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VERY discouraged.

paulab67ppaulab67 Posts: 57
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Recovering from Surgery
~X( I am almost 3 months out from surgery. June 9th I had a fusion of the lumbar area. It seems the last 3 to 4 weeks, my pain in my legs and feet has increased. I feel like i felt before I had surgery. Makes me so angry. I thought at least I would be able to have some relief from the severe pain. Last time I saw him, he said I looked good and the xray looked good. He said i could drive no more than 30mins at a time. Driving hurts. I feel like the surgery has not helped at all. Am I over reacting? The dr. is sending me to PT after my next visit which is the 9th. I hope it helps with my pain like he says it will. Have any of you used a TENS unit? Did it help you at all? I will try anything at this point. Makes me wonder why I even had the surgery. Please tell me this is normal.

The other problem is my family. They think i should be jumping around and leading a normal life. How do I get them to understand that I have been told it could take 6 to 12 months to completely heal. It is really hard to live with the guilt I feel cuz my family thinks I should be doing more. Thanks for reading if you got this far. Have a wonderful upcoming 3 day weekend. :)


  • I'm new to the site but not to pain & surgeries!! My second surgery was a lumbar fusion, so I have an idea of what you're going through. You are still BRAND new out of surgery, so you haven't turned the corner yet. Hang in there honey, it should get a lot better.
    For me, I noticed small changes at first, little things that were almost impossible to do I suddenly started being able to do with almost no pain! So I started paying more attention and sure enough, I was steadily making small but significant improvements. I made a point of really celebrating each and every achievment, which also helped keep my spirits up!
    The tens unit did not help me but I've heard its helped a LOT of people. PT DID help me a lot, especially the pool therapy!! Its a lot less stressful on your body while still making you stronger and when you are in the water, boy is the pain a lot better!!
    Family crap is probably the hardest to deal with. They simply cannot relate.
    Gotta go right now honey, but I'm looking forward to reading your posts :) And remember, you ARE normal and you are NOT alone!!
  • Thank you for your post. It is so hard to understand that you could have surgery to repair something and still have this much pain. Even I doubt myself alot. I think maybe I am doing too much or not enough to help the pain. Doesn't matter what I do. I have pain. I am getting sick of being in pain.

    Anyway, I have been told and have read that it takes a long time to heal from back surgery. I am hoping PT helps. I can go to Easter Seals and do water therapy. Right now though, it hurts to drive and it isn't worth all the pain I will feel afterwards. I don't have anyone to take me to and from the pool. if I did, it would be easier for me to go. I just feel so mad cuz I feel like I felt before I had surgery. I am going to take your advice and hope that it all works out in the end. Thanks again. :)
  • Like Phoenix said, you are way early in your recovery. I haven't had lumbar surgery yet, but when it happens it will be 2 levels as it stands now. I read a lot on here with what all people go through with the various surgeries, so I can have an "idea" of what I am looking at. Try to rest, and continue to follow your doctors orders to a T. I hope you start feeling better soon. Support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hey, I just wanted to offer some encouragement. I agree with Phoenix to try to be aware of the small things that you can do. Concentrating on those small things gives much needed hope to get through the mountain still ahead of you.

    I use an EMPI tens unit daily. It provides a distraction from some of the pain, and it does feel good if you get the right setting and the right size of pads. I've used mine for 4 years now and it is wearing out, and so I just got a new one, not the same brand. I hate it! Every setting I try stings, so I'm convinced that EMPI is the way to go if you need a Tens unit. Also, larger pads help me better than the small 2" ones. I hope you are able to find one that gives you some relief. I don't think I would have survived the last few years without mine. Or at least I would have been on much heavier meds without it!

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Hey don't be too discouraged. I still felt like cr@p at three months (PLIF L5S1) not helped by having to go back to work. TBH I didn't really feel much better till about 6 months. Since then I have had some other issues but I have had quite a bit of emotional stress which doesn't help with spasms. But I can now put my shoes on with not too much bother, pick paper off the floor, shave my legs all without too much thinking. Somethings I have to do different or not at all. Don't push yourself too hard - I did loads and always regretted it later. This is definitely a tortoise and hare situation.

    As far a F&F not understanding I don't think they can. I have been asked "what is wrong with your back now?" and other such sympathetic things. People think it is like all other surgeries and that you will just be fine once the skin has healed. I did find that showing the x rays to some people helped. With others there is no help - just smile and nod!! (While going absolutely nuts at them inside your head!)

    Good luck with your slow and steady recovery. x
  • It just doesn't seem fair that after surgery you STILL have so much pain :( but eventually you should turn that corner and start feeling better. Back surgery is different from other types of medical help, where you usually feel a lot better right afterwards. And you get soooo sick and tired of being so sick and tired!!
    The self-doubt I went thru REALLY knocked me for a loop!! Where in the he** did that come from?? For me, it was part of the depression that had snuck up on me. Thank goodness I worked up the courage to talk to the dr. about it, the sudden outbursts of tears, the anger, sometimes rage, why doesn't ANYONE understand what I'm going thru?, lonliness, this is SO not fair, I want my old life back....
    I'm not a real big fan of meds & already taking so many for pain, but I knew I needed to do something, so I went with his suggestion of Lexapro for depression, Xanax for anxiety attacks and Trazadone for sleeping.
    It was a bit humbling to admit that I needed meds for my emotions, for cryin out loud, but boy, have they helped!! I only take the Xanax when I really need it & the Lexapro has really helped even me out. The Trazadone works wonders to help me sleep, which in turn helps with healing. They are NOT cure-alls, but they do help me a lot.
    It's imperative that you take care of yourself, ie. eat properly and lots of rest and sleep, so you CAN heal properly. This is when it's okay to be selfesh, even if F & F don't understand. THEY aren't going thru it, YOU are!!
    I wonder if there are any low-cost tranportation services available to get you to and from PT? I've seen vans taking patients to and from appointments. Ask the people at PT - they might know!
    And if the pool therapy is done properly, you'll be sore afterwards but you shouldn't be knocked on your butt!!
    {{{big hugs}}} Honey :)
  • :H Hi everyone...
    Thanks so much for all your great replies. I guess I should tell you that prior to my fusion, I lived a VERY sedentary life(did I spell that right). I stayed in bed alot and had lots of discomfort and pain just sitting at the computer. That was happening for at least 5yrs. Anyway, I thought after the surgery things would be normal again. i would get my old life back. Boy how i long for my old life back. Someone was talking about depression. I was diagnosed over 10yrs ago with depression. Long before the back problems erupted. I tell ya though, if I hadn't had my Zoloft prior to the back pain, i sure would need it by now. I live a very boring life. hardly go anywhere. Now I did have fun last summer. I was given an epidural. OH BOY!!!!! best two and a half weeks of my life. I actually went to the fair and walked around along time. It was sooooo much fun. I did ride a ride. only 1 though. I long for those days again one day.

    I don't feel nerve pain anymore really. It is more like stinging, pinching kind of pain. I have really bad pain in my legs and feet. I know I SHOULD be walking. I am not a walker. I hate it. it is the most boring thing I know to do. LOL Must be because I spent my teen years walking ALL the time. And taking buses everywhere I went. I want to go to Easter Seals and get in the water. I just don't want to flare anything up. I say if it is ok, don't bother it. Might not be the best thing to do. But for me, it is how I live. Sad I know.

    Ok, I'm done whining. I hope all of you that can, get out and enjoy your Labor day weekend. I sure wish I could. ;) :* >:D<
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