Comments: 221 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

_vargas_88 karma

Reba McEntire once said "To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone."

So, you've got the backbone part taken care of. As for the other two, what is something funny that has happened to you and whom do you wish to bone?

TheSteamStream117 karma

Well during the surgery i didint shit for 5 days because the medication makes you REALLY "clogged". So i ended u having 2 enemas and shitting in the bed after the 2nd one. I couldn't stop laughing after it happened.

Mila Kunis i would prob want to bone.

_vargas_9 karma

Enemas are pretty funny if you really think about it. Forcing fuids up your anus with a turkey baster? Hilarious.

TheSteamStream21 karma

I cringe now when i see turkey basters.

namesRhard13 karma

Shitting the bed and wanting to bone Mila Kunis in one post.

TheSteamStream4 karma

What more could you ask for?

sczmbz0 karma

Nice extended buttcrack. I have one too.

TheSteamStream1 karma


Mortissia736 karma

I don't have any questions, I just want to say well done for getting through the recovery, and good luck for the future :D

TheSteamStream19 karma

Thank you!

Benthamin14 karma


TheSteamStream15 karma

Oh man, that sounds rough man. I do hope you start feeling better soon, a lot of pain is a mental, just stay positive! If your pain is still bad after that long, what works for me is walking. It really helps out, its a really good work out and keeps your mind off the pain. I feel ya man, i hope you start feeling better!

oslthom6 karma

Weed helps too...!

Not sure how you stand on the entire issue, and it certainly is still somewhat controversial, but a lot of pain post spinal surgery is neuropathic. And weed is well known to help a ton with this. Additionally, I've got severe chronic pain myself after I broke 8 vertebrae at a climbing accident, and was prescribed a ton of different pain killers over the years. I only "discovered" weed for myself some two years ago, and used it on an off since then (it is still very much illegal where I live). The first time I had a puff at a friend's joint, I cried tears of joy, for it was the first time in 5 years that I felt no pain. Fuck, it's the best thing in the world, if you use it responsibly. Worth a thought anyways.

All the best!

TheSteamStream6 karma

I have a neutral stance on weed really. If it helps some people, it helps, but i personally dont use it because i feel i can deal with the pain with out to much medication.

redghostsway9 karma

Not to be cruel, but stories like this were the REASON why I was so patient and kept my brace on 24-7 for so long (6 months).

It was hell, but the consequences are miserable too. I'm sorry for all that pain you went through, and I feel you-- so many times I wanted to punt my brace away and refuse to wear it. For the first few weeks, it was hard to breathe, and the pain of getting used to small breaths was so counter intuitive and mentally painful that I'd just lay down and cry. M.A.S.H. marathons helped when I couldn't go out and have fun.

Hug To therapy and learning to lead a normal life. Good luck with the spine, man. Also, make sure when/if you have kids, they get checked out early for this. It makes life easier for them when you catch scoliosis way early and begin physical therapy then.

TheSteamStream7 karma

I compleatly understand. I sat in my room for hours weighing the pros and cons of wearing the brace. In my mind it wasint worth it. If i could rewind life and actually wear the brace, i still would not have. That may just be me and my stubbornness but i felt i made the right decision in the end.

goldmunzen9 karma

I had the same surgery when I was in 11th grade, almost completely corrected my curve and everything has been good since although 6 years later I still can't feel parts of my back and underneath my arm. Question for you OP are you sure you are allowed to play football? I was cleared to play any sport I wanted except football because it is too physical.

TheSteamStream8 karma

The doctor said i am cleared for anything. I specifically asked about football and he said i should wait a few more months, but it should be fine after all the bones fuse. I'll check again with my doctor though!

mprey4 karma

Was the surgery worth it to you? Do you still have pain? I too have a case of scoliosis and flat back syndrome and in the past 2 years my back pain has gotten excruciating despite me doing lots of sports, going to the gym etc - it just always feels like I am fighting against the inevitable. My lower back constantly feels "compressed" and as if I need more effort than usual to sit, stand and walk upright. But doctors just keep telling me to do more sports, and that surgery at my age (I am 24) wouldn't make much sense.

