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    Old 08-08-2003, 09:14 AM   #46
    SharonJ
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    shg, I have heard that St Vincent's is an excellent hospital. Obviously you will revceive the best of care, given that your father holds a high level position there. That is important. From what I've heard, the surgery can be the best but, if the nurses mess up moving you and turning you in those first few days they can blow the whole thing. I'm sure it will make it easier to be in a hospital where they know you.

    I am so glad to have found someone that is having the same surgery, in NY, at around the same time. And someone that has the same positive attitude that I have! One thing that interests me is that you have had prior surgeries, and yet you are still able to be so positive. I know it is a very real possibility that I could need future surgery...either cervical or more lumbar and I wonder how people who keep having to have these surgeries get through it all. You must be a very strong and determined person!

    ------------------
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    Scheduled for L5/S1 360 degree fusion on 9/8
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6
    Can anyone say "just give me a whole new spine!"
    __________________
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    360 degree L5/S1 fusion on September 8th with 6 screws and 2 rods. My pain is 99.9% gone...this is the best thing I've ever done!
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6. Told that my C-spine will not be helped by surgery.

     
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    Old 08-08-2003, 09:18 AM   #47
    eliseanne
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    Dear Shg & Sharon]

    To answer your previous questions: I am almost at the 4 month mark now. I am doing well on a day to day basis. The most important piece of advice I was given (and I agree) is that when you are able, start walking! The walking actually helps with the healing process and so do as much as you can. What does my back feel like now? Well, it doesn't hurt like before the surgery. It's a healing pain, pressure, swelling (mostly at the end of the day) I am doing all housework, no lifting or moving furniture though. I just do it carefully. I love working in the garden, that is a little different because I don't have the flexibility that I once had. But with a 3 level fusion you won't. So I can't bend the way I used to (I was a dancer-very flexible)but, you just have to accept some changes. My sister in law had a 2 level fusion and is playing golf. I won't be able to but, thats because I want to keep L2 in good shape and that kind of twisting wouldn't be good for me. I won't water-skii anymore, but these are personal choices, because once you go through this surgery, you start thinking about going through another surgery and is it really worth it? Not for me. I will go back to mountain bike riding, snow skiing, hiking and have a white water river trip planned next August in Alaska. So I have goals, that is extremely important, but also to realize that you may "hit a wall" or even a plateau and get frustrated. The saying is that it takes about 18 months total to be completely better. I'll get there! Elise

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 09:37 AM   #48
    SharonJ
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    Elise...thank you for this information and encouragement. White Water Rafting in Alaska, what a wonderful goal. A trip to Alaska (7 day cruise combined with 5 day train tour) is on my list too. My other single biggest goal is about gardening. I have a very small garden now, which I can barely manage to take care of with my back and leg pain. I have convinced my husband to pull out 3 ugly bushes left by the previous owners, so that next spring I have a huge garden to plant and care for. I have all my gardening books and graph paper and I intend to plan out this garden while I am recovering. Other than that, I just want to be able to enjoy and participate in all the activities of my children's lives.

    Hey, shg...setting goals to keep in sight while recovering is a super idea. What are yours?

    ------------------
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    Scheduled for L5/S1 360 degree fusion on 9/8
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6
    Can anyone say "just give me a whole new spine!"
    __________________
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    360 degree L5/S1 fusion on September 8th with 6 screws and 2 rods. My pain is 99.9% gone...this is the best thing I've ever done!
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6. Told that my C-spine will not be helped by surgery.

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 09:47 AM   #49
    shg
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    Elise,

    Maybe I'll see you in Alaska. I was scheduled to go this year on June 1st however, the back had another plan for me; I was in the hospital for over a week and missed the trip. Anyway, I too have that goal.

    With respect to what you say here, please tell me why you can ski, mountain bike and white water raft yet you can't water ski? What is your current range of motion? Limitations besides lifting heavy objects?

    Keep up the great progress and please don't be afraid to keep us posted...I know for myself, this is what I need.

    SharonJ,

    My goals include, GETTING BACK TO WORK ASAP...I love what I do and then, going back to golf, sailing, competitive rugby (just kidding) and traveling.

