery 28* T 30* L
    Dr. Pashman, Cedars-Sinai Hospital
    Bevery Hills, CA

    Debbie, age 51 at surgery.
    Now, 59 yrs young :-)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    283

    Hello and welcome-

    I'm glad you found the forum, I also wished I had found it much sooner. I think if your husband can, and if he is going to be your caretaker, try to get more time off work. If you're going to rehab, you will be learning how to take care of yourself post-op, as I think that is the primary goal. Some of the folks on here don't seem to need much help at all, but it seems most of us need it for at least 2-3 weeks. There are quite a few parents of school age kids that will help you too. I am sure the kids could be pretty frightened if they aren't adequately prepared. The wonderful thing about the forum, is that there is always somebody that's been in your shoes and can help you cope. Good luck with your upcoming surgery and we'll be waiting to hear how you are, and ready to help! God bless.... Lisa
    Lisa age 47
    T curve 69 degrees
    L curve 40 degrees more or less - compensatory
    fused to from T-3 to sacrum
    anterior and posterior surgeries completed June 1, 2007
    pushing hard in recovery !!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    283

    I forgot to ask...

    Jane- I was going to ask you, what is a ScoliTron?
    Lisa age 47
    T curve 69 degrees
    L curve 40 degrees more or less - compensatory
    fused to from T-3 to sacrum
    anterior and posterior surgeries completed June 1, 2007
    pushing hard in recovery !!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    28
    Sounds like i need to have a family meeting. I do have an aunt in town visiting from London. She's a nurse and I think she's willing to assist me while i'm at home. If not, sounds like the hubby may have to take more time off. We'll see...

    The ScoliTron was a small machine that, for me, connected to 4 electrical pads (electrodes) that i had to adhere to my back (2 upper, 2 lower) with a gel and then taped secured. The device sent electrical shocks to my back and was supposed to stimulate my muscles and "slow down" the progression of my curves and strengthen my back. Can you imagine zapping yourself with a tazer gun? I had it on 8 hours every night. My back was marked with a permanent marker for exact placement because if the electrode was off a bit - the shock was unbearable. I was able to control the level of shock - i think the dial went from 1 - 10. The highest i ever got was a 7, i think. I used it only for 3 months - until i ran out of the gel, tape and electrodes. To order more gel, tape, and electrodes it would cost my parents everything they made. It wasn't covered under their insurance. I made the choice to stop all treatment.
    According to further research - I must have been one of the "experiments" back in the 80's...it was a failure overall and is no longer being used for treatment.
    Last edited by dajanerz; 10-14-2007 at 01:24 AM.
    -----------------
    Jane

    34 yrs old
    Diagnosed at 12; Boston Brace for a year; ScoliTron for 3 months. Curves left untreated after 13 yrs old until 27yrs old.
    Pre-Op Upper Curve: 49; Post-Op: 14
    Pre-Op Lower Curve: 51; Post-Op: 18
    Posterior Reconstruction from T2-L3 on Oct 22, 2007
    Dr McNulty - UMC Hospital

    Las Vegas, NV

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Clarkesville, Georgia
    Posts
    19

    Good Luck

    Hi Jane,
    I'm 36 years old and I will be having surgery Tuesday, Oct. 16th. I know exactally how you are feeling, if I can help let me know...EVERYONE on this site is WONDERFUL!!! They will answer any questions that you have, just ask them. GOOD LUCK and I will keep you in my thoughts!
    Marie
    My email address is: marielcantrell@hotmail.com
    MarieMarieMarie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    28
    Good luck to you too! It seems there is someone having surgery every week on this forum. I'm sure you'll keep us all posted so looking forward to hearing about your recovery experiences. I still have a lot of threads to go through - many of my questions have been answered in that way already. Thank you for your support - I will post a new thread soon.

    Jane
    -----------------
    Jane

    34 yrs old
    Diagnosed at 12; Boston Brace for a year; ScoliTron for 3 months. Curves left untreated after 13 yrs old until 27yrs old.
    Pre-Op Upper Curve: 49; Post-Op: 14
    Pre-Op Lower Curve: 51; Post-Op: 18
    Posterior Reconstruction from T2-L3 on Oct 22, 2007
    Dr McNulty - UMC Hospital

    Las Vegas, NV

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Hi Jane,

    You asked about people with kids -- I have an 11-year-old daughter who was very worried about me before surgery. I did not let her see me in the hospital but I did call her as soon as I was able -- about 3 days after surgery. She was very relieved after that. Also, she visited me in rehab, when I looked and acted more normally. I have to say though that this surgery can be tough on a sensitive kid.

