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Old 01-08-2009, 06:53 PM   #1
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Back Ache HB User
How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

I am 3 months post-op of a 1 level fusion L3-L4. I am doing very well and even possible ahead of "schedule" as my Dr. tells me. I walk what seems like all morning long, on and off the treadmill. I still have little stamnia but continue to walk. I wear a TLSO which I am now weaning off from. YIPPEE. Overall, I am very pleased with my progress. Of course, there are still moments of self pitty because of so many things that still can not be done. How do you fight those depressing moments?
Would love to hear any advice.
Thanks!

 
Old 01-08-2009, 07:11 PM   #2
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DelawareGirl HB User
Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

Back Ache,

I read these Boards and sometimes that helps. I also try to do little things for others that are worse than I am. It may simply be serving coffee at church or holding the door for someone or reaching for a canned good for in the grocery store for someone who is in a motorized chair. I also try to get one thing accomplished each day and it may just be simply folding a load of wash or walking a little bit farther today than I did yesterday. It does get depressing but I am thankful for my health and that it could be something much worse.

 
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:39 PM   #3
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NLena HB User
Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

Back Ache,
I hear you! 7 weeks post op of 2 level fusion and I have those moments you speak of. I have tried to redirect my thoughts to what I can do now as opposed to what I could not do even 2 weeks ago and that sometimes helps. I also find that figuring out how to do something I want to do in a safer easier way in my new (no bending no twisting no lifting) condition gives me a sense of accomplishment. This board has been a constant source of encouragement for me and you will find others here that are doing their best to cope with what is frankly a long and gradual recovery process. Do you like to work with your hands? I enjoy knitting or crocheting or hand stitching even tho I am not very good at any of them my hands busy on several projects keep the boredom with one down..when I get sick of doing that I switch to something else. I know there are times when no matter what I can try to do I just feel down..and I think that is part of the process... as Delaware has said..maybe focusing on helping others in even the smallest way can take the focus off the depression..mostly the things mentioned above work but sometimes they just dont. I do find it passes tho when I think of how downright awful I was before all this and how even little improvements are giving hope. If you feel down for days however it might be time to call your Dr and just relate how you are feeling...perhaps they can suggest something to help.
thinking of you
Lena

 
Old 01-08-2009, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

Im lucky to have had good weather where I can walk with my wife and 7 yr old son at a nice park with a lake and wildlife.

When I feel down I think of the trouble I had in surgery and how fortunate I am to even be here.

I lost weight from surgery and use that to continue on my weight loss plan....lost 25 lbs since just before surgery.

Im actually like a kid in a candy store right now......Im doing things Ive never really done.....laundry,homework with my son,not drive(weird),just relax and let my wife do it(she absolutely loves waiting on me) shes always wanted me to slow down and now I see and enjoy why!


I grilled dinner tonight.....wheeeew! It was a workout.lol

My son is amazing....Ive always helped him get ready for school and now the roles have reversed....he gets my shoes ready and helps me get breakfast etc.....he is a very loving and caring boy.

I am only 5 weeks post op and im sure it will get worse.....but I will have alot of possitive to reflect on.

something funny........
my son got a 3-d puzzle for christmas and him and the wife started it as they usually do......well me being bored I started doing it and realized my son was sitting there and watching me do it rather than helping......he was enjoying me enjoying myself.....may be a blessing in disguise.


I do have some things that drive me nuts but I choose to see the above.


Devon

 
Old 01-08-2009, 10:35 PM   #5
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lynn1961 HB User
Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

awwww Devon......,.that made me feel all warm after reading your post. The statement about your son watching you enjoy the puzzle! That is wonderful....I have kept up with your progress over the past month and you had a rough go at surgery. So, with that being said, you are so lucky to be doing as well as you are huh?

I, myself, am a doer. I find it very depressing not to be able to do things in my house. The no bending, twisting,lifting restriction is so hard. You find yourself wanting to bend to get something and you cant. It really gets so hard. I try to balance my day out between walking, sitting for a short time and laying down to rest. It surely has helped me to have found this forum. Gives me something to read that I can certainly relate to. And then on the bad days <the days you was told you would have...bad days, good days> it gets depressing. My day today was a bit painful. So, I ressted more than I did anything. I do have pain still but, it is surgical pain. It takes so long to heal it seems. Or.....maybe I am just an impatient person? I am only 3 weeks post-op. I chose to have my fusion surgery during the winter months as I absolutely love spring time. I so enjoy being outside planting flowers and enjoying the sunshine. So, I am hoping to be able to at least be able to plant flowers Last spring and summer, I was in pain so I didnt get to enjoy the things I love so much. Hopefully, the problem is resolved to a point I can at least do some of the things I once enjoyed. I try hard not to get so depressed as it dont help in recovery? As many has said on this forum......it could have been so much worst. Maybe a problem couldnt be fixed surgically? Or....being paralyzed <sp?>? So.......I try to stay as busy as I can, with the restrictions, as I can. Good luck to you all and try to stay busy as you can with the restrictions......

LYNN

 
Old 01-09-2009, 06:37 AM   #6
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Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

Thanks Lynn.....

We all have to keep possitive.....I noticed Back Ache is 3 months post op and still having bad days.....yikes....It must be working hard on getting you down.

Im a doer and refuse to get down....believe me Im a big time doer...I roof homes....do concrete work ....marketing ....and also have three patents ....Im a thinker who wakes all hours of the night to try something I just thought of....my wife loves when I have no ideas...lol.... what Im getting at is we need to keep busy and stay within our restrictions like lynn says....I only hope at 3 months Im still strong if need be.

Hang in there lynn....have you been to the movie theater?...I did WOW its been years and it was cool to watch a movie with my son.....a little tough to sit that long but shifting and a popcorn run helped.



