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I'm new to this site, as far as my back... I don't know where to begin!

7YearsClean77YearsClean Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in New Member Introductions
My name is Suzanne and I am scheduled for the PLIF on May 8th. I fractured my neck in 1998, and waited way too long to get the fusion done. As an EMT (retired) I can only say that when a patient got better, we didn't see them anymore. The ones we saw, who needed "routine transports" were the failed ones. I finally had it done in 2004.

I am no longer an EMT, but I am a dog trainer (a former career I easily jumped back into.) But facts are, at times it is more physically challenging and demanding than being an EMT was. (With my hyper-activity, I could never work a desk job. Co-workers would line up to shoot me!)

But now I am facing this surgery, and ironically, I am less scared of the surgery than the pain medication afterwards. As my member ID says, I am coming up on 7 years clean. I had tried non-narcotic medications (Torodol and a few others) but they didn't do much of anything.

I have done several epidurals with very good responses, until recently, when they became less and less effective.

But the thing is, being a recovering addict, with my primary addiction being pain medications, I am scared to death... because even though on the one hand I know that 'using' is a choice; what terrifys me is that it is one thing to take half or a quarter of a pain pill when needed, as I have done over the past year... and I am not dumb enough to be a martyr, but I also have experience, unfortunately first hand, with having to take it for any prolonged peroid of time. Because I know that it goes from taking it as prescribed, to the addiction taking over.For me, it was long before I even realized what was happening. But pain pills (in my opoinion) are sometimes more insidious than other drugs... because there is no reason or scenario where a doctor would prescribe "1 hit of crack every four lours. As needed." And I know there comes a point when it goes from my body needing it, to the addiction convincing me I need it. And then I become really dislexic... you know, one pill every four hoursa becomes 4 pills every one hour.

I have come so far, and become such a different person since I got clean, but I know where I went back then... and I really do not want a repeat performance.

Don't get me wrong... I know there is a difference between being powerless and being helpless.. and I am not helpless. And in asking for help is what keeps me clean. So anyone with any feedback... I would be grteful.

Oh, I will add one more thing. Some insult to injury. My neck has been hurting for awhile, but I just chaked it up to typical arthritis after a cervical spine fusion. Last week I found out that my fusion in my neck is breaking down, in the sense that I have a herniated disk above, one below, and I have some cord qand nerve root compression... so I need a second surgery in the not too distant future.


  • hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. good luck on your upcoming surgery! have a look around the "Pain Medications" forum and see if that doesn't give you some more input on the medication question..you are certainly looking at it from all angles..i am sure you will make the right decision..be sure and stop by the forum during your recovery, it can make a long day go by alot faster!! Jenny :)
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