Today I went to the hospital with my boyfriend, to have the IVC filter placed. We got there at 7am and was brought back to pre-op pretty quickly. After reviewing my medical history, they drew 1 more vial of blood (to check if I was pregnant)and inserted the IV.
Approximately 45 minutes later, I was rolled back into the Radiology department. I got on the operating table myself and they strapped me down and gave me oxygen. A little versed and fetanyl was administered, but I remember everything. They placed a drape over the right side of my face and told me to look to the left. They placed iodine and began using a machine (I'm guessing it was a cardiovascular ultrasound). The doctor injected 2 shots of Lidocaine to numb the area directly below my cervical bone and in between my jugular on the right side. Again, my eyes are open the entire time and I can hear it. Next thing I know, they are saying that they are finished. I was then rolled into recovery for 1 1/2 hours.
I felt fine afterwards while in recovery because I was still numb. When the day went on, the pain started. It is not excruciating, but very noticeable. Like talking loud, swallowing food, bending down, and driving (later that afternoon I drove-trust me, I was fine).
I have 7 days to the day until my Spinal Fusion.......
Today I received a phone call from the nurse at the hospital telling me that my appointment to place the IVC filter is tomorrow at 8am. So, I have to be there at 7am and someone has to drive me to and from the appointment because they have to sedate me to place it. They also have to place it in my neck. Yes, you read that they have to place it in my neck. Then 6 weeks after my Spinal Fusion, I have to have he IVC filter removed.
Another plus...I have to miss yet another day of work. Sigh... Whatever...
My boyfriend is going to drive me tomorrow and hopefully it won't be that long of an appointment. The nurse said that I can go back to work on Friday, but with light duty. So, that leaves 2 days left of work until the big day.
So here we go...1st round starts tomorrow.
Well, today was an interesting day. I had my final pre-op with the surgeon today. He went over how he was going to make the incisions and where. If I remember correctly, the incision will start at T2 and extend to L2. It will be titanium rods and screws as well. Now, the doctor did say that he was doing selective fusion, which means he is basically choosing the best area to fuse since I have a curve in my Thoracic (upper back) and one in my Lumbar (lower back). He says he is not going to extend to far into my Lumbar because he thinks it will correct itself due to manipulating the Thoracic. Of course, there is a chance he will have too. Just depends....
The doctor said he will have me placed in ICU for 1-2 days depending on recovery. He will also have me up and walking the next day. I will be fitted for a brace and will possibly only have to wear it for 6-8 weeks. Just depends on how I am healing. A nurse will also come to my house everyday to check on my incision site.
Now, here's the great news. He informed me that due to the possibility of forming blood clots and the family history of clots, I have to have a IVC filter placed. This contraption is inserted into my main artery and filters out the blood clots. I will have to have this placed prior to the Spinal Fusion.
Yea...more stuff, but if it helps me in the long run, the better.
Below are some pictures that took of my xrays:
I went to another doctor appointment today, but luckily this was easier. I had to visit my Physician to have surgical clearance. The hospital that I went to on the 9th sent my doctor all the results from the EKG, xrays, and blood work.
The results came back great! No heart rhythm problems or blood issues like anemia or diseases. I found out my blood type in case they have to do a blood transfusion during my Spinal Fusion. Always a wonderful thing to hear! So, in other words, I have surgical clearance.
I have only one more appointment to go. The final pre-op with my surgeon on the 24th. He will review my MRI and answer any final questions that my mother or I may have. Which, by the way, I have a full page of questions.
Sigh....it's almost here....I'm ready. Not eating to well these days because of the nervous stomach and not sleeping the best, but it's to be expected. It seems to be all I think about even when I don't mean too.
Today was one of the hardest things I've had to do. I talked to my 5 year old son today about what is getting ready to happen to his mother.
I decided to tell him at bedtime because that's when he seems to discuss his day a little bit easier than other times of day. I laid down with him and asked him if he remembers that Momma sometimes can't play because of her back. He said, "Yes, your back hurts a lot." I then hugged him as tightly as I could and told him that Momma is getting ready to have an operation to help my back feel better. He started crying saying he didn't want me to hurt. It took everything I had not to cry with him.
