View Full Version : This One's For Mom

12-05-2010, 03:49 PM
I will be flying from Colorado to Boston this Tuesday the 7th to take my mother to her cervical surgery, scheduled for Fri, the 10th. My mom is 81, in good health and very active prior to this last year.

She will be having A/P neck surgery with Dr Rand and Dr Simon at New England Baptist Hospital. In Nov of 09, she had hip replacement at same hospital, and I came back for that so I know how terrific the hospital is, as well as every medical person I encountered back then. The surgery is scheduled for 9-14 hours- yes, you heard right- and she doesn't know what levels are being fused, nor any of the other details. We went to a "fusion class" back in October and commonly, cervical fusion takes a couple hours and a day or two in the hospital. She'll be in intensive care for about a week, so this is more extensive. I've resisted calling the doctors for more details, as she has been doing all the homework herself and is totally capable of making good decisions, her surgeons are top-of-the-heap, and she feels that at 81 and not being able to do a thing except sit around with a cervical collar on, what's to lose?

I'll be staying in a guest house next to the hospital, same place as last year, and will only stay in the room with her at night if it seems warranted. She wouldn't want me to, more for my sake than hers, and would not want to "put them out" rolling in cots or whatever. I'm wondering about this, and although only a cellphone call away and right next door , wondering about how to be a good caretaker/advocate. I'm feeling well and energetic but have had some hip hip/back pain that I'm coming out of as well as the usual garden variety neck, shoulder, arm stuff. Nothing to sideline me.

One thing that is so great is that I advised her to look up Dr Rand as a possibility, she got in promptly on a cancellation, and she's going with him and Dr Simon. Previously she was going to have it done locally in NHampshire, so thanks to the forum for this knowledge!

I'm looking to my homies for advice, support, Prayers, scientific input, good wishes, or happy sailing. I'll have two other sisters there in varying stages of taking over the reins, so look out Boston. The party's in Mom's room. (need winking, smiling, or horrified emoticon here- mine are still disabled. Is it just me?)

More than a little frightened,

I'll also look in on Irene if she is receiving visitors...

12-05-2010, 05:34 PM
amy good luck to your mom

12-05-2010, 05:50 PM
No horrified emotion, but how about a wink and a smile. She will be fine....

Some like that army of support at the hospital. I did not. I told everyone to leave me be, no sense coming down while Iím bombed....People didnít listen and came down anyway, and I heard about it later. The lights were on but nobody was home.... Remember this when communicating with her for the first few days. She wont remember too much. Anesthesia does this.

Its good that you are next door...You donít want to be there all the time, but there when she needs you to be there....

Btw, happy b-day.

12-05-2010, 06:09 PM
Ah, Amy! Your mom sounds like a very cool lady. I know where you got it. All will be fine. Attitude is everything. Enjoy spending time with her and family. We will all be thinking about you, and waiting to hear from you. Isn't technology great when used for good reasons? It is so nice to know everyone is only a note away....

12-05-2010, 07:49 PM
It's not my mother going through this so I can say how marvellous it is to be able to have such a surgery at age 81. I think your mother is fabulous, wise and brave. You too! Sending you my best wishes for a smooth ride for you both. I know you're going to have your mind elsewhere, but I look forward to that first post to hear your Mom's doing just fine!

12-05-2010, 07:56 PM
Wow, that's amazing your mom is up for this! Keeping active has made her a great candidate. Personally, I wanted my husband there--and really no one else. Let your mom be your guide. With all those meds she will probably be pretty truthful about wanting you there or not! Prayers & positive thoughts coming to you and your mom. Janet

12-05-2010, 10:24 PM
Prayers for both you and your Mom
Will be waiting to hear that your Mom is ok

12-06-2010, 01:12 AM
hey Amy
your mother will be in my thoughts and prayers until the surgery is over, and through her recovery...which i know will be uneventful and smooth...

take care of yourself while in Boston...so you can help take care of her!
and bring some warm clothes...it is really cold here in the northeast...but it is probably cold in Colorado, too...

best regards...

12-06-2010, 08:34 AM
Thank you so much, everyone!

I'm always amazed how much instant ease I experience when you all send out your good will! I've been moving through life these last few days with the increasing sentiment of, "OMG, I've got to stop her!!" when I know deeply that I can't and shouldn't. Anxiety makes you wiggy. (New bumper sticker)

I am bringing my laptop and will post as soon as I can.

Thanks, Ed, for the birthday wishes, but our birthday is not for several more days!!

