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So Frustrated With Pain.... Just Venting

caitycccaityc Posts: 268
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know you all can relate, that's why I'm here. Everyday it seems to just be getting worse. At 34 years old, I just feel like I should be living so much better than what I am. =(( I have a great husband who is very tolerant. Thank goodness! :X But I just feel like I am letting him and our 2 children down.
Every morning I wake up and I can't move. Once I get going I get better, but if I so much as lift a laundry basket I'm done. I hate taking my pain pills, and don't usually do it very often, but I find myself now taking them more often.
I posted in another topic that my surgeon wants me to lose 50 pounds so he can do an anterior fusion. I also smoke. I know.... :$ So he wants me to lose weight and quit smoking. On top of it my husband and I went through a terrible financial situation, which is better now, but it's just too much to ask one person to do. I've decided I am going to quit smoking (my doc won't operate until I have 3 months of no smoking, which is verified by urine), but I am just going to have him do the posterior fusion. I can't take living this way anymore. ~X( I'm so tired of the pain. :''(
My doctor is a strong advocate of anterior fusions, so wish me luck telling him I want a posterior one. :<


Caity
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Comments

  • You have so much going on right now, and you can vent all you want here. I know how it feels to be caught in feeling like a burden, being in a medical debt hole, trying to stay afloat in this economy, and having to pay for costly medications to function while getting that gut check feeling at the register.
    Quitting smoking is so hard and losing 50 lbs at the same time. Good grief. People usually put it on after quitting smoking. It's not like you can get a gym membership right now in your condition.
    Well, you will save money from quitting smoking, and feel healthier. Why does the doctor insist on just an anterior approach? Have you had a second opinion? I'm just wondering, maybe it's the one for your particular case.
    I'm recovering from a TLIF/Laminectomy with hardware. I'm still in pain and on heavy medications. If I don't improve by next year, a neurostimulator or more likely a pump is another proposition. I've got plenty of time to think about it if necessary. Thank goodness my spouse is supportive too.
    Hang in there and take it easy. Things have a way of working out. >:D<
  • He isn't refusing to do a posterior approach, he just feels because I am so young that anterior is the way to go. Better access to the disk space, better recovery, and so on. He told me in January, the day before my diskectomy, that he would give me a posterior fusion instead of the diskectomy. I was just really hoping to lose the weight tho. Also, I am also having way serious second thoughts about going through the front. I've had a C-Section, which was painful enough. Can't imagine that with being opened in the back as well.
    I appreciate your response. I'm so sorry to hear that you are still in pain. Thanks goodness for meds! I hope each day you improve!

    Caity
  • I just sent you a PM ;)
  • Caity, has your surgeon done lots of posterior fusions? I was just thinking sometimes they prefer a certain way because of their comfort level actually performing the procedure. Just make sure it is something he is also skilled at. Perhaps consider that second opinion if you have any issue with getting him to do it or you feel like it is not his best skill. My surgeon prefers anterior also, he does both frequently. I had unstable pars fractures which made it necessary to go from the back. I was actually relieved to find out it would be posterior, cause like you anterior seemed kinda freaky to me. Now my NS thinks recovery is easier with anterior but I know there are some here who would beg to differ. Let us know what happens, good-luck, hope you feel better soon. >:D< Cali-Sue
  • I am in a similar boat as u are. I hv stopped smoking by chewing Nicorette. Ask the dr. if this is good enuf for him. You can do it with the gum and avoid all the harmful chemicals in the smoke. Let me know what he thinks. Personally I am having s fusion Nov.20th and havent told my Dr. about my gum chewing. I did smoke when i had my last fusion when I was ur age and had no probs.
    Best,
    Vicki
  • Caity:

    My story may make you feel a bit better, you may have read it in previous posts, as I have been around a while. About 13 months ago at age 57 I had a TLIF (posterior approach). Then about a week after that surgery I had to go in for an emergency colon repair surgery (anterior approach). I had 2 children by c-section (very long ago), gastric bypass and major plastic surgery, all on my "midsection". I have recovered very well from the TLIF and colon surgery. I don't know if your surgeon's approach, front vs rear should be of so much concern to you. If you trust him, then he should know what he is doing, otherwise maybe you need a different doctor.

    Losing weight is very difficult, I know that. I have never been a smoker, but I am sure it is equally as hard. Of course you know these are only good things for you.

    Take your pain medication, it will make you feel better and help you get through the day.

