Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Laser Spine Institute/Time in Florida

The DoubleTree Hotel that we are staying at is only a 5 minute walk from the Laser Spine Institute. On Monday morning we made the short walk from the hotel and Connie checked in with the Laser Spine Institute and was told her first appointment would be on Tuesday morning at 7:15 AM. We walked around the facility and visited with a couple of the staff members at the institute. Since we had the rest of the day "free", we decided to take a trip over to Clearwater Beach which is suppose to be the nicest beach in this area of Florida. We drove over to the beach and the rain followed us. As we started to walk down the beach, the rain started falling so we ended up walking around the shops along the beach. We called it an early day after driving from Clearwater to St. Petersburg then back to Tampa.


Mike and Connie on Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach


Tuesday morning rolled around early for us. Since we had to be at the Laser Spine Institute (LSI) for Connie's first appointment by 7 AM, we got up at 5:30 AM to get ready for the day. The LSI provides a complimentary breakfast for their patients and families, so we ate a quick breakfast before going up to the 3rd floor to get started. We did not know how long we would be at the clinic on Tuesday since it would depend on how many tests Connie would need to have done. Connie had appointments with:

  • Patient Experience Coordinator that went through the process for the week and gave us additional information.We were given an information packet that included information about LSI and pre-op/post-op directions. There is also information for me as the Care Giver for Connie after the procedure.
  • Then we met with another Patient Advisor that went over all of the paperwork that Connie had completed and sent to LSI last week.
  • On to have a History & Physical, blood drawn for tests, EKG to check Connie's heart along with answering another set of questions about her lower back pain and symptoms. A physician assistant then did a physical examination of Connie and an evaluation of her pain and symptoms. Since Connie had already had two MRI scans down in the last few months, the only additional diagnostic items were some x-rays of Connie's lower back in different positions.
  • Connie then had a consultation regarding the anesthesia used during the procedure and completed another set of computer questions about her back pain and symptoms.Connie will be using a device called a Neuro-Stim System after the procedure has been done that is attached behind her ear. The therapy generates a low frequency and continual pulse that is suppose in increase the release of endorphines and help to reduce the amount of pain medication that is needed. It can be used for up to five days post procedure.
  • Down to the Diagnostic Area where Connie had a set of x-rays taken of her back.
The LSI is a very efficient organization. There was never a long wait for us in any of the different areas of the clinic we visited during the morning. All of the personnel at LSI were very professional but also very patient friendly. Connie's appointments on Wednesday start at 10:30 AM with the surgeon where we will find out their recommendations.

Since Connie's day at LSI finished up by lunch time, we decided to take a trip to see my uncle/aunt (Harry and Carol Johnson) that live in Sebring Florida which is about 90 miles from Tampa. We drove over to their house and spent several hours visiting with them. One of my cousins, Scott Johnson and his wife Julie, dropped by and we all had an early dinner. After a nice visit, we made the drive back to our hotel in Tampa.