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Do you think about this?

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Chronic Pain
I've been reflecting a lot on all of us and our spine problems. Many of us have both cervical and lumbar issues, and some have major cervical or major lumbar issues. Then there are the other complications that come along like cysts, syringomyelias, arachnoiditis, etc. Almost all of us have had or are expecting to have surgery.

In addition to operable spine problems, most, if not all of us have DDD, arthitis, mild (or mild to moderate) disc dessication and/or spurs, and degeration of the facet joints at levels other than those that are bad enough to need surgery. And it's well-known that once you have surgery, your spine is never the same.

So I wonder if you ever think about the future with regards to these other levels and what it means. The unknown is the most difficult for us to face, and I worry because my MRI reports, both lumbar and cervical, show problems at other levels that aren't serious enough to have surgery but don't things just get worse as we age? I don't see how we can prevent all of these things from degenerating.

I'm 48 (will be 49 in Oct) and after both my surgeries, I know I'm not the same and so does my hubby. Will I ever be able to lift stuff again? Will things just continue to decline as I get older? What the heck will I feel like when I'm 60? Is it an absolute that I'll have to have surgery in the future?

Some days, it just seems like the future looks a bit bleak because these problems aren't going to heal themselves and in fact, like I said, will only keep degenerating as we age. It's also common for things to degrade in other areas with us spineys, like our other joints - shoulders, knees and elbows. I'm currently having severe pain in my right elbow and am icing it a few times daily. I also have to wear a brace on my wrist every night when I sleep. What's the deal with that?

I'm not sad, I'm just pondering what the future hold for those of us with bad spines. My surgeon is a pie-in-the-sky kinda guy and says I'll be back to normal eventually. Frankly, I don't believe him. I don't see how, at my age, things will be just dandy after my TLIF completely heals.

I'm just wondering how many others think about this, despite what we're told by our doctors and surgeons. I've always been active and strong, but now, as I feel my body aching and know I have other stuff like DDD, arthritis, spurs and facet degeneration at other levels, I feel fragile and wonder if that's our fate.



  • I'm with you, I am to pessimistic for my own D^#n good!

    With and SCS in place I wonder what or who will actually treat me should I need it? The SCS seems to be looked at as a "hands off" signal to most doctors, only the PM that put it in wants to even deal with most of us.

    My last MRI, maybe ever, showed a mild bulge C5-C6 (I think) and the usual DDD of a late 40's man.

    I often wonder, what if.
    I often think I am wasting too many hours at work 8} I could be out attempting to live my life before my problems get worse or even head them off with proper planning. My wife does not understand any of this thinking. She has a graduate degree, an excellent job, yet she does not comprehend that I still hurt! I drink one beer a day, ONE, when I get home from work. Last night she asked me to please crush the cans. uh, sounds stupid but doing it by hand HURTS. So this morning I twisted them, shortened them a whole inch, maybe and dropped them back in the recycle bin. It's not like she even does the recycling right now. She has our youngest take it in! Sorry, Wrambling.

    Yeah, I wonder what the future holds and sometimes think that if a surgeon ever suggests an operation on my spine, I will be very hesitant to let him do it. I've heard all the good, the bad and the ugly.

    I just want to enjoy my life as best I can. Bi-polar type II depression does not help the mess.
    I doubted the diagnosis when it was made last year, but the meds that are usually used to treat it, just plain work. So I get to carry that label too!

    Now, we need to, breathe in through the nose, count to 20 as we slowly breathe out through our mouth. Then we need to keep doing that while we close our eyes and go to our happy place.
  • Holy cow! Your whole post is exactly what I think about all the time.

    At 44 years old I have had 2 major lumbar surgeries, L2-S1 fused/fusing with all kinds of instramentation.
    My second surgery was needed, as so often does, because of the stress to my spine from the first fusion. Ah, yes, the lovely domino affect!

    As I've also posted many times (sorry!!) is that I've known for a year now that my neck has literally collapsed on itself: DDD, multiple herniations and kyphosis. I know this has to be taken care of in the near future.

    If this is my body at 44, what happens in 10 or 20 years?? Thoracic problems? Walker? Wheelchair?Aaaaack!

