Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another Post-Due Update

Dear Friends and Family,
As the title says, I am far overdue for giving you all another group update. My apologies.

I am at home for this semester, waiting on my final and biggest back surgery. My back has been worse recently so much of my time since coming home on Christmass break has been spent down and in bed, rather than active as you know I like to be or doing the work I have. I get along with that well enough, though.

As some of you know, I was originally going to have my back surgery back at the end of January. January 26th. It was postponed the week before that date, however. Among my eccentric health problems, I have some blood work issues. Since the middle of high school, I have had low blood counts across board (red, white, platelets, and hemoglobin). My surgeon was looking over my file and took note of these numbers again, though they have been stable, and wanted to be sure I was safe and stable for surgery.

I was sent to hematology for a number of in-depth tests and a full blood panel. (And I have an interesting story or two about the bone marrow biopsy that I was supposed to not remember and the confusion I caused.)

With the blood tests all come back, my hematologist and scoliosis surgeon conferred. I am healthy enough for the surgery. So, surgery was rescheduled a week or two ago. I will now being having it a week from this Tuesday, on March 9th.

I will precede the surgery by a few days with an large infusion of immunoglobulin, antibodies – a five hour sit while the immunoglobulin gets into my veins. And I will be given a treatment immediately before surgery to limit bleeding. I will most likely go to the hospital very early the morning of the 9th. (The exact time waits on a day-before phone call received from the hospital.)

The surgery is a major one (and very interesting). The operating room is reserved for, I believe, seven hours. The surgery is expected to take about six hours. The surgeon will open a straight line incision down my back. With very careful monitoring of my vitals and my spinal cord, my spine is straightened about as much as can be done safely. (I was told they usually correct the curve at least 50%, which with my nearly 60° curve will be significant – and should make me a couple of inches taller.) Then surface bone from my spine will be grafted to fuse vertebrae T1 through L2, essentially the length of my ribcage, and rod systems will be put on either side of my spine to stabilize.

I should be able to get back on my feet just under a week after surgery. And I should be back to fairly normal in about a month.

Please keep me in your prayers.
Thank you.

--Aaron N.

No comments: