I have no ambition and my house is showing from it. I feel like a slacker-
which I have never been this way before. I have been off work since July
2,04 and have no idea when I'll go back. I'm approx. 8 weeks post-op
from a TLIF fusion of L5-S1 with bone graft from left hip. Plus recovering from staph infection.
Do other people feel this way? I was a CNA(certified nurse's aide) but not
sure if I'll be able to go back in this line of work. Hopefully, I can find
something at the hospital where I work, a different position. I do hope and
My hip is giving me the fits, the most. Anyone else have this problem? Any ideas of when I'll return to work? I know everyone is different, just wondering how this surgery has effected other people. If I wouldn't have had this surgery at all, could I have cope with this as an every day problem-with a ruptured disc. How long can people go, before having surgery?
Oh well, I guess I'm 2nd guessing myself-esp. with all the problem that occured. I must remember that "With God, All Things Are Possible"!
You are feeling like we all feel one time or another, don't second guess what you have already done....it is not going to change your outcome..You can what if yourself about everything under the sun. Some sort of depression and lack of ambition or lack of anything is normal for anyone going through all this back stuff. Remember tomorrow is a new day. I hope you will feel better and know that it is normal to feel like BLAH Take one day at a time and try to take care of yourself.
Depression is a spiral. If you can catch it before it goes down, grab on. My husband was starting to go stir crazy and for the first time in his life become depressed after his surgery. He went back to work after two weeks, I think. He just puttered but it was great for his moral.
I find that doing something for myself always makes me feel better, such a going for a walk in the sunshine, treating myself to food that I don't normally eat, or helping out a neighbor, raises my spirits.
I had a 2 level posterior fusion in 2001 with bone graft from my right hip. I agree that the bone graft was the hardest part to get over, but it does get easier. I think I went back to work after 3 months as an RN. I had good days and bad days. It was a little more uncomfortable to do the job but it was possible. I hurt my back the first time in 1999 pulling a 300 lb or more patient up in bed with assistance. I didn't report the injury, because at the time it was just a little discomfort and didn't really kick in for a couple of weeks. I was then told it was a pulled muscle and put on light duty, such as taking vital signs and helping with paperwork, handing out meds. Even taking vital signs, you do a lot of bending, so it never really got a lot better, but was tolerable. So back to regular duty I went. In September of that year I had major back pain and ended up with a laminectomy. Neuro stated he believed I had actually herniated the disc when I was told I had a pulled muscle, and it just deteriorated from there. But at that point I couldn't prove it was done at work. So no work comp. The laminectomy helped for a while but by the end of 2000, I was back in pain, because the laminectomy done on L4-L5 and L5-S1 had become unstable. So in January of 2001 I had posterior fusion of those levels with screws and rods and bone graft. As I said before I went back to work and did ok for the most part. Had some pain on days that I overdid things, but did tolerate it. I was doing patient care again and handling things ok.
Then in January of 2004 I fell at work helping a patient back to bed. When I fell I knocked a couple of the screws loose and had to have the fusion redone. It was covered under workers comp this time, so it has been a slow process. I had the revision done in September finally and have not as of yet returned to work. I finally start PT next week. So we shall see. I have recovered from the surgery but still have basically the same pain in low back and legs. I also have pain in the thoracic area also, but neuro wants to wait on that until the lumbar is healed because it was not causing as much pain as the lumbar, but it is now getting worse by the day.
I know this is a long drawn-out story, but the point I am trying to make is, it is possible to go back to patient care after fusion. I did it for 3 years before I fell and had the setback. I have also had major bouts of depression and I can tell you my house is also showing the effects of it. My GP started me on Cymbalta for the depression and it is helping some. I'm not nearly as hateful to my family as I was, and they are thankful for that, lol. I also am not having the crying spells as often as I was, but I must admit, I am still very disappointed in my progress so far. I feel like I should have been back at work months ago. Talk to your doctor about your depression. There is help out there.
I'm not sure if this post will help you or make you feel worse. I meant for it to help you realize there is life after fusion. But if I am totally honest with you, I'm not sure if I will ever be able to go back to nursing after this last surgery. To be honest, I'm terrified at the thought of it. All my trouble started with this profession, but I guess it could have happened anywhere.
Sorry for the book. I didn't mean to get carried away. I guess this post just brought out all my feelings and fears. I'm truly sorry for being a downer. It wasn't my intention. I hope and truly feel you will do fine. Best of wishes to you.
I am suffering from terrible depressionI had my second surgery on 12-14-04, and the first 2 weeks all i did was cry, not from pain but just depressed. I'm s l o w l y getting better, but I agree with another reply you had, you have to pull yourself out of it, if you can't then get some help before it gets too bad. There's nothing wrong with temporary help, and very normal to suffer from depression after any surgery. God Bless you in your recovery.
It is possible, but not as easy for CNAs. We are hired to do all the heavy lifting, bathing, pushing, pulling, turning, standing all shift (well, our nurses can sit and chart, CNAs cannot, well, shouldn't), pulling up in bed, transfering. I haven't worked with RNs who do near this amount of work since I left MO in 2002. At that facility, rns did the same patient care as us assistants, but here in NV, they do not. They pass meds or charge, and that is it. No direct patient care. of course, it depends on where you work too and what kind of unit. Life as a CNA is over for me, but I have goals to go to nursing school either this year or next. I have also worked as a unit clerk so that is my goal for the next year, to do that since I am not allowed to do CNA work. It is a requirement that I be able to lift certain pounds, so CNA, check your job description. I would make a copy and take it to your dr. If he feels you can do your job safely, then great! I am sorry you are going through this not fun stage of healing. I worry everyday about what my future holds where work is concerned. Heck, I CAN'T go to LPN or RN school if my neck isn't fixed, and jobs are hard to come by that don't require one to use their neck! WEll, I am probably over stepping my welcome. I keep trying to discuss this work thing but it doesn't seem you want to talk to me about it, so I won't bring it up again. Consider this my last post about it. Sorry, I just want to help and I don't want you to end up with four fusions down the road. Take care and I hope you get to feeling better and get some clarity soon.
