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Feel like crap today

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Depression and Coping
I am 7 weeks post laminectomy and lumbar fusion (with rods and screws) at L5 S1. This is the second surgery in the same area the first being 5 years ago. The surgery went well, my hospital stay was good and I have a very supportive partner (who is an LPN). I have struggled with anxiety and depression in the past (which I currently take medication for) but I am so frustrated right now. I feel useless. I cannot do any of the things I did in the past (well, I guess saying any thing is an exaggeration but you know what I mean). I feel I cannot do the simplest of things that I would never have had to think about in the past. I am limited to a lifting restriction to a gallon of milk...which is not much. I have just been getting so frustrated with the limitations that I have. Then when I go things I should not I pay big time physically. I have still been taking muscle relaxers and painkillers for 7 weeks which my dr. does not have a problem with but I am worried about the addiction possibility. I have times of uncontrollable crying which comes out of no where and have a hard time sleeping (it is now 410am). I know I need to be patient but I am very frustrated with my progress. Whoever may read this thanks for letting me unload some of my frustrations.


  • Hi and welcome to our forum. I wish we could have met under different circumstances.

    This may sound rhetorical, but - I feel your pain. Really I do. I know that feeling of uselessness and sadness for losing the ability to do even the most simple activity.

    I know there is nothing I can say or do to make your circumstances any better. BUT, please know that it will take time for your body to heal. Your body has been through alot and it is so unbelievably pi$$ed off that it may be rebelling. Give yourself time to heal. Do not try to do too much too soon.

    I too have periods of depression that hit me suddenly and without warning. Sometimes I may wake up in the wee hours of the morning and feel so blue. But it passes. I hope yours does too.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that you are not alone. At any given time you can come to this website and find someone who can commisurate without bias or judgement. Because they have been where you are. It's really hard for people who have not been there to truly understand what chronic pain and/or its limitations. It's not their fault - they just don't get it. That's when Spine-Health is helpful. Venting is good - like breathing in with the good and out with the bad.

    Take care Michigan. Hope you feel better soon.

  • I know exactly how you feel. By the time I could pick things up and bend over to retrieve dropped items, I thought all my kids could just about kill me for all the things they had to do for me! :$ Having had a bad recovery, the pain I feel today is nothing to what I felt at even 3 months post-op (I'm now a bit over 4 months), and I have faith the pain I will feel next week will be even lower. Hang in there, as many can attest to, "this too, shall pass".

    Try not to read too much into all the horror stories you read, most of the people here (me included), are still having some kind of problem, or we would be off living our lives. I am a firm believer in positive thinking, although even a month ago, you wouldn't know that. So, even though it's very difficult, try to stay positive, and focus on healing. One day you will realize, "hey, I just got up from laying down, with barely any pain". Believe, that day will come when your worst pain will vanish, hopefully never to be heard from again!

  • Thank you to jeauxbert and whyme for the encouraging words. I called and made an appt with my therapist to try to talk some more of this out too. It has been a rollercoster of emotions since my surgery. It is great to have some encouragement from people who are going through the same thing. Thanks for commenting. It really did help. >:D<
  • We need T-Shirts!
    We're an exclusive club that only the best and brightest can join!
    Maybe something like "Spineys, We bend over for NO-ONE!" with a bent spinal column with the universal 'circle with a line through it symbol' on top???
    Whaddaya think?

    I just need a good high dpi jpg graphic of a bent spine (it gives me chills just to think of it) and then we can print & iron on to t-shirts!
  • Your body has been through so much. A fusion takes a lot out of us physically, mentally, emotionally, and it is all normal. We all go through this. Just take it easy to give yourself time to heal.I felt the same way you do and sometimes it still comes and goes. I can't stand the useless feeing either but in time you will get stronger and do more than the day before. Just no BLT! Remember time and patience.

    I like your idea for athe T-shirt and would wear one proudly!
  • Well, things have gotten much better. I had struggled with the anxiety and depression for almost 3 months and finally went to have meds adjusted. That has helped big time. Also, I made the decision to stop taking vicodin as I think it was adding to my depression. Also, I cut back on caffeine. All of the above put together has resulted in a much decreased depressed/anxious mood. I still have pain in my lower right back and have sciatic flare ups with increased activity. I also feel like a big wimp compared to some of the stories that I have read as I am able to walk about 2 - 3 blocks comfortably (I see some people at 1/2 mile 2 weeks post surgery....ugh). If I walk any more I have the lower right back pain and sciatic pain. I have a 3 month follow up appointment with my surgeon on Thursday so I will know what the next plans are. I am hoping I have not loosened anything as I felt a pop in my right back about a month ago and have had the pain back there ever since. I also am still having sleep issues (it is 421am now...I awoke at 320am after going to sleep at 1230am. I have been taking valium in the evening the last few nights to relax the muscles and assist in sleeping but apparently they are not helping the sleep factor...lol.

    This has been a long 3 months. I can tell that the back pain that I felt before surgery is better but I feel like I am at the beginning of a long road to recovery. Luckily I have a very supportive and understanding partner who has been there with me every step of the way. I couldn't have done it without her. I will update after I see my surgeon on Thursday as to what is next. I am extremely glad this site exists to give backies and neckies a place to go to hear others stories and know that they are not alone.
  • I'm glad you gave us an update.It is a long haul! I felt just like at 3 months because I couldn't walk as far as others or do much either. You are doing just fine, you are making progress and everyone has their own speed! I am at 8 mo. and still can't get past the 1.5 miles mark and it takes me an hour. But considering I was at a few blocks just like you are now and was much slower I have made progress too. You will make more progress each month! It takes much more time and patience than we expect.

    I hope your appt. went well. Let us know.

  • I went for a follow-up with my ns today. Because of the sciatic issues I still am having and my lack of stamina the dr. has put me off work until at least Sept. 10. He is sending me for physical therapy in hopes that will increase my stamina and muscles to support my torso. So, the harder work begins with physical therapy.
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