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Fear over upcoming fusion!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
After 2 laminectomy/discectomies at L5/S1 and a reherniation in September, my OS has suggested an ALIF fusion at the L5/S1 level. The surgery will be in late November and he is going to team up with a vascular surgeon. I am in total agreement with him on the surgery...I'm ready to try something else to attempt to eliminate some of this pain! :''( The problem??? I'm TERRIFIED! :SS I have a lot of faith in my surgeon but I'm going through the "what if's". I've also developed a fear of not being fully anesthetized during the procedure, paralysis, etc. etc... 8} I know I am being irrational and just have a bad case of the nerves!! I know many of you have been through this procedure, and much more in many cases! Reading your posts and your successful recoveries helps me. Sorry to be rambling....I guess I just had to vent..thanks :)
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Comments

  • Good luck with your surgery..
  • Maxicat, what you are feeling is very normal, at least for us worrying types :D I second guessed my decision for months all the way into the OR. Talking to my surgeon was helpful, but didn't calm all my fears. And of course reading here is good and bad for the nerves depending on the stories ;) I found that a lot of prayer and a few xanax got me through the last few weeks. Also trying to keep busy and talking about it is helpful to. But be affirmed that you are making the right decision if you have tried all the conservative things to no avail, and your quality of life is suffering. Surgery is not a guaranteed fix, but if everything else has failed, it is a chance we have to take to regain some quality of life and pain relief. You can always get another opinion if you are really unsure. Take care, keep posting, look at the post-op must haves, and have a successful surgery! >:D< Sue
  • a level 2 fusion on Sept 25th and I'm doing fine, well as well as can be I cant lie. I was very nervous too, but the one thing that got me through this was the vascular surgeon did a tummy tuck!! YAY ME!
    You should ask your VS if he/she will be willing to do that too! I think I was more excited about the whole thing because I wanted the pain to end. I was having some anxiety over the whole thing, but I had ativan to help me. It was the week of the surgery that it really "hit" me, and then the morning of when I had to kiss my kids goodbye while they were still sleeping. They made me very comfy at the hospital prepping me, and I did cry when my hubby had to leave me.
    I would never take back this surgery in a million years! yes, it's been hard. I have my good days and my bad but I take each day at a time. I have a 9 inch incision on my stomach but the scar isn't as bad as I thought it would be.
    I am actually getting a bone stimulator Wed. I have been having major issues with a pinched nerve in my lower back. I had an emergency MRI Friday to rule out infection or reherniation. As of today, I am clear of all that. They do think that I have some leakage of the BMP that is causing inflamation and causing pressure on the spinal cord. I need to have another epideral cortisone shot, hopefully this week, to take the swelling down. I just have to ice my back and take anti-flama meds. So I guess I'm ok, just can't walk, but it will all end.
    I'm in a wedding next week, well week and a half, on November 8th and I am going to walk without my walker, crutches or cane. I am determined to!
    I am getting a bone stimulator Wed which is supposed to promote the bone to fuse faster and hopefully decrease my swelling too. They say if you use one of these stims, you fuse about 50% faster than without.
    I hope they are true!
    Well, take care and remember, it's normal to feel this way!
    I'll be thinking of you and please feel free to PM me any time!

    Kim
  • Thanks for your replies! I have some Klonopin on hand, so I will have those available to take closer to surgery time :D I do believe I have exhausted all conservative and other surgical means. I've tried increasing my walking time, but after a long walk..I pay for it by being in excruciating pain and unable to stand up straight for a while the next morning SO..I know it is time to do something. Tummy tuck........hhhmmmmm, I like that! After a hysterectomy and gallbladder removal I could use one of those =D> I'm glad to hear you all are recovering well..take care! >:D< P. S. I have already printed the post-op must haves and they are GREAT!! Have a wonderful time at the wedding!
  • Missy MAXI CAT you best be calm , relaxed etc or im coming after you with my WALKER =)) =)) <:P
    That was always my fear with any surgery not being fully asleep. Hunny the technology these days. That would never ever happen. Your hooked up to more machines then a robot has peices inside :jawdrop:
    You are strong, you will get through this. You will not be paralyzed. Your dr found the problem and is going to fix it.
    If you have total faith in your dr all is going to be great!!!!!

    Just think of me during my aortic bypass through my belly and that should get you through.
    Im so very EXICITED about my surgery. So I am throwing my EXCITMENT over you way. Sprinkle fairy dust what ever I have to do, to calm you.

