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    Old 05-11-2006, 01:03 PM   #1
    Backinthesaddle
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    Are there not some people who never recover?

    Just curious since it seems everyone goes back to work within two months as a usual basis. Does that mean everyone feels great or just suck it up because no other options exist? I do not feel I am so bad that I cannot return to work however do know that an happen. I still need the lower disks fixed next year. My OB told me about a friend who was a surgeon until he had a ACDF and now cannot do surgery due to failing to recover. My dad plays golf with a medically retired sheriff who had to retire due to pain after his ACDF. How much pain is to much? If there is anyone here who did get medically retired, or opted not to return to work due to pain how much pain was that?

    Just seems to me that the PT, doctors and the human race seems to think after surgery all is OK. If so why is it not for some?

     
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    Old 05-11-2006, 07:33 PM   #2
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Wow, Kelly.

    You seem to have completley abandoned any hope. Becoming depressed or otherwise down is typical for all of us. You've only just begun PT, haven't taken Neurontin or any of the next level of pain relief meds, etc.

    "The realisation that I had an incurable disease, that was likely to kill me in a few years, was a bit of a shock... But I didn't die. In fact, although there was a cloud hanging over my future, I found, to my surprise, that I was enjoying life in the present more than before."

    The above quote is from Stephen Hawkings, who was initially diagnosed some 40 plus years ago and has been in a wheelchair for about the past 30. He also happens to be one the greatest minds of his generation and is wildly successful.

    Limitations and disabilities are NOT the end of the line.

    Hang in there.

    Last edited by funny4mony; 05-11-2006 at 07:34 PM.

     
    Old 05-11-2006, 10:40 PM   #3
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    I think its the same reason none of us have exactly the same story, there are always little twists and turns and differences. I am still trying to get well, but from where i started in 2004, and 2 surgeries later, I am miles better. It gives me hope that if i continue on the journey i will find health and a life i can actually "live with"!

    Backinthesaddle - i don't completely know your story I will read about it next time i can sit for a while.

    Each step i took, the pain meds, PT, Neurontin, injections, esi's have all provided a baby step forward, surgeries (ok a leap). There were periods of time when I just wanted to crawl into bed and not go to work, but I only fed that monster a couple times. I found what worked best to hold off the depression and grief over things i lost was to focus on the stuff I could do - that's what gets me through, even it is means I can only work a 4 hour day, or only sit with family for a one hour dinner out, or walk to the mailbox instead of the block, etc. that's what i'll do - I try to savor every moment i do have and take care of myself when i need a rest. Take care......

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 08:24 AM   #4
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Kelly-

    Here's an accurate early morning report from a purported success story.

    I'm about 2 1/2 months out with continued damage, primarily motor function.

    First 1/2 hour and I'm a complete mess. Lots of wobbling and pain getting out of bed. I don't want to wake up and face the day, mind you. Things hurt and pieces of my body don't work as I'd like. 3 different alarm clocks and a persistent wife make sure that I get out of bed. 40 minutes later, and I'm happy that I'm up.

    My wife gives me my meds. This morning is not a day I could open my med bottles without spilling them all over the bathroom. My morning beverage is served in a spill-proof container.

    I'll probably be ready to shower in another 15 minutes or so, after getting my bearings.

    Then I'll hit the treadmill.

    Following 30 minutes on the treadmill, I'll feel ready to tackle my day.

    Will I have pain and/or a few challenges throughout the day?

    Absolutely.

    I'm alive!

    I know the words aren't much help. But the above is my current reality.

    I try to embrace it. It's a choice.

    Keep moving forward with that PT!

