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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 05-21-2005, 04:36 PM
jxe126 jxe126 is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
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Hi everyone,

I'm new to the ADR support group, but not to back pain (problems since 92) and have been on the bain pain support group website for a little while. I was happy to find another support website, especially for ADR.

I am happy to say that my husband and I are making our arrangements for our trip to Germany for my 3-level (L3-S1) with Dr. B on June 30th. However, we are having a hard time deciding on what to book for our flights. I've seen several people post on the back pain support group site that they highly recommend upgrading the flight home to either business or first class. Well, first class is absolutely out of our price range. We are really struggling with the decision between coach and business because there is a considerable price difference.

I thought the best way to figure it out would be to get some experienced people's advice to see if getting the upgraded seats are really worth the extra money. I was hoping to find people on this site too that might be able to give me advice. Although the upgrade is a lot of money, I can't imagine being miserable for a 10 - 14 hour flight (Munich to Philadelphia). After the flight, we are still going to have a 3 hour drive, but I will be able to lay down in the car for the ride home.

I'd appreciate hearing everyone else's experience, especially the multi-level ADR patients.

THANKS SO MUCH!!!!

JULIE
__________________
37 yo
3-lvl ADR L3-S1 w/ Dr. Bertagnoli 6/30/05

If God brings you to it,
He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2005, 08:59 PM
mmglobal mmglobal is offline
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Very cool Julie... I'll be in Bogen with you. I'm going for a 3-level with a 28 year-old woman... she does not post on the forums. I'm sending your contact info to her now...

I look forward to meeting you and your husband. See you there!

Where are you staying?

Mark
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2005, 09:28 PM
jxe126 jxe126 is offline
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Hi Mark,

I am actually trying to do some additional research right now into where my husband (Rodney) will stay while I am in the hospital. We were originally thinking of him just staying at the hotel that the hospital had sent information on, Romantik Hotel****Gut Schmelmerhof (www.gut-schmelmerhof.de). It actually looks quite fancy. They offer weekly rates and seem to be more of kitchenette/apartments than hotel rooms. Plus the price includes breakfast and dinner. However, early today I saw Alastair's post in the FAQ on 'Information about Bogen' where he mentioned a couple other hotels that I think might be closer than this gut schmelmerhof hotel. However, I am having a hard time finding websites for the Hotel zur Post and the Pension Schreiber.

Maybe after I get out of the hospital, he and I can stay at the gut schmelmerhof hotel, that will be our "vacation." Otherwise, one of the two I've listed above or the Hotel Am Platzl. I think that we might try the Pension Screiber under Alastair's advisement. The lack of cigarette smell is very appealing.

If you have any suggestions, I'm always open. Thanks.

JULIE
__________________
37 yo
3-lvl ADR L3-S1 w/ Dr. Bertagnoli 6/30/05

If God brings you to it,
He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.
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  #4  
Old 05-21-2005, 09:42 PM
mmglobal mmglobal is offline
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I've stayed at AmPlatzl and have been to Schmelmerhof... very cool. There are issues with phones at other hotels... lots to think about. We'll talk next week.

Mark
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2005, 09:47 PM
mwmc76 mwmc76 is offline
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Julie, I just returned from Bogen a week ago. You will love the experience. I flew back business class on the 12th day post op after a 3 level lumbar replacement. Look for a personal email I just sent you with a little more detail. Dr. B and Dr. Fenk Mayer are the best. Mark(Tennessee)
__________________
15 years of DDD
Need possible 3 level replacement
U.S. Dr.s wanted to fuse
Upcoming surgery date with Dr. Bertagnoli April 29,2005
Had sucessfull 3 level(L6,L5,L4)replacement-recovery going well.
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2005, 08:42 PM
Anita Anita is offline
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Hellu Julie,

My husband had a three-level ADR in February 2005. We were forced to upgrade to business class with Austrian Airlines. (We spent a week in Vienna after his sugery in Straubing, Germany.) A word to the wise...Some airlines can refuse boarding a person if they even hear a whisper that they've had surgery.

However, upgrading to business class, (even after choking on the price), was well worth it. He would never have handled economy, and even business class wasn't perfect, nothing will be. Also ask for a wheelchair, it makes boarding and disembarking a breeze as well as getting through customs and baggage claims because a skycap will assist you all the way...and why not be treated like a queen!

I highly recommend staying in Germany at least a week post-op, do some sight seeing, (what ever you are up for) its a beautiful area!

Also, some patients move to Straubing and stay at The Hotel Roemerhof . This where I stayed and it was immaculate and owner Eckhard Kummrow is an incredible host, extremely helpful with post-op patients needs. Also there was not even trace of cigarette smoke.!