    YOU HANG IN THERE !!
    We are there were you are now or alread have a zillion times.
    Its all ok.
    Stay with us each and everyday and we will get you through.
    Ok I might be gone for 6 days plus I won't know my fate till this afternoon.
    But I know all my little peeps will keep up with you.

    Lots of love and hugs
    Terri >:D< :* >:D< :* O:) O:) O:) O:)
  • I just wanted to say that I know how you feel. My surgery is coming up on December 3. On Sunday I broke down crying because I am just so scared about getting another post surgical infection. I also know that I am a very grouchy patient so I am worried about driving my husband away. I already asked him to forgive me for how I will be and thanked him for being there for me.

    For me, I am just trying to put my faith in God and my surgeons abilities. I have gotten through other things before and I can get through this.
  • Terri,

    Funny you call me Missy, my name is Melissa LOL!! =)) I appreciate your reply...and I won't make you come after me on your walker, I promise to calm down :))( I'm sure everything will go smoothly. I will just get hooked up to the robot machine and let the surgery team do the rest #:S

    I wish you the BEST during your Aortic Bypass and hope they get you fixed up just right! I will be praying and thinking of you...thank you for the fairy dust of excitement :) I hope the news you get this afternoon is good! Keep me posted!

    Hugs >:D< >:D<
    Melissa
  • I have been following these postings the last few weeks in preperation for my Lumbar fusion on Tuesday. I have had a lot of surgery including a total right hip replacement in 1996 and a two level cervical fusion in 2005 but for some reason I'm really nervous about this one. It has helped to read the postings from everybody. I know if I can get through the first couple of days I'll be ok.

    Wish me luck..
  • I DO wish you the best of luck and I hope your surgery goes smoothly! :)

    Take care,
    Melissa >:D<
  • I just posted this to someone else who is dead scared, too. so I copied and pasted my response to them to you. Hope you are encouraged by others' success stories. :)

    I was dead scared, too. somewhere I heard that when the fear of staying the same or getting worse outweighs the fear of surgery, it's time to have the surgery. that couldn't be truer for me. when I decided it was a MUST, I read all I could about it. I decided people go through this every day. 100's of people. long ago I had decided 1000s of people run marathons every weekend. if they did, I could,too, and I did. for this, I decided if 100's could do this and survive and be success stories, I could, too. I was one of those few with complications (I got a lovely MRSA-HA staph infection & therefore 2 emergency surgeries after the fusion)... but that is very rare. in my case, I was #3 in a specialty spine hospital that has been open 6 years. and even so... after 7 weeks of hell, here I am so thankful I am fusing and have my stability back. I still have pain, still on meds, but at least the fusion that was needed is taken care of. you can do this. I had serious anxiety for a couple of weeks and I finally gave in to the decision and then somehow I found peace & then I actually looked forward to getting the help I needed. I hope you will soon, also.
  • Maxicat - I too feel I have exhausted conservative treatment, and if I try to walk too much I really pay the price with excruciating pain the next day. I'm also L5/S1. And my name is Melissa. But I still have my gallbladder (for now anyways) :)))

    Your fear of not being fully anesthetized during the procedure - you mean like you've been watching too much 20/20? Gosh I had not even thought about that one. Paralysis I don't worry about, the spinal cord stops around L1 or maybe even higher (I didn't realize this when I had my discectomy, I didn't have much time to prepare including the study of my own anatomy and I swear that alone almost gave me a heart attack).

    I wish you and all the other upcoming surgeries BEST of luck and I will be following your recoveries so please keep posting, let us know how you are doing. I see my surgeon on November 12 and hope to schedule ALIF at that time. And then I can really freak out. :S
    --Melissa
  • Thank you G. You make a lot of good points to make me feel better :) I wish you continued recovery!!! >:D< >:D<
  • Hello my fellow Melissa friend! :) I know exactly what you mean by paying the price the next day!! I'm ready for some pain relief :''( Actually, my fear of anesthesia came from watching the movie "Awake" which my dear hubby rented @) (without thinking)...but that is Hollywood! Don't watch it, it just makes your mind wander irrationally.

    I didn't realize the spinal cord stopped higher up....thanks for that info. #:S that's one worry off my mind. I see my surgeon on November 14th to schedule..so we can freak out together during the same week LOL. PLEASE keep me posted on your progress/recovery! I wish you the best. >:D< >:D< >:D<

    Melissa ;)
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