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How Do You Handle It All?

ldavis2333lldavis2333 Posts: 108
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 6 weeks out from my laminectomy L2-5. I fell down the stairs 2 weeks after surgery and that has slowed my recovery down a lot. The pain and depression have been a nightmare. Every surgery is different. I thought this one would be easier than the lumbar fusion. I couldn't have been more wrong. I would really like to hear from some folks about laminectomies without fusion. I wonder if your experience is the same as mine.

The reason why I ask this question is that since my surgery, so many life changing events are happening and I am starting to freak out.

I have received so much support here that I don't feel completely isolated. I have been able to cope with the depression better than I was.

My husband's appointment for surgery is tomorrow. We will be finding out very soon whether or not he will lose a leg. I am applying for Disabled housing. Family and friends are avoiding me. Now, my only child told me she is moving across country to CA to live with her boyfriend. My opinion of this boyfriend is not good. I have many doubts about him. It is her life and I have to let her go. That is the hardest thing I will ever do. The tears are constant.

I have no doubt that there are others that have faced life changing events soon after surgery. I spend more of my time trying to support my husband and daughter. I can just feel the anger coming up.

I have had 4 back surgeries. Eventually, I will need another neck surgery according to my recent MRI. I am going to put that off as long as possible.

Does anyone have some suggestions on how they cope with everything else plus surgery. All of these changes are out of my control. It's a good thing I don't have a substance abuse problem or I would be in serious trouble.

The sun is shining today and I will go for a walk with my walker and hopefully clear my head a little.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    I understand where you are coming from. I have walked down your road a long time ago and I am still walking

    How do I handle it? Well, for starters I've always said that I am not going to let the spinal problems and surgeries rule my life.

    If I had given up or given in, my life today would be a lot poorer, a lot sadder and missing so much of what life has to offer.

    I never wanted to have spinal problems,
    I never wanted to have lumbar problems,
    I never wanted to have 4 lumbar surgeries,
    I never wanted to have cervical problems,
    I never wanted to have 3 cervical problems,
    I never wanted to have thoracic problems,
    I never wanted to have shoulder problems,
    I never wanted to have both of my shoulders replaced,
    I never wanted to have hip problems,
    I never wanted to have my left hip replaced,
    I never wanted to know that my right hip needs to be replaced.

    But It DID happen and it continues to happen.

    I know that I have had some tough roads, but so have many others, some much worse, some easier..

    That really never mattered to me. What matter to me, was my family, my friends, my life. That is what kept me going every single day for the past 35 years and will continue to keep me going until my time is up.

    In the beginning, I used to think about the things I could no longer do, but in a short time, I focused in on all the things I could still do and more.

    I have no regrets in terms of my life that has been altered by my spinal condition. Perhaps I could have done more, I know that my family had to deal with a lot and do more than their share.

    I am grateful for my family and so many others who have helped me along the way.

    You will find it, you will find the ways to handle it all....

    After all, I believe you have already started to do that.
    ldavis2323 said:

    The sun is shining today and I will go for a walk with my walker .....
    The sun will continue to shine!
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thank You Ron for your words of encouragement. Coming from you, it means a lot. I don't think you say too much unless you have something to say. It's amazing that you are able to stay positive given what you have been through.

    I know I need to remind myself how much I love the people in my life. I have made a commitment to myself to never give up no matter what. I think I easily allow myself to become overwhelmed. I am grateful that I finally found the appropriate place to share my feelings.

  • I will be praying for you both. It doesn't take away the pain or pay the bills but I will be thinking of you both tomorrow
  • The appointment is really on Thursday. Paul kept telling me it was Wednesday and he checked today and the date is 3/08.

