Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pre-Op Appointment

Mom had her pre-op appointment at Cedar Sinai today.  This is also where she will be having her surgery for those of you that have been asking. She met with three different surgeons that will be contributing their talents to reconstructing her spine.  I talked to Mom prior to her appointment and she was extremely nervous and feeling down about the daunting surgery that is to come.  After spending approximately five hours talking with Doctors and having various pre-op procedures performed, I am happy to report that Mom walked away from the appointments with a more positive outlook on what is to come.  Her main Doctor (Dr. Pashman) was very optimistic about the surgery and said she is an excellent candidate because she is in relatively good health (aside from her back) and she is "clean", meaning she doesn't have harsh pain killers (such as Vicodin) in her system.  I think the recovery process is more challenging if you have those types of pain killers flowing through your body prior to surgery.  The one surprising (if not shocking) fact that she learned today was that her spine is no longer at a 42 degree angle, but rather at a 60 degree angle.  I think this solidifies the fact that the surgery is completely necessary as her spine is literally collapsing at a significant rate.  On a similar note, for those of you that don't know, Mom has lost approximately 4 inches of height since her initial symptoms appeared.  We aren't sure if she will gain some of the height back, but I'll be sure to update you when I am able to measure her post-surgery :). All in all, I think today turned out to be a better day than anticipated.  Thank you to everyone for your positive thoughts and words of encouragement. I know that all of your support means so much to Mom and our whole family!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let the Journey Begin

Tomorrow officially marks the beginning of Mom's journey towards a new back. Over the next two weeks she will be taking steps to prepare for her surgery.  On Tuesday (9/27) she has her pre-op doctor's appointment and she has to go off of all her current pain medications.  This could prove to be the first of many challenges as she is currently pretty dependent upon the medications.  Although they don't completely take the pain away, they definitely take the edge off so that she can get through her days.  I know she will still be determined to live her life as usual, but I hope that she is able to respect the pain and use this time to rest up for her surgery. Resting will be difficult since she wants to get all her last activities in before surgery.  I fly to California on September 29th and will be staying with Mom and Dad in Pasadena.  Mom's first surgery to place anchors in her pelvis is on the morning of October 10th.  Her second surgery to untwist her back and insert rods follows on October 13th.  She will be in the ICU overnight after her second surgery and will later be moved to a private room where she will reside until approximately October 20th.  That is the tentative timeline for now. I plan to update this blog as she progresses through her journey, so please check back here over the next couple of months for updates on how Mom is doing. Also, please feel free to leave comments and words of encouragement. I know this will be a very difficult time for Mom as she is already nervous about her surgery and the months that follow.  I am sure she could use all the love and support she can get :).

Until next time,
Nurse Julie :)