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Thread: First post-op follow up at 8 weeks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261

    First post-op follow up at 8 weeks

    Today we drove back to Brisbane to visit Dr. Askin, get new x-rays and find out how I'm really doing. It's all good news! Everything's looking good, he measured my current curve at 22 degrees. I was 66 degrees in June last year when I first saw him and, I suspect, over 70 by the time of the operation. Certainly I lost a lot of height very rapidly in that time.

    My rib-hump has completely gone, for which I am very happy. He's achieved a result for me that exceeds anything I could have hoped for. How to thank someone for such a gift? It was quite emotional and I gave into it: I hugged him.

    I haven't been online for over 2 weeks, due to rather nasty withdrawls from Oxycontin. I came home from hospital on what the Dr. described as a horse-dose (80 mg per day) plus Panadol, plus Endone for break through pain. I haven't had any pain for weeks now so felt it prudent to get off these powerful drugs. So I reduced, then reduced further and then reduced again, over a couple of weeks. The first sign something was wrong was dizziness. Then I had severe hot and cold sweats, enough to drench my clothing. I also had cramps and diarrhoea. I felt really ill. The dizziness was by far the worst. I hadn't lost a gram up until then, but I lost 4 kilos in one week. I couldn't eat. I stopped walking and I even cried. It was a huge set back.

    The only reason I tell this sorry story is because I would recommend anyone about to reduce their meds, to check with their doctor first. I should probably have reduced this amount over about 6 weeks, not two.

    My next visit is in four months.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974
    Hi Jennifer! It was wonderful to read your post this morning (well, morning for me!) and read about your great appointment and all. I'm so sorry about your major withdrawal problem though. Yes, it's good that you posted that to warn others. Cutting back is something to be reckoned with carefully. Hopefully you're over the hump and just working away at the recovery part now. Big (but gentle) hugs, Susie
    66 and still heartbroken...
    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
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Jennifer,

    Congratuations on your wonderful results! I'm so happy that things checked out for you at your checkup.

    As far as the horse-dose, I just added up the milligrams that I came home taking, and yes, mine was 80mg per day also. I didn't even start cutting back at all for at least 3 weeks, and then it was one 5mg pill at a time. I didn't start having withdrawl side effects until I went from 3 to 2 pills per day, and I never had the stomach symptoms that you had. I really think that these dr.'s should give us better advice on cutting back BEFORE we even have the surgery. I was miserable for about 3 weeks trying to get completely off.

    Again, congratulations on your results. How are you feeling? No pain any longer? If so, that's just wonderful for 8 weeks post op.
    __________________________________________
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    That's great, Jennifer. Yes, I have a lot of respect for Oxycontin both as a pain killer and a very hard drug to kick...! I cried buckets getting off the damn thing. I hope I never have to take it again but if I do, I'll know more what to expect.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Blackstone MA
    Posts
    49
    Your's is a story I need to hear today, since I go in for my surgery tomorrow. Great news, I'm so happy for you. I'll keep in mind the withdrawel issues you experienced and visualize me recovering as well as you seem to have so far. Thanks for sharing.
    -Jo

    Diagnosed at age 12
    Milwalkee Brace worn Faithfully 1971-1977
    Posterior Fusion T-9 to Pelvis- April 28, 2009
    Dr Frank Rand, NEBH, Boston

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    106
    Great news. I'm so glad to hear about your correction and how happy you are.
    Like the others, I'm also thankful for your tale about the pain meds. I'll be sure to get specific advice when I taper.

    Sheri
    At age 56 my curves measured: 48/60/30 with lots of rotation and getting worse
    Posterior fusion T5-L4 June 30, 2009
    Excellent correction

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    44

    Hi Jennifer

    I am a mum of a wonderful 14 year old girl that is going to have surgery at the end of the year with Dr Askin.
    I was excited to see your post and read such positive comments about him.
    I would love to talk more.
    This is the first time I have used a forum so am still working it all out.
    I am so happy that your surgery went well and you are feeling better.
    My daughter also love photography and kayaking.

