View Full Version : Update

11-19-2011, 10:53 AM
Next week I go back to see dr Moreno since being released from the hospital. Been a rough few weeks. The pain meds seemed to get the best of the bowels no matter how much magnesium I have been taking I am more upright this week than in the past week which has made my neck and left side very sore. I haven't really been able to sit up so unless I was walking I have been in bed. Decided I needed to get off the pain meds which of course I did completely wrong so the cold sweats have been challenging. Didn't realize your body could get that accustomed to the meds that fast. The last bowel issue was all I could take. I had done so well staying ahead of it but for some reason 2 pain pills every 4 hours just couldn't be kept ahead of. Finally feeling a little better just very sore. I am sure part of it is just laying in bed and part is moving or not moving enough. My right side was carrying most of my weight for the past 30 years for some reason it never occurred to me my left side that got moved back into place would feel like I had broken my ribs. Yesterday was the first day I was upright more than laying down so today I am a little more sore than normal. My low back, hips and buttocks aren't really numb but very sensitive like when your foot is starting to go to sleep. I assume the numbness takes a while to go away. Any suggestions on how to sit in a chair? When I lean back my back is so numb I feel more like I am sitting against hard plastic and is very uncomfortable. Normally I would be able to get a massage or take a nice dip in the hot tub or pool. Since those aren't options for me does anything releave the soreness and numbness any faster? I am walking 3 times a day to the equivalent to a mile. I have done a mile at a time but it seems a little much for me at one time. During the detox this week I have lost weight which I had hoped to escape. Maybe this thanksgiving will help me gain that back. Thanks to everyone for the support. It's been a very difficult emotional ordeal where one minute you are just having a hard time believing how you look now compared to how you feel and the duration of getting well. I am thankful it is over and the horrific right hip pain and right leg pain is gone and for that I am truly thankful. My general physician who I have been going to for 16 years actually came to see me and was amazed at how well my incision looked and the dramatic improvement of my spine. I am praying my son will have the courage to get his corrected. My daughter has less than 20 degrees but my son is 7 feet and has serious double curves that cause him lots of problems at 27. Breathing is very different, walking, noticing how short other people look just from the 2 inches I gained is all a very interesting perspective. Thanks again to everyones suggestions. I have found them all extremely helpful. Sometimes you just need to know that someone else understands and you are not alone.

11-19-2011, 11:35 AM

Sorry to hear that you're having a tough time. Hopefully, you can find some things that make it at least a little easier. Since you've had an incision check, you might be able to sit in a hot tub, if you don't have to put your legs in front of you.

Has your son been assessed for Marfan syndrome? At 7' tall with scoliosis, it would certainly be a red flag.


11-19-2011, 12:31 PM
No. He lives in another state and it is difficult for me to get him to go to the dr. He lives in Dallas. I have encouraged him now that he has a perm job and ins to get checked and to read the forum. At 27 you still feel bullet proof. He has a daughter -she is 2 now. He needs to be healthy for her. He has been battling kidney stones which hasn't run in our families. His father and family were all very tall but I was surprised when he developed scoliosis since usually it affects girls. One reason I had hoped to have boys. Life is funny. You just can't second guess it. Idk what I was thinking with me. For some reason I had prepared myself for right side pain so left side sort of tok me by surprise. Didn't expect my ribs to be so sore. Will be glad when the bandages and steri strips come off where I can take a bath and look forward to my energy level coming back. I wear out so quickly

11-19-2011, 05:20 PM

What drugs are you on? The Oxycudone was nasty on the output, but the hydrocodon-acetaminophen wasn't as bad. You should be taking one or two stool softner pills every day and drinking TONS of water.

Don't go off pain meds cold turkey, lower the dosage...from 2 to 1.5, etc.

I know there is a lot of pain, but don't get off the pain pills too fast.

You're doing better with the walking distances than I am--and I am at 11 weeks post surgery.

11-19-2011, 07:39 PM
Yes, you're doing great with your walking! Has your blood been checked? You might be a little anaemic after your surgery. Try to increase your red meat if possible.

Sitting was hardest for me. It was several weeks (probably 6 weeks) before I could sit in any sort of comfort. Yet I could stand and walk quite easily.

When you're a couple of weeks further on, look back, and see how far you've come. Things WILL improve. Everyone heals at a different rate so don't be hard on yourself.

11-19-2011, 07:42 PM
Yeah the oxycodone was a surprise to me. I have been taking 10 stool softeners and I bought the magnesium Ed suggested. The constipation was sort of the last straw for me on the pain meds. Took me 3 days to realize that was why I was sweating and having chills. I thought I was having hot flashes lol. Taking very small slivers of the meds now. Hope by the end of next week i can be off even that The muscle spasms after I walk seem to be the most pesky outside of just really being sore. Like you went to the gym overworked till you past out and then someone threw you out by your ribs- but just on one side. It's been hard to sit up. I am taking Tylenol now with a small half of a valium. The incision doesn't hurt so far. But man my hips and left side ribs in the front are so sore it makes it hard to be upright for long. I know I am able to climb my stairs now which wasn't possible when I first came home and I fell the first step. I guess I just thought after a week of being sore it would start to get better. Sometimes it's hard to remember I haven't moved or breathed this way in 30 years. Every walk requires an immediate lay down for at least an hour. I could be pushing myself a little to hard but I guess I am afraid my nerves won't heal as quickly and the numbness leave if I don't move around.

