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Thread: Four Month Milestone!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
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    Post-surgery Milestone!

    Just have to report that I hit a POST-SURGERY MILESTONE. I'm four months post-opt and . . .

    I'm NOT going to report that I joined any softball leagues. (That's for Pam.)

    BUT, I did manage a rather strenuous eleven mile hike that took me up to 10,000 feet in altitude. (I live in the Rockies.) I took two Tramadol (pain killers) before hitting the trailhead. That was enough to off-set any back pain and I woke up the next morning feeling great.

    It seemed like just yesterday that I was bawling to one of the forum members because I had NO ENERGY. Okay, it was about four or five weeks ago.

    Anyhow, I suddenly got better by leaps and bounds.

    Before surgery, I was looking for place to recline my body throughout the day. Now, I can stand and walk without those muscles screaming at me. It's incredible!

    If you want the story of the "milestone" hike WITH PHOTOS, go to http://gingerinrecovery.blogspot.com/

    I just had to share the news of my sudden - and unexpected - improvement.
    Ginger

    P.S. I think it's important to add this little postscript: my body went into surgery WITH fairly good muscle tone and WITHOUT any complications or compromising issues, so please PLEASE don't be disappointed with yourself if you are struggling post-op. Sometimes it takes longer for healing and patience is required.
    Last edited by Ginger W.; 09-27-2008 at 11:23 PM.
    Ginger Woolley

    Oct 2018, L3 - S1, Anterior & Posterior, Dr Sigurd Berven, UCSF, San Francisco
    ******
    May 2008, T4 - L3, Dr. Ohenaba Boachie, Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
    ******
    Sept 1967, T4 - T 11, without instrumentation, Dr Thomas Brown, Stanford

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Ginger, you're the shiznit - LOL ... I couldn't climb a hill/mountain on the Texas Gulf Coast even if I felt an urge (we don't *have* them! ;-) ...

    So glad you're feeling well!

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    407
    Way to go Ginger! I don't think I ever could have walked 11 miles, let alone on a mountain!

    Brad
    Surgeries July 26th & August 3rd 1983 (12 years old)
    Still have 57 degree curve
    2 Harrington rods
    Luque method used
    Dr David Bradford
    Twin Cities Scoliosis Center
    Preop xray (with brace on)
    Postop xray

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    30
    Oh WOW!!! You are truly inspirational Ginger

    I just got in from shopping and only managed 3 shops and 2 short drives there and back and I am in agony and my back has locked up again. Very little sleep last night with the pain and muscle stiffness. Your experience has shown it is possible to get a LOT better after revision surgery. I think I have to give it a shot, as this isn't really living.

    Congratulations on reaching your brilliant milestone!

    Sasha, xx
    Last edited by sasha; 09-28-2008 at 06:20 AM. Reason: spelling!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Ginger,

    You are amazing to have done 11 miles at your 4 month milestone. You are just as incredible as Pam playing softball at this point.

    Once again, what an inspiration. You ARE becoming an evangelist! That little note at tne end to other scoliosis scoliosis patients that anything is possible afterwards just brought tears to my eyes. Those would be happy excited tears, not nervous scared ones. Thank you Ginger for making this ride easier for me to get through. I'm 17 days and counting and I think my current stats are 80% nervous, 20% excited.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978

    Cool Hey, Wonder Woman! (AKA: Ginger)

    Ginger-- you are sooooo awesome! You have a real knack for entertaining us with your oh so creative blog as well as patting us on the back and making us feel ok with our much less spectacular recoveries. You are so right in sharing with us your excitement and delight in recovering your life. And those of us with less, but still improved abilities, take delight in what you say. Thanks for helping us to feel good about our own progress as well as being happy for your own very awesome come back. Cheers! And "carpe diem" to all of us post-oppers-- and those headed that way too!!!

    I am enjoying what I can and am able to do, even if it's not an 11 mile hike. Heavens, I'm about to venture forth into shopping for wedding gowns with my daughter-- and that carries with it the prospects of great excitement coupled with probable fatigue too. But I can do it! Life is good! And yes, I am sooooo glad to have had my surgery and look forward to so many things coming up that would have been much more difficult to get through without my wonderful hardware and straightening-- and of course, the skills of my great surgeon.
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    155
    I'm so glad that these wedding plans are happening NOW and not LAST YEAR!

    I think I'm going to talk about TIMING a surgery on my next blog. We definitely have to shove aside some 'ME Time' to pull this off! Then, when we recover, there's MORE energy to help others, plan weddings, play softball, hike mountains!!!

    Three weeks ago, my son and his wife had a baby. Now, my daughter is ready to deliver a child any day. I thought I couldn't help these moms because they both have two-year-olds and I knew I couldn't lift THOSE grandkids.

