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Thread: Surgery Jan 29th Dr. Lenke

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    47

    Surgery Jan 29th Dr. Lenke

    I've posted a few times but this is FOR REAL.
    Surgery on January 29th with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis.
    My surgery is 11 days away and I fluctuate between calm and freaking out.
    Any last advice?
    I stop taking all meds and supplements tomorrow. Done with the iron (I gave two autologous donations).
    My house is organized--just need to make a drop off at the the local thrift store.
    My mom will be with me in St. Louis during the surgery.
    My husband will be here in Salt Lake with the four kiddos--14, 13, 10, and 6.
    A neighbor (whom I love) keeps trying to get me to cancel and do "Spinal Touch Therapy."--Hard to tell someone that I care about that I made this decision last April when I had my first appointment with Dr. Lenke--it was just the right thing to do.

    I'm an RN--so I know way too much. I used to work in the OR. Just start the IV and knock me out! The plane right home is gonna be rough--any suggestions? We have the bulkhead seats and I will time the meds to the minute but. . . I love kids but I know some little kid will be behind me kicking the seat all the way home

    My fusion will be T4-L3. My freaking out is wondering what I'll be able to do (down the road of course). I am a clean-a-holic. I wash my floors on my hands and knees? Any more of that?

    I love to walk 4 miles a day on my treadmill--in one hour. Will I be able to do that ever again?

    I might be facing a divorce later this year. Will I be able to work as a nurse and be a single mom?

    So many unknowns! Yet, I do know that I am tired of being in pain every single day and night. Dr. Lenke said I have an 80% chance of being out of pain. 10% chance of being in different pain and 10% chance of being in worse pain.

    Thank you all for listening. It's been very good therapy to write this all out. I know I can't be the only one with these types of worries--because I read your threads every single day.

    Thank you to each and every one of you--I talk about all of you to others as if I know you. It's funny--but I really feel like I do in some small way.

    Jennifer
    age 37

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    You sound almost excited Jennifer, and it is a very exciting thing if you can overcome the fear! Glad you don't have long to wait now.

    My fusion will be T4-L3. My freaking out is wondering what I'll be able to do (down the road of course). I am a clean-a-holic. I wash my floors on my hands and knees? Any more of that?

    I do my floors on my hands and knees and I have a longer fusion than you'll have. It's not a problem.

    I love to walk 4 miles a day on my treadmill--in one hour. Will I be able to do that ever again?

    Not straight off, but there's no reason why you can't walk four miles in an hour in 6 months or so.

    I might be facing a divorce later this year. Will I be able to work as a nurse and be a single mom?

    Do you do lots of lifting as a nurse? You will have a weight limit for some time, mine is currently 10 kilos but I'm assuming once fusion has taken place, there's no reason why you can't lift whatever you could before, once you've built up the strength again. Being a single mom is hard, but as one (ex) single mom to another, I wish you the strength, the patience, the energy and the good health that's necessary to do a two-person job!

    Good luck Jennifer!
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    249
    Hey Jen, I too am getting quite nervous as my surgery is only 5 days away now. But I feel an aura of calm enveloping me as the date approaches and am quite sure this is common.

    I am doing nursing at uni and talked with my surgeon if it would be the most appropriate career choice and he said probably not. His reasoning is that below the fused levels disk degeneration can occur quicker than normal due to the increased stress on the unfused disks. But, I am going to probably do it anyway. And you being already in the industry would be a major benefit.

    You have a lot coming up! I hope you come out of it all shiny and happy
    45L/40T
    Surgery 25/1/2010
    Australia

    Knowthyself

    Scoliosis Corrected 25/1/2010 by Dr Angus Gray, Prince of Wales Private Hospital, Sydney. Fused T3-L4.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    424
    I clean the bathroom/shower floor on hands and knees, but mop the rest of the house, because its polished Jarrah. It feels funny, but its do-able. Walking 4 miles an hour may take a while, but you will get there. With regards to your nursing position, depending on how long you have been there, they may be sympathetic and put you into a less demanding role (no lifting of patients etc) or you can possibly consider working in a clinic. I think you will be just fine. Take one day at a time and really focus on your recovery. Best wishes.
    Vali
    44 years young! now 45
    Surgery - June 1st, 2009
    Dr David Hall - Adelaide Spine Clinic
    St. Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
    Pre-op curve - 58 degree lumbar
    Post -op - 5 degrees
    T11 - S1 Posterior
    L4/5 - L5/S1 Anterior Fusion

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Near Houston, TX
    Posts
    495
    Hi Jennifer

    My dd also had surgery with Dr. Lenke, T4-L4. I can only comment on the plane ride home. Our flight was 2 hours from St. Louis to Houston. We flew on Thanksgiving Day which turned out very lucky for us. There were 17 people on the flight and Sheena had the entire row of front seats (3) to herself so that she could lay down the entire time. To be honest, I don't think she could have made it home sitting upright. We went home 9 days after surgery and she was still extremely uncomfortable sitting up for any length of time. Depending on how long after surgery you'll be leaving, you may want to consider purchasing an extra seat or two or flying first class. We flew Southwest so first class wasn't even an option.

    Good luck to you, Dr. Lenke is an amazing surgeon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    47

    A Million Thanks!

    A million thanks to all of you!

    Jimbo--good luck to you! I know that I just might need to switch to a less demanding area of nursing--that's what I like about the field--lots to choose from. I'll be interested in your posts after surgery.

    The flight from St. Louis to Salt Lake is about 3 hours--I will just have one seat--but I've told myself I can endure anything just to get back home!

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