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The Big File All issues not easily categorized in the above forums are here. Comments on general health, diet, "getting comfortable," and more are here.


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  #1  
Old 05-13-2007, 09:43 AM
Jen in Brum Jen in Brum is offline
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I'm due into the Priory Hospital, Birmingham at 12 noon on the 18th and I have what seems like a million and one things to do.

Lots is it is for work which is my one area of expertise, this, along with my organisation skills mean that although this is going to be a challange, I can get it all wrapped up ( as to who I'm going to give it too I'm not sure).

I hate the thought of not being in control (within reason most of the time), so handing me over to the care of this op and what comes after is my worst nightmare.

I think a lot of what I want to organise before is what I need others to help with after to make it as easy as possible for them.

I'm still feeling in the dark about what I'll need and how I'll be. I want a checklist for everything! I wish I could have everything I need to consider listed in writing in front of me so I can make sure it's all done! (my head cant fit in everything it needs this week , ironic considering I'll have nothing to fill it in the next few!)

If anyone has anything that could fit this bill, please let me know.


Jen
__________________
Grade 2 spondylolisthesis L5/S1 with moderate flattening of the foramina (?). Proximal areas are all fine. Mild scoliosis, in thoratic spine with a wedged shaped vertibrae.
Spinal fusion (L5/S1) graft (pelvis) interbody cage decompression graft (not
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2007, 11:08 AM
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Terry Terry is offline
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Yes Jen:

From One Control Nut to Another:

It is called; Trust God, Trust Your Surgeons and the other Health Care Professionals, and Trust your Care Givers. All will work out and all of the worrying will not ease your soul. Your illness demands you put yourself in the hands of others who are capable and ready to care for you.

Go with God.

Terry Newton
__________________
1980 ruptured L4-L5
1988 ruptured SI-L5
1990 ruptured C5-C6
1994 ruptured C6-C7
1995 Hemi-Laminectomy C5-C6, C6-C7 Mayo Clinic
Bicycle Accident 2004
MRI, EMG, Facet Injections, Epidural Blocks, Lumbar Discogram.
Stenum Hospital Surgery November 4, 2006
Prestige Disc C5-C6, C6-C7
Maverick Disc S1-L5, L4-L5
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2007, 12:40 PM
Jen in Brum Jen in Brum is offline
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Thank you Terry! I guess I know really that that's what it'll come down to. I came across the Serenity Prayer in another guise and I'm sure it'll be my saviour here in the end!

You sure have a huge history of back troubles, I'm glad to hear it's on the up!!

Jen
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Grade 2 spondylolisthesis L5/S1 with moderate flattening of the foramina (?). Proximal areas are all fine. Mild scoliosis, in thoratic spine with a wedged shaped vertibrae.
Spinal fusion (L5/S1) graft (pelvis) interbody cage decompression graft (not
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2007, 03:12 PM
rosedee rosedee is offline
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Hi Jen,

Your surgery is 2 weeks ahead of mind and I too find that it's hard to deal with the whole not being in control - it's one of the reasons why I always feel the need to know as much as possible (just in case I can help out during the surgery!!). Being an obsessional control freak also means I'm a great list maker and have several on the go to get me through the next 3 weeks. I feel like I need to get my whole life sorted out before I can possibly go in - a great avoidance tactic......after all, why do things I've not dealt with in last 5 years have to be done now? Some of my necessary preparations and lists are similar to those for going on holiday (if only!), but here are a few suggestions for what I found helpful for my last surgery.

When I had my fusion 7 years ago, I wasn't allowed to bend for 12 weeks (pelvis had to be at an angle of no less than 90 degrees). This meant anything below about knee level was out of reach - low drawers, low cupboards, sockets, low shelves in fridge/freezer etc etc. So its worth moving things you might want now. It's amazing how many things are too low down when you mustn't bend. I found the following really useful to have -

- reacher/grabber (a gadget that lets you pick things up/reach things down). Also helpful for getting dressed without help
- a sock aid (which does what it says it does).
- stick with hook on end - useful for all manner of things, (including playing pirates!!)
- really important to have loose clothes to wear - particularly loose elastic waisted trackies/trousers etc. The area of the incision will be sore/swollen and really doesn't want pressure on it.
- nighties for hospital rather than pyjamas.
- slip on shoes

You'll probably find you'll see an O.T. while you're in hospital, who will help you with advice about gadgets and strategies/techniques for how to do things during recovery. They also arranged for a (very necessary) raised toilet seat to be provided for me by local services for when I went home.

That's all I can think of for now.

All good wishes to you for your preparations and beyond.

rosedee
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1980 - 2004 50 acute episodes. DDD
Lots of osteopathy, pilates, exercise, injections etc etc along the way.
‘82 Laminectomy + nerve root adhesions removed
‘87 Sclerosant (prolotherapy) injections
2000 Spinal fusion – L4/5 L5/S1 – left wi
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2007, 03:32 PM
Justin Justin is offline
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Rosedee and Jen,

Your surgery dates are coming up quick! Terry's advice is always great.

Here is a "checklist" of sorts created by our very own Alastair (it is specifically geared toward those traveling to Germany, but it has universal application): ADR Checklist.

Let us know how things turn out.