The downtime for such a surgery scares me, but at the same time I constantly wish I could live like a normal person and not suffer from back pain in almost all every day situations...

TheSteamStream6 karma

Surgery was 100% worth it, i regret not doing it sooner and not wearing the brace, but 0 regrets having the surgery.

If your back pain is truly that bad, see a different doctor! I went to over 8 different spinal doctors until i found a doctor who honestly took care/interest in my case. Discuss surgery with your doctor if you have not already. DONT do sports such as football and "hardcore" running. Football your back is just going to get slammed each time, and running is one of the worst things for your back, WALK if you can, DON't run.

If you have a good support system, family, friends and something to keep you busy, the down time goes quickly! Most of my days were me watching movies, going out with friends when i felt up to it, walking A LOT, and generally keeping a good attitude about life.

puttsy4 karma


TheSteamStream6 karma

Before surgery my pain was about 8-9 every single day with out failure. Now its at a 0-1.

The doctors decided to operate mainly because of the compressed discs. They were afraid of a slippage and if it moved it could cause a lot more damage. The pain was at the point to where normal activities became to painful to do.

Well i'm actually done growing. I had an xray of the growth plate in my hip, so the most ill grow is another inch or so (i'm already 6'1 so i cant get much taller). They didint mention any other surgeries when i'm older, but ill call my doctor and ask.

My quality of life is about 100x better! Post surgery i had trouble walking, let alone running and lifting things. I had to be very careful about 2 months before surgery just because they were afraid something may shift and could do something that cant be fixed.

My curve is 22 degrees. I have what looks like a reversed "S" in my spine, so the top area near my sholder blade curves up and the area near the bottom of my spine curves the other way. I'm hoping to get the top curve fixed, but the pain isint bad enough at the top to risk another surgery.

Pain managment is the worst. I dealt with it for ages. All you have to do is remain positive and do A LOT of walking if you can work with the pain. I walk miles and it distracts you from the pain and its just a good outlet. I do hope your surgery goes well!

puttsy7 karma


TheSteamStream3 karma

I have lost a small amount of rotation, i'm not sure the exact amount but i know i cant twist as far as i used to be able to. I live in the united states. I had the surgery in NYC, center for joint disease i believe was the hospitals name. Its about an hour drive from my house.

wreckonize3 karma

What kind of specialist did you go to? I've been have back pain for almost 10 years now, been to several doctors, all they do is send me to physical therapy which hasn't done anything.

TheSteamStream1 karma

Spine specialist. If you live on the east coast, i recommend Doctor Schwab.

wanttoseemycat3 karma


I had a very similar surgery to yours. I was 25 at the time though.

I'm sure your doctor went over some of this with you, but mine was a little dismissive about it until pressed and had to research a lot on my own, so I figured I'd make sure no one's been blowing smoke up you.

Instead of having replacement vertebra, I got a plate, two replacement disks, 6 screws, and a cadaver paste seal around two vertebra.

We're basically guaranteed to have severe back problems further on in life if we're not vigilant about our fitness. When younger people have this problems early on, it's usually a good indicator that your disks are more degenerative than others. Those disks slipping will cause sciatic issues later on for many people, for people with a history at a young age it's much more likely.

Stay thin, stay active, keep good abs, back, and shoulders. I find push ups and yoga a big help for me. I just hope every day I can keep from ever being back in a brace with a walker, barely able to get in the shower.

Good luck to you, man.

TheSteamStream0 karma

Yeh, i'v been making sure i stay fit and active. Thank you for the advice!

noshore4me3 karma

What's your favorite book?

TheSteamStream6 karma

I would have to say holes.

ChloeNoelle2 karma

I have to major curves in my spine, and about 3 years ago my doctor told me he wanted to fuse it ): But I have no back pain, and he said I wouldn't be able to ride horses again. Do you think I should find another surgeon or just put it off? (p.s. I'm 16.)

TheSteamStream1 karma

I think you should get another consult. I'm not saying go and look for a doctor that wants to cut you open, but a 2nd opinion never hurts.

sqlgirl2 karma

I had my spine fused 18 years ago for severe scoliosis. 2 rods, 2 hooks, 6 screws, and most of my mid and upper back immobilized. I can give you some long term perspective. I felt intermittent pain, occasionally severe, with the changing of the seasons for the first five years or so, but I do not anymore. I had to learn my mobility limitations, but once established, they have been no trouble: I can do yoga and run for distance. By being generally aware of my back I have managed to steer clear of the injuries my friends and family have experienced over the years from heavy lifting, etc. I have excellent posture and it is occasionally commented upon. Firm pressure on the screws and hooks at the top of my fusion causes them to grind and catch gently, which has a nails on chalkboard effect for other people, but I cannot feel a thing: there is literally no sensation and it is harmless. And that is just about everything. Best of luck to you!

TheSteamStream1 karma

Thank you for the insight! The main thing i'm working on is finding my limitations and seeing what i can and cannot do.

OscarWithaK2 karma

My gf as well has scoliosis. Had a major surgery on July 13, 2009 and about two years ago she got cleared to do sports. Now she does some crazy stuff she wouldn't have never done before. I'm proud of my Baybo :,)

TheSteamStream0 karma

I'm glad to hear shes doing well!

halex432 karma

why are you on reddit?

TheSteamStream0 karma

Waiting for my ride to come pick me up to go skateboarding, figure i had time to kill and it was an interesting topic.

mizredds2 karma

Did you go to HSS? Hospital of special surgery? Its in ny and specializes in spine surgeries...I know Dr Rawlins there and he is really great. I actually referred a young girl who had hurt her spine doing gymnastics .... im glad ur doing better and feeling so positive. ...back pain is one of the worst pains to experience. ..so congrats on ur successful surgery!

TheSteamStream1 karma

YES! I got a little mixed up with the names, doctor schwab i believe was the name of my doctor. Its such a great and friendly hospital, i couldn't have asked for a nicer place to recover!

Thirdpear1 karma

Did you need assitance showering and going to the bathroom and such? We're you allowed to drive?

TheSteamStream1 karma

The first few months after surgery i did need help showering, so i bought a special chair for my shower because i couldn't stand for more than about 10-15 minutes at a time. I was not aloud to drive until about 2 months ago, since i couldn't really twist to look behind me when i was backing up, driving was not to safe.

KiIroywasHere1 karma

Did you find that the tutors provided a level of instruction comperable to actually being in school? I had tutors like you my freshman year. And while they were all great people, they couldn't teach for shit.

Congrats on the recovery, man!

TheSteamStream1 karma

Not at all. They could really care less if i did well or not, they were just there for the extra money. Don't get me wrong, they were nice and funny people, but i went back to school with no extra knowledge.

TheMentalDonkey1 karma

What are the chances of your body rejecting the pieces of metal and replacements in your body?

TheSteamStream1 karma

0% i believe. What they did is took some bone from my rib cage (very small amount) and when they put the new vertebra in, they used some of the bone to help the fusion. So there was no "accepting" per say, it's like having a cast on your wrist lets say, your body cant reject the cast because its not trying to match blood types or things of that nature.

Nihilvin1 karma

Just had spinal fusion surgery at the end of July. Worst pain I ever felt for the first 2 weeks.

Btw, how do you put your socks on or slip into the car without experiencing hell?

TheSteamStream2 karma

I did not wear socks for ages, i still don't because not wearing socks is so much more comfortable lol. Getting into the car really was-int to bad because i have a really tall car with huge doors, so it was just like walking into a room and sitting in a chair. It was int comfortable but was bearable.

Nihilvin1 karma

Lucky you. I never realised how hard it was to get into the car when you can't bend your back, especially with a really low ceiling. Anyway, glad to hear you're doing better! Upvote for a survivor of hell

TheSteamStream2 karma

Thank you! I also used A LOT of pillows when i sat in the car just to make it more comfortable.

