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Old 02-08-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 91
queenie5 HB User
So Afraid of Surgery

Have any of you cancelled due to fear? I'm 18 months post op plif L4-5 and 5-s1. 4-5 was a dynamic stabilization. I failed to fuse at 5 and s1. My pain continues constantly. I'm on MSContin and Vicoden. I was scheduled for revision in Oct. and cancelled. Now I'm scheduled for the 25th of this month. Have any of you just not had the revisions and stayed on your pain regiman? Its not quality, but I as so frightened of this surg. They want to do the 360 approach. If I haven't had nerve damage, am I risking that by not doing it? The first dr. I had said it just depended on how long I could stand the pain. Please some feedback..............I'm at my wits end. I am a praying woman, and you can bet I have been. Thanks in advance.

Old 02-08-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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Location: MO. USA
Posts: 247
lynn1961 HB User
Re: So Afraid of Surgery

Hi queenie..........

AWWWWW, I am so sorry for you I sit here and think, gosh, what would I do in her situation? You know, I think I would feel the same as you feel. I am early out yet from ALIF surgery and have no signs yet of fusing. WHICH makes me nervous but I know it takes months to start fusing. I did read 1 article that said, just because a person doesnt fuse, doesnt mean a person has to have another surgery. Or at least, rush to another surgery. But if you are hurting badly, you might want to think, is it worth putting it off and suffer? Man, I do think that would be hard to decide...... How bad is your pain? Pain level? What does your doctor say? I am guessing he is pushing to do it if this is set up? maybe he knows what is best? I know you must be apprehensive as I would be for sure....I am not much help and I apologize. Maybe someone will chime in that has been in your situation, good luck to you and keep us posted...

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Old 02-08-2009, 06:43 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 91
queenie5 HB User
Re: So Afraid of Surgery

My pain is pretty constant. Usually around a 7. They've had me on every imaginable pain med out there, plus blocks, patches and anything else. If we go shopping, I usually have to have a wheelchair. I lost my nursing job due to all of this, but yet I'm still that afraid to go back in again. You'd think I'd be jumping at a fix. I'm trying to psyche myself up every day, but then I panic.

Old 02-08-2009, 07:30 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 25
jenius HB User
Re: So Afraid of Surgery

HI Queenie--
Im wondering why you are so scared to have the 2nd surgery??
Did you have a really bad experience with the first one? Really hard recovery, etc?
Just afraid of surgery all together?
Were you this freaked with the first one?
Ill try to help, if I can!

Old 02-08-2009, 07:44 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 91
queenie5 HB User
Re: So Afraid of Surgery

I was nervous with the first one, but not like this. It was a very poor hospital experience. They were usually about a half hour late on pain pills. No bed bath until day 3 , and that was from my daughter. It was in a big Chicago hospital, and it was scarey. So when I was supposed to go in October, I waited until 3 days before surgery and backed out.
This is a new Dr, a new hospital, and I know this is my own personal issue. I've had many surgerys in my life. Also, I think of 18 months of doing everything by the book, and look what happened. So , I'm also afraid of another bad result. And right now, it doesn't seem like I'm that far from a Wheelchair. I'm 56 years old, but was working, bikeriding, hiking, babysitting. So I went from that to nothing this last year and a half.
So thats the whole story.

Old 02-08-2009, 08:29 PM   #6
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jenius HB User
Re: So Afraid of Surgery

Well that would certainly explain your apprehension!

Pain pills work two ways, especially when used for immediate-post-operation pain. They suppress pain, but also CONTROL it. So if your pills arent administered on time, your pain starts to get out of control and it is much harder to get it back under control. They HAVE to be taken on time to do this! That is not ok for them to be late!

I would write down every single thing you can think of to ask the surgeon about this surgery and the recovery- including the bathing and the pain relief- You can even ask for a pump instead of pills so that you have more control over the relief. Ask everything you can think of, no matter how silly you might think it is. It isnt silly if it is worrying you and you are allowed to go into a surgery completely reassured when you are putting your life in the hands of these surgeons!

You can also ask to meet the nurse who will over see your post op care. I know people that always do this.. Then you will have double assurance on your post op care, too!

It does sound like you do need the 2nd surgery, and if the doctors are adamant that it will help, I think I would personally do it. It doesnt sound like you are doing well now, and thats NOT FUN!
Like i said before, Its certainly understandable why you are apprehensive, as it sounds like the first one was a nightmare, but I think if you can get these issues ironed out with the surgeon and nurse NOW, you'll be able to set your mind at ease and be able to go into the 2nd surgery pretty well relaxed.....

WIsh you the best!

Old 02-08-2009, 08:40 PM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 91
queenie5 HB User
Re: So Afraid of Surgery

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and to respond. I really appreciate it.

Old 02-09-2009, 07:55 AM   #8
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Re: So Afraid of Surgery

Queenie, I'm so sorry you're so frightened of this surgery. I had a horrible hospital experience, too. I wrote a four page letter to the hospital with details of what was so terrible, not emotional but factual. I sent copies to the CEO, the head of nursing, and a couple of other departments that were relevant. I got a call back from them. They took my complaints seriously, and now they have "lift teams" available at all time and have done further training and inservicing for some particular problems. They were very apologetic, though that didn't help me with my time there. But at least other back patients in the future will have a better recovery than I did.

But most people here have had great care after their surgeries. I used to work in a hospital before my back issues got so bad. Most hospitals are fine and you'll get good care. You're going to a different hospital. Chances are good that it will be fine. If you're able to have a family member stay with you, you'll have a built-in advocate, someone who can walk down the hall and get whatever help you need if it hasn't come on time. Bring the nurses a plate of brownies or cookies, butter them up... Sorry to say, but that really DOES make a difference in your care! It shouldn't, but it does!

I hope you won't cancel this time. I know it's scary, but it sure sounds like you need this surgery. You need to get relief from your pain!

Hang in there, Queenie! And please post so we know how you're doing!


P.S. I'm a praying woman, too, and I'll pray for you!

Old 02-10-2009, 06:26 AM   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: wenonah nj usa
Posts: 161
mewcamaro HB User
Re: So Afraid of Surgery

Hi Queenie - I had a ALIF in June 07, L5 L4 S1 removing the disks, replacing with titanium and a fusion. I also had a bad hospital experience I was in the hospital for 10 days instead of 6, I did not get my meds on time etc. I kept a journal the whole time in the hospital, then I went to a rebab facility for 4 weeks and that was not much better, still the nurses were late with meds, not changing the bedding and more, I still kept my journal every day. My doctor promised me that this surgery would make me better...well I am in worse pain now than before surgery. My pain level is like 7-8 and I take pretty strong meds. I have been through everything for my pain and nothing works, now they want to do a myelogram. And like you if they say another surgery now I am saying I've had 3 surgeries already and I don't want another. But then you have to think of your quality of life...which I really don't have, everything has changed since my surgery, can't sit, stand walk for long periods of time, I use a walker and I have to depend on others. I don't know what I would do, I am at the same road as you are.....everyone is different and I pray you make the right decision ...please keep us posted and may God bless you!

Old 02-10-2009, 08:53 PM   #10
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Re: So Afraid of Surgery

I tend to be of the mindset - "if I'm in pain and there's a chance surgery will help - let's go for it". So I've had a few spinal surgeries. Some have been tough but all have been worth it in the end.
Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

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