    I hope you can make some progress towards feeling better.

    Ellen
  • done plenty of posterior fusions as well. Because I am young he recommends an anterior approach to give me a good solid fusion.
    As far as the nicotine gum is concerned, I can ask. However they are going to test me every month for 3 months to make sure I don't have any nicotine in my system. So I think the answer will be no. :)
    I am going to call him next week and talk it over with him. I just need something done. It's progressively getting worse, and I just can't afford to wait any longer. :S

    Caity
  • Try the medicine chantix, it works really well for alot of people. If you have a primary doc, go to him for it. Best of luck to you!
  • all of your feedback! I love this board. It is such a big help! I know I can quit smoking. I don't want to :) , but I know I can. Every morning when I wake up hurting, I get my cup of coffee and go outside and smoke. It actually helps. I know for someone who has never smoked that may be difficult to understand, but it does.
    I just hope my doctor isn't too upset with me. But I have to look at myself and what is best for me.

    Caity
  • Caityc,

    Hi There! I gave up smokg 4 years ago, I was a 20 a day body and used nicotine pasilles to help me. They are actually quite low down on the NRT list but each sweet gave mehe buzz we crave when we want a smoke. So thro will power and 5-6 sweets a day I stopped...and still have.
    Thank God. My fusions are hard enough growing.

    My PT once commented "how on earth did you manage to get your discs in such a bad shape?" and I often think about th eyeras I smoked.

    The Pain...I too struggled, scared of taking pain meds until one day a friend really told me off. I realsied then my struggles were lonely. No one else could feel my hurt. They could see me limp and ouch in my face but they couldn't feel the pain. I now take regular meds, I titrate my doses carefully so in any 24 window I only take as much as I need which is my way of trying to ce any tolerances. On a good day I may stretch to 6 hours on a bad day I dose up (all in agreement with my doctors) and sometimes i don't get any releif and then I quietly pray.

    Do yourself and your family a favour. Take the pain meds, don't be a hero, your only fooling yourself. However, be careful, responsible and keep seeing the doctors.

    At least try and give yourslef a few days calm amist the pain. I know my own BAD days are awful, words can't express the despair. But you can control them a teeny weeny bit!

    Heat pads are magic too. >:D<
  • just wanted to stop by and say sorry your suffering.
    i totally understand the smoking w/ pain all to well.
    its a crutch for sure when pain meds are not doing there job, and of course they are not until you can your surgery.

    how many opinions have you gotten??? i would always go for a couple when a dr says you have to wait. :B :B :B

    i mean seriously and truthfully weight gain is a given when you stop smoking. i have not known 1 person not to gain. [(

    i'll send ya to my dr he would of had ya fixed already!! O:) O:)

    in my mind from reading so many fusion stories. you can be the healthist person in the world, not smoke, and still not fuse.
    so no matter what the approach, if you going to fuse you are if your not your not. whether its through the front or the back its all the same surgery. and through the back the access is right there, so i really dont' understand the weight thing and why they have to come to the conclusion fusion success rates are better. your still putting bone into the disk space no matter what the procedure.

    ok am i ranting :? =)) =)) oops don't mean to. image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />
    i have alot on my mind.
    these are just my own personal opinions. :D :D :D

    you hang in there hun, i feel your pain all to well!!! as im going in for major surgery to again and it has the best of me. and well with this one (not related to the back) I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT NOT TO SMOKE or the surgery will be a lost cause.
    i also am starting chantix monday regardless of the side effects or if i get nausea's or bad dreams.

    lots of huggies to you
    terri >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • The chantix has worked for soooo many of my friends, and I wish you the best of luck with it.
    The only thing I would sugest is take with food to counter act any nausea that may happen, and some say they didnt have bad dreams, just weird ones, lol. Good luck to you and as you know, one day at a time! :)
  • Terri,

    I'm so glad to see you up and about! >:D< I am sooo sorry about all that you are going through. But what is it they say "what doesn't kill ya only makes you stronger". I totally agree with that! :)
    My weight comes in to play with an anterior fusion because my stomach needs to be smaller (not at much fat :) ), that's why he is insisting I lose it. He told me almost a year ago that he does posterior fusions on his older patients that just want to get up and walk across the room without hurting. He told me because I am so young he recommends an anterior fusion because they have better access to the disk space and can give me a more solid fusion. As opposed to the posterior approach, which gives them much less access to it.
    Well, I haven't smoked so far today. :SS I'm actually not doing too bad. We will see how tomorrow goes. :S
    I just want this overwith. I know you can all understand.

