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Feeling Down After Schwannoma Removal

ozone123456oozone123456 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone
Im new to this but thought I would give it a go. I have recently had a schwannoma and laminectomy on my lower back/spine. This whole process of finding out what the lump was, surgery and confirmation of what the growth was has had a massive toll on both my wife and me emotionally and physically.

I have been blessed with an awesome neuro surgeon who was very very pleased with the removal of the growth (all but one or two cells) and the outcome of the biopsy but for some reason, I still feel unhappy and down.

I'm finding that the unhappiness comes and goes and I'm trying so many ways in which to occupy myself while recovering at home.

I also feel that that my body is more vulnerable to things happening to it and I'm no longer "invinceable". Everytime my belly rumbles etc I feel that I may have something else wrong with me.

Im so lucky to have a wonderful supporting wife and I dont want to feel this way anymore.

Do you think that maybe as my life returns to normal (return to work and socialise more) and I recover more, these sorts of feelings may just go away???

Has anyone else had these sorts of feelings???


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Any kind of pain..surgery..then a growth...it's quite the physical and emotional drain. I am happy you're wife is there with you. That must help.

    I know sometimes though...it is still something we go through very privately..since we feel and live it. I'm not a doc or anything...but I would say it's not unusual to have periods of emotional sadness or uncertainty. You're life has changed..even if for a time...not necessarily permanently.

    As you recover, be gentle with yourself. Things take time. I don't know if you'll have any restrictions with your activity, but maybe like try to accept the new you and whatever you can and can't do. Like a day at a time.. :)

    I would say it great you are here and able to express your feelings. Great people here on this ..the best site ever! And sharing the up and the downs...your uncertainties...I think it helps to share with others who "get it".

    Re' the unhappiness... I would just keep clear communication with your doc on how you are feeling in all areas as you recover. The docs know you're not just..your back...or whatever diagnosis...and I think most are there for you and can help you keep an eye on your unhappiness and if it's doing okay and improving on its own.
    Keep in touch!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Many of us experience all ranges of emotions after surgery. I've heard it blamed on everything from the trauma to our bodies to the lingering effects of general anesthesia. Whatever the cause, the results are real. Crying fits, depression and fear have been some of the emotional results of surgery for me. I am fortunate to have a very loving and understanding husband who just rode it out with me until things went back to normal. Usually it would last about 2 weeks and then I'd almost forget it even happened.

    Having Spine Health here to communicate with others who have been through it too has saved my bacon many times.

    Hang in there!

  • Lots on your mind and body can indeed cause depression. I know exactly how you feel. There's that pivotal moment when you realize that life is fragile and can change quickly.

    Like you, I have a supportive spouse (my hubby), and he gets it. He sighs for me sometimes and says..."you are too young to have to be in pain all the time" (I love him for calling me young). I don't know if this helps or not but at 42, I do feel cheated a bit b/c I can't run, I hurt every night and every morning and then througout the day.

    I actually feel like I know something other people walking around don't know....life is fragile, embrace your health while you have it, cherish that invincible feeling!

    On the flip side, with that knowledge...I am more compassionate of others and their pain, I look at people differently and encourage them to go after that goal...that 5K they don't think they can run, that fund raiser they aren't sure they have time for, I have found a new lease by becoming a cheerleader of sorts.

    I won't lie...I still am bummed that "I'm experiencing old age woahs at 42 instead of 72" but I also know that I have to pull myself up by the bootstraps and realize that my situation helped me put things in perspective.

  • Just thought I would say a big thank you to everyone. Your comments are much appreciated =D>

    Like this whole journey, I think that this is just a process that I need to go through and realise that my body needs to have both physical and emotional healing time. I'm very fortunate to have been blessed with such a positive outcome and think that what you have said DNice is spot on.....

    I'm glad that this sort of forum exists and give a big thumbs to those who created it. It shows that there are people out there just like me going through similar situations and that no one is alone in these times. Now that I'm here I will use my small experience to try and help others that come up against the emotional barrier. Despite having such a supporting wife, it's good to be able to talk to others like I have done here.

    Thank you all once again!! :H
  • Hope the emotional roller coaster will ease soon. Unfortunately it is part of the healing process with major surgery like you've had.

    By continuing to be positive and with the support of your wife (and us where we can), you'll realize when you're further into your healing that where you've had to make lifestyle changes, they're not so bad.

    With my recovery, I was mostly on my own with my two Labradors. Friends and family popped in as much as they could. I felt lonely a lot of the time but I was determined to get well. I went out for lots of walks and chatted to as many people as I could who were walking their dogs. I've had to compromise with some activities but I enjoy what I can do. Because of the help that I received, I do what I can to help others and that's where I've grown.

    Keep going in the right direction - life is very good.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hi Trish,
    Thanks for your comment.....Yes I think the saying "time heals all wounds" is something I should have thought of from day one. At times I feel a little invaded hence my feelings of vulnerability but slowly as I feel better, I think I will be back to my old self again!

    I had a great day today (found lots to do!) and only had a small "moment" but got over this quickly.

    By the sounds of it, you had a long road to travel and it is so wonderful to hear of your determination and will power to recover.

    This forum has done me a world of good to be able to just come on and mind dump!

    Thanks again and hope your doing well....
  • Ozone...thank you!
    Seriously, you are brave to post your fears and frustrations and because of that I'm more willing to share that I've been through the same.

    I completely agree that this site and the people here are great because I know I'm not alone.

  • Hi Ozone

    I just wanted to say hi and tell you that you are not alone! I'm so happy to hear you are having a great day! ;)

    I find that I am thankful for my walks. It seems to really perk my spirits up and I often wish my body would let me just keep walking....

    During surgery, your body releases a lot of stress hormones and the post surgery pain causes the same release.

    Things like a nice long hug from your wife, a massage, sitting in a rocking chair or porch swing all help to counteract those stress hormones. :)

    I struggle with feeling down too...I am so thankful for this site and the support of others here! Hang in there! We are all here for you!

    Wishing you the very best!!
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