    SHG

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 12:17 PM   #50
    magnetlady45
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    I had a spinal fusion level4-5 just 4 weeks ago. They took bone out of hip and grafted titanium rods & screws. This is my 3rd surgery. Doctor says I may always have pain in my left leg and buttock. As a matter of fact there are days when it hurts as bad as before surgery. I have cut back on my Vicodin ES to half dose 4 times a day, because I don't want to be over addicted to the stuff. I do compensate with Tylenol. I also want positive feedback. I wonder if those who have had this surgery how long did it take for pain to go away. I too am tired of negatives. I want to go back to work. If the physical therapist would give me more things to do I surely would do them. But doctor says to wait another couple weeks to do more. I walk everyday. Please help me out.

    Thanks

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 03:51 PM   #51
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    Greetings from the Heartland,
    SHG, Your operation date is coming up soon, First I wish you the best of luck. I agree with Haley from the UK, I am recovering from 360 degree fusion for the second time in 1 year. I would recommend not using BMP to fuse, mine failed and thier is a about 25% failure rate. The second time around I used my own bone from my pelvic. I use to be active also, you will need to take it slow, if you try to do to much to soon you will risk fracture of the fusion, it is almost impossible to re-fuse a fracture and you could end up in a bad way. Be very careful. I had a pump installed in the operating room, so I punch the morphine as soon as I could get my hand working. My hospital had me up and walking a few steps the day after surgery. My doctor belief is get moving as soon as possible and you will heal faster. I was in a lot of pain for a while but finally after several days of trying made it about 75 feet. The pain sometimes I think from them removing some of my own pelvic bone was bad for about 3 weeks. Get your home prepared, have meals pre-cooked or have the take out menus handy. remove any loose rugs or carpets, I slipped once that was enough for me. I moved my bed from the upstairs to the first floor of my home so I would not have to do stairs for the first weeks. I did do a big no no I drove DO NOT DO THIS steering is not the problem it is braking. The pain from simple putting on the brakes in the first few weeks is enough to pray for a hammer in the head. You do not want to risk your life or the life of others around you. I live in the country so I was risking the lives of cows. The 3 week time period though I thought the same is not something you should do. Getting in and out of a car, walking a long distance, sitting for longer than 30min at a time is going to cause pain. My doctor always said 4-6 weeks to be able to see a movie. 15-18 weeks before thinking about returning to work. I work as a mechanic, and I have a farm so hard work and long hours are nothing new I never thought I could stay in my home for so many hours, If you want to heal you will need to. I am now 11 weeks out from my second operation, I can walk without a cane, I can do chores in the house, but outside work is not a option for me at this time but will be someday. You will find warm pools are your friend. If you really want to get back fast, after your stiches heal find a 85-95degree pool and walk back and forth in it for about 1 hour , practice squats . It is still summer so forget about socks, use slip on shoes or slippers. Good Luck

    VPG

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 04:09 PM   #52
    VPG
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    Greetings From the Heartland;
    As your date for operation comes up I wish you first the best of luck, the advise I would give is simple.
    (1) Use your own bone (pelvic)instead of BMP or from the bonebank. It is more painful but fuses better. BMP can be rejected by your body or not fuse all of the way which will make you have whobbly legs and weakness.

    (2) Do not drive for 4-6 weeks, steering is not a problem, but the pain you will feel when you brake will be blinding. Trust me I drove after 2 1/2 weeks and was almost unable to stop because I could not press on the brake completely. It is not worth losing your life or someone elses.

    (3) Pre-cook meals or have take out menus handy. You will not want to stand up for longer than a few min. at a time. for awhile.

    (4) Walk as much as you can, but do not overdue it. Take it slow.