    Also, as you mentioned, other body issues: I suffered from TMJ about 20 years ago and was told at 24 years old that I had the jaw of a 90 year old. Connection? I don't know.

    I don't obsess about these things but they are always in the back of my mind. I am a realist, and know not to kid myself that the future will be all wine and roses, sometimes I think it would be better to be delusional!! I try to keep a positive outlook
    and just go day to day, but that can be so hard sometimes.

    And yes, Cath, I too feel fragile at times, its a sucky feeling. Thanks for your post, it helps to know there are others like me.

    Take care,


    PS: Wrambler, glad your meds are helping you.
  • Over the years, and I know this because I just ran across some of my writing last night. We make lists if thing we miss, we write to ourselves and maybe never read it, we sometimes rant to a paper page and then burn it. All kinds of things to look at the problem and heal them up or modify them in some way.

    My sweetheart I think had the hardest time, because she could not get a single commitment from my Dr, about what my future could look like. He never answered her, and that was years ago. I don't think he ever had anyone who was able to still push himself along and had not given up.

    There have been times that I have in fact had a black cloud over myself for awhile. I do not like it, but I also found that embracing the cloud, running full on into the thunderstorm - was a way to in fact have a short time with it. I felt afterwards that I had a good idea of what was happening and it was funny to see the clinical terms and realize what I had lived through. Intuitivley I had picked the right answers, to questons that had baffeld me years ago.

    Now - I still have it coming back at time, but I see it not as something to do battle, just something that can sit with me for a bit. It does not have an invitation to stay, but there is a chair in my guesthouse for it, to sit for a short while.

    In the end - I try to learn something from it, and then it leaves.
  • I'd be lying if I said the thought never crossed my mind. Everyday, every minute, I'm reminded that my legs hurt.

    Now that I have that out of the way, I live each day as best as I can. I push myself sometimes to extreme limits and other times I just kick back and do nothing. I like to do nothing the best but it would drive me nuts if I had nothing to do all of the time. Here is how I view things:

    1.) I could come out of store and get run over by a car.
    2.) I could have car accident.
    3.) Could just drop dead.

    See, can't predict the what if, not gonna worry what's the next part to wear out. I just concentrate on what I can control and go from there. Still gonna wonder, but that's human nature.

  • Everyone is making great points. While I agree with Dave to a great extent, there are things that we spineys can do to improve our chances of remaining relatively intact as we age. If we refuse to make lifestyle changes and just go back to our "old" habits and ways that contributed to our spine problems in the first place, I think we can expect to see continued degeneration.

    I think one of the most important things we can do is address issues of structural alignment...you know posture, carriage, exercising smartly to avoid muscle imbalances, using orthotics to realign the body, as well as diet and nutrition. These are relatively easy changes we can make that may not prevent future problems, but should help to slow down the process.
  • Cathie, this is a perfect example of why many in the medical profession don't like to have MRI's done on all their patients at the first sign of back pain. Everyone's spine takes abuse and wear and tear. Some folks adapt and continue to live life and never know they got past or healed from something that put another individual on disability. Our minds, our emotions play such a huge roll in our health. I believe that in many instances, ignorance truly is bliss. This is proven time and time again with cancer patients. Some are told they have cancer and within a few months the cancer consumes them and they are gone. Others don't buy into "I'm a goner" and they beat the cancer into remission and live long and fruitful lives.

    Before forums and support groups developed on the Internet and brought chronic pain patients together, we all suffered in silence and generally learned to "deal with it" and move on. Not because we wanted to, but because we needed to. Spine injuries today are no different than spine injuries 100's of years ago. Now that the average life span has increased, maybe what you are purporting is more of an issue than years past, but then maybe not.

    Dave is right, you can't predict the what if or what's next. We have to focus on what we have today and make the best of it.

    If you walked into a room with 100 people and none of them knew you had all kinds of hardware in your spine, they would approach you and speak to you like a normal person. The conversation would be about kids, the weather, the mountains, fishing, cooking, Wall Street ... anything but the issues with your spine. For that evening you would feel more like a normal person than you have in years.