Devon

 
Old 01-09-2009, 06:48 AM   #7
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Back Ache HB User
Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

I so appreciate all the comments! I am jealous, Devon, that you have sunshine and can walk outside. As many here, I am also a doer. In the early days of recovery, I looked for 1 thing that I found I could do just a small bit easier than the day before. We are talking "small impromement" but it was helpful to see that progress and know it was going to get better. My kids are wonderful and have impressed me more than you know. They do everything with me directing them on what needs done next. Truly priceless, and they also realize how much I did for them. It has been rewarding. I think now that I do feel better, on very little pain med if any at all - only for night time sleep. The weather is so bitter cold, and never seeing the sun. The realization of the limitations is the hardest. I'm not a patient person. Sounds too familiar I'm sure. Keep the comments comming. It helps knowing others deal with the same "pitty" moments. Maybe together we can all help each other.

 
Old 01-09-2009, 06:57 AM   #8
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Back Ache HB User
Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

Devon-
Your movie comment made me laugh. I've been to the Movies a couple of times. It's a total comic relief. I can not sit that long, no way possible. With the theaters arm rest that raise up, it's so much easier, because I just lay down! I choose movie times that are less crowded and sit by the edge so I can have a few extra seats. Then I pile up everyone's coats and use as a pillow! The looks from people are really mean and their comments don't help. But at the end of the movie my friends all help me up and make a big deal and all those people that made comments before feel really stupid after that. We get a laugh out of it. It's an eye opener to realize that you never can understand the circumstances of another person until you walk in their shoes.

 
Old 01-09-2009, 07:00 AM   #9
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Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

Back Ache.....I bet when spring hits you will be doing soooo much better!....just getting outside a little does so much for you mentally.

Devon throws a big ball of sunshine to Back Ache!

Devon

 
Old 01-09-2009, 02:40 PM   #10
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BlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB User
Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

Hi Back Ache,
Three months was a big turning point for me. That's when I started being able to do real things again. I went back to church (and stood in the back for most of the service, but I was there!), did little household chores, went to the grocery store (with one or more teens with me to push the cart), and was able to sit for longer with less pain. I hope you'll experience that, too.

In the meantime, if your depression gets too bad, don't be ashamed to ask your doctor for some help. Chronic pain is very wearing. Maybe a little something to get you over the hump will help. There have been lots of people here who went that route and were glad they did. I'm not one to medicate quickly, but there's a time to pursue some help.

I hope you'll find some things to keep you busy and will get through this recovery faster than you had even hoped!

Take care,
Emily

 
Old 01-10-2009, 06:40 AM   #11
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Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

LOL.....so true Back Ache....this surgery woke me up a little too....I will never judge anyone who parks in handicap (even when they do backflips) again.....some days I think my brothers think im just milking it....trust me.....Im not even half way there yet...lol....During Christmas I chose to not eat christmas dinner at the table and I felt very uncomfortable......it was just me.....but Im a doer and those type of things are out of character.... so its working on me a bit......next time you go to the show take your pillow and a bean bag! lol

glad you had a laugh....so did I

Devon

 
Old 01-10-2009, 08:19 AM   #12
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Back Ache HB User
Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

This thread has had a lot of hits that people are reading it. I know there are more ideas. It's not about depression and medication. It's about those "self pitty" moments that we all fight. It's about Deven eating Christmas dinner somewhere other than the table and feeling bad, or me going to the theater and dealing with rude people's comments. These are the moments that we all fight that tear us down. Beleive me, this recovery is aweful. However, as aweful as it is the end result has to be better or who would ever choose to put yourself through this, right? So many of us are "doer's" we don't sit idle well. The sitting idle is what is killing me. When I don't and over do. I pay for it. I realize that I'm not as far along as I feel and I need to enjoy the relaxation of visiting with my kids, or watching a movie with my husband or whatever. The harest part of the 3 month mark is the fact that you feel great. You have more energy. You "think" you can do much more than you really can and that is when it becomes so difficult.
How do I fight those moments? I visit with lots of different friends. I don't complain - no one wants to hear it anyways. I volenteer where I can to give me something different to do. I bake, I really enjoy baking. But it is really hard to do and wears me clean out.
Anyone else?

 
Old 01-18-2009, 03:10 PM   #13
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Back Ache HB User
Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

Here are some thoughts....

Take a walk and while you walk SMILE.

When you wake in the morning complete the following statement :My purpose today is....

Try to make at least 3 people smile each day.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

Don't compare your life with others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Each night before you go to bed, compile the following statements:
I am thankful for...
Today I accomplished.....

Enjoy!

 
Old 01-18-2009, 07:08 PM   #14
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Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

I agree with Back Ache!

I also have an extremely difficult time sitting idle. In fact, I can't stand it! I am the type of person who can't even watch a movie because I can't sit still for that long. I am on disability from work at the moment, and will be for awhile yet. I should be taking it easy, but I don't. I get to a point every single day where I am in so much pain from over doing it, that I can't do another thing. I am incredibly worried about the surgery recovery. I have already started brainstorming little projects I can work on to keep my mind occupied. One of them is, after almost 4 years of marriage, I am finally going to put together our wedding album

 
Old 01-19-2009, 07:50 AM   #15
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lynn1961 HB User
Re: How do you fight the depressing moments of fusion recovery?

hi.....

I fight depresion myself. BUT......every day that I wake up pain-free, it helps me lots. I try to stay busy. Cannot do hardly anything with the restrictions that is put on your recovery but I can always find something that I can do! Staying busy as you can might help If that doesnt help.....tell your doc and maybe get on medication to help with your depression. Ive taken anti depressants before and the medicine sure helps!

LYNN

 
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