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Old 24-10-2014, 11:12 PM
missjadee missjadee is offline
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Default Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

Hi everybody!

My name is Jade and I am 17 years old. I am due to have the scoliosis surgery on the 25/11/14 and I am so very nervous!

I think I am more nervous about what the recovery entails and I just want to have some degree of preparation. I am not too concerned about at home but more what is involved in my post-op hospital stay.

Can somebody give me a run-through and try to make me feel better!? I have heard the pain is unbearable and I am worried.

My hope is, that after surgery, my lung function will improve and I will no longer have to wear my scoliosis brace (I have worn it for 6 years). This is a positive side effect but I am just not too sure how bad it is going to be! I am aware pain is different for everybody but can you give me the daily routine etc? Are movies okay to bring down?
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Old 27-10-2014, 07:32 AM
Jan Jan is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

Good luck Jade, hope it all goes well for you. We have not yet been through it so I can't give you any tips yet. Some of the older posts are very helpful.
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Old 27-10-2014, 02:46 PM
Heathpal Heathpal is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

Hi Jade - Post op in hospital time is not fun but it is not as horrific as I thought it would be. Your pain should be well managed and if it is not, shout! I found lying on my back for so long was very uncomfortable, even through the epidural and meds. As soon as they let you up, shuffle about the ward as often as you can - it really helps. If you have a reclining chair by your bed, try that as it relieves the pressure on your back - worked for me. Each day gets better. Showering is bliss so get under it as soon as you are allowed. Let us know how you go. All the very best for your recovery. Heather
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:09 AM
Shan Shan is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

Hi Jade,

My daughter's experience was very good. She had just turned 13 when she had the surgery (T4-L1). She had the op on a Tuesday evening and was discharged on the Saturday morning because she was feeling so good and could manage to walk up and down the stairs in the hospital. She also took herself off all painkillers but panadol that day because she didn't feel like she needed them.

During her time in hospital, she slept a lot. She felt the pain relief she was given was fine. It certainly wasn't a walk in the park but it was much better than we had all anticipated.

She watched a bit of TV in hospital but not movies as she was too tired to get through them. During her recovery at home, however, she watched TV all the time (managed to get through the entire series of Gossip Girl in next to no time!).

18 months on and she leads a 100% normal life. She says she does not notice the fusion and it hasn't stopped her doing anything she wants to do.

Good luck for your surgery.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:29 PM
missjadee missjadee is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

Jan - I have been looking through and they have helped me immensly but ai find that their situation doesn't exactly mirror mine (not that they are meant to).

Heather - I think it is hard because I don't understand how painful, 'painful' is. I will motivate myself to move around as I don't like to be in one position for too long. I have heard that walking around makes you feel so much better, albeit a bit more tired. Yet, I need that motivation and I will try. It makes it difficult that I am travelling to Brisbane for this operation. I currently live in Far North Queensland and so the travelling is going to be a pain. Not only that, I will be away from all my family and friends which I will miss. My parents are coming down with me but I will miss my siblings and everybody else who makes life normal!

Shan - Your daughter's experience seems to mirror mine, I am getting fused from T4-L1 and my operation is on a Tuesday!!!! I want to get out as quick as I can! I will be far away from home and so it will motivate me to recover quicker! In addition to this, my brother is graduating the following Tuesday so I hope I am back so my parents can be there. I am aware it is going to be a hard road but I think that if I have effective pain relief and boredom busters, I will be fine. I seem to grit my teeth and get things over with but like I said to Heather, I am not sure how bad the pain will be! Hopefully I can get out on a Saturday too and get back home! But I will just have to walk, walk and walk!