    If you walked into a room full of Spine Health members and everyone was discussing their injuries, disabilities, surgeries, medications etc ... how do you think you'd feel at the end of that evening?

    We have to live our lives the best we can with the hand that we've been dealt. Some days it's not a pretty picture and the future looks bleak. Other days, the sun is shining , the air is crisp and clear and the roses are blooming and smell wonderful. It's up to us whether or not we stop to smell the roses, or whether we just walk on by.

  • Morning, Cath...

    As Lisa said, your whole post is something I think about all the time!! My upcoming PLIF was the lesser of the two surgery options presented to me, with the other option being a BIG surgery to correct my scoliosis and be done with it. I've opted for the 2-level PLIF with the knowledge that I most likely will need further surgery in the future, but I can't justify going through such a huge procedure now. And then, there's my neck, which has multiple levels of degeneration and I know it will only get worse. It has been bothering these last few weeks, like some kind of morbid reminder that I'm falling apart, lol. I'm not depressed at all, but when I see my future in my minds eye what I visualize ahead are few pretty good years, punctuated by another cervical surgery here, another lumbar surgery, there...and so on. That's life and it's just the way it is now. I'm 62 so I guess it's time for things to fall properly apart, but I can see why it's a complex and serious contemplation for someone who is still relatively young, like yourself. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled

  • I know from an MRI that I have thoracic disc problems and although I haven't had tests on my neck, my surgeon said from my symptoms, I have trouble there too. He said he would fix that next time! Not what I wanted to hear before I'd even had my first surgery! :O

    This morning, I nearly fell down the stairs, because my knee gave way as I was starting to go down.

    I feel like a physical wreck! I do wonder what the future holds, but try to ignore that for now and enjoy how much better some parts of me are feeling since my lumbar fusion!

    I have also wondered if my neck and thoracic problems could have been caused by my spine not being loaded properly due to my spondylolisthesis, which I had probably had for many years.

    I am doing what I can;
    drinking lots of water, healthy diet with spine friendly foods, exercise and walking. I do wonder about muscle imbalances too though. My chiro did tell me that my shoulders, hips and legs were out of balance.
  • My entire spine is very destabilized right now, and I can feel problems in both lumbar and thoracic coming on. So, yeah, this is something I worry about. And I don't have a current doctor to discuss it with. I see a new one on the 29th. My pain doctor is kind of "yeah, your back is really bad." Gee, thanks.

  • ...there are a few reasons for why I'm contemplating these things at the moment. I of course have pain every day, but not as bad as some of you. I do know what brings on more pain, such as lifting, standing or sitting too long, walking on hard surfaces too long or holding my head in one place too long.

    These are things I certainly can avoid as I live my life as an unemployed person, but now that I'm searching for a job, I don't know which job I'm going to be able to handle. And with the economy the way it is, it's difficult to even find a job so as I near the end of my unemployment I'm going to be forced to take the first job that comes along, whether I can physically handle it or not.

    I'm also waiting on results from a cervical MRI and CT scan I got a week ago to see how my cervical spine is doing. That is my biggest problem area, but I also continue to worry about the stress of the levels above and below my L4/5 fusion because I've been told by two PTs and my surgeon's PA that these areas now hold most of the stress of my lumbar spine.

    But don't get me wrong here, I push myself like most others. I do the grocery shopping and carry in the bags. I clean the kitchen and make the meals. I clean the house and walk the dog. I go to lunch, movies and neighborhood fairs with friends. And I golf, playing a whole nine holes if I'm having a good day.

    I also think that in many ways, because of my reflection and spine issues, I'm more apt to stop and smell the roses and live my life to its fullest because it's possible that I won't have that luxury later in life.

    "C", you're analogy about the room full of people is right on. Hubby and I have a pub we go to once a week or so where we know everyone, and my spine is not on their minds. We do talk about many different things and I don't mention my condition because I spend enough time thinking about it as it is, I don't need any more thoughts about it than I already have.

    Like Dave, I also have days where I'm very busy and days when I relax for most of the day (relax meaning staying home, doing light chores, but being in my recliner more than usual).

    I know that taking it one day and step at a time is important for us spineys and I think most of us do our best. But I will continue to wonder where my spiney life is headed and how I'll be in a year, two years, five years and more.