    Last edited by funny4mony; 05-12-2006 at 08:49 AM.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 06:21 PM   #5
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    NO guys I am not depressed not at all just curious. I know I feel better then I did and will continue to feel better as time goes on. Most likely I will never feel like I once did. I just think about a few officers I know at work who had to medically retire. Usually back injuries but wondered what the criterea of that was. I never got to ask them since once they went out they didn't come back, I was told they could not do a job. So you see I am just in that curious spot and almost hopeful that that would be my case. I could always find something to do

    F4M you sound worse then me. I am like that also in the morning but with a 8mo crying for milk and to get out of the crib it is up to me to do it most mornings. If it wasn't for him I would waller in self pity. I only waller when he is sleeping..........I also do not take any meds anymore. Lately I have had to pull out the muscle relaxers and ambien but the doctor told me to stop talking pills. I need to do the treadmill. Heck I need to walk more. I take short ones with the baby. But I need to get back to walking further.

    Now you guys mentione depression, truth be told it isn't about being sore for life. It is about having to leave my baby and go back to work. I had no idea I would feel like this and this time off has been such a bitter blessing and one I cannot thank God enough for but the time is nearing.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 06:38 PM   #6
    ThoreauFan
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Backinthesaddle
    I just think about a few officers I know at work who had to medically retire. Usually back injuries but wondered what the criterea of that was. I never got to ask them since once they went out they didn't come back, I was told they could not do a job. So you see I am just in that curious spot and almost hopeful that that would be my case. I could always find something to do
    You may want to check with your Union or HR department.

    I don't know what the term "medically retired" means.

    I do know what going on "permanent disability" means.

    There is also a very sticky area with respect to WC. Dunno anything about your job, but WC is generally considered to be a worker's exclusive remedy for injuries sustained while on the job. Additionally, Police/Fire waive other legal rights in return for other benefits, such as the early retirement threshold.

    Keep in mind, there are a flurry of laws protecting anyone with any medical condition from being discriminated against by an employer, especially in CA.

    That's the best I can do.

    Happy to hear that you're doing well!

     
    Old 05-16-2006, 07:23 AM   #7
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Howdy Saddle,

    Theres got to be a way to find those folks on med retirement. They could tell you for sure. I'm sure the PD or the city has their own criteria for disability with workers comp being the joker in the deck. Look them up in the phone book or on the net, they've been through it so they would know. You may have already done all this, but if not it's worth a try.

    I hope you continue to improve. I know it's hard, hang tough!!!!

    Take it slow....Mike

     
    Old 05-16-2006, 08:29 AM   #8
    mb100
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Hey Funny,

    Do you feel better as the day progresses? Are you still hitting golf balls? I just wondered because I always descibed it as feeling like I woke up from a car accident every morning. It got better for me after awhile, quite a while. But it did improve. Before that, it was 2 pain pills and the hottest shower I could stand before I did anything. Trip to the store, therapy, a walk, pretty much anything. But I wasnt worth a nickle for the first few hours after I got up. I know it sucks, but it will get easier. Even if it doesnt get better, you will get used to it. But I'm preachin to the choir, right!

    Take care Man, I'm thinkin about you, as are all of us I'm sure.

    Mike

     
    Old 05-16-2006, 02:36 PM   #9
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    So bad for some is usualy under lining causes that contriubute to problems

    There are also issues that can come up due to nerve endings causing more troubles during recovery process. Everyone heals at there own rate. I would be more inclined to believe during recovery process if there were other issues not yet determined alot of things can come to the surface then due to the strain stress of surgery.
    I don't think it's a case of why some never recover it's more of a case there was a choice made at the time of surgery by different surgons that say it may or may not help . When folks are in pain they want to try anything that will help. Surgery isn't always the answer

     
    Old 05-17-2006, 02:02 AM   #10
    ThoreauFan
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Hey Mike - happy to see you're coming along well.

    Late response because I just returned from out of town...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mb100
    Do you feel better as the day progresses? Are you still hitting golf balls? I just wondered because I always descibed it as feeling like I woke up from a car accident every morning.?
    Motor function is the primary issue. I wake up and move like a drunk sailor. I either become accustomed to the deficits and compensate or my coordination improves - dunno which is the case. The morning pain does dissipate. 75-90 minutes out, and I'm in good shape (I think so, anyway).

    It's not that big of thing. Life gets busy and the rest takes a backseat.