11-19-2011, 07:49 PM
I agree with Jennifer...sitting is the hardest. I was lucky in that we needed to buy a new bed at the time of the surgery anyway, so we went whole hog and got a sleep number bed with the platform where you can raise and lower the back and the leg part. To be honest, that is the way I am most comfortable sitting--so far.

One thing that has helped riding in the car and in some chairs is a memory foam pillow. I have bought two of these pillows at Kohls:

http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/bedroom/memory_foam/pillows/PRD~456074/Perfect+Comfort+Memory+Foam+Side+Sleeper+Pillow.js p

It seems to be just soft enough not to irritate my back, and yet stiff enough to support you. I have to move it up a bit--so the bottom is actually a couple inches up from where I sit. I hope that makes sense. Kind of like at the small of my back. You just have to play with where it fits best.

I still can't do a recliner...but don't have an automatic one either.

In short sitting will be the hardest thing. Have lots of pillows (memory foam and others) around the house to make sitting as soft as possible.

11-19-2011, 09:33 PM
I have wondered about pillows but I haven't found one I own that has suited me. I haven't though about being anemic and I haven't had much red meat since the surgery. It was very hard to eat in the hospital and since I have been home I haven't had much appetite which was one reason I wanted off the pain pills. I have lost 11 pounds so far and I am hoping to gain those back. I don't usually gain very quickly. I will check out the pillows @ Khios. :).

I expected the pain but the sore wasn't really on the radar. Of course sore is better than the pain I was in the first two weeks. Trying to count my blessings. Sore can't last forever

11-19-2011, 11:58 PM
[QUOTE=djkinkead;129181]I agree with Jennifer...sitting is the hardest. I was lucky in that we needed to buy a new bed at the time of the surgery anyway, so we went whole hog and got a sleep number bed with the platform where you can raise and lower the back and the leg part. To be honest, that is the way I am most comfortable sitting--so far.

Can I ask what the cost of your new bed was? I am ,also. looking for a new bed and we were wondering that that kind of mattress cost?

11-20-2011, 12:09 AM
I bought an adjustable bed before my first surgeries 20 years ago. That's when they were REALLY expensive. As it turned out, I was never comfortable unless I was completely flat. Having the head of the bed raised really gave me shoulder blade pain. Another fine example of how different we all are!

After my surgeries this time, I couldn't sleep in a bed for several months. And, the only chair I could sit in was my recliner. It's a Lazy Boy:



11-20-2011, 07:13 AM

it sounds like you are coming along normally. The numbness of my lower back, hips and buttocks did almost completely go away, but it's taken years. At first I remember the numbness went about halfway down my thighs, but as I recovered, that line moved up. My thighs, hips and butt are not numb any more at all, I only have a tiny bit in the lower back (where the lower back dimples are, LOL) and it's not completely numb.

Yes, those cold sweats are the worst. I can't believe you're totally off meds! But if you can manage, good for you. Your appetite will come back over time. Remember, your stomach shrunk and it will take time getting back to normal.

You're absolutely right that your body was in one configuration for 30 years and it has to get used to the new you. It will happen over time.

Take care of yourself,

11-20-2011, 07:48 AM
We bought a king size bed that is, what is best described as two conjoined extra long singles. We choose the middle version of their line of products, with 1.5 inches of memory foam (I added two more inches of foam later on myself). It cost $4500....which is great. Each side of the bed has it's own controller for raising and lowering top and bottom...as well as the softness of the bed.

If you get into the high end of the bed (which offers like five inches of memory foam, its like $6K.). The 1.5 inches of foam was fine for my husband, and I am happy when I went out and bought a topper of an additional 2 inches).

11-20-2011, 07:52 AM

Also, I found with the Oxycudone, I had NO appetite. I was drinking ice cold Ensures to get the calories.

I found I had a better appetite with the Hydrocodon-Aceaminophen.

My surgeon emphasized eating LOTS of protein during this time.

In relation to being anemic, did they give you enough blood? My surgeon recycled 1/2 my blood and thought I'd do okay with it, but I didn't. In the end, I needed two more units. If you are small or thin like me, it could be that. I'm not a doctor or nurse, but I do know that until I got the blood I was very weak and didn't have much get up and go (I was given one unit one day, which gave me the strength to stand a walk a tiny bit). I was given a second unit two days later and I was able to walk and do stairs.

11-20-2011, 01:31 PM
I like Debbe’s post, and I will say that your post sounds about right for 25 days out.

Constipation seems to really hit hard around the 3rd or 4th week. We have seen many posts here about this and its predictable with adults. That’s why I say keep the Mag Citrate around just in case. You “know” when you are in trouble, you just do.

You son is passing kidney stones? How often is this happening? I had a laser lithotripsy once and I have to say if you think scoliosis surgery is painful, passing an 8mm stone is the definition of extreme pain. I gave scoli surgery a 10, and the kidney stone event a 15.

