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My spine surgery journey: from preparation to recovery

I really struggle with saying no, so even the plan above with its "semi-no" feels difficult, but I think that it is the best option for me and where I am at.

I think that is excellently thought out and planned. And you can tweak and develop it as you go. My view is that this is your health and your op and entitled to what helps you rather than doing things that dont for others who arent the patient. You are in charge of you.

Oh and I relate to detesting my family getting involved in anything medical or related of mine. It can feel like a violation even when it isnt or isnt intended to be.

Credit to you making the decision about the op. : )
 
I think that is excellently thought out and planned. And you can tweak and develop it as you go. My view is that this is your health and your op and entitled to what helps you rather than doing things that dont for others who arent the patient. You are in charge of you.
Thanks @Abstract :)
Credit to you making the decision about the op. : )
And thank you.

It's a decision that was made following a discussion with the surgeon (where I made sure I had every question on my piece of paper answered. And I had ran through the questions with my GP in advance to make sure I hadn't missed anything major), and the registrar.

Importantly, neither the surgeon or the registrar were in any hurry to "push" me into surgery, as well as starting the appointment by listing off the things that surgery couldn't be guaranteed to provide, which I initially read as their reluctance to offer the surgery and I actually felt quite disappointed that it wasn't going to happen part way through the appointment.

But having read others' experiences online since, of surgeons who were only too keen to offer surgery in their clinic appointment and present a case where there was no option aside from surgery when really there was, I can see the merit in how they approached the matter.

So ultimately, the decision was one that I got to make based off the whole conversation (which included the acknowledgement that I am in surgical territory, so if I did decide to proceed then they would offer it).

My brain still likes to make me doubt the decision from time to time, but I think that's just due to the magnitude of the procedure and related anxiety, and because my brain is generally speaking quite a dick sometimes.

And now I'm aware I've just ranted off a whole post that no one made me feel obliged to justify my decision, aside from myself.
But I suppose if anyone reading along is curious as to how I got to the decision of surgery, that'll give you some insight :)
 
What I told my mother about my surgery? I said I’d see her at the surgery center where she can speak to the team there, and be there when I wake up. All other appointments including the pre-op were just for me.

She actually ended up only being there when I woke up, and a friend was on the phone for moral support as I got checked in. It worked out better for me that way, and it let me talk about my PTSD symptoms more easily.

I only mention this to say, this is how far a “no” can go and be ok. Do what works for you. I think you've got a great plan, a solid compromise, and I hope you continue to claim the space you need.
 
@bellbird ?I hope you will keep us posted when the time comes? If you want to anyway. And keep writing about your concerns, it really does help??☺️
I will :) at least for pre-op, as it's very helpful having a space to air out worries and to just -write- about it sometimes.
And we'll see how big my motivation is post-op :P
I only mention this to say, this is how far a “no” can go and be ok. Do what works for you. I think you've got a great plan, a solid compromise, and I hope you continue to claim the space you need.
Thank you for sharing @Justmehere .
Good on you for doing what you did. It's helpful to hear others have done so too.
I'm so used to people (IRL) telling me to just "tell my parents" and that's about it. So it's really nice to be able to hash this out with people who are supportive of alternative approaches.

--

For anyone interested:
My surgery will be an anterior lumbar spinal fusion from T11-L3.
My surgeon was pleased with the results of my traction x-ray, which measured my spine's flexibility, that he will only need to operate on my lumbar curve (~54 degrees) and my compensatory thoracic curve (~37 degrees) will readjust itself.
Hence the anterior approach, which is only performed on the lumbar spine, and is my surgeon's preferred approach, as well as the approach which he feels will produce the superior result.

They will operate from my left side, making the incision in line with one of my ribs (not sure which one), removing that rib, and deflating my left lung to access my spine.
The rib will be used as the bone graft material to perform the fusion.
They will roughen the vertebrae from T11-L3 to provide a better surface for fusion, and place the rib (sort of blitzed up, I believe) into (most likely) metal cages which will fit in between the vertebrae.
Ultimately T11-L3 will literally "fuse" to form one continuous piece of bone, and stop the curvature from progressing.

Two rods will be placed along the vertebrae, and held in place by screws.
The instrumentation is there to provide support to the spine while it fuses, and is typically left in place following spinal fusion (which can take up to a year).

They will then re-inflate my lung, and close the incision.

I've decided to refer to the op as my "rib translocation". Essentially that's the gist of it. One rib less in my rib cage, and relocated to its new home in my lower spine. At least I get to keep it :D
 
Thank you for sharing that! I really hope this helps the back pain go away!

Everyone else has already said anything I could think of. Unfortunately I was a minor when I was diagnosed, so my mom knows everything. However, the medical field is sworn into privacy where appropriate. So, you can keep your diagnoses private if you need to. People gave you some great ideas! I wish I could add, but instead I’ll just say that I’m supporting you from over the ocean :) :hug:
 
Thank you for sharing that! I really hope this helps the back pain go away!

Everyone else has already said anything I could think of. Unfortunately I was a minor when I was diagnosed, so my mom knows everything. However, the medical field is sworn into privacy where appropriate. So, you can keep your diagnoses private if you need to. People gave you some great ideas! I wish I could add, but instead I’ll just say that I’m supporting you from over the ocean :):hug:
Thank you @littleoc ! :)
 
Can you talk to the med folks about getting home health nurse instead of going to your parents? Or in a recovery/rehabilitation center?
Oh I hadn't thought of that, thanks @Freida .
I had, however, already organised with my parents that I would stay at their house for the ~6 weeks post op that I won't be well enough to be at uni.
So I think I will need to find ways to manage that stay instead.

--

Also just realised that I will need to talk to my surgical team of the potential trigger in the anaesthesia meds, given my past experiences of being drugged by my ex.
I don't -think- that it'll be an issue for when they put me under, but possibly for when I wake up and will be feeling very out of it for the first couple of days (I'll be given a PCA pump while I'm in ICU so I'll pretty much be on constant heavy pain meds for that time).
Just so the team know that if I start panicking, probably the best thing they can do is just talk to me and remind me that I'm in the hospital and have just had an operation.
 
ust so the team know that if I start panicking, probably the best thing they can do is just talk to me a
I woke up in the recovery room screaming and fighting and this very large African American woman came over, took my hand and said, "Oh no hunny - you are not supposed to be awake yet. You go back to sleep now" And I did! I have lots of holes in my memory but that one? That one still makes me giggle.

And - now I know to tell the docs -- I may wake up cranky...
 
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