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Am I hopeless?

cbergensccbergens Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone. I'm having a very difficult time emotionally . I'm having a flareup, and I'm getting to the point that I'm wondering if I will ever have my life back. My surgeon said it could take another year for my damaged nerves to heal and I don't know if he's just giving me a line of crap or if I really can still heal. Do any of you know if flareups can feel just as bad as ever if you are healing? I go through periods of needing less medicaiton, then flareups where I need more again. I'm just so discouraged and wonder if I can ever get my life back. We are planning on implanting a pain pump to make me feel better which I am also afraid of. The thought of another surgery makes me crazy . For one thing, I don't know the neurosurgeon who will be doing it, but I'm told he's excellent. I'm sick of being a recluse and sick of being sick. Can you just give me some hope or encouragement because I'm sobbing as I write this and I really need your help. Thank you.


  • I can't advise about the pain pump, but have read here of a few people who have received wonderful relief from them.

    I just wanted you to know that you are not alone.
    There are people like me out here, who have heard your cry for help and we care. Although we can't be there physically for you (I wish that I could), but we can be here to support you emotionally. We understand some of the problems that you are going through, and certainly know that feeling of wondering if we will ever get our life back.

    Don't give up hope that you will find improvement.

    I am recovering from a fusion at L4/L5 and am doing much better now. I really do feel like I have my life back.
    Hoping and praying that you will be able to get the help that you need. :-)
    Gentle hug >:D<
  • I'm so sorry you are having such an awful time with pain.

    Are you on any nerve pain medication? Have you seen another surgeon for a second opinion? I hope you have someone with you that is supportive.

    Best to you,

  • Cbergens,
    Nobody here is hopeless, although we all feel like that at times and just continuing seems difficult in itself. We all cry for various and understandable reasons, in surviving pain of any duration we already have the skills to do more and these periodic lows are part of the bigger cycle, we are not designed to deal with the weight of it all and it consumes us all at times. Tears show us that we wish things were different, we have that build up of issues that seem overwhelming and we can only change things that can be changed, imposed change is hard as it is doing it without our approval or consent, learning to adapt does take time and many of these potential issues come at the same time and at a pace we are unfamiliar with dealing.

    We all face exclusion and isolation on this journey, what can you do to help develop some of the things you have lost, what could and can you do. Being here makes us feel less reclusive and we get support and encouragement from others who know how you feel and proposals and suggestion for what may help you as an individual. Some of your issues will take time and others given priority will be eased over time and experience. All that emotion and turmoil is focused at one moment in time and you say that you need to take less medication at times, try to develop a plan that focuses on what makes the pain less, even emotionally and introduce those at your pace so that you have some control or the notion of it however small, we all worry, the longer term objectives will naturally progress until an imminent decision has to be made for them and the priority now is to feel better about yourself.

    We all go through this phase and if you identify this as one moment in time then improvement and development will move forward however slowly.

    Somebody somewhere is feeling exactly as you, as we did.

    Take care and be kind to yourself.

  • I had a single level laminectomy in 2006, 2 level ACDF fusion in 2008, and now 6 weeks ago a 4 level posterior fusion; all in the cervical area. I continued to see improvement for over a year on both of the first surgeries, and now only 6 weeks out from the 4 level am off all meds and doing great so far. Erratic nerve pains, muscle spasms, all yes; but none of the debilitating pain before the op. Keep the faith.
  • I hope you're feeling better today. Flare-ups are such a struggle to do daily things. I hope you're improving daily..There are a couple of members here who have the pain pump and are getting their life back. So if you need to get the pain pump it may help you over this. I hope this flare up doesn't last too long though. Take care of yourself. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Sorry that you're in a bad spot right now. I know the constant pain can be extremely difficult and very tiring. I have been told by doc that it can take the nerves sometimes up to a year to heal so I don't think he's feeding you a line. If you are worried about the pain pump maybe see if you could meet the doctor and talk with him first. I know for me I sometimes will be more comfortable if I have spoken to the doctor and picked his/her brain. It could help you to make the decision to go for it or not. Keep your chin up and try to hang in there.
  • I've been there before. I had a three-level lumbar fusion in November 2008. I had three or four BAD flare-ups on my way to recovery. I did nothing but lie on the couch with my knees up for a long, long time. Taking medrol packs and Lyrica when the flare-ups came, along with all my oxycodone and alprazolam. I really thought I would never heal, but finally, around the 18-month mark, I realized I wasn't in all that much pain any more. I finally could bend to tie my shoes and put on good supportive shoes for the first time. Then I began to walk, play with the dog, etc. Life is good again. Yes, I do still have some nerve damage. The outside half of my right foot is numb. At this point, I doubt that I will ever get the feeling back, but all in all I feel pretty dang good.

    I pray the same will be true for you. Don't push it. Give yourself the time to heal. The doctors really are not kidding when they say it will take one - two years to heal.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • While it seems like such a long struggle and fight it is. But your doctors are right that it takes a long time for nerves to heal. So while all the physical scars are gone from surgery, your body is still working on the inside. Nerve pain in itself is just a odd beast, you never know when it is going to come what set it off or how not to do the things that make it worse. So don't beat yourself up to much over this, it will get better or they will find meds that can treat the pain to a more manageable level. I know somedays it feels like your not progressing, so try and measure your success in months not days and see how far you have come already. I do hope that in time they will get the pain under control for you so you can have a more normal pain pattern and get past the up's and downs of the flare ups. But no one thing we are always here and we all understand. Hope today is a better day than yesterday. Take care.
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