TheSpacemang1 karma

How did you poop if you weren't allowed to roll-over in those first 3 days? (Seems silly but I'm actually curious)

TheSteamStream1 karma

I didint lol. the morphine and such keeps you clogged up like somebody put a cork in your ass. I ended up getting 2 enemas and shitting on the bed after about day 5

rodtang1 karma

What are you gonna do with your "normal life"?

TheSteamStream1 karma

A lot! I'm so excited to get back to normalcy. I'm starting boxing, skateboarding, running, football. You never realize how good things are untill you dont have the ability to do it any more. 10 months of not running, playing basketball with your friends, anything like that, you really learn to be thankful for what you have. And now that i can do anything again, i'm doing it all!

BushyBu1 karma

So what's top on the bucket list now that you have a lifetime to achieve it?

TheSteamStream1 karma

I'v always wanted to skateboard form the east coast to the west coast for charity. Thats right now the #1 thing i want to do. I want to learn how to do hand stands, front flips, just using my body to its fullest and not wasting any more time!

Cjsimpson241 karma

If you would have worn the back brace all the time would you have never had to have surgery?

TheSteamStream0 karma

I think so, yes. The back brace was a device not ment to fix, but meant to prevent. So wearing the brace would not undo what already happened, it would try to prevent things from getting worse. So in the long run, i would have most likley gotten the surgery in my 20's and it would have been a lot harder then.

pete17291 karma

Do exactly what the physical therapist says, and keep doing it after the program is finished.

What exactly made you finally tell your parents? How did that go? If you can, detail exactly what stopped you from telling them in the first place and what made you open up to them.

Good luck! You're young and I'm sure you'll be fine.

TheSteamStream1 karma

Yeh, the physical theripist is acatully a close friend of mine, i'v been going to him for 12 years for various breaks and such. I'll definatly listen to him haha.

So one day at school my pain was just unbearable. I had to leave class saying i had to go to the bathroom or something, i went outside to the benches in front of our school and laied there for about an hour just trying to not hurt any more. At that point i knew my parents had to know. I called them on the bench and we went home and then to the doctor.

So the main thing that stopped me from telling them is pride. I'm not one to complain, i felt like dropping my issues on my parents wold be wrong and they had enough to deal with and they didint need this also. I had to tell them when the pain was bad enough to keep me from walking well, sitting, even breathing got to a point where it felt like i was breathing through a funnel because the pain was just so bad.

Feel free to ask any followup questions, i can elaborate more if needed!

aldonley1 karma

Where you the guy commenting on the Simon's Cat video?

TheSteamStream1 karma

Not sure what that is haha, so i guess the answer would be no.

akosborne1 karma

Which country was your surgery in?

I had back/ chest surgery in March, lasted 6 hours. As I'm in the UK it didn't cost me anything, I dread to think of the cost of going private.

TheSteamStream2 karma

I had surgery in the United States.

I believe the surgery was covered mostly by my insurance, my parents get home in about 5-6 hours, when they do ill ask them about it, because i never actually asked them before. I'll update you when i find out!

hoxie30001 karma

Did you get some good pain killers?

TheSteamStream1 karma

Yes lol. Morphine, perkaset (not sure if i'm spelling that correctly) and tons of other happy time pills.

p_iynx2 karma

Did you have any difficulties getting off the pain killers? I've been prescribed them since I was 18 for my chronic pain. It's pretty miserable when you accidentally get physically dependent. No fun. I get Percocet, and for a time I was prescribed oxy. No bueno.

TheSteamStream3 karma

I hated how the meds made me feel, i was so happy to get off them, never got dependant on them

mosh12431 karma

I'm glad to hear everything went okay. Sorry for the trouble you had to go through, but now you can enjoy your life! Have fun! :)

TheSteamStream0 karma

Thank you!

