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To the darkside and back

Will I AmWWill I Am Posts: 43
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just getting the cob webs out of my head a little enough to form thoughts. My first thought is "Ouch!"

Back History: Had a "minimally invasive" fusion in January to no avail. Constant aching in back, severe pain down the legs. I worked, worked, and worked, but it never got to a livible level. I was on temp disability from Jan-September.

It started Nov. 11. I was scheduled for a laminectomy at 9 am. My surgeon was working on another case, so they were running behind. The nurses in the pre-op were great. They kept my family and myself as comfortable as possible. The delay went from 3 - 8 hours. I was in my pre-op bed, I had everything hooked up, just needed to be rolled in.

My wife and I were concerned that with the surgeon working on such a tough case that took over 12 hours, would he be able to work on me with all of the care possible. We were assured that he does this all of the time, so I went for it head first....big mistake.

They found a ligament that looked like it was causing A LOT of pain in my lower back, and they shaved some bone to open up the canal where the nerve root passes. Something went wrong, and I was severely leaking csf (spinal fluid)

I cannot sit here and blame all of this on my surgeon. There is a thread on here I started already about a dural tear some time ago. Since then, I have been hospitalized for over a week, and now have a picc line hanging out of my left arm.

I really had a bad run this surgery, and it took its toll on all of my senses. I have lived 10 years with severe back pain. I have had injections, procedures, tests, and more procedures. Some were to try to get the discs to grow into themselves, so just to see if a new technique worked, but I always thought they were the worst. Not even close.

All of the above equals pain, but I honestly thought I was tripping on acid (had a room-mate in college.....you know).

My poor wife stayed by my bedside to basically "baby sit" me for lack of a better word. I had such bad pain, I was blacking out, acting drunk, and other embarrassing stories everyone is starting to feel comfortable in sharing (I was trying to see if my cath was in right, so I was asking/showing whoever came into my room take a look to see if everything was as it should be,

It was over Turkey day, so I kind of got the B team at the hospital on the floor I was on. They were nowhere near prepared for what was happening with me.

After my 2nd surgery in less than a week (2nd was going back into the original incision, and doing a dural reconstruction.)

So...I am here, somewhat, seeming to make it through one of the worst, most painful experience so far. I seem to be getting stronger every day, but these infusions 2x daily are a buzz-kill. My picc line isn't working right, so they have to manually stick me for blood tests.

Bodies are made tough, even when pused to their limit, but here I am. My back obviously hurts where the incision is, but the worst seems to be gone. I just feel the new pain, so hopefully that is ALL that is there.

Spine surgeries are not pretty, the do hurt, and you should be POSITIVE all other avenues were taken before resorting to surgery. It is LIFE ALTERING.


  • Thankfully your experience is not everyone's experience! You've had a very, very rough time of it. I've been a nurse for over 30 years and have seen patients go through experiences such as yours and others who fly through surgery and out the door without any difficulties.

    Lol about the "B" team, but more than likely you had a "watered-down A team" as all regular staff must work one of the major holidays. And, the level of staffing was probably at its barest legal limit. Also sometimes "float" staff from another hospital unit came to fill in.

    I do hope you continue to recover well without any more complications. Keep us posted!

    Best to you,

  • Sorry to hear of the dural tear and getting a second operation. I hope you continue to heal and get stronger every day. Thanks for your update...Best wishes. 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
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364

    I admire your spirit. Keep up the positive outlook inspite of unknown outcomes. I also learned the hard way that spinal surgery IS a life changing event ... and unfortunately turns into a series of "Events".

    Please remember that this is just the beginning of a perior of convelesence and don't try to push your recovery. In my case I returned to work 12 days after my first ACDF and was trying to be "tough stuff" and minimalize the impact of the trama I had just been through. This and a host of other issues cost me another more agressive 360 1.5 years later with a bunch more hardware and a 9 day hospital stay. My life will never be the same.

    Please try to remain the Will you are and develope into the the best will you can be - which most closely resembles the Will you were.

    Warmest Regards,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Wow Will....that sounds like a DOOSEY of a journey!! I am very sorry that you had to travel that path but I am very glad that you are recovering!!!

    I will keep you in my prayers!!!
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