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March 2016 Surgical Buddies

Thread to talk about your upcoming surgery
Ron DiLauro,  Spine-Health
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134

Comments

  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    I am finally on the schedule for a microdiscetomy L3-4 my second one in 2 1/2 years. I reherniated my same disc most likely doing yoga with a personal trainer this time. I initially herniated shoveling snow and it took 5 months to finally see a extruded fragment lodged in my L 4 nerve root. This time I immediately knew because the same horrible leg pain returned down the front of my leg. I am very nervous about this surgery as I have the complicated factor of having Factor Five Leiden , a clotting disorder that caused me to develop DVTS in my leg one week after my first surgery. I am at a higher risk for developing blood clots and although I now only take a baby aspirin daily I will need to be on a thinner post surgery. I am working with a hematologist and an orthopedic spine surgeon as my original surgeon a neurosurgeon did not want me to take anticoagulants until 5 days post surgery. My date is March 15th. Looking forward to connecting with anyone scheduled for March. 
    Liz
  • Danny80DDanny80 Ann ArborPosts: 28
    Hi Liz, 

    Looks like I will be joining you in March for surgery. I will be undergoing a 2-layer fusion from my L4 - S1. Its been 4 years since I have had my laminectomy on my L5 - S1, as it turns out now the disc is gone and it is pretty much bone on bone...hasn't been much fun. My L4 - L5 is in really bad shape as well. Since seems like the past month has gotten worse for me and I am pretty much out of options. Have gone through PT for the past 4 years with little success. Pain Management hasn't fruited my success either. I am not thrilled with my options, but at 35, I really don't want to continue down the path of taking more and more meds to try to dull the pain without much success. 

    I wish you the best and I am looking forward to hearing more.
  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    Hello Danny,
    I totally agree about long term pain meds. We need to feel better and I sure hope your surgery and my surgery will accomplish that. When is your date? I look forward to hearing more and hope it's only great news!
    thanks for replying!
    liz
  • Danny80DDanny80 Ann ArborPosts: 28
    Oh, totally forgot to put that it. My date is 3/22. For me, it is the constant roller coaster for the pain and impact it had on my sleep. The icing on the cake for my decision was not being able to play with my 5 year old as much as I should and wanted to. 
  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    I love being outside and was an avid runner until this started 2 1/2 years ago all from shoveling snow! My youngest is graduating from high school in May and going off to college. I want to be able to enjoy those celebrations and help her. I just want to be able to walk! I hope this surgery will get me there. Playing with your children and participating in their activities is SO important!
  • Danny80DDanny80 Ann ArborPosts: 28
    I completely agree. I feel that I have missed out on a lot with my 5 year old. The big question for me is how I messed my back up. It all began about 4 years ago. I woke up from a dead-sleep on Thanksgiving with the worse back pain I ever had. Ended up taking me about 30 minutes to get out of bed. So looking forward to not have the pain and to be able to cut back on the medication. I am not a fan of the drugged up zombie look.
  • Hey Folks - Looks like 3/22 is a busy time for Spine Surgeons. I'm slated to go in for a lower lumbar laminectomy. About me - 46 yo male - formerly pretty fit and athletic. Had what was initially a herniated disc that  later revealed pretty pronounced spinal stenosis. My chief concern is numbness and tingling running down my leg after walking or being upright (on my feet) for an extended amount of time. I've been able to manage much of my pain w/o major pain meds - but need to get back to a more active and healthy lifestyle - mentally & physically. Not any easy choice - but the right one for me  - having been down the road of PT, yoga, steroid injections. I'd like to pair up with someone like me who is focused on a great surgical outcome and a smart and gradual recovery - with the intent of returning to a healthy and active lifestyle -- whatever that looks like post-spine surgery.
  • Hello all im having surgery on March 25th L5S1. I cant wait to get my life back it has been a bad 2 years of being in pain. I put on so much weight because any walking or standing puts me in so much pain in my lower back and my right buttox. The weight just makes it worse and i realize that and it sucks!! It really all started with me in 2009 when i hurt myself at work i went on WC because of my knees i have had 6 knee surgerys and there still not right at all. I believe its my knees that started all my back problems never had issue's before. Good luck everyone with your up coming surgerys!! Ok rant over
    Denise walsh
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,941
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Danny80DDanny80 Ann ArborPosts: 28
    @ Neeciejean3 - Couldn't agree with you more about getting our lives back. It seems like over the past week, I have been getting less and less sleep. Been averaging about 3 hours of sleep a night, noncontinuous and this is really wearing thin. I wish  you the best of luck and I am sure that we all will come out better on the other side!
  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    Thankyou to the moderator, the forum and the site. This is a great idea. unfortunately i havent been able to logon with
    TapaTalk, and since I'll be flying to the capitol for my surgery next week, I was hoping to be mobile, not carry too much (laptop etc). If anyone knows of an iPhone app that works here please share.
    Im set for C7-T1 ACDF, and although its far from my first surgery, I couldnt be more "futless" (anxious/frightened).
    I find C6-7 experience here no lower than that. I already have cough, throat.voice troubles as Ive been going downhill for
    past months hoping to not need this procedure. last fusion was lumbar about 10 years back and I came through fine,
    Im older, not feeling the same energy or fitness, so small daily fitness regime is in  place.
    Im set for  5 a te 3rd...anyone else looking to buddy up?  Im female about 60/  Im better at offering support than staying calm myself. I am no where near ready for this.
    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    edited 02/26/2016 - 8:44 PM
    ALoha in all the word heartily means to Danny80, Savage, Liz53, BookD2, Neeciejean3! Wow I am so incredibly optimistic for you lower back lumbar corrective surgeries. medical surgical techniques have leapt forward in bounds since my first lower lumbar laminectomies. For me they were the best decisions period. I look back and cant imagine were all my conservative anxiety was coming from. We forget ow much pain we're in until we suddenly find it gone!  Welcome all of you posted on page one (I'l get to the next pages in a bit....lol).
    typing is very slow and difficult with only my left hand and Im right handed- but I do need the practice. Savage-I didnt catch what you're in line for- i didnt want to exclude anyone. or am I speaking to the Mod?
    Im looking for anyone with ACDF around the corner. I go March 2 surgery is first of the morning with same N.S. that as fixed my sciatic nerve damage at L4,5,S1 in the past. I think I dont know what Im getting myself into
    Cheers with the utmost confidence for lower level corrective surgeries in the twenty-first century
    remember Gheenghees laughter is always our best medicine..we need hearty belly laughs every day, even if they hurt.
    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    Hualani-
    wishing you the best with your surgery too! At least you will be in good weather to heal! My college roommate grew up in Honolulu and I have visited the Big Island many years ago. I am hoping for a chance to feel well again and be able to see more than my kitchen. I love the outdoors and it seems the last 3 years have been spent floundering in back and leg pain. I am ready to be able to do more! I am also very anxious about my upcoming surgery and the healing afterwards. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
    liz
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,941
    Hello Hualani.....
    You are very thoughtful!
    Yes, I'm one of the moderators.

