Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

HI everyone! time for me to dive in with you guys.. here it goes

mark399mmark399 Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi my name is Mark,
I’ve been reading for a while.. its time to jump in..
I have DDD and stenosis, I’ve been in pain for almost 20 yrs and just started treating it over the last maybe 2 yrs. .. Im 41 now.
I had L5 S1 fusion with cage and screws on 12/23/10 and am now going through a round of epidurals in my neck where the stenosis is C567.
Pre surgery-
I was extremely active, if I was sitting on the couch it was because I worked the night before.. I was an adrenaline junky and raced anything anyone would let me all my life. I was skydiving a couple of days a month for a long time, riding my dirt bike with my kids, Im a retired race instructor at California superbike school..
The list goes on.. I work in the motion picture industry in transportation/special effects/ stunts and precision driving, I am also a fire contractor (equipment operator / water tender) .. Im currently racing cars right now.. The last few races last season I was so swollen in the neck that I could only feel a couple fingers, I had my crew put me in and out of the car.. I knew it was over..
I got my MRI and was introduced to my NS Dr the middle of last yr.. He told me that per the MRI I qualified for the surgery and that it was never gonna get better only worse.. and that if I did it now I would buy some time before my other disks follow suite, but to think about it.. He said I should be back to work in 2 months. I asked him if I could race after that he said NO PROBLEM… He made it seem like a walk in the park.. I now know he’s never had the surgery and really knew nothing about my life and job .. but anyway.. I should have done more investigating but …
My wife and I talked and after the episode at the track that I never recovered from and we booked the surgery.
I was also referred to my PM Dr who was supposed to do my neck. They said they couldn’t do the epidurals unless there was 4-6 weeks either before or after my fusion.. My fusion was already booked so we pushed the shots..
Also I weighed 170lbs, I completely lost my appetite when I lost the feeling in my shoulder.. I now weigh 142.
So my wife sent the kids up north for xmas break.. I was in the hospital on dec 23, my wife had vacation and took care of me.. the house was quiet..it was perfect for recovery..

Post surgery
I walked on the day of the surgery, I was very motivated to leave and have a cigarette.. thinking that If I could walk they would let me out.. not the case as you guys know…lol .. I had to go to the bathroom.. no hopping and dragging myself down the hall was going to work.. and my wife was not helping me..lol .. even though I was still hurting.. the morphine works great.. I found out I needed to go to have a BM before they let me out.. I did that the next day and they released me.. Big mistake.. I should have just chilled.. I ended up at home with a 101.6 temperature.. we got it down before it hit 102 but could have been a mistake.. after that ive had pain in my legs, calves and feet.. and my feet started sweeting.. weird.. anyway they said it was my nerves waking up and its normal.. I walk every day things seem to be going the right way.. but my legs still hurt.
10 days out I see my NS and he basically told me I should be good to go to work in a 2 months but no physical therapy at least for 6 months, no bending, no lifting, no twisting , no jumping.. otherwise I can do anything I want… Im a little resentful to say the least

Im out of my mind feeling like I don’t know if Im doing enough or to much, I look at myself in the mirror and hardly recognize myself.. My race season is shot, Im irritable and just want to be alone…. Im depressed..
I read a great article on here about how pain creates depression and depression creates pain ..and we get caught in a cycle. Im trying to break the cycle ,…
I told my PM Dr about my NS Dr not letting PT for six months… I can tell he dosnt agree but dosnt want to step on the NS Dr toes. I trust him though and I know he wont leave me hanging .. so he’s gonna start me on PT for my neck about the same time I get my 3 month MRI.. I just got to get them to agree on my recovery/exit plan..
My PM dr has a much better idea on my life and work as he treats lots of people in my industry.. he said there is no way Im going back to work until he is done strengthen my core.. I like him
The bottom line is I obviously wouldn’t take medical advice fome someone who was not a dr.. but I would pay attention.. I read on here that the only person who knows what Im going through is another person who has been through it.. I know that to be true..
My wife asks me everyday.. how you doing?.. I have been telling her.. well this is better.. this hurts.. this is new.. etc. .. I got snappy last night.. she tells me .. “I thought you were feeling better today whats that about”.. I told her I decided to stop complaining and I was sorry for over reacting…The point is … she’s never gonna get it.. although.. she has had kids.. lol.. so …..
The good news is …. I got my appetite back.. food has never tasted better.. lol.. now I have to walk more but whatever.. Im thinking the epidurals are working cause it was about 3 days after that , I don’t know how long it will last.. but for today im starving..lol.. I know there are side effects from the steroids… for me.. right now.. this is a good one..
I see you guys get it..
Thank you



