This morning I spent about three hours completing more pre-op steps. First, there were eleven X-rays from head to toe and front to back. For the last one, a large film plate (not sure of proper terminology) was placed under me. I had to lie flat on my back and put my arms above my head. One person pulled on my arms and another pulled on my legs in the opposite direction while the X-ray tech took the picture. That was a first for me.
The rest of the time was spent with Dr. Geck’s nurse, Jacqueline Staples, discussing the remaining pre-op steps and the surgery itself. She gave me a checklist to help me stay on track. It includes times to stop taking medicines and supplements, to start taking other medicines and even when to start showering with a special liquid soap! I will have to stay off all medicines and supplements for six months to optimize bone healing. Dr. Geck is very thorough, leaving nothing to chance. Of course, that is why he has such a good record. I’ll also have to re-schedule my dental check-up for at least six months after the surgery.
She explained how the surgery will be performed, using a plastic model of some vertebrae. My packet includes an expected course of recovery to help me understand what are reasonable expectations at various time periods. Apparently, I will not be able to bounce back quite so quickly as I had naively thought I could after such extensive surgery. I’ll just deal with whatever presents itself.
Dr. Geck has referred me to their Home Spine Safety and Education post operative program, a two- to three-week program that will begin the day after I return home. The physical therapist will teach me how to do even the simplest daily activities and how to minimize the risk of infections and other complications.
I’m going to be the best patient possible so as to get the best outcome possible.