Friday, April 30, 2010

Stop and Smell the Roses! When Time Seems to Slow Down....

Well, another week has just zipped by, and I have have not at all faithful about sharing with our Blog followers --- please forgive me!

My day started off with a poem sent to me by one of my friends named Warren, which was written by a teenager in NYC hospital who was terminally ill with cancer.  The poem encourages us to slow down and appreciate the gift of life:

Have you ever watched kids  On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain Slapping the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

It was a beautiful spring day here in North Carolina, with a bright blue clear sky, and all plants in full color.

Today I did my part to slow down and enjoy each of the people who came to visit us at Hey Clinic — something I actually naturally enjoy every week.  Pictured above are some our guests and families from today’s clinic.  We  saw several scoliosis and kyphosis guests back for follow-up of all ages.  The new Hey Clinic T-Shirt designed by Shelbi in our office has been a HUGE hit.  Flying off the shelves.  They are actually all gone now.  More on back order.  I actually signed the first T-Shirt, and sent it to one of our wonderful adult scoliosis guests from Florida named Charlene.

Today I saw a young man that I did surgery on 9 years ago back at DUMC, and hadn’t seen since.  He had been thrown from his motorcycle, had an open thoracic spine injury, paraplegia, and multiple other injuries.  I remember praying for God to spare his life when he was very sick in the operating room, with his chest ripped open from the crash, including his spine and spinal cord.  God answered that prayer that night, and here he is today still thankful to be alive despite his disability.  It was great to see him, and I think both of us felt like it was a great reunion.  

I saw several of my adolescent idiopathic scoliosis guests back for follow up after their surgeries a few months ago.  Lots of big smiles and dreams of future careers in teaching, medicine, and art.  Lots of new confidence in their new posture.

I also saw one of my guests from Charleston, SC named Jackie, and her husband Skeeter.  I’ve known them now for many years, and she was looking great today with wonderful standing posture after revision osteotomy scoliosis surgery.  

Mr. J was in clinic today with his wife.  I did a complex kyphosis extension instrumentation and fusion for him.  I could tell as soon as I came into the room that he was better --- his downcast preop painful face and posture was transformed into a big smile and a big hug and a very strong handshake.  Even though he is in his late 70’s, this guy could crush me like a bug, even though I work out regularly!    He’s a retired CEO, and still a very driven man, but also a very kind and encouraging man who cares about me and my staff just like we care for him.

Yesterday I saw my patient Doug, a 30 yo man with severe proximal thoracic scoliosis which he thought was causing his severe shoulder and arm pain.  It turned out that his scoliosis was putting extra load on his neck, which caused a C67 disc herniation and compression of C7 nerve root.  So, we can actually help relieve his pain with simpler, smaller C67 ACDF surgery to get pressure off that nerve. Good example how scoliosis can cause accelerated degeneration and even disc herniations and pain even above or below the structural deformity.  I appreciated the extra time I had scheduled to help figure this all out.  Doug and his dad were genuinely appreciative.

I also saw a new 9 yo guest this week, with juvenile scoliosis with her mom.  She was a delightful young lady, and despite her negative experience in another office, she seemed to quickly relax and enjoy the time together.  Her curve is 30 degrees, and it will need to be closely followed.  Her dad, a dentist called me last night, so I could fill him in since he couldn’t be there for his daughter’s appointment.

I had gotten an email from a young lady with scoliosis from Washington DC who wanted to see me for a second opinion for scoliosis surgery.  I looked at my calendar and realized that I would be at BWI airport tomorrow, Saturday and had a 2 hour layover.  I offered to see her at the airport during my layover, and she thought that was just great!  Clinic at BWI tomorrow.  Be there or be square!

I finished writing a big article for the Wake County Physician Magazine on Scoliosis Screening.  Should be coming out in May.

Also saw a very nice lady yesterday who flew out from Missouri with severe flat back syndrome, who had scoliosis surgery years ago.  We will be fixing it with an anterior L45 and L5S1 ALIF, with posterior osteotomies and extension instrumentation and fusion in a few weeks.

Took the time to pray with 42 yo woman equestrian yesterday before her 2 level C56 C67 ACDF, with her significant other and her mother.  Her significant other made a real point after the surgery to look me in the eye after surgery to let me know that he felt like something powerful and real happened during our prayer holding hands.  Sometimes I feel like time indeed slows down, as a patient or family member stops to tell me something very important, from the heart.  I want to capture these moments and remember them.  Perhaps even keep them for a book some day.  Slow down, listen and appreciate the people who are with you.