    I am recovering from my second 360 degree fusion in 1 year. The first failed I used BMP. The second time I use my own pelvic bone, I am about 11 weeks out. Plan on spending time off from work at least 17-18 weeks. I am a mechanic and I own a farm. so hard work is nothing new, You will not be able to function at first. If you want to heal fast find a pool that temp stays 85-95 degrees and walk in it back and forth for about 1 hour at a time it helps to get you back on the road to recovery. You will be able to move easier in a warm pool than on land. Be careful on bending if you fracture a fusion you may not be able to repair it. Time is the cure. I never thought I could do it. But it is a must to heal.

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 04:32 PM   #53
    eliseanne
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    Dear Shg:

    To answer your question of why no water skiiing: I don't have the ability to be a "non-agressive" water skier and do have the ability to snow ski (no black diamonds etc.) I was a water-skier since a tot, and when you tumble on a single-it hurts like h ---! It really is about how bad do I want to do things in my life. Do I want to take the chance of another injury or worse? No, so I will choose not to do certain things. Golfing is another because of the twisting that would eventually wear out L2 and I sure as heck don't want to do this again. My current range of motion is probably more than most because I was very flexible before the surg. I will never be able to "paint" my toenails again- can't curl up like that. So I guess I'll just have to have pedicures (Oh darn!) I think I can "torture" my feet to that. My limitations to lifting things are this: I did absolutly nothing for about 3 months. I didn't want to take a chance on not fusing. By the way, I had BMP and just saw my x-rays and am fusing beautifly. I don't have a reason as to why certain people fuse with BMP and others do not. All I did at about 2 mo. was walk maybe a mile or two a day. Then bed rest. No lifting, no nothin' (let me tell you, I hate the bed now) I wish I had the answers as to why some people heal better and faster than others. I have a sister-in-law who is 2 yrs older, smokes, never excercised a day in her life, is still in PT and wking p.t. 2 years later? I was told I had very good bone density-maybe is that part of healing? P.S. I had a trip to Canada planned last year & had to cancel, too much pain, but I am goin for Alaska next year! Elise

     
    Old 08-11-2003, 06:20 AM   #54
    shg
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    Good morning to all!

    SharonJ,

    As for me, I've had 3 prior lami's...which will be nothing like this however, what can I do...I need to be positive.

    The question I have for you is, after your released, are you planning on driving all the way back to the Rockaway's? That's a long trip.

    Magnetlady45,

    Welcome! I have no doubt there will be bad days as you are experiencing however, it seems as if your getting better everyday. To be able to say you've cut down on your pain meds to 4 times a day is a great thing. If you're in horrendous pain, theres no way you'd be able to do that. As for help, I'm not the one because I haven't had the surgery yet...I'm a month away from that. However, I can say that from those I've talked to who have, it takes time. Is your pain, healing pain or is it the same as it was before?

    VPG,

    Your advice is noted...thank you.

    Eliseanne,

    If that's the "torture" you'll have to endure, you'll be fine... You and I think a lot a like. You say you didn't do anything for the first 3 months...what does that mean in particular? I will not be using BMP, for me it will be part cadaver and part my own bond. I hope to be in Alaska as well!!!

    SHG

     
    Old 08-11-2003, 08:21 AM   #55
    SharonJ
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    Good morning. Wow, 3 prior surgeries! Hopefully this will be the last and it will all be behind you!

    To answer your question...yes, I will be driven home. Rockaway NJ not NY, about a 45 minutes to an hour drive. What we are going to do is hire a big Lincoln Town Car, from the car service that my husband's company uses. The back seat is huge and my husband will bring a bunch of pillows. I should pretty much be able to lay down. My bigger worry is getting in the house. There is no way to get in without having to go up a few stairs! Eeek!

    MagnetLady and VPG, thanks for posting all of this information. My doctor said the same thing about the BMP. My surgery will involve donor/cadaver graft in the front and in the rear, a combination of the bone they remove to decompress the nerve and additional bone from my hip, if necessary. If they remove enough bone from the decompression, they will not need to take hip bone.

    Elise, I too will have to be careful from now on. My doc is only going to fuse the one level, but I have DDD and spurs at all the lumbar levels above. According to my surgeon, the more levels you fuse, the more stress you put on the levels above the fusion. His hope is that by just fusing the one, I can avoid problems above the fusion. He said, I will need to be careful and take good care of my back from now on.

