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Thread: What to expect while at hospital for surgery

  1. #106
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    100
    RMD House photos:

    The room. Note there are no TV's in their rooms.
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...na/RMDroom.jpg

    The outside of the RMD House:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...seoutside1.jpg

    This is a video game that both Chey and I are very good at. It was nice seeing they had it there to help relieve stress:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15.../RB2atRMD2.jpg

    Before Surgery Photos:

    Pre-surgery x-ray. Note: The measurements on this are incorrect.
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...urgeryxray.jpg

    Pre-surgery x-ray where they stretch the patient:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...erySTRETCH.jpg

    Photo they took of her back pre-surgery:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...hotoofBack.jpg

    Bending photo they took of her back pre-surgery:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...lder-Photo.jpg

    Chey just before they took her for surgery:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...resurgery1.jpg
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  2. #107
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    100
    After Surgery Photos: (there's really nothing gory in these)

    After Surgery X-ray:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...AIGHTSPINE.jpg

    After surgery side x-ray:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...urgerySIDE.jpg

    Back Bandaged:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...ckbandaged.jpg

    Our nemesis: The Pulse Ox! High powered pain killers + decreased lung capacity do not mix!
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...lseOx82810.jpg

    Leg pressure cuffs:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...Cuffs82810.jpg

    The hospital room:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...Room282810.jpg

    A sample pack of hardware they put in her back. It's a good thing they don't show you this BEFORE your surgery! This bag only had about 7-8 screws in it and weighed about 3 lbs. Considering she has 17 screws and associated hardware I'd guess she has about 5 lbs of hardware in her back. This makes sense as she did not lose any weight while in the hospital, but instead gained weight due to the hardware and bowel/bladder problems.
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...a/Hardware.jpg

    The incision without all of the bandages:
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...tches82810.jpg

    That's pretty much it!
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  3. #108
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    67
    wow moving off pain meds that is a big step and so soon, love your pics , very pretty girl. Her xrays look great , her spine looks very straight.
    My son was shown the screws and rods on a visit and the look on his face was priceless, im not sure if we should have showed him or not because he didnt look as interested in them as I was..LOL
    Kelly
    mom of Cameren 12 yrs. old
    Chiari,retroflex odontoid,syringomyelia,scoliosis
    Chiari decompressions 6/2005,5/2006
    Syringopleural shunt 6/2009
    Boston Braced off & on 6.5yrs
    scoliosis surgery- 9/15/10 T4-L4 Dr. Bridwell
    Fell & broke finger,surgery 3/2011

  4. #109
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    100
    She was definitely interested in seeing them. In fact, she's the one holding the bag and taking the photo with her phone. This was just an hour or so before we were leaving for home.

    The only problems we're having are that she really doesn't want to get up and move around much. Granted, it's only been exactly 2 weeks since the surgery, but her PT at the hospital said he wanted her doing laps inside the house.

    She's still complaining of some stomach discomfort but she is moving her bowels. She's complaining of some nausea but is eating. Some of this could be due to the GIANT antibiotics they gave her for the bladder infection.
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  5. #110
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    47

    Thanks for posting, been wondering!

    I agree, your daughter is such a pretty girl. Fun to see all the pics. Her back looks amazing.

    I hear you on having trouble getting her to move around much. We set some goals right after returning home. You know - today we'll walk to the mailbox and back, tomorrow we'll walk to the neighbors' mailbox and back (that kind of thing). It seemed to help get my daughter get going and was actually at the suggestion of a friend who had been through this surgery with her son.

    I'm amazed that she isn't taking pain meds! Wow!

    Good luck on the school thing. Reading about this in your posts always makes me feel I should count my blessings, that my daughter was able to have her surgery and recovery time in the summer.
    Last edited by Fingers Crossed; 09-07-2010 at 09:00 AM.
    Jill, mom to 14-year-old daughter who had spinal fusion surgery (T3 to L1) June 21, 2010. (Pre-op curves 52T and 30L.)

  6. #111
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    21

    Thanks to everyone for the great information.

    My daughter, Kristen, is now scehdule for surgery April 2011. She went from the surgeon saying she would be fine (23 and 26 curves); refered to a new surgeon and found out the curves were (60 and 68) and thought it might be too complicated to operate. Now they are going to operate.

    All the info about recovery in the hospital is great. But, what about long term? She is 19 and in university. When should she plan on going back to school? What about full class load? How long before she can travel (as we don't live in the same city as the surgeon.) Any insight would be great.