My friend and surgical guest Bob, who owns a local plumbing business that I did a complex lumbar instrumentation revision for a few months ago came in today looking just great.  He’s been through a lot with nasty divorce, and I feel like I’ve known him forever.  He’s back playing golf — something he thought he would never do.  Now he’s off all pain medications, running his business and starting a new life.  He also looked me straight in the eye and thanked me for helping give him his quality of life back. Time once again slowed down for a few seconds.  

Charlene, my scoliosis guest from Florida also sent a very encouraging email this week, which came at the perfect time.   Thanks Charlene.  

These words of encouragement really do help as I face difficult decisions with often tough spinal deformity surgeries in people of all ages and sizes and other “variables” which make them each unique.  As a physician, you think that you are the “giver” -- but I am learning more and more that it is important to receive --- receive encouragement, prayers, hugs, home made gifts from the patients who are not patients, but just guests or people that we get the joy of getting to know.  I care for them.  They show their care and concern for me and for my staff.  It is a two way street, and it is what life is all about:  relationships.  Caring relationships.

This evening I took a nice long walk after dinner with my wife.  As we walked by the rose bushes, I could see that they were definitely springing to life with tons of buds springing open revealing the gentle petals beneath.  As the sun settled behind the trees, I got a chance to really “stop and smell the roses.”  Life is precious.  Enjoy it.  Share it.  Help others to enjoy and experience it.

To the teenage girl up in NYC with Cancer:   Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem with me and many others.  Life is precious, and you’ve learned it at a tender age.   Praying for you and your family tonight.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Idiopathic and degenerative scoliosis w stenosis fixed on mom of one of our scoliosis guests

T11-iliac wing instrumentation and fusion w osteotomies and
Ebl: 1,300 cc
Bloo transfused: none.
Complications: none.
Surgical time: 3 hrs 50 minutes.
Correction: excellent.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic

Monday, April 12, 2010

Erica, Young Adult 3 years post-op from Lumbar scoliosis surgery -- doing great, finished running 14.5 mile run!

From: Erica
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2010 14:36:17 -0400
To: Lloyd Hey <>
Subject: 3 years post-op

Dr. Hey,
I hope all is well with you!  It has been a little over three years since you corrected my scoliosis and fused L4-T12.  My husband, Shawn, and I just moved back to Durham from Connecticut this past Fall after being up there for about three years.
I crossed the finish line in a 14.5 mile trail run at Pilot Mountain this Saturday and I immediately thought of you.  I’ve never been in as good of shape or felt better than I do right now.  No back pain whatsoever.  I’ve run three races so far this year (5k, 10k and the 14.5 mile trail run) – hopefully my next big accomplishment will be getting pregnant!  :)
I referred my friend’s father, John H_____, to you a year or so ago.  I ran into him a few days ago, and he said that they exercises you gave him and the physical therapy he has received from Matt Roman has made such a difference.    My father, Tim, is still doing well after his surgery.  I just wanted you to know that I still think of you from time to time and am so grateful we were connected.  
Warmest Regards,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Xrays before and after today's kyphosis surgery

Dr. Lloyd hey
Hey Clinic

5 hours later, the severe kyphosis is looking much better

28 up gentleman w chrohns disease w severe progressive kyphosis.
Fixed today w T2-L3 instrumentation and fusion w multiple osteotomies.
Correction: excellent.
Complications: none.
Evl: 750.
Blood transfused: none.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

This morning's challenge: 90 degree kyphosis

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Monday, April 5, 2010

Failed 2 level dis replacements fixed today

This 50 yo gentleman had L45 and L5S1 disc replacements done in
Germany and had some improvement for about a year. Since then, quality
of life has gone to zero w severe spinal claudication and pain.

Today we did posterior L3-Iliac wing instrumentation w L34 TLIF and
revision 3 level laminectomy w removal of spinal cord stimulator.
Surgical time: 4 hrs.
Complications: none.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

Friday, April 2, 2010

FW: Post Op visit picture 3/29/10

------ Forwarded Message
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2010 21:03:12 -0400
To: Lloyd Hey <>
Subject: Post Op visit picture 3/29/10

Dr. Hey:
Picture that Dave took at my post op visit on 3/29/10.
Thank you and your staff for great care, encouragement and optimism.
Looking forward to getting stronger. I hope I can help others some day!
Thanks from the whole H_____ family!
P.S.  Looking forward to buying Hey shirts in the near future!!!!!!!!

------ End of Forwarded Message