    Thank you!

    Caity
  • I QUIT FOR 5 MONTHS BEFORE I EVEN KNEW I WAS HAVING THIS SURGERY. WELL 1 WEEK BEFORE THE SURGERY I WAS GETTING REAL SCARED AND STARTED SMOKING :$ ANYWAY I NEVER TOLD THE DOC THAT, AND THEN AFTER THE ACDF, I DIDN'T SMOKE FOR 4 DAYS, BUT THE PAIN WAS SO EXTREME I STARTED AGAIN. I DON'T KNOW WHY I THOUGHT IT WOULD HELP IT DIDN'T!! I NOW HATE MYSELF FOR IT, BECAUSE I ONLY LOST LIKE 2 POUNDS, AND I AM AFRAID I WON'T HEAL NOW!! I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHY THE SMOKING THING IS SO IMPORTANT. I'M SURE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE THIS SURGERY SMOKE! ANYWAY I AM RIGHT BACK WHERE I WAS. I HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT TIME QUITTING AND CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT REPLACEMENT (NICOTINE) NOT THE PILL STUFF!! SO NOW I AM OUT OF SHAPE, IN PAIN, BACK TO SMOKING, AND FEEL LIKE THIS WHOLE SURGERY RUINED ME INSTEAD OF MAKE ME BETTER IN MORE WAYS THAN 1. I AM NOT READY TO QUIT RIGHT NOW AGAIN, ESPECIALLY WHEN I CAN'T EVEN EXERCISE AND AM SO DEPRESSED OVER THIS WHOLE THING. I DON'T KNOW WHAT LIFE IS LIKE WITHOUT PAIN (OH YES I DO REMEMBER ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO I WAS ENJOYING LIFE, WORKING, EXERCISING A LOT, HANGING OUT, SHOPPING, (LAST 5 YEARS NOT MUCH) AND SINCE SURGERY (NOTHING) I WISH YOU ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD. (ONE OTHER THING, I HEARD THAT POSTERIOR IS MUCH MORE PAINFUL AND MORE RISK OF INFECTION, THAT'S WHY THE DID ANTERIOR ON ME!! KEEP US POSTED

  • Smoking is terrible! LOL! ~X( How can something so bad for you make you feel so much better? It's crazy. I e-mailed my doc that I want him to just to the posterior fusion, so wish me luck! :S I'm waiting to hear back from him.

    Caity
  • Hi again:

    I have heard pros and cons on posterior and anterior surgeries. I think your doctor is going to do what he is most comfortable with and what he is most experienced with. Like I said before, I had the posterior and did very well. I fused in 6 weeks and had no infection (despite the second surgery a week later).

    Ellen
  • I'm so glad to hear your surgery was a success! It makes me feel a lot better. I'm still waiting to hear from the doc. He does both surgeries frequently, so I know experience isn't an issue. He just thinks because I am young, I'm better off with an anterior one. We will see! :)

    Caity
  • yes let us know when you hear back from him.
    its just strange well ok not really =)) thats just me saying that, that my ortho doesn't even do anterior.
    goes to show ya how different they all work.
    p.s. im feeling pretty good with my back.!!!!!! yeah a deep ache/burn here and there mabye my other pain is distracting me not sure , watch i will be able to walk again after my next surgery , and i will say BOOM MAN WAS THAT PAIN IN MY BACK :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: =))

    hope he calls or emails you soon hun!!! >:D<
    i whimped out and did not call for the chantix monday i am calling today, we both are going on it, im having my last YAHOO party with the cigs. hey the damage is already done right??? YEPPERS sooooooooooooo we shall see what happens!

    huggies
    terri
    >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Really you are! You have such a great attitude! Can I come and rub some of that off of you? :H With all that your poor body has gone through, your posts are so sweet, and you can just tell that you really don't let anything get you down. It's really admirable!
    I could see yesterday he read my e-mail, but he never responded. :( I know he is really busy, but I'm anxious to hear what he has to say. The reality of all of this is sinking in, and I'm getting scared! :S I just hope it works.
    Good luck with quitting smoking. It is so hard! I really don't want to quit, but he is being firm, which I totally get. Once I confirm with him we are proceeding with the posterior fusion, I am done! :D

    Thanks again!

    Caity
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