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Thread: I'm back with an update

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285

    I'm back with an update

    Iím one of the old timers on this forum, but I have been quiet for awhile and decided it was past time for me to post an update. To summarize, I had been having trouble keeping upright since after my SECOND surgery (see summary below). My fourth (and hopefully last) surgery was in February. Next week I will finish 16 weeks of physical therapy. I was not a big fan of PT, having been through it more times than I can count over the past 10 years, but this time has been different. I have made tremendous progress with my low back Ė I am totally without lumbar pain and probably as straight up as Iím ever going to be. The rehab center uses some Pilates exercises (which I have really enjoyed), and the therapists are great. I also now have ďbuns of steelĒ Ė well, almost!

    But - to quote Roseanne Rosanadana, itís always something Ė I believe the kyphosis in my unfused thoracic spine is getting worse. I have been working on it in PT as well, and will follow up with my surgeon at my 1-year checkup. All in all, though, Iím doing better than I have in a lot of years. When Iím not at PT, I have been doing my arts/crafts and recently opened a shop on Etsy, so Iím feeling really good about that. (PM me for more info.)

    Someone recently questioned limitations when fused to S1. Itís most noticeable to me when I try to raise both arms above my head Ė I still use a shower chair because washing my hair is difficult while standing. Ever since my first surgery I have trouble when backing up my car since I canít twist very well. Iím just extra careful and go ver-r-r-r-ry slowly. Other than that, itís all good.

    For Susie Bee and others who have trouble with getting their weight down, I hear you. I NEVER lost weight from my surgeries, and it has taken me about seven months to lose five pounds. My dang body just wonít let go of that extra weight!

    I have been following everyoneís stories here and keeping up with all the tears, the anxieties, the battles, and especially the laughs. Even though I havenít been visible on the forums, you all have my support and empathy for what you are going through. I have been there four times so I know whereof I speak!!

    Iím particularly enjoying the posts from Titaniumed and Qikdraw. They are smart, funny, sometimes off-color and not intimidated by strong women. Just my kind of guys!

    And speaking of strong women, I see Pam is still her usual feisty self. For whatever itís worth, she and I had a disagreement on the forum a long time ago. She sent me a very compassionate and understanding PM afterward and we have been friends ever since. She knows so much about so many different issues that Iím continually impressed! Iím glad sheís still hanginí around and offering her wise counsel to so many. I owe you a phone call, Pam.

    Well, thatís my story for now. Iíll try not to stay away for so long.
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    10/24/00 posterior fusion T4-L4 at age 57
    8/5/05 posterior surgery for spinal stenosis at L4-L5; laminectomy and fusion
    5/14/07 posterior revision with fusion to sacrum
    2/11/08 anterior discectomy L5-S1, and reinforcement of fusion with plate attached to L5-S1
    3/9/2011 and 3/11/2011 revision surgery with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis - complete revision and fusion with instrumentation from T1 to sacrum, one lumbar osteotomy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    DFW area of Texas
    Posts
    72
    Hi Felicia. I love your screen name, but I'm not even going to try to figure it out. I know exactly where you're coming from on the kyphosis problem. It is absolutely friggin' weird that now, after having my pelvis break, I'm more or less standing up straight. Maybe that just released some string or something. One of the hardest things I've had trouble with (when I was driving which I'm not) was coming up to a Yield Sign, especially one with a stop sign. For heavens sake, if they wanted a stop sign, why didn't they just put one there!! So I learned to drive up to about 50 feet from the line then sharply turn the wheels to the left, so I could see the traffic I was supposed to be yielding to. I'll bet I probably got some shaking of the heads of people behind me, but hey, better than watching a crash. Even after surgery in January, I still use my shower chair. Like you said, when one washes one's hair, it's hard to maintain balance. Now, with my latest problem, I take a lot of sponge baths. For anyone who's read my previous posts, you know that my right leg is getting the brunt of the breaks. The other day, I took one of my rare showers (God, ya'll are going to think the worse of me) and when I finished, I tried to step over the little 2 inch wall of the shower, and leading off with my good leg, it hurt too much, then leading off with my bad leg, that was a bad idea, so I'm there like, what the hell am I going to do!!! This is a fiberglas shower with what I would call a flimsey door. So finally in desperation (imagine a cartoon character), I reached up with my left hand and caught hold of the left edge of the door and with my right hand and caught hold of the right edge, and I could end this by saying I swung out, but no, I used those handholds to take some weight off my tippy toeing out of the shower stall, using whichever foot that would work.

