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Old 06-12-2013, 12:17 AM
allenalee allenalee is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1
Default 2 weeks and 3 days post op

Hi all,

Just wanted to share my experience with you guys. I had a T8-L1 anterior spinal fusion. I'm 16 years old. I had a 48 degree curve, but my doctor hasn't told me how many degrees it is down to now. I used to have my left hip protruding and my right arm never touched my hip, which was very unusual. After the surgery, I gained about 2cm in height. I still have a top curve which is about 24 degrees, so my right shoulder became lower after the surgery, but I just made a habit of lifting it up.

I was in hospital for 8 days and in the ICU for 3 days because my right lung was deflated during the surgery and they wanted to monitor it. They gave me a breathing device to help me restore my lung back to normal and I have to use it everyday. I found that the meds made me lose focus a lot, because I could not concentrate on reading my books AT ALL! I also tended to stare out in space like a zombie haha! I found the pain almost unbearable at times during the 1st week at hospital, but lying down was comfortable. I HATED having to be turned in the ICU to be wiped and cleaned or to get the chest tube out! However, when I went home and it was finally the 2nd week, the pain was much more tolerable and I began to walk faster and sit up longer. In fact, sometimes I'd sit up for most of the day and I would only lie down once it was time to sleep. I have been reading a lot of other stories and everyone seems to find it uncomfortable to sit up for longer than 30 minutes... I have been able to do it for hours! I had pillows for about a week, but about 2 days ago I stopped using them and could finally lean back on the sofa, cross my legs without getting muscle spasms etc. I even lied down sideways on the recliner! I still can't really lie down on my side though, because I start finding it hard to breathe. I find that lying down hurts. I don't know why! I slept on the sofa and my bed and they were both painful. I sleep on the recliner now and it's less painful, but at the hospital it always stopped hurting when I lied down and fell asleep! The pain on my back hurts the most in the mornings when I wake up. Usually it's just the part where my rib was removed that hurts (it felt sort of numb at first, but now I can feel the pain).

Anyway, I met up with my friends today to watch a movie and finally went shopping for the first time! I got tired after about 6 hrs though, which was pretty unusual since I have a pretty strong stamina for shopping haha! Then again, I did walk a lot... pretty fast too compared to when I was at hospital! I just had to be careful not to bump into anyone. I have to say, I am quite impressed with how fast my recovery is. Car rides are also completely normal for me. The bumps don't hurt at all. They don't bother me. I can only feel a bit of discomfort sometimes when the car turns. I can also lift my right arm and wear most clothing because my scar is on the right side (about 2 inches beneath my arm pit) so you can't see it from the front or the back. It's also only about 20cm in length. I feel that I'm pretty lucky. I can also bend over pretty far (enough to touch my knees, but I'm too scared to try my toes). I can finally shower and dress by myself (I had my mum helping me in the hospital).

When I first got the surgery, I wasn't expecting it to be so hard to cope with! I had a really bad reaction to the painkillers they first gave me... I hated it! I kept thinking that the surgery wasn't worth all this pain because I had less pain before the surgery. But now I see that the future has become brighter! In just 1 week, I feel that I have improved heaps! I feel stronger. I even almost feel normal again (except I have lost the pleasure of taking naps in the afternoon as it hurts to lie down... very unusual since everyone else seems to prefer it to sitting up).

I don't know if having the anterior way made me have more mobility or made my recovery faster, but I'm glad I got it instead of posterior. I have screws, no rods. No regrets! I will be going back to shop on Saturday again... can't wait!
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