Anyone have experience with Scoliosis surgery, after age 60?

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With co-morbid conditions including morbid obesity, severe rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, long-term emotional abuse by ex and live-in sons. My sister is facing an immense surgery and is frozen to accept available help. Does anyone have experience with 1. Scoliosis surgery in elderly with co-morbid conditions, and 2. Family dysfunction with live-in adult sons who are abusive (who she believes are her moral authority because of her heritage)?

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Blannie, I totally agree, and it's nice to know you've been through it. I especially appreciate "Just be a loving presence, but let sis carry the weight of her own life decisions." That's a lot of wisdom in a single sentence.
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50sChild I don't think you're overbearing. You have the same rescuer and "fixer" syndrome that I have. Because I'm a strong, decisive person, people naturally gravitate to me for answers. And because I'm a control freak and I love fixing things (and people), I am happy to step in and do the research and find out the best options. But then I get frustrated when people make "bad" decisions. After a lot of self-work, I now step back and try to realize that other people have to own their decisions and lives and their own reasons for doing things that may differ from my choices for them. It actually hurts me to get too emotionally involved when my concern flips to resentment when others don't take my "correct" advice or I feel used and abused by putting in too much time or effort when they don't listen to me or make bad decisions and want to cry on my shoulder.

You can offer your sister options, but then let her make her choices and live with her decisions. You don't have to fix everything for her. She needs to do that in her own life. You sound like you've taken on far more burden with your sister than is rightfully yours to carry. You didn't make her sick or make your mom a terrible mother. Those aren't your crosses to bear. Just be a loving presence, but let sis carry the weight of her own life decisions.
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I’m in a hurry so this will be longer than it should be. You all have raised great thoughts and mullings in me. Cwillie: Sis lives in her two-story home with basement, not standard steps (old do-it-yourself farmhouse type home). She is considering moving, but obviously that won’t happen before May. You fleshed out what MACinCT brought up and it’s exactly that rhythm – Sis in crisis (after long non-response), I mobilize to be greeted with another cycle of Sis silences. I have long suspected she uses me and her sons.
MACinCT: She did ask for my help. Bingo on my not inserting myself, or at least being careful. It’s a huge problem for me (my husband says I leap into the breach). I am starting to recognize this panic on my part, when it need not be. I appreciate your observation.
Blannie: Thank you for stroking me for the good sister ideal I want to be. I see there is wisdom in stepping back. I would never forgive myself if she relied upon my advice. I try to say, “There are pros and cons, it’s for you to decide.” I even suspect if her surgery goes well, the hellish recovery is going to be unbearable for her, as she has never stuck with any physical goals whatsoever. I caregave during my husband’s triple laminectomies, which were a piece of cake next to what Sis is facing.
HolidayEnd: She’s been getting facet joint injections for fiver years but they no longer help more than a day or two. I love that you shared your successes with pain management. Sis has been in pain management for five years, and it’s “not helping.” All of you responders suggest maybe there are things I don’t know. I agree.
Joann29: Yes to rods, I can’t believe you actually went through it with a young nephew. Sister’s older age seems quite an obstacle to her simply taking the summer off and resuming teaching in September. It’s her inability to grab hold and consider the worst outcomes that concern me. Surgeon has and will continue to explain, but she won’t come up with her own questions. It’s as though she is about 10 years old in emotional maturity, passive, and needing help I can’t provide. She certainly was hugely traumatized as a kid, and I played her mommy, being five years older. So I unwittingly set her up to play the baby. She was never good at self awareness or introspection, or playing her own devil’s advocate. She is also realizing that each she ages, surgery becomes less and less an option. I believe her panic about aging is driving her “decision.” But I think I will leave that to her therapist.
I have long felt guilty for her congenital challenges. As a four year old, I remember responding in panic to her gut-wrenching, unabated colic. My mother was always venomously angry, so I tried to protect her and sooth her (never worked). So I have always leaped into the breach, and my four-year-old maternal instinct is huge with Sis.
Sis probably does use her sons as she uses me, I thank you for bringing a little light to that. She doesn’t seem honest about her needs and motives. Her sons, nasty as they are, are going to spend the rest of their lives sorting through their own history.
The big gift you gave back to me: I can’t walk her paths and it is dawning on me that the very fact I post here about her suggests she isn’t using the resources I have forwarded to her. So now I am open to the notion I am overstepping, and maybe overbearing.
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I am assuming they are going to put rods in her back to help straighten the bone out. She needs to realize what this involves. My nephew has 4 such rods and two surgeries. He has a very high threshold of pain and the second operation was very painful. He was 15 so healed quickly. At 60 it will be harder but probably will help with on going pain. Could you take time off and set up an appointment with the doctors to go over her care. And, the hospital and rehab costs. She has no Medicare? Can she apply for Medicaid?
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Real Time Pain Relief Cream on amazon.com
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50schild—I’d have to say that physical therapy helped me so much! I plan to ask my Internist if he’ll order a month of outpatient PT in a couple months. It really strengthens the leg and arm muscles and stretch exercises (a lot like gentle yoga) releave pain quite a bit.

The pain clinic gives me facet joint injections and they help as well.

It occurred to me that I have assembled a ‘team’ of professionals and each person offered me a pain or strengthening method. The things that work I keep doing and the things that don’t work get marked off the list.

My internist does pain management and treats the COPD, arthritis and influenza, other general complaints, etc.

I’m between back specialists, lately they just try to sell braces etc that do nothing but make me miserable.

The pain specialist gives the injections into the facet joints. My internist is my main doctor and I’ve been his patient for 25 years. He knows me and I know him. I trust him.

Encourage your sis to learn about procedures available and if it’s sensible and your insurance covers it then try it!

I bought an OTC muscle/pain topical cream and it really shouldn’t work, it’s the usual topical cream. But it really worked! Quickly too. So I keep my rational frame of mind and do research on remedies. I willing to try!!

I hope things work out for sister.
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I agree with CWillie. Until your sister is willing to take action for herself, you're wise to listen and let it go. You can't will her to fix her life. That's something she's got to do for herself. You have enough on your own plate with your husband's situation and your own health issues. You've given her the resources, now she has to live her life and make her own decisions. You're a good sister, but you're in a no-win situation unless you step back a bit.
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MACinCT raises some good points. I imagine your sister has come to you often to vent her fears and frustrations and use you as a sounding board, but given the continuing situation with her sons I bet she isn't really acting on your advice very often. A radio psychologist once wisely pointed out that friends and family who call and dump all over you leave the conversation feeling less burdened and we end up stressed out trying to carry it for them even though we are powerless to do anything. And of course we only ever hear one part of the story.
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The surgeon is required to explain risks WITH HER and her primary physician plus maybe other specialists will have to give approval as well. Ethically she gets to make the decision about her body as she weighs benefits and risks. This includes her willingness to do the post op therapy, which will be tremendous. How are you involved? Did she ask for your help? Either way, if something goes wrong based on your opinion, would you feel guilty if you persuaded her one way or the other?  I feel that you should leave the decision to her.
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I feel so sorry that the people your sister should be able to depend on the most are instead using and abusing her. I don't think you said exactly what kind of home she shares with her sons, but given her physical limitations perhaps it would be easier for her to move to a smaller supportive housing unit than to try to evict her boys from their current home? If she is free from their negative manipulations she may grow strong enough to make better decisions about them and also about her own needs.
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