    Regards
    gabs mum

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
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    3,261
    hi all> first< please excuse my keyboard< i really do need to replace it!

    gabsmum< i can"t sing the praises of dr> askin loudly enough> your daughter is in the best of hands> i am fifty eight next month but i feel i have recovered extremely well> my only setback has been the reduction of meds< so maybe this is something you could ask him about very carefully>

    i wish you and your daughter all the best when surgery time comes round> you can also pm me if you have any questions>

    susie< thank you< i fully expected to leave hospital with some sort of instructions about reduction of meds and other dos and don"ts< so i thought for others< perhaps this was something that needed to be discussed prior to discharge> i thought i was reducing slowly enough< but quite clearly that wasn"t the case> i hope others reading this story take heed because it really was an extremely unpleasant time>

    feeling much better now though!

    debbei< i see our end results are pretty similar> as well as our experience> i hope you are continuing your great recovery>

    chris< re respect for oxycontin>>>me too! i do hope i never need it again>

    jo< ALL THE VERY BEST!! i will be thinking of you> so glad you read my warning about reducing meds before your op> i would LOVE to save anyone going through that withdrawal! i will be watching out for your first post op report!

    thanks sheri> all the very best to you too!
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414
    Jennifer.....Im so sorry to hear about what you went thru. I do recall Debbe's post about it as well. Im glad you are feeling alittle better now!

    Take care!
    Lynn -30.... something
    DxD @ 8 yrs old: 10* curve-no brace-no nothin'!
    At age 26: Thorasic 48*/Lumbar 50*
    At age 34: Thorasic 58*/Lumbar 60*
    Posterior T5-L4 Fusion Jan 14th, 2009 w/Dr Tribus
    UW Madison, WI Hospital
    **AFTER: less than 10* Thorasic/15* Lumbar**

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Jen

    Thats great news all across the board! It will take a while to rid your system of the opiates and you will feel much better in the next few weeks. I quit cold turkey and that was a whole ton of fun. Whew.... Im glad thats over.

    Now, its smooth sailing till you fuse. "Steady as she goes"

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Hi Lynne, I'm getting better each day now. How's work going?

    Ed, I don't know how you quit cold turkey but you're the second patient I know who has done that. I am still on 5mg x 2 daily and I fully dread taking that last step now. Dr. says wait two more weeks yet.

    I'll be so glad to be free of the drugs...hopefully, never again. How did your gall bladder surgery go? I have missed a couple of weeks reading. Hope you are going well, Ed.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    Hi Lynne, I'm getting better each day now. How's work going?

    Ed, I don't know how you quit cold turkey but you're the second patient I know who has done that. I am still on 5mg x 2 daily and I fully dread taking that last step now. Dr. says wait two more weeks yet.

    I'll be so glad to be free of the drugs...hopefully, never again. How did your gall bladder surgery go? I have missed a couple of weeks reading. Hope you are going well, Ed.
    Jennifer,

    When you decide to cut down again, instead of just going to 1x a day, each time you take a pill, put 30 minutes or 1 hour longer between each dose. It makes it a LITTLE easier.
    __________________________________________
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Jen

    I quit cold turkey due to constipation. I found that Colace doesn't work all that well after a while and it was an emergency situation. You might say I'm a 'regular guy" and as soon as my plumbing turned "to stone", that's when I made my decision. Its funny how my heartburn disappeared, and my plumbing returned back to normal after I quit.

    You can cut your pills in half with a knife you know.

    My gall bladder procedure is on Thursday and they want to give me Lortab. Of course, I'm not all that exited about turning my guts "to stone" again, so I will probably not take anything after this just like after my shoulder surgery. I don't do well with drugs.

    When I quit, the pain levels rose, its a reaction to the change. After a few days, the pain dropped dramatically after my systems adjusted.

    Change is always difficult....................that statement applies everywhere...................
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414
    [QUOTE=JenniferG;75690]Hi Lynne, I'm getting better each day now. How's work going?

    Im so glad for you. Baby steps.....you will get there! Work is OK. Fortunatly, we arent very busy, which is to my advantage now I guess. I mainly sit at my desk all day, review loan applications to ensure the lenders did what they were supposed to do and send them for approval. I get up and walk aroung once an hour and walk around or even just to stretch. Ive cut down my Gapapentine to at night only as when I take it w/lunch, w/in an hour Im so tired...can hardly stay awake!!! Other than that, it's okay! Thanks for asking!!

    Lynn
    Lynn -30.... something
    DxD @ 8 yrs old: 10* curve-no brace-no nothin'!
    At age 26: Thorasic 48*/Lumbar 50*
    At age 34: Thorasic 58*/Lumbar 60*
    Posterior T5-L4 Fusion Jan 14th, 2009 w/Dr Tribus
    UW Madison, WI Hospital
    **AFTER: less than 10* Thorasic/15* Lumbar**

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    213
    Jen,

    You know I'm over the moon for you, but I just had to say it again

    Just check with your pharmacist or doc before you start cutting pills in half - esp. with time release ones, breaking them can release a large amount of the med into your system quickly. Many tablets are fine to cut, but it pays to just be careful if you want to try things this way.



    Ed, I've missed so much around here so I'll have to backtrack your thread, but I really hope this gallbladder thing was the source of all your probs. Goodluck with the op!

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