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4 weeks post op-depressed and sick of pain.

Mimi99MMimi99 Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:03 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am 47 and boy do I feel it! I am four weeks post op for L5S1 discectomy. The doc was surprised that the herniation was calcified and had to be chippped away. Nerve must be really aggravated. I thought I would be back to work by now. I am so depressed. I can't enjoy the activities I like to do and now I am getting severely upset. I am on prozac but thinkin of upping the dose. Has anyone had such a long recovery.time and so much continued pain! I have a call into the doctor but haven't heard back. To top it off, my family still relies on me to do everything. I have had it. I told my husband to make his own dinner and I am eating cereal. Tired of him expecting me to bring dinner to him when I am recovering from back surgery. I am really starting to regret ever having this surgery. Any support appreciated.


  • Recovery for discectomy sometimes take a bit longer than 4 weeks. Surgeons have a bad habit of being way to optomistic with there predictions on when you can go back to work and when you will feel back to your old self. In the mean time, maybe you should tell your family you need a little more help so that you don't overdo and slow your recovery.

    Good luck with your recovery and wishes for a less painful time of it.
  • Mimi99:

    I am 61 so I guess I feel 27% older than you feel?

    Again, do not change your consupmtion of prescribed medications without doctor approval (including Prozac). Communicate your feelings/pain levels with the prescribing official. Life changes, physically and biologically, and this impacts the effectiveness of medications and all treatment modalities. Communicate this to your medical practitioner.

    I wish I could give you some advice about your husband, but I am one so my opinion is somewhat "warped." However, the above advice is applicable to your family unit. Communicate to them exactly what you feel. They can only observe you. They do not know what you feel. Spinal disorders are not immediately obvious (no bleeding or swelling, etc.) so most sufferers must prove their disability. Communication is the key. I have found that a constant uttering of degrogatory/blasphemous words is effective - just kidding. I do moan and groan too often and they have said that they hear me, more often when I am in a room by myself. I try to not do this in public as I don't want to become a "Debbie Downer" for everyone else.

    Communicate. That's the best advice I can offer.
  • Thanks for your support and advise. I would consult before upping any meds. I just thought I would be much further along in my recovery and this is very depressing. I am going to assign tasks to the family and ask for help. As far as me, I will do small little things like clean a small drawer out and stuff like that. My goal is to get back on my horse amd the depressing part is I am not even close to this goal. It's totally off the plate at this time which just really sux!
  • I don't know how I would survive without this forum. This forum gives hope and understanding of issues you think you will never have. I expected to be back to work. NOT! I can't worry about that right now. My job is saved and that is what is important. I would like to get a repeat MRI just to see if there is some issues going on there. I feel pretty stable today but not mentally. I am trudging forward and making myself do mindless things this morning. Day by day is how I am going to take it.
    Thanks everyone!
  • 4 weeks is still too early. It may take a couple of weeks/months for the pain to subside. I'm afraid you still have to wait. Just have some support system with you.
  • Hi Mimi,

    I just wanted to chip in with some support for you. Recovery is hard and this forum is a lifeline for many of us.

    I know how frustrated you must feel. As someone said above, many surgeons are way too optimistic with their ideas about when you will be "better". I also think that when they say "back to normal" sometimes they don't mean quite back to normal!

    As far as your husband goes, I think you have been given some good advice - communication is key. I am quite lucky (!!!) I have been suffering with my back for just over 3 years now and my hubby knows my limits better than me sometimes! Maybe yours just doesn't understand how tough the recovery is. It might be that it is taking you longer to get better because you are pushing to do all the things you used to rather than giving your body chance to heal? Perhaps if you explain that there just might need to be a short period where you are "off duty" then you will be back to normal sooner?

    I understand all too well how depressing this can be. I hope that you start to improve on all fronts soon.

    Hang in there

  • L4-L5/S1 discectomy on 5/17. I totally feel u Mimi! I'm 29 and I expected to be recovering better at the point however came to realize it's a long process. What has kept me down is not do much the incision pain or sciatic pain as it is nearly gone, it's been the back spasms! Man have they hit me hard! I'm just trying to not get frustrated, but unlike yourself my family does everything for me. Which let me tell you it brings me down as well and makes me feel use less at times. Hopefully your pain subsides as mine has and things start working out for the better. Also, good luck with the hubby.
  • Thanks.you guys. I think I have finally come to realize that I have to stop and rest. Deligate chores. And take care of myself. I am feeling better today. Don't feel the urge to cry and pain is very manageable. I think I should start weaning off the pain meds over the next week and just.try the celebrex. Save the hard stuff when I do someting stupid and am in ungodly pain. I couldn't make it through without this forum. You guys all rock!
  • It was about a full year of recovery for me for my first surgery. I still had to provide for my family of 4 kids and wife. I can completely understand what you are feeling and going through. My was mainly because it really didnt fuse and that within its self cause more problems. I too feel in deep depression because i was unable to do things with my family or just what i was normally able to do.
    Let me tell you thing or warn you of this...DEPRESSION CAUSES THE PAIN TO BE WORST!
    This is because you are now focusing on the pain more than normal. You are depress because of the pain which mean we will feel and pay attention to every vs. learning how to manage, ignore and get through your pain with pain.
    I am not speaking from my Azs here but from experience, seeing psychologist and medication. Try to keep yourself out of the rut. One thing that help me was finding something that would make me laugh especially when i was feeling down or in pain. Every Body Loves Raymond. Though it hurt to laugh...it was a good hurt. Stay strong!
  • 4 weeks .come on please!!!
    i was in hospital 0ne weeks then spent 6 weeks zombied on my recliner after my ALIF granted a fusion is a bigger operation than a discectomy but spinal surgery is spinal surgery .and its always major surgery ..give yourself time my friend .4 weeks in nothing you need at least 6 months min ..chill out and let your body do some healing ..
    tony {UK}
    PS i know what i am talking about 6 years in pain 3 operations and many painful procedures and i am STILL IN PAIN !!
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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