    Thank you for your prayers. I will check in tomorrow and definitely let you know what happens. I'm pretty sore and ready for bed (|:

  • The stress you are under regarding your daughter and your husband is enough to throw anyone into depression. Add your own physical challenges and I can see how difficult it must be for you. You have a wonderful tool right here on SH where you have many friends who "get it" and are here to listen. We have all been through a part of what you are going through, whether it be our own spinal conditions, chronic pain, a beloved child straying in a direction we don't want, or a spouse with serious health problems. So most of us can make an empathetic connection you. Please continue to post and let us be here, let us be a tool you pull out to put things all back together, and we can help you "handle it all" when you feel that you can't do it on your own. That and relying on whatever faith you have.

    I've been on this journey for over 6 years now. There have been plenty of lows and highs along the way, and what I have learned is that I had to pull strength from those around me to help me get through the lows, and then on the high times I try to give back to them. There have been times that I was passively suicidal, which meant I thought about it but knew I wouldn't act on it. Just wished to be dead. There have been times (and still are) days that I don't want to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other, knowing that at the end of the day, I will just have to repeat it all the next day. So I get what you are going through. My husband is very healthy and supportive, but we struggle with the loss of my income. (I did win social security disability, but because much of my income was from self employment, I always came out with a pretty low adjusted gross income. So my SS check is just enough to cover my supplemental health insurance plan. My little $500 check is certainly not the thousands I would bring home if I could work! I am just thankful that I have medicare and can pay for the supplemental.)

    I don't know what you are going through with your husband's health, but I watch my husband as he takes care of me, and I can see how difficult it is to quietly serve your spouse. I am sure you will do wonderful with him, no matter the outcome of the leg. I wish you well on that one.

    How do I handle it all? Great question. Each day has a different answer. But trying to find something positive in every situation has helped me to make it through. One minute, hour, and day at a time. One ignored debt collector call, one small bill paid off, and one check mark to indicate "done", just one thing at a time. And eventually those small things add up to progress, and we eventually come out on top of that trial, ready to tackle the next one.

    Keep loving your daughter and husband.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • The past several days I have had to take on more physical activity and I can barely stand up. My husband is at the point that he can't do it all. I have to do things like go to the pharmacy, bank and food shopping. I am doing more cooking and laundry. I don't have a choice. I tried to make an appointment with my Dr. and couldn't get through. She is still refusing to go up on my pain meds. I won't be able to just keep up with the basics without an increase or change. I attempted to go for a walk with the walker and I didn't get very far. The walker I am using is not sturdy enough for me. I am going to have to prove to her the condition I am in along with the physical strain of taking care of Paul. I am really hurting. I'm also going to ask her about a new walker and Handicapped Parking tag.

    My daughter Nicole came for dinner and we spent most of our time talking about her move to CA. It was difficult for me but, I managed to keep it together.

    I made several calls today regarding disabled housing and a 2 bedroom apt. What few 2 bedroom disabled apts there are would take several years before anything became available. I have checked out housing where we are and they don't have any 2 bedrooms at all. My husband and I have not been able to sleep together for many years due to chronic pain and other health issues. So that means that elderly and disabled housing is probably not going to happen. This only leaves low income housing that we've been trying to avoid.

    I also called the mortgage company. Our car and refridgerater died right before Tnanksgiving. We had just gotten through the trial period after we re-modified. We missed 3 payments and when I did start paying it again they would not accept the payments and sent them back to me. The person I spoke to told me that I would have to come up with about $2000.00 including payments and fees. He said the house will soon be up for sale. I told him about the condition of the property and it didn't matter. He led me to believe they will auction it off. As it stands now, we are in foreclosure and the mortgage company is refusing to work with us. I tried to explain the circumstances and the person I spoke to did not care at all. One woman told me that we will have to go to a shelter. That sounds like a great place to recuperate.

    Honest to God, I am not making any of this up. I can document all of it. Now we have a car payment to top it all off on SSI. I haven't been able to sleep for about a week. We had to buy a car in case of emergency. We got a 2000 Stratus, not a luxury car.

    As much as I want to go to the Dr's appointment with my husband in the morning, I am not able to do that much walking. There will be more appointments before whatever surgery is to be done. They will have to check out the ulcer and circulation before anything.

