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awaiting surgery

blazerblazer Posts: 785
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well lawyer called me and said the IME report is recommending a second surgery, and agrees with my NS approach.
Lawyer also said that i now have a nurse case manager assigned to me and will be at all my doctor appts. She is part of w/c.
So she met me today at my NS appt. and my PM appointment, and told my NS that she will be also stating to w/c to approve surgery.

So NS said probably another 4 to 6 weeks til i have the surgery.
They asked if i quit smoking and i'm at about 1/2 pack a day, and my kids keep on me about it, but with the stress i'm under and facing it alone, quitting is no small task. Something that a non-smoker might not realize.
So the doctors and the nurse mgr. are gonna push w/c to approve prescription "chantix", for me and i took the script to walgreens, and awaiting approval.

I know i should quit. I know i should quit. I also know i have a history of fusing while still smoking, but under a lot less stress, and mental fatique.
I'm not making excuses for still smoking but i've had my share of hard times.
From the ultimate betrayal by my then wife, to to my daughter's eye surgeries from her injury, then my injury, and all the finacial hardship that goes along with this mess.
So my NS nurse told me go home and relax, and she will call me when they have everything all in place.
And i and my ex go sign the papers with the bank tomorrow for them foreclosing, then we are offically done with that house.
Kinda funny when i told my daughter about the surgery, she told me i better stay in bed this time for the 8 weeks post-op recovery, and that she will take care of everything around the apartment. LOL.

Thanks for listening.


  • Jim,

    I went from 2.5 packs a day to quit overnight. The key is *you* have to want to quit, but for you and no one else. I have just past a month zero smokes, and don't miss them either. Cold turkey, no gum, meds etc. I am facing a 5 level fusion, so the decision was pretty easy if I wanted a stable neck again. :)

    I'm glad you are getting back on track again my friend. You stayed on them as many of us suggested, and it is now paying off. Good for you!! Please keep us posted on how it goes. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Jim

    So pleased that things are moving towards your much needed surgery.

    Even though I've not been addicted to smoking, I know many people who are - some have been able to quit and others are still smoking even though they've got major health problems. Can understand with all your problems that smoking helps with the stress, but do try to quit because it will go much better for your surgery and recovery.



    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • X wives are number 1 cause of back pain! Good luck with surgery dude, Best wishes to your recovery,,,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Brenda; thats the key. You have to want to for yourself. Which i do just this is not the best time to start changing habits.
    Congrats on your sucess towards quitting, and since you made it this far, hopefully you can stay the course after your surgery.

    Trish; thank you, and i know for my increased likeyhood of fusing this time i should quit. I thought i was doing good just cutting back on them, but i know i need all the help i can get, toward a successful fusion.

    Alex; Thanks bud. If my ex was only a pain in the back, i would be happy.

    Thanks again.
  • hi jim,
    I hope all goes good with your surgery. And as far as the smoking just cutting down is great. Thats the way my hubby tries to quit. He has done it few times before each of his surgeries, but has gone back due to stress.
    He has such hell with it. The last time I was so proud of him he did Hypnotherapy but again stress came about and he's back smoking.
    So sorry things around you are bad. I hope they smooth out for you.. and sounds like you have a great daughter.
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Hi and thanks.
    I honestly believe i could quit, if i was'nt under this stress.
    But most people i know who have quit smoking, did eventually got back to it.
    O well.

    Things here will eventually get better, just need to ride out this nasty storm i'm going thru.
    Just getting a little tired of feeling like their is always a black cloud over my head.

    I might be down, but i'm not out.
  • I went from 3 packs or more a day to quitting cold turkey 2 weeks before my first lumbar surgery. Hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but it's been great. Over 2 years now without one cigarette. But I totally understand the stress thing, I went through a 2 level cervical fusion smoked through it all. I even snuck a cig in the bathroom at the hospital. lol. Nurse caught me though. You are the only one who can make the decision to actually quit. It is great that at least you have cut way back on your smoking, even that will help some.
  • Of course there is always a black cloud over your head, chicago windy city dude,

    We live in the wrong state, if you dont want black cloud over your head move to florida with the old people,, Oops sorry brenda,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Congrats on your success on quitting smoking.
    Just remember to stay the course.
    In the 90's i had 2 cervical fusions and i smoked thru it, and i was fully fused and back to work as a local semi-truck driver in 3 months time.
    But those were happier times, and alot less stress and what-have -ya. So i just need to deal with it, and start chewing a coffee straw.
    I got caught having a smoke in the bathroom also, and the nurse just told me to close the door to the hallway 1st. She understood.

