Monday, January 01, 2007



My mom called the MDA as soon as she got the business card from my brother. The first thing they did was sign me up for a neurologist at their clinic. After checking me out the neurologist referred me to a orthopedic surgeon who specialized in back surgeries. The neurologist was quite concerned with my scoliosis (curvature of the spine). The orthopedic surgeon made me feel so comfortable. He was so nice and personable. He told me I had a 54% curvature in my spine, and that he could do a procedure that would correct it as much as possible. I never felt it was curved that bad. Not my old neurologist or even my family doctor at the time was concerned. Not anyone since the elementary school nurse. Although I did know it was curved some because of the teasing I got about being a "hunchback of Notre Dame" in middle school. The surgery was new at that time, but the surgeon had done this several times already successfully. I am not sure what the exact procedure is called besides scoliosis surgery. They put these metal rods (called CD Rods) in my back to hold my spine up straight. I would not need a back brace or any thing to wear after the surgery. I trusted him, and agreed to do it.

I went in the hospital during the week of spring break. The day before I was scheduled my friend Kari spent the night at my house. We stayed up late, ate pizza, and watched E.T. on video (VHS). On the day of the surgery I kissed my parents, and was wheeled from my bed into the ever so cold operating room. One of the nurses came beside me to help me stay calm. All I could see of her face was her eyes for everything else was covered. She had very pretty eyes and long eyelashes. She was also wearing a nice smelling perfume. We were chattin about that stuff when a mask was rudely put over my face! I was told to countdown from 10. Of course, I did not make it and went to sleep. After four hours of surgery the doctor came out to tell my parents that everything went better than he expected. He was able to correct my curvature to 23%! He did not think he would get it corrected that much. When I woke up my eyes were almost swollen shut, and my mouth was like cotton. My mom said my dad was a nervous wreck, and wanted to make sure I was not in pain. I had an IV that would send me pain medication when I pushed a button. It was time released so that I could not overdose on it. My dad knew the schedule, and my mom said he was always going up there pushing the button! It was a couple of days before I even tried sitting up. This is when I really learned that privacy was thrown out the window. From getting sick, going to the bathroom, and taking a shower it was crazy. It was another realization for me not to sweat the small things, and that it is okay to have help. I ended up having a big scar down the middle of my back. I keep thinking I will set off the metal detectors at the airport! This scar makes for a good conversation piece. I usually tell people it was a failed attempt of being cut in half! I spent two weeks in the hospital. I had lot's of visitors. Friends from school this time came, my family, and youth group. I felt very loved. My favorite class was Spanish. Mrs. B’s (Spanish teacher) husband was a very talented and sweet man who made for me a poster that everyone who wanted signed from school. They also had a spring dance the Thursday before spring break began. I did not go and Mr. B had taped it for a senior video he was making. Mr. and Mrs. B brought the video and poster up to the hospital. He rigged up the TV, and showed me the video! It was very sweet. I cannot forget this guy that my brother would pick up for school every day that I thought could have buttered my popcorn quite well If you know what I'm talking about!! He came to see me, and got me the Debbie Gibson cassette! I was thrilled and was such a cheese ball that I dedicated the song from that cassette “Lost in your Eyes,” to him (I am still 14 at this time don’t forget!). I was also in the hospital during Easter and got several Easter bunnies (stuffed animals). My cousin made me a big bucket of noodle nests! I am not a big sweet eater, but love these things. It is like these Chinese egg noodles, and you pour white chocolate over them, and make them into a nest then put jelly beans in them. I haven't had any in a couple of years, but I can make myself sick eating them. Enough about those, but I may be able to talk to my cousin and get the recipe if you would like. They are very easy. Let me know. During that time I was in hospital my grandma (mom's mom) also had went to the hospital. My grandma had lung cancer, and made several trips to the hospital during the past couple of years of her life. We both ended up leaving the hospital on the same day. So we set it up to meet each other in the lobby, and have a wheelchair race! Just kidding.

I knew the road to recovery would be very long, and sometimes painful. It was like I had to learn to do everything differently than I did before because my balance had shifted due to the fact of the surgery. Even getting comfortable sleeping was weird. My grandma (dad's mom) stayed with me while mom and dad worked during the day. Learning to walk again was rough, but there was no other option in my mind. I had to get my strength up so I could return back to school. My dad was very patient with me in helping me to walk. It was then I knew that my days of walking without help of a wall, person, or rail was over. I think I was at home two weeks before I started back to school. I only went half days for the first two weeks. During spring break they had moved my history class from the farthest prefab building to the main building so I wouldn't have far to travel. The great thing about my high school was their support of me. The faculty and staff always made me feel wanted. I was still in my typing class for the first period, and they had rolling chairs to sit on. I had sat on one and it tipt backwards when I leaned on it onto the concrete floor. The teacher felt so bad, but surprisingly it did not hurt. With every passing day it got better and better. If I am in the right position you can feel the rod sticking out of my right shoulder blade. Sounds gross I know, but it does not hurt. The surgeon told me that I what eventually probably need to get the rod restraightened. It horrifies me to think of going under the knife again for that, and dealing with the recovery now that my progression is worse.

Several years ago I went to a orthopedic surgeon for some bursitis in my back. He did an x-ray of my back, and told me that everything looked fine. I was happy to hear that. Everyday (almost), I try to keep my back strength up by doing a stationary hand bike. I think it helps.

I would love to hear your scar stories????????

Thanks for taking the time to read, MISS S

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