    Simply put, is it forever? My heart and mind say no but my body says yes.

    Thanks for all the input. Lisa, sorry I got into your head. I'll try not to do that again. :-)

  • Yeah..... I feel all your pains.... Group Hug :)

    I am having knee surgery next week on wednesday. I get to see my NS on tuesday (looking at my MRI and my next step since the accident)...

    My husband and I have been having those heart to hearts.... He thinks I need to get into shape and get my life back.... See knee surgery (that is me going hiking trying to get into shape)....

    Soon I think I will end up fully disabled and living in a bubble. I am having a very difficult time working and even worse time not being depresses. I cry all the time and feel pretty sad....

    Pain sucks, not being in control really sucks,gel ice pads - priceless.

    My sad attempt at humor.

  • Very interesting thread Cath. By nature I am a "get it done" person. I want things fixed and let's move along. But now as I face another possible surgery I have had the same thoughts. The last surgeon I consulted is talking about a multi level fusion which will be huge for me (not for him I guess).

    Some days I wonder if this would be the right choice at this time. ANd then I weigh that against work. I went out on disability a month ago and my employer decided to eliminate me effective July 1 so I'm not sure if that means I on disabled or unemployed - both I guess lol. But what job can I do? If I postpone surgery then what do I do?

    I think I have come to accept that I will have increasing spine issues as the years pass. I'm 45 now and even if this hadn't happened I know it's all downhill anyway. Just a little more steep now. My idea of coping is planning. Where do I want to live, making sure that space is handicapped friendly and that I will be able to enjoy my life to the fullest possible.
  • Don't apologize for being in my head!! If anything it makes me feel more "normal", that other spiney/neckies have the same issues and feelings.

    Great post. It has got me thinking of how I act and think on a day-to-day basis. I want to be realistic, but not a complete downer who can't enjoy the moment. When I am optomistic and slightly oblivious I end up damaging myself. Yet another balancing act.

    Here's hoping we all find some middle ground that we can be comfortable with.
  • Thank you Cath, I too have had a long history (1969 forward) with spine problems. I will 61 in Nov. and until June 2008 I was able to cope and work my whole life doing what ever I wanted and when my back acted up I would stop and recover. Then my neck blew C4-7 and had my 1st surgery Dec. 2008, the screw came loose and had another surgery from the back of neck Dec. 2009. I had to stop working and was awarded my SSDI on my first go round (3 months). My PM called yesterday with my latest MRI on my lower back and said I had disc bulge at L5 and S1 with fascists (spilled wrong) problems and arthritics through out my spine. They are going to do a epidural soon to see if it will help my leg problems. I know this will be a on going thing until I die, but I choose to live each day in the sun light and enjoy what I have and not what I can't do. Life is to be enjoyed, my pain is just a reminder I am alive today. (But some days I really hate it).
    Take care,

  • Great thread!!! By the time I hit a year post op on my first fusion, I had almost forgotten I had surgery! I felt great, no pain, no left over weakness or numbness, life was good, no great! A month later, adjacent level failure - zap! I still wasn't thinking life was changing.

    Had the surgery, and though successful in that the majority of the pain was once again gone, the weakness and numbness remained. 9 months post op, I retired from my almost 30 years of government service as a pilot and law enforcement officer under disability. Painful! :(

    During the waning months to retirement, fusion cracked, protrusions causing impingement now in the lumbar, DDD and spurs in the T-spine, and that dreaded Neuropathy bomb! Up until the lumbar and Neuropathy issues where diagnosed, there was a part of me that was still with the mindset of my first fusion - you know, "It will take time, but you will bounce back to near normal."

    Well, now with my hubby doing many of the outside of the home chores I use to do (shopping, taking the pets to the vet etc.) as well as some of the day to day stuff I have pondered "what is it going to be like in 5, 10, 20 years?" Thanks to a very supportive hubby, I don't dwell on those thoughts long, as we are a team. Cath you and I are just under a year apart, as I turn 48 in September. What came to my conscious mind a few months ago was way back when ...when I started having surgery on the horizon, I was younger, and knew I could put things off.

