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petrified newbie

diamondeddiamonde Posts: 185
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone, my name is Rhonda aka diamonde. I'm 42, separated with a 17 year old daughter. I'm a yank living in Ireland, and I've lived here for about 15 years. I have had so many different health problems over the years, and really felt that in the last couple of years had my life, health and act together... then this!! First health prob was at 13 when i was diagnosed with scoliosis, but it was nothing major at the time... because i'd already grown so much, they said there wasn't enough growth potential for correction, but it never was a problem until i was 30...and my daughter was only 13 months old! My lower back went out badly... actually had to move my girl from her crib to one of those toddler beds... can you imagine a 13 month old NOT in a crib!! Wow, she was a runner lol, always getting out of that tot bed!! Anyway... I needed a lumbar fusion L4/L5... spent 2 months in hospital before they finally decided to do that op!! Now for medical histories... I'd be remiss no to mention the 21 gyneolgical ops i had from aged 18 to 39 when i finally went for a hysterectomy... so lets just say pain and i have been on a first name basis for MANY years! I have a high pain threshold... but this radiculopathy has kicked me you know where!! So to the present day... the neck just went... then the shoulder pain, the arm pain... then realizing i couldn't hold a cup of coffee, spilling things because the muscles you use to pour don't work any more... so here i am!! I just saw my NS for first time last week, and he's added a major steroid to my cocktail of meds.... thankfully i am improving with it!! But i don't know if i can trust that the pain will stay gone when the course of steroids finishes in 2 days... If the pain comes back... i'm scheduled for surgery, double discectomy C5/C6 & C6/C7 on the 24th Feb... I'm petrified!! I'm the kind of person who does better with concret info... and there is doesn't seem to be any easy answers as to how long recovery takes... my doc says i'll be back to work in 3 or 4 weeks... but i read about people here who are still struggling months later!! that's scary!! I'm a psychologist myself... LOL can't manage my own fears!! but i am a workaholic... I manage several specialist programmes... and am freaking out about being away from the ranch... not knowing when i'll be fit enough to return... not wanting to string them along and say that i'll be back by mid march.. and then what if i'm not able to be back then!! or of course... maybe these steroids have me sorted (for now... or for the long haul.. or will the pain come back when i'm off the steroids!!!) Need my work to keep me sane if you know what i mean... and then the other worries about should i have this op if i'm primarily on my own... I live 3,000 miles away from family... and a 17 year old daugher here... she leaves for school at 7am... and isn't home til 6pm so i'm worried about how i'll manage during the first few days on my own... or should i have my mom come over... she's willing... but it's a long ol trip for a woman in her 70's... so that's me... and all my panic issues lol

This site is GREAT, I know I'm not alone in this journey, and I'm learning that while my own health journey has been challenging... others have suffered longer with this cervical pain (which is way worse than any other pain I've ever coped with!! You are all survivors and are true inspirations!

Totally love to hear from you...
L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD


  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you have certainly been though a long ride with with your pain!! ~X( check out the "Back and Neck surgery" forum for some input on your upcoming surgery!! also "Good News" will give you a look at some successful SH surgeries!! =D> please have a look around and make yourself at home! good luck with your upcoming surgery! :D by the way, you will need some help at home for awhile!! :? Jenny :)
  • I'm a cervical spiney, as you can see from my signature. I know even the thought of surgery is very scary, but I and many, many others have realized, after surgery, that the anticipation is actually worse than the surgery itself.

    Please realize that, because this is a support site, many spine patients who've had successful surgeries move on from this site because they no longer need the support that's offered here. That's why it seems like there's nothing but bad stories that you read here. Like some others that have had successful surgeries, I've chosen to stick around to help people just like yourself. I guess I still need support in one way or another, but I'm a success story as far as my surgery is concerned.

    This is a wonderful place to meet new people and get support. Feel free to PM me any time if you have questions or just need to talk. I know you'll make many friends here. Take care of yourself and be sure to keep us posted.

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I understand your fears but from what I've read you have been thru a lot worse. I can relate as I have also been accused of being a workaholic and I guess I have to agree with the accusers but being self-employed most of my life it comes naturally.
    I had a laminectomy of L4 thru L6 in 2006 and a corpectomy, discectomy, multi-level fusion, with a strut, cage, plates, rods,and screw of C3 thru C6 done from the front and back side in 2007.
    I was back up to speed sooner with the latter surgery then the lami simply because the lower back supports your whole upper body and your neck only has to support your head. Your Dr may also have you wear a neck brace at times and that will give you more peace of mind and help you relax knowing you have a little extra support.
    You may want to have mom or someone come in and help for a while to put your mind at ease. If you have any other questions feel free to PM me anytime.
    Take care and best of luck to you!
  • have you tried the ACTICRE for your pain ?
    see www.acticare.com
    for more details
  • Everyone is so different in how they recover that it would be impossible to guess how or when you will recover. My only advice would be to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I wish you much luck and please keep us posted.
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