Justin
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  #6  
Old 05-14-2007, 10:16 AM
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Terry Terry is offline
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I believe you can use SKYPE on your personal computer for telephone usage. Much cheaper than land lines. E-mail is a great form of communication. Don't forget the power converter. Radio Shack has them for specific country's. Ask for German and it is cheaper than the world wide model. I bought one for the world. I regret not having two for our use in case one went bad or you have more to charge; i.e. MP3 Player (Essential ). I brought my computer, PDA, Cell Phone (Worthless unless you have a worldwide plan), Passport (Start early but, if necessary, get your Congressman involved in getting one fast), extra money (Go through XE.com - Cheaper although currency rates are horrible - Blame Bush), an IPOD or other musical device (Good for listening to music privately while others sleep around you), and, definitely ask for wheelchair assistance for all airport time, ask for a Benzo supplement to make the flight more manageable (give to spouse to administer according to doctor's instructions to keep from overdosing - not good in a foreign country - personal experience .) And the Serenity Prayer is always helpful. There was nothing we needed that I did not have. Life turned out well with the trust. A checklist is helpful though(Thanks be to Justin and Alastair).

Being a fellow control freak I think they should let us fly the planes. I would certainly feel better with flying. It would not have helped being in an overdose condition though. The plane may not have flown in a straight line (Drunk Flying? ) At least if the plane would've went down there was at least one person that would not have known about it.

Good-Luck all. It is a traumatic and fearful time. Especially for all of the pain you are in and the stress this puts on you and the caregivers.

Trust God/Go With God.

Terry Newton
__________________
1980 ruptured L4-L5
1988 ruptured SI-L5
1990 ruptured C5-C6
1994 ruptured C6-C7
1995 Hemi-Laminectomy C5-C6, C6-C7 Mayo Clinic
Bicycle Accident 2004
MRI, EMG, Facet Injections, Epidural Blocks, Lumbar Discogram.
Stenum Hospital Surgery November 4, 2006
Prestige Disc C5-C6, C6-C7
Maverick Disc S1-L5, L4-L5
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  #7  
Old 05-14-2007, 10:17 AM
Jen in Brum Jen in Brum is offline
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Hi Rosedee,

Fantastic, you had me laughing out loud this morning!! Thanks for your tips, I was PJs all the way up until now! Lots of luck and best wishes for your op. I'll be keeping an eye out for follow ups!

Justin

Many thanks, this checklist is certainly useful and again had me laughing out loud which is all good.


Jen
__________________
Grade 2 spondylolisthesis L5/S1 with moderate flattening of the foramina (?). Proximal areas are all fine. Mild scoliosis, in thoratic spine with a wedged shaped vertibrae.
Spinal fusion (L5/S1) graft (pelvis) interbody cage decompression graft (not
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2007, 11:04 AM
CHILLEE CHILLEE is offline
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Welcome and best wishes Jen! I hope your surgery goes well and will look forward to follow up posts. Godspeed!
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08/99 Herniation L5-S1
03/02-12/02-PT and 3 epidurals
01/04-11/04-PT, Chiro, 3 epidurals
03/30/05 ADR Charite at CINN, Dr. Noam Stadlan
04/24/05 Return to CINN inpatient for pain control issues
01/18/06 Hospitalized for pain spike, 5 day stay
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2007, 12:47 PM
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Lyndsay Lyndsay is offline
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Hi Jen

Good luck with your op, I'm sure you'll be fine I'm fairly sure Rose has covered everything. I too was a PJ girl but nighties really are a must for hospital & the first few weeks post op!

If you have a laptop check if you can pick up a signal, having mine kept me sane! The nurses often asked if I was working but nope, just keeping in touch with the world lol!! (I was in London with only one great friend near by). Also books &/or magazines are useful. You can also have your mobile phone in most hospitals now, particularly private ones or as Terry suggested, Skype is great.

Now take a deep breath & relax, in a few days it will all be over

All the best
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Lyndsay x

37 years old
DDD
L4/L5 - L5/S1 DDD
L5/S1 Annular Tear
End Stage Facet Joint Arthritis
Chronic Pain
Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
15 Nov 06 ~ Prodisc ADR at L5/S1
Need a revision but not a surgeon in the UK will (or can?) remove a Prodisc!!
Prodisc has ruined my life
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2007, 11:47 PM
Kim Kim is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 267
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Wanted to add a couple of things here that helped me out when I had my fusion last year. The back brace was real scratchy and uncomfortable against the skin Someonee suggested a camisole under it I went and bought the mens tank tee shirts and used those under the brace the soft cotton did not aggravate my tummy and helped keep me from being scratched by the brace.
I also took a couple of like real loose fitting sleeveless cotton dresses that I could just slip on and off Bending to put pants on is a pain the first couple of days so this was easier for me Also even on the elastic pants they would rub my abdominal incision which was real sensetive so it stopped that as well.
I know some folks here have gotten the raised toilet seats and swore by them I didnt have one and did fine without it but something to think about. One thing I wish I had and did not was a shower chair for when I got home it was a big deal to get in and out of the tub
Good luck to you
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Kim
Herniated disc L5/S1 2000 Discectomy 10/2003 Rhizotomy 8/2004 and 3/2005Discogram 11/04 grade 7 tear L5/S1
L4/L5 Grade 5 tear with herniation and stenosis
Evaluated by Dr Blumenthal at TBI
2/2005 ADR 2 level recommended
2 level lumbar fusion
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