    Golf balls? You bet! A solid golf swing is actually a very elegant, refined motion. The club face does the real work; it's not about swinging hard. No problems there. The endorphin (your body's own morphine) rush is invigorating. I feel great after knocking out a couple buckets or getting off the treadmill.

    The pain is primarily related to issues not addressed by the surgery.

    I have certain demands which are unavoidable (and discussed w/my surgeon previous to ACDF), and that's where the bumps in the road arise. I probably averaged a solid 14 hours a day sitting or driving during the past four days, with 5 hours sleep per night. Not good, I know.

    Problems? Reaching for a briefcase on the floor after washing my hands during a restroom break and ZAP! I know I've pinched a nerve root (untreated). It's only extreme for a short period. Grabbing a bite to eat on the run and turning the wrong direction while holding a tray of food? Hello to tingling, numbness, twitches, and pain. That's just how it is.

    It's my reality.

    My reality also includes never playing in the NFL, being an astronaut, looking like Mel Gibson (or whomever), dating Cindy Crawford, living in a Chateau overlooking the French Riviera, or a million other things that I could complain about.

    I'm okay with it. I consider my surgery to be quite a success. Big picture, y'know?

    There's this old story about Tommy Lasorda desperately needing an injured player to pinch hit during a critical ball game. The player told Lasorda that he couldn't do it, because he was only at 75% of his "normal" self. Lasorda asked him to give 100% of that 75%. And that's what he did.

    Whatever capability I have, and I'm not too hung up on thinking in terms or percentages or what should be normal, that's what I try to use. End of story.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mb100
    Even if it doesnt get better, you will get used to it. But I'm preachin to the choir, right!
    I am used to it. I am living a much, MUCH better life than the alternatives.

    Hope everyone is continuing to improve.

    Last edited by funny4mony; 05-17-2006 at 02:06 AM.

     
    Old 05-17-2006, 09:35 AM   #11
    mb100
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Hey Funny,

    Great post as usual, I got a kick out of it. It's good to hear such a positive attitude, while at the same time sharing the hard stuff. If we dont share the bad stuff the folks that are hurtin wont be able to relate to us, and I worry that it might run a few of em off that could otherwise benefit from this site. The pain and fear is what they'll relate to first, hell, thats what brought us here. I've been on other sites that seemed to be kinda uptight and afraid to talk about themselves. This is OUR safe haven where we can talk to folks that will understand and be able to relate to us, unlike "Joe normal".

    I know you hate the word but everybody has there own normal anyway, not just us. We just have a new one.

    In my case, I think my morning problems are from the way I sleep. Once I fall asleep, I tend to roll over on my stomach, or side which puts my neck in a bind. I've tried everything just about to relieve it, with little sucess. Believe it or not, the best way for me to fall asleep is sitting up. I'll only sleep a few hours before waking, but I dont wake up in as much pain. I've got all the ortho pillows and such, but none seem to help. There are times when I'll go out like a light and sleep 6 or 8 hrs straight, maybe I'm staying in the correct sleeping posture then, or just exausted, I dont know. Anyway, I dont have your kinda problems with my hands as much as my legs. Spastisity somewhat controlled by baclofen, but still there. My dr has wanted to put in a pump for it from day one, but I resisted it. It's a double edged sword, It helps with the spastisity, but makes you feel fatigued all the time. I go off of it occasionally because of that. I hear it's fun to watch me walk then! A little gimper humor.

    Anyway Funny, thanks for sharing. I can relate.

    Take it slow....Mike

     
    Old 05-17-2006, 06:03 PM   #12
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    I go out of town for a few days and see all I miss.

    I started PT today. She went totally easy on me so I am not in awful pain. I had a few bad days like usual then I have a few good days. Good enough that if it weren't 95 degrees I would have been out riding. I swear that is so confusing to me. I am going to PT 2-3X a week for 12 visits and see what then. She tested my neck flexion at my intro visit and I am really bad to the right. I have poor ( for lack of better words as I am not sure what word she used) nerve response to both biceps and right tricep. She said my forearms were normal. Hmm not sure what that means. And today she said my first rib was out of place so she worked on getting it back.