    What does Rosanne Barr know about all this scoliosis stuff?

    Have you tried water exercises? That's what I did for all of my recuperation from the surgery. A PT comes to the house now and gives me a lot of pain.
    Diane in Dallas
    Adult Ideopatic Scoliosis (37%) and Kyphosis (65%)
    Surgery #1 8/4/03 - Dr. Shelokov, Plano
    Surg #2 12/8/03 - Dr. Shelokov, Plano
    Surg #3 1/10/05 - Dr. Shelokov, Plano
    Surg #4 9/10/07 - Dr. Viere, Dallas
    Surg #5 1/28/08 - Dr. Viere, Dallas
    Surg #6 4/27/09 - Dr. Viere, Dallas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by trulyaries View Post
    And speaking of strong women, I see Pam is still her usual feisty self. For whatever itís worth, she and I had a disagreement on the forum a long time ago. She sent me a very compassionate and understanding PM afterward and we have been friends ever since. She knows so much about so many different issues that Iím continually impressed! Iím glad sheís still hanginí around and offering her wise counsel to so many. I owe you a phone call, Pam.....
    You don't owe me sh**, babe, because you know I'll call you if I'm worried.

    And I know now when to worry ;-). I'm like a bad rash - LOL.

    Hugs,
    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 Ī53į, Post-op < 20į
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974
    Felicia-- it was so good to hear from you, even though some of the news isn't what we want for you. It sounds like you are doing your best and that at least the PT has done some good (those "almost buns of steel!" )

    Thanks so much for your wisdom-- of which you do have plenty, after going through this four times. You also have great strength. Thanks, too, for the camaraderie with the weight problem. It made me feel like I'm not alone...

    Best wishes with your new shop venture, although I will show my ignorance by asking what is "Etsy"?. Something online? Anyway, it sounds exciting! Take care! Susie
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52į 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 15į
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    Diane - I know it wasn't funny at the time, but I got a good laugh reading about your contortions to get out of the shower. I can relate. Fortunately, I haven't had that much trouble with my legs so I can get into and out of my tub shower easily. I did water therapy years ago and liked it. I belong to a fitness club (which I hardly use) and do water exercise there even though it's not a heated pool, but I haven't gone much because the PT already took up 3 days a week. I'll probably start back again after PT.

    Am I dating myself? It's not Rosanne Barr - it was a character the late Gilda Radner played on Saturday Night Live, and that was her favorite saying (and mine).

    Pam - there you **** go again using such **** bad language. We'll talk soon - I have been really busy.

    Susie Bee - thanks for the kind words. Etsy is a huge web site for "all things handmade." I'll PM you with the info. I don't think it's appropriate to do self-promotion on this site!

    Take care.
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    10/24/00 posterior fusion T4-L4 at age 57
    8/5/05 posterior surgery for spinal stenosis at L4-L5; laminectomy and fusion
    5/14/07 posterior revision with fusion to sacrum
    2/11/08 anterior discectomy L5-S1, and reinforcement of fusion with plate attached to L5-S1
    3/9/2011 and 3/11/2011 revision surgery with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis - complete revision and fusion with instrumentation from T1 to sacrum, one lumbar osteotomy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by trulyaries View Post
    Am I dating myself? It's not Rosanne Barr - it was a character the late Gilda Radner played on Saturday Night Live, and that was her favorite saying (and mine).
    I LOVED Rosanne, RosannaDanna! She was my absolute favorite on the old SNL. I'm dating myself too. Since I joined in May 08, I didn't know of your history. I'm sorry that you've had to go through so much, but it sounds like you are doing better than ever now! Keep up the good work, and nice to meet you.

    Here is a video I found, if you watch the commercial first I really enjoyed watching her after so many years!!

    http://video.aol.com/partner/hulu/sa...g821m-vouH6yhO
    Last edited by debbei; 11-22-2008 at 07:50 PM.
    __________________________________________
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    Oh, Debbei - thanks for the clip! I miss Rosanne - She's my all-time SNL favorite and my homegirl too - she grew up in the Detroit area.

    Nice to meet you too. I have been following your progress on the forum and have enjoyed your posts. Just know my healing thoughts were with you even though I didn't post.

