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What Does Everyone Do for a Living

dcarterddcarter Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
All of us are in different worlds but dealing with the same issues. I am wondering if any of you are dealing with work related issue's, childhood issues, accidents????
Personally mine was childhood related that was not diagnosed correctly until I was 40 so I had the surgery at 40. I am a Manufacturing Engineer in a company in Dupont, Washington. My work is mainly desk or lab related so its non physical work.


  • My problem started after moving greeting card racks when I worked in retail almost 20 years ago. The diagnosis was a severe low back strain, but I have had problems on-and-off ever since. The "straw that broke the camel's back" happened on the golf course. My surgeon has no idea if the disc bulge originally started 20 years ago, or if it the disc was in bad shape and it finally went on the golf course. He did say it could have gone from anything, even just doing something simple around the house.

    I am currently unemployed - starting in April 2007, though I did do a few contract jobs since then - the last contract ended at the end of June. I work in IT, though I want to switch to a career of writing and photography (and maybe a little research too).
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,740
    By experience I am a wine specialist. Teach/Collect/Conduct Tastings/Drink and more

    By trade, I am a computer specialist. I've been in the business for over 35 years now, splitting time between Main Frames and the Personal Computer environment.

    A good deal of the problems I have has been a result of the working on computers, but it is an area I love.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I was in a car accident I was working at Harley Davidson Dealership. I am now a degreed graphic designer/photographer. Freelancing of course, cause I can no longer work 8 hour shifts.
  • I had a couple bad car accidents when I was younger but they didn't do tests except for x-rays which found nothing. Was a student for 11 years and worked in pharmacy (father owned one) for many years as technician. Then floated around on newspaper dock (5 foot 2 and carrying 6 bundles of newspapers), have cracked my tailbone 3 times (ice falls and stair falling), and now work retail clothing. Had L5 laminotomy/discectomy in 2002 and cervical disc replacement this September 2008. Still on my feet and on the phones a lot of the time but also very active and have a physical therapist for a brother. I am a lucky girl.
  • my Job, was Bus Operations, working for thae Transit Autho for about 16 years before that Pharmacy Tech, driving the bus up and down checking buses in, at nite on time clean and friendly service, i had a slip/fall in 2004 was placed in lite duty , and in 2006 i fell at one of r fuctions,had to have surgery 2 month later,now here i am ready to do the revision and go a level higher!! and go on with my life try to go back on the bus i miss everything and everyone
  • I was a CNA, and loved it. I miss that job! I got hurt lifting a resident. :S
  • for a nursing home feeding 80 residents. I cook/bake 4 days a week for 2 meals each day, and wash my own pots and pans.. I work without a break usually from 5;30am-4;00pm.. I have always worked this hard in food service.. I am a really good baker if I say so myself. This is why my back had decided to quit working right...My doctor says I wont be able to go back to that job or any job that I have to lift and heavy physical work....
  • As far as what happened to my back to cause my problems, I have no clue. I was having some lower back pain and then one day where we were on a trip I couldn't hardly get out of the hotel bed. Shortly afterwards I had my first one level lamenectomy. I never had pain relief from it, and my disk above it gradually got worse. So, I just had a two level fusion.

    My job is basically a desk job for the federal government on the Medicare program, but normally it does involve travel to audit health plans. Thankfully, when I go back they can put me on tasks where I won't have to travel for some time. They are also great in that I can do medical work at home. I am hoping to start working at home part time about 5 weeks out and then slowly go back to the office full time in about 8 weeks. But, they are really accomodating, so we are going to play it by ear.
  • Maybe the title should be "What DID everyone do for a living"
  • I was a reporter/fill-in anchor. I also translated an English webcast to Spanish and anchored it daily. I miss it terribly and do hope to go back to news when I can handle it. there's a lot of driving involved. sometimes I reported in the freezing cold. It was hard to go live on strong meds and hard to do without the strong meds! thankfully I think I'm still young (37) and do believe I will be able to do that again someday. :) in the meantime, I'm an editor for a company in the oil/gas industry. I work part-time from the comfort of my Tempurpedic bed. I'm very blessed to be able to contribute financially to my family and still be able to rest as much as I do.
  • That's clever! And true b/c it seems that the name of the back pain game is "accommodation"....you are never the same person after back surgery, so you have to re-frame who you were, that's so true. But that doesn't mean you can't be who you will become, in time.

    I am a 2nd grade teacher. Move around all day, which is a total blessing as I can't sit to save my life. I missed 2 school years due to my 3 procedures, but am now in the classroom again & loving every minute, even those where my back is in flames & I think " I just can't go on"--but I do b/c I so totally love my children...

    When I get home, I collapse. But hey! I did that BEFORE, as 17 seven/eight year olds will wear anyone out, back problems or not!

    I am on total "no BLT-ing" restrictions so my kids are my angels...helpful, concerned & always ready to make it easy for me to be their teacher. I only hope I can last a few more years & that my back holds out ahwille longer (I can feel things getting progressively worse again, at adjacent levels...oh oh...)

    But yes, we ARE different now, but it sounds like we are still very productive and in most ways fufilled...

    But I'd love to turn the clock back to 2006 & and wish I were still the person (physically) I was then...

    But I can walk & I can teach & I count my blessings, which I wish for everyone here. And as Margaret Mitchell wrote: "Life is under no obligation to give you what you expect." So you make do with what you end up with---and it could be so much worse.

  • I did administrative work for about 35 years and absolutely loved it...give me anything involving the computer/software, and I'm a happy girl. I quit my last job, which was working for a homeowner's association as the Assistant Manager. That was about 3 years ago. Decided I would work retail so I could get a discount on the clothes at my favorite women's shop. I would go home after working only 4 hours in so much pain! I thought I'd get use to it, but it kept getting worse. Went to an OS and found out why I hurt so bad. Will not ever work retail again! Don't know how people do that for so long!
  • I'm a Technical Director for an engineering services company so spend most of my time either sitting at my desk or sitting on a plane (over 800 international flights in the last 14 years!). My condition was congenital - my mum had the same condition and also had a fusion way back in 1972.
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • I'm an office manager for a privately owned corporation. My duties typically involve desk/computer work with some associate supervision. I'm grateful to work for a company that values its associates enough to provide leave (FMLA) with pay, if substantiated. I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't able to receive pay during my rehab. I'm a little worried about the amount of sitting required, but should be able to get up and walk around more often to help relieve the pressure on the back.

    My problem was identified 15 years ago when I was trainig to run a marathon (a personal goal). I ran daily for exercise, but when I started to do some serious training, I began experiencing terrible pain in my legs. I saw an orthopedic surgeon back then and was told that I had spondy and someday would require fusion. Well, that day came on December 4. Although I know that I will never run again (which I hadn't done much lately anyway), I do hope to resume most exercises and activities. I love being outdoors and doing things with my kids.

    I pray that my back troubles are over forever. I'm 45 now and realistic that we start requiring more and more "fixes" the older we get. I'm hoping for a reprieve for at least ten years.
  • Who could also build you a computer. If you need one and fix it anytime it breaks.
  • Got hurt in a wreck and then basketball. Hanging in trying to make retirement date of October 2010
  • Maybe I should have titled it "WHAT DID YOU USE TO DO"
    It is really interesting to hear the different things people did and do now.

    My dad had a bad back but we don't know what it was. They said that he had slipped disks. He was a truck driver and had to stop working at 55 years old. He died in 1999 when he turned 58. He was in alot of pain and went to the chiropractor 3 times a week. He would tell me that it only felt better for a few hours after his appointments. He went into kind of a depression and got emphazema. He was a chain smoker and being home and depressed just allowed him to smoke more.

    With everything that they discovered about back surgery in the last 5 years, I know that they would have been able to help him now. But its too late.

