View Full Version : 6-month status report

06-27-2008, 01:52 AM
Today is exactly 6 months since my surgery. Although I still have some muscle pain doing certain movements and I still tire easily, overall I am very happy with the outcome. :D

Dr. B. had told me prior to surgery that he would not be able to totally reduce the right shoulder blade hump (too many years in that position plus calcified bone spurs), and said he would be pleased if the kyphotic curve could be reduced from 100* to 70*, and I might re-gain 1.5 inches in height (I had been 5' 7" in college, but had shrunk to 5' 3 1/2" going into surgery.

The result: my curve measured 57* at 1 month post-op, and I have re-gained 2 1/4", bringing me to 5' 5 3/4". I still have a slight hump on the right side but the only people who notice it are PTs. Otherwise, everyone insists the hump is not noticeable! And I am stabilized from T2 to L2. I've already noticed the improvement in my balance, as my center of gravity now is where it was supposed to have been all these years.

I've been feeling better and better the past 6 weeks. Today I took a 70 miles each way train ride, and aside from a few lurches, it was fine. I've already driven 25 miles each way, and I no longer feel I must drive only in the right lane because the range of motion of head/neck has been improving. I do PT 3/ week, including 2 in a pool, which has been great. I'm still re-learning how to hold my head and shoulders and carry myself - so many years of everything put together the wrong way.

It has certainly been no walk in the park: 11 hours spine urgery, followed by pneumonia and 5 days in ICU; 7 weeks of constant vomiting until they figured out that my stomach had pushed thru the diaphragm into the chest cavity, and had 4 hours of surgery to repair that 10 weeks after my spine surgery :eek:

When I came out of ICU, all I could think for a long time was "I can't believe I chose to do this to myself - what on earth had I been thinking?" I was very depressed for a full 3 months following surgery, but once the stomach problem was fixed, I began to fell semi-human.

A bonus of not keeping any food down for so long is that I lost a lot of weight and now am back to a good size for my frame. All my pre-op clothes are way too big; I've gone down 3 or 4 sizes, so, for the first time in at least 30 years, I am really enjoying clothes shopping and showing off my almost normal figure by wearing form-fitting clothes instead of those huge baggy shirts. People who haven't seen me for a while don't recognize me !!!

Anyway, to those who are still undecided, for me the process was extremely difficult - BUT - I AM SO GLAD I WENT AHEAD WITH IT :D It DOES get better!!

06-27-2008, 07:08 AM
Janet- I am so happy that you are doing much better these days. You have had to face many additional challenges & come thru them strong!!
I noticed such a big difference in energy levels from 6th months to the year mark. So it gets even better! Now at 2 yrs out, I pretty much do all I used to but try to pace myself...not easy with me...
Take care and enjoy your clothes shopping, you deserve it!!!! :) :)

06-27-2008, 07:11 AM
That's fabulous, Janet! "No walk in the park" -- heh heh, that's an understatement. You've paid your dues and I'm thrilled that you're happy with the results. Upward and onward!!

06-27-2008, 07:28 AM
Yeah Janet!!
You're home free now-and you had to deal with so much more than most. The bonus is that your results are better than you expected. (Email me pics!!!)

06-27-2008, 07:32 AM
Yes, Janet-- it's wonderful to hear your glowing report! It's quite a statement and inspiration that you are glad you went through with your surgery! You had such a time of it, with all those "extras" thrown in to challenge your recovery!!! :eek: I still remember reading posts, as they were entered by your son, on your hospital site and thinking you were doing well-- but then finding out later that hadn't been the case-- in fact, au contraire! :(

When you talk of your weight loss and how exciting it is to be the new slimmer you, I feel a bit GREEN with envy, but realize full well you worked extremely hard to get there! So I am delighted for you and share a little vicarious thrill for your new and improved (in so many ways!) body! :D So have FUN shopping!

I, too, will second what Lynn said-- there's a world of difference between how I felt at 6 months (I thought it was quite good, though) and how and what I can do now, at just over 1 year. I'm hoping next year I can say what Lynn is saying now. I am quite strong, through all the PT I've been doing, but my stamina/endurance level isn't where I'd like it to be yet. I expect that will come-- with more time and more work. This recovery, for some of us older gals, does teach patience and perseverance, doesn't it?!!! Sort of like the tortoise and the hare. :) Slow and steady can be a good thing. ;) We'll get there! -- Susie