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A Piece Of My Life

Tags: Health & Wellness

It was one day in January when I had a doctor’s appointment. It was just a normal routine checkup. As the doctor was performing the exam she got to my back and began acting really oddly and at the end of the exam she said that she would refer us to a surgeon. At this point in time we were confused and had no idea what was going on. A week passed and we met with the surgeon, got through his exam and he brought to our attention that I had scoliosis and that I needed surgery to correct the problem. Scoliosis is a curvature of your spine in any direction out the normal. We set up a surgery date for a few weeks later.
The first surgery was unfortunately canceled for two reasons one was that I needed to have several tests done to be sure that I would be fit for the surgery; the second reason was that insurance argued that they wouldn’t cover it so we needed to fight the insurance company. So we went off to the testing which was the most annoying part of the whole situation because each test took a minimum of three hours and two to three tests a day and this all went on for three to four days. I would have test after test after test! The tests were both painful and embarrassing at the same time. Those four days had to be the worst days I have ever had. After all of the testing we still had to fight the insurance company. So we set up a hearing of sorts where my mom and I and the heads of the insurance company sat around a big table and discussed the surgery and why I needed it. That meeting took at least two to three hours. After the hearing and the testing we finally could set up another surgery date. The surgery was ultimately set up on the seventh or eighth of February 2007. At this point in time we still had a few weeks to go and by the time we got through all of the legal nonsense and testing my spine had curved even further since the first doctor’s appointment. Both my mom and I were concerned if I would survive (literally) until the surgery date. This was not a pleasant feeling or time. 2007 was overall not a good year for my mom and I at all.
The day before the surgery was very frightening. That night the hospital called and gave us our instructions including what time we should be there and they told us that I had to fast which I hated. We went to bed and tried to sleep the best we could, neither of slept for more than five hours. The sun rises, we get in the car, I am starving at this point I hadn’t eaten in eight hours and we still had an hour and a half drive to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital and we went to the waiting room and sat there for thirty minutes. The nurse called us in and they got me on a gurney to prep me for surgery. At this point it has been a month or more since the first doctor recognized the scoliosis and since then my spine was 98% curved. I was laying on the gurney, they had wheeled me in to the operating room by this time and I was waiting to be put under. The doctor comes in and explains to me what they are about to do and then they put the mask over my face and told me to breathe deeply. I slowly went to sleep. That is the last thing I remember until I woke up two days later in the recovery room.
The actual surgery took nine hours and forty five minutes but the doctors felt it would be better to keep me asleep for a couple days because of the pain. In the surgery they cut me from the base of my neck to the end of my tailbone and they placed two titanium rods on either side of my spine and then took wiring and the wrapped it around both rods and my spine to keep it all in place. I had to recover for four weeks, two in the hospital and two at home and I was on a number of medications and in a lot of pain still. I had 190 staples in my back holding me closed. If I had so much as sneezed many of the staple could have torn out. When I got my staple out four weeks later it was not fun at all because every single staple they removed pulled and stung. But for all of the pain and worrying the surgery was a success uis and I am still here today in 2011 and doing just fine.



By Andrew, 17
Recorded at Allegheny Intermediate Unit on January 31, 2011
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