    Alex; yup this weather here is never boring. I would move south if my kids were willing to go.
    But they wanna stay up here, and i wont move away from them. O well what are ya gonna do?

    Best of luck to everyone.
  • Thanks Jim,

    Yes, everyone in the world told me to stop, but did it do any good? Nope! It is probably one of *the* most personal decisions one has to make, and many who have never smoked or (are smokers) who never tried to stop will understand that. They just think if they harrang ya you'll quit - nope. :)

    I just saw my surgeon for the final appointment outside of the OR today. The next time I see his smiling face will be dressed in my best hospital garb! (G)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Gary,

    You had me chuckling hard! "Smoking in the boyz room..." And busted by a nurse! You naughty boy! (G) Sorry, that was too funny. Back in 02 I had a tumor removed, and the hospital's floor nurse actually showed me were the "smoking patio" was so I could smoke! Boy have things changed! (G)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Oooeeww...ouch! You are a meanie!!! (G) I'll take my fellow retirees over cold and windy any day!! (G) Come on down Jim, we'll welcome you to the Sunshine State! Alex, we might even let you in! Snicker... :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I just want you to know that the only time I quit I never went back to it. I quit October 3rd, 1999.

    I did stop occationally before that but only because I hid smoking from family and friends (closet smoker) when my husband came home from work I would stop for a month at a time and then re-start the moment he left again (3 months on 1 month off).

    When my daughter started kindergarden she came home crying one day after learning about smoking kills. My own mother died of lung cancer when I was 18 so I knew that to be true and didn't wantmy daughter to go through what I went through. Any rate it was the hardest thing I ever had to go through and then I had spinal troubles (chronic pain).

    Now I get nauseated when I smell cigarette smoke.

    If your not ready you will not quit- simple as that. My NS will not perform fusion on anysmoker- his nurse said there is a test that they can do right before the surgery and if you are positive they cancel it.

    I hope the chantix helps. It helped my brother quit chewing after nearly 20 years.

    Good luck,

  • Congrats again, and keep up the good job.
    I know it can be done, just easier said.

    JulieA; that is a very touching post.
    Kids do have an effect on us, and sometimes are smarter then adults are.
    That the young and innoncent part that is great about kids.

    Sorry i havent responded sooner, but its kinda depressing talking about this, but sometimes a person does need to talk about it.
    If that makes any sence.

    So my NS, called me today, and my surgery is scheduled for 10/28, awaiting w/c approval.
    Then 1 hour later they call back and said w/c wants me nicotene free for 4-6 weeks beforehand, so i'm sure my surgery date will get pushed back to November sometime, due to the pre-surgical testing.
    So tomorrow morning i start towards quitting.
    1st thing in morning is go tho the library and get the book that Brenda and Jellyhall were talking about and hope that has an effect on me also.

    Thanks again for your responces.
    My best to ya.
  • I am suprised they never said anything to me about smoking before surgery,

    I was even smoking during my surgery, i had the ashtray next to scalpul #5. Even the dr,s and the nurses were smoking,

    Someone came in with a cigar, cuban i think, Surgery stoped and we told the person what the hell are you thinking buddy, Cant you see we doing surgery here damn it, git-ir-done. Ok i lied

    Jim. Where are you having the surgery at? Joliet maybe?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Yups at St. Joe's
    My NS has operating authority there and at a surgery ctr. in mokena.
    He use to be at silver cross, but not any more.
    He was schooled at Northwestern, and also did some teaching there.

    When he did my cervical fusion in the 90's they taped it for schooling purposes, and he let me take the tape home to watch.

