View Full Version : Surgery in less than 5 Weeks.... Terrified and new to Forum

12-09-2010, 06:07 PM
Hi Everyone,
I've been dipping in and out of this forum, but now that my operation is approaching in less than five weeks, I'm realizing how incredibly terrified I truly am. I'm a single mom, and under a lot of pressure financially (no child support), and have to have this operation, finally... I've been in so much pain for years, I just cannot stand it anymore. As a single parent without a partner and no family nearby, I'm really worried about how I'm going to manage. I have a nice boyfriend but it seems an awfully lot to introduce this mess into a new relationship.

Anyhow, my surgeon is Dr. Frank Rand at New England Baptist, who just handled Irene's operation on Tuesday. He's supposed to be great, so I shouldn't be so scared, but I cannot help it. I was really sick when I was young and in the hospital a lot. I faint when I get my blood taken...

Who else out there is having their operation soon? How are you coping? It's very scary and depressing. Have any of you tried Peggy Heddlesten's books/cd?

Thanks for any input and support. This is a great resource, this forum.

Arlington, MA (outside of Boston)

12-09-2010, 08:04 PM
Nearly all of us are terrified, it's fairly normal. But so far I haven't heard of one patient who didn't turn up for their surgery ;) so I am sure you will make it and get through this and be glad you did it, just like the vast majority of us here. But there are no guarantees, and the unknown is scary but you sound like you have little choice when you're in so much pain. I believe the most important aspect is the surgeon. If he is highly skilled and has a great reputation, that is your best bet.

How old are your children? I think you will need help for the first few weeks and if your children are young, probably ongoing help with them. If they are older, I hope they are of the self-sufficent and helpful variety. Ask lots of questions and good luck!

12-09-2010, 09:45 PM
Hi Paget,

My surgery is Monday at 7:30AM at Barnes Jewish in St. Louis with Dr. Lenke. Tomorrow morning is my central line. I am getting more nervous but have been staying VERY busy this week wrapping up things at work and now trying to re-arrange things at home for when I get out of hospital. There's so many things to think about I thought I was prepared but I'm realizing just how involved the preparation is. The WORST part is that I started getting a cold Tuesday in my chest and it's now moved up to my throat and sinuses. I'm so frustrated about that - haven't been sick once this year and now??? Hope it doesn't jeopardize my surgery. Has anyone been sick and gone thru their surgery? I will have to have my central line in all weekend. Anyone else experience this?

Appreicate ANY responses!!

12-09-2010, 09:57 PM
I totally agree with all Jennifer said. We were all quite terrified but seem to do better right at the end--not sure why. Some I think even used a mild sedative if the doctor thought they were stressing too much--you might check on that. I used the Peggy Huddleston cd and book. I felt like it helped me focus stress in a different way and it did have a calming effect. Good luck to you!

Laurie Ann--
Sounds almost exactly like what I had--Friday was the central line and I had to be at hospital for surgery at 5:30 AM on a Monday. If you don't want the bandage from central line to show--wear a higher neckline--I think it was right under the collar bone. It's not a big deal though. Make plans to keep yourself busy on Sat. and Sun. Otherwise the time will drag. I'll be thinking of you and praying for a great result. You too, Paget! Janet

12-09-2010, 10:13 PM
Laurie Ann-We have the same surgeon and he's one of the best. I felt better about having the surgery after talking to Dr. Lenke on Nov. 17 when I had all of my pre-op tests. It's normal to be nervous. I'm keeping busy with Christmas activities, which is helping for right now.
Paget-My surgery is just 6 days before you. From what everyone has told me, the worrying prior to surgery is the toughest part. I also have Peggy Huddleston's CD's, but need to take time to listen to them. I also want to reread David Wolpert's book before surgery.

12-09-2010, 10:16 PM
I'm not having surgery but my son might have to. Sometimes it sounds like I'm the one frustrated and in pain and I am b/c everything you guys are describing, I think how it might be with my son. I think I'm suffering more than him, heh.

12-10-2010, 11:36 AM
Hi Paget!

I'm scheduled for December 27th...it's right around the corner. I feel alternately brave and then horror over what i've decided to do. I think about it this way:

we are making a life-long commitment to being fused. it's a VERY intense decision, and i think it's impossible to feel %100 sure about it %100 of the time. I find what helps me is thinking about what my life would be like in 10 years, or 20 years if I DON'T have the surgery now. I too have lots of pain, and am progressing. I don't want to be deformed, and have to deal with all the health problems that go along with the much larger curves.

I'm sorry you have so much stress. It's incredibly hard to think about this surgery and recovery and I have a wonderful support system.

I have also been really encouraged by friends from this forum who keep saying things to me like: "just think, by next summer, it'll be behind you and you can move on with your life."

anyway, just wanted to let you know I can totally to relate to the fear/anxiety you're going through. I do think getting as much help as possible lined up for after the surgery is essential to helping you feel better about going in.


loves to skate
12-10-2010, 02:28 PM
Hi Paget,

Dr. Rand did my surgery and even though he is very confident and calm, I too was very scared. I think it is very normal. I bought and used Peggy Huddleston's CD and thought it was a great help, especially the part where she says to imagine yourself doing the things you love to do after your surgery. It really worked for me. I'm at my three year anniversary post op and can do just about anything I want to do that I did before surgery and more. You are in the very best of hands. Best wishes for a successful surgery, a speedy recovery and a great life post-op.

12-14-2010, 08:05 PM
Paget, if pain is your primary reason for surgery, you might first try visiting a Schroth specialist who is very near Arlington.


A Schroth therapist can often take care of scoliosis-related pain symptoms fairly quickly. Good luck!

12-14-2010, 10:15 PM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all your supportive posts. It definitely makes me feel not so alone! And I am thinking of all of you who are having surgery around the same time as me. I'll be thinking positive thoughts for you!

What is the central line thing? I'm going in for my pre-op appointment on December 23rd;the surgery is Jan 11th. Will they do something to me prior to that?

My boyfriend and I are going to Bermuda for 5 days over Christmas. That will take my mind of the surgery I hope!