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I am so scared

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Matters of the Heart
I don't know how to start and I can't really concentrate to be precise, so I'm going to just blurt this out and hope it makes sense.

I'm so scared right now. I've had a 3-lvl acdf over four months ago and feel pretty good, but I tried to swing a golf club today three times, and it really hurt my neck. Don't know if I'll ever be able to play golf again.

I was laid off about four weeks ago, and the job market looks really grim.

For the last three weeks, I've been having some very severe sciatica pain that hurts my left butt cheek and travels down to the outside of my left knee and I'm almost sure it's because of a problem with my lumbar spine. I'm having a hard time walking, blow drying my hair (because lifting my arms hurt) and the shooting pain just hurts so bad. I don't know for sure that this is a pinched lumbar nerve, but I've researched enough to believe that's what's happening. I can't get this issue looked at or taken care of because of lack of insurance. I just can't take another spine issue.

I'm so scared because I think if I don't do something about this awful sciatica, I'll have permanent damage, and I'm so unbelievably tired of the pain, and I can't seem to manage a normal life although I try, and I don't want to be permanently disabled, and I'm so thoroughly disheartened by it all. Everything seemed like it would be ok after my ACDF and I started feeling better, but then all this stuff started happening.

I feel like I just want to take the major pain meds I got after surgery and just lie down and sleep all day. I keep making lists of things I need to do tomorrow just so I feel like I have a purpose.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to whine, but sometimes it seems too much to take. I know so, so many of you have it worse than I do and I don't want to take away from your problems. I guess I'm just feeling a bit hopeless and need to vent.

Crud and thanks.


  • I'm so sorry you are having additional pain. You are describing the pain I have, and sciatic pain stinks!!

    If you think this just recently happened, it isn't too late to stop bending over entirely, not even to brush your teeth. It will hard at first, but give your back and disc a chance to heal and for that disc to "suck back in". I use a holistic cream called Inflamyar that really helps. I can put is straight on my back or on my buttock/leg/foot, wherever I am feeling the burning pain and it really helps. A naturopathic doctor I visited gave it to me.

    Try not to panic, but focus on not bending, lifting or twisting. You may already do this, but from a cervical stand point. Keep your shoulders with your hips, so when you get in your car, for example, face outside and sit your rear on the seat, facing outside the door. Then when sitting, swing your legs around together as you turn your body, keeping your hips and shoulders together. Does that makes sense?

    Don't "plop" down on a chair or couch or anything. Sit gingerly. I used to go to get in my car and kind of plop down until I realized how much that was causing pain. That was early on, the same stage you are at.

    I will be praying that your back is just in a flare and will be calm down and be fine.

    ( ( HUGS ) )

  • I read a lot of your posts.I'm a homebody,so it's a hobby this reading,and I have S~H on in the background and check new posts often throughout the day.What I've noticed most about your posts is that you are insightful,optimistic,and kind.

    There is no doubting we have our moments,but you are only 4 months-or a little over-4 months out.I'm thinking that you might be getting a little impatient because it IS March and you are a golfer.Just a thought...lol,but could it be that you are itching to get out there and do 9 holes?

    I'm sorry Cath-I'm not making light of your fear-actually I was trying to make you smile,but then I thought---she can't SEE me and might take my post wrong.

    Patience is so hard though,especailly this time of year.Add to that the fact that you were recently laid off and your bound to be feeling restless and impatient.I'm assuming a lot of this though,just from your quote: "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall."

    I don't know if this will help any,but a few weeks ago I was having some of the EXACT same symptoms that you mentioned.I instinctively followed some of the body language rules that Cheri mentioned in her post and within about a week my pain was almost entirely gone! Now-I haven't had a 3-lvl acdf so I can't say that I felt the same way,but I was a little concerned for a day or so.If I HAD had the acdf I would probably call my Dr.,because that's just the way I roll...lol.

    Your pain and your issues are just as important to you as anyone elses are to them.

    I hope that you are feeling better today :)))
  • I've also had a 3 level ACDF (actually, I got to have it twice LOL) and I understand the need to get out and enjoy life, especially when you're feeling a little better. What we forget is that it takes months, sometimes a year, to fully heal from such a drastic fusion. Patience isn't a virtue I was born with but boy, have I has to learn it!

    I also had the lumbar pain, which I attributed to sitting a WHOLE lot more than I was used to. I recently found out that I have a bulge in one of my lumbar discs along with several cysts. I also have problems with my SI joints. All of this came from my accident and, I'm convinced, has been exasperated by the fact that I am not as active as usual.

