10 week PLIF x-rays show BONE GROWTH!!

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Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 3/27/2008 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Friends! 
 Hope everyone is having a pretty good day---think of you all so oftern & just wanted to share that I saw my neurosurgeon yesterday for my 10 week post PLIF x-rays and they show new BONE growing all along the sides of the L4/L5 rods, screws, etc and in between the implant itself---looks like "fog" but doc said it was real bone & "quite a lot for only 10 weeks out"!
 
Well, won't bore anyone w/details & I'm a long way from total fusion yet, but he assured me that it is indeed "real" bone, fragile yet, but lots of it and wants to see me in May, unless something comes up....
 
I can't believe it!  I'm ecstatic/tired/happy/exhausted/elated/burned-out---blah blah blah---He said "just keep doing what you're doing (resting, eating lots of protien,walking etc) don't over-do it & be happy!"
 
So I will!
 
Thank you all for your support over the past months---having friends to talk to sure lifts ones spirits and you all have been the best friends to me.  I only wish I could wave a magic wand and have everyone on the road to successful recovery....that will be my prayer for everyone today!  Healing well---and hoping you are all doing the same!
 
~Lakeside
 
 
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 3/29/2008 6:07 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you Gramps!  You are always so faithful in helping us all by your thoughtful replies and warm-hearted wishes!

I appreciate your support as I work towards recovery---"one SLOW day at a time"....

Enjoy the sunshine, if it's out for you!  Sure is here---time for an AM walk along the beach!

:) Thanks again! ~ Lake


Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 3/30/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Lakeside,
I posted on the other thread about difficulty with bending over to vomit (sorry to be graphic, but that's the truth of it!) but didn't want you to think that I feel extremely limited in movement. This was my first back surgery, and, unfortunately, my surgeon has said I'm one of a couple of his patients who still has some "soft tissue" which is likely pressing on the nerve, and that's why I've not had any relief of my buttock, leg and foot symptoms. So the surgery for me has really just added more pain - the muscles around the surgery site. My surgeon suggested another "traditional" surgery, but for now I'm saying no to that, as I do notice those back muslces tighten up every night when I go to bed even from the minimally invasive procedure, so I can't imagine how much worse it might be with a traditional surgery.

That being said, I was concerned I was going to lose a lot of flexibility from the fusion, and I honestly haven't found that to be true. I thought I might have trouble driving, for example, needing turn at the waist to back up, etc. (because I've had neck problems for years so have compensated by using my lower back). I've had no problems driving, and doing most tasks - at least no more than I had before the surgery, except there are certain things I'm learning - like I learned this week regarding the bending over toilet issue - that I guess I won't be able to do. On Easter Sunday I bent over to pick up a cat at my cousin's house, and had to drop it because I bent from the waste (which we shouldn't be doing anyway!) and the cat was a little too chubby! So it seems anything that puts a strain on those muscles around the surgery can be a challenge. My physical therapist is still working with those muslces in my lower back, but even he's not sure if they will ever stay relaxed. They easily spasm now. But I can do wash, take clothes out of the dryer and fold them on the bed, etc. with no problems. I guess we just have to learn as we go! If the surgery had decreased the nerve pain down my leg and into my feet, I would feel it woud have been well worth the trade off with added lower back pain, but unfortunately for me it didn't help. I'm glad it helped you, however, so have faith that you'll get better over time, and will likely find a few things that you won't be able to do. But I keep telling myself that my DDD was worsening so rapidly that it was likely I would have continually been more and more limited without the fusion.

Keep us posted!

Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 4/1/2008 10:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, PAlady! I'm sorry you have issues w/ healing your fusion. I know nothing more, personally, than that it DID reduce, greatly, my sciatic nerve problems & the neuropathic pain in my leg/foot. But my back---well, that's still very sore, stiff, tight, etc...& as you describe, the muscles are just so painful not only around the surgery site but above & below as well. Doc said last week that's normal & doesn't want me to do any PT or massage yet, as there is a fusion starting & he wants to be very conservative at this point.
My fear/worst case nightmare is that it'll continue to fuse & my pain will reduce---only to recur later on, as so many others have stated, & then what?! I know it's conunter-productive to "worry ahead" b/c many people have fused just fine & go on to lead reduced-pain lives, etc. But many others have not. I guess I'll keep taking it "one day at a time" & try not to "what if" so much!

I did read your post on the other thread about bending while being sick....made a note of that, for future reference! Right now, of course, I am not bending over at all, only from the hips if I need to, but never @ the waist & laugh each PM when I try to brush my teeth, knees bent, leaning over from my hips & the stuff all runs down my arm...LOL! Gotta keep a sense of humor! So many little invisible "adjustments" just to get thru each day...I think that wears us ALL down, as I read the others' posts, too. All the accommodations we have to make just to achieve some normalcy, things that "normal" people don't even think about! Just getting thru our daily routine, such as it is, is sometimes exhausting!

I too, tho, inspite of not bending right now, am pleasantly surprised by the amount of flexibility I have retained. First my doc was going to do a 2-level, from L4-S1, but decided the S1 looked strong enough (yet...) so did the 1-level L4/5 PLIF. I think had I had the S1 fused as well, there would be greater restriction of movement, not to mention more pain. Altho this "1 level" has been painful enough for me, after the 2 priors, etc.

I will take your advice, when my doc allows PT, to have them work on those tight muscles, etc. I'm sure those are contributing to my pain right now, but hope the PT can help relax them. Altho, a friend of mine, who had a fusion 3 years ago, says she still needs 10 minutes to limber up every day b4 getting out of bed & still has muscle spasms, tightness & such.....I guess it's just part of the deal!

So leave those fat cats on the floor! (We have two: a very skinny Siamese & a HUGE mackerel tabby @ 19#'s!!) They have can walk on their 4 feet & they don't have back problems! (Maybe that's why!!)

Thanks for the comments, advice & support! Hope you're feeling better today! And yes, re your DDD: that's what I had & myDoc said fusions are classed as "salvage surgeries" in that they can't fix much but do help prevent some things from getting worse. Cold comfort, tho, in that! I think we just trade one type of pain for another, actually!

~Lakeside
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/1/2008 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Lakeside -
FYI: My physical therapist has had to progress very slowly. I still am not doing any exercises of any sort. He tried to put me on his treadmill about a month ago for 5 minutes at the lowest of speeds, and it increased all the neuropathic symptoms in my feet so much I told him I just could not do it. I can't take any MORE pain, ya know? (of course you do!) But he is doing ultrasound and, in recent weeks only, some gentle trigger point massage around those lower back muscles. But because I've run out of PT sessions, I'm doing the heat and stim. at home. I was lucky - there were representatives from the company giving (for free) intraferential stimulators through my PT right at the time I started. They're similar to a tens unit, but my PT says they work for both pain and to increase blood flow to the muslces. So they sent a note to my surgeon's office to ok it, and I got the machine for free. And they send me supplies regularly, except the little sucker goes through batteries like water! So I had to invest in a 9v battery charter and rechargeable batteries. That being said, I use it almost every night for about an hour, and I think it has helped those muslces relax. I don't know if it's too early for you to do something like this. I didn't even start PT until 3 months out, and again, it's all been very passive stuff. I am stilll hoping to get back on my Pilates machine, just for some gentle stretches, but I find it takes very little to aggravate the nerves and those back muslces.

Yes, I guess there's some of this we'll just have to live with. I had a 2-level fusion, by the way. My spine was such a mess they had no choice.

Good luck!