Stoners should drink plenty of water to dilute uric acid. Soda is on the banned list, and probably the worst thing that anyone can do to their bodies....

You are almost past the hardest part....things will get better, they will.

Sit with soft down pillows. One day at a time.
Eat good foods, protein is important.

11-20-2011, 06:26 PM
Yeah my son said the pain was almost unbearable. Told him then the scoliosis surgery should be np. Lol. Oh yeah I have cleared out walgreens and cvs with ensure lol. Figure that will be my new best friend. I did get someone to take me to Khios and I bought the pillow suggested. It has helped a lot. I also cleared out the magnesium from walgreens. This was the first time they have seen me - the woman cashier commented she wondered why the couldn't keep it on their shelves. Showed her my xray pics and told her about the meds she said she completely understood. I guess her neighbor had a daughter who had scoliosis surgery years ago. The ribs on my left side are still more compressed than the right side even though I am told my rib hump is gone. Idk that the ribs on that side will ever expand to match the other side. Will be interesting to see how long it will take to get back to doing routine things. The tingling numbness gets a little better after I walk but the back has just today seemed to start coming to life. I have noticed some tingels and a little more itching. Gotta love the itching where u r numb. That's so bizare to me that u van itch on the inside of a place that is numb on the outside.
Ed you have been so active in your life and your photos are great. Have you been able to get back to ,ost of your activities you loved? I worry that my dancing,surfing, skiing, and golf could be over. I guess something everyone worries about.

11-20-2011, 07:45 PM
The Ensure does taste good and is easy to get down while in immediate recovery. As you recover, you might switch since Ensure costs more than a good whiskey. That stuff is pricey!

I don’t understand about what you are calling “magnesium” Are you drinking or sipping “Magnesium Citrate” on a regular basis? I don’t think you should be doing that. If constipation issues persist, alert your doctor. Many products contain magnesium.....even still, you should not be going nuts with this stuff. You know that after you quit meds, you should return back to regular and not need laxatives. Laxative abuse is not something you want to transition to and is serious business.

Dancing is something I don’t do often, and yes I still think about surfing. I have not had the guts out in Hawaii. You just don’t hop on “pipeline” and write home to mom....nope, that would really be dumb. I have had my face slammed into the sand down under on a wipeout, its something I don’t want to re-live if you know what I mean. Surfing kills and so does back country skiing, but I know what I’m doing in the mountains and exercise common sense. I wont take chances anymore with slides. I have in the past but not any more. I’m getting too old for some of the extreme terrain and cant jump anymore.....I guess I needed to cut back on some of that anyway.

If I were a golfer, I wouldn’t be worried. I have driven a few balls and it felt great. I was also complimented on my form. We are praying for snow out here, its been a little on the weak side this year for Thanksgiving. It’s a La Nina year which means that skiers drink that much more wondering when the snow will come.
I need a drink. lol

11-20-2011, 08:10 PM
I was taking the supplement pills but when the quickcrete set in I got the liquid. It still took 3 days and 2 and 1/2 bottles before I could finally go. I told the dr and I was told to increase stool softeners. Seriously. Idk why the felt that wax the answer. By day 5 I had to do something. I normally take 1600 mg of magnesium but 2 oxy every 4 hours was just more than I could keep up with. I wasbtaking 10 stool softeners with no results with the mag tablets. I finally called my primary care dr and that's when he told me the extreme chills and sweats were the withdrawals from me stopping the oxy. He didn't seem too upset since I wasn't having any further symptoms. But he did say that i shouldnt need the liquid mag if I was weaning off. Since our pharmacy seems to only carry 1 to 2 bottles per store I guess I cleaned them out. I bought 6 bottles just in case I needed and couldn't get to the store. Since driving isn't possible I don't really have someone available everyday to help me. I decided to just stock up. I fight that issue anyway so man that was the worst. I know there are some things I am getting too old to do even without the surgery however its hard to give up things you have always done. Doesn't always match what you head says you can still do lol. I tried to take a yoga class and realized my wrists wouldn't hold me. Personally I think if I just had taken a few shots of whiskey I would have been a lot better off. Lol

11-20-2011, 08:48 PM
Ed, just a little side note....
we GOT snow here in New England.....in OCTOBER!
we do NOT want anymore....
the storm was wicked, with the trees coming down on the power lines,
and people losing power for 10 days!

if you'd like, i can say a few additional prayers for you to have snow OUT THERE...
if you promise to keep the stuff....out there!

jess....and Sparky (he doesn't like the snow either)

11-20-2011, 09:56 PM
Wow! have you been struggling with this. Pretty soon you will be through this, the “hard part”.
Hang in there.

Quikcrete is a good way to describe it. (smiley face)

You don’t like the snow? You know what Warren Miller would say? “wimp, wimp, wimp, wimp, wimp”. He always said it 5X in his films....lol

I had a bad case of the “bear traps” the other day when the storm approached. After the storm moved in, I was ok. We are getting snow right now, but not enough. We need about 5 feet to open.

Send it out here, we need it.