    So wierd that we all feel like drunk sailors when we wake up. I am glad it is not only me. I also feel better after about an hour or so.

    American Idol is on...........gatta go....hhhehehehe

     
    Old 05-18-2006, 04:35 AM   #13
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Backinthesaddle
    I go out of town for a few days and see all I miss.

    I started PT today. She went totally easy on me so I am not in awful pain. I had a few bad days like usual then I have a few good days. Good enough that if it weren't 95 degrees I would have been out riding. I swear that is so confusing to me. I am going to PT 2-3X a week for 12 visits and see what then. She tested my neck flexion at my intro visit and I am really bad to the right. I have poor ( for lack of better words as I am not sure what word she used) nerve response to both biceps and right tricep. She said my forearms were normal. Hmm not sure what that means. And today she said my first rib was out of place so she worked on getting it back.

    So wierd that we all feel like drunk sailors when we wake up. I am glad it is not only me. I also feel better after about an hour or so.

    American Idol is on...........gatta go....hhhehehehe
    Any good day is better than before right???? Hopefully this will be your turning point as well!

     
    Old 05-18-2006, 07:37 AM   #14
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Backinthesaddle
    NO guys I am not depressed not at all just curious. I know I feel better then I did and will continue to feel better as time goes on. Most likely I will never feel like I once did. I just think about a few officers I know at work who had to medically retire. Usually back injuries but wondered what the criterea of that was. I never got to ask them since once they went out they didn't come back, I was told they could not do a job. So you see I am just in that curious spot and almost hopeful that that would be my case. I could always find something to do

    F4M you sound worse then me. I am like that also in the morning but with a 8mo crying for milk and to get out of the crib it is up to me to do it most mornings. If it wasn't for him I would waller in self pity. I only waller when he is sleeping..........I also do not take any meds anymore. Lately I have had to pull out the muscle relaxers and ambien but the doctor told me to stop talking pills. I need to do the treadmill. Heck I need to walk more. I take short ones with the baby. But I need to get back to walking further.

    Now you guys mentione depression, truth be told it isn't about being sore for life. It is about having to leave my baby and go back to work. I had no idea I would feel like this and this time off has been such a bitter blessing and one I cannot thank God enough for but the time is nearing.
    BITS,

    I feel like I did when I was in my 20's two years out from double ACDF (I'll be 54 in August). It took about six months before I started to feel decent, and another 6 months before I felt totally normal. Now I don't think about it anymore.

    I think there are those that don't recover 100%, but I think it's more that people heal differently. Some take a little longer.

    Hang in there.

    Dennis

     
    Old 05-18-2006, 10:26 AM   #15
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    Re: Are there not some people who never recover?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mb100
    If we dont share the bad stuff the folks that are hurtin wont be able to relate to us, and I worry that it might run a few of em off that could otherwise benefit from this site.
    This is an interesting thought. I believe the absolute reverse is true.

    There are about 200K ACDFs performed in the U.S. each year. Most of those people will just move on with life and be completely fine. This board is where the horror stories exist. It is in no way representative of ACDF outcomes in general.

    People can and do arrive on these boards (or any health site) and decide that a perfectly harmless "symptom" is now worthy of tremendous worry, testing, treatment, etc. I have read countless rundowns of symptom lists that are in no way related to ACDF or its underlying conditions. Flat out, some people are complainers.

    The majority of people over age 50 have MRIs that are not unlike many of us. However, they are not treated because they have no symptoms or do not find their symptoms worthy of complaint. Individuals have different expectations.

    I've heard a joke about health sites on the internet, particularly with respect to symptoms. A person can peruse most any of the subject areas on this site and rightfully conclude, "I have those symptoms!"

    The punchline to the joke? "Of course I do. It's called life."

    Last edited by funny4mony; 05-18-2006 at 10:27 AM.

     
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