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/1/2008 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
p.s. It's really an interesting coincidence. You live on the shores of Lake Michigan, and I live across the street from Lake Erie! I can see it from my window as I write. It's finally thawed, tho' still a few chunks of ice. I noticed how much the cold really made my pain worse, too. Can't wait for more sun!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 4/1/2008 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   
WooHoo Lakeside. I am so glad to hear you are doing well since surgery. Just take care of yourself and follow those dr orders to the t. You will be glad later on that you listened to him. Keep up with your walking routine, that just helps to strengthen those muscles.

Take care Susie


Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 4/2/2008 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Susie!
Thank you for your encouragement! And yet, I'll be walking today, as I try to do everyday (the only thing my doc approves yet) and now that the storms have passed, it's a lovely, sunny spring day & the beach is calling to me....!

PAlady, will be thinking of you looking at Lake Erie as I walk along Lake Michigan....I think we share the same water, somewhere along the way! At any rate, it's so inspirational to look at the Lake, hear the waves & seagulls & today we have a flock of migrating Merganzer Ducks bobbing up & down & there's a Mute Swan who is always paddling back & forth (maybe awaiting its mate?) so I have a lot to "do" today....!

Greeting to all my Healing Well friends! Do the best you can today, and I hope you are all feeling better, or at least (as my doc says ) "Not worse!"

~Lakeside
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/2/2008 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Lakeside -
Yes, I believe it all flows downhill. LOL But it's cold here again today, so the ice flows are back. There's a beauty to them, for sure, but that beauty wears thin by April! Anyone who's never seen a totally frozen Great Lake would never believe it can happen, although now there's only sections that freeze and thaw as spring is trying to break through. One favor - please send the cold air BACK to Canada, instead of letting it blow on down my way! ;-)

Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 4/2/2008 5:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gramps!
So you & I are somewhat in the same area, Lake-wise! We are up the pike a bit, north of Milwaukee, near Manitowoc....I love to watch the carferry in the summer, going across the lake (takes 4 hrs one way) and then as the moon comes up at night, sometimes I can see her return, around midnight, as the pain is usually keeping me awake anyhow, but yes, there IS something about it that just calms the mind & quiets the soul --- even helps the pain, if you go swimming when the waters' cold, haha! And when others are sweltering in July, we have a comfy naturally air-conditioned 78, right? :)

We do swim in the summer, but you're correct---DON'T drink it! :) There's a cocktail in Milwaukee called the "Cryptosporidium Special", haha! Never tried it---maybe it would help my CP, tho!! HA! You get to that point, don't you! Try anything!

PALady: Will do my best to block that Candian cold front, but can only do so much! Weather sysytems flow from west to east, like our lake water, so sorry to be sending you what we got rid of yesterday, all that damp & rainy weather!

Have a comfortable evening, however you all achieve it. As Scarlett said, "Tomrrow is another day". Maybe she had back problems too!
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


sjkly
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 4/2/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
As an excile from Lake Ontario I had to join the Great Lakes Discussion. I grew up in the snow belt region off the Eastern Shore of Lake Ontario in upstate New York.
Every winter some idiot tourist with a 60,000 dollar truck decides to go ice fishing. Although the ice is feet thick on Ontario in December the Lake is very turbulant with high and low tides twice a day. Most of you already see how this ends. A very expensive truck on the bottom of the lake and no way to fish it out.
By the way Lake Michigan is beautiful, when I say it it was all bright jewel tones and very quite-at least an Navy Pier. Ontario is a dark creature constantly moving-it sounds like the ocean it is the best music to sleep to.
Sj

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/2/2008 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   
SJ,
I know about those ice fishermen (they're usually men, but not always). Our "idiots" tend to come up from Pittsburgh, although we have some local bumpkins, too. No matter what the warnings, they'll be out on the Bay in Erie with their vehices and sheds and eventually someone goes kerplunk! And then in the summer the same ones come up and decide that going fishing when there's seriously threatening skies on the horizon is just fine....what's a little rain, eh? Of course, if they're lucky it'll just be a coast guard rescue. A few are very, very unlucky indeed, but we won't go there.

Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 4/3/2008 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi SJ, PAlady and other Lake People!
This is a fun thread! Weather report today: we have (& will be sending East) sunny skies, SE winds, mid-40's--just lovely! Lake Michigan is a sparkly spirng-time light blue today, looks very benign, but as SJ says, any large lake can change its mood very quickly. I've seen/felt the wind switch in 5 minutes somedays, going from calm water to 5-6 waves, high winds, etc.....People who don't know about this (who may be used to inland waters) will take a little tiny boat out, no radio or radar, and as PA lady implies, will need the Coast Guard to (hopefully) rescue them....Wisconsin has heavy fines for that, as the cost to bring in the Guard for stuff like is high. And ignorance is no excuse, as some have pled.

Yes, I can imagine each Lake has its own "personality" I've seen only our Lake & Lake Superior, which is HUGE (duh!) very dark blue and always COLD...it swollows a lot of things in November (remember the Edmund Fitzgerald?) and sends its chlly waters to us 1st, then on down thru the locks to PALady, SJ and others east....

And yes, that "ocean music" at night calms the mind & soul---the best lullaby there is, so soothing, regular and predictable---like it "breathes"---the humidity, tho, causes problems (like the other day when everyone was so achy & sore) but to me, it's worth that price.

Beautiful thread! Any other Great Lakers out there?

Time for a walk on the beach! I always love to see what washes up during the night! Last year I found a pair of capri pants---and they even fit! What a story there....also find a lot of single shoes and one time a lawn chair! Best one, besides the capris, was our granddaughter finding a note attached to a balloon from Holland, Michigan! Worked its way 90 miles across, right to her! She wrote back & even got a reply! Only we mailed it, as wave action goes from Michigan to us, not the other way!

Have a "better than yesterday" day!

~Lakeside, literally! :)
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


Toritoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 4/3/2008 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi,

I just wanted to voice my opinions on fusions. I've had three all L3 and down. Some of them included rods and wire and screws and cages. bottom line a fusion is exactly what it says a fusion of bone, that means it is solid.  It never again will act like your normal healthy spine and discs. I've never been able to tolerate hardware on my spine and have always had it to have it surgically removed. While fusions are a neccesary evil sometimes if there is any way around it, take it. My two cents and I'm out. Have a tolerable day and try something I do always, find something to smile about. A new flower in your garden a beautiful sunset or sunrise, anything that makes you smile.

                                            toritoo

Toritoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 4/3/2008 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Talking about Lakes I'm on th west coast and spent 6 years living next to Lake Arrowhead a beautiful site at least up until the last big fire last year. I miss it though. Wanted to add that after my last surgery I had a relapse after a couple of months and after visiting my Dr. was told I have FBS (Failed Back Syndrome or how I like to thing of it Failed Back Surgery). I'm not sure if surgery is even an option any more.
We have blue bells growing in our garden and that has been making me smile for over a week. Easily pleased maybe but find your smile where ever you can. Bye Bye again, toritoo

Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 4/4/2008 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning from Lake Michigan (which is still here....)
Yes, Toritoo, once you have back surgery of any kind, your back will never again feel the same way. I knew that immediately after waking up after my 1st lammy---i remembering thinking "OMG---I can't believe this pain---I didn't sign-up for THIS!" Little did I know it would just morph into more/different pain over the next year---and I know (and was honestly told so by my neuro-doc) that I will ALWAYS have pain, maybe not as severe as just now, but ALWAYS.....well, we endure it, don't we, and we can't go back (dark thoughts there, won't go there) so as you say, find those smiles and positive things wherever you can. For me, it's the Lake, the little daffodil spears peeking up now, the redwing blackbirds out today ("konk-a-reeee") the fresh, new slant of the Spring sunshine..... there is, yet, a lot to enjoy in our misery---a sort of "miserable joyfulness" that helps me, at least,plough thru each day.

Wishing you all a tolerable day...it is so great to know you are all here & as I read the posts, even if I don't comment on most of them, I always include you in my daily prayers for healing and comfort.