    Having back problems really effect everyone differently and when you can't work and do what you are happiest doing, it only makes things worse. I can't imagine not being able to work. My heart goes out to all of you who have not yet been able to return to what you enjoy and I pray that you get better soon. I pray that you find something that keeps you happy during your healing so that you don't fall into the depression that my dad did. I would visit him 2 days a week to keep him company. I would bring movies and just talk with him. I hope that my visits gave him some time off of thinking about the pain. Towards the end he started telling me things that I know that he would usually not tell me. Personal things about him and my mom and how much he loved her no matter what they went through in the past. I knew that he was starting to get tired and ready to end the pain. I think that is why he didn't listen to the doctors advice about his other medical issues. He used to tell me that if he is going to die then he would rather die happy than on a diet without foods that he loved and without cigarettes that helped him relax.

    I could keep talking about him forever so I will stop now. I ask that anyone out there that is having the same feelings as my dad did that you tell someone so that they can help you. You are not alone in this. Your family and friends are there for you.

    Your in my prayers!
  • what a nice post.

    I was definitely falling into a depression. my husband was concerned and talked at length to my neurosurgeon about it. they talked me into taking an anti-depressant. I guess it's been over a month now. I started on Lexapro. first anti-depressant I've ever taken in the 12 plus years I've been in pain (stemming from a water-skiing accident). the Lexapro has really helped. my lows aren't as low. I started feeling better within four days or so. I'm truly thankful I finally "gave in".

    It's easy to be so down when you've had chronic pain for years... but the fact is I'm not dying. I'm otherwise healthy. my kids and husband are healthy. I have a bagillion reasons to be thankful. so I can't run right now like I loved to for so many years. I can't do the job that completely filled me. but... it could always be a million times worse. not to say I don't have my bad days... but thankfully... they're now the exception. :)
  • I'm a high school English teacher. I had plif last March due to spondy. Life isn't easy. It's hard to work and somedays are an absolute struggle. And, like so many of you, I absolutely yearn for my "old life". I know I'll never be who I once was. But, this isn't terminal. I'm not dying in 3 months. My problems were fixable. So, it's one foot in front of the other, trying to be grateful every day that I'm able to get out of bed and go to work. God works in mysterious ways--------I appreciate so many things now that I never even noticed before.
  • Prior to having my first baby 3 years ago I was in the energy industry. I worked my way up in several big companies from being a junior analyst to heading up the analytics department. I thought I'd go back to it, but the lure of my kids has been too strong. They drive me nuts sometimes, but I love spending time with them. I might get back to the analytical stuff one day when the little ones start school, but until then I am happy to be a housewife, sorry if that sounds a bit 1950s to anyone!

  • I work as a District Sales Manager to the worlds largest cosmetic company (can you guess?) Which requires ALOT of driving, loading/unloading & sitting for up to 8 hours in Staff meetings (break only to go to the restroom)lunch is served in our board room.
    As much as I LOVE this job, it is killing my back. My surgery is Monday & I will be out on STD for 4-12 weeks.

    Aside from this I am also a Disaster Action Team leader for the Red Cross...also LOVE this but have not been able to respond to many calls because of my herniation,tear & pinched nerve. And if that doesn't get me the arthritis does. I'm only 41 and frequently hear "You are too young for this" blah, blah, blah.
    I also do international dance and perform throughout the year. My troupe understands when I sit out sometimes. The dance is actually good for my back, keeps me moving (If I can move that day (lol))

    So, I pray that after Monday I will be on the road to recovery & be able to continue my active life w/o as much pain.
  • but I did much more, taxes, payroll, cleaning. Working at the computer all day did not help-plus I wrote a book-more computer work.

    I lived on a golf course and golfed 2-3 times a week and took 2 years of 3 times a week horseback riding lessions the first time I had surgery (cervical spine pain) so that may have started me on the downhill road.

    As someone else said-now who can tell what caused it-but it was soon after golfing that I got my first flare up of pain this second time around-that and maybe the bird watching I did the day before, but the disk was already getting bad by then. I could feel for a year that something wasn't right due to the slight muscle twitchings and numbness I would get from time to time.

