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My wife doesnt understand

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Lower Back Pain
I want to thank everyone for letting me read all your
triumphs & failures it makes me worry but also
makes me think more about my surgery & what to do
& what not to do after surgery
My wife thinks that I shouldnt have the surgery on
my back on june 30 she says I have a addictive peraonality
& always like the quick fix
she thinks that I should work out more & strengthen my
stomach & back muscles more
I know she is scared because of my infection after my
back surgery 11 years ago but she doesnt realize I have
been doing alot of things this past 5 years to try not
to have the surgery,chiro,pt,shots,massage.accupuncture
pain pills & so on Has anyone else experienced this
from a spouse or family member I am having L5 S1 fusion
on june 30 I had L3 L4 fusion 11 years ago


  • the decision is yours .a fusion can go either way .i have just refuse a fusion at the same level as i have had 2 previous operations and i am still in loads of pain .if you are having leg pain and you carnt bear the pain anymore then an operation may be the way .just remember one thing any back operation will not remove back ache the operations are normaly done to protect the nerves so you can still use your legs .thing long and hard and dont make a mistake ..its your body ..not hers
  • Hi frvryoug,

    Yep. I've faced this (see my thread about this on the surgery board).

    I just had surgery last Tues (microD) and it's like someone threw a switch. It's soo much better (knock wood). Anyway, I heard nothing but negativity from friends and family. You know, the usual; "nobody" ever gets better from back surgery, and "your going to let someone cut into your spine?" (horrified look added for additional effect).

    My favorite was from someone I'd just met at a BBQ who told me about someone she knew who had surgery and got an infection and had to wear an IV pump for months, she almost died, you know.

    Also, I was told a chiropractor or massage therapist could fix this for me, and please try it, why they knew just the person to do it! Are you sensing any sarcasm here?

    Anyway, when I posed this dilemma about family/friends on the surgery board, someone, I think it was Jay911, said something that made perfect sense to me: When people find themselves in the same situation as you (for me, unable to stand for more than 2 mins), THEY can refuse surgery.

    People without back problems involving nerves HAVE NO IDEA what it feels like. These are not "backaches" Some problems you cannot exercise or adjust your way out of. The decision is yours alone to make. I'm a great believer in following your gut instinct. You are the one who has lived with the pain, you are the one who has spent lots of time with Drs. about it.

    You have to trust yourself to do what is right for youself. After this experience with my surgery and the negative input from those around me - I will never doubt myself again.

    Best wishes to you,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    be difficult at times. This is so true when the other person has not experienced first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.
    If you read various posts here, you will find that the best support at home comes when the other one understands what you are going through. They may or may not have experienced spinal problems themselves, but they have experienced pain.
    I think a big piece of the support issue comes out of fear. Your other does not understand all that you are going through, they may feel a bit helpless or inadequate in helping you. There is also some resentment. That can come when the other realizes that because of surgery, you would be out of commission for a while. That is in terms of bringing in the money, taking care of the house, making sure your intimate life continues and much more.
    I think that the best way to avoid or to minimize these problems is to have open communications. Each partner needs to express their feelings. There are really no right or wrongs with this. Its a matter of expressing whats inside your heart and how your feel.
    A person that needs spinal surgery knows fully well that without the surgery, they will have to endure pain for a prolonged period of time. Why? If its the right thing to do and all the conservative measures have been done, then surgery is the answer
    This is the type of discussion partners need to have
    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
  • thanks sugaree it makes me feeel better coming
    from somebody that is on my side
    good luck to you
  • Hello Mark -

    I had an L5/S1 Fusion back in 1991 and now have "failed back syndrome" which causes chronic, irretractable pain, and this past June 1st I'd had a C6/C7 ACDF which has caused me great pain, loss of arm strength, etc. I've had dozens of Doc appt.'s, PT and Chiro appt.'s, runs to the pharmacy and so forth that have made having a "normal" existence all but impossible.

    My wife has been very supportive through it all but as would be the case with most anyone in her position...frustration FOR me (not so much WITH me) does at times get the better of her. In my opinion, it's imperative for us chronic pain sufferer's to be cognizant of what our spouses, children, extended family and friends whom associate regularly with us do have to experience in the way of emotions, stress, fears, etc...because they too have to live with our physical disabilities and chronic conditions.

    Having said that, I would suggest reminding your wife that you're only following the Doc's (or Surgeon') advice and recommendations as to what the reality of your situation is (and in going forward with the surgery)...and that you'd love nothing more than to NOT have to have it done. Although surgery may seem like the "quick fix" route to some...for the chronic pain sufferer it often times means a glimmer of HOPE for a more bearable future, with diminished pain levels and less disability.

    Hang in there Mark and try to be (or continue to be) as understanding as possible with the Mrs., cuz if she's like mine...she has gone through alot of emotional hardship in having to watch you suffer for years on end now. Try to remember that her response right now is actually borne of how much concern she has for you and is not selfishly motivated. Unfortunately for ALL of us, having to deal with chronic pain and disability is a long and arduous process that requires mega amounts of patience, understanding, sympathy and empathy.

    Take care and best wishes to you, I hope your upcoming fusion surgery is a great success!

  • Hi! While I am new to the forum, I am not new to either back surgery or chronic, debilitating pain.

    I tried everything from accupuncture to massage; herbals to pain killers and the only thing left was surgery. Worked for a while, but unfortunately my condition is such that all the surgery could do was temporarily halt its progress, not reverse it.

    Anyway, I have now had 2 back fusion/cleaning surgeries and at least I can walk. No, not without pain, but I am upright and mobile.

    If the doctor thinks the surgery will do that for you, and you have faith in the doctor, then there's your answer.

    I know that my spouse was very conservative and concerned about the surgery(ies). They are not just thinking of us, but all the ripple effects, on them, the rest of the family, even the dog, because it is such serious surgery. The feeling of your spouse's non-support is, as was mentioned above, probably the result of an all abiding sense of helplessness on the part of your spouse. Nothing worse than watching someone you love in pain with no solution for them.

    The question to ask yourself is "can I live with any quality of life if I don't try the surgery?"

    I know that I had no choice. I hope all works out well for you. God bless.
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