Going for a beach walk! Maybe something washed up during the night I can use today...a magic wand, perhaps?! * Poof* Everyone is now healed!

~Lakeside
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


Toritoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 4/4/2008 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
sad  Good day all,
It's nice to know some one is out there when I write and I want to say thanks again. Today you can see from my icon I'm feeling a lil blue and of course pain but the blue part is that today my sister, neice, daughter and friends are all off to DisneyLand for the day and of course I'm invited but there is no way I can go because of cp. Although I really don't have any real desire to do disneyland again, living on the west coast it's only about 45 minutes away and I've been there so many times, but it makes me realize yet again that I'm missing out on the memories, of seeing my family and friends smiling and laughing and just having a good time. There will be pictures, I won't be in them, and the whole situation just makes me sad. Enough whining though I will find something else to make me smile today.
I do want to say hi to gramps and Lakeside and thanks for replying to my last entry. It's nice to know your around. However I honestly wish there was no need for this kind of web site at all as I'm sure you all feel.
Lakeside after reading about your many operations and procedures I see we have a lot in common. You mention your bone marrow harvesting of the iliac cress, which I have also had done, and I wonder if you know that the iliac cress is one of the places in our back that has the honor (I think not) of being the most painfull places to do harvesting. Not a dr. but I do read a lot and talk to my dr. and that's one thing I learned.
So I guess I'm off for now to enjoy (?) another pain filled sunny California day. Till later all,
 
                                           toritoo eyes

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/4/2008 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Toritoo - you really touch on some of the more poignant losses we all experience. Others, even though well-intentioned, may just not realize the emotional pain that's part of watching others do what we no longer can but wish so much we could. Even though I'm not yet 'there', reading the post Chutz started about "What's your passion?" has actually helped me see that others have wound their way through this maze and actually found a clearing in the woods here and there. Or more appropriate to this thread, a clearning along the lakeshore! So we understand, oh, so much.

On a lighter note for all us "lakesiders"....

Lakeside, something happened to your weather. It didn't arrive! It's cloudy and chilly and rainy and foggy here today. What direction did you point it? You sure you know where Lake Erie is? ;-)

I have been chuckling off and on for a couple of days about what we find walking along the shores of a Great Lake. Fortunately, no bodies yet, tho' I've come closer than I care to remember. But mostly I find lots of items relating to women's menstrual cycles and the male sex organ, which leads me to believe there's lots of sex going on out these lakes regardless of a woman's "time of the month." And Lakeside is even finding clothes!

Another story, which I'll have to clean up since this is a family show... back in the Stone Age, when I was in my early 20's and used to party out at bars, 4 of the guys decided they were going to walk across Lake Erie to Canada. Now they decided this at 2am (closing time for PA bars), and in a rather inebriated state. But they proceeded against all advice to trot on down to the lakeshore and start walking. At 2am! And you know what - They Made It! All the way to Long Point. (one can only imagine what would happen today, what with border issues, terrorism, etc., 4 guys walking across from the USA to Canada!) A local musician wrote a song about them called Lakewalkers. I can only post part of the chorus:

Lakewalkers, Lakewalkers you've braved ice and snow
You're famous from Detroit up to Buffalo
But though you are famous your friends all agree
You're just **** "idiots" who got real lucky!

Now stuff those capri pants in a bottle and let's see if they make it to me. Or whether a tourist clinging to an overturned rowboat will use them to flag down the Coast Guard!

p.s. I just realized I didn't clarify the lake was frozen when they walked across - it would sound pretty wacky to anyone who doesn't realize the lakes can freeze over in the winter!

