Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: One year post revision, the highs and lows

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    185

    One year post revision, the highs and lows

    Well, it's a year today since my surgery. It's great to be not staring down the barrel of an operation at this time of year, heading into christmas and summer with my family knowing that this year it will be enjoyable. And, I can participate in all the activities!

    So, the year could be divided up into physical health, university, family and relationships.

    Physical health is the big factor that drove how all the other areas were. Don't underestimate the impact that surgery has on all these areas, because there is a big difference between thinking and believing you are up to something and actually being able to manage it. I had a lot of help up until a few weeks ago with housework and things. I could still probably do with some, but I am now managing. The help was to enable me to get on with some of the university and rehabilitation stuff that I priorotised. I have had periods this year when I have been totally pain free. And other times where I have been pain-full. But, the pain free times have given me hope that I will have longer and longer periods where I am not too sore. The pain that I have had recently has been from doing too much, and taking a student placement job which was on the other side of town. So, 2 hours a day travel on top of a full day 'up' had been quite taxing.

    I feel ready to heal in a holistic sense now, I have had a really big year with my physical health as well as my mum having a recurrance of cancer which she is recovering ok from. I feel like all the physical stuff has taken a toll on me emotionally, and that in turn is feeding back into my ability to recover. I had some accupuncture yesterday which was quite helpful.

    University has been good, although I am a bit further behind than I would like to be. On the other hand, there are others who haven't had the obstacles I have had this year and are in a similar position to me. So I'm not being too hard on myself. Next year is an internship so I have taken one close to home to enable me to have a better work life balance. So, I picked a good job but one that is really based on my health rather than the actual job itself. The things there that will keep me healthy are that they finish on time every day, and I have my own office where I can lie down for a break if I need to, and also I don't have to travel too far so I can go to the gym on the way to or from work.

    Personal life, well I got engaged this year, so that was great! My fiance is an amazing support to me, and he has given me so much of himself this year in helping me to recover. He's not always perfect, I think at times he could have picked up the slack a bit more, but the impact that all this must have had on him is something that I shouldn't forget. He was wonderful when I was recovering, and did things that no boyfriend should have to do!

    Friends and family wise, that was where the biggest surprises came from. People who I didn't anticipate supporting me did, and people that I thought would be there for me weren't at all. The biggest hurts came from people who I thought I could rely on not visiting me, not understanding, and not helping. In particular my sister who lives opposite me didnt' help out at all, and I had given her hours and hours of childcare and support when she had her child 2 years prior. My mother in law gave me loads of support with housework, and she is the person who helped me the most throughout the year. My own family was supportive but at a distance.

    Overall, I am glad I had the surgery. I didn't expect perfection going in to it, I was happy with a reduction in pain and no more progression. I think I got that, my surgeon discharged me for the first time ever! I grew, physically and probably emotionally. I learned a lot about looking after my own interests a bit more, and not investing time in people who don't value me and instead giving my energy to people who reciprocated when I needed it most. Going into the surgery was one of the scaryest things that I have had to do, and one of those things that you have to do and have a choice, but at the same time you don't. What I would really like now is time to recoup, and recover fully. I'm taking a 3 week holiday on the yacht, cruising around the Bay of Islands, New Zealand... google it and see if I make you envious! I am thrilled to be able to enjoy the NZ summer this year, and not spend it in a lazyboy!

    Thanks for listening to my reflections, I hope that I can offer hope to those of you who are going through surgery and recovery. My number one piece of advice is to not be too hard on yourself, priorotise rehabilitation and recovery and the rest of the world (work, studies) can wait. You only get one shot at it (recovery), so make it count.
    1994 curve at age 13, 70 degrees, untreated
    2000 Anterior fusion with instrumentation T9-L2, corrected to 36 degrees, 14 degree angle between fused and un-fused thoracic spine.
    2007 26 degrees junctional scoliosis
    Revision surgery, 6th December 2007 T4 to L3, Posterior approach.
    msandham.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978

    Thank you!!!

    nz-- that was a wonderful post and I'm sure will give many people a really good idea of surgery and recovery for someone your age, including some of the ups and downs you experienced. We mostly just hear about the physical recovery without discussing our disappointments, emotions, and struggles with coming to grips with what we've gone through and adjustments we have to make. Some people pop right back into their former lives, but some have to change and prioritize what they do. It sounds like you are being very wise in that sense. I know you'll continue to do well and have a great life. I have enjoyed getting to know you this past year and love having your pics in my scrapbook. Thanks so much!

    I am so glad you are having that 3 week holiday! What a super time! Whoo hoo!

    Thanks again so much for sharing your plans and insights with us-- and keep us posted with how things are going with school, and when you and your fiance "set the date", etc. Hugs, Susie
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal 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
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show 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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    185
    Thanks Suzie, and for the PM's. I really think that the psychological stuff can be the hardest but it's not talked about enough. It's easy to underestimate the impact that surgery has on your relationships, your feelings, and just general ability to function.
    I'm starting an internship next year, and I am a bit nervous about working full time. But, I will have my own office so hopefully can have a sneaky lie down in the middle of the day.
    It's great to have the forum, knowing that others are going through similar things is really helpful.
    1994 curve at age 13, 70 degrees, untreated
    2000 Anterior fusion with instrumentation T9-L2, corrected to 36 degrees, 14 degree angle between fused and un-fused thoracic spine.
    2007 26 degrees junctional scoliosis
    Revision surgery, 6th December 2007 T4 to L3, Posterior approach.
    msandham.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    850

    Emotionally draining...

    Nzgirl,
    I found these operations to be just as emotionally taxing as the physical element. I had ant/post surgery and it took me a long time to bounce back! Looking back, it took a year or so out of my life but well worth it...
    My doctor said it could be a year to two years to be back to normal and he was right on the mark.......


    ant/post surgery Aug. 2006/Dr. Boachie/Kim
    95 curve reduced to 60
    Last edited by lelc2002@yahoo; 12-09-2008 at 04:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    185
    Thanks, that's good to know. It is helpful to know that I will keep getting better, because that is certainly how I feel... a work in progress!
    1994 curve at age 13, 70 degrees, untreated
    2000 Anterior fusion with instrumentation T9-L2, corrected to 36 degrees, 14 degree angle between fused and un-fused thoracic spine.
    2007 26 degrees junctional scoliosis
    Revision surgery, 6th December 2007 T4 to L3, Posterior approach.
    msandham.blogspot.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •