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Thread: Update on Carolyn

  1. #16
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    Jan 2008
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    NC
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    That is an amazingly fast recovery. My daughter was still on pain meds for it seems a bit longer than many of the kids here.

    But if you recall, in that one video, the surgeon can clearly be heard saying some kids are back in school after a week.

    I really doubt my daughter could have handled two hours of tutoring one week out although she was back full time at 3 weeks and 5 days. She could have arguably gone back full time at 3 weeks (absent tests which she was NOT prepared for and which I wouldn't let her take for that reason).
    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."

  2. #17
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    Oct 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by laurieg6 View Post
    It's really incredible that Carolyn is getting tutoring so soon after the surgery. Is she off all the meds already? How is she able to concentrate on her school work so soon? She's only a week out and doing so great - I'm really happy for her (and you). How long is her fusion?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    I really doubt my daughter could have handled two hours of tutoring one week out although she was back full time at 3 weeks and 5 days. She could have arguably gone back full time at 3 weeks (absent tests which she was NOT prepared for and which I wouldn't let her take for that reason).
    Oh, Carolyn is most definitely still on the pain meds!!! Probably more than she should be. She's on Tylenol 3 and technically the bottle says every 6 hours but I was told anywhere from 4 -6 is OK. Preferably closer to 6 but Carolyn is still closer to the 4 hour mark than 6 hour and the maximum dose for her weight. Sometimes we can stretch it out but sometimes she is asking for the next dose before she can have it.

    Her fusion is pretty long. I think it's from T-3 to L-3 basically. I don't have the exact numbers but I know it wasn't *all* the way down so she will still have some movement but it was both thoracic & lumbar.

    There is absolutely no way I see her going back to school in 3 weeks. Then again, I didn't see her actually surviving 2 hours of tutoring either 1 week out from surgery but she did it. She doesn't have to sit for the tutoring though, she is allowed to lay down on the couch, they can take breaks and whatnot. I know she can't sit for more than about 5 seconds at a time. She also doesn't get up and walk very much at all even though I know she should...so although she's doing good I don't think it's any super-sonic speed recovery. She usually just gets up once or twice a day to do a quick circle around the kitchen/living room area and that is about it. I think maybe she walks a total of 5 - 10 minutes/day based on the circle walks & going to the bathroom. I think it's just like anything else...in some areas she is probably recooperating faster than others but in other areas she is taking longer.

    Her follow-up appt. is April 15 and then we will decide about school at that point, so I know she is out at least until then. In addition, our school has a funky thing where there are a couple days that *only* the Juniors go to school, so I'm thinking I should keep her out until after that week anyway...which is about the original timeframe we were considering. It would be around April 26 she goes back. The catch 22 is as soon as she goes back to school, even if it's part-time the home tutoring stops. So, you have to be positive when you want to get back into the groove.

    Today the tutor is coming over from 9 AM - 2 PM. I *really* don't see her lasting that long, I know they will take a lunch break and stuff like that but still. I'm thinking the 9-11 might be all they get in. Carolyn never took any breaks yesterday but I think it's partly she is like me. Once she was going, she just wanted to forge ahead and get it done since she was in a groove with it. They pretty much just did Science yesterday and that was it.

    Thursday is a day off which is good because it's Carolyn's first shower since surgery day and I know she's looking forward to that.

    Then Friday it will be 4-6 again. I know she can't get more than 10 hours/week, so it's just a matter of how it's spread out. This week is mostly just trial & error I think on what works.
    Becky
    Mom to DD (15) with S 48*+ curve
    Had her surgery March 9, 2009

  3. #18
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    Jan 2008
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    NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beckymk View Post
    Carolyn never took any breaks yesterday but I think it's partly she is like me. Once she was going, she just wanted to forge ahead and get it done since she was in a groove with it.
    I think she might surprise you. It seems like she might be able to return far earlier that you suspect, if only out of boredom!

    That's my sense from what you have written. Of course I'm just guessing!

    Just curious... did your surgeon suggest starting the tutoring at one week out?

