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Chrissy.........Checking In

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Old 08-14-2008, 07:56 PM   #1
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Chrissy.........Checking In

Hi Honey!

I wanted to let you know that you are on my mind and I have been checking in throughout the day looking for a post about todays appt. Hope I did not get the date wrong. LORD knows I have been praying alot for you.

I pray that it went well and that all of your questions were answered and that your doctor was able to give you the reassurance and give you some answers concerning the path he plans on taking in your medical care.

Blessings to you my friend.

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Old 08-15-2008, 07:38 AM   #2
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

Good Morning Pepper! and Everyone!

Well the appointment went well. I let it all go and had no expectations about the appoinment when I went in. Actually the last thing I did was pray before walking into the building.

I asked that God help me to accept whatever the outcom and direction the Ortho wanted to go in. My Mom prayed with me.

We discussed that we were not going to leave the appointment without a plan for what was to happen if no surgery date was going to be an option.

I Finally go the go ahead for surgery! We dont have an exact date yet but we have decided it iis time.

The PA came in and talked to me extensively once again agout the tests that I recently had. He did think at first that the doc might want to have me go to have the shoulder investigated further, but after his explanation I aked if I mught explain something about about "the shoulder" He said this was fine and I asked if I may point on his body where the pain I have is becaouse I did not have any pain in the shoulder joint itself. SO I went on to point to the spot just below the very lowest end of the scapula and close to the spine where the buring pain is.
Eventually after disucssion with the PA and the PS they felt there was no reason to send my to a doc for further investigation of my shoulder because I am asymtomatic for any shoulder injury or issues.

The Ortho did discuss the fact that an ACDF surgery is not a fix all and we talked about that together, ny Mom included in all of this. I actually talked and answered and asked a lot of questions and then let her have her time.

When the Orhto asked me about my quality of life and how the neck pain effects what i do or do not any longer do, he seemd so intent on eerything I was saying.
Most importantly he actually asked me to refresh his memory of how I got to his office. He let me explain my story! I actually was able to tell him how I had injured my arm at work and had all the surgery to fix the arm to where i was not taking meds for the pain and had enough function to return to work. I got to tell him that I got off al pain meds and was ready to get my rating from workers comp and that I was actully not being treated by docs anymore for the arm. He listened and did not really interupt but to just ask a question or two. I told him how I had only been better from the arm for 3 weeks when the Car accident happened on July 10, 2007 and I found my self back in the cycle of pain an Doctor visits. He commented "Wow you really have been through a lot and had a lot of surgery ... that is a tough deal" I was shocked because I feelt he was actully listening to me as a person not just as a patient.
He and I discussed all the other forums of treatment that I have had such as injection ESI's facet blocks massage Chiro etc etc.

I told him I about being in recovery from drugs and alcohol at the last visit but repeated it again because I wanted him to know that I am unable to participate in the events of 12 step stuff and my metting attendance has beeb effected by my neck pain and injury.

I was very pleased with the way I was treated at this office. He asked me and my Mom why we wanted to change doctors and I simply told heim that Dr. Song was a good docotor but at this time I felt more comfotable having he and his team of "Spine Specialists" operating and taking over my care.

I really felt like telling him Dr. S. was a jerk and all that other stuff but refrained myself from doing so. I did have to rein my Mom in because I had said to her "whatever you do do not bad mouth the Neuro at the orthos appt." She did mention in the appointment yesterday with the Ortho about the age and I had to politley interupt and get her statemnet straightened out before it went so far as to sound like bad mouthing. i managed to re-fraise what she said in a more dignified and polite manor.

So the dates that were thrown out to me were Tis coming Wed the 20th of August, then i was told that September 5th was not a normal surgery day for Dr. Jones, but that it was not uncommon for him to do a surgery on his off day as liong as the surgery center had a O-Room available. So that is a potential day. The3rd day that was thrown out to me was September 17th. So I am expecting it to be in the next 30 days.
I called the attorney and discussed with him further reimbersiment of some money becoase I had to pay the Ortho office the current bill before being seen so he agree's to just come in next week and he would cut a check for whatever. The I had to get him on the ball to see if we could get a lein at the surgery center and for him to also contact the ortho's office about a lein or how those payments were to be handled. SO a few things to be worked out. The attorney said just set the date and we will worry about the rest later! That works for me.
I have my paper work/orders for having my EKG, chest x-ray, and blood work done so I will try to do that this afternoon maybe.

