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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    129

    Default Oh no this could be touble - surgery required

    I just found out that I need back surgery to fuse a couple of vertabrea. Supposed to be on our way to CSS in about 50 days.

    I am on a business trip and blew out a disk, trying to get home tomorrow but not sure how that will work out since the pain is 10/10. Doc has me on meds but they aren't cutting it right now.

    Really concerned about it all. Hopefully I can get it taken care of fast and recover faster and will be able to keep the plans as scheduled. I know its not the end of the world but we have been looking forward to this trip for a year. I am staying positive and know that we will be at CSS on 9/14!

    Please send goog vibs to me and Gail.

    Thanks all...
    Chuck and Gail
    Washington DC area (Northern VA)
    CSS April 19th
    7th Trip to Couples (2xCSA 4xCSS 1xCTI)
    Too many trips to JA to count and still love it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,003

    Default

    Yikes....

    Good luck, mon!
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    470

    Default

    so very sorry to hear of your pain. I have been through 5 back surgeries, they are no fun. I did a Jamaica vacation 3.5 months after my last surgery in January 2010. We all had a very good time BUT to be honest I was really pushing it.

    To try and have a surgery and vacation in 50 days is very ambiguous. Probably something your Doctor will frown upon and I certainly would not recommend!

    I remember after one surgery in early November INSISTING to my husband I could go to the mall in mid December for some shopping. Well, he had to come retrieve me after about 90 minutes. I was having muscle spasms and felt so incredibly tired. It was a tiredness that felt like it ate at my very soul.

    I would get on the phone and cancel/reschedule ASAP before the 45 day penalty kicks in!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    510

    Default

    Heck you can count me in for the good vibes and some prayers and hope all goes well for you soon and you recover soon so you two can go on your trip!!! Wishing you the best!! Keep us informed please!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    636

    Default

    I know the feeling, I had surgery 1 1/2 years ago on two discs L4-5 L3-4, they wanted to do fusion on me but I spoke with a neurosurgeon and he did laminectomy and discectomy with out the fusion. I was pain free for twelve months. Now I have another large herniated disc with the L5 -S1 and he is going to do the same procedure. Last week when I visited him he explained to me that as long as I do not have recurring issue's with the discs already operated on than fusion does not have to be done, if I have re occuring issues in the surgical locations than it will be neccesary. If you have just one herniated disc I would obtain other opinions as fusion is really just the last scenario. I had my back surgery in December 2009 and was in Jamaica February 2nd 2010, it was a great place to continue my recovery, also let the airline know with a letter from your doctor and they will do everything for you, from handling luggage to transporting you to security check and the gate.

    Feel better and good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Sandy is in the same boat, Vicodin and a hot bath in the morning was her key to survival. The trip home was pretty bad though, 17 hours from when we left the hotel until we walked in the door in Seattle - she had run out of meds about 24hrs before that.

    We've been chasing Sandy's issues for a bout a year, hoping that PT would make things better. Back in April, doc said it's time for surgery, and Sandy's up for a fusion and a decompression... We actually postponed surgery until after the trip due to not knowing exactly how quickly she'll heal. In hindsight, that may have been the wrong choice, but we still had an incredible time.

    Sit with your doc and get the real word on recovery speed. Our doc is telling us 3 days in the hospital, then 6 months before fully getting back to work. But, _not_ on bed rest, you WANT to be up and moving. The real issue with back work is about pain management. You might wanna ask your doc about a series of cortisone injections to relive the pain. That helped Sandy a lot when the injury first happened.

    Anyway, if you are looking at surgery, and if you can get things scheduled soon, and if you're in decent health otherwise, the your recovery should be pretty quick and you should be able to hit your 9/14 date. Past that, Vicodin.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512

    Default

    I went 60days after a discectomy. Not a fusion, but still...

    I also went the year during my major pain; pre-surgery. Alcohol "helps". LOL

  8. #8

    Default

    Also depends on which vertebrae need fusing....if they are lumbar (Ls) or cervical (Cs). I just had discectomy and fusion on C5,6,7....which are in the neck , on 7/5/2011 and leave for Jmaica on 9/16 with the doctor's blessing. As a nurse, I can tell you Lumbar surgery is harder and a longer recovery time than 50 days....sorry to have to say that :-(

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    292

    Default

    I practically had to carry my wife to the hospital her back pain was so bad. The nerosurgeon (we had to pull strings to get an appointment) did micro-surgery (through a microscope) and through a very small incision in her back. In recovery he said to her 'Walk over to that gurney so they can take you to your room". I WOULDN'T HAVE BELIEVED IT IF I HADN'T SEEN IT. The next day she left the hospital walking on her own power and totally pain free ever since.
    Check out ALL options before you have anything done.
    Captain Jim
    "I will grow old....
    But I won't grow up"

  10. #10

    Default

    thoughts and parayers for a speedy recovery in Paradise
    Randi & Sherri
    (Pork Chop)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Thanks all - its in the lower back L4-L5. Have an appointment tomorrow to take the next steps. Hopefully if surgery is required recovery will be quick! I really need this vacation!
    Chuck and Gail
    Washington DC area (Northern VA)
    CSS April 19th
    7th Trip to Couples (2xCSA 4xCSS 1xCTI)
    Too many trips to JA to count and still love it!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    636

