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Thread: Avoiding Disappointment?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Devon, England
    Posts
    20

    Avoiding Disappointment?

    Hi all,

    I'm another newbie who has read all your posts on this forum for about the past year! It's been such a hugely valuable source of information - so thank you so much.

    It's strange it feels like I've listened to all of your advice without giving any in return - but I will be able to soon as I have my operation on the 11th November 2008 in Exeter hospital in the UK with Mr Daniel Chan as the Surgeon.

    I have one question - and It's been troubling me for some time now - I am trying not to think too much about the results of the Surgery - but it seems I am obsessed!! I can't stop thinking about the relief I will feel (it's ok - I know there will be a lot of pain and misery too!) when I have a normal back. It's a very emotional prospect I suppose.

    Has anyone else felt this way before they had the surgery? If so, were most of your prayers answered? Or should I simply stop being so positive it terms of the outcome in case I am sorely disappointed?

    I would really appreciate some feedback on this - With 1 week til my surgery it seems to be my only worry / dilema.
    Last edited by JAN 76; 11-02-2008 at 09:34 AM. Reason: signature
    Aged 32
    Surgery in Exeter, UK on 11th November 2008

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    9,262
    Hi. I am not a scoli patient but the mother of two, one fused and one braced.

    I think the potential benefits of positive thinking outweigh any costs.

    That is, thinking positively is not "magical" thinking... it does help like placebo helps.

    If your surgeon told you to expect "A" then I think it is reasonable to expect "A" and positive thinking is warranted. If for some reason you don't think "A" was achieved then there is a real explanation for it. Again not magical thinking.

    Of course if your surgeon promised "A"and you clearly got "B" then some disappointment is normal. But I suspect the benefits of positive thinking are worth any potential risks of being overly disappointed, mainly because I think a good surgeon will get you "A." Ours certainly did. In fact almost everything that happened was as advertised pretty much. He's a winner.

    The thing that got me through my daughter's surgery and what will get me through her twin's surgery if she needs it is confidence in the surgeon. That's pretty much it.

    I wish you luck.

    sharon
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Devon, England
    Posts
    20
    Hi Sharon,

    Thank you for your response - I totally agree positive thinking is paramount to a good recovery. I do aim to think positively. I suppose I sometimes think too much and predict how I will be in the future - when to be honest I have no idea how I'm going to be in the future.

    One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt is that I am totally making the right decision in having the surgery.

    Thanks again and good luck with your other childs surgery.
    Aged 32
    Surgery in Exeter, UK on 11th November 2008

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Big Bear, CA
    Posts
    290
    Jan,
    We'll be having surgery the same day! Mine is just to remove a bit of hardware though. My original surgery was almost a year ago. I have to say I couldn't wait for my surgery. I was so excited just knowing I would be waking up with a new back. I knew there was room for problems to happen but I really believed everything would be just fine. My surgeon was able to get a better correction then he thought he could obtain so that was a pleasant surprise.

    I would have to say that you have every right to think positively and assume a great outcome, unless of course you have been told that a great outcome isn't possible. I believe most surgeons tell you what they expect the outcome will be and always put that at the low end of what they really expect. It is always better for them to estimate low and then surprise you with an even better result, avoiding the disappointment. I know I was very pleased to wake up and see a flat tummy. I was even more pleased when I got a chance to look at my back in the mirror for the first time and saw what a beautiful job he had done.

    I'll be thinking of you on the 11th. I'm sure you will do just fine and will be pleased with the results.
    Alicia
    Geish
    47 years old, dx at 13
    +30* to the right, +60* to the left, +30* to the right
    Surgery 12-13-07 - fusion from T4 to sacrum.