    I wish you the very best with your upcoming! And smooth recovery!
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • bythesea71bbythesea71 MassachusettsPosts: 12
    Hi All, I'm a March 31 surgery buddy.  I'm having a fusion at L5S1.  I'm new to using these forums but I've been lurking for awhile and found them very helpful.  I'm excited to hear about everyone's ups and downs.  Kara
  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    Aloha Liz53,Savage and bythesea71.
    Thanks to all for your well wishes . Liz thanks for the laughs...Im (you might laugh) anxious over the heat and sweating over in Honolulu since I live in the most affordable part of the state which is 4000 elevation, cool mountain with fireplaces etc so It is a shock to be in 80+ for me...i sweat!  LOL...kind of need to see the lighter side of things might help us all? I tend to let things go far too long before surgery and such. I really cant use my right hand so this type is a hoot.
    I hope you (Liz53) can find your anesthesiologist and discuss your overlay until you have acceptable peace of mind.
    My biggest fear is the pain from my C5 seeing the MRI it seems the worst part of my neck...so attaching the plate there isnt thrilling me, nor are my NS's responses..to my concerns. He sounds to me as if hes on a stand in court wit te perfect non committal, non liability answers that say "nothing". I fear fear fear for the first time prior to surgery.
    I found this site on my iphone for travel..im still going to need laptop for work.
    Heres hoping the ACDF is  a breeze (my voice, arms and hands etc) and sharing with you Liz that im confident a repeat surgery will mean your doctors watch you closely and prepare ahead to be sure you're going to not have complications. I encourage you to get on the phone and ask questions.
    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    Thanks for the advice! I have a pre op appt on Thursday and need to start compiling my list of questions. I am scared to even think about it. Sunny here in the Midwest and windy and warm today. Sitting outside and trying to enjoy the outside.
    Hualani- hoping you to get questions answered and are on the road to recovery soon!
    By the sea71- thinking about you too. Wishing you the best.lots of good info to read here.
    liz
  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    Thanks all, YES ! for making list of questions. i think my Pain Management Doctor had some ideas which were really useful, that I wouldnt have thought of on my own. If you are able it might be helpful to ask PCP, other's involved in your care if they suggest anything to ask your surgeon, anesthesiologists, or others.
    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
    This comes from our FAQ, which everyone should take a look at

