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Think of me as a whole person, not just a back

juliejjulie Posts: 213
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Not much is ever mentioned about how the back effects other parts of the body, like the legs especially in my case. After my four back surgeries on L5/S1 in 11 months I was left with a numb and painful left foot. Because of compensating for the lack of a foot that I could not feel, my right knee took the toll for 2 years of walking wrong.
Yesterday, I had knee surgery for a torn meniscus, arthritis on the knee cap, lots of fluid and scar tissue. What was so sad is I tore it 6 months ago and because of all the back problems and foot problems, my doctors didn't think the knee really was an issue. Boy, were they wrong.
It is incredible how specialized doctors have become and how little they know about the rest of the body that they don't deal with. I have had to learn over this whole experience how to maximize my little amount of consult time I have with each doctor. My doctors now expect to see my little notebook with questions and they will not leave the room until all I need to ask has been asked. It also helps me stay on track so I can concentrate on what is being said at the time.
A month ago I had a surgery, which is usually used to save diabetics feet, that successfully brought back movement to my toes and some feeling that I hadn't had in two years, since I lost them after the first back surgery. A miracle did happen.
It has been difficult to keep going all this time. What wears me out it finding the right doctor and trusting them, dealing with the pain, and hoping that the rest of my body will hold up until I can get all well enough so I can start exercising and build up some strength. The last thing is the loneliness. It has been so long I have been in my home trying to get well that I feel left behind.
So in the end my back problems have really effected my foot, knees, bladder, bowels, mind and heart. I guess that is why I need doctors to look at me as a whole person not just a part.
Thanks for listening. I just needed to say this.


  • You have a great support group here with a number of people who really understand your frustrations. I wish you luck with your latest "adventure" and a speedy recovery!
  • This morning after making a short (very short) shopping trip to the mall, I was whining to myself about how much my left hip was bothering me. I had this problem prior to my lumbar fusion but it is much worse now. I have an appt with my spine surgeon next week for my 9 month follow-up and though I will mention my hip I know he will just say it is not related to my back - the end. At least that has been the response to date. So, although it is good to have specialists so very expert in their own areas it would be wonderful to find a doc who would help with the whole picture!
  • Lovinggardener, khumph, and megb,

    It is amazing how so many of us have to live day to day feeling the same way because of what has happened to our bodies. I read a lot of posts on here that say they are too young for this. I think we all are too young. I do not believe there are many doctors that really allow themselves to understand what we deal with on a daily basis or how we feel about it all and what it takes to make it through each day.
    i know that having support from friends like you who are suffering in your own way means a lot to me. Thank you.
  • I totally agree with you on how one problem (in this case-- back pain) can affect other parts of our body and life: physical, social, emotional, and mental health.

    Today I tried to tidy up my house without BLT, and it was so frustrating which made me angry. I just had to give up....I am not myself yet or maybe never will be.

    Julie, I am sorry that you are in this complicated situation where one problem created another set of issues. I hope that your knee surgery is successful.

    I bet a lot of us are in the same boat as you.

    You are not alone.

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