    ------------------
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    Scheduled for L5/S1 360 degree fusion on 9/8
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6
    Can anyone say "just give me a whole new spine!"
    __________________
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    360 degree L5/S1 fusion on September 8th with 6 screws and 2 rods. My pain is 99.9% gone...this is the best thing I've ever done!
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6. Told that my C-spine will not be helped by surgery.

     
    Old 08-11-2003, 11:39 AM   #56
    shg
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    It seems as if my response from earlier today was erased some how so I'm reposting it here...

    Good morning to all!

    SharonJ,

    As for me, I've had 3 prior lami's...which will be nothing like this however, what can I do...I need to be positive.

    The question I have for you is, after your released, are you planning on driving all the way back to the Rockaway's? That's a long trip.

    Magnetlady45,

    Welcome! I have no doubt there will be bad days as you are experiencing however, it seems as if your getting better everyday. To be able to say you've cut down on your pain meds to 4 times a day is a great thing. If you're in horrendous pain, theres no way you'd be able to do that. As for help, I'm not the one because I haven't had the surgery yet...I'm a month away from that. However, I can say that from those I've talked to who have, it takes time. Is your pain, healing pain or is it the same as it was before?

     
    Old 08-11-2003, 11:48 AM   #57
    shg
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    Good morning to all!

    SharonJ,

    As for me, I've had 3 prior lami's...which will be nothing like this however, what can I do...I need to be positive.

    The question I have for you is, after your released, are you planning on driving all the way back to the Rockaway's? That's a long trip.

    Magnetlady45,

    Welcome! I have no doubt there will be bad days as you are experiencing however, it seems as if your getting better everyday. To be able to say you've cut down on your pain meds to 4 times a day is a great thing. If you're in horrendous pain, theres no way you'd be able to do that. As for help, I'm not the one because I haven't had the surgery yet...I'm a month away from that. However, I can say that from those I've talked to who have, it takes time. Is your pain, healing pain or is it the same as it was before?

     
    Old 08-11-2003, 11:51 AM   #58
    shg
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    Good morning to all!

    SharonJ,

    As for me, I've had 3 prior lami's...which will be nothing like this however, what can I do...I need to be positive.

    The question I have for you is, after your released, are you planning on driving all the way back to the Rockaway's? That's a long trip.

    Magnetlady45,

    Welcome! I have no doubt there will be bad days as you are experiencing however, it seems as if your getting better everyday. To be able to say you've cut down on your pain meds to 4 times a day is a great thing. If you're in horrendous pain, theres no way you'd be able to do that. As for help, I'm not the one because I haven't had the surgery yet...I'm a month away from that. However, I can say that from those I've talked to who have, it takes time. Is your pain, healing pain or is it the same as it was before?

     
    Old 08-11-2003, 01:37 PM   #59
    shg
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    Good morning to all!

    SharonJ,

    As for me, I've had 3 prior lami's...which will be nothing like this however, what can I do...I need to be positive.

    The question I have for you is, after your released, are you planning on driving all the way back to the Rockaway's? That's a long trip.

    Magnetlady45,

    Welcome! I have no doubt there will be bad days as you are experiencing however, it seems as if your getting better everyday. To be able to say you've cut down on your pain meds to 4 times a day is a great thing. If you're in horrendous pain, theres no way you'd be able to do that. As for help, I'm not the one because I haven't had the surgery yet...I'm a month away from that. However, I can say that from those I've talked to who have, it takes time. Is your pain, healing pain or is it the same as it was before?

     
    Old 08-11-2003, 03:47 PM   #60
    magnetlady45
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    Hello:

    I am having better days. It seems the not so good days, I probably over did it. Today was good. Not as much pain. I would say right now that it is probably a healing pain. At least I hope so. I was told to use a moist heating pad for 20 minutes, than wait 20 minutes and then put ice for 20 minutes. Haven't done it yet but will tonight. I am 4.5 weeks since surgery. I would like to go back at least at 8 weeks. Physical therapist will start me on more exercises starting August 18. We will go from there.

     
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