    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=267 Pre surgery
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=268 Post surgery
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/DSC01091.jpg Xray from the side
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...1089-1-1-1.jpg Xray from the back

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    Hi Jan! It's hard to know how to answer your question, but I'll add a little. Since you've already been reading on the forum for awhile, you must have realized there's a huge difference in length of recovery among many of us. You have youth on your side, so chances are very good that you'll have a relatively quick recovery and be able to do so much that you are hoping for right now. I would say to not expect to bounce back super quickly, like some of the adolescents do. From having followed many of the young gals in their twenties this past year, it still has taken some time, but they were able to resume going to school and other activities well within the 6-9 month recovery period. Recovery for some of them involved patience and hard work. Our minds tend to want us recovered much sooner than our bodies allow. Just listen to your body, but work hard at the physical therapy and pushing yourself a little bit, as you become stronger after surgery. You may be like some of the members who are able to do wonder woman things not that long after. Try not to feel too disappointed if you're not one of them, as this isn't a race. Your body will heal in its own time. Just do your part to help the healing process as best you can-- eating healthily, getting plenty of rest and exercise, and following your doctor's orders regarding restrictions.

    Best wishes on the 11th. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Susie
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    338
    Jan76--thanks for bringing up the subject. My son will be having surgery 2 days after you; I'll be thinking of you as we await his. Also, I spent a year in Exeter when I was in college, attending the University there. I have many fond memories of the city and the campus.

    Geish--Hope your hardware removal goes without a hitch. I'll be thinking of you on your birthday; thanks for the positive words about recovery.

    Mary Ellen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Devon, England
    Posts
    20
    Thanks a lot for all your responses - you've all helped a lot - I've realised I should be excited (as well as scared!) about this. I'm a pretty realistic person so I won't go over the top.

    Good luck with the surgery Alicia and for your son Mary Ellen!! xxx
    Aged 32
    Surgery in Exeter, UK on 11th November 2008

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    72
    Hi Jan
    I think you are right to be optimistic about how your curve and how it is possible to have a good outcome.
    If you read my recent posts you will see that I too have had surgery here in the uk. I don't have my post-op xray yet (seeing surgeon in 2 weeks time) but when I saw them briefly at the hospital I looked pretty straight! To be honest this wasn't a priority for me - I was just happy to be given the chance for soemthing to be done to stop it progressing any further and for my future health issues.
    I wish you all the luck for your op on the 11th Nov. It's a big, tough op but you sound very positive and ready which is the best way to tackle this situation.
    If there's anything specific - please ask or pm me.
    Louisse
    Diagnosed aged 17 thoracic curve of 40°/48? given brace worn for short time but was then told that I had stopped growing and it wasn’t likely to get worse. Follow ups ‘got lost in the system’ and I chose to ignore until age approx 33, after two children. Now nearly 42yrs curve was progressing (last xrays 67 degrees) and increasing 'backache' so surgery (posterior T3 - L1) went ahead beginning of September 2008 in UK - thoracic curve now approx 20° and I look a lot straighter!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    Jan-- here I am again, because I realized I was focusing mostly on the recovery rather than the results. You have every reason to hope that your correction will be great. Younger spines have more flexibility. Even with my older spine and extra problems, my surgeon was able to get a great correction. As you can see in my sig, I am tickled! Above all, I am sooooo grateful that I am stabilized and will not have further curve progression and its inherent problems. That is the most important part of all. How long a fusion will you have? What's your curve? I'm excited for you! The 11th is one of my daughter's birthdays too, so I'll remember really easily about you and Geish.
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    213
    Hi Jan,

    If my surgeon (knowing all my probs) told me I had reason to be "cautiously optimistic", I'm sure you're safe in getting excited So long as you understand the small risks, etc. (which it sounds like you do), then being excited & calm going into surgery is the best thing you can do for yourself.

    Wishing you the very best for the op & for recovery - will be thinking of you. And you, too, Geish. Goodluck to both of you!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Salina, Ks
    Posts
    126
    Hi Jan!

    Welcome to the forum, glad you chose to participate! My 2 cents for what it is worth. I think a positive attitude and faith in your Dr, yourself and in my case, God, are all for the good. It doesn't mean that it will magically change the process or outcome but it does have a tremendous impact on how you react to all of it. I know reading others experiences here before my surgery was invaluable because then as I go thru things, they are not a surprise and I can see with time, it continues to improve and that really helps with moments (or a day or whatever!) of discouragement. I will be thinking and praying for you and Geish on your big days! (day after my second preplanned surgery).
    Nancy Joy

    Surgery- Posterior- Oct. 8th, 2008
    Anterior- Nov. 10th, 2008
    Age 54
    T10 to Sacrum
    Curve 65 degrees
    Very straight now!!!

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