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lilmamallilmama Posts: 61
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Depression and Coping
I had no idea where to post this, but it seemed to fit in this category best so here goes. I encourage you to read a bit if my signature to gain a little knowledge of my condition first.

I have not discussed this with anyone and do not have plans to besides you guys since I'm sure yall know what I'm feeling.

Since my back injury this past summer, it has been a huge change in my life. I hold resposibilities and duties as a mother and a health care professional that I must uphold w/o fail. Some days are a tremendous struggle for me, that will leave me in tears after all is said in done b/c I am in such terrible pain. But I find myself embarrassed about what is happening and going on with my back. I don't want to discuss it with anyone b/c I am very discouraged that this will never go away. Although I need to be taking it easy and trying to focus on getting better, I just can't b/c I HAVE no other option and have to take care of my kids and family. It's very frustrating being my age, and this young, with such a painful condition. I am not depressed, just very discouraged, and struggling to make it through most days. I just need to hear encouragment, and hear from others that know what I'm going through.


  • I am confused. Why are you embarrassed? Particularly if you are in the health care field, I do not understand why you are embarrassed. I understand all the other feelings you mention...they are very normal. You are very young to have all those responsibilities and to be injured. It is difficult to deal with back pain under the best of circumstances...and it is hard because I'm sure none of your friends can relate to what you are going through/dealing with.

    I think it might help if you had someone to discuss this with. Hopefully the board will serve that purpose if you do not want to talk to anyone you know personally.

    You are on lots of meds that more than likely do not contribute to an optimistic attitude. What does your surgeon say about your continued pain after the surgery? Have you had a MRI post surgery to see if there might be a reherniation or some instability?

    I hope you can find a solution to your pain. And I hope you will find some like-minded new cyber-friends here on the board that will help you and provide some support to you. I don't go into CHAT but I think those who do enjoy it and find support. I suppose any major injury is a life-changing event, but somehow back injuries seem to really cause a great deal of change.

    Try to have faith that there is a solution to your back problems. Sometimes it can take a long time to figure out what that solution is, and sometimes we have to just keep looking -- but you are young and there are very exciting developments in technology, gene therapy, cell therapy etc. that will provide solutions to many problems connected to the spine. Hopefully you will find a solution sooner...but, don't give up hope that you will be much better one day soon.

  • gwennie17 said:
    I am confused. Why are you embarrassed? Particularly if you are in the health care field, I do not understand why you are embarrassed.
    What does your surgeon say about your continued pain after the surgery? Have you had a MRI post surgery to see if there might be a reherniation or some instability?
    I just mean that it's embarrassing sometimes, to have all these back issues at age 23. Right before I injured my back I had registered for my first marathon and was in the best shape of my life. Now, I struggle to get out of bed some days because I'm in so much pain. But I grin and bare it because I have to.

    Yes, I had a CAT scan following my sugery with my pain management doctor. They found 3 protuding discs, 2 disc bulges, and when they received the surgical report my surgeon had noted that he also found some other disc "issues" that he just pushed to the side and acted like he didn't see them. About a month after my surgery I was still in a lot of pain, and hurting in the same area as before. My surgeon kept telling me that it was all in my head and that "he performed surgery, and now I should be fine." He refused to give my current doctor, the pain management doc, the sugerical report which raised a few brows. After my current doc reviewed them he stated that the surgeon did somewhat of a butch job, and appears to be trying to hide it. We later found out that the surgeon didn't even perform my surgery, it was actually his resident.

    I'm just wondering if anyone else has similar feelings, that's all.
  • Lilmama,

    From reading your posts, I don't know if the word "embarrassed" is the right word! It seems like you are comparing your "non-backie" life to one of a backie! I am 47, and time after time I have gotten very frustrated in what *I* can't do anymore because of my neck! I am now finally coming to terms with it - stubbornly but coming around. My hubby and I are more open about it as well. Like you, I was very active, enjoyed sports etc. I just now have to change the ones I can do now!

    We all know that we aren't running the 10 minute mile when we are 70, but other things affecting our bodies can also stop that 10 minute mile. My "90 year old neck" is making me retire from a job field I have loved for 30 years. I dumped a LOT of tears over this, and now I am going to take the time to heal as much as I can (and now too probably get fixed again soon!), and then open a new chapter that will satisfy me once again! I know it's hard, but we humans...we are adapter's!