    40 Questions to ask your surgeon before back surgery
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • HualaniHualani Big Ilsland HawaiiPosts: 57
    a different perspective on fear and anxiety to share, since I've been struggling also.
     I remember as an undergraduate college student I had to prepare for music recitals and was one of those with stage fright before I had any performance experience. I had a wise instructor suggest that fear, and anxiety are the same physical reactions as are excitement. I  was told it's my own internal perspective and reaction to feelings of increased adrenaline that matters.(I dont have bio background...but it worked for me).
    It was suggested that instead of perceiving emotions of fear, to understand the same feelings were instead excitement to finally show and complete all that we'd been studying and preparing for 6 months!
    Im trying to think of surgery the same...how great it will be to have it behind me, and feeling better and on the road to recovery. I also read the posts from greggva after his ACDF and they were encouraging, optimistic.I hope to do the same .
    For a month pre-op Ive been wearing a soft collar to engage in lower body and general fitness exercise. I know the better overall fitness Im in te easier my recovery will be. Im another decade older than my past spine surgeries..so Im hoping to compensate for that.
    All the best to March Surgeries.
    Life is too short to be serious all the time.
    so if you cant laugh at yourself, contact me
    I'll laugh at you. B)
  • bkingbbking Eugene, OregonPosts: 11
    Hi all.  I am scheduled for a minimally invasive PLIF at L5-S1 on Monday, March 7th due to a spondylolisthesis with severe foraminal narrowing.  Diagnosed in the Fall with x-rays and confirmed in January with an MRI.  I have moderate to severe pain in my back, as well as numbness, burning and pain in my calves and feet, especially when standing.  And I am experiencing the early stages of drop foot.  I spent last Summer and Fall doing chiropractic care, physical therapy and massage therapy with no improvement in symptoms. In January, I had lumbar steroid injections, which brought no relief as well.  We are still waiting on a final thumbs up from the insurance company.  Nothing quite like an insurance company that drags their feet while you have pain in yours.  Like many of you, I am a little nervous about the surgery and recovery, but I know that it will be better than what I am experiencing now.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

    Brian
    Failed Spinal Injections Jan 2016
    PLIF March 2016
    Life gets better...Spring 2016
  • bkingbbking Eugene, OregonPosts: 11
    Hualani, how are you doing?
    Failed Spinal Injections Jan 2016
    PLIF March 2016
    Life gets better...Spring 2016
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,941
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I just wanted to tell you guys that I had a cervical fusion on C3-4. C4-5.C5-6, C6-7 anterior and posterior 11 days go and I actually feel pretty good! Im at a level 4 pain level but nothing bad. My point is the anticipation is way way worse then the actually surgery. Hang in there. Thats not as bad as it seems. Good luck! 
    Annabeller
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,941
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • HautemessHautemess San DiegoPosts: 24
    My surgery is scheduled March 22nd. I will be having a disk replaced, L4-L5 fusion, and a synovial cyst removed. I have had minor back pain for 8 years (I'm in the Navy) but it didn't become severe until October 2914 when I got Guillain Barré Syndrome. GBS took away my endurance and core strength and I suffered major fatigue that made PT difficult. I'm not even nervous; I can't wait to have significant pain relief. The past month has been like torture for me!
  • dionnfrddionnfr Bellport, New YorkPosts: 1
    Hi all I'm scheduled for a laminectomy on L4/L5 this coming Thursday March 10.  Hope someone can guide me thru this.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
    edited 03/07/2016 - 1:46 PM
    No one can actually guide you through this or give your medical advice, only personal opinions.

    But this may help  Start by going here Back and Neck Surgery and follow the various hyperlinks for more information and videos

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,941
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • bythesea71bbythesea71 MassachusettsPosts: 12
    Hualani and bking, how are you both doing post-surgery?  I hope things went well for both of you!
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