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Re: spinal surgery needed

Re: spinal surgery needed

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Posted by Lynne on March 05, 2000 at 17:48:05:

In Reply to: Re: spinal surgery needed posted by mike on February 10, 2000 at 13:05:54:

: : : hi there. my name is brendan. in december of '97 i was in a car accident. i suffered a herniated disk that i was originally able to rehab through therapy and excercise. in may of this year, however, my stressfull job and active lifestyle caught up with me and the disx popped back out, litterally. i've been out of work since and have tried everything to ease the pain and get back to normal, including three cortisone (epidural) shots. last week i went to see a surgeon and he informed me that the disc would have to be removed and pins would have to be inserted in my spine as well. i have to admit i am a little scared as open back surgery just seems really eerie, for lack of a better word. for the most part, however, i'm fed up with everything and want to get my life back.

: : : the things is that i'm 25 years old. i was hoping that some other people could tell me of there experinces with this type of surgery, good or bad. the last 10 months have been very trying on me as the stress of everything has messed up my life a lot. i have no medical insurance but have reacently applied for medicaid and am also trying to re-open my no fault case with my insurance company. the problem is that the longer i wait the more difficult the surgery can become and the longer the recovery will take. my frustrations have led to strains in many of my daily relationships with people close to me, including one very fed up ex-girlfriend. being an athlete for my whole life, it has been very frustrating to have to sit around and not participate in anything because the pain is too much. so naturally i'm putting a lot of hope and faith that this surgery will help me get back some of the normalcy in my life.

: : : i was wondering if it would be appropriate to seek some sort of counseling to help deal with the anxiety and stess of this whole ordeal. it's very hard for people to understand how frustrating this can be. i appologize for babbling and complaining but i was just hoping that somebody might be able to help with medical or mental advice in dealing with major back surgery. like i said, i'm 25, and to me that's just too young to be in pain the rest of your life. thanks in advance for anyone who can help.
: : there are so many people who do not understand and they wont unless they have gone through this.my husband has been in chronic pain now for 4 years from failed back surgery, and i myself just had a fusion done at l5s1. had this done on dec 3. ive had good days and bad days i am still taking lortab 5 which at this time helps but there are days that i do take more than im suppose to. sure would be nice to be able to have a normal life again, at this time i dont get my hopes up about all of my pain disappearing. i can at least now be out of bed and doing some things.i think that my family and friends are tired of listening to me talk a bout my back. everything in our lives have changed. i am 35 and my husband is 37 i feel that we are way to young to have such serious problems plus we have to children so glad there able to fend for themselves. i got so depressed when this started with my husband that i just about left but now that im in the same position i surley do understand so much more. im now taking 150mg zoloft daily and that has made a tremendous difference. sorry for rambling but i just started reading message. all new. good luck to you
: I think i can ease your anxiety. e-mail me and lets talk. hope your feeling better. midan10688@aol.com

Sorry to hear all the pain and frustration in your note. I am happy to say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I had my first back surgery over 19 years ago and have had six to date. The last surgery in July 1999 was a smashing sucess and I have never felt better in my life. I have had several laminectomies and two fusions. The last fusion in 1997 was an anterior and the doctor was lass than nice but a good surgeon. How ever the problems I had following surgery were put down by him as being muscular in nature. After two years of unbelievable pain and losing the ability to walk , I found a very good doctor who listened and ahted putting me through another mylogram but I am so delighted that he did. He found that the formina had all but closed up and most importantly the rod that had been put in my spine in 1994 had started moving. So he operated and removed the rod and opened the formina and the difference I feel now is night and day. I would suggest that if you have to have a fusion that you find a surgeon who is compassionate and who does an anterior approach as that is the easiest to recover from based on all the ones I had done from the back approach. With the anterior appraoch you will not have to suffer from the back muscles being cut which is what makes it so hard to rebuild those muscles back up. Yes waiting is not eaasy from the standpoint of pain but as far as making the surgery more difficult that is not true. Yes, there is damage being done to the nerves that are being compressed but they also can recover. You also must deal with the fact that life as you once had it will never be again. You will always have some degree of pain but I am a firm believer that getting up and doing things is better than sitting around and moaning about not doing things. So realize that things will be tough for a while but things will also get better than they are right now. I have since gone back to long walks, cleaning my own house, gardening and hopes of doing some canoeing this summer. I will try all I can and if I have to I will modify it so that I can do it at a slower pace. You do have your age on your side as I am 49 and that makes it a bit tougher. But you can do what ever you set your mind to do after the surgery. Learn to pace yourself during recovery and walk, walk walk. IT is so important to walk after the surgeon tells youtoo. Also all those silly exercises are essential for being able to keep your back strong. I learned the hard way but I do them faithfully every day now and while I can't leap tall buildings I can move around without excruitiating pain. Yes, on rainy, cold days I get stiff but I force myself to do exercises and get moving and it does get better.
Please remember that your mental outlook affects the rest of you and how well you will do after surgery. So when people start to tell you something negative about their backs realize that we are all different and have different motivators. Yours is that you are still young and have a long life ahead of you. As for your girl friend....well it is stressful for her to. You might try asking her what about your back problems makes her so upset. You will be surprised to hear that most of the time it is not that we can not do things but that the people who care about us hate seeing us in such pain and they don't know how to help. So I hope this helps in some way. You never said if it was your lower back or where your injury was. I had lower back surgery and am now in need of a little neck work. I keep meaning to speak to God about this spine he gave me...what was he thinking!
Hang in there, and laugh if nothing else as it keeps you from screaming at the bad times.
You can e-mail me if you would like. My e-mail is jmolnar123@aol.com. Whatever happpens I wish you the best of luck and a good mending.
Lynne


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