And, Happy Birthday, J' !!!

Bless you all...

loves to skate
12-06-2010, 10:47 AM
Hi Amy,
I would like to add my name to all the wonderful well wishers on this forum. I also didn't want or need much company while in the hospital and because of two nasty snow and ice storms in December, even my hubby couldn't make it in a couple of days. It is good though that you will be close by and available to your Mom if needed. Will be praying for your Mom and for Irene (backissues).

12-06-2010, 09:42 PM
Hi, Amy!
Good for your mom! I know she made the best choice for her. And it sounds like there will be an army of excellent caregivers there for her too, so don't worry about being next door - only a couple of minutes away if she needs you at any time. My prayers are with her, and with you as well.

12-08-2010, 06:53 PM
Your mom is blessed already by having such a caring and knowledgeable daughter! Best wishes that everything goes smoothly.


12-09-2010, 08:30 PM
Hi Amy-

Just want you to know that I'm thinking about you and your mom tonight. It will all be ok, and she will be fine. She is in good hands, both yours and the surgeons. Love and hugs!!!

12-10-2010, 06:16 PM

Thank you some more!

Mom is in the recovery room and will be headed up to ICU very soon. Long day, but successful with nothing unexpected. She had an anterior discectomy (sp?) and then a posterior fusion from C-3 to T-1. We go for the "Frankie" look in my family. She also had a decompression...somewhere. All good.

Cold here in Boston, whew! Makes Colorado seem balmy. (It's a dry cold in CO).

One more thing on his birthday eve,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TITANIUM ED!!! Hope you have a great day and loads of skiing fun, no jumps, no somersaults....

Ed, many thanks for the great advice and positive thoughts,help and info you bestow.

And thanks again, forum friends. I feel like Ebenezer Scrooge on Xmas eve. (smiley face).


12-10-2010, 06:41 PM
So glad everything went well with your mom, that's gotta be a big relief. :)

12-10-2010, 10:17 PM
Thanks Amy, and Happy b-day to you also. So glad that the surgery went ok.

No skiing this weekend...its been warm and raining...

Iím recovering from last night. Overeating, that is! I think its worse than drugs, and LOL Iíve done those before.... I donít have a gall bladder, so digesting fats, or higher amounts of fats, taxes the digestive tract and interruptís sleeping.

07-11-2011, 11:44 PM
....the continuing story:

My mother had surgery Dec 10 of last year, so she's right at 7 months. The result was considered successful in that her CT's show her neck looking as it should- bearing in mind that they fused 5 levels, so lots of metal in there.

The problem is that she is in more pain than before surgery with the pain being in the same place- off to the side of her neck and into the shoulder. She's had three facet blocks since March and just had a "Radio Frequency Ablation" on July 1. So far that has not eased any pain, but it's still early from my understanding.

I'm just wondering if any of the neck surgery people here have any input or similar experiences. She's going to start taking muscle relaxants in the next couple days. A bit of a scary thought for her age- 81. My mom is usually a pathologically cheerful and optimistic person, but for the first time I'm hearing extreme wariness.

loves to skate
07-12-2011, 07:07 PM
I'm so sorry to hear that your Mom isn't doing well after her neck surgery. Maybe I will just put up with my neck pain for the time being. I hope someone will chime in with their neck surgery success or not stories.

07-12-2011, 07:36 PM
Hi Amy

Oh boy, so sorry about all of this. Maybe the muscle relaxers will calm things down a tad and make her feel a little better....

Try your best to keep her spirits up,(and yours) I know it can be tough, but its important.

07-12-2011, 09:17 PM
Hi Amy-

I'm saddened to hear this... This must be hard for you.

My surgical pain has been gone a long time, but I get muscle pain and spasms quite often. The muscle relaxants, taken as needed, really do seem to help. I hope your mom finds some relief. I know it is worrisome for you to see her down. Just be supportive, as usual, and just listen to her. I know I sometimes need my hubby to just listen to me vent, even if he can't do anything about it, when I have gripes or complaints about stuff. (Yes, I do complain and gripe once in a great while...) Others that haven't been around just don't understand, and it is frustrating trying to explain to them. And I really don't want to, anyway. People tend to think or say, "yeah, yeah, yeah, so you had surgery..." , "I have back aches, too", or "I've had surgery for a bulging disc, so I know exactly what you are going through". I'm thinking to myself, "not the same, bucko!"

I suspect she will ask for help or advice if and when she truly needs it. And I know you will be there! Good Luck.