This is my story and why I'm on the ostomy site and the Chronic Pain site

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 11/1/2009 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   

This is my story and I’m sticking to it…..

In February 1984, I was 34 then, I suffered a heart attack I had the balloon surgery but when the aortic pump and A-line catheter was removed I occluded again leaving my LAD 100% blocked but formed excellent collateral and I lived without pain for over 20 years. 

In January 2002 I weighed in at nearly 400 lbs. even though my heart was damaged I still ate and ate foolishly for years.  Today I weigh 110 lbs.  After gastric bypass and sickness that caused me to lose more weight than I ever thought I would.  I never ever thought a doctor would tell me to gain weight but that is the circumstance I’m in today.  Eat, Eat, protein etc.

In 2006 I had lost down to about 200 lbs and thought I was going to get my life back but I had worn out this poor old body.  My knees were bone on bone and in terrible shape so I went to an orthopedic doctor and he agreed to do both knees at once bilateral knee surgery.  I knew myself well enough to know that if I went through it once with one knee I’d never ever go back to do the other bilateral knee was my answer. Wowza that was hurt and I didn’t have a good leg to stand on either.  Ha

When preparing for my bilateral knee surgery the doctor had me do an angiogram since I’d had a heart attack and he didn’t want me to have heart problems when I had my knee surgery.  My angiogram was good and the cardiovascular doctor said it looked good enough to do the knee surgery but the collateral arteries were starting to show wear and tear and they thought after I had recuperated from the knees I should have open heart bypass.    In June of 2007 I had quadruple bypass surgery and it went very well.

In September 2007 I went back to the orthopedic doctor and said that whatever he did to my knees didn’t work because they still hurt.  He did MRI’s of my back and told me that I had stenosis  in my neck and lumbar region.  As a matter of fact he said that my neck was a whiplash away from being a paraplegic and he sent me to Kansas City, KS (about 2 hours from my home) to a doctor that did this kind of surgery.  Most of the time doctors wouldn’t tell patient’s things like that but I was the HR Director at the hospital and he knew he could.    Anyway, I had my neck surgery in October of 2007 and it was a good outcome as all the other’s had been. 

Then the Lumbar surgery which at first seemed like it was going to go as well.  Boy we sure got fooled.   I came home from the hospital and after a week or so my wound opened and became infected.  I ended up going to our local hospital with my PCP Internal Med specialist.  I was septic and went back to KC for 12 weeks, 6 in the hospital and 6 in rehab.  The wound was still open when I came home in May 2008 and I went to the wound care nurse once a week but had a wound vac.  Our youngest daughter is a RN and she took care of it the other two times a week.  In July I went back to KC and they opened the wound cleaned it, stitched it and I went home.  Two weeks later I went for suture removal and when the PA took the sutures out…I opened up again.  The next several times to KC I would go but they didn’t take the wound vac off because they didn’t know how to put it back on.  I would take a picture to them.  After this happen twice I decided I could email them the picture and limit my trips to KC.  I asked our local surgeon if he would help me and he did.  He cleaned it up and put the wound vac on in surgery and I had it until April 2009 but I still had a small hole and tunnel.  I was still on antibiotics because when I went off the antibiotic I would infect yet again. In April of 2009 I went to my PCP doc and told him I thought I had the flu.  At this time swine flu was just coming out and he asked me some questions and told me I didn’t have the flu I had a gastro virus.  In May the “virus” became c-diff and I ended up back in the hospital this time in Topeka.  The docs in Topeka took good care of me.  The neuro surgeon told me to heal my back he thought if we took the hardware out of the lumbar the wound would close.  He did and it did.  The big guy in KC wouldn’t even return the phone calls from the doc in Topeka.  Nice huh?  I got to come home again.  My c-diff turned my bowels into UC that was toxic it shut down my Respiratory system was working on my kidneys and I nearly died.  As a matter of fact they told my husband who was on his way to Topeka, I was air evacuated, that I had a 66% chance of making it if they did surgery and did an ileostomy and a 0% chance if I didn’t.  He told them to start cutting.  In July I transferred back to our local hospital for recovery and rehab and I was there until the end of August.  I got to come home!!!  Yippee.  When I got home I was overwhelmed and a lot depressed.  I wouldn’t eat, drink, just wanted to be left alone, and despite everything else I continued to take my meds.  I ended up—overdosed on pain meds and muscle relaxers and I got to go back to the hospital for another week.  I wasn’t aware that I had overdosed because it wasn’t intentional but because I was dehydrated and wasn’t eating and I had lost so much weight I did OD.  When I got to come home this time I wasn’t allowed to prepare my own meds, had to have 24/7 supervision and I was a sick puppy to boot.  They 1st told me I had to go to a Nursing Home to recuperate and I refused and was able to arrange 24 hour a day supervision.