    Now I realize that if issues start bad now, I can't put things off as we heal lots slower as we age. Hehehe... I think that is what has me more in the forethought. That being "I am getting older" faster thanks to the spiney infusion (no pun), and as such, instead of nearing 50, am I really nearing 60, 70? So I guess for me, my future got put on fast forward, and that I have a problem with over all the rest. Thanks for the great thread!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • The 5-10-20 year conversation just about killed me. I mean, I never expected to be dependent on someone. That is what prompted the SSDI app. I have only a tiny 401K from my time at Toyota, nothing else.

    I mean, of course my husband assured me that there's no problem, he'll be with me forever. But why should he have to be just because I need him to be? If we develop irreconcilable differences, why shouldn't he be able to leave me without guilt?

    (Yeah, a lame thing to get upset over. I don't want my husband to leave me, I love him. But you know what I mean, right? Suddenly being dependent made me think about that).

    And I'm really worried about where I'll be in my dotage. Will I be vital? I don't know :(
  • I am 35 and already have had 6 surgeries involved discs are L2-3 on down. Someone mentioned a bubble and sometimes I feel I should be in one!! I have three little kids and it scares me to think about not being able to walk and play with them. I try not to stress myself and live in the now but the thought does creep up. I don't want to need a motorized cart or wheelchair!!! I am learning to be more "careful" with my spine and not take the risks I use to like snowmobiling,skiing,four wheeling and so on. If I can adjust my life to where I can control some things that might further my deterioration then it is worth it. That has been a hard thing to come to terms with because I am pretty stubborn. I just have to have faith in God, my husband and myself that I can make it through this(Don't want to offend anyone but my faith is what gets me by). I can't control the future so I am chosing to live in the moment and take it day by day!!
  • everyday! I look at everything I have already given up and wonder how much more will be stolen and it is a pisser! Bigtime! I suspect I'll be in a wheelchair in another 10 years. I am your age too
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,858
    It hasnt taken me that long to figure out that after all the surgeries, the flareups, the medications, the treatments, etc, that as I get older, things will just slow me down a bit more.

    I can easily accept that. I look at it this way:

    If I was in perfect health all my life, as I got older, I wouldn't be able to do some of the things I did when I was younger. Thats just facts of life.

    Now with my medical condition, that not being able to do those things just happened earlier in life and that I will have more aches/pains as the ones above.

    But that will never stop me for trying to live every day the best I can. Being the best to myself in terms of doing the right things, being the best to others.

    I won't complain, I guess what I can say is I accept it, but wont lay down for it.
    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 took the words right out of my mouth!!! I am 40 with 5 kids and one surgery under my belt. I was already told this surgery was to keep me out of the wheelchair for 5 to 10 years but eventually the day will come when I’ll need a rascal. The only one that's bothered by this is me and I don't know why, my kids think it’s hilarious and want to get one now so they can try it out!!!

    Sometimes I sit and wonder about my future, I can’t do much now so what’s it going to be like when I’m 50, 60, etc. Sometimes when I’m up late at night I look at my husband and wonder how he does it all, working 40 hrs a week, cleaning, laundry, baseball games, and still finds time to clear 20 acres of land that we just purchased for a new house, a one story for me. My hubby tells me to live for today and don't worry about the future, whatever comes our way we’ll face it together

    I believe that everything happens for a reason. I was a high ridding workaholic and had a lot issues with my older kids, I believe that this was god's way of making me slow down and spend more time with my children. .I find that if I think to much about the future I get depressed and miss out on what's happening in the present.I really try not to be pessimistic and live day by day, sometimes even hour by hour.

    Lots of hugs to all you spineys out there!!!!
  • Great thread, and definitely something I think about- I was 20 when I had my accident. Now at 23, with 3 years of this under my belt and a very long future ahead of me it is something that scares me.

