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so emotional after surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
hi all,

i have been browsing these forums for ad finally decided i need to post.

I am 4 weeks post op of PLIF of L4-L5-S1 and i think i am healing and makg progress slowly. I am on norco(325mg)every 6 hours and 2 days ago stopped soma.

my trouble is i am soooooooooooo emotional. i cry all the time. i think i am frustrated, as i am ready to be well, but are the pills helping with all the crying.

Also since i have stopped the soma i am getting nerve pain again which was completely gone after surgery. i am getting the nerve pain down to my ankle. it started yesterday. why start 4 weeks post op?

this has not helped with the crying at all, in fact now i feel like crying more.

is this normal?


  • Well now. Dry your tears for a minute. What is PLIF? I had XLIF last July. You know, after my surgery when I finally got home, I was on some heavy, heavy pain meds. Morphine, not sure what else. It affected my sleep, and my emotions, and my appetite (I had zero desire to eat). Emotions were the big thing. I cried and cried and lost control emotionally. Finally, after two weeks, I decided I had to get off the meds. So I weaned myself off. Much, much better. Much! Now I don't know what is going on with that nerve pain and that is something your dr. may shed light on. Find out. Try to wean yourself from those meds, even if you can just take Ty 3 instead. OK? And be sure to eat, do everything they tell you to do. And keep writing to people here, ok? Take care. I am thinking about you.
  • thank you or your thoughts, i think I am pretty lonely at the moment too, just talking helps. I have no idea what PLIF is I am ashamed to say :)

    I need to get active on these boards, lower the meds (which i think I am working on, I see my Dr. thurs) and I have some home pt ordered so hoopefully I can gget more active and not feel so useless.

  • Welcome. Sorry for your pain and emotional upheaval. Yep, its normal!!! The nerve pain is probably because of normal post operative swelling and from your poor nerve root trying to heal. It will get better, be patient and kind to yourself and pray (I never did before spine surgery!) and give yourself some time to get through all of this. I haven't heard or read much but it seems normal to me that when the body has been through such a traumatic event, it really MUST stir up the hormones. I'm no expert, but it seems intuitive that trauma would produce a hormonal reaction and we all now what those puppies do to us. Be well.
  • I had an anterior and posterior fusion with 50 staples on 2-24 with a discectomy. I still feel
    very emotional. My whole life stopped for me
    to have this surgery. I have had to accept the
    things I simply cannot do plus the pain and
    exhaustion aspects.

    You may still need your pain medicine. I had physical therapy today and my physical therapist
    reminded me that I have a new back to get used
    to and that it takes time. You have the right
    to be emotional, you have been through a lot.

    I notice that I just gradually feel a little better
    every little while, it's a long recovery time, just
    hang in there. susie
  • 360 done May 5th and bawling like a baby!! Crying over tv shows!! LOL Just a by-product of stress, trauma and pain! It'll get better! The nerve pain is most likely from the irritation and swelling around the nerve. That should improve also...if not call your surgeon! Best of luck!!
  • I had several difficulties with moving hands, arms and legs about 2 years ago. I had a very bad spell of depression follow. I had no I deal I had severe spine issues. I had 11 herniated disks. I had one operation in the cervical area immediately, which fixed some problems. Just had a second operation in the thoracic. During the worst of this, I had bad feelings of lonleyness, I did not want to do many things that I used to do. I also saw that my reactive-C protein was high which is caused by many factors, but I think spine problems may be linked to it. High reactive-C also can cause some depression. Since the second operation, I have improved greatly. I think that there are some spine problems that effect the body chemstry causing the emotional problems. You need to stick with this no matter how difficult, eventually you will get better.
  • hi Sherbert.
    Yes, I would say IMHO it is normal.

    I had a much much less serious procedure than you did and for about 4 weeks after I was an emotional wreck.

    PLIF = posterior lumbar interbody fusion

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Both my surgeon and my GP agreed that I needed something to help me get through the trauma of the L4-S1 surgery I had a year ago. I toughed it out as long as I could and finally confessed after I went back to work at the school and wanted to cry, scream or mutilate some of the "mean wittle kids" or the "mean old principal" I had in ISS. Zoloft became my new friend.

    My GP told me today to continue on them for a little while longer since I am still experiencing some pain in the back and a little in the knee I had done the year before. He also told me, earlier this year, that they are now presecribing anti-depression meds for heart patients as it seems to make the healing better and quicker.

    Talk to your Drs about it. and Good Luck. My back is so much better than it was last year - even with a little strong hurting now and then.
  • OMG crying thats all i did for the first month after my surgery,over the stupidist things too.My emotions were up and down like a rollercoaster,felt like i was going crazy. My nerve pain went away as well after the surgery only to return again when i started physio,but i was told the same thing that it was due to post op swelling and it does go away and come back when i've over done things.I just have to be very careful of what i'm doing still and for me its been over a year now.
  • MrGrayMMrGray Posts: 1
    edited 09/11/2015 - 7:31 AM
    Hi folks. I thought I would join in regarding the "topic" of having pain and being emotional after surgery.

    For me 4 weeks since my surgery. I had frontal survical c5, c6, c7 fusion. So there is a 2" scar healing on my throat, no voice but raspiness. It was suppose to be a in the hospital and leave the next day, but dr said it was a lot worse when he got in there and started playing around. So they kept me an additional 4 days. I have been home bound since and have had 1 dr follow up so far.

    I want to add in about the being more emotional after the surgery. I am a mid 40's guy who only got emotional over the movie "My Dog Skip". Since my surgery, I am dang cry baby. Now I cant even think of the movie and I start balling. So I have stopped watching any type tv. I thought I could move past it and a little tv.. someone on tv started crying and .. Niagara falls.

    As for meds and pain. I am not a big pill taking person or the loopyness side effects. I was taking two different meds for the first 3 weeks and had minor breathing issues (knots in the throat) while sleeping. So I stopped taking them. The pain that I have had since is muscle pain on each sides of the spine / shoulder blades. I was given the awesome plastic neck brace and sleeping on the couch in the upright position! I still wear the neck brace and on the couch until given proper order that its safe to take the brace off. Until then Life is a complete hault

    So, I feel for the member who had the emotional thing.. its rough and you have to fight through it. Anyone have any questions about before or after the surgery, please ask..

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  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 181
    I am a guy, supposed to be mentally strong. I have severe cervical stenosis. When there is pain I cry. Its a lot of pain. Its not the only reason I cry. I cry because it reminds me I must get surgery. I cry because I do not know whether surgery will fix my pain and possibilities of complications. I was in pain in last 10 days. My blood pressure goes up when the pain is there. I looked at my MRI today and the spinal nerve is so much squeezed, it looks odd. It took 60 mg prednisone for last three days for pain. I am also going through the withdrawal of it today...
    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 497
    I've been through some bouts of crying since lumbar fusion last March, but I watch a few shows that make me laugh, sometimes maybe too much. I don't have cable, just small indoor antenna.

    I tried Cymbalta last year, to help cope with pain, but had to stop because started getting high blood pressure. I would go back on it if I could, it did help me cope. I'm not in pain now, other than the discomfort from surgery healing. But something might help my mind not to focus on things I'm still not able to do. Will ask Dr. tomorrow.
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 497
    edited 09/09/2015 - 2:56 PM
    Hopefully you will be on the mend soon. Before my lumbar fusion I was crying every night at work. I'm amazed I made it some nights, but I couldn't miss work time for a preexisting condition for six months, to qualify for wage disability benefits.

    I can't remember why I couldn't try the prednisone, so no experience to share there.
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