Today I have gained some weight back which is a good thing.  I am stronger and can stay by myself, I can prepare my own meds but rely on my husband to give me the pain med which is Oxycotin 5mg elixir.  He draws it up anyway.  I usually take it before bed and when I get up and depending on my activity I may have a dose in the afternoon.  It is 5 mg but I take 15mg at a time.  It doesn’t ever get rid of the pain but dulls it enough to make me be able to get around and do what needs to be done.  I retired in August 2007 as a HR Director of our local hospital.  I tell folks that I retired to become a professional patient.  NOT.  I also tell them that I went for back surgery and ended up with an ileostomy and still have back pain.  I use elixir because the pills don’t absorb with my ileo they come out whole so at least the elixir absorbs. 

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 11/1/2009 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum!! Privey you sure have been through it all haven't you! Well I think you have definitely came to the right place! and I think you will find this is a place that you will feel right at home with! So Welcome to our family! Thanks for the detailed introduction, it is nice to know all about a new persons pain issues, and my gosh you certainly have allot of them! Anyway I am sorry for all that you have had to go through, bur I am glad you found us here, and desided to join us! I wish you all the best! Good Luck to You!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--   DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in  Sep 2009,  C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9258
   Posted 11/2/2009 2:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Privy and Welcome!

All I can say is you are a survivor! BIG time! You may feel like a wreck but to those who may be considering a first surgery or other procedures, they can look at you and realize that they can do it too after reading all that you have been through. And here you are sharing it all with us. I take my hat off to your stamina and good attitude. Anyone would be amazed if you did NOT have some bouts of depression during all of that.

I do hope you are feeling better now and life is starting to slow down a bit. It sounds like you likely have the pain meds under control and you are so fortunate to have a wonderful hubby who helps. That is a God sent, IMHO. Please join us for our daily Koffee Klatches. We have some fun, relax and laugh as much as possible. Watch for the daily posts called Koffee Klatch and you'll see what it's all about. Join right in with your thoughts too. We also have Chat nights on Thursday and I'll post on Thursday morning when it is, hot to get to the chat rooms if you've never been and if we will be having a topic for the evening or just open chat time.

Hope you join us!
The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for. — Alexander Chalmers

(\o/)Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, PTSD, UC, Diabetic on insulin, collapsed disk, arthritis scattered around and a few other delights.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 11/2/2009 6:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Dang, Privey, what haven't you been through. I too am glad to hear you are finally getting your life back to some degree. There is no time like the present and your future is looking brighter too. Good Luck and welcome to the forum, you definately meet the criteria of chronic pain.
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 11/2/2009 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow Privey, glad your at home and sounds like your doing a whole lot better...
wanted to say welcome...there are a lot of nice people here and hope you'll stay and come to
chat nights on Thursday' a HR at a hospital you can provide a lot of help...
Hope you get a low pain day..
Lots of soft hugz...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 11/2/2009 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
   Dear Privey,
      Good morning. I cannot seem to remember if I introduced myself or not, so forgive me if I have. My name is Dani & it is very nice to meet you. I am very glad you came to the CP forums here at Healing Well *huggs* Welcome!
     After reading your post my heart ached for you. You have been through so much! *huggs*  I hope you continue to improve, thou it must be very slow going! I hope you can find a little time for yourself to relax today.
   Again, it is very nice to meet you. I look forward to getting to know you better as time goes by.
*soft huggs*



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood



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