I feel the September 5th date would be the best for me. That dat will enable me to go to class at least 2 times before surgery. I also did aske the doc if school was going to be an issue and he said as long as I feel my body can do ot then he is fine with it but he did say DON"T PUSH!! I told him that I was working with a disabliities counselor on all that.

I am just having fun with color words

I also talked to the OS and let him know that after surgery I planned to go and see the Pain Psychologist to help with support in that area. He thought that was great and that I was acting like the kind of patient who is very positive and involved in the recovery process which also has been proven in research that patoents that are doing these things will often have better outcome then a patient who is not that acive in the positivity and recovery process. Did that all make sense?

Over-all, my Mom and I were at first after seing the PA thinking the Ortho would want me to go through further investigation for the shoulder. So we were happy to hear that they had listened to me about no having pain in the actual joint of my shoulder and that no treatment for that area was waranted.
We felt very comfortable and at ease with this Ortho and his practice. We felt things were explained to us and time was taken to listen to us. I had even forgot to ask an imprtant question that had popped into my head. When I remembered it I asked if I may speak to the doc again and he had already moved on to his next patient. He actually came back in and gladly answered my question.

So my friends, now that I finally have the yes and go-ahead for surgery I feel all the little fears that come along with that. I have made the decision to do the surgery and accept what God brings to the table as an outcome. I have felt for a long time that the next option for me to try and have some semblance of returing to parts of my old life was to try the surgery. I am fully aware of the risks and was also given a detailed booklet pertaining to this surgery.
The thing is and I think this is normal for a person who has made the decision to do any kind of second guess my decision. In my head and heart I know FOR SURE this is what i want to do, but still my human mind wants to doubt or question if this is the best choice.
I did ask the surgeon what would I be doing if I decided to no try surgery? He said you and your PM would try to manage with meds mostly becuse you have already tried the other methods with no result. He did expain that over time things would just basically continue to deteriorate because of the gel like substance leaking out of my discs. He explained how they wouls become more and more dehydrated and flattened.

So now I have to prepare myself for the next step in this process. I am happy to be moving forward. I have been waiting a long time for this. The Ortho also said that some peoples discs would heal from this type of problem but becasue it has been a year that is vey unlikely now. he also stated that since it has been 6 months since the first surger and I am still feeling poorly---this also makes me a sort of a "text-book candidate" for further surgical intervention.

Well now there you have it. Yes I know another very long post. So now what I need is to relax and take it easy as usual.

Thank you all for your support, and thank you in advance for your continuation of support!!

((((((((((((hugs and prayers for all)))))))))))))))))


Old 08-15-2008, 08:54 AM   #3
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

That is such good news! It sounds like you have a great ortho. I have 7 more credits to finish at school before I head back into the working world and I fear that once I do it will aggravate my arm injury(2 surgeries already) and I will have to have another surgery. I understand how you can be relieved and worried at the same time. But, continue to 'let it go' and follow this path that god has set out for you. Don't let things get too wildly out of control but let things happen.

That's great that you will get your surgery in less than 30 days. That will fly by like nothing. I really hope that this helps with your pain. Did they give you any sort of estimate about how much it could help? I'm sorry I can't remember but what exactly are they doing? Fusing you neck? Which vertebrae are we talking about?

I, too, have burning right next to my scapula. I've had numerous injections and blocks in c-5, 6 and 7(because of the pain underneath my collarbone) but I wonder if something in the thoracic area would help with the burning(and stabbing) pain since it is much lower. What did he say this could be caused from and what can be done about it??

Anyway, sorry for the million questions and congrats!!!! Now, take a couple of days to do nothing before school starts and just "relax, think of nothing tonight"_Jesus Christ Superstar. Take care,~Mush
undiagnosed lung and back pain after pneumonia in '03, tmj, migraines,(two failed surgeries for) Kienbock's disease

Old 08-15-2008, 09:13 AM   #4
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In


I'm so happy for you that you FINALLY are on your way to having a surgery date. It's much easier to tolerate pain if you know that on X day you are going to have the surgery and start moving forward. Has the school found someone to take notes for you while you are gone? My husband did that in one of his classes when he was doing the gened classes at the community college.


Old 08-15-2008, 09:44 AM   #5
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

That is great news and I wish you only the best sweetie. I want to throw something out to you- only a friend would feel comfortable with asking this - but have you thought of dropping school for a semester just so you can concentrate on healing and putting your all into your recovery? The reason I ask is because you have been thru so much and the break might be good for you mentally and physically.