    I did not have the heart to tell my husband or daughter what happened with the mortgage company and housing. I pray day and night but, time is soon running out. We don't have family that could take us in. I am just sick and out of my mind.

  • Wow sorry to hear you're going through so much. My husband sleeps in the living room while I sleep in the bedroom so could that be an option for you as you could still have separate sleeping areas? There's many day beds that look like couches or a fold out be from a couch with a memory foam topper but just throwing out ideas. If you can get into a one bedroom and then apply for housing if it doesn't work out. I would hate to see you to a shelter.

    Check out YMCA or another temporary place but hoping you won't have to go to a shelter. I wish the bank would re-accept your mortgage payments as really it's their loss losing you as a customer. Praying you will get through this. Charry

    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I am going to call HUD today and see if they can help. They helped with the last re-modification. I will also call the mortgage company and see if I can get someone different on the phone. Although the person I spoke to was the one I went through the re-modification.

    The carpenter is coming today to look at the bathroom floor. I will save all receipts and maybe show them that some money is being put into the property. This place really should be condemned. I can send plenty of pics.

    We may have no choice but to take a one bedroom. It's hard the both of us being disabled. We are home together 24/7. Having that much space will be even harder. Stairs and all, I would rather stay here. I have to see what's going on with his leg.

    My brain is fried. All I can do is the best I can do. I've been around the block many times. How can the mortgage company put 2 disabled people in the street following major surgeries? I guess we'll see.

    Thanks Charry.

    For us, transportation is a necessity. The refridgerator is also necessity. At this point we shouldn't have a problem with paying. It's the 3 months behind with all of the late fees they add on that could put us in the street.

    My husband is getting ready for his Dr's appointment. It's killing me that I can't go just for support. I am in too much pain and it would aggravate him more to have me there.
  • I was not able to go to the Dr. with my husband this morning. He liked the surgeon. He needs to have a bone density test. He needs to see a Podiatrist regarding the diabetic sore and it is still very nasty. They are going to check out the circulation in the leg. He has decided to quite smoking on his own. Say some prayers he needs them.

    I had to clean the bathroom today as best I could. Jim came to take a look at it and will get back to us on the estimate.

    I have an appointment tomorrow morning with my PCP to talk about pain meds and I need a sturdier walker. I am having to take on more every day. I am six weeks out from surgery now. The pain is constant. Neither one of us is able to cook dinner. I don't know what's going to happen from one day to the next.

    The housing and mortgage issues on top of everything else is making me sick. I have to make phone calls every day and do what I can to just keep from losing my mind. I am so depressed that I am barely functioning as it is. This is all happening much too fast. I can't pray anymore, feels like a waste of time. It all feels so hopeless. I keep asking myself when everybody here is going to get tired of listening to me. I can't talk to anyone because they don't know what to say. Neither do I.
  • Sometimes they will keep you on a mortgage if they know you can pay it. I wouldn't invest any money in the house unless you know for sure you're going to stay there though.

    I had a lot of issues with the house I had and put some money in it but I could see down the road that it was a money pit so I was able to sell it for a profit before the market falls. I don't regret it though I know the house means a lot to you it doesn't seem feasible to stay there if you can't even cook dinner for yourselves honestly.

    I'm telling you my load is lighter since I sold my house and found a great area to live in. I plan to downsize even more though as of course they raise the rent for an old place like what I'm in and I'm having difficulty with stairs now.

    One day at a time Idavis. You will get through this. Take care. Charry

    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I am not putting money into the property. I am doing a temporary fix on the bathroom floor because it is too dangerous to walk on. This place is not worth it. With the floor fixed, it will just give us more time. We will be lucky if we break even.

    I called housing today and couldn't get through. I could re-apply for a 1 bedroom and do as you say in having two separate sleeping areas. The furniture is trash anyway.

    Thank you for responding so quickly.

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