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If you knew what you knew now..

If you could tell yourself in the past what you knew now, what would you tell them? I don't have a cervical disk problem, but i do have a lumbar disk problem. I'm in so much pain with my lower back, but I can't imagine the kind of pain cervical disks cause. I was just wondering what kind of advice you guys might have on preventing a neck injury. Things to do and not do?


  • welshladywwelshlady Posts: 121
    edited 08/06/2012 - 1:51 AM
    i am not so sure any advice would be right. i know that in the past i have lifted stuff far too heavy, but would i have not done that?.... i think when i was working hard like that was when i was happiest.

    i did try to say to my son (who is so much like me health wise that i worry for him) to please "think neck" (i am 3 months post op three level c5/6/7 double corpectomy, 2 cages, top plate and 6 screws), he said "mum i cant go through life scared of what might go wrong, i will live like you have, enjoying the moment, getting as much as possible out of every day and deal with the blows if and when they come.

    i wish i had pushed the doctors a little more, earlier, as the chances of me being left with permenant damage is strong now. but i still hope to live my life getting the best out of every day, even if "the best" is going to be a lower scale than previous. i am likely to need lumber ops at some time in the future so dont want to miss this moment!

    good luck to you Rob, i hope that you have a good day today. :-)
  • Hi Rob,

    I don't think it could work like that. My young self would not have listened to my current self. I was invincible, strong and durable. I just think a life of collision sports (football and hockey in particular, basketball and soccer) will leave you with things your older self will have to endure. But would the young me give those things up? I don't think so. I think I would have thought "there is no guarantee on anything, so why worry about it?" and that would be the end of it. But here I am at 54 with a laminectomy/discectomy recovery and some other degenerated discs that show up on the MRI. But I have enjoyed every moment of my life. I am okay (not happy about, mind you) with having to wind the physical stuff down now. I am told I should never play soccer again, and I will miss that terribly. And for the record, I don't believe cervical or lumbar pain would be that much worse or better than each other. Pain is pain!

    Best wishes!
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 08/06/2012 - 7:47 AM
    I have had a lumbar fusion for spondylolisthesis and now face a 2 level fusion on my neck.
    I have been told that my lumbar problem would have been there since I was a child.

    I actually feel lucky that I made it into my mid 50s before I really started being limited by my back. Looking back, the signs were there, but I didn't recognise them. I have had a good life, doing some very exciting and fun things that had I known about my back, I probably would never have done. I'm glad I didn't know about it then.

    Now, my spinal problems are showing themselves and calling out loudly. There are things that I would like to do that I probably won't ever try now. I am so glad that I can look back and think of all the things that I have managed to do.

  • Like several have said I don't think I would have listened to myself back then, and I believe for the most part rightly so. Life is to be lived head on.
    If I could have convinced myself, it would have been only run 1 marathon to prove you could do it and limit the mileage after that to shorter distances. That's for the knees, ankles and feet as well as my back, they all took a pounding. But I was hooked with the "runners high" and the feeling of accomplishment from doing marathons.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • I wouldn't have changed a thing! I have always been an adrenaline junkie from motorcycle riding, rock climbing, canyoneering, SCUBA diving and even sky diving. I did photography for years both professionally and personally with a Nikon dangling around my neck with a 80-200 lens.

    I was also a volunteer with the Fire Dept. for 10 years back in my 20s. As well as I LOVED riding rollercoasters! The faster and higher the better!

    I wouldn't take back a single moment. And even after having 3, two-level, cervical fusions and more severe herniations right now in lumbar and lower cervical....I still sneak in some motorcycle rides...(as a passenger). That is something I don't think I will ever give up for good. Same with at least still hiking once in awhile when the weather is nice an cool.

    And sex....sorry...I have to be two minutes after recovery from surgery laying in a hospital bed before I give up THAT fun activity! LOL....Unfortunately I am not dating anyone right now....but my last guy I dated a few years ago...we found plenty of ways to enjoy things without hurting my neck/back too much! LOL Seriously though...that only helps me feel better not worse...I have never been the type to give that up for anything even before my disc issues...If I had a headache I would say to my hubby..."Time for some pain relief"....HAHAHA......It releases all the good endorphins:)

    I mean....I could get into a car accident tomorrow, or have a brain aneurysm.....None of us knows how long we have on this earth.

    I started having the disc issues in my early 30's....but it's only been really bad after the last fusion..Now I just have to find different ways to keep joy in my life...

    I would tell my younger self to enjoy every second:)
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