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5 weeks post op..depressed....I think

Im 5 weeks pot op and feeling quite down today. Pain is back up after a few good days. Even went to the park with my kids. Could be why Im down and out today. Think the lack of doing "anything" is getting to me. I am not released to PT yet. Im sad, so very sad. My life seems to be moving by me. I stopped, it kept going. I can feel myself getting dependent on the pain meds, pain creeps in faster, I get naseaus,
As I type my little one, almost 3 is psushing buttons on my hospital bed, looking to "play" with me and Im getting irritated because it hurts. I keep popping ito the chat room hoping someone is in there that can relate. I try s hard not to use facebook as a place to vent...there is always someone there. I find myself looking for positive passages or qquck witted things to say just to spark some conversation.
I read so many posts, know I am doing quite well, I am grateful...just very depressed today.
3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012


  • Sorry to hear you are having a rough day. Sorry I dont know anything about you, but I can tell you your post is heard.

    I just popped into the chat for the first time today, it was empty. But I will look for you in there.

    Good Luck!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • KevculesKKevcules Posts: 89
    edited 08/27/2012 - 11:44 AM
    Hey Ellen

    I hear you on the depression and feeling down. Pain does that to you...... I am also 5 weeks post surgery and not doing well. I just saw my surgeon today. As I walked in the door he asked how i was , I said not good, still in a great deal of pain. He said I shouldn't be in any pain! As we talked he pretty much said I was going to be just fine. I need PT now , aggressive he said. How can he say I shouldn't be in any pain, then 20 minutes later , my condition is normal? I'm disappointed with him today and my fragile state doesn't help. I don't feel he was listening ,he did say he was on call lately so he was tired, he is human. Sorry to rant but it's so easy! lol
    Hope you feel better soon, keep posting how you feel, it helps!


    Different degrees of back pain since 1994
    Cortisone shots Jan/09
    Discectomy and lamenectomy April/09
    L5 - S1 spinal fusion July.13th/12
  • DNiceDDNice Posts: 1,962
    edited 08/28/2012 - 1:45 PM
    It's possible that you are depressed.
    I know it happened to me.

    Just think, you went from an active lifestyle with no worries to having back surgery (which is major surgery even if it is a micro procedure, it's your back which houses all the important nerves). The surgery alone is a HUGE deal to recover from.

    Add to it that it's back surgery so you have to be inactive other than little 10 min walks every few hours. Combine that with no sitting and the exhaustion and pain of standing for too long and it is brutal on your mental well-being. I know being in a car or going somewhere to enjoy your child or family comes with a price of either complete exhaustion or increased pain..

    1 - you had major surgery.
    2 - you had a major change in lifestyle instantly and you have to take care of yourself
    3 - it's boring and frustrating to all of a sudden rely on others
    4 - medication will make you a little depressed
    5 - if you think you are becoming addicted, talk to your doctor. He can start a plan to ween you off and quite frankly, if you are worried, it might mean that you don't have the right mix of meds for your recovery
    6 - can you invite some family or friends over to keep you company and maybe entertain your 3 year old?
    7 - don't beat yourself up over being irritated at your 3-year old or anyone. Try to keep it in check but don't be guilty. Your 3 year old will get over it and others will need understand. If they don't, explain to them what you are feeling. Tell them that you know it will be better in time but right now, 5 weeks of this is a lot of change to someone.

    And, come vent here.

    If you think you might be depressed, please tell your surgeon. This way s/he will ask you about it and can monitor it over time. It's nothing to be ashamed of and many of us have gone through this.
  • KevculesKKevcules Posts: 89
    edited 08/28/2012 - 3:10 PM
    Well said !