I told him that I was going to go to the hospital and then to his Grand-moo's house until I get better, so I will not be around him very much. I told him that he can come see me at Grand-moo's, but he has to stay with Papa (his dad) until I am stronger. My son cried and said he doesn't want me to go, but I said, "You have to stay and take care of Papa. He is scared just like you. He needs you to help him around the house and be a big man." He then replied, " Papa scared too? Oh, I have to be brave!".
I hugged him, kissed him, and told him that when I am gone, if he ever wants to see me, then to look inside his heart and that's where I'll be. I told him to also dream of me because I will be of him. That little boy is my heart and I have to be brave for him. He is the main reason I am having the Spinal Fusion. I want to know what it is like to play with my son without hurting. I want to enjoy the rest of our lives without being in pain. He is my love bug......he gives me strength.
The Spinal Coordinator called from the hospital today to go over any questions that I may have about my stay during and after my surgery. Basically, if everything goes well I will be there for 5 days. Automatically after the surgery, I go into ICU for 1-2 days and then when I am more stable, they will move me to a regular room. I will have my own medication pump and will have plenty of medications available from the nurse if I need an extra boost. I will be measured for a brace while I am in recovery and it will be made and delivered the next day to wear anytime I am out of bed. They will have me up and walking the next day. I also will have physical therapy twice a day and begin to be weaned off the meds on day 3.
My mother and I went shopping for supplies the other day. Things like extra pajamas, yoga pants, tanks and cotton shirts to wear under the brace, and more pillows. Currently, my boyfriend and I are just trying to get our house stocked up so our son and him will be ok for a couple of weeks while I am recuperating at my mothers.
I also mentioned to the Spinal Coordinator to have a baseball bat handy in case they need to knock me out the morning of my surgery. She just laughed....I was totally serious. I have approximately 2 1/2 weeks..........I'm nervous, anxious, and can't wait to see the results.
I went to my pre-op appointment at Mease Hospital today with my mom and it was not as far as I thought it would be. Traffic in Tampa is what made the drive the worst. But when we arrived, it was easy access. Everyone who worked there was very nice and helpful.
I ended up having 7 vials of blood taken, 2 EKGs, urine test, and 2 chest x-rays. I was supposed to meet with the Spine Coordinator, but I guess she was busy that day. The RN discussed some of the things that will happen the day of my surgery. Oh, they want me to arrive at 5am that morning now too.
By the time I left, I was hungry from fasting, felt like I licked a salt block because I was so thirsty, felt like I had the life sucked out of me, and probably had enough radiation from all the xrays I've had recently to light a city. In other words, a nuclear salty slug who couldn't attract a vampire.
The scheduling coordinator called me today and told me that my Orthopedic surgeon is not affiliated with the hospital where I was going to have my surgery. She said that my surgeon no longer feels comfortable working with them. When I first started going to my doctor, he operated at 2 hospitals in the Tampa Bay area (Tampa General and Mease Hospital), but I chose the one I was familiar with and closer to home, which was Tampa General.
I am not very good with change, especially so close to the big day. But what can I do? I just have to go with the flow. It is still on October 3rd, with the same surgeon, and the same anesthesiologist. Just a unfamiliar hospital that is farther away. It has a good reputation though.
So, it's still on...just a different spot.
I created a Facebook community page called, "Scoli Club United". It's a page where people from all over the world can come together and share their experiences with Scoliosis.
When I was diagnosed with Scoliosis at 12 years old, there was hardly any information or support groups out there. Everything was a take it as it comes experience. It would have been phenomenal is there was something out there to help educate myself and my family, but since there was not, I thought I could lend a helping hand. Educating and showing people with Scoliosis that they are not alone and helping with the self esteem issues that arise, especially since we all know that our society can be cruel. I was on the front lines battling with bullying and body self image problems.
This is where not only the Facebook community page, "Scoli Club United" comes in, but this personal blog of mine that you are currently reading. If I can make one person out there realize that they are beautiful, twisted and all, then I feel I have helped. I felt very alone growing up and my goal is to make the world see that yes, only 2-3% of our population has this condition but it deserves recognition. Just because you see someone who has a hump on their back, can not stand straight, complains about back pain, or you can not see it at all because you were aesthetically lucky growing up until you bend over and cruel peers ridicule you, please know that you are special.
Go to Scoli Club United Facebook page and "Like" it and share your experiences. Whether you or someone you know has Scoliosis, please share your stories, pictures, writings, or artwork.
One day there will be better research, better education, and better treatment options for Scoliosis. We are survivors.