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Thread: on to the "other side"!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    on to the "other side"!

    i really like that expression some have used, the "other side," referring to postop vs preop

    anyway, i'm packing now and leaving tomorrow (tues 5th) early am to get to st. louis for my 11am appt for central line placement and surgery weds 6th

    i am still not the least bit nervous except for maybe a little excitement as i can't wait to begin to get better; i had my preop visit last week with anesthesia with all the tests so it's definitely a go; saw dr lenke and kelly; i have confidence in dr lenke and all his staff; i want to go home as quickly as possible and kelly said the best thing i could do is get up and walk as soon as possible which i intend to do

    i'll try to keep a diary so i can give an accurate account to the forum later about how things went; my memory alone certainly may not be very reliable; i'm taking a nurse friend (besides my wife) and they're going to help me and remind me to make some notes daily

    so it'll probably be a few weeks before i next post; good luck to heidi and everyone else
    59 yo recently retired otolaryngologist (ENT surgeon)
    schedule oct 2010 for T11 - sacrum fusion, all posterior approach with pedicle screws, steels rods, revision decompression left L3-4, right L4-5 & L5-S1, transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion L3-4 L4-5 L5-S1
    with titanium cages
    Dr Lenke, WashU/Barnes/Jewish St. Louis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Waterloo, IL
    Best of luck, Junosand. I, too, have lots of faith in Dr. Lenke. I go for my pre-op tests in Nov. so I'll get a first hand report about you from Dr. Lenke. I'm looking forward to your posts when you are able.
    Also, best wishes for a smooth surgery and recovery to Gayle and Heidi on the 11th.

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Good Luck Junosand & have a safe trip... are you getting your central line & surgery all in one day? My sons first followup is tomorrow and we will be at Dr. Bridwells office in the morning...
    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. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Good luck with everything! I was in St Louis for almost 2 weeks with my Aug 31 surgery. Barnes and the nursing staff were very good. They had me up and walking the next morning. My recovery is going great. Today I walked 1.25 mi on my treadmill. ( trying to keep with Bridwell's schedule of 2 miles by the end of Oct.) I liked the PT staff at Barnes as well. I wanted to walk so I could get the darn catheter removed! Anyway, you'll do great! It is so much better being "on the other side."
    Age 56
    Wore a Milwaukee Brace for 3 years in hs
    Fused L4-S1 for high grade spondylolisthesis Jan '09 in Indy
    Thoracic 68
    Surgery Aug 31, 2010 T3 to L1
    Dr Bridwell St Louis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    How about a new scoli classic, junosand? Doctor-as-patient!

    Bon voyage, junosand! As a physician, you've made a real contribution in your (so far) short time here. I look forward to your return, notes in hand.

    As a "fellow traveler" straddling both worlds, you'll continue that unique contribution if you do keep that promised diary. Yes! An appeal to your wife and nurse friend to help. Try to include medical info others might miss. The availability of special vocabulary/understanding will enrich your observation of the landscape you'll pass through - internal and external.

    We are adventurers but our derring-doo isn't empty risk-taking like those who try to bicycle across the Andes or climb sheer rock faces in the dark. We have a rich reward dangled before us, far from guaranteed, but a largely personal treasure that only we can claim FOR and BY ourselves. Money can reduce risk and pain, but unlike many life dangers, there's no escape. No one can be "paid off" to take our place in this Draft.

    I have a feeling you yourself will be glad of your notes down the road, both as a curiosity and reference. We who have this horizen of physical and emotional change ahead of us, will certainly welcome your story. (There aren't that many of us, but always considering the marketplace - there IS a broader appeal too ) Imagining finding such an adventure story, I'm reminded of the fascination the educated public has always had for such explorations - like the early sea-farers setting out for that Terra Incognita cartographers used to represent by sea serpents.

    Though not pictured, there was also the allure drawing them over the "shelf" of the known world - the riches of the "West Indies". For them, that was: tea, spices, silks, procelain. For us, the appeal is the freedom represented by Ed's "advantages of Fusion thread" now re-running. We can't be reminded too often of the reasons we dare, especially as deadlines near.