You are in the best possible hands, give our best to Drs Bertagnoli and Fenk-Mayer.

Anita and James Peludat
__________________
We "Refused to Fuse"
Husband had triple ADR L3-4 through L5-S1. Pro-Disc
February 14th, 2005 in Germany, Dr. Bertagnoli
Bio-active bone cement used at all three levels in Germany after osteoporosis was discovered in OR. (false negative bone densit
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2005, 11:35 PM
JeffreyD JeffreyD is offline
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Julie,
Having recently returned from Germany where I had a 3 level lumbar operation with Dr. Zeegers, I can relate to you our experience. We (my wife and I) flew Lufthansa, and I could only afford economy class. Travelling to Munich, we were upgraded to business class (Praise God). This was wonderful, as the seat reclined into a full flat position and I actually layed down and slept most of the flight. I was in bad shape prior to surgery........had to lay down on the floor in the gate area prior to our flight, for instance.
Coming home, we were not upgraded due to a sold out flight. It wasn't a big deal, though, as I stayed 6 weeks post op in Munich. First and foremost was that I wanted to have the initial therapy during those critical weeks at the Alpha Klinik, plus I was able to see Dr. Zeegers for my all-important six week checkup. The cost for therapy is irrelevant, since I would have had to pay for therapy back in the U.S. anyway; same goes for food (we had a room with a small kitchen), etc. The only actual added expense when you break it down, was for the extra time at the hotel. Interestingly enough, by staying the extra time, we qualified for a significantly reduced nightly rate. The added bonus was that the plane flight home was not difficult, as I was in much better shape than if I had left after 2 or 3 weeks. Also, the extra costs were ffaaaaaaaaarrrrrr less expensive than paying for 2 first-class or business class tickets.
__________________
15+ years back pain w/ advancing disc degeneration.
2002-2 level lumbar IDET w/ Nucleoplasty (very unsuccessful; huge setback)
Three level lumbar Charite (L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1) with Dr. Zeegers in Munich, Germany: 2/25/05 (successful)
Two level cervical Mobi-C (C5/6, C6/7) with Dr. Zeegers (successful)
Laser Facet Coagulation (left side: L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1 & sacral) with Prof. Dr. Reul (significant reduction in remnant lumbar & sacral pain)
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2005, 12:08 AM
Justin Justin is offline
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Julie,

I was only a 2-level, so I don't have much to add to your specific 3-level question. I just wanted to wish you well--Drs. Bertagnoli and Fenk-Mayer are absolutely amazing.

I LOVE your signature.

Justin
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2005, 09:36 PM
JeffreyD JeffreyD is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 374
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Julie,
Just a followup to my earlier post:
I spoke to Dr. Fenk-Mayer prior to my surgery with Dr. Zeegers.........
I recall that they use very good (especially compared to the U.S.) post surgery protocols.
The more therapy you get there, the better.
Just my opinion...
Jeff
__________________
15+ years back pain w/ advancing disc degeneration.
2002-2 level lumbar IDET w/ Nucleoplasty (very unsuccessful; huge setback)
Three level lumbar Charite (L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1) with Dr. Zeegers in Munich, Germany: 2/25/05 (successful)
Two level cervical Mobi-C (C5/6, C6/7) with Dr. Zeegers (successful)
Laser Facet Coagulation (left side: L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1 & sacral) with Prof. Dr. Reul (significant reduction in remnant lumbar & sacral pain)
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  #10  
Old 05-31-2005, 01:48 PM
jxe126 jxe126 is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 17
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Thanks to everyone for all of their advice and encouragement. We've booked our flights with Lufthansa so we can do non-stop flights--8 & 9 hour flights. We just couldn't bring ourselves to pay the extra $6k for the 16-18 hours of flight time. What we were able to arrange through AAA, was handicap seating for the flight back...not sure what that means, but hopefully it will make the flight back a little easier. I'm going to make sure I have stronger pain meds for the trip over and the trip back, and pray that I can make the trip somewhat comfortably. We also decided to stay a few days longer and we hope that that will allow me to be feeling a little more up to the long flight.

We also hope that will give us a few more days to enjoy the area. Everyone has made it sound so nice; we are really looking forward to the trip and surgery. Thanks again for all of the information and advice. Everyone has been a great support!!

JULIE
__________________
37 yo
3-lvl ADR L3-S1 w/ Dr. Bertagnoli 6/30/05

If God brings you to it,
He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.
Reply With Quote
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