Best of luck sweetie!

Old 08-15-2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

Good news Chrissy.

Will you be able to hang in there until surgery?

I am so pleased for you. I will be praying as often as I can.

I would write more, but I have some kind of infection - maybe kidney - and it's hurting alot, and I have a fever so I'm zoned out. Just not a good mindset to be writing alot. Now I have to call my insurance co and try to fight the prior authorization thing. Wish me luck.


Old 08-15-2008, 02:38 PM   #7
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

Hey everyone,

The orthos office called with the surgery date!!!

September 3rd will be the day. They will tell me later what time of day the surgery will be. I am hoping for a morning surgery but at this point I am happy to just be moving forward.

I will try to answer some of the questions.

I will be having C 4-5 and C 5-6 fused. They are using a carbon fiber spacer thing that goes between the vertebra and then the bone fragments fuse around it. I will wear an aspen collar for 4-6 weeks or longer if needed. They say it is a one night stay over in the hospital with the possibilty of more depending on how I am doing.

The ortho has informed me thatthis surgery is generally a bit more successful for people who have spinal cord compression etc. For those who have discogenic problem the outcomes vary a lot. He said that being that the pain and injury has not gone on for years and years the chances for a good outcome are better.
He also seemed to like that I had done research about the surgery and that I understand all the risks. He also was happy to hear that I have and I am still working on developing a plan for being very active in my recovery process. I did tell him immediately or even before surgery comes I will being going to see the Pain psychologist. I also told him of the evaluation I had with the Pain Psych. All this was good in the orthos eyes. I think knowing and understanding as mcuh as you possibly can going into your surgery and having a plans for handeling are real good to do as a patient.

As far as school goes I will try to explain a bit about why it is important for me to give it a try.
I have my health insurance through the college I attend. They do allow a 4 month break from classes while carrying a health Ins. policy with them. The thing is I really had expected to be having this surgery durning the summer before the fall semester started so I did not take any units this summer. That being said my four months would expire in September.
I have tried to find better health insurance but because of al the diferent things I have going on medically and the fact that I had gone to drug and alcohol treatment 2 times in 8 years along with all these surgeries in the last four years ... no health Ins. companies wanted to insure me and I was denied by at least 5 companies I tried to buy HI with. So I get what I get through the scholl but it is better then nothing even though I do complain about it.

So I discussed with the Ortho surgeon that I was signed up to atten 1 class this fall semester. I explained the class I was to take would be one afternoon a week for 2 hours and 45 minutes with a 15 min break in the middle. I also explained that since the accident I went to the disabilities counseling office and now have a counselor I work with there that arranges me things such as a note taker or a special type of chair that is more comfortable then a plastic hard chair. I also have a mini tape recorder that I take to class with me incase I need to be getting up and leaving the room. This recorder can also be given to the councelor or another class mate to record in my absence.
The doctor said I need to NOT push myself and it was fine to attend class. He said his instructions were to listen to my body and again...don;t push it. SO if it comes to it and I need to drop out I will have attended probably enough classes that with a doctors note and all that I will be able to continue the insurance even if I need to drop. I think I am ok in that area.

Pepper, I learned my lesson last semester! I will NOT go through what I did last semester. If I need to drop out I will do so in a heart beat. I need to be able to heal as best as I possibly can! There is no turning back after this surgery so I plan to do everything the doctor say to do ...or not to do if that makes sense.

Right now I feel like the shock of it is still sort of settleing in. I spoke with the back office gal ot the orthos office today and we discussed a few concerns about post op pain, and the anesthesia issues that I have. I explained to her when I had my last surgery with Dr. s. the Nero, the anesthesiologist di a great job and it was the easiest time I had ever experienced with anesthesia. She asked whom it was and i relayed the info back to her about the name of the particular group and the exact anesthesiologist her was there at the lst surgery in Jan. SHe said they may be able to get him to do it again and if not they willl get the notes so the one who will do it this time will be able to follow the other one's outline.

Lots of things floating around in my head right now. I would like to purchase this particular pillow called a "wedge pillow". I know Bed Bath and Beyond has some but I would like mine to be a higher wedge that puts me into a half reclined and half sitting position. I have seen them on-line but maybe buying two at the Bed bath and Beyoned would work good just buy putting them together. I will look around in thenext fe days.

Anyhow I think that takes care if it for now! My Mom just left to go home and we are both very tired. We photographed all the jewelry tat I have made so that we can open my on-line store and get that rolling alond.