    Hoping you can add to this story - and more richly because of your perspective. Please tell the truth as much as you can. Don't gloss over anything - joining what I sometimes feel is a semi-parental role of reassurance, a bit like mothers to be, are often spared "the truth" - hard AND glorious. Speaking as one who did great twice with Lamaze breathing alone - thanks to good luck and good preparation. But if I'd been psyched up only for horror, I doubt I'd have "caught my breath".

    I always tell new mothers to consider this childbirth method which has sadly gone out of vogue. But it does require practice and openness. This must be much of what is meant by "a positive attitude" to this surgery - and I'm struggling with it, especially after the recent tidal wave of bad news.

    Hopefully, you'll be in a unique position to counter that - both because of a good outcome and your ability to tell the story in depth. Some of us are reassured by information and detail - as a physician can best provide. Personally, I'd very much welcome a doctor's guided tour of the scoli journey, doctor-as-patient. Dr. Michael Neuwirth wrote a good book about scoli surgery (I'm reading it now), but it would have been great if he had been not only surgeon, but patient!

    Again, bon voyage and bon courage, junosand!
    Last edited by Back-out; 10-04-2010 at 05:59 PM.
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Yes, Junosand, .....What she said....(Amanda)...

    You have helped me also, and I appreciate it. I hope you welfare well to the other side, and I look forward to your notes, diaries, comments, and your excellent recovery.

    Amanda...You are our Shakespeare- not always easy to understand, but well worth the effort! You said it all...
    58 yrs old, diagnosed at 31, never braced
    Measured T-64, L-65 in 2009
    Measured T-57, L-56 in 2010, different doc
    2 lumbar levels spondylolisthesis
    Exercising to correct

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New Bern, NC
    I add my best wishes for a successful surgery and outcome Junosand.
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F.

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    You sound great Junosand! Positive and prepared - the best way to be. Excited even. All the very best to you!

    I hope our other October surgery patients are doing ok in these last weeks/days. I hope you're even starting to feel a bit of Junosand's excitement.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Carlyle, IL
    Good luck Junosand! I wish I had words like Amanda but I, sadly, am not that good. That journal is a good idea and would be really interesting!
    35 year old mother of 2 lil girls
    60 degree thoracic
    44 degree lumbar
    Oct. 11, 2010 surgery
    Dr. Lenke St. Louis
    1 year follow up: 15 degree thoracic, 22 lumbar
    fused T1 to L1

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Yes, Junosand-- we'll look forward to hearing from you on the other side! And the journal is an excellent idea. My husband did mine for me... I'm not sure I could have. He kept notes each day of the main (and some not so main) events. It was very interesting to read later on. And he took pictures too. Later I made a little scrapbook.

    You are all set to go, with a positive attitude. It's almost like Christmas to a child. Excited anticipation is great. Healing thoughts and prayers for you from me for Wednesday.
    71 and plugging along... but having some problems
    2007 52° w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15°
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    10/2018 x-rays - spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Good luck to you Junosand. I love your positive attitude and wish you a great recovery!
    Chris, Austin, TX
    80 degree thoracic/36 degree lumbar curves
    Surgery 8/2/10, Anterior Cervical Decompression/Fusion
    C4/5, C5/6, C6/7
    New Surgery date 10/25/2010, T-2 to Pelvis, posterior
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine and Scoliosis Center

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Ames, Iowa
    Just want to echo the well wishing of all the above. I'll be interested to hear your reports from another Dr. Lenke patient. As you know, you're in good hands! Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Best Wishes! You are in good hands, literally! I will be thinking of you on Wednesday and look forward to hearing from you or your wife as you are able.
    46 yrs at surgery, now 50
    71 degree thoracolumbar curve corrected to 34 degrees
    8/2/2010 surgery with Dr. Lenke

    posterior T9 to sacrum with pelvic fixation

    4 osteotomies and 1 cage

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008

    It will be very interesting to read your thoughts about scoliosis surgery from a surgeon's point of view....

    You could have so much fun if you ask the nurses when the "wheelchair races" begin, or when the "injured persons dance contest" starts. Remember, no smiling when you ask.

    I always try to have fun in every situation.

    Best wishes,
    49 yr old male, now 63, the new 64...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion

    My x-rays

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Best of luck doc. I look forward to hearing from you on the other side.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

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