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Post Surgery Depression

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Depression and Coping
Hi. I am a new member and am two weeks post op. (laminectomy L4-L5) I was recovering nicely, or so I thought. This was actually my second back surgery, but my first was when I was 15 (26 years ago) and I don't remember that much about it.
My experience in the hospital was horrible. There was a leak during surgery, so I had to lie flat for days. They put too much dilaudid in the iv, so I stopped breathing and they had to call the emergency response team as my son and mother looked on in horror.
All of that being said, I was doing so well when I got home. It is only now that it is sinking in that I went through something very serious. I think I didn't allow myself to think about it.
For this I feel foolish. I am a medical professional (x-ray tech for an ortho surgeon) and a personal trainer/corrective exercise specialist. I should have expected the depression, I guess.
My emotional complications include: worrying about having to find another career that is less physically demanding. I still have several other disc issues, my ex-fiance and ex-husband both trying to reinsert themselves into my life (they are being nice, and I'm lucky to have their support, but it is just too much), my son is getting ready to graduate and has all of his college entrance and graduation things to get through, I have my house on the market and feel totally unable to keep it clean for showings, I have ADD and cannot stand being still, etc.
Physically, I had been doing so well. A little back pain and some residual foot numbness was all that I felt. I was able to go for walks and was thrilled when they released me to drive. However, within the past few days, I've developed insomnia, swelling around the incision site and leg/foot pain.
I don't know if the pain and physical setbacks are to blame for the depression, insomnia and crying or if the lack of sleep and depression is adding to the pain. I suspect it is a bit of both and a vicious circle. As I read the other posts, it is comforting to me to know that these things aren't uncommon.
The one positive thing I have been focusing on is that I think I may have found the niche I have been looking for career-wise/personally. As a personal trainer/corrective exercise specialist, I have always been all over the board. Helping overweight people one day, diabetics the next and athletes after that. With my RT job, I haven't really been able to focus my energy or do as much training as I'd like. Now, I think I know that the path I want to follow is using my knowledge and training to help others use core strengthening to prevent back injuries and exercise to aid in rehabilitation after back injuries. Seems like a long ways off, right now. But, it's nice to have a plan.
Sorry for the long post. Just wanted to get all this off my chest and people that have not been through it, just can't understand. I am very glad to have found this forum.
Also, I have found that this might have been the push I've needed to take better care of myself spiritually and to re-connect with my church. I fully respect differing beliefs. But, one suggestion to those that do not have strong support systems at home is to examine your beliefs and turn to your faith.
Thanks for listening..... Looking forward to reading the experiences of others.


  • Keep your Head Up. I'm Sorry for Your Pain. Everything will work out for you. Like you said Keep your Faith. Find Comfort in Family and the Bible..
  • That's great that you seem to have found your 'niche'. So many health professionals don't have such a clear understanding of thier patients problems! I hope things work out well for you and it's great you have something to concentrate on. Hold onto that!

    Here's a suggestion:
    If you start getting the blues, dream about what your accomplishments will be - start your own practice in your head, dream of the building you'll have, the employees, the patients regimen you'll develope, etc. Sorta like winning the lottery and dreaming of your new home you'll design! Maybe take a few online courses in buisness management...;>)

    You can only go up from here!
  • Positive is all we have ,no one else will help u ,u have to want to do it yourself!! I f it makes u feel better I myself had a break in my depression!! It wasnt pretty but im here and trying to keep the faith and i have a great hubby and family.Prayers for u, Kellie
  • Positive is all we have ,no one else will help u ,u have to want to do it yourself!! I f it makes u feel better I myself had a break in my depression!! It wasnt pretty but im here and trying to keep the faith and i have a great hubby and family.Prayers for u, Kellie
  • When it gets bad have a good cry and little "pity party" because this is hard and you deserve to give yourself that cry. Then pick yourself up and think of all the things you can do, watch a comedy or do whatever makes you feel better to get back on track. It is normal to get discouraged and have bad days because you have been through so much physically, mentally, and emotionally. Just remember if you don't feel better or have good days to let your Dr. know because they undertsand and can give you med to get over this hump.

    I'm still dealing with the challenges but my trick is to always start thinking about all the things I am thankful for, what I can do, how lucky I am to be able to walk, etc. and before I know it my mind has wandered off to something else I want to do or need to do.....even if it is just call a girlfriend to visit with.

    My youngest son graduated last year ...I hope you enjoy your sons upcoming graduation and events! Take care!

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