I was planning to go to my folks beofre school starts, but I am now considering waiting untill after surgery because I will always have 6 days between class days, and it will alo be a compromise for my Mom to be at her home some of the time I need to be taken care of during the month after surgery.


Old 08-15-2008, 05:56 PM   #8
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

Chrissy, just a quick note now. Congratulations! I think you've done a great job of investigating this and pushing for what you think is right. I can't write much now, but just wanted to say that I am happy for you. Nice work on figuring out the insurance stuff - you will definitely want to hold on to the school insurance as long as you can since you will probably have physical therapy and other medical costs after the surgery....Realize it may be tough to take a class through all of this though.

Doctor sounds really good!

Old 08-15-2008, 07:32 PM   #9
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

So did your ortho give you an increase in meds to help with the pain until surgery? And like someone previously mentioned, will you be able to go back to school so soon after surgery? I'm not too familiar with fusion surgery, but it seems like it would take some time to heal.

Old 08-15-2008, 07:38 PM   #10
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

Scratch the last post about school, we crossed in cyber space. Too bad you can't take the class over the internet.

Old 08-16-2008, 05:31 AM   #11
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

thank you Confused and kmit!

Yes I think this practice treats the whole patient and not just the injury. That is a good thing.

As far as the school goes it is an unfortunate thing to say but because I was on workers comp for 3 1/2 years before the car accident ever happened, I have actully been through a few surgeries while in school.

This time I absolutley will not push myself! I do not eant to do anything that will compromise what is being done by the surgeon and like he said I really need to listen to my Body. I will have my Mom here with me after the surgery so I am sure she will be more than happy to tell me when she thinks I should stay


Old 08-17-2008, 05:17 AM   #12
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

Chrissy you finally have a date for your surgery, I am so pleased for you.
It does sound like you have done everything you could do to prepare.
I am praying this goes well, you deserve it.
I have seen the pillow wedges, you know we have a place that cuts any shape or size you need when it comes to things like pillows, matress tops & so on. I did not even know anywhere like that existed until someone told me about it at the medical supply. So my husbund & I took a ride in there & I was amazed at all the differnent things they sell & offer. The name of the store is the foam factory. I am not sure if there is anything like that by you, but they may have a website. The place was so busy I was shocked at the amount of people who were there. As I said they can cut (if they do not have it) anything, any size from any material. The prices were not to bad.
Now that you mention the wedge it does sound like it would be comfortable.
Perhaps I will look into something like the in the future, you know take some pressure off these shoulders by sitting up abit more.
You better believe I will be keeping a close eye on how this surgery goes for you. I am having thoracic ESIs done Sept, 4, so I will be home for a few days (hopefully) unless I have any problems. I can pop on here & see how its going with you. You are in my prayers my friend, this has been along journey for you. Take care & god bless, Sammy

Old 08-17-2008, 07:11 AM   #13
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Re: Chrissy.........Checking In

Thanks Sammy,

I appreciate the info and will check it out later. I hope things with your PM are getting worked out and you will be feeling better soon. Even though I will have surgery the day before you next inj. I will be keeping you close inmy heart and praying for a good outcome for you.

The pain woke me this morning at about 1:30 am. I took some BT meds and went back to sleep after using the heat pad for 20 minutes, but I did not wake up untill after 6 am which means my normal schedule for my meds is a bit different today and will need to be adjusted accordingly.

My Mom and I on Friday had to photograph all my jewlery and it was very very hot outside when we did it. It needed to be done outsidde for lighting puposes. It took a few hours and the both of us were pretty well fried afterward and My pain has been up ever since.
Not to mention I am a bit overwhelmed because I have waited so long for this surgery and now it is a reality and it is still setting in. Like I can't get my head wrapped around it completely.

There are lots of little things that need to be done and I fell very scattered and unorganized. I also know I need to be taking it easey because I am aready inflamed and pain levels are also elevated and of course my body needs rest.
Being that I woke up late I will make it to church late and then the only other thing I might try to do today is go have the EKG and blood work at the hospital if they will do it today. The church and hospital are near eachother so good idea for saving Gas.

Anyway please forgive me eeryone if i am not posting n your thrreads. I am thinking of you all as usual and I of course I am praying for everyone!
Thanks again for all the support.
I have also posted a thread in the spinal cord disorders forum to get more input there if you all wante to check it out.

Last edited by skych; 08-17-2008 at 07:23 AM.

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