  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. good to hear you are eating and that for now you are out of pain! be sure and have a good look around and make yourself at home.. it is good to know that those of us here do "get it" and that can often help you feel better just knowing that!! spineys are great listeners! be sure and stop by anytime! good luck to you! Jenny :)
  • Hi Mark, it's great to meet you. I haven't been a member of this community for very long but if I could tell you one thing, it's to remain positive. I was lucky enough to find the "Spineys" chat room and it was good to get some stuff off my chest. You'll find plenty of folks here who DO know what you are going through, and sometimes that's all you need to get going again. I was living with lower back pain (ranging from just irritating to extreme shooting pain) for 2 years before I had a 2-level fusion. I never thought it would be me with the bad back. But now I've got this huge bag of lemons and I'm trying my best to make lemonade...I wish it was limes I'd make margaritas!

    Hang in there, Mark. When you need somebody to lean on, or just want to vent, drop on by...that's what we're all here for :)
  • Mark,

    Welcome to Spine Health! Interesting reading - your post, very informative. Double cervical surgery here, revision and more levels this year most likely along with upper lumbar surgery. Yep, we get it for sure!!

    My hubby gets it, and doesn't get it if that makes sense. He's wrenched his back a few times so he' had a taste of it. A taste though good to give him a picture, is not the same as when it is daily and forever with us. He no longer gets upset if plans get canned on short notice, so at least he gets that part of it!

    Sad to hear you've learned the "lovely" road that many surgeons give us, when many times we are forever changed. I say that because my first fusion, by a year I almost forgot I had surgery - I considered that surgery a zillion percent successful. Wasn't so lucky on the next go around when I had adjacent failure which when it failed, caused immediate permanent nerve damage. Had to retire due to it - no regrets though.

    You'll find lots of folks on here that will listen all day, and offer kind words, the hard truth, support, or answers to your questions as they come up. Really good site here! Again, Welcome aboard!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thank you guys for the warm welcome, I'm really a pretty rational normal guy. But between the physical change and the dependence on other people and just plain feeling like a burden instead of an asset. Now.. I understand that just because I think or feel it don't mean its true.. my life was go go go.. the one thing that my wife gets and reminded me of is I've never been one that could stay put , so my mind don't realise that my body isn't cooperating and its working overtime making me feel this way
    After I started participating on this site the helplesness feeling went away at least temporarily.. I know its from finding people to identify with .. I really ...at least for today feel like I got a new lease on life. I read somewhere that someone started a journal ... so I did it too..its a great tool..
    As much as I love my family and friends try they will never get it. thank you for allowing me to dump and be what I would call a bit of a drama queen with out yes mamming me .lol.
    I'm doing my second epidural on my neck today...I woke up around 3am .. usually I wake up or get woken up by pain and an overwhelming feeling of... "wtf ? And panic ... today it only lasted less then a min ..
    A good buddy told me its better to understand then to be understood .. I just needed to feel understood .. he also said that sometimes we need to act yourself into good thinking... I was dragging myself down , but the only thing I did was feel sorry for myself instead of reaching out..
    All I can say to you guys is thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  • Glad you found help help and understanding here. It sure means a lot to all of us to have people who have been there to help us and support us through our good days and our bad days.
    It is really a shame that the docs don't get it. They give us this bullcrap story of how great, and EASY, it will be, and then we get a real surprise. I wish I knew how to promote a real education program for these docs so that patients would be prepared for how things can really be. Education is so umportant.
    There is so much information on this site. Look around and check things out. Being educated on what is going on with you makes things so much easier.
    Welcome to our community!! It is good to meet you, but sad that you ended up here!
    Take care!
  • Sorry your new spiney path made you have to come to a site such as this, but at the same time we embrace you in the spiney family! Yeah, oxymoron right?

    We all go through the "I'm a burden" mode. Why? I think it is "us trying to compare to our old us" or something like that. Some of us call it "our new normal" if that makes sense. Internally our families still know "we are we" still, and still want us and love us - just hard sometimes to internalize that to ourselves when we hurt, and can't do what we use to.

    Your friend sounds wise and understanding. Sounds like a "keeper" to me!! If you need to vent, or have a pity party, come on down. We get it. So glad to see that you are getting benefits from here already. You found a really supportive and great group here - warts and all!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I will be back on tonight and only have a min.. but I wanted to thank you guys and I have some great stuff to share with you guys.. since joining this forum Ive got a sense of empowerment from you guys and day by day.. I feel like Im getting my life back a little at a time.
    I will check in later
    thank you
Sign In or Register to comment.