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BadbackrobBBadbackrob Posts: 42
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone

I'm a 42 year old male, 95kg and 6ft3. I used to have a normal life (scuba diving, photography, dirtbikes and all the other boy things).

In the last 4 years, I've had 2 x cervical fusions and 2 x lumber fusions, one being a double and then a redo (can't say too much, gone legal) and had to have a debridement after the lumber redo.

Just got out after my last cervical fusion.

My surgeon tells me that I need to wait a few years for the lumber surgery(s) to heal. Does this sound right?

How do you people cope?

I get smashed, sorry to say. It seems to be less painful if I smoke weed. I am paranoid about o'ding on the pills, but damn it hurts. I have to take 5 different pills per day and I am somewhat freaked out about destroying my liver after seeing documentaries on tv about what pills do to your liver. Yeah, I know all there is to know about the weed, but, at least I die happy. Its illegal where I am, but I don't care.

Its hard to find people to talk to when your life is over. Psycho's don't seem to help and a friend suggested that I look for others like me.

Anyways, sorry for raving, but this in the intro area & I guess I had to share the 5 op's I've had. I looked at the Forum topics and I fall into each one!
More titanium steel in me than a modern car.....


  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can.. fortunatully, marijuana is legal where i live and i have a medical mj card.. it really helps with the pain and also sleep and nervousness.. i am sorry you are having so much trouble controlling your pain.. have you seen a good pain specialist?? beyond that we cope by spending time with each other.. spineys are great at talking and venting and laughing about our pain!! you will find many friends here.. you may find it helps you as well to be around people feeling as bad as you do.... good luck to you! if you have any future surguries i hope they turn out successful.. Jenny :)
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    You've found a great place for information and for finding people like you who battle with spines and spine pain every day. I think you'll fit in great here and it's just up to you whether you want to make friends or not. But the forums are great for support, friendship, knowledge and other spiney experiences.

    Myself, I've had two surgeries, one cervical and one lumbar, and my cervical above my fusion is messed up and will probably need more surgery in the "very distant" future.

    I do take pain meds and muscle relaxants. I see no problem with those that find relief with MJ, to each his own. But all of us have had to learn to live with a new life in one way or another. I've recently been able to get back to golfing because my surgeon instructed his in-house PT guy to show me how to golf with two rods in my back and a plate and 8 screws in my neck so they won't come ripping out with my big swing. My swing is different, but impressively, the club is now doing the work, not my back. There's always a way to do something you love.

    What lumbar surgeries did you have? On a usual note, most of us have heard here that at 6 months out you feel better and will feel fairly back to normal at a year. But if you've had a more severe surgery, then yes, it could take years to get back to yourself.

    With that said, even one of our mods here is a scuba diver and had been back at it as well as horseback riding since she began her major spine problems. I think you could have some great conversations with her - she's haglandc, or "C". She'll probably chime in here, having some things in common with you.

    Take care, Rob. It's nice to have you here and I hope you choose to stick around and even browse the rest of the site along the way.

    Feel free to PM me at any time if you want to talk or need anything.
  • Thanks heaps for replying to me and the advice. Being able to chat with others that are experiencing the same issues as me is a lot more helpful than seeing the pysch, I think.

    Who do I give my $ 350.00 an hour to here instead of "Dr Lets Discuss Your Child Hood" - "What, my back is falling apart, not my memories.... " :P

    In 2007, I had a fusion of C4 and C5 utilizing anterior plate & screws.

    In 2009, I had spinal fusion from the level of L4 to S1, with insertion of pedicle screws and intervertebral implants at L4/5 and L5/S1 (I read this stuff off an MRI report, as I am not up on medical speak).

    Then in early 2010, I had a "redo" of the above and I don't have any reports to tell you what happened. I have a heap of screws and rods in my lumber region, anyway. This is also subject to legal action, so I can't say too much.

    In Oct of this year, I had another fusion in my neck done. Surgeon said that he needed to extend the previous fusion that I had in 2007.

    Do many of you guys get conflicting information on issues. I've been told that I can't dive, whereas others say that I can for instance. I am starting to think that each success story is very dependent more so on physical ability, opposed to mental attitude? God knows that I want to do things I used to do (ok, I am too old to jump motocross bikes now), but if you are in pain, you are in pain and thats it. Mind over matter don't work for me, unfortunately.

    The story about playing golf (I used to play 3 times a week) and riding horses again is fantastic. I aspire to do what I used to enjoy, but, I really don't know where I am headed. My surgeon thinks that I may require further surgery on my lumber spine in time to come.

    Anyways, pills time 8}

    More titanium steel in me than a modern car.....
  • Hello Rob and welcome to Spine-Health, you have picked a wonderful and knowledgable site!!

    I am very sorry that you are hurting....spine surgery is a scary thing!! I have had the PLIF on L4-S1 back in July of 08'...I hurt worse now then before my surgery...they had to remove ALOT of bone...It has been HELL...literaly..! Now my T-Spine and my cervical are going bad...NOT fun...

    I have made a decision to NOT let my life revolve around what I CANT do...instead I concentrate on what I can do!!

    I also use MJ along with my pain meds...it does help alot but my problem is when I get "numb" I tend to do stupid things...I am She-Ra!! LOL....then I hurt even worse afterwards but hey...I had fun!!!
  • Hi PollyR

    Thanks for the welcome and reply!

    I didn't know that when you have a fusion done, it weakens the points above and below the fused area. It doesn't really make sense and obviously sets you on a course for further surgery?

    I saw a news article earlier this year, where Bono from U2 had surgery on his back that reportedly cost $2m. I wonder what he had done. Claims he is pain free?

    Apart from the constant pain, I have difficulty moving my arms above shoulder height and sitting and typing seems to agitate it. My recent surgery was supposed to fix this, but doesn't seem to have, so finding things to do, is somewhat tiresome.

    I used to be an outdoorsy kind of guy and now I am an expert on cable tv. If I see one more Hitler documentary, I am going to scream....

    Walking further than 100m is a real problem, so getting out & about isn't that easy. Because of the problems with my arms etc, driving my car is potentially dangerous to others, so I don't drive (being on pills etc isn't wise to drive either).

    Anyways PollyR, thanks for again for replying and I hope that you are doing ok!

    More titanium steel in me than a modern car.....
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