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Pain: Post Surgery Fear

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in New Member Introductions
I've never posted to a board before, but am so thankful for the posts that I've read on this site. I feel I need to introduce myself first, as I have a very blessed and full life-My name is Jay-I'm a 36 year-old husband of 5 years with 2 daughters, ages 4 and 1. I'm the sole provider of the family with a good job. Although my family and job fill up most of my life, I do play bass guitar in a few bands as a hobby.
I've dealt with medical problems in the past, primarily due to a fall of roughly 50 feet when I was 14. Although I fractured my skull in 4 places as well as my pelvis, most of my chronic issues have been related to internal organ damage. Fortunately, I did not have any chronic back/spine problems...until this past fall. As I was undergoing some tests for symptoms that were similar to mono, I lost some sensation to both legs and my feet went cold one morning in Oct. I was instructed to go to the ER, and was eventually diagnosed with 2-3 herniated discs in my neck, myelopathy, and cervical spinal stenosis. Surgery was recommended to relieve the pressure on my spine. We followed up with a "highly recommended" surgeon that confirmed all of this, but said that surgery was not urgent and that some of the spine-related symptoms could be caused by a post viral syndrome or something, as I still had viral symptoms that could not be explained. My wife was so happy as she was worried about the surgery and post-op recovery, having 2 young ones at home. As I continued to go for tests for this "viral syndrome", the non-spine related symptoms began to subside, but I began to have pain/nubmness in my hands and my shoulders, in additional to my feet. As I tried to put all of this together, deal with the increasing pain/numbness, and keep my job, I finally reached a point where the pain was unbearable and I returned to the original ER in mid-dec and opted for the surgery-2 cervical disks removed with 2 bone implants. I was told that the primary goal was to stop any further progression of spinal damage. The secondary goal was pain relief, as the pain/numbness could be caused by the myelopathy. I'm roughly 4 weeks out of surgery and am scared as the pain and numbness do flair up-at various points seemingly throughout my body-in addition to muscle pain/neck/back pain from the surgery (as well as the eventual headache).
I feel like I'm just supposed to return to work in another month or so, regardless of pain-Although I don't know if these symptoms will be permanent, it is hard not to worry about what I need to do-especially when return to work is expected in 4-6 weeks from now. My wife tells me not to worry, take it day by day. My kids have been wonderful, especially given there young ages. I have so many friends and family members-although most are pretty supportive, they rarely visit me, even though I'm in my bedroom for like 22-23/7. I don't think they understand. I even had a "very" close friend of mine send me a text message while I was being admitted to the hospital that stated that "he couldn't stand the rollercoaster of my friendship!". I don't want to judge people by how they were to me during this period, but it is hard not to be upset sometimes. Amazingly, a band that I joined this past summer has waited for my recovery so that we can record the band's second album-which needs to be done by March.
I might be all over the place, and I apologize for the lenght of this post-but I feel so alone, despite the family, friends and resources that I have. My faith and music have kept me going through the pain. I worry about my responsibilities in the future, yet feel guilty of worrying at all, as I know that so many are in worse situations and are less fortunate.


  • Hi,
    I can relate on some level, as I'm 5 weeks out and the past week 1/2 have been the worse except for that first week. I just posted asking if anyone ever had an allergic reaction to the bone graft bc I'm trying to figure out why this turn for the worse. Maybe it's normal to feel this way at this time, I don't know. I wish they had a time line here where people could post each week how they feel so we have something to gage it by.
    I definitely could relate to being stuck in bed and no one coming to see ya. I know I have good friends, but most haven't come to see me and I don't think they realize what we're going threw. People get busy with life and just don't think, I don't think it's intentional.
    This surgery really is traumatic and changes everything in an instant so it takes time to adjust and you being the sole provider, it's natural to worry, but it sounds as if you do have faith and the Lord always makes a way, when we put our trust in him.
    Your NOT alone here. Just keep posting as often as need be and read around and you'll begin to KNOW your not alone
    Be Blessed,
  • It seems gone are the days when family or neighbours would show up with a casserole to help out while we're recovering or just being ill. People I guess are working long hours or busy with their own health. I've been sick off work and was lucky to have a coworker drop by with a magnet to try for 2 weeks. I'm not sure it helped but it was nice to see her. I have coworkers who call. But family are off on their vacations or whatever. That's great you have children and wife that care as well as your band mates. I spend time here on the posts to get support and more info from people who are having the same spine issues including how to deal with things. I've had to get an antidepressant to help with all of this since having my job on hold and getting LTD. I see another surgeon next week to see if I'm a candidate for surgery. It's been over a year since my back problems started. I wish you a speedy recovery. Take care. Charry
    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
  • :D hi and welcome to the forum! =D> we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. please have a look around and make yourself at home. i injured my back at 15 so i know the problems that came with an injury at that age. i really enjoy listening to music. you are so blessed to be able to play!! i can understand how it gets you through some rough times.. having your family beside you gives you strength as well i know. i could not make it without my husband and my four legged friend, Sirius!! =)) please drop by anytime. we do understand!!! Jenny :D
  • Welcome to S~H :-h

