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Reflecting on Spine-Health - 2010

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Matters of the Heart
Now that 2010 is almost over, once again I’ve been reflecting a lot about Spine-Health - what it means to me and perhaps to some or all of you. Because it’s that time of year, I thought I’d take the time and try to express how I’m feeling, for what it‘s worth. I posted something similar last year, but my feeling haven't changed and I want to express this again, for those that are new and those that just want or need to think about this again.

Every person, at one point or another, finds something in their life that they can say has made a huge difference in how they feel, how they express themselves, and how they feel about others. I believe that Spine-Health is that for many of us. Because of this site, we’re able to sometimes lessen our pain or learn to deal with it better, we’re able to express more clearly what we need or feel because we know that what we say will be understood, and we’re able to realize what chronic pain does to us and in doing so, we can empathize with what it does to others.

There are always so many new members who’ve told us that this site has been a god-send for them, that because of the sincere caring, understanding, support and knowledge they’ve received from the Spine-Health forum members, they’re able to get through their spine problems, whatever they are, because we are here for them in every way we can be. Even being in our own world of pain, when we see a new member post who is as confused, scared and distressed as we can remember being when we first began our spine journey, or when an old member posts and needs help in some way, members never hesitate to jump in and share of themselves without question and with heartfelt advice and encouragement. Just how awesome is that?

I wonder what it would be like to be sitting here alone, feeling the ever-present CP beast trying to break down my door, and having nobody in my life that could possibly understand how difficult life sometimes is. I wonder what it would be like to be sitting here waiting for my meds to kick in, facing a day alone and having no one to call, no one to see, just no one at all that understands how scared and alone I feel sometimes, and how worried I am about my future. And there’s just no point in trying to explain it to someone who hasn’t been there because they simply can’t get it, no matter how hard they might try.

I have been lucky since my January surgery that my lumbar problems have improved greatly and I'm able to take daily morning walks with my little Wally, it's the highlight of each day. Many times we meet up with my 70-year-old friend with her dog Katie, Wally's girlfriend, and walk for hours. But on the other side, I need a job, have no decent income, am struggling financially and emotionally, have more cervical issues and the weight of all that is very heavy.

I know that for me, during the times when I’m having a busy day with my friends and family and I can feel the pain that’s going to sideline me coming on, the only two things I can think about is taking my meds and logging on to the Spine-Health forums. I know that I can make a post where I’m looking for suggestions or support and will get great responses from my Spine-Health family, but sometimes, even if I don’t feel like responding or posting at all, it makes me feel content and in some way complete to just visit here, to read other’s posts and responses, and seeing members helping members.

When you boil it all down, it really comes down to something very simple: Here on Spine-Health, we’re family. I doubt our friends and loved ones could understand the profound meaning of the friendships and strong bonds that are forged here. I’m proud to be a member of Spine-Health and I truly appreciate every member here and how you support one another without reservation and with true concern, affection and honesty.

Thank You, Happy Holidays and Cheers to all my fellow spineys. I’m hoping that you all come away with some wonderful memories from this holiday season and that 2011 finds you feeling better somewhere along the way.




  • Hi Cathie,

    What a fabulous post! You got inside my head again, how do you do that? (G)

    For the past year and 1/2 my daily life, like so many others, has drastically changed. My second fusion, chronic pain and becoming a neckie have really impacted me both physically and emotionally.

    I am still working on accepting this new life that I have not chosen. I truly believe that without the help of my spiney family I would not be dealing as well as I am. Knowing there are others out there like me that understand and are willing to always give support is so important. Also knowing that maybe I have helped someone with a post is very rewarding.

    Like you, there are days that its just me, my 2 dogs (ok, usually theres a foster doggie too!)and my laptop, recliner and heating pad. Logging into SH
    always makes me feel better.

    Thank you to all that make this site a wonderful place to come to.

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm not an overly emotional person but I have to admit that your post made tears in my eyes. You know how much I think of you and all of my Spine-health family. You put into words exactly the way I feel about SH.

    Thanks Cathie. You're a wonderful person. I too wish everyone the very best this holiday season and for the coming year. Thank you all.


  • This is a great post Cathie. Thanks for prompting some very grateful thoughts.

    At the beginning of this year, I started to suspect that I might need to see a surgeon about my back problems, although I was certain that there was no way that I could have surgery - I was just too scared.

    It was obvious in my posts how scared I was, and I got so many caring people who answered me. Slowly, slowly as I learnt what a fusion surgery entailed and reading of how others got through it, I started to think that perhaps the benefits of it might be worth going through the pain. After all, I was already in so much pain that my world was becoming smaller and smaller.

    Well, spiney friends, you all helped me travel that road; from being much too scared to even think about surgery without ending up in tears, to finally going to see the spinal surgeon, and discovering that really, there was no other option.

    Now I am 9 months on and just heard that fusion is underway. It has been a very long and difficult journey. I couldn't have travelled it without the support of all of you. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.

    I just hope that I can help others to face this and get through some very difficult days too.

    A happy and healthy Christmas and an improved New Year to you all.
    >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • I can not fully express what this site, well the members have done for my life!

    I never came right out & said it but I was thinking more & more often about how maybe life was not worth living when I found this site.

    I often share with new members that this site saved my life and at the very least my sanity ;)

    Even when I am not on here, when I hurt more then normal or feel alone or just am having a extra rough go of it, I now KNOW I am no longer alone. That someone ( lots of someones lol ) KNOW how I feel and the struggles I face.

    I also now KNOW I have people in my corner.

    All those things are what keeps me fighting and striving to move forward

    :hug: to all the members here.

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Great thread!! Me? I went through my first 5 nerve surgeries with no support - stupid me didn't even think of sites like this out there!!

    I think I am a posting fiend because of that! The fears I had where through the roof as they say! I've at times asked for support of counsel when something was going on, and members here including yourself have stepped up to the plate and helped me. I too, seeing others that were in the place I was "back then", I try to help so they don't go through what I did mentally!

    This is a wonderful site, with a really, really great group of caring members. What can I say? Posting gives me a wonderful distraction from my pain and issues as they evolve, and my heart is happy that even if only in a small way, I help another on here. I am glad such sites exist! So happy I tripped over this one researching things! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • cathie, you echo much of how i feel about this site.
    ive have been dealing with cervical, thoracic and lumbar probs for 35 years
    i wish this had been available back 20 years ago, when i was paralyzed and quite fairly ignorant on what was happening to me .
    in those days i relied /researched by phone , gaining a network of contacts of people with spinal issues/surgical interventions

    but this site, helps so much to connect and even after 35 years of dealing with this, i gain info which helps and to be able to share experiences, we learn and all benefit in some way or another with such caring members, and i offer my support too, when i can, as is only right for this community to function, to help one another

    the people here , you no understand and get it , which makes such a difference

    im alone in my spinal journey, so it sure helps that i can " nut" things
    out with ya all, and no someone here will help us all get through this .
    the past two years for me have been bad , mobility is very poor , and spine pain /symptoms worsening , so im much more limited now
    peace and goodwill and happy holidays

  • Cathie, I found S-H when I first started to research my cervical issues. I "lurked" for a couple of months, then once I found out I had to have surgery, I joined and psoted how scared I was. I believe you were one of the first people to reply to me, I remember you talking about how you were going to try to go golfing!

    This site is truly amazing, not only because of all the info it contains, but because of the awesome people who are members. I'm so thankful for all the people I've met here, you all have touched my life in some way.

    I hope everyone here is able to enjoy the holiday with family and friends, and the least amount of pain possible.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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