I'm back!!!

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I'm back!!!

Postby hartagold23 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:48 pm

Hello my other family!

Thanks so much for your prayers and good wishes during my detethering surgery last Thursday. It appears to have been a success! Let's hope it stays that way. Here's the mass email I sent to relatives, friends and colleagues earlier today, just for your info. and so I don't have to type the story again. Also, I'll post it in the Lounge as well. A HUGE thanks to Mac for keeping you all informed!! :D
Here's the email I sent out:

Hi, everyone!

I am back home!! I was released from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center yesterday, and by the time I got home and got settled in, I just wanted to "pass out," so I wasn't able to construct an email at that time. I'm sure you understand. It's great to be back home!

So far, my surgery seems to have been a success! I have regained the use of my left leg (it is no longer paralyzed)!! What an answered prayer! I am learning how to walk again, being very weak after surgery. I am still using a walker, just to get started on the walking bit. I can't let go of the walker for too long because my right leg isn't strong enough yet to hold me up, so it collapses if I get over-confident with the walker. I have to remember not to push things too far.

Walking motor skills are progressing rapidly. On Monday of this past week, I couldn't walk at all. On Tuesday, I could stand and feel pressure on the bottoms of my feet. On Wednesday, I was able to walk about 30 feet. On Thursday, I could walk 100 feet! I even stopped at a Subway Shop to get something better than hospital food to eat!

Today, I will be set up with a visiting nurse for some home physical therapy and also I will get a visit from an occupational therapist, to teach me how to do things safely in the home. After they feel I'm safely independent, I will be able to get physical therapy at a nearby facility. So things are really looking up!

The surgery: I did well with the anesthesia. The doctors detethered my cord successfully, but there were nerves that had been dead all my life, so those will not regenerate. I believe those are in my feet. My feet are stiff and don't bend much. They also did a laminectomy (removal of a spinal bone), in order to reach the tethered nerves. In addition, they fixed my previous operation (done on me as a baby), because they said the former doctor hadn't done much there. It was a type of spina bifida operation that they fixed.

Pain: I have had a spinal headache since last Saturday. It's very painful and annoying. They say it will gradually go away. It seems to have eased up since I left the hospital--I'm not surprised. (Noise, lights, other sick people can aggravate a headache). In addition, I have a blocked up right ear, not sure why. So my hearing is not great at the moment. I also still have pain inside my spine where there is a fluid cyst (syringomyelia), but only if I cough or sit down too hard. They will watch to see if the cyst drains on its own. If it doesn't, I could have a shunt put in if I wish, but that has risks. Anyway, we'll watch over a year's time what happens with that and make a decision later. My current operation site goes from the middle of my back straight down to my rear, but it's very thin, well sutured and there is no pain there. They did a wonderful job on me. The surgeons were: Dr. Susan Durham (pediatric neurosurgeon who detethered me), and Dr. Nathan Simmons (who did the laminectomy and repair of my previous operation).

That's all for now. Feel free to ask any questions or just send me a hello. I may be up for visits in a week or so. I'll let you know. Thank you all so much for your prayers, well wishes, and flowers! I hope to see you sometime this summer.

Posts: 138
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 4:38 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Postby Sandy » Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:26 pm


I was shutting down for the night when I saw your message. I'm so happy to see you back and doing so well.

Many prayers have gone up for you, friend.

Please be careful and try not to do too much too fast. Remember to drink plenty of fluids and get loads of rest. I'm sure they gave you plenty of instructions, but you know that's just the mom in me speaking, out of love.

I'm so thankful to see you here again. And I hope your headache goes away real soon. Please keep us posted.

gentle hugs,
sandy :D
Posts: 1150
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 2:44 pm

Postby Tidbit » Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:47 am

Barb, that is wonderful news!! I am so happy for you! Don't overdo it now!
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 2:36 pm

woo hoo

Postby Jenintexas » Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:47 am

Hip hip hooray! that is wonderful news and a true blessing. That is great to hear that you are slowly getting back to normal. (although at this point I am not sure if anything or anyone is normal what is normal LOL)

that is awesome Barb! keep taking care of yourself. many blessings Jennifer
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 3:36 pm

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