View Full Version : Diving in head first!

12-04-2010, 02:36 PM
Well, it's official! I'm going for it! Thank you so much to all of you who have commented on my posts, answered my questions, and supported me as I worked through this monumental decision.

I met with my surgeon on Thursday, and went over everything all over again. I asked him to show me how he'd correct the curves, and as he did I was pretty shocked that he said because of how progressed my curves are now, especially the lumbar curve, he would only be able to correct to about 15-20 degrees. He then went on to say that if I continue to wait to have the surgery, that number could increase because of the stiffening of the muscles and spine etc. It was a BIG eye opener for me. I DON'T want to wait for that to happen. If I'm going to do it, I want to do it now, while he can still get the curves almost straight. (He DID reassure me that most people don't ever get complete correction at my age/progression, but he hopes to get it under 15-20, but he'll have to see once I'm on the table. He also said my rib hump and severe rotation will be completely gone which is VERY exciting!)

He also told me that because of the severeness of my lumbar curve, I will have to be fused to my sacrum!!!! I wasn't expecting that because earlier he had said he would probably stop at the L-5. But after going over my x-rays he has decided it would give me a lot more support, and it wouldn't be worth the risk of being unstable. I am still adjusting/absorbing that idea, but as I was already expecting to be fused to L-5, I don't think those few extra vertebras would have given me that much more flexibility. I also am kind of relieved to know it will all be DONE. I wont have to worry about those bottom discs herniating due to the pressure of such a long fusion. The fusion will probably start at T1, but he is going to have me do bending x-rays before he decides on that for sure.

It's such a hard decision, but it comes down to this for me: even if I knew FOR SURE I wouldn't NEED the surgery until I was 50, I would still rather have the surgery NOW when I'm young, strong and healthy. I can't imagine my curves progressed over 60 degrees, and the pain and discomfort I already have getting worse. I want the best outcome possible, and the younger you are, the better the outcome (Lord willing!).

I am afraid of the HUGE changes I will face. But, I am already struggling with bending over, and for the most part bend from my waist as it is. It will be a challenge, but I'd rather struggle with getting things off the floor, than with not being able to breathe.

I can already feel a lot of anxiety and cold feet about this. I was telling a friend it feels like I'm strapped into a roller coaster ride that I don't really want to go on lol. I may have to get some anti-anxiety something or other to get me through the month of waiting. I WANT the surgery, but I am SCARED as all get out of it, even knowing all about it. It's a lot worse at night when I'm not as able to control all the wild "what ifs" that invide my thoughts. I talk myself out of it every night and then get up in the morning and "re decide" to go through with it. ;P

Anyway, thanks again. I'll let ya'll know when I get my surgery date. It looks like it'll be in January sometime, so I won't have the anxiety attacking me for too long!

12-04-2010, 06:01 PM
Congratulations on making the decision. I know it's hard. But it sounds right for you. I think your surgeon is doing you a favour by taking it to the sacrum.

My surgeon brought my curve back from 68 to 22 and only someone else with scoli, or a professional could tell I still have a 22 degree curve, (I have a slight tilt to the left) so your 15-20 will make you very happy.

Regarding anti-anxiety medication, I took it, and it helped enormously. I hadn't been sleeping since I made the decision, but once on mild medication for anxiety, I slept like a baby, which in turn helps with anxiety. Sleep deprivation doesn't help! The other thing that helped a lot, was getting fit. The fitter I got the braver I got. When it came time for my surgery, I was jumping out of my skin and felt I could face anything. Also, the fitter I got, the less pain I had, which in turn helped with anxiety, so all these things are intertwined. Sleep, fitness, pain, anxiety.

I hope you can get your surgery in January because it won't be too long a wait, and because you do sound "ready!"

12-04-2010, 08:09 PM
It's a hard decision for all of us, but we have to believe we have a better future by going through with it. My surgery is also in Jan. (the 5th) Let us know when you have your date. I am much older than you, but don't feel old at all. You'll have to keep us posted on your progress when you are post-op.

12-04-2010, 08:59 PM
Congratulations on making the decision. I think it's great!

12-07-2010, 11:09 AM
thanks for the encouragement everyone! i'll be sure to keep you posted! I'm feeling more and more confident, now that I've had a few days to let it sink in. That first night was the worst! Now that i've made the decision, I'm trying to focus on the benefits, and be positive about it, and remember that by next summer it'll be behind me and I can (Lord willing!) move forward with my life without having to worry about my curves ever getting worse!

Thanks again!

12-08-2010, 05:46 PM
Decided to go with December 27th 2010, because I've met my deductible for the year and if I wait one week, I'll have to pay my $2,000 out of pocket. Another reason is my mom (a former PA) teaches, and will have that week off for Christmas holiday break, and so it will mean less time she'll have to take off from work. She is a BIG help both at the hospital and at home, so I like to make it as convenient for her as well.

I also feel like the waiting is really hard on you after you've decided to go for it!

12-08-2010, 05:55 PM
Good luck on your surgery. I was also supposed to go to S1, but my doctor left it up to me. Your surgeon knows best. I will be one year post op tomorrow. I had anterior and posterior from T10 to L5. I don't know how long my last disc will last, but doing all I can to take pressure off it. Good luck.


12-08-2010, 07:17 PM
December 27th isn't long to wait. Yes, the waiting is the hardest part. But it sounds like all the boxes are checked! Hope you can organise someone to drop us a line after your surgery?!

12-10-2010, 11:42 AM
rich...congrats on being one year!!! hope things continue to get better and better for you.

jennifer...i am hoping to get my hubby to log in for me while i'm in the hospital. hopefully it'll give him something to take his mind off the surgery! =)

12-11-2010, 10:27 AM
Hi peachrush7
I can only imagine how hard it has been for you but I'm sure everything will be fine and like you said you have your youth on your side which is something I don't lol!
Thoughts and prayers are with you!