    Wasnt sure what i was looking at tho, just alot of tissue and blood.
  • Oh ok got it, cool, Good luck dude, Hope it works out,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • blazer said:
    Congrats again, and keep up the good job.
    I know it can be done, just easier said.

    So tomorrow morning i start towards quitting.
    1st thing in morning is go tho the library and get the book that Brenda and Jellyhall were talking about and hope that has an effect on me also.
    What's cool with that book is you are told to continue to smoke until you finish the book. That way your way of thinking and frame of mind will be right should quitting be on your "to do" list. :)

    Like a few of the testimonials in that book, it was rather painless, low stress if any, and simple when that last ciggie was squished in the ashtray!! Please let us know how it goes.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hey ya Jim~

    I smiled when I saw your surgery date, it is the day my daughter was born! :) A fabulous date in my book!

    I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you prepare to stop smoking.

    I'm not a smoker, but the past couple years have been incredibly difficult for me. I have found great value in chanting the phrase, "one momment at a time, just one momment at a time". Simply sometimes a day at a time is just too much.....

    Pets and kids are a wonderful combo and I can't begin to imagine where I would be without them! Keep 'em close and hug 'em lots!!

    Wishing you the best! Keep lookin for the rainbow that always follows the clouds! It'll be there, be sure to look for it!

  • Brenda and Shari;

    I went to the library and got that book.
    But i havent even started reading it yet, and i'm 5 days without cig's.
    I'm not really having any effects from quitting either, except kinda hungry more often.
    Just been reading couple websites about quitting, and for health reasons it's mind over matter{addiction}. And my mind is winning.

    So now waiting for w/c, to give the go-ahead.
    Ns nurse told me i should go give blood, in case its needed, and gotta go get a pre-surgical physical, but i think those are only good for 30 days after you get one, and i'm hoping my surgery date dont get pushed back, or i'll have to go thru all this a 2nd time.

    My daughter asked me if i feel better with quitting smoking, i told her just a little, cause i was'nt a heavy smoker. But i guess ur still a smoker whether it's heavy or lite.

    I fully agree Shari, i'd be a nut-case if it was'nt for the kids and dogs. lol

    But anyway, just gonna keep going and hope the surgery dont get pushed back, and see what happens next.

    Have a nice day and my best.

  • Big Howdy Jim!!!

    You're the man! Good for you, proud of ya! Welcome to the ex-smokers club!! I noticed at about a week out my edema (that I forever blamed on Lyrica) in my legs virtually disappeared!!! About the 1.5 week mark I started what was 4 days of soggy coughing. At around 2 weeks my skin started feeling smoother, softer. Around week 3 a wee more energy, breathing tons better. I'm now 47 days smoke free, and barely think about them.

    Stick with us Jim, and you will be a success this go around!!! *HUGZ* Good job man! ☺ ☻ ♥ ♥ ♥

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Terrific that you've got your surgery date now and off the smokes =D>

    Keep hugging your kids and the dogs and you'll get through these next few weeks.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hey Jim! I can see your rainbow from here! :)

    I am so proud of you for quitting somoking!

    That is fabulous!! :)

    Hopefully you will keep your surgery date, but if not, I am a firm beliver that things happen for a reason.

    My fusion got canceled twice. Boy was I unhappy!! But when my surgery date rolled around, I was the only case my surgeon had for the day. I then felt like it was such a blessing!

    At least there are some great sports at this time of year to pass the time with. Between the baseball playoffs, NCAA football and the NFL, the days will fly by!

    I'm here in Texas cheering for you! Grab your sunglasses! You've got sunny days ahead! :)

  • Brenda; now i'm 8 days post-cigs, and i luckily am not having any bad side effects that people read about. I think about them but even thats getting less every day.
    You hang in there and stay-quit even after surgery.

    Trish; Yups kids and pets are great. I dont know how i would have dealt with all of this if i did'nt have my kids by my side.

    Shari; I would love to live in Texas, i like the southern lifestyle better.
    Great time of year for sports fans. Been watching a little of the playoffs, and definitely watching the Chicago Bears, with my daughter on sundays.
    And now hockey just started and my daughter and me watch the Blackhawks games together. She wants to go to a game but she knows thats on the back-burner for right now.

