I am going in for my first lumbar fusion next week. My surgery is set for the 31st of May 2011.
I am not happy about it. I am and have lost a lot of sleep over the decision to go forward with fusion surgery. I have grappled with this for a long time. I have been told by almost everyone (everyone except my doctor) to stay CLEAR AWAY from fusion! Do not do it others would chime in. Most painful experience of my life others would say. It's a gamble others would follow. Then of course the horror stories on here.
I have been so adamant about no fusion no matter what because of all the people I talked to, stories I have heard and all the research I have done that does not show fusion in a favorable light. That it is an incredibly painful surgery and the recovery time is incredibly long (if ever). All that coupled with it permanently restricts mobility and that everything done is permanent and if it messes me up even more, that is it. No going back. No do overs. I have been sick to my stomach just thinking about all of this. I have lost a lot of sleep over all of the horror stories on this website. Yet, I keep coming back on this site because I am searching for a glimmer of hope among all the nasty stuff. Some research someone has done or some really amazing tip/advice that will advert me from my fusion fate. A diamond in the rough. This is really one of the only sites to go for people with spine issues. But I blame myself for coming to a site that stresses me out so much.
I am no stranger to pain and no stranger to surgery. I've had six surgeries total over the course of my life and this one scares me the most. It absolutely terrifies me. Surgeries from my head to my feet (literally). I do not want fusion! However I also don't want to be in pain anymore. I do not want to take pain meds anymore. I take a low dose of Lyrica at night (75mg). Some days I do not have to take anything in addition to that. Some days I have to stack (tramodol, Celebrex, Motrin etc.). For the really really bad days (rare) I take Hydrocodone (possibly in addition to all of that).
I have been and still am considering calling and canceling because of how scared I am. Sometimes I have good days and even a good string of days, the pain gets bad sometimes but rarely ever excruciating and I really question if I should go through with this. I think what if fusion surgery messes me up so bad like so many on this site. I talked with neurosurgeon about my options for many months now and he does think fusion will benefit me. Ive gone the conservative routes. Nothing has really helped. I may be able to hold out from surgery for a little while longer however what's the point? All conservative routes have failed so I am going to take the fusion gamble/route.
I have checked the other forums topics and read up on the list of items to get for surgery. Does anyone have any tips for before and after surgery besides get lots of rest, drink lots of fluids (except night before surgery) etc.