    I'd like to say this first so that I don't forget,because I think this is very important.Please don't ever take away from your pain,injuries,and struggles-or think that they are less simply because others have had it worse.In this life we all go through our own,and there really is no way to compare one to another.What I mean is,One persons struggles,while they may seem worse,doesn't really matter-you have your own to deal with and it is yours.

    It will be times like these in your life that you will learn who your real friends are.You were only 14 when you had to deal with a major medical problem that sounded as if it were life threatening,and extremely traumatic.In between then and now it sounds like you managed with treatments and such for certain things.I'm sure I don't have it right here,but my point is that at this time in your life,the disillusionment you see and feel,you are not likely to forgive and forget as easily as you may have at 14-when the kids may have taken your serious fall lightly at that age.So probably did you.At 14 you had your parents or caretakers to worry about you,most kids don't worry too much.

    Now though,one would expect family and friends to be more supportive,take this a little more seriously,and perhaps help your wife out a little with a few things even?

    The rollercoaster text message that your friend sent you as you were being admitted to the hospital for SPINE surgery; sounds like something that you could be justify-ably UPset over (because as you can see,it bothered me & I don't know your friend-lol).Maybe he/she was scared,I don't know,but I would ask I think (if it were me) and if this person didn't have a good,sympathetic,or caring answer,well,that person would have to earn my forgiveness.You've had a serious surgery,you have a wife and 2 young children.What you need are caring,understanding friends,and anything less is just going to dissapoint you.Rightfully so.

    I don't know if your symptoms will be permanant,but at 4 weeks out I would think not.You are still healing and need time yet.From the many bone surgeries I've had (no spine though),I know from that,that patience was the hardest thing for me,but learning it helped my healing more than anything,well,that and time.

    Please keep us posted :-h

  • Please know that you are not alone. We understand the pain and fear that you feel, and we want to be here for you. This is one of the roughest experiences to go through. It's not cancer, but it can rob of you of your mobility and independence. Living everyday in pain is difficult, and when facing surgery it can become overwhelming. All of us have faced these problems and hope that one day we will find relief from the pain.
    I look forward to hearing from you. Hang in there, and I hope you get to feeling better soon.
  • but it sounds as though you have a very supportive wife and loving children...all of these "friends"-real ones can be counted on one hand. No one wants to be bothered these days and like charry said, the days of hearing a knock on the door and seeing someone holding a casserole are long gone (at least in my world). I've got a loving wife and a loyal dog-I'm happy..all of my "friends" that are all of a sudden no where to be found now can go to h###as they're wasting my time

    hang in there and concentrate on your recovery...it sounds as though you'll be back up and around soon...don't worry, your friends will once again come out of the woodwork then
  • I am so sorry that you are dealing with so much. You are very early out from surgery and your symptoms and pain will hopefully get much better. It really takes a long time to heal from a surgery like that and you will feel different aches and pain in different places than before. Remember that your spine will need to adjust to the missing discs as well as being in a different position. If you do not feel ready to go back to work in 4 weeks talk to your doc about it. Try not to get too depressed feeling like the pain that you are having now is how you will always be, I know that the unknown is very scary but you are only just beginning to heal from a major surgery. I know exactly what you mean about fair weather friends. Times like this you really find out who your true friends are. Maybe some of them do not visit because they do not know how to handle the situation meaning what they should say or do. I really wish you luck in your recovery and hope that you will keep us posted.
  • =D>

    Thank you all for the great advice and encouragement-I'm so blessed to have located this sight!
  • your not alone in here with concerned family and friends. other than my wifes side of the family and my mom. no one called after my acdf surgery or even before to see how i was. i actually had to call all my siblings to tell them i was ok. i have a couple brothers that think i did this surgery to get social security. with the money i make as a mailman i don't think so. anyway so be it!! i get by with my wife and kids have been getting stronger every day since nov 13. i have very little to no pains. walk or exercise everyday and keep pushing forward. i don't expect friends or family to barge through the door or call. so i don't let it bother me!. i even have 2 sisters with same procedure done and they didn't call. so worry about who is around you. your wife and kids. i do. if other people don't understand that's their fault not yours.as your so called friend and his roller coaster friendship. get off the ride and find new friends. so keep your chin up and enjoy life to its fullest.

    your new friend
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