Journal

Journal entry by Jennifer Seiber

Dad saw his pain management doctor last week. He ordered physical therapy and increased the dosage on a couple of his medications. So far he says he can tell the dosage increase has helped! He starts therapy tomorrow. We are hoping the therapy will help with his leg and foot pain. The doctor also gave him a gel to rub on his shoulders for his polymyalgia rheumatica. 

Today, Dr. Vien said he is very pleased with the outcome of his surgery. The x-ray showed more bone growth! Dad is having a little stinging pain in his back which Dr. Vien said is caused by scar tissue from the surgery. That should resolve by massaging the area. The pain doctor had recommended an epidural to help with his back pain. Dr. Vien didn’t agree...he said that there’s too much risk for infection. If dad were to get an infection from the epidural Dr. Vien would have to remove all the hardware from his back. He doesn’t have to go back to Dr. Vien unless he starts having problems. We are so glad surgery was successful and everything is healing well! 😊

We highly recommend Dr. Vien and Reid hospital! Everyone has been amazing!
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Journal entry by Jennifer Seiber

Dad's hip and leg pain is improving. 😁  He says his back doesn't hurt! He had an appointment with Dr. Vien this afternoon. He is very pleased with his progress. The x-rays showed bone growth! He has lost around 8 lbs. - probably due to to the fact that he is still having bowel issues. We are going to get him in with a specialist to address that then hopefully he will be able to eat more. In 2 weeks he can stop wearing the back brace when out and about. His next appointment is in 6 weeks.

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Journal entry by Jennifer Seiber

Dad had a follow-up appoint with his family NP yesterday. He was running a low-grade fever...99.6.  She thought it was normal but I wanted to call his surgeon just to be sure.  I talked directly to Dr. Vien on the phone (he is SO awesome!). He said that as long as it's not 100.4 or higher and his incisions look good that it is normal, not to worry.  They also started him on a new medicine for nerve pain. We are hoping this will help the pain in his hip, leg and foot. He is resting pretty good at night but around 1:00 am the pain starts getting worse. Overall, he is doing well considering all that he has been through! 

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Journal entry by Jennifer Seiber

Dad had an appointment with Dr. Vien's assistant yesterday. He said that dad's incisions look great and took the staples out. 😁  He did an X-ray and said that looks great as well. Since dad's pain has been so severe, he increased the strength of the pain medicine and told him to take another pain medicine in between those doses. We just started the new pill today at 11:30.  He just got up from a nap and said his pain is down to a 6!!!  😁  It has been around an 8 this week!  Dr. Vien is hoping that the leg and foot pain will go away in time. His next appointment will be in one month. 

We think the pain medicine has started flaring up his acid reflux. The past 2 nights he has got throwing up stomach acid.  Last night he was up all night with it.  His family doctor changed his reflux medicine so hopefully that helps.

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Journal entry by Jennifer Seiber

Dad has been in a lot of pain. 😢 He says his back hurts more than it did when he was in the hospital. He is very uncomfortable. Today he says his back pain is 8/10 and left leg/foot pain is 6/10. He's been taking his pain medicine every 4 hours but it doesn't seem to help much at all. Tomorrow is his appointment for staple removal with Dr. Vien's assistant Jay.

Journal entry by Jennifer Seiber

One of dad's incisions has been draining quite a bit so we took him to get it looked at by Dr. Vien's assistant yesterday. Dr. Vien said that it might be a seroma (a collection of fluid builds up under the skin at the incision).  Just to be on the safe side, he put him on antibiotics. He's also been having a lot of left hip pain that goes down his leg into his foot. Dr. Vien says this is normal because the surgery has irritated some nerves.

The past couple of nights he has got up in the middle of the night in quite a bit of pain (8 out of 10.) During the day it stays at around a 6.  He is still getting around awesome. 

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Journal entry by Jennifer Seiber

The scan of dad's stomach that was done last night showed he is still backed up and full of air.  His stomach is still distended. The new gastrointestinal doctor put dad on a new medicine called Amtiza.  Dr. Vien isn't comfortable sending him home until this issue with his bowels is resolved. 
 
Other than the bowel issue he is doing great! All of his nurses cannot believe how well he is getting around after having 2 back surgeries!

Dad has had such an amazing team of doctors, nurses, aids, and therapists taking care of him! Pictured here are a couple of his favorite nurses-Tammy and Karen.
Andy’s Story

Site created on July 21, 2018

Hello everyone! 😃 Thanks for visiting. I will be using this site to keep everyone updated throughout dad's surgeries and recovery.  

Dad will be having a 2 stage spinal fusion at Reid Hospital.  The first surgery will be July 24 at 7:30 am.  Dr. Vien will be doing a procedure called an XLIF on L2-L5.  The second surgery will be on July 26 at 6:00 am.  It will be a TLIF on L5-S1.  He will have 2 rods, 10 screws and artificial discs filled with bone graft. 

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