The Day of Surgery
Also known as your last chance to catch a plane to Thailand and rethink this whole thing.
 
Take a deep breath. You can do this. Remember, no contacts, bring your glasses. And bring something loose and comfortable with you to the hospital to check out in. When you check in you will be given your hospital wrist bands and then sent along to a room where you will change into a flimsy hospital gown. A nurse will take your vitals and help you put on a pair of super tight white thigh highs called Ted hose. This is to prevent blood clots. In my case I was then rolled in my hospital bed down to the Preop waiting room. My family was allowed to come along with me. Looking around I saw a lot of grim, scared faces of other people waiting around for their respective surgeries. I'm not sure if that made me feel better or worse at the time. I know I was really scared at this point and even as I write this now my stomach starts making nervous knots.
 
When you get situated in Preop there will be a few people who come by. First a nurse will ask you your name and birth date (this happens a lot), and then an anesthesiologist may come by to talk to you about your medical history. Your surgeon or your surgeon's PA may come by to see how you are. Somewhere during this I was injected with something that calmed me down, but I know that before the injection I started getting teary eyed. The last thing I remember was handing my mother my glasses and trying not to cry. Like I said before, total wuss. I have a very vague recollection of then being wheeled from here through some metal doors and then then Poof, blessed unconsciousness.
 
Your parents or friends who may be waiting for you will not usually be given a progress report for the first couple of hours. Typical scoliosis surgeries take around 3 ½ to 4 hours to complete. My first surgery took 6 ½ hours. A nurse finally called at the 4 ½ hour mark to tell my parents that I was still in surgery and had no other details. They were pretty freaked by the time that someone did come out, and it didn't help that the report was not good. If you read the Homepage you'll know that my first surgery did not go as planned, and that three days later, when my second surgery was performed, it was magically successful.
Looking for more information?
Scoliosis Surgery: The Definitive Patient's Reference provided helpful reading for me and my family.
 
 
 
My Flickr Photo Gallery. X-rays, before and after shots, and even physical therapy.
 
 

 
Other helpful scoliosis sites:
 
The Mayo Clinic provides a thorough scoliosis overview.
 
 
 
If you are near the Wichita, KS area, Dr. Alan Moskowitz can be found at the Kansas Joint and Spine Institute.
 
 
 
Or, if in New York City, Dr. Daveed Frazier can be found on the Upper West side.