    Well, I still know I can't lift the two-year-olds, but I am NOW feeling like I have the energy to fix a few meals and rock the new little babes. It will be a five-hour drive for me to get to my son's place and a long plane ride to visit my daughter. Since THE hike, I've made plans for both visits.

    I'm so glad that I stressed to my family that this surgery is a 1 year recovery. That means, my kids are just THRILLED that I'm able to come and they don't expect me to be a Super Grandma, at this point.

    Of course, it will be really important for ME to remember and respect my limitations. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies!
    Ginger Woolley

    Oct 2018, L3 - S1, Anterior & Posterior, Dr Sigurd Berven, UCSF, San Francisco
    ******
    May 2008, T4 - L3, Dr. Ohenaba Boachie, Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
    ******
    Sept 1967, T4 - T 11, without instrumentation, Dr Thomas Brown, Stanford

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger W. View Post
    I think I'm going to talk about TIMING a surgery on my next blog. We definitely have to shove aside some 'ME Time' to pull this off!
    I'm so glad that I stressed to my family that this surgery is a 1 year recovery.
    Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies!
    Hi Ginger - your last line hit home with me a bit. I've been told by the work physiotherapist and Occupational Health that I need to cut back as my pain is so bad and mobility rather limited, but I am also a carer to my husband and have kids still at home! So it's difficult - do you think I need to be more realistic? I am 57 and am waiting to get a date for revision surgery, I had told work 4 months at the most. I could do some work from home as with how the market is right now, I don't want to lose my job. I know I have a bit of a problem acknowledging my limitations and trying to carry on as normal. It feels like giving in, although I was told that by accepting help/modifications it would be enabling for me - but struggling with the whole thing really. All ideas welcome!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
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    WHEN TO DO SURGERY is such a BIG issue! There are two concerns with postponing surgery -

    1. Your age. During each of my three consultations with top-rated scoliosis surgeons, I was told that it was a really good thing I didn't wait any longer, because more complications can arise for people doing this operation in their sixties. One of the biggest = non-fusion.

    2. The progressive nature of scoliosis. The more your spine curves, the less correction you can achieve from surgery. Additionally, the curvature causes warping of the ribs which means less room for your organs inside your rib cage.

    If your life situation would be clearing up in six months or a year, due to some change in your circumstances, waiting might be merited. (For example, your competent 25 year old will be returning from abroad and could help manage the home front.)

    However, this doesn't seem to be the case, given the little sketch you provided. Waiting for your kids to grow up doesn't seem like it's in your best interest, at all! Waiting for the market to improve might mean a long, long wait, as well! I think it's most common for us scolis to look for reasons to postpone this surgery. (I did!)

    I'm assuming you don't have babies in arms, at age 57. Your kids may gain some competencies and independence if you take the plunge(with surgery) and let them care for your husband (I'm assuming he's disabled.) and themselves and YOU!

    BTW, MOSTLY what I needed after surgery was a lot of rest and the telephone so I could order pizza. You probably won't require constant care, just a little helping hand. Not too hard for teenagers, really.
    Ginger Woolley

    Oct 2018, L3 - S1, Anterior & Posterior, Dr Sigurd Berven, UCSF, San Francisco
    ******
    May 2008, T4 - L3, Dr. Ohenaba Boachie, Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
    ******
    Sept 1967, T4 - T 11, without instrumentation, Dr Thomas Brown, Stanford

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger W. View Post
    WHEN TO DO SURGERY is such a BIG issue! There are two concerns with postponing surgery - 1. Your age. 2. The progressive nature of scoliosis.
    Your kids may gain some competencies and independence if you take the plunge(with surgery) and let them care for your husband (I'm assuming he's disabled.) and themselves and YOU!
    Thanks so much for your reply I guess I am looking for ways to avoid the inevitable as it will be difficult, painful and limiting for a while. But I know the curve and pain are progressing and I have to do something. The kids are old enough to help out and are pretty good, my husband has heart disease and cancer, but will always help when he can, (it's me that doesnt like to ask!). So, I seem to have come to the conclusion that it's best to get it done soon'ish, accept some help when needed and let work wait for me!

    Thanks for listening to my oh so, s l o w thought processes

    Well I'd better start being a bit more positive and putting a plan into action.

    Thank you!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    155
    Good for you, Sasha! It's never easy, but you may want to consider it a way of valuing your life and future.

    Can you imagine how much care-giving your kids would have to do if you DON'T have the surgery? If you take care of this, you are protecting them from having to deal with a mom who has a long-term disability. That's what I told my kids and they GOT IT!

    Sounds like you are ready to move forward!
    Ginger Woolley

    Oct 2018, L3 - S1, Anterior & Posterior, Dr Sigurd Berven, UCSF, San Francisco
    ******
    May 2008, T4 - L3, Dr. Ohenaba Boachie, Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
    ******
    Sept 1967, T4 - T 11, without instrumentation, Dr Thomas Brown, Stanford

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