ThatKidLix1 karma

How hard do you believe it will be to adjust to normal life?

TheSteamStream2 karma

Well so far its been interesting really. I just got so used to not being able to bend and such that now i have to think the opposite way. I'm actually terrified that if i bend the screws will just snap out of my back, i know it wont happen but its just something that is always in the back of my mind.

DuctTap32 karma

I had a similar operation about 6 years ago. You will eventually stop thinking about the possibility of the hardware coming out, hell sometimes I completely forget I had the operation. Go live life to the fullest!

TheSteamStream1 karma

Thank you! Yeh i'm slowly getting more confident about doing things again, i think i just get in my head some times and end up over thinking things.

ThatKidLix1 karma

Yeah the mind will do that to you. What do you think the hardest part of recovery will be?

TheSteamStream1 karma

I think the Mental part will be the hardest to over come. I'm slowly getting more confident about doing things again, but its defiantly been the hardest.

Awesomebedhead1 karma

After the surgery did you get taller? If so, how much?

TheSteamStream0 karma

Not that i'm aware of haha, the surgery was a "replacement", so they took out the vertebra and replaced it with vertebra the same size.

deusexcaelo1 karma

When you mentioned scoliosis, I was a little bit worried, since my doctor said I had a very slight one years ago. I'm wondering what made you decide to tell your parents? Was it just the pain, and how did you go through 6 months thinking it was fine? What kind of pain was it?

Does normal activity mean you can wrestle, bungee jump, skydive and lift an elephant now? Haha, I wish you good luck, man!

TheSteamStream1 karma

I knew it wasint good the entire time, i just wouldn't listen to my self. The pure amount of pain i was in made me tell them. I was so nervous, my parents had enough to worry about, they didint need me dropping something like this on them, but it got to the point where i couldn't take care of my self.

Normal activity as in i should be able to do what ever i want when ever i want! I'm hoping to do it all :D

p_iynx1 karma

I deal with chronic pain daily as well, and I'm only 22. I know what it's like to not have a normal "young adulthood". I'm glad you're pretty much "fixed" now! That's amazing. I sincerely hope you're able to live normally from here on out!

What is the first thing you did/are going to do after recovery? What were you really looking forward to? :)

TheSteamStream1 karma

Skateboarding and boxing. I'm so passionate about both of those and i'm very excited to get back!

adokretz1 karma

Which every day activities/actions weren't possible before the surgery, other than sports?

TheSteamStream0 karma

I wasint able to touch my toes before the surgery, bend backwards very far, or be able to hang from a pull up bar with out my spine feeling likes its on fire

ohmyerica1 karma

I'm happy you can do what you want to now. What's the first sport/activity you're gonna get up to?

TheSteamStream1 karma

Skateboarding and boxing, i'm very passionate about both :D

WaitWhereAreMyPants1 karma

What position do you play in football? :)

TheSteamStream1 karma

Quarter back and tight end

Gress101 karma

How has the surgery affected your quality of life?

TheSteamStream1 karma

The first few months were rough, but now i honestly cant think of life before surgery. My quality of life really cant be any better. I'm happy, active, and really have a better outlook on life now.

ironicirenic1 karma

When I was 12 (19 now) I was having severe migraines and leg tightness. My mom took me to get a CAT scan but nothing showed up. She was really concerned and thought that couldn't be right... so she took me to get an MRI.... and lo and behold, two tumors on my spinal cord. I went in for surgery and everything seemed to be fine, but a few days after leaving the hospital, I started leaking spinal fluid from my stitches so I had to have a second surgery. Then, as if that wasn't enough, two weeks later my incision got infected and I had to have a third surgery to clean it out.

So I guess the moral of my story is that I know what it's like to have major back issues. It is so awful to be stuck in bed, not allowed or even able to move. It's not something anyone should have to deal with.

So my questions to you are these: I'm assuming you spent alot of time in bed watching TV, so what were your favorite shows during this time period? (the food network was my shit). What do you feel was the biggest thing you missed out on because of your surgery and impairment?