Post Edited (PAlady) : 4/4/2008 5:01:05 PM (GMT-6)


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 4/4/2008 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
PALady,
Your story reminded me of the other class of idiots who throw themselves off of Niagra Falls in a barrell. And the ones that participate in the tube races on the salmon river. For those who don't come from a tiny little upstate town the tube races are almost exactly what they sound like. Hundreds of rafts of between four and sixteen innertubes (the size of truck tires) litterally tied together with as many invariable drunk people sitting on them usually with an equal number of cases of beer hurtling down a deliberately flood river in late may-the water is still cold enough for you to freeze. Drownings are not unheard of and near drowning common. Once you fall off you are very likely to bob up and down under the remaining tubes.
I really miss New York.
Sj

Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 4/5/2008 8:01 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi from the Lakeshore!

What a great threat---made my LOL to read about all the odd things people do around water!  Gotta have one's "smile a day" & it sure helps!

PAlady:  Today is beautiful here!  Sunny, 50's, just gorgeous!  We will send it East to you by Mon/Tues!  The cold, damp, rainy & foggy weather you had was what WE had Mon/Tues, when everyone felt so lousy...takes a few days to blow East!  Sorry!  Meant to send you TODAY!  You'll like it!  :)

Hope everyone has a pretty good day...yesterday on my beach walk a HUGE flock of either Tundra Swans or Whistling Swans flew over my head as I walked---must have been about 100 of them, headed west to a marsh inland from us.  Just spectaular! Made me realize there are many lovely  things about life, yet...and sometimes they literally fly right over you, allowing you to be caught up, for one pain-free moment, in the joy of their beauty.  Maybe I'll see some more today!  Will report back...!

Note to Toritoo: If it's not too much trouble, could you explain a bit more on why the iliac crest bone harvest area(where my pain has been this week) is such a painful spot to harvest from?  It seems you said you, also, had a graft from this site.  All my doc said is that I'd have some "discomfort" but this has been BAAAAD!  Thank you, if you care to delve into that, however brief.  And at 11 weeks out now, why should it 1st start to really hurt NOW?!  Ugh! Thanks!

~Lakeside


Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 4/5/2008 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry--I meant "THREAD" not "THREAT"! Duh! Must be brain-fog from the CP!

~Lake
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


Toritoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 4/5/2008 11:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lakeside, I'm really not sure exactly where I obtained that information, short term memory loss? But I do know that it was what I was told. My last surgery was almost a year ago and I still have severe pain in that spot, nothing seems to help and I would add that it has been a different kind of pain than I'm used to. The spot where they did the surgery is still sensitive to the touch and the pain is sharp and makes me yelp when it hits. I wondered about the decision to take material for my graft from there and was told in my case they had exhausted all the other sites on previous surgeries. I'll bet Gramps would know more about this than I. I wish you luck and a tolerable day. Toritoo

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/5/2008 1:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Lakeside -
When I had my fusion the neurosurgeon in Pittsburgh used some kind of new, protein substance instead of a graft or donor bone. He said it was state of the art and would fuse as good or better than bone, but was very expensive and the hospital didn't like it when he used it because they had to eat the cost. But this saved me from having pain at a donor site. I had heard - and I'm sorry to say this - that many people reported more pain from the donor site than the surgery site. So I was even prepared to use cadaver bone rather than have it harvested. Do I know if what was used in me will be as good as bone? No. I know bone is growing, like you, from my 6 week X-ray. The surgeon told me the fusion can actually take 6 month - 1 year to be complete, though. I think I remember people saying that the pain from the harvest site eventually went away, but it took a long time.

I also had to refrain from any NSAIDS or aspirn products for 3 months post fusion. I used to take quite a bit of them but you know I got pretty used to going without my advil and now only take it occasionally. Of course, most of my pain is still nerve pain, and the advil doesn't help that anyway. I did start doing Omega 3's with meals to help with the pain a bit, and the surgeon told me those were ok re: inflammation. But I was told as you, that I couldn't intefere with the inflammatory process as it was necessary for fusion. I think I kind of likened it to a transplant situation where you want your body to accept something foreign, but that was my way of making peace with it.