    Thanks for the kind words -I'm doing pretty well these days, all things considered.
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    10/24/00 posterior fusion T4-L4 at age 57
    8/5/05 posterior surgery for spinal stenosis at L4-L5; laminectomy and fusion
    5/14/07 posterior revision with fusion to sacrum
    2/11/08 anterior discectomy L5-S1, and reinforcement of fusion with plate attached to L5-S1
    3/9/2011 and 3/11/2011 revision surgery with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis - complete revision and fusion with instrumentation from T1 to sacrum, one lumbar osteotomy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,557

    Gilda Radner R.I.P.

    Hi Felicia

    Oh yeah, I was checking out Gilda today online. Brought back old memories. Of course growing up in Jersey, 4 miles from Manhattan, we were watching SNL back in 1975 and would not miss it!

    Yes Gilda was not a New Yorker. We could tell that quasy imitation she used and picked up, it was hilarious. The Big apple lingo, which is only from the immediate area was standard issue.

    Phrases like; "its always something" "hey uh, wadaya gunna du" "holy moley" "fancy schamcy" "artsy fartsy" "whatsa matta for you" Ive forgotton so many, Debbie will fill us in.LOL I left NJ in 1980

    The names like Roseanne Rosannadanna, seem to be commonplace out east LOL I had a girlfriend named Toni Carboni. She had a tiny little mustache ya know?

    Remember Lily Tomlin in "Laugh in" "One ringy dingy" "Is this the party to whom I am speaking to?" I use that one all the time on the phone.

    I did remember parts of that video, proof was me mentioning "my" very minor belly button issues in one of my posts here. It could be worse, it could be the size of a volkswagon hubcap like one of my buddies has.

    I said 'wadaya gunna do"

    I forgot to tell ScolioDan that laughing will build abs pre and post surgery! Very important for scoliosis.

    Thx for the memories
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 59, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    389
    I loved her character, Miss Emily Latella, the little old lady who gets all up in arms over something she has misunderstood. As I get older and as the effects of the anesthesia from my surgeries seem to linger.... i catch myself becoming Miss Emily... "WHAT??.... Oh, that's very different then.... Never mind!!! "

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974
    And I loved Lily Tomlin as the telephone operator... her snorting was soooo good.
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52į 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 15į
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    I saw Gilda on a talk show once, and she was explaining that Emily Litella was taken from a real person Gilda knew (aunt, maybe?) Anyway, they got that person on the phone and you could have sworn it was Gilda talking, right down to the "never mind." Gilda's imitation was spot on!

    I'm still doing Lily Tomlin's "Edith Ann" - the little girl in the big chair? When I'm at PT they raise the table so high to do my manual therapy that my feet swing off the side and I have to wait for them to lower it before I can get off. You could say I'm vertically challenged (and losing height from scoliosis didn't help).

    Thanks for the laughs!
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    10/24/00 posterior fusion T4-L4 at age 57
    8/5/05 posterior surgery for spinal stenosis at L4-L5; laminectomy and fusion
    5/14/07 posterior revision with fusion to sacrum
    2/11/08 anterior discectomy L5-S1, and reinforcement of fusion with plate attached to L5-S1
    3/9/2011 and 3/11/2011 revision surgery with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis - complete revision and fusion with instrumentation from T1 to sacrum, one lumbar osteotomy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    111
    Felicia, I have instrumentation from T-1 to Sacrum with fusions and attempted reconstruction last June. I find I have limited range of motion especially turning from side to side. I found a swivel cushion on Amazon; it fits on the car seat and really helps with driving, turning to right and left, backing out etc.
    Rita

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    Thanks for the tip, Rita. I might just look into that!
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    10/24/00 posterior fusion T4-L4 at age 57
    8/5/05 posterior surgery for spinal stenosis at L4-L5; laminectomy and fusion
    5/14/07 posterior revision with fusion to sacrum
    2/11/08 anterior discectomy L5-S1, and reinforcement of fusion with plate attached to L5-S1
    3/9/2011 and 3/11/2011 revision surgery with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis - complete revision and fusion with instrumentation from T1 to sacrum, one lumbar osteotomy.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    9

    Smilies

    Pray tell - How do you use the smilies??? I get the word, not the picture -

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Big Bear, CA
    Posts
    290
    They show up after you post!
    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

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