    I got the surgery because I don't want to give up the things I love to do. Next year I begin college again after a 30 year hiatus and hopefully will be able to get a job that has health insurance! I've never had to work full time before but if I need another surgery we will go broke! We are both too young to go on Medicare, but are old enough to be semi-retired. That had been our dream since the day we married-get part time jobs so we would have more free time by age 45. Now look at us-stuck at home because of my bad back =((
  • I was a high school principal but had to take an early retirement due to my back. My back problems are a result of a spinal infection that ate away at my lumbar region causing 4 discs to wear away along with severe spinal instability.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • I manage a 460 unit conventional multifamily community. I have around 800 residents. Enjoying the break that back surgery has afforded me. Sorry that I had to have back surgery to get a break though! :T :P

    My crappy back is the fault of my Dad's genes, and smoking for 14 years. The first real injury or increase came with the birth of my daughter 8.5 years ago. I heard and felt the disc rupture. Ouch! @)

    One Love,

  • I am a scientist, working in an academic lab. We research prostate cancer, but I have worked in many different scientific areas throughout my career.

    Since my back has gotten worse though, I have had to stop doing actual research, and now only do lab management. Mostly computer work.

    I would love to be able to do research work again, and hope that my surgery will afford me that opportunity. I am only 46 years old, and financially not ready to retire.

    I am hoping to schedule a two level surgery in a few months, either a disc replacement + fusion or a two level fusion (still haven't completely made a decision which).
  • I am a Registered Nurse for 20 years now, working in Pediatrics and Mother/Baby. I am 41. My back troubles began at age 17 when I jumped off a counter and something went pop (pars fxs?). Xrays didn't show my spondy until 2 years ago. I am sure 20 years of nursing didn't help my back, but not sure if it caused the problems either. I am recently back to work after L4-5 fusion. So far, so good, but keeping my eyes and mind open for a more back friendly nursing job. >:D< Cali-Sue
  • How amazing to hear from so many people. I was feeling a bit lonely tonight (I have been working mornings and my husband has been working evenings). Thank you everyone for sharing..I love to hear about you all and the best of luck to everyone. What a neat thread this has been. ;)
  • Have worked in the public sector for 25 years and would like to hang in there for another couple of years, but, having more and more doubts. Problems started about 3 years ago first in lower extemeties including foot numbness and in the past couple of months also moved into arms and hands. No accidents and appears to be more genetic (mother, brother and sister) with very similar issues. acdf c5/c6 on November 1, 2008 and since surgery problems in arms and hands have returned and are now worse than prior to surgery with arm/hand numbness and motor skill issues with hands.
  • First of all I'm sorry to hear about your Father.
    I've been an RN for 20 years with a specialty first in Oncology then Telemetry and now ER for 2 years. More likely with alot of footwork and frequent repeatative movements that could have contributed to my back problems. Before I was an RN I was a Visiting Homemaker/Companion. I also did Security Guard duty and Hostess and Janitor at a Church and Elementary Christian School to earn money to put myself through College. I was hoping to have less backpain but it's just the same as I left work in February. I'm on Long Term Disability now. Charry O:)
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm an attorney. I woke up with a ruptured disk completely out of the blue on Aug. 11, 2008; I remember it was a Monday. The alarm went off at 7:00 am, but I didn't have to be in until later, so I got up and got a sip of water and went back to sleep for an hour. I woke after that hour to terrible pain in my right hip, butt and down my leg. It was a 12 on a scale of 1-10.

    Never felt anything like it. I have no idea what happened during that hour to bring it on. I do remember lying on my stomach and feeling a slight pain in my lower right stomach, and I turned over. Then next thing I knew, I woke with the intense pain on the right side. What a surprise to find out it was a herniated disk pressing on my sciatic nerve 1 cm. I've often wondered what would have happened if I had just gotten up at 7:00 and went to work insted of back to sleep for that additional hour...

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