    Given that these ladies have experience with the lumbar issues I'm going to take the advice that they gave you as well in regards to the BLT.

    Please don't compare your pain with others. Minimizing yourself doesn't help you in any way and will get in the way of your healing. Only you can feel your pain and it is valid, no matter what you've been through. So come on and let it out here- we won't throw golf balls at you ;)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    Cathie, I am so sorry to read about the 'threes' you just talked about in your post.
    I sent you a PM, cause I just felt I could address things better with a personal message.
    Its not easy what you are going through. This set is not the end, you will get by this one, perhaps to get taken down by another one at another time. I do believe handling all of our ups and downs make us stronger people and people who can understand more about others and have compassion in their lives
    Take care
    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
  • Hang in there! There's a lot of good advice already, and for me the key is to try and relax and disengage the brain for a bit. Too much information at times can drive even the strongest person insane. You are hurting and that puts you at an emotional deficit to start with. Don't put the cart before the horse. I can understand the fear of permanent nerve damage, but something that has recently developed is a more likely candidate for being calmed down with the typical rest, anti-inflammatory and ice if tolerated. Just please please please don't sell the farm because you think the railroad might be coming through. For all you know it's just a neighbor with a kid in the band (blowin his horn).

    Just know that everyone is here for you.

  • Hi Cath, I'm very sorry you're having new symptoms. Gosh, it seems like we've just traded places!! Friday my doc identified c-spine issues for me and now you're having lumbar issues. Again I thank you for your encouragement and information when I inquired before. I wish I could offer that same level in return but being in a fog it is so very difficult to come up with the words. Please know that everyone here is pulling for you! If you are interested I can give you the names of the PM doc and surgeon I have been seeing, they are both taking an active role in trying to resolve my pain and I like both of them very much. Just shoot me a PM.
  • Thank you so much for the advice. It does make sense and I'll do just what you said. Although it's frustrating because I've "been there, done that" after my cervical surgery, I'm very well aware how us spineys have to be proactive in our care.

    I'm going to Vitamin Cottage today, so I'll see if they have some of that cream. I've had sciatica before, but it usually was only in the mornings for one or two days at a time. This time it's been constant for two weeks with very little relief.

    Thanks again.
  • Well, you didn't have to apologise for making light of my situation. You DID make me laugh when I read your post. And you're so right - this time of year is difficult for anyone who is ready for spring because it's not here but almost.

    I'm going to do the things you and Cheri said and will just WILL the danged thing to go away. Perhaps the sciatica will leave when it realizes how unloved it is. LOL

    I do feel better today and oh yes, we do have our moments, don't we? Thanks Robin.

  • When I went back and read my post this morning, I realize just how strong my emotions were last night. You know how night time seems to make things look ten time larger than they really are? That was me. You're right - I need to take time and just rest. The problem is that since I've been laid off and my hubby works so hard, I feel very guilty not doing anything, even for one day. My hubby doesn't make me feel that way, it's just the way I am. Now that I think about it, I'll bet there are a lot of us spineys that feel that way.

    So, I just took the For Sale sign down because I think I see the band a'comin'. Thanks for being there.

  • Wow, I didn't know about your new cervical issues. I'm so sorry and if you have any more questions or need any help, let me know. I'm here for ya, bud.

    Everyone here is so helpful, thoughtful and kind and it's so awsome to be able to go somewhere and just let it all hang out, so to speak.

    Thanks Jay for taking the time to post when you're having such a difficult time. That really says something about the kind of guy you are.

  • I PM'd you back. I agree - we all have ups and downs and we are certainly stronger and more compassionate for it.

    The good news? Things always come in threes, right? So I'm done - this is it - everything will be coming up roses from here on out.

  • I've been reading your posts and know that you're going through a very tough time. It takes a special person to give comfort to others when they themselves are going through so much. You don't know how much I appreciate that.

    I know I shouldn't compare my pain to others, but it does tend to put it in perspective when you see how bad off others have it. My father used to say, "If everybody had to put their problems in a pile and then take one out, more than likely you'd pick yours."

    Thanks for the reminder about healing time. And thanks for not throwing golf balls at me. :-)

  • My father used to say, "If everybody had to put their problems in a pile and then take one out, more than likely you'd pick yours."
    Let me first say that your father is obviously a wise man. That's me, every time I get on SH and see what others are having to deal with I really nearly feel ashamed to be whining. Cath, in a day you're back to being your encouraging self, count yourself as one of those who allow others to lay it all out there.
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