Another thought I had Lakeside re: walking on the beach. Now I used to love walking on the beach, as you can tell, but to be honest I haven't been able to walk my beach since I fell almost 4 years ago. My beach is very rocky and uneven, and when I fell I injured my knee, and then back problems started. So now I just walk down to the end of the street and sit on the bench overlooking the lake. It's painful at times to do that, but I know walking on those uneven rocks brings back the knee pain and aggravates the back. So I was wondering if your beach is sandy, even, etc., because if not maybe it could be aggravating things for you somewhat. Just a thought.

It is sunny here today - so I guess you do know where Lake Erie is!

Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 4/5/2008 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, Toritoo!
As docs are prone to do, my truly wonderful surgeon never mentioned he even planned to take a graft from that site, or I'd have read up on it. b4 my surgery, the nurse said they usually use your "ground -up" (eww~!) spinous process and lamina that they need to remove, to use for graft material, so I had thought that was what he'd do. Guess not! When I did ask him later, he said that bone MARROW is the gold standard for achieving a good transverse & disc space fusion (I have both places filled w/ marrow) so he used the hip crest to harvest for that, rather than use "discarded material" as he put it. (Hey! That's ME!! I am NOT "discarded material"!) Luckily, he also used the same incision, as now I've head that other docs sometimes make a separate incision over your hip crest....OMG! Can't imagine that, MORE pain + the pain from the marrow-punch.
Yes, it does feel different from the "other" pain. Funny how we can differentiate our specific pains! But it is deeper, achy-er and just sore-er than my implant area, which hurts, yeah, but that's more dull and more localized.
I am sorry you're still having pain there a year out! Wow! That's awful! Did PT help at all, if you had it? Could it be partly a muscle thing? Altho it doesn't feel like a muscle pain, so.....
Oh well! At least it seems to be fusing & if I have to have some pain now, from the marrow site, but it's helping the fusion, I guess I can (or willjust have to) live w/ it~!

Thanks for answering! We have a beautiful spring day here today--hope you are enjoying something similar! ( I spent the whole day on the beach!)

~Lake
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!


Lakeside
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 4/5/2008 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi PALaday!
Didn't mean to not respond to your post---didn't see that we are on "page 2" now....~!
Thank you for the explanation re the hip crest marrow vs bone substitute---I guess it just depends on surgeon's preference. Just so long as it eventually FUSES, I'm thinking: who cares what's in there?! Bone, schmone, just grow, will ya?! :) And yes, As I wrote Toritoo, I've heard the pain from that donor site can be worse than the surgery site---and this week, for me, that's been the case. Hopefully it was a flare & maybe it'll un-flare. Any minute now would be fine w/ me! Thanks for the reassurance, also, about holding off on the NSAIDS...they would help the pain so much, but would hinder the fusion. I like how you made peace with that---I will try that as well. Think of my implant as a TRANSplant! In a way, you're right---foreign object in there for sure. Thanks for re-framing that for me---makes it more bearable!


I was on our beach all day. We have 75 feet of lake frontage and today was perfect: sunny, high 50's, gentle SE breeze, lots of gulls, ducks & a few swans... We are all sand beach with just the usual amount of smaller, interesting stones, etc. We even have a sand bar approach to the water, which can change during the summer, but last year it stayed. Some prevous years we did have about 20 ft of rocks to swim over to the sandbar, but looks like we lucked out again this year! I still do take my cane when I walk, tho, just to be safe, but after that storm on Mon/Tue (which you had Thr/Fri...) it is wide, flat and ready to trerad!

I'm sorry you have knee problems! Did that contribute to your back woes? "Knee bone connected to the back bone..." la la la la ...:)

Enjoy the fine weather tonight! Courtesy of your neighbors to the WEST! :)

Thanks again for always giving such helpful relpies!
~Lakeside

Are we on page 3 yet? :)
Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery complications includied sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & DDD @ L4/5.
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery with pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time)  & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after discectomy @ L4/5. OW!!!

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