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Great website, looks like I've finally found a place to call home!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in New Member Introductions
Hey all, I'm a new comer to the site. I have Spondylolisthesis, a Grade 2\ 50% Slip, chronic pain and depression. I'm 37 yrs old, and have been dealing with, fighting, coping, getting my *ss kicked by this condition for over 22yrs now, which showed up in my life a few weeks prior to turning 15.

The main reason I've come to the website is I'm searching out what the world of spinal fusions has to offer, specifically in the L5-S1 area. The rule of thumb by dr's I've become accustomed to is if you don't need it, don't do it. So if you can get out of bed and goto the bathroom on your own, then you're doing ok. But if surgery offers a viable option, then I'd be game, I just don't know enough about it.

Anyway, looking forward to meeting up with everyone and sharing experiences.



  • Welcome to S~H :H

    I'd say that most Drs say surgery only as a last resort..but not all surgeons feel that way.Also, "if you can get out of bed and go to the bathroom on your own" is considered a good enough quality of life,or the best that you can hope for,well...What I mean is,I'm not having surgery unless it's a last resort-having said that,if all that I could do for myself would be getting out of bed to go to the bathroom--I think it would be time for the surgery.

    Depression does seem to go along with chronic pain.You've been in pain for a long time,so like me,you've probably learned all sorts of coping skills in that area.I'm only speculating of course,but it's a long time to live with pain and the skills just..happen along the way.I learned some really bad ones..coping skills that is,lol.It's only recently-within the last year that I've truly begun to learn and grow mentally to get away from letting the depression drag me down.

    There are so many different people here and each person has a unique set of circumstances,and great advice to share as well as listen to and accept.I'll look forward to hearing more from you.
  • Hey Robin, yes I've run the gamut of sitting on the couch with the shrink, coping skills training, medications, etc.

    I'm only half good at any of the coping stuff and dealing with the pain issues, which is what I'll need to keep working on.

    I've struggled with the surgery question for some time...because I have brief (very brief) windows where I am pain free (although this is usually after several weeks of very sedentary living), it almost seems justifiable to not get surgery. But the other side of hell is a I can't stand myself when I do nothing. I want to be biking, running, in the gym or doing something...of course, after doing those sorts of things the full pain is full bore up and down my spine, 24\7 with no end in site. So then I wonder, how much worse could it be?...I just don't want to learn that the answer is much worse, cause I couldn't even imagine that.
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you suppprt and asnwr what questions we can. i have had chronic pain since i was fifteen as well. :''( i totally understand what that does to your growing up years!! please make yourself at home and have a good look around. stop by the "Depression" forum for some more input. good luck as you seek pain relief and the best to new friends! Jenny :)
  • I hear ya! Though I'm a little (11yrs) older than you,and not real pleased to mention it but I do live a fairly sedentary lifestyle.I was still pretty active when I was 37,but already on my way down.I haven't had a good run since I was in my 20's and geez I miss that-I miss SWEATING from activity instead of just heat in the summer.Now I'm so spoiled I'm in the air conditioner all summer long.Well last summer we got rid of the pool because the year before the only time I was in it was to clean it.Pathetic.But enough about that ;))

    Yeah~I don't advise getting acclimated to the sedentary lifestyle at all..it's a rut I am trying very hard to get out of.

    Today it's going to be in the 60's & sunny-so Michael & I are going out to dinner and to look at a house..then shopping.That's about as active as I'm getting today outside of my activia.But everyday I'm going to try a bit harder,and I do keep up with the house...so THAT has to count for something...then there's all this rambling.
  • Welcome to Spine Health!! I've had 2 fusions at L5-S1 and now have a stable, fused back. Making that surgery decision is a tough one and I recommend doing lots of research and not moving forward if your gut isn't at peace. (For my 3rd surgery, I really didn't have a choice. I had to get stabilized to stop over-rotating and shearing at the spine.)

    Enjoy the site and share with us your story!

  • I hope that we can help each other to find the answers. Or some answers anyway. :) Feel free to ask them around here. That is what we are all about, experience sharing and support. Again, Welcome to SH!

    One Love,

  • It really does sound like you have had some wise docs. I am not a doc and can not tell you what to do but I can tell you that surgery holds no guarantees of pain relief and sometimes makes the pain worse. It should always be left as a very last resort. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • I've had low back pain as long as I can remember, even in my childhood so I can completely sympathize and understand what you are going through. I finally decided to give up conservative methods and have fusion L5/S1 7/1/08 after it was getting harder and harder to walk. There were times I actually had to crawl around on my hands and knees to get around the house which was embarrassing and degrading to say the least. That was the final straw when I couldn't even give my son a bath anymore or get out of bed for most of the day. I was taken out of work 2/2008 after a discogram flared my back up worse than ever and it never seemed to calm down until I had the surgery. I did great with my surgery and actually felt releif for a couple of months. I beleive I am in so much pain now because I was overdoing it and my nerves are healing. I hope that's all that's going wrong. At about 4-6 weeks post op anterior fusion, i was push mowing my lawn (not self propelled), raking leaves, weeding garden and the final straw was when I took my 4wheeler out for our annual girls' ride. I haven't been the same since. If I had just let myself heal like I was supposed to, I think I would be feeling much better than I am now.

    I wish you the best of luck and am glad you joined this site. I wish I hard joined sooner. It is great to chat with people who really get it.
  • It's very hard. My mother had a fusion (spondy and degen disks) over 20yrs ago. (bone, not hardware). She could barely move before hand, but after some recovery she pushed the boundaries and had to move the furniture, put up wallpaper, etc. Hated sitting still. Unfortunately, the fusion eventually broke and she's revisting options at this time.

    I can definitely emathize though, I used to play football, was into martial arts, weightlifting, very physical and outdoorsy. 22yrs later, I still have that spirit, but the body was gone a long time ago. I understand being so desparate to want to be able to do something simple and not have to suffer for it. The dishes, the bath time drills with the kids...

    Anyway, I will get a consultation, I am going to revisit PT, get new picts, and try to drop the weight and establish a realistic exercse program. In a few months I'll review and see where I'm at.

    In a short time though I've some very inspiring stories and people. Everybody showing so much strength and making the best of it. That's definitely something I could be better at and hope to learn.

    Good luck to you to you too.
  • Way to hang in there 16 surgeries later and all that other stuff. It's really comforting to talk with people who can relate.
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