View Full Version : Avoiding Disappointment?

JAN 76
11-02-2008, 09:28 AM
Hi all,

I'm another newbie who has read all your posts on this forum for about the past year! It's been such a hugely valuable source of information - so thank you so much.

It's strange it feels like I've listened to all of your advice without giving any in return - but I will be able to soon as I have my operation on the 11th November 2008 in Exeter hospital in the UK with Mr Daniel Chan as the Surgeon.

I have one question - and It's been troubling me for some time now - I am trying not to think too much about the results of the Surgery - but it seems I am obsessed!! I can't stop thinking about the relief I will feel (it's ok - I know there will be a lot of pain and misery too!) when I have a normal back. It's a very emotional prospect I suppose.

Has anyone else felt this way before they had the surgery? If so, were most of your prayers answered? Or should I simply stop being so positive it terms of the outcome in case I am sorely disappointed?

I would really appreciate some feedback on this - With 1 week til my surgery it seems to be my only worry / dilema.

11-02-2008, 09:45 AM
Hi. I am not a scoli patient but the mother of two, one fused and one braced.

I think the potential benefits of positive thinking outweigh any costs.

That is, thinking positively is not "magical" thinking... it does help like placebo helps.

If your surgeon told you to expect "A" then I think it is reasonable to expect "A" and positive thinking is warranted. If for some reason you don't think "A" was achieved then there is a real explanation for it. Again not magical thinking.

Of course if your surgeon promised "A"and you clearly got "B" then some disappointment is normal. But I suspect the benefits of positive thinking are worth any potential risks of being overly disappointed, mainly because I think a good surgeon will get you "A." Ours certainly did. In fact almost everything that happened was as advertised pretty much. He's a winner.

The thing that got me through my daughter's surgery and what will get me through her twin's surgery if she needs it is confidence in the surgeon. That's pretty much it.

I wish you luck.


JAN 76
11-02-2008, 10:36 AM
Hi Sharon,

Thank you for your response - I totally agree positive thinking is paramount to a good recovery. I do aim to think positively. I suppose I sometimes think too much and predict how I will be in the future - when to be honest I have no idea how I'm going to be in the future.

One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt is that I am totally making the right decision in having the surgery.

Thanks again and good luck with your other childs surgery.

11-02-2008, 11:54 AM
We'll be having surgery the same day! Mine is just to remove a bit of hardware though. My original surgery was almost a year ago. I have to say I couldn't wait for my surgery. I was so excited just knowing I would be waking up with a new back. I knew there was room for problems to happen but I really believed everything would be just fine. My surgeon was able to get a better correction then he thought he could obtain so that was a pleasant surprise.

I would have to say that you have every right to think positively and assume a great outcome, unless of course you have been told that a great outcome isn't possible. I believe most surgeons tell you what they expect the outcome will be and always put that at the low end of what they really expect. It is always better for them to estimate low and then surprise you with an even better result, avoiding the disappointment. I know I was very pleased to wake up and see a flat tummy. I was even more pleased when I got a chance to look at my back in the mirror for the first time and saw what a beautiful job he had done.

I'll be thinking of you on the 11th. I'm sure you will do just fine and will be pleased with the results.

11-02-2008, 12:11 PM
Hi Jan! It's hard to know how to answer your question, but I'll add a little. Since you've already been reading on the forum for awhile, you must have realized there's a huge difference in length of recovery among many of us. You have youth on your side, so chances are very good that you'll have a relatively quick recovery and be able to do so much that you are hoping for right now. I would say to not expect to bounce back super quickly, like some of the adolescents do. From having followed many of the young gals in their twenties this past year, it still has taken some time, but they were able to resume going to school and other activities well within the 6-9 month recovery period. Recovery for some of them involved patience and hard work. Our minds tend to want us recovered much sooner than our bodies allow. Just listen to your body, but work hard at the physical therapy and pushing yourself a little bit, as you become stronger after surgery. You may be like some of the members who are able to do wonder woman things not that long after. Try not to feel too disappointed if you're not one of them, as this isn't a race. Your body will heal in its own time. Just do your part to help the healing process as best you can-- eating healthily, getting plenty of rest and exercise, and following your doctor's orders regarding restrictions.

Best wishes on the 11th. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. :) Susie

11-02-2008, 12:22 PM
Jan76--thanks for bringing up the subject. My son will be having surgery 2 days after you; I'll be thinking of you as we await his. Also, I spent a year in Exeter when I was in college, attending the University there. I have many fond memories of the city and the campus.

Geish--Hope your hardware removal goes without a hitch. I'll be thinking of you on your birthday; thanks for the positive words about recovery.

Mary Ellen

JAN 76
11-02-2008, 01:43 PM
Thanks a lot for all your responses - you've all helped a lot - I've realised I should be excited (as well as scared!) about this. I'm a pretty realistic person so I won't go over the top.

Good luck with the surgery Alicia and for your son Mary Ellen!! xxx

11-02-2008, 06:06 PM
Hi Jan
I think you are right to be optimistic about how your curve and how it is possible to have a good outcome.
If you read my recent posts you will see that I too have had surgery here in the uk. I don't have my post-op xray yet (seeing surgeon in 2 weeks time) but when I saw them briefly at the hospital I looked pretty straight! To be honest this wasn't a priority for me - I was just happy to be given the chance for soemthing to be done to stop it progressing any further and for my future health issues.
I wish you all the luck for your op on the 11th Nov. It's a big, tough op but you sound very positive and ready which is the best way to tackle this situation.
If there's anything specific - please ask or pm me.

11-02-2008, 06:23 PM
Jan-- here I am again, because I realized I was focusing mostly on the recovery rather than the results. You have every reason to hope that your correction will be great. Younger spines have more flexibility. Even with my older spine and extra problems, my surgeon was able to get a great correction. As you can see in my sig, I am tickled! ;) Above all, I am sooooo grateful that I am stabilized and will not have further curve progression and its inherent problems. That is the most important part of all. How long a fusion will you have? What's your curve? I'm excited for you! The 11th is one of my daughter's birthdays too, so I'll remember really easily about you and Geish.

11-02-2008, 06:48 PM
Hi Jan,

If my surgeon (knowing all my probs) told me I had reason to be "cautiously optimistic", I'm sure you're safe in getting excited :D So long as you understand the small risks, etc. (which it sounds like you do), then being excited & calm going into surgery is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Wishing you the very best for the op & for recovery - will be thinking of you. And you, too, Geish. Goodluck to both of you!

Nancy Joy
11-03-2008, 05:16 PM
Hi Jan!

Welcome to the forum, glad you chose to participate! My 2 cents for what it is worth. I think a positive attitude and faith in your Dr, yourself and in my case, God, are all for the good. It doesn't mean that it will magically change the process or outcome but it does have a tremendous impact on how you react to all of it. I know reading others experiences here before my surgery was invaluable because then as I go thru things, they are not a surprise and I can see with time, it continues to improve and that really helps with moments (or a day or whatever!) of discouragement. I will be thinking and praying for you and Geish on your big days! (day after my second preplanned surgery).