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Very Scared, Should I do the surgery?????? Help!!!!

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone :S .
I am schedualed to have alif on the 31st, next tuesday. I am scared to death!!!!!!!!!!! :''(
I am afraid that this is not going to work. I have fibro, and I am already in pain a lot. What if this makes me dependent on pain meds the rest of my life???????
I only take the pain meds when I need them, that is when the pain is so bad that I can't take it anymore.
I am in pain a lot, and there are times that I feel like I am great!!!!!!
Please help, I am being told not to do this. I have already done everything I can. This is my last resort. I am so afraid that I will end up being in pain 24/7 like my husband is now. He had his fusion through the back. He has to limit himself to a lot of things, but he can't do anything without taking meds.

Thanks for reading, anything to help me would be great..........I am almost ready to cancel this I am so scared!!!!! :SS :SS :SS


  • a lot of us here can relate to the fear that you are experiencing. I think, for a lot of us, it is worse than the actual surgery and recovery.

    We don't know the ins and outs of your condition, so are not in a position to advise you.

    However, perhaps we can lead your thoughts.

    What surgery is your surgeon recommending?
    Do you feel confident with your surgeon?
    What reasons did he give for his recommendation to have this surgery?
    Do you still have unanswered questions about this surgery?
    Can you contact the surgeon and put them to him to get them answered?
    Have you had a second opinion that confirmed this recommendation?
    Is your life being limited by your pain?
    Have you asked whether your fibro will affect your recovery after the surgery?
    Can you manage to carry on without the surgery?
    Would now be a good time in your life to take several months out to recover?
    Would it be better to postpone, or is now the best time?

    Heidi, I was also very scared and for quite a long time, was adamant that there was no way that I was going to have spinal surgery. NO WAY!! Eventually the pain got so bad that I was given an urgent appointment with the surgeon who told me I would end up in a wheelchair and eventually incontinent if I didn't have the surgery. Well, that helped me to decide!

    Now, if I had to decide again, I would definately go ahead with it. I am very much better now. I still have problems, but the awful pain and sciatica has gone. It hasn't been as bad as I feared. I am now facing problems in my neck (which were there before my surgery) and wonder what the future holds there. I am not so scared this time, although would prefer not to have to go down that road again!

    I hope that you are able to decide what you should do. Please do let us know. We will be here to support you through whatever you decide to do.

    >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • Jellyhall hit most of the points as to whether or not to have the surgery. I'll add a few more if I may?

    If you cancel and delay (or not have) surgery, are you risking nerve damage?

    I've found (so far) internally *my body* and soul knew when I needed surgery. As you probably know, there are tons of successes out there, the problem is most of them leave the site as they are 'back to their lives' and don't need support. A few do come back at least to say "Yeah, best thing I could have ever done, life is great again!" Or something to that effect.

    I'm being referred back to my NS, and I will say that a good part of me says "yes to a revision plus at least one more level on my neck", but my body still wants to hold off on the back. I just got my EMG report and the Lipomastosis is causing moderate radiculopathy for my L5 nerve. This formed fast, so might have to bite the bullet for the L5/S1 action.

    Sooooo, I guess in closing Heidi, you *will* know within yourself if this is right, mix that with your surgeon's skills and abilities, and your trust in him. I know its scary, but like was said by Jelly, most of us have more anxiety and fear before the surgery, than the actual fear from having the surgery. Please let us know how it goes. We're here for you. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I got hurt lifting a patient in 2005. I have had MANY different things done to help my back. My last resort was a microdiscectomy, then a injection. Those did not work. I have a lot of pain, but I have to say that if I don't do a lot, it is better. I can't do that though, I have 3 kids :)

    I went to 4 different surgeons before this one. This surgeon is the one I have put my trust in. He did the micro on me first. He did not have me come in, and say he would fix me forever like the others did. He is very smart, and well known. I travel 3 hours to see him.