My doctor told me that when I wake, I will be pretty much floating on air. I have heard alot of stories that when they wake, they seriously had doubts that they just had spinal surgery but others said they were rocked with a pain that they screamed! How was the experience immediately after waking? You can never tell if they are drama queens or the pain was actually that bad!!!!
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:24 PM
Heathpal Heathpal is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

As you are travelling to Brissy and being operated on Tuesday - sounds like we share the same surgeon? If so, you are in the best hands and the hospital he operates from will take good care of you (but their beds are not comfortable). Not sure if you will be discharged so soon, but as you are very young you may well be. Also depends if you are having anterior or posterior approach? I don't know of anyone who screamed in pain post op - you are too spaced out to really care. I reacted to one of the meds and was really sick but that was 4 days post op - had it not been for that, I would have had smooth sailing. I also had to travel interstate to Brissy and was scared of the long trip home in the car- it was fine so fear not. All the best to you and just know you are in good hands. Let us know when you are back in action! X Heather
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:43 PM
missjadee missjadee is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

Hi Heather,

Maybe we do share the same surgeon! Oh that is not good about the beds, maybe I will just ask for heaps of pillows? I am having just the posterior approach from T4-L1. I will be flying home after the operation so that will be easier than a 20 hour car trip, if i did drive. I am just so comfortable right now and I am sleeping the whole night and I know the surgery will stop that and I am not ready for that! But I can't go on like this my whole life. Whenever I take off my brace, about 30 mins after I get back pain and even when I do wear it, I get some lower back pain. It is all very nerve-wracking! I just hope I will find it okay and not as bad as people say! That is all I am worried about. People tend to hype things up.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:55 AM
tracy tracy is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

Hi Jade,

Our 13 year old daughter is almost 11 weeks post-op L1-T3. We could very well have the same surgeon who is incredible! Try to exercise as much every day before surgery as being fit really helps! We had 2 epidurals, but you will probably have PC pump. They both work well. Our daughter stood up in ICU and walked around 80 metres within 24 hours of surgery. Did a half day surf patrol just 4 weeks after surgery. She's a bit of a pro at it all. As this was her 8th spinal surgery and she also had 2 wires put in/taken out of her broken finger in April/May this year.

Its not going to be a picnic. But a good positive approach is the key. We have flown for all surgeries from Newcastle to Brisbane. Coming home our surgeon suggested we drive. So day 6 post-op we drove 5 hours a day for 2 days. This was done easily with pain medication. The front seat layed back with pillows. We were off all pain meds day 10. Everyone is different and you will know when you are coping well enough to not need them. Brisbane airport doesn't have anywhere to lay down...the most comfortable place to sit is the lounge upstairs near the boarding gates. Let the nurses know you are flying and keep on top of meds. It will be very tiring but worth it to get home to your own bed! The nursing/hospital staff are absolutely fantastic. They will take great care of you.

Be positive and pack your determination. PM me if you have any questions. A straight spine is a healthy spine! We were 59 degrees now under 10 degrees. Like you our daughter was in a lot of muscular pain before fusion. Now absolutely pain free. The waiting is the worst! If your nervous ask for midazolam (it works wonders!)

All the best Jade
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2014, 11:04 PM
missjadee missjadee is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

Thank you for your reply Tracy! It is so inspiring to know that I am not going through this alone even though some part of me already knew that. I am glad to hear that your daughter is going well! I have days where I am totally psyched and keen to get this over with but I also have other days, like today, where I get cold feet and don't want to do this surgery out of fear. It is an emotional rollercoaster and one that I will be riding for a couple more months. I am not too sure what else I want to say but just want everyone to know that their support means heaps.

I have started a blog detailing my scoliosis journey and can be visited via: http://acrookedlife.wordpress.com/

Hopefully you can check it out and share it around. I would love for people to have a read and know that they aren't alone!
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  #10  
Old 04-11-2014, 12:02 PM
tracy tracy is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Nerves - any help is appreciated!

Gr8 blog Jade! Just think you can kiss that brace goodbye soon! No more sweaty summers! Yeah! I thought of a few things that might be helpful...satin pyjamas are a godsend when you get out of a gown. They slide on the sheets. Practice the log-roll out of bed method. For coming home on the plane ask to board 1st and get off last. That way you can take your time. A neck pillow is wonderful for the plane trip. (They do sell them at the newsagents at the airport.) Physio will give you a guide for walking. First week is 6-10 minutes a day then by 6 weeks you should be up to 40 minutes a day. General rule for going home is to be able to walk 200 metres and 2 sets of stairs. Hope that helps
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