    I've decided though, that it comes down to courage. We all have tremendous courage in that we get up every day and we choose to live as best we can in spite of the pain. It takes courage to continue to pursue goals and dreams and to continue to do the best we can with what we've got today. I always think about how suddenly life changed for me, and yet it happens to people from all walks of life everyday. I go to a major rehab hospital for my PM and a large majority of the patients are spinal cord injuries- people that have lost so much more than I have, and yet they continue to find joy and live each day within their new limitations. It has been incredibly therapeutic and inspiring for me to be in that environment- Each of us has had our lives altered in an incredibly difficult way, and yet we keep finding ways to continue living. We keep finding new things to bring us joy in the midst of the pain.

    Sometimes for me it is helpful to acknowledge that yes, every day things are more difficult for me than for most, and this will continue to be the case as time goes on- things are just harder with chronic pain. I have also come to appreciate that people live with incredible challenges that those who have not faced major struggles can't even begin to be aware of. I had no idea that chronic pain even existed before it happened to me. I had no idea people lived like this day in and day out and doctors simply could not fix some things. My heart is so much more aware of the tremendous struggles people manage in their lives, and not just chronic pain. Yes, I am afraid of the uncertain future that comes with chronic spine problems, but I have also seen so many people cope with and live in spite of whatever they face that it gives me the hope that I too can face the challenges that tomorrow may bring.

    It takes courage to live realistically, and yet to not let chronic pain hold us back. None of us know what the future holds, and my biggest lesson has been that I cannot let fear of the uncertain future prevent me from trying. For me, this has meant forging ahead with my career plans and returning to school. All we can do is try to carve out the best life we can with the knowledge we have today. These decisions we make all take incredible courage, and I believe it is that courage that keeps us from being further crippled by fear of what tomorrow may hold for us.

  • Lala, you are so right. This year has been incredibly hard for me emotionally, and I really did get wrapped up into a pity party. But, really, I have lost so little.

    No, I don't have a well working body, but I get around. I have a husband who loves me and two wonderful children, and a roof over my head and food on the table. And if that's all I have right now (it isn't, but even if) it's a lot more than many.

    You know, last year during the summer, my dad got viral encephalitis. It reminded me of a friend of my mom's who got bacterial meningitis. The difference? My dad spent 3 months in the hospital and went home normal. My mom's friend spent 3 months in the hospital and went home with an IQ of 80- she started out a physicist and went home borderline mentally retarded. It was so devastating.

    I'm kind of babbling, but these are the kinds of things I think about- the sudden things that can hit you and change your life. For us, we fell off the horse and, voila our lives changed. But we still have our thoughts, our families. We can still walk. It's just pain, a change in our career path, etc. It didn't steal our life or our mind.

    Someone is interested in buying my horse, so I'm extra sappy today. I know this is the right thing still, but I'll miss that big goofball.
  • You guys are right about living day by day. But at the same time we need to face the future and plan as much as possible. While many on here are struggling to get through today both physically and monitarily there are many of us who are a bit more secure.

    Newhouse you and your husband have the right idea. Right when my accident happened we had just gone into contract on a vacation house about 3 hours away. It was a struggle to arrange financing and a bit of a push for our finances but it seemed like a good investment. After a year of cleaning and minor repairs we are about to start an expansion that would make the majority of the living space on one floor with two bedrooms upstairs for the kids.

    I never expected to live in this house full-time but I think my husband and I are silently planning for my future. The unspoken permanent disabilities that are down the road. In another year the kids and I would be able to make this move. My husband has a few more years before retirement so I don't know what we will do. But the option is there.
  • Yeah Cath,

    You seem to have taken the thoughts right out of my head.

    I just stumbled upon this thread. Good thing too. I guess I needed to read all the comments that went along with your thoughts, (that are so close to mine.)

    I struggle with the thought of , Geez, if this is where I am at 49 where will I be 10 years from now? I admit, I also struggle with the why can't they just fix me and then I struggle with the finacial disaster looming.

    I guess mostly I'm spending way to much time just struggling and trying to struggle alone (because, I think, who wants to burden others with their pain) and not enough time, as Dave and "C" say "focusing on what we have today and making the best of it."
  • I think we all want and try to live for today, outside of our own pity-parties. Like it's been said on here before, Pity City is a nice place to visit, but you don't want to live there.

    I live for today a lot - looking for a job, playing, watching over and walking my little Wally, playing my games, enjoying my home and spending time with friends and family.