    Default

    Chuck I was walking the hospital the night of my surgery(L4-5& L3-4) as I stated above. Please do get a few opinions on the fusion, many times it can be by passed in other surgical ways as I stated in earlier post. My back is a mess from a motorcycle accident and I am scheduled in October for the L5-S1 Discectomy and Lamenectomy and leaving for CN this August 8th

  13. #13

    Default

    I don't know what your specifics are, but surgery is not always inevitable with a ruptured disk. Hopefully you will be able to get by with less-aggressive treatments (like steroid injections) and still enjoy your vacation!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Got the word that surgery is not optional - needs to be done asap. Hopefully I can get it done next week and that will give me about 7 weeks to recover...bummed!
    Chuck and Gail
    Washington DC area (Northern VA)
    CSS April 19th
    7th Trip to Couples (2xCSA 4xCSS 1xCTI)
    Too many trips to JA to count and still love it!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    9

    Default

    With my experience, I would try a chiropractor. I blew out a disc at one point and was told I needed surgery. I went to a chiropractor for 2 weeks and my pain was 75% better. I ended up not having surgery and five years later have still not had surgery. It is amazing what it can do.

  16. #16

    Default

    it will all work out heres to a speedy recovery!!
    Randi & Sherri
    (Pork Chop)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    636

    Default

    Good Luck, if they do the surgery next week you will definetly need to R&R in Jamaica as I did, no place better to do it!!!!!!!!!! All will be good

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Update - I was able to get an appointment with a top notch neurosurgeon this afternoon. After about 2 hours of tests, more x-rays, reviewing the MRI he said No Problem Mon (actually they are my words). NO surgery, he said the other 3 doctors that suggessted surgery are nuts.

    He has me on a strong steroid series, some fun pain meds and physical therapy 3x a week. He said if the pain is not under control in the next 2 weeks than we would do some injections of cortisone.

    The pain is still horrible but I can deal with that knowing there won't be any cutting and the trip to CSS can go as planned. The flight may be rough but I know that after a few short hours I will be floating in the pool, holding hands with Gail, and ordering a few Bob Marley's!

    Thanks all for your thoughts and good vibes - they worked!

    So now the countdown clock can restart - 53 DAYS and counting
    Chuck and Gail
    Washington DC area (Northern VA)
    CSS April 19th
    7th Trip to Couples (2xCSA 4xCSS 1xCTI)
    Too many trips to JA to count and still love it!

  19. #19

    Default

    So glad to hear you can hold off on surgery, hoperfully not need it at all! Definitely pre-medicate yourself well before the flight! See you at the swim-up bar :-)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    636

    Default

    Great news, all will be good Mon!!!!!! Sorry if anyone out there is an Orthopedic surgeon, but thru experience always follow the Neurosurgeon advice, and if you do get surgery make sure he is doing the work and the ortho doctor is HIS assistant.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanmac1 View Post
    So glad to hear you can hold off on surgery, hoperfully not need it at all! Definitely pre-medicate yourself well before the flight! See you at the swim-up bar :-)
    We will absolutely see you at the swim up bar at least a few times! I hope to be off the meds by the time the trip cones around...Or else I would have to stay away from any bar!!
    Chuck and Gail
    Washington DC area (Northern VA)
    CSS April 19th
    7th Trip to Couples (2xCSA 4xCSS 1xCTI)
    Too many trips to JA to count and still love it!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    408

    Default

    I know you have been to CSS before, so you know there are LOTS of stairs. I would consider contacting Couples and seeing if you can transfer to CN. The resort is smaller, less stairs, and the water on Bloody Bay is wonderful for doing exercises in the water. Last year I injured my shoulder , and was in PT. I went in the ocean daily, and the warm calm salt water made my exercises much easier.
    Have fun on your trip. Make sure you continue your therapy while on vacation.

  23. #23

    Default

    I work for neurosurgeons and anesthesiologists who specialize in pain management; the epidural steroid injections can really help. I hope that your doctor finds a treatment that works for you so you can enjoy your vacation!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    510

    Default

    Congrats on no surgery and let the countdown begin Chuck!!!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bobmon&jennmon View Post
    I work for neurosurgeons and anesthesiologists who specialize in pain management; the epidural steroid injections can really help. I hope that your doctor finds a treatment that works for you so you can enjoy your vacation!
    The Dr is looking at everything with a primary and secondary goal. First one that I get feeling better with no surgery and he is 100% sure at this point that with PT and other things we will accomplish this in time.

    As far as switching to CN from CSS good idea but we are meeting friends at CSS and don't want to change. I appreciate the idea but in 50 days I will be handling the stairs ok and if not I have a lovely wife and a couple of friends that I can lean on...if all else fails sleep in a hammock on SSB with my blanky and pillow and a bottle of rum and music close by :-)

    Thanks for thinking of us I really do appreciate the ideas.

    50 days and counting! I am sore and tired from the PT but I will be fine and Gail and I are going to have the best trip ever...no matter what as long as we are together in heaven with old friends, new friend and the best resort and staff in Jamaica!
    Chuck and Gail
    Washington DC area (Northern VA)
    CSS April 19th
    7th Trip to Couples (2xCSA 4xCSS 1xCTI)
    Too many trips to JA to count and still love it!

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