    Different degrees of back pain since 1994
    Cortisone shots Jan/09
    Discectomy and lamenectomy April/09
    L5 - S1 spinal fusion July.13th/12
  • I am so sorry to read and "hear" in your post how down and out you are. I have those days also. I also think that I may be getting addicted to the meds. Makes me sad like you however, I cannot live with the pain so the meds are very necessary as yours are probably also. Pain is a mean, mean person. Pain will make you depressed all by itself but add the surgery that you are, by the way, very new to, and what a combo. It is okay to talk about your pain and feelings, especially on here, because this group of people will help you get thru it and also give you advise as to when you really just need to talk to the Dr. Try to do what you can and then determine not to worry about what you can't help. Take your meds or call the doc and tell him that the combo is not working. Maybe a pain management Doc might help. Do what it takes to get you thru this for you and the 3 yr old. Know that people do care about you and your pain and we are here for you to "talk to". Traci
  • Thanks for the responses! It's such an up and down deal I am exhausted! Yesterday I decided I was going to be "normal" head to Back to School Night for my 8 year old. Be super volunteer mom...was feeling so good on my way out the door, needless to say after 30 minutes of sitting in a tiny chair and having to walk back to thr front of the school for my ride home, I was in tears. Hurting, defeated...came home to tell my 8 year old I wasnt ready to be her clss volunteer...once again my kids are left feeling disapointed, I cant play, no beach...ugh. I feel so ungrateful. I know my surgery went well...why am I so down about all this? I just want my life to start back up. Everyone is moving along and Im stuck! Life keeps going and I keep laying here....I have a lot of support, I dont want to be misleading. I have a great family, they help, they are concerned, they love me and I just feel pissed off or sad, not even sure what it is I feel. I want to start PT...I cant until the surgeon sees a catscan and MRI to make sure all is well....so I wait for the damn authorization.
    Again, thanks for the responses...it helps to know that people understand, dont judge and its nice to hear there is a light aat the end...that this is just part of the process....I wish I could be as precise in my thoughts as DNice....you nailed it on the head, broke it down, simplified it for me and that means a lot, thank you. I tend to get lost in my head, complicate things. Traci, where are you in your story...Im interested in talking about how you are doing with your meds. My PM doc kind of sucks to be honest. He did great ESI's, but when it comes to having an open conversation about medication, thats just not him. I went in right before my surgery to tell him my pain was out of control, that I needed a change, he told me give it 30 days and we will talk...was in the hospital the next day....and the rest is history. He doesnt really care about my pain....jeeze when the surgeon went in the whole right side was smashed...all the discs were mush, none of that showed on any MRI's but I was hurting and he pretty much just ignored me....the disc that showed on the MRI had totally blown out....needless to say, my PM doc just wites scripts...I dont think he listens to what is going on with my body or my mind for that matter. Kevin and Ben, thank you for listening and letting me know people are out there.
    Have a great day peeps...I wish you all PEACE in your journeys!
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • edited 08/29/2012 - 8:36 AM
    Hi Ellen,
    I'm new to the boards. I totally understand how you feel. I feel so alone and depressed. It's hard to give up the things you used to do. I had planned to run a marathon this year, well I know that is joke now. Just getting through the day can take everything out of me. My family is fed up and disappointed with me, they think I'm negative and that the pain can't be that bad. My history is: ACDF C5/6 in 2008, ACDF of C3/4 in 2010 (did not fuse), revision of C3/4 and ACDF C6/7 on 06/04/12. I'm still in pain and I am going for a CT and Myelogram as soon as they can get me in. I feel unwanted and useless.
    I'm very thankfull for the people who post, I have only been a lurker but your post really touched me. I'll look for you in the chat room. Hang in there!

  • KevculesKKevcules Posts: 89
    edited 08/29/2012 - 2:17 PM
    Hey peeps...... Wow.....every time I read more posts here , it's like they are "my" words exactly! I can really relate to everyone... It's good to hear people who know what it feels like ,but at the same time , it's not a good thing to have people hurting all around the world!
    The last post by Stephanie got me going a little. "People think that the pain isn't that bad" ....Wow.....Would I like to show them some pain! People can't understand the pain we are suffering with , but for the love of god, don't tell me it can't be as bad as we say!!!
    For the record, my mother and I spoke yesterday after 5 weeks. She remembered that I had a check up with my surgeon and wanted to hear how it went. I thanked her for thinking about me ,as my other 5 brothers and sisters didn't call. They must not think the pain is as bad as I say !!!!! Once I started to talk to her , I couldn't stop. It's good to get it all out. Then to my surprise she said, "Maybe you just can't handle pain". What the hell is that? She must have been tired! lol She was worried after all because my sister called out of the blue and asked how I was. Then she said that mom called and she was talking to her about me still being in pain and that I shouldn't be with the great doctor I had.
    I'm 44.... and would like to think Mom is on my side! :)
    Heal up people.......this pain shouldn't be a part of life!