    Thanks,
    Kristen's MOM

  7. #112
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    100
    My daughter's surgeon has her down to be out of school between 6-8 weeks.

    Since your daughter is a bit older and has curves that are more severe than what my daughter's were you may be looking at a longer recovery period. It's hard to say because every case is different.

    She will have weight limitations until her 6 week checkup. My daughter isn't supposed to lift anything over 5 lbs. There's also no bending, reaching, stretching, etc until that 6 week mark.

    Total recovery is supposed to take 1 year.

    Since your daughter is going to college, and I know the textbooks can be quite heavy (and expensive), you'll want to check with the school to see if there's any way they can help her out by either providing her a set of books to use only in class and having her buy the books she'll use at home.

    Traveling in general isn't barred. We had to fly home after my daughter's surgery. As long as she isn't going to go sky diving, bungie jumping or anything that would cause any sharp jarring movement, she should be ok. But, as I said before, it all depends on the case. Your surgeon should be able to provide you with a lot of information. There's also a lot of VERY good information on this website.
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  8. #113
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    21
    The 6-8 weeks seems kind of common. OUr surgeon said 2 to 3 monthes (I think you are right about the age thing).

    The weight is a problem. We are looking into getting an ebook to get all her textbooks on that, which should be much lighter. Not all are available, but it may help. We are also looking inot online classes which may help for a semester, depending how flexible the university is.

    It is hard to know how to plan for the year when we have no idea how it will go.

    Hope your daughter is doing great. The pictures were great. It is so nice to see some one who has come through this whole process. It really helps.

    Kristen's MOM
    (surgery schedule for April 2011)

  9. #114
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    100
    rosa: If it weren't for this website I would haven't been prepared for what we just went through/are still going through.

    I read your other post and if those fusion numbers are correct + it being a posterior and anterior surgery, it's far more complicated than the surgery my daughter just had.
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  10. #115
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    21
    The website is great.

    Right now I am struggling to find something positive to convince Kristen that this is a good thing. She is a person who faints for immunizations. The thought of her going through this is inconcievable at this time. I can't imagine her seeing the photos or looking at the rods and screws without passing out.

    Did your daughter ever think she had a choice in the surgery or was she okay with getting it done. Kristen keeps saying she may run off to Paris and live in NotreDame???

    Kristen's MOM
    (Surgery scheduled April 2011
    71 and 68 degrees)

  11. #116
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    100
    rosa: Considering your daughter's degrees of curvature, (this is just my personal opinion because I'm not an MD), I think she has to have the surgery. She's well beyond bracing. There are some alternative therapies out there but due to the degree of her curves I'm of the opinion that they would be a waste of money and time.

    Very bad scoliosis can cause problems with the patient's heart, lungs and other internal organs. My daughter definitely had decreased lung capacity.

    Then there's the pain issue. I don't think anyone should be expected to take over the counter or prescription pain medications for any extended period of time. Tylenol will eventually kill your liver. Ibuprofen will eventually kill your kidneys.

    In my case my child hates to swallow pills. This was very problematic once we returned home. She would rather deal with the pain than take a pill.

    I won't kid you and tell you everything will go well because I can't. During her stay in the hospital there will/may be:
    *Multiple x-rays taken
    *Photos of her back taken in various positions prior to surgery (this depends on the hospital)
    *Numerous blood draws. (both through and then w/o a catheter)
    *My daughter had 2 catheters in one arm and one in the other for receiving meds and for drawing blood. The one that really was scary was the arterial catheter as, just as the name says, it goes right into an artery in the wrist.
    *Two epidural lines. One had morphine. The other, Ketamine.
    *A bladder catheter.
    * An enema (or 2 in my case). This is ONLY if her digestive system is locked up. This was the ONLY thing that I would not stay in the room for. I don't know how the nurses do it!
    * A blood transfusion (or 2 in my daughter's case).
    * Some hospitals use drainage tubes in the incision. Ours didn't.

    She will be pale. Some kids look bloated and a bit bruised. Luckily my daughter didn't bloat or bruise.

    My daughter wanted this surgery. She wanted to be out of pain.

    The BIG thing that helped her over the decision making hump: "You'll be taller". I think it was that ONE thing that really made her want this surgery. She gained 3 inches. The nurses where we had surgery said the biggest improvement they've ever seen was 5 inches.

