Wish Me Luck...

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

I finally got my date for my back surgery. It will be on December 4th. The Orthopedic and Neurosurgeon will re-build my lumbar area with rods, screws, and bone from my hip. It will be a very long & complex procedure. Hoping to only be in the hospital for about 1 week. Then at home for several months of recuperation & then physical therapy.

I'm trying to maintain a positive outlook & be well enough to stand on my own 2 feet for the Mid-Atlantic Round-up! Wish me luck....I'll need it!

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I don't believe in luck, but I will ask JESUS to keep HIS hand upon you and give you strength and anything else you happen to need. May the doctors turn to GOD for wisdom and guidance before, during, and after the surgery so that the best is all you will recieve.

Lincoln City, OR(Zone 9a)

Shirley, I will wish you lots and lots of luck. I will trust that your surgeon has skilled hands and mind and will do the surgery in such a way that you will heal very well, with little residual pain and will be able to attend the RU with all your feet back under you and firmly so.

Keep in touch when you can and let us know how you are doing even if it is a short note to us.

Hugs, Lani

Brooklet, GA(Zone 8a)

shirley have you tried other options. my huby has had 4 back surgeries and now has rod and screws and fussion off the hip. i am not trying to upset yopu and everyone is different and so each dr is too. are you sure that vax D will not work for you. all i am saying is be sure of this before you do it.

my prayers are with you.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks everyone for your kind words & moral support. It certainly will help to have everyone's support & best wishes during this very difficult time in my life.

jcf - yes, I've gone the conservative approach for several years - accupuncture, tens units, drug therapy, spinal injections, physical therapy, etc., etc., I've tried everything and nothing works.

Picture a structurally damaged building (my spine) in your mind, that over the years gets worse as it deteriorates & crumbles. Eventually, the building is no longer structurally sound, it needs to be torn down and rebuilt. My lumbar spine is in the same very serious condition as this structurally weakened building. Only by rebuilding my spine with rods, screws, and hip bone (mortar) will I once again be able to regain the lost function in my legs, feet, & lower body.

Yes, it will be a very difficult journey & recuperation period. I have complete faith in both my surgeons. They are "tops" in this field & have an excellent track record. I searched long & hard to find these surgeons. It didn't happen over night. To find these doctors took other physician's referrals. They are consider the "best of the best" at the Univ. of MD Hospital, where I'll be their patient. Since it is a teaching hospital, I'm sure that a lot of medical students will be watching & learning from my case.

This is just a section of my spine that needs surgical repair. We are hoping that my neck (cervical area) will not be traumatized or go into spasm from the drilling & hammering that will be done on the lower part of my spine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed & the Dr's will cradle my neck very carefully, to be sure that it does not receive any undue trauma.

On a more positive note, after I get through the surgery & recovering, I will need all my friends at DG to keep me motivated and give me moral support to get through the long recuperation time. My goal is to be able to attend the Mid-Atlantic R.U. I will do everything in my power to achieve that goal!!!

Maben, MS(Zone 7b)

Shirley, hope and pray surgery goes will and you are able to make it to the RU.

Belvidere, IL(Zone 5a)

My thoughts and prayers with be with you and your surgeon. I just went through shoulder surgery on the 4th of Nov. Nothing compared to what you are looking at. I will try and keep your spirits up through your recover.

God Bless you.


Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks everyone for your best wishes & prayers. Each one of them means a lot to me.

Nancy - Hope you are recovering quickly and your shoulder mends completely. After all, you need to get your arm ready for "Spring Season" Baseball! :~) Just kidding...but you know what they say..."laughter is the BEST medicine". Thanks for lifting my spirits & I hope to do the same for you. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!!!

Lincoln City, OR(Zone 9a)

Shirley, I am sitting here thinking of your upcoming surgery and praying that you have help at home for the daily things that will be hard or impossible for a while to do.

I too am going through the channels for back pain caused by trauma. I am hopeful that I won't have to have surgery but if I do I too will find the "best of the best".

Hugs, Lani

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Hi Lani,

Sorry to hear that your hurtin' so much too! I know that you have also had a very tough time. If you are seriously considering looking for the "best of the best" doctors, it will take time. It doesn't happen overnight. It took me about 6 months to get to this point. I was referred to my current Neurosurgeon, by another Neurosurgeon who read my file & stated that my problem was too complex for him to handle. Therefore, he referred me to my current Neurosurgeon at the Univ. of MD. Hospital. A lot of top doctors are affiliated with teaching hospitals & are located in the inner cities, not the suburbs. The Orthopedic Surgeon worked together with the Neurosurgeon. They were in the same practice for many years.

You might want to begin "putting out feelers" by asking your Internist for referrals. If you are currently under the care of a Neuro or Orthopod, they would be able to put you in touch with the doctors who specialize with the problems that you are having.

BTW, I will have help at home. My DH is planning to take 2 weeks off of work initially, when I'm released from the hospital. Also, my sons will be home for the holidays & my younger one has a month off between semesters, for most of January. So between the three of them, I will have help. If need be, we might also look into a Nurse's aid. But it all depends on how I'm doing.

What should REALLY be interesting is that for 4 months, I will have to wear a "body cast". It will go from my chest to mid-thigh! I wouldn't be able to sit like a normal person. I'll be reclining! After 2 months, the thigh piece is removed, if all the healing goes according to plan. Then I'll be able to drive, sit, & shower (hooray)! It's amazing the things we take in life for granted....like bathing....until you are not allowed! A friend of mine says that there are wonderful products on the market, such as dry shampoo. It's gonna be sponge baths for a while....hope I won't have a swarm of flies hovering around me, like horses or cattle do!!! (GRIN) Trying to see the humor in all of this!!!

Lincoln City, OR(Zone 9a)

LOL I am familiar with wearing a body cast even though it was in the dark ages of the late 60s when I wore mine. Poor Mom had two members of the family in such straits since Dad got in a car accident two weeks before I fell on the ice so he was also in a body cast. His was on for almost 6 months since he broke his neck and back and mine was on for almost four months for a broken back. The main thing is to get ready with really good scrubbing soap that has a great fragrance for when you get to take it off. The odor doesn't seem too much when it is still fast on your body. And if you DO have a swarm of flies hovering around you there is always making yourself a tail so you can swat. LOL

I would say the worst thing about the cast was when you have an itch (which you WILL). That itch will absolutely drive you nuts sometimes but if you get your mind on something else it calms down most of the time. The fun part is trying to get shoes and socks on but now there are sock aids available that weren't for us. All in all it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

My surgery if I do have one will be really mild compared to yours. I have a bone spur on each of L5 and L6 that are pressing on my spinal column and causing great pain. I am presently waiting for the rheumatologist to try to find something that will help me without surgery. The surgeon that my orthopedic surgeon has recommended is young and very good from what the physical therapists have told me. The therapists say his patients recover nicely. That is what I want to hear. (nervous giggle)

I am so glad you are going to have good help for your recovery. And remember to try to figure out things that are easy for your guys to prepare for dinner and anything else that you may need during your recovery. It sure makes life easier if you have those things at home when you need them. For my knee replacement I stocked up on good quality (if there is such a thing) TV dinners, soups, canned fruits, canned vegis, and lots of frozen foods that made life much easier for my DH. Then there were the toiletries that I would need. And for you a back scratcher with a low profile is in order along with baby powder.

Hugs for you, Lani

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