    I can't recall our surgeon ever telling us anything about when my daughter was or was not allowed to go back to school. The only thing about it was in the written material he gave us which said most kids are back to school after 3 weeks or by 4 weeks. At her six-week check-up, he didn't ask about school so I just volunteered she had returned about two weeks prior to the appointment.

    Tutoring never came up with the surgeon because apparently here in NC, tutoring kicks in only if the child is expected to be out longer than 4 weeks but the literature he gave us claims most kids are back by then so they don't qualify. At least that's why I think the surgeon never mentioned it.
    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."

  4. #19
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    Oct 2006
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    132
    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    I think she might surprise you. It seems like she might be able to return far earlier that you suspect, if only out of boredom!

    That's my sense from what you have written. Of course I'm just guessing!

    Just curious... did your surgeon suggest starting the tutoring at one week out?
    Yes. Basically, they were the ones who told me to talk to the school about homebound services. They start here if the child will be out of school more than 2 weeks.

    There was a form that basically the Doctor's social worker filled out and sent to the school. It has a part of "Date student is able to start homebound tutoring:" and "Date student is released to return to school:" They wrote 3/17/09 for the start date and 4/21/09 as the date to return to school. With a notatation that return to school will be discussed at her one month post op appointment.

    That's the reason it started on the 17th, because that is the paperwork they got. They did tell me that if she wasn't up to it, we didn't *have* to start then but that is what they put.

    So far, she has been doing good. It's almost 1 pm and the tutor has been here since 9 AM and they are still cruising along.
    Becky
    Mom to DD (15) with S 48*+ curve
    Had her surgery March 9, 2009

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    132
    I just thought I would give an update on Miss Carolyn!

    She still seems like she has a long way to go but she also has come a long way.

    She barely takes the pain meds at the moment. She goes at least 24 hours between needing some doses. I just found out usually when she asks her pain is between a 2-3 so I think that's low enough that we will try say some extra-strength Tylenol vs. the prescription level of it. She hasn't had any yet today. I'm thinking after the tutor leaves, she might ask for some.

    We did go out to the mall once (maybe a total of an hour from the time we left until the time we got back home) & then out the next day just to the library & fabric store for a *very* short time but I think the combination of both of them wiped her out as she came home and then took something like a 3 hour nap that day.

    Probably the most fun part is that she has decided she wanted to enter a pageant since she can't do sports next year (well...she *could* do some but has chosen not to). She is pretty motivated to want to get up enough to go shopping for clothing. It is the National American Miss pageant. The pageant isn't until Labor Day so it basically gives her a goal to work toward now. There is no swimsuit competition (and make-up not allowed on younger kids so it's not like the type you see on TV) and basically the only outfits she *has* to have is a formal wear & business attire for the interview/personal introduction part. One optional event is casual wear though & she wants to enter that. We just got the official paperwork so we have been having fun with looking at dresses and things on-line. I know she is hoping she is well enough to maybe go out and do a little shopping next week. This week is Spring break and all her brothers are home so don't really have time to do anything right now.
    Becky
    Mom to DD (15) with S 48*+ curve
    Had her surgery March 9, 2009

  6. #21
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    Jul 2007
    Location
    Amarillo Texas
    Posts
    58
    Becky,
    The pageant sounds fun! I'm glad to hear Carolyn is doing better. The worst will be over for you when my Emily has her surgery. Thanks for the update!

    Becky
    Mom to Emily 14 having surgery May 28

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    132
    Hang in there Becky!!! I know how nerve wracking it is to be on the pre-surgery side.

    Although...I STILL haven't fathomed how some people are totally up and going quickly after surgery. Carolyn is doing well but she still isn't exactly back to her old self yet. She still needs help with lots of stuff, every day she gets a bit more back to being independant but not anywhere near self sufficient. She certainly isn't one that is ready to go back to school before the full 6 weeks (and I'm still iffy on that amount of time since sitting is still the toughest part for her).

    I'm still not thinking Carolyn will be as peppy as the girl we saw when we were in PICU who was 1 month post-op!!! Her appointment is April 15 and that isn't that long off but I just don't picture her feeling that well in 13 more days.
    Becky
    Mom to DD (15) with S 48*+ curve
    Had her surgery March 9, 2009

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