    Our bodies tell us when there is something wrong contrary to the ego of some doctors! MRI's and the like are great tools, but not everything is seen in them. If this doctor isn't willing to work with you, another opinion might be the best way to go both physically and for your peace of mind! Don't give up woman! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    does not discriminate regarding age. People in their early teens can develop serious spinal problems and there are those that may never see a spinal problem until they are 70!
    So, please put the age issue out of your mind. The hardest thing for you to deal with is that you just figure at your age, you should NOT have these problems and be able to do everything you can.
    The most important thing for you to focus on is to figure out just HOW you can manage everything, your professional, your family and more. Sure based on some medical problems you may not be able to do the things you did before. Trust me, so many of us have been there so many times. Our options are two, 1- Let it overtake us or 2- Figure out what you can do and what you cant, maintain a positive outlook so you can overcome many obstacles.
    It is also so very important to be able to talk about this with others. The best would be your immediate family. If not with friends or family. And if all of that does not work, you can always count on coming here to open up and discuss your situation.
    So many here will be understanding, some will try to coddle you while others will give you tough love... But I can guarantee you people will listen to what you have to say.
    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
  • You feel that it is a weakness or people may look at it as a weakness or worse yet that you are weak for not being able to deal with it and go on. I felt a little like that in the beginning but it did get easier with time.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Second oppinion by a spinal specialist--yes Sounds as though your problems could be from a butcher. I would take my records (your entitled to them) and go to a orthopedic or neurosurgeon far away from the one who did the work. ( they don't like to say anything bad about a surgeon who they know or work with or near)
    You may find an other way to address this, Head on!
    What if you needed correction surgery, there's a chance things could get better.
    Never believe " It's all in your head " Not everyone will have that attitude.
    Most everyone on this site has an idea of what you're going through.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • We all feel that weight of responsibility and many here are proud in continuing with such emphasis while in pain, as said, pain can strike at any age and in that respect alone if our restriction came later in life those who started sooner have my empathy.

    Only you can let yourself feel bad about what is going on, you are still achieving as a mother, partner, worker, provider and supporter of others and I could go on. The important thing it that you see those good things that you achieved and overcome those daily challenges that we all have. Perhaps you are not depressed but we all have to see the positive things that we do and look toward the future with realistic hope and achievable expectation.

    It is frustrating when our future is unknown and the transition from no pain to more, one of the most difficult and problematic stages, the route is to cope with it the best you can. Surgery is not the best option for everyone and we need not be blinkered into thinking this is the only option available to us at the cost of attempting other areas for improvement. We keep a lot of our capability within and in working it is sometimes difficult to hide the reality of our condition and we become frustrated with the pace and desire to perform normally, when this becomes more difficult and painful.

    Posters here who have a long duration of chronic pain have improved the skills that they have and it takes time and patience, kindness to yourself, it may be that the pain for many has never reduced, only the ability they now have to cope with it more effectively. While assessing the reality of future surgery we need a develop those skills and review problem areas all the time, giving more emphasis to those that we feel are currently important, it is a balancing act and it is probably impossible to keep all our plates spinning at the same speed all the time.

    You are putting unrealistic pressure on yourself to keep this pace going, now or in the future something will have to give unless you can adapt, I am not saying you will be unable to do this and as many here even the thought of stopping or change imposes some understandable apprehension.

    Keep you surgery option ticking over, in arriving here and expressing a fear that we have all had and overcome with some success is the first stage of addressing your issues, we will all try to help as best we can, we cannot see into the future or give you false hope, only hold your hand in helping you to help yourself.

    Take care those feeling are normal for many here and we thank you for you insightful post.


  • all for your words. You all speak the truth and I believe I am in that difficult stage right now. I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel it's just a matter of finding the way there.

    I find it easier to talk to yall b/c yall know what I am talking about as far as the emotional feelings that go along with this process.

    So I sincerely thank you all for your words.
  • You hold that head up K? you feel like your letting yourself down? by not being able to "push" as hard as you used to?
    The light isnt so far away when you already have it inside...
    all the courage, all the tooth breaking determination, the true core is right there, it never leaves or lets you down,nothing inside changes despite the changes throughout.
    learning to deal with theses emotional tsunamie's???
    is paramount to the outlook later.
    dont give up and never give in, you can only be broken if you want to,
    separating what is the essential you, from what the body is demanding selfishly is an enduring excercize, the more you learn to utilize the mastery of the sensations dominance the less it will bear weight.
    dont get me wrong, pain is pain and all the psycological issues attendant with long term infirmmity are as bad as YOU want to make them.
    you may be bent, but unbeaten,
    broken, yet enduring what mear mortals would would weep at.
    youve joined the legion of the Spine Health army. we dont have time for fear because were strong like that...like you
    We come running when called, no matter what time, or place, to the call of our beloved brother or sister to stand...face outwards against the demons of our lives,
    to stand shoulder to shoulder, shields up to protect those right beside us.
    When you come out of this dark time, You too, will be the strong arm in the everyday battle with our bodies and souls and offer hope to the hopeless, and help for the weaker
    Its what we do, us spineys...we stick together.
    hope these smal words of hope resonate with ya?
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Lilmama- I found this post on here and I completely agree with the way you feel. Along with any feelings of upset, anxiety etc I do believe that it is embarrassment that I feel too. I'm not sure why, I think it may be unwillingness to accept having to give things up due to having back problems. I often avoid talking about it to people, or mentioning that I have problems- and if asked directly I often say that I'm fine, or that I've been a bit achey which is not reflective at all of the way I have been. I am 22 so a similar age to you and have had 3 operations and lots of physio. I think it is remarkable that you are looking after children and working in the health profession, you seem to be doing very well. I've also being as you describe it feeling really discouraged lately, crying everyday and feeling lost and hopeless but I know I just need to adapt. Take encouragement that you are not alone in feeling this way, I hope things are going better for you now- it seems you have a lot to be proud of in your life and that will keep you going so good luck with it all. Thanks for posting here though, because it has strangely reassured me too.
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