    Got a copy of the IME, report today finally.
    Does recommend another surgery, after being nicotene free for a few weeks.
    So i called my w/c lawyer to let them know i got report they sent to me.
    Lawyers para-legal told me they went to court yesterday, and have another court date 10/31, to speed w/c up, with all this.
    Also told me she was told that w/c is in the process of approving the surgery, and it will probably be approved before end of october.
    So i might miss my 10/28 surgery date, but i know it wont be to far after that.

    It cant come to soon for me tho, as this pain is getting worse, and my sleep is getting more restless.
    At 5 oclock every morning waking up from the pain in my back and hips, and takes about 1 hour to go back a sleep.

    Well everyone have a nice daqy, and my best.
  • on being smoke-free! :-C I've been a non-smoker for almost 13 years and, like JulieA, almost puke whenever I'm around smoke, which my next-door neighbor in an apartment complex refuses to get through his skull :jawdrop: . Sometimes, when I head out the front door, he's out there puffing away, not carin g about the danger of exposure to secondhand smoke :jawdrop: for people AND more so for 8-pound dogs, which my Pomeranian is.

    That reminds me, Jim - you once said you have a Pom. I too find dogs - especially the lapdogs - a great source of comfort (and fun). May yours continue to provide that for you, too. Awaiting siurgery is no fun, and I've heard the same is also true of dealing with w/c. You'll be in my prayers. Best wishes >:D< , and keep us posted. Love, Ess
  • Hi; and a big congrats to you on staying smoke free for 13 years.
    Right now i'm 10 days so i have a little catching up to do, to reach your time.
    I've had a couple rough moments, but for the most part its going surprising smooth for me.
    And my kids are happy about it too.
    I bought my daughters Pom, for her when she was 6 y/o, And the Pom is her best friend and bed buddy.
    But he is also a family dog, even tho my daughter is #1 in his lil heart.

    Have a nice day and my best.
  • well i'm 27 days nicotene free and still awaiting approval from w/c for the surgery.
    i get a nicotene test done at my PM doctor office on 11/08, and see my NS on 11/09, and then w/c will not have any valid excuse for not approving surgery.
    ON 10/31 my w/c lawyer will have them in court and they will need to tell the judge what their hold-up is.

    Also my "ex" is wanting something again!
    I got in the past 2 weeks, mail from 3 different lawyers, and now 2 more letters today, for a court date of 11/09, I know she at least wants 1/2 my union pension, and if i start getting a disability pension she wants 1/2 of that. Also if i die before i start collecting my pension she wants any pay-out from the pension fund.
    I told my kids that when she divorced me i took her name off all my stuff and have my 2 kids name on anything and everything.
    So they know if i die, she is taking money that is rightfully theirs.
    My divorce lawyer was piss-poor, so i will not be using him again, so going it "on a wing and a prayer".
    O well i been wanting to get this in court again, to argue to get the alimony i pay stopped,

    Its nothing short of a miracle, that i havent had a cig, in almost 1 month now.

    Welp hope you all are having a better day then me.
  • That's rotten having "ex" problems again. She sounds like she's a very greedy person. Hope you can get this sorted out before your surgery, or is that too much to hope for with the legal system. Our's here in Australia is just as slow.

    Congrats on 27 days nicotene free !!


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008

  • 27 days nicotene free is quite an accomplishment. That will give you the best chance of fusing.

    As for your ex problems. You could really do without all of that! Shame you can't claim damages for the stress that she is causing you. Still something good that came out of it is your children. They are a great support for you and obviously really love you. Hold on to that!

    I hope that the w/c gets passed for surgery and that there is no more stress on that account.

    I really sympathise with all the waiting. (I am in the UK after all!)

    >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • That is wonderful that you are doing so well quitting smoking. If you can get through the month that you have had with your ex and not smoke, there is no doubt that you will beat the smoking permanently.

    My fingers are crossed and prayers said for WC to hurry up and approve your surgery. It is well past time for you to get some good news.

    You are in my thoughts,won't be long now, a whole new life awaits you.

    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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