Cna, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. You are still recovering from some serious surgery and you need to try and keep a positive attitude. All you can do is heal at your own rate. After my surgery, my doctor put me on amitryptiline to help me sleep but I believe the antidepresant effects helped me. If you need some help, don't be ashamed to go get it.
Treat yourself like a queen. Your most important job is to heal. Housework and all that crap is not going anywhere. Just do fun things that you enjoy and try to get out and get a change of scenery occasionally. Give yourself a break, you have earned it. You are doing great!
I had my 3rd back surgery this past December (04) and I've experienced post-surgery blues each time, because I've had to adopt the "hurry up and wait to get better" solution each time.
The down side of taking pain meds is that it does affect your moods, including the desire to watch shows like Maury and Springer.
I get out of my funk by doing the things required of me, the walking, etc. that I've been instructed to do. And there's investing in a video game console to help pass the time. You want to lose track of 10 hours, play a video game.
And then there's planning what you'll be doing in the near future, returning to work, your life and getting into a Physical Therapy routine to help you strengthen your back.
That is the point I was trying to make, but I got sidetracked by emotions and fear. I have worked on surgical floors, med-surg floors, labor and delivery, and nursery, and in this area the Rn's do most of their own patient care. Now I do live in small-town, Martinsville, VA, and the hospital here considers it to not be cost effective to have many cna's at all, and I am sure it is very different in large cities. I was working in Greensboro, NC, when I had this accident and it is much larger than my home town. But even there in labor and delivery they had 2 cna's but their job was to basically set up the delivery tables and reset the rooms after delivery. No patient care done by them at all. Now when I worked in Labor and delivery, postpartum and nursery in Martinsville, (considered one unit, so you rotated through all 3 areas) we had no cna's at all. Oh and we also had female surgery patients on the other side of postpartum that we were responsible for too. All vitals, turning patients, walking patients, giving meds, emptying cath, charting, baths, beds, etc. was done by us RN's and LPN's.
I do agree with you, that I'm sure it is different in most places. There I go again, sidetracked, sorry. The point is I went back after I had my laminectomy and after I had my fusion for 3 years, successfully doing patient care. So there is life after fusion.
Just don't give up on going back until you know for sure that you can't do it. And don't give up your dream of becoming a nurse. It is still possible.
Oh, forgot to add, after my 1st fusion my lifetime weight limit was no more than 50 pounds and that was what was required in order to be hired as an RN or CNA. But like I said earlier, I was 1st hurt pulling up a 300+ pound patient with someone helping, so that sounds more like 150 pound limit. LOL.
I know here in Vegas, as in CA, you'd have up to six CNAs and each CNA has from 8-13 patients. The nurses only pass meds or charge. When I was in MO, the RNs and LPNs did patient care if they weren't charging or passing meds, but this was an isolated event. I work for the same company now as I did then and it is completely different. When I was in MO, we weren't CNAs we were rehab nursing techs; I did in and out caths, trach care. gtube/jtube care, trach suctioning, tube feedings, wound care, blood sugars, I could put some medications on, etc...and as a CNA I can't do ANY of that or I lose my license. Talk about a kick in the face to go from having so much responsibility to nothing. But, that is how things can differ state to state. They had light duty there for me, yet here I don't. I know of areas of nursing that when I get my degree/cert I don't have to lift: drs office, out patient surgery (pre-op), charge nurse, pass meds (when I would apply for a job I would tell them if I had to lift I could not take the job), work for the health district, a school nurse, and so on. I will miss the direct patient care, but gotta do what is best for me. I did the damage to myself so now I pay my own price. There is nothing that can stop me from atleast trying to be an RN. I am very sad I can't do CNA work-I love it so much and it hurts to know I can't return. Oh well, must push onward and look positively to the future. Gotta take care of me!
Gee Mel, you don't know how bad I wish we had that here. That sounds absolutely wonderful, but that was my responsibility to do those things along with meds and charting, and when I did charge nurse on postpartum I was still just a typical nurse (doing normal duties) with the added responsibility of being responsible for what everyone else did along with finding coverage for the next shift if someone called in.
You were talking about moving to NC, maybe you could do the cna's job in labor and delivery where I work at while going to nursing school. Now I'm not saying they aren't busy and don't work hard, because they do. It's just not a lot of physically demanding stuff or any lifting. Like I said before, they set up delivery tables and then setup the delivery rooms after deliveries.
And the weather's not too bad. Just a thought.
My heart goes out to you!
I wish you the best~keep your chin up, and try not to 2nd guess your decision! Things will work out! My grandmother used to have this expression, "There's nothing bad but could be worse" - - although it seems like your life is falling apart, try to think of the postive!
memaw, that would be great but I hope to BE an RN by the time we move there. I get ahead of myself-we haven't even moved into our condo yet and I still need to get into nursing school. HUbby can't transfer this year either. SOOOO, we'll be in vegas for a while longer. BUT, I will keep it in mind just in case....
I live alone and when I came home post-fusion I was stir crazy not being able to drive. Anytime you can get a ride to the store grab a shopping cart and shop! It made such a difference when I could get out and pick and choose what I wnated to eat! I got my wheels back at six weeks.