    The pain gets very bad in my back, and down both legs. My surgeon told me I probably would have been better to have surgery earlier. I told him that I had to find the right one first, and it was him! I am very sure that he is a great doctor, I just fear the unknown. Yes, I want this pain gone. I want to run, ride a bike, play ball with the kids. I want to excercise, and feel healthy!

    I know that I have came to the crossroads, I am just very nervous........
  • Heidi,

    If you weren't nervous, I would worry about you! (G) You've gotten a few opinions, and now you are finding a surgeon that you not only like, but trust as well. Nodding...the ones that say they *will* fix you - run, run, run!!

    My surgeon was clear to let me know that while surgery can and should relieve my radicular symptoms, no guarantees on the mechanical/physical pain 'in my back.' When I think calm and with logic, it of course makes sense. I can deal with back pain, but when the issues make the legs join the party, the 'fun' is over!

    Whatever you decide Heidi, we are here! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I had a long talk with my husband about the surgery. He said that he thought for sure that the surgeon said that the surgery may help me 25%. I don't recall that! :? . I am going to call his office today, and speak with the nurse.
    From what I did gather from my husband was that I do indeed have nerve damage, severe. We were told that if I would have had surgery before doing all the other things I did that it would have been a lot better.
    I am thinking that the surgeon is trying to let up some areas to help that nerve pain! It is easy to talk to my husband because he has already went through this surgery. His was different though. They went through his back, and they did another incision on his back to take bone out. I won't be having that done. #:S

    I guess it all comes down to me. I never thought that I would be sitting here trying to decide if I want to live with my pain for the rest of my life or try to do something to make it better. There are days that I would jump right on the boat to surgery! I am just wondering if this is all normal, to think that I am making a big mistake? I will be having alif at l5s1. I am kind of glad that they will go through my stomach instead of my back. There are a lot of muscles to go through in the back, and I have already had surgerys on my stomach where they will go through again.

    I am going on, and on. Thanks for reading all of my posts!!!!!! >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • I agree with Brenda, it is completely natural to be nervous about having surgery. It is such a hard decision to make, but in your heart, you will know if you are ready.
    We are similiar in that my husband has also had back surgery (failed) and deals with chronic pain every day. I also injured my back a year ago transfering a patient.I am hoping to have my fusion soon (see neuro in June)Seems that yes, nerve damage increases the longer we wait.

    Just want to let you know that we are all here for you, whatever you decide. Try to do something special for yourself this week, leading up to the surgery.

    Please keep us up to date on what you decide and how everything goes.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Heidi,

    My hubby has never had *any* surgery (yeah, pretty good for an almost 50 year old huh?) yet he seems to 'get it' so well. Where you said you don't remember the surgeon stating a possible 25% improvement, THAT is why I bring my hubby to surgical consults.

    A. So he is fully in the loop and understands.
    B. So he can ask questions that HE has.
    C. (The biggie) He is my logical listening ears!!

    Even when I know surgery is coming, my ears still become selective - it's natural!

    I didn't realize we were the same levels. I developed what is called Epidural Lipomastosis (say that 3 times fast sober!) at the L5/S1 level. It is basically solid fat development in the epidural space and is compressing the Cauda Equina. EMG shows moderate radiculopathy due to it. They do a Laminectomy most times to get it out. My spine is stable at that level, so right now my brain is adjusting to that type of surgery in the near future.

    Not sure if it helps Heidi? When surgery is put out there for me, I try to run all the pros and cons, recovery times, support available, whether this would/can be an improvement on my life's quality in a measurable form (more activities, less pain, more 'getting out' again etc.), if by not doing it I am exposing me to more damage etc. I then discuss all this with my husband so he knows where my head is, and then I know where his head is.

    If I were given odds that 25% of this crap will go away, I would go for it, but that is me - I'm a mess remember! (G) Go with your head, your heart, and both of you as a couple. Then either way, you will be comfortable with your decision. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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