    Different degrees of back pain since 1994
    Cortisone shots Jan/09
    Discectomy and lamenectomy April/09
    L5 - S1 spinal fusion July.13th/12
  • Roz5382RRoz5382 Posts: 46
    edited 09/30/2012 - 8:29 AM
    Hi Ellen
    I know or should say we can relate to how you feel as we are on the same boat. I am also 5 weeks post op. Hopefully we all can jump off soon.
    I used to be very active. Working long hours and swim 3 times a week @1000m but now I am in bed and has not gone downstairs (my room is upstairs) since op. no work at all, no nothing. Just tv and reading. Bored dead!!
    On my bad days I would be in tears, complaining, feel sorry for myself, feeling myself 'rotting' away, and make people around me crazy.
    On my good days, I feel at times I can do a bit more though the pain is still there.
    My son gave me a book called 'the book of secrets' and said that if we think positively, we will recover sooner. Easier to say than done. But on occasions, it has helped to lift up my spirit.
    Sometimes giving thanks would help, and also ask God to grant you a peaceful heart and speedy recovery.
    Tomorrow I will start to walk a bit more in my room hoping to see some changes every week.
    Baby steps! You can do it.
  • Good luck ladies ! We're all cheering for everyone here !!!

    Different degrees of back pain since 1994
    Cortisone shots Jan/09
    Discectomy and lamenectomy April/09
    L5 - S1 spinal fusion July.13th/12
  • Its been about a month since my microD and for the most part things have been great. But the depression still creeps in, on my 6th PT I just plain was having a bad session, no pain just felt weak & excercises were harder than usual. That session sent me on a trip where I was depressed, in a bad mood, and quick to anger all weekend and through monday. Well then my monday PT session went great, felt really good! So today I decided I could do some thing I shouldnt
    ( tightening a vice ) thought I could do it, i couldnt. Tweaked my back for the 1st time since surgery, now if it sets me back at all I know Im gonna get down about it.

    At least I am aware of the chance of depression, but that doesnt really help. After about a 4 hour flare Im felling better, we shall see i guess.

    So I have been dealing with it off & on since surgery, dont get me wrong it was worse before. But its always there ready to strike. Even though I am ahead of schedeule & things have been going really well.

    So I feel all of you, Good Luck, be smart, be strong!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • Hi. I am week 4 after L4L5 PLIF and know exactly what you are saying, - the pain, the lack of mobility, the helplessness as we have to let everybody else take control and get on with life while it feels like we sit waiting to recover is enough to drive a saint to frustration and depression. Fr me I keep saying to myself 1) I didn't,t have a choice with this surgery, it had to happen if I am going to ever regain a quality of life, 2) it 's not forever it just feels that way at the moment, 3) it will get better even if there are bumps along the way. I have started to learn meditation in another attempt to control my down days as well, so I'll see how that goes. and I'll stay on this forum.
  • MballardMMballard Posts: 101
    edited 10/12/2012 - 12:37 AM
    ....it is good to know that there are other people out there who can relate. Misery loves company, right? I think just being able to vent to people who truly understand the pain is so therapeutic, and it's validation for what we are feeling. Some days I start to question myself, and think "is it really as bad as I make it out to be? Maybe I'm imagining this pain or exaggerating it in my own mind." But then I read posts like this and realize that my pain is legitimate, my feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness are not just made up, they're REAL. Thank you all so much for sharing as much as you do and helping me feel normal.
    L5-S1 Fusion, Discectomy on 7/10/12
    Herniated Discs at L3-L4-L5-S1, Spondylosis, Spondylolethesis at L5, DDD, Partial CES, Lumbar Facet Arthropathy
    Chronic back pain since 12/2010 (slip and fall on ice)
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