    But there's no denying that I always have a little nagging spot in the back of my head that I visit from time to time that is a question mark concerning my future. I don't dwell on it and my husband and I have discussed it, but I don't live there.

    It's also good to have a great team of doctors and I can easily let them do most of the worrying about what's next in terms of my health.

    We can't let it eat us up or we'll end up disabled long before it's our time, psychologically, not physically. So it's one day at a time and what comes will come. I feel for those that have to fight insurance, WC and SSD issues because that's a lot of strain and stress and it's hard to put aside.

    But being spineys, we all have the strength to live life as best we can, taking each day as it comes, taking care of ourselves and enjoying as much as we can.

    We're capable of being psychologically stronger than those that have no health problems or chronic pain and I personally take pride in that.

  • Cath111 said:
    I feel for those that have to fight insurance, WC and SSD issues because that's a lot of strain and stress and it's hard to put aside.


    I have said, more times than I care to remember, If I just didn't have to deal with worrying about losing my long worked for career and therefore our lively hood, all our health care benefits etc... Then there's the fighting with LTD and SSD... I could handle this health battle so much better I truly could.

    So somehow I need to be able to take my own advice. I need to BELIEVE, Go on FAITH that it will all work out and keep my thoughts POSITIVE. Man, it is hard to put aside. It seems there is a letter in the mail every other day! Somebody always wants something! I truly believe they make it so difficult you would find it easier to just go to work. Oh, if only I could.

    Ah, but see there, I digress.
  • I'm with you there. I'm about to lose my unemployment, my Cobra and am looking for a job among a sea of people desperate for jobs. It's getting to a desperate situation and like I said before, I might be faced with taking a job I can't do. My husband's job carries no benefits so I've always been the provider and here I am...I wonder how my hubby stays so upbeat and positive? He's certainly a keeper.

    If I didn't have this crud to contend with, like you, all this other stuff would most certainly be easier. I know two people who've won the lottery and boy, if I could join the club, we'd be all set. I girl can dream, can't she?

    Take care Frog and digress all you want.
  • Oh Yes,

    How could I forget to throw in trying to come up with the cost of Cobra every month? Could that get anymore expensive?

    Oh man, I so should not have said that.

    I take it back

    I used to say, I don't need to win the lottery I just need to know someone generous who did. Now, I really want to join the club.

  • I think about it all the time. I'm 37, have had surgery on both knees, (leaving me with no cartilage in my right knee). I've been told that I will have to have both knees replaced, but they say I'm too young for that to happen yet. I had my neck surgery last year. I was told then that I really should have a fusion done, but the NS thought I should wait and see how the foraminotomy helps out, but it is inevitable. So I have that looming over my head every time I overdo it at work, in my gardens, lifting groceries or doing the housework. I'm also facing being medically released from the military. This is the only job I've ever known, joined when I was 19, so it's pretty scary facing a world I've never known. I'll be like a kid with freshly cut apron strings out in the world on my own for the first time, lol. Funny, I've been on multiple tours to Bosnia/Croatia and Afghanistan, but the thing that scares me most is making the transition to the civi world!!
    So, I also am going to be facing trying to find a new job next year, like yourself, one that I can physically handle. But at least I will have my pension, so I won't need to work full-time (I don't think). We're moving back to my hubby's hometown, which is an isolated northern city (Whitehorse) with limited med facilities, so if I do need the fusion at some point, it's a 4 hour flight to get to where it would be done. That, and my family will be literally on the other side of the country...
    So yes, I think about it every day, along with a complete life change, but all I can do is take each day as it comes, work when I can, rest when I need to, and live life as best as I can that day! Admittedly, the hardest part is remembering to take it one day at a time though, lol.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I think about it all the time! How am I going to feel 5 or 10 years from now? I mean god it cant get worse then this. What is going to become of me as the years come on. I'm 48 and been told I have the spine of a 80 year old. It seems everytime I have a MRI something else is going on with the spine that requires surgery. I am now at the point where I have told my surgeon no more and he agrees. I've had 7 surgeries and well my spine hurts all the time like most here. Im at the point where I ask myself what will tomorrow bring.
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