    Best wishes.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    283
    Bless both your and your parent's heart for dealing with that ScoliTron! They sacrificed and tried to get you the best treatment available.I admire them for that and you, for lasting through the first round of gel, pads and electrodes. I will tell you now that I would have wimped out. It sounds like a torture device! But, that was the technology of the day. I am so glad you will take advantage of the fantastic technology we have today! Hang in there, your family will rally around and be okay, because you have taken steps to be prepared to face this.
    Lisa age 47
    T curve 69 degrees
    L curve 40 degrees more or less - compensatory
    fused to from T-3 to sacrum
    anterior and posterior surgeries completed June 1, 2007
    pushing hard in recovery !!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4
    Hi Jane-

    I wish you well with your surgery next week!

    You are the first person I've heard mention the ScoliTron!!! It was so 80's. I too used the ScoliTron, but had to do it for 1 1/2 years. I had so many rashes on my back from that gel and the pads. It was horrible, but I had refused to wear a brace when I was diagnosed at age 13. There was the experimental study for the ScoliTron going on at the Children's hospital in San Diego where I grew up. It was never supposed to correct the curve(s), just stablize them. Unfortunately they found it to not be a successful treatment for scoliosis.

    Anyway, I hope your surgery is a success. I will think positive thoughts for you!

    Take care-
    Jen

    A/P Fusion T5-L1 on 5.9.07

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by jennymack
    Hi Jane-

    I wish you well with your surgery next week!

    You are the first person I've heard mention the ScoliTron!!! It was so 80's. I too used the ScoliTron, but had to do it for 1 1/2 years. I had so many rashes on my back from that gel and the pads. It was horrible, but I had refused to wear a brace when I was diagnosed at age 13. There was the experimental study for the ScoliTron going on at the Children's hospital in San Diego where I grew up. It was never supposed to correct the curve(s), just stablize them. Unfortunately they found it to not be a successful treatment for scoliosis.

    Anyway, I hope your surgery is a success. I will think positive thoughts for you!

    Take care-
    Jen

    A/P Fusion T5-L1 on 5.9.07
    Jen - I can't believe you survived treatment for 1-1/2 years! I got so used to the brace after a year that knowing i only had 1 year left with it frustrated me when they switched me over to the scolitron. I grew up in the Bay Area - my doctor was in Hayward at the time.
    Anyways- i'm now at that point where i'm worried about being totally prepared. My pre-op is this Thursday so i hope all goes well!

    How is your recovery going?
    -----------------
    Jane

    34 yrs old
    Diagnosed at 12; Boston Brace for a year; ScoliTron for 3 months. Curves left untreated after 13 yrs old until 27yrs old.
    Pre-Op Upper Curve: 49; Post-Op: 14
    Pre-Op Lower Curve: 51; Post-Op: 18
    Posterior Reconstruction from T2-L3 on Oct 22, 2007
    Dr McNulty - UMC Hospital

    Las Vegas, NV

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by Singer
    Hi Jane,

    You asked about people with kids -- I have an 11-year-old daughter who was very worried about me before surgery. I did not let her see me in the hospital but I did call her as soon as I was able -- about 3 days after surgery. She was very relieved after that. Also, she visited me in rehab, when I looked and acted more normally. I have to say though that this surgery can be tough on a sensitive kid.

    Best wishes.
    Chris -
    How was your daughter when you came home? My 11yr old son is pretty worried - he's not sure what questions he is to ask - and i'm not sure how specific i should be with him. My 6 year old is so full of life and is in kindergarten - i'm worried about how he will react once i'm home.

    I just found out my aunt from London (the nurse) could not extend her stay in the states and is leaving a week after my surgery. I'll probably end up staying at my parent's house now for their help. And their house is a single story which is good because I live in a two-story. I'm not sure how i'll survive that...hopefully i won't have to stay there too long.

    Also - has anyone ever experienced migraines before surgery - after they were told all medications were off limits? I've had 3 migraines this week that lasted from 6 hours to 16 hours - is there any "natural" relief? I've tried Ice...feels good but doesn't make the pain go away.
    -----------------
    Jane

    34 yrs old
    Diagnosed at 12; Boston Brace for a year; ScoliTron for 3 months. Curves left untreated after 13 yrs old until 27yrs old.
    Pre-Op Upper Curve: 49; Post-Op: 14
    Pre-Op Lower Curve: 51; Post-Op: 18
    Posterior Reconstruction from T2-L3 on Oct 22, 2007
    Dr McNulty - UMC Hospital

    Las Vegas, NV

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Jane, I just told my daughter that my back was being fixed and that I would be very tired when I got home. I was upbeat about the surgery beforehand and told her I was looking forward to having a straight back. That put her at ease a little but she didn't really relax until she saw me, and saw that I was still the same old Mom (just taller!!).

    I think the most important thing kids need to know is that you will be tired and resting in bed and needing some help around the house when you first get home BUT that you will still be their mom. I think my daughter was worried that surgery would change me into someone else.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

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