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Why wasn't this part of the healing process explained?

sarahd28ssarahd28 Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Depression and Coping
I had a discectomy and fusion on Nov 10. I am feeling ok physically, but my mental state is a hot mess. I feel like I am 8 months pregnant again, even seeing a puppy or smiling child (especially my own) brings me to hysterics. I see my family, my husband is laid off for the season and here with me and my son, so why do I feel so isolated? It's a lonliness I've never known. I am finding myself day dreaming of the day when I can throw my son up in the air and hear him scream in delight and just crying and crying and then more crying. Then I think of the times my husband and I used to rough house, and have so much fun just beating each other up (not literally, I usually kicked his ass anyways) One time a neighbor actually came down to check on us we were so loud, I think I had just launched hubs off the bed, LOL! I just want to be normal again, and not in this haze of drugged pain, I can't even think clearly some times. Its exhausting. Vent over, thanks for reading.
Sarah D


  • Narcotic pain meds make some people depressed. Maybe that is happening to you?

    Also, remember that you are only 1 month post op. The healing process is a lot longer than they tell you in the doctors office. Surgery is not a quick fix, as much as we all wish it is.

    After my surgery I feel that I get stressed a lot easier than I used to. I started seeing a counselor and that has helped quite a bit. Maybe that would benefit you as well?
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Back surgery and pain is not easy.
    You seem to be over a year out on your surgery and I suspect you are 'mourning' the fact that this might be as good as you feel.

    Have you spoken to your doctor? Maybe there is more they can offer for relief. If you are feeling 'ok' but realize you now must always be careful, maybe it's time to talk to your doctor about how to get a new outlook.

    I've considered it too. I do not have a child but I have a hubby and dog and nieces and feel like I gave up a ton (or had to give up). There is no shame asking for help.
  • Hi Sarah,

    I am 7 months out from an L5-S1 fusion and I can totally relate to what you are feeling right now. I was told before surgery that it often causes depression in people.

    Physically your body is recovering from the anesthesia and from the act of surgery. Your hormones can get all messed up after a major surgery like this, not to mention all the emotions you are going through with the pain, the meds, the struggles of not being able to make your body move like before, or when you do it hurts a ton!

    I also had added stress of living alone and trying to care for myself (I was at my parents for only the first three weeks after the hospital). I had to find ways to do things without bending, lifting, or twisting and had to ask for help with those that i could not find adaptions for. Asking for help is extremely hard for me, but I knew it was important.

    Because of the medications you cant drive, cant drink, cant stay awake, its not a fun time. . . but they do help with the pain and the healing of your body, so make sure you take them for the time your doctor recommends, but then get off them as soon as you can, you dont want to have to deal with addiction too!

    After awhile i started to feel really isolated, because I was not working, people stopped visiting and helping, and I could not drive anywhere. It was a very low point for me.

    I wish I could give you a magic suggestion to make it better, but all I can tell you is to give it TIME.

    Once you start physical therapy and get further out from your surgery, you will start to see improvements in your pain, physical strength, and mood.

    I noticed it at about 3 months. That is also when I returned to work and had more social interactions. I started to feel better, experience less pain, and was able to do more things that I did before surgery.

    At about 6 months I again felt down and frustrated with my limitations and lack of being able to control my body (my core muscles are still a huge work in progress). I decided to join a gym and start working out. I do easy stuff like walking on the treadmill and short workouts on the elliptical. I even got a trainer who understands my limitations and is helping me to gain core strength. This has all helped out my mood due to the simple fact that working out increases the endorphines in our brain lifting mood as well as seeing my progress in just a few weeks!!!!

    Other things I found that helped when I was down was doing things I enjoyed doing. I got some puzzles from a garage sale, got some items for crafting, and enjoyed the nature of my walks! For sure do things that make you happy, maybe instead of throwing your son in the air, you two could go on a walk together or whatever you might enjoy. Same with your husband!

    HANG IN THERE!! Things will turn around!!! They say it takes up to a year to feel physically "normal" again.

    They say the first couple months after a major surgery are extremely hard! If you think your mood is more than just normal surgery stuff, I would definitely talk to your doctor about it and options to help with the moods until you are a little further out from surgery.

    Sorry that was all long winded, but I have felt sharing my stories and hearing others experiences has helped in not feeling alone and to know that it will get better!

    Best wishes in your recovery!!!
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