    You'll have to approach this with your daughter in a manner that you think would be best for her.

    Bring her to this website and let her look at some of the before and after photos.
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  12. #117
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    21
    It's still good to get the real picture of what we may expect. Even if is not all roses.

    You are right. The problems that can effect the lung and the heart and in Kristen's case her kidneys (which are getting very squished) have to be considered. It might be too theoretical for a teenager to worry about.

    She is getting in more pain, and she doesn't like taking anything for it either. Massages only help now when she is getting one. So that could help.

    But the height thing could definitely get her. We have a chart on the wall, where I have measured her and her two sisters and her brother. Her 16 year old brother has grown past her. Her 11 year old sister is catching up to her. She was briefly as tall as her 19 year old sister, but has lost height.

    I guess we just keep working on her. I know she needs alot of this information, but I am serious...both her and her Dad will pass out if they have to read or see any of it.

    At least we have a few months to let it slowly sink in to both of them.

    Did you need any special stuff once you got your daughter home? Does she need a lot of help at home?

    Thanks and take care,
    Kristen's MOM

  13. #118
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    100
    We really didn't need anything once she was home. I was terrified of leaving the hospital as I didn't have the upper body strength to roll her from side to side like the nurses were every 2 hours.

    I have a sister-in-law that's a CNA. She was going to come over and teach me how to do everything and she had a lot of medical equipment that I could borrow (like a walker, etc).

    But, once my daughter received the medication for the bladder infection and the 2nd blood transfusion it was a whole different story.

    She was able to walk with very little help. Just as a precaution I had her in a wheelchair for our trip back (didn't want her getting bumped into in the crowded airports).

    Once we were home she was able to get around on her own. She was able to shower on her own. Able to use the bathroom on her own. I think just being home made a world of difference.

    Other than one rough night where she did ask for one of the Hydrocodone, it's not been bad at all.

    She's still very tired and wants to lay in bed most of the day but we've been forcing her to come out to the livingroom and sit in a nice comfy chair. She's still going through mood swings but that's almost normal for someone almost 15. I think around that age they start to go a bit crazy. I could tell you horror stories about my oldest daughter! lol.

    Today she went to the mall with her father to get some clothes for school. She was good for about 1.5 hours before she felt she was pushing it and they decided to come home.

    She still has the surgi-tape on her back and it's not curling yet, as I would have hoped.

    QUESTION to those who have gone through this: How long did you wait to take that tape off? Did you wait for it to fall off or did you have to start removing it yourself? At the hospital they said it should start curling and when it did to cut it off as close to the skin as possible (said to use nailclippers). We're just past 3 weeks since the surgery if that helps.
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  14. #119
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    47

    So glad Cheyenne is doing so great!

    My daughter didn't have that type of bandage. She had the dressing covered by a wide piece of tape, which the nurse took off 10 days post-op. Then, all was held together with surgical glue, which started coming out of her incision at about 3-4 weeks post-op. It was a little bit of a mess. Got all over a couple shirts and was really gunky and stringy coming off. I wasn't prepared for that at all!

    But, really, I logged in to mostly tell you I am so glad Cheyenne's recovery is going well. I think going out to shop for 1.5 hours at only three weeks post-op is amazing.

    I have only just recently begun to appreciate how much better (straighter) my daughter's back looks. All of her clothes fit better and no more crooked lettering when she wears a t-shirt with words on the back! And I know she feels better about herself, too. Her posture is amazing, in fact we tease her about her "enforced" good posture!
    Jill, mom to 14-year-old daughter who had spinal fusion surgery (T3 to L1) June 21, 2010. (Pre-op curves 52T and 30L.)

  15. #120
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    100
    We have this type of bandaging: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...tches82810.jpg

    I had her try on a pair of pants she had bought prior to her surgery and they fit fine. She was a bit disappointed but I reminded her that they didn't do anything to make her legs longer. Plus she wears those low cut style of jeans. Where she was fused is higher than where the waistline is (which is a good thing comfort-wise). However, they were kind of bunched up at the bottom before and now they're straight.

    I have noticed that she still has a shoulder out of balance. In the hospital it seemed like everything had balanced out with her shoulders and hips but the one shoulder being higher than the other is very obvious now that we're home. Could this be from her laying in bed using her netbook so much?

    Do you think this will work itself out in time? Or, should she be doing some form of physical therapy? In fact, has anyone had their child in PT after a fusion? And if so, did it help?
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

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