TheSteamStream0 karma

I feel for you man, it sounds like you are doing better now though!

I watched all episodes of The Office and watched breaking bad, walking dead and dexter.

I missed out on Halloween (so did most people on the east coast, hurricane sandy hit a few weeks after i got out of the hospital) witch was annoying really, and i missed out on my schools dance that i was looking foward to.

ironicirenic1 karma

I appreciate your taste in TV! And yes, I missed out on almost all of a baseball season that I was really excited to be playing, and I missed half of 6th grade...which they thankfully let slide... But hey, I'm sure we're both stronger people because of these things and I wish you the best of luck in your recovery.

TheSteamStream2 karma

Yeh, i'v learned and went through so much from the surgery, i believe i'v really grown as a person because of it.

UltraFinePoint1 karma

Was there any danger of becoming paralyzed? Is your lower back now as strong as most people's? Is your scoliosis gone now? And nice work by the way!

TheSteamStream0 karma

There was danger of being paralyzed. Before i went into surgery, they told me right after the surgery is done they will wake me up and tell me to move my feet. I have 0 memory of actually doing it but they told me i did.

My lower back should be about as strong as most peoples!

My scoliosis is not gone D: I have a curve in the top and bottom of my back, and the surgery was to correct the compressed and broken vertebra, i do hope the scoliosis gets fixed at some point, it makes me bend off to one side and i have pain from time to time

DaOrkyMan1 karma

Ah, another scoliosis sufferer. Glad to see everything worked out in the end. May I ask how much the surgery would have/did cost? I was told that mine, a similar spinal fusion surgery, would be about 80-$100,000, but since it was NHS, cost didn't go into it.

TheSteamStream1 karma

I'm going to have to dubble check with my parents on the exact price, we did have insurance helping quite a bit.

poorwegian1 karma

Now that you're cleared, what kind of activities are you looking forward to trying out?

TheSteamStream1 karma

Anything and everything! I was an avid skateboarder before the surgery and i'm so excited to get back to that. I'm defiantly going to be trying some new sports as well, boxing was something i'v always wanted to do so i figure i'd give that a shot!

SquazzyNaples2 karma

You should totally try dancing. I would imagine that there are a lot more things you would be able to do now!

TheSteamStream3 karma

As a 17 year old, 6'1 male who used to play football, i don't know how graceful i would look on the dance floor lol.

heylarry22421 karma

Have the tutors kept you on track to graduate high school on time? Well done on being able to BTL again!

TheSteamStream2 karma

The tutors were a waste of time IMO. The one tutor that really helped was my science teacher. He actually cared if i passed or not, the other tutors that came were just there for the sake of being there it seems. I will graduate high school at a normal pace, but the surgery gave me a different outlook on life. This year (senior year) i'm going to boces (a trade school) for half a day and then my local high school for half a day. I'm going for physical therapist because i'v broken and had so many surgery's, i know i'll be able to help somebody out there.

I can BTL right now! Just a little nervous to bend and such all the way, but i'm getting there!

Arkaega1 karma

Had major spinal surgery to remove a tumor when I was 18 (21 now). Recovery sucks, but the body is super surprising. It'll take work, but you'll get there, man! Don't lose hope. (PM if you want!)

TheSteamStream0 karma

Yeh, the recovery is rough because all i had was time, and for the past 3 years i rarely had time to my self. I'll defiantly shoot you a message sometime today!

funnygreensquares1 karma

How are you doing?

How is school doing? It must have been really hard keeping up when you were in so much pain and then when you were in recovery.

How was the insurance (if you had any) through the whole process?

TheSteamStream1 karma

I'm doing pretty well! Feels good to be finally able to do things again!

School starts up in a few days, so i'll have to see how that goes. But when i was in school last year it was int the easiest thing in the world, but all my teachers knew what happened and they were understandable if i needed to leave class early.

I believe the insurance covered most of it, my parents get home in a few hours and i'll have to ask them when they return.