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The importance of you

This post is going to be a long post with a little nostalgia, a little reminiscence, and just some thoughts I’ve been having these last few weeks. So either read or no, but know it’s heartfelt and something I need to share with my fellow spineys here.

As you can tell by the amount of posts I have, I’ve been with SH many years - since I first knew I had cervical issues in 2008 that only surgery could to fix (3-lvl fusion, C4-7). I knew so little and wanted so much to get information and support, so I came here at the suggestion of my surgeon. My hubby and I were pretty scared. At that time, the language from the reports, docs and surgeons was Greek. We were in total ignorance. Since then, I’ve learned so much and am so much more knowledgeable about the spine and spine problems, learning from this site, research and experience. I’ve also had a 1-lvl (L4/5) fusion and am now facing a 1- or 2-lvl fusion above L4/5 due to adjacent bone disease, probably because of my job. (The doc will decide what to do when he gets in there - MRIs aren’t the whole story, seeing is believing.) The good news: I'm no longer ignorant, I know what most of the words mean. :-)

What I want to say is this: Having been with SH for so many years and through so much, I’ve tended to come and go like most, but in the first year, I needed you. Then I got laid off after my cervical surgery and logged on, able to help others while looking for a job and getting better. That was two years and in the middle of that time I had my first lumbar surgery. SH helped me recover, both with camaraderie and filling in my boredom.

Once I found that job I so desperately needed, I slacked on coming here to help and, guiltily, stopped posting because I no longer needed you. If you needed me, I’m sorry, I wasn’t here. I was living. I helped for a while, but then it just became too much. I was busy walking the dog, cooking, cleaning, going to church, - living. I had a year of really living - golfing, being happy, what we strive for.

Then a year passed by and I find myself back where I was - facing surgery again and feeling alone. I feel I can no longer talk to my hubby of my daily pain (I don’t blame him at all - he’s tired of it after so many years, but is still supportive, just doesn’t want to hear my daily updates, he prefers the weekly synopsis), so I find myself needing SH once again.

For the newbies, always remember here. You may need it again one day, after you feel good then don’t again. Or maybe you love it so much you stay daily or weekly, but having a job and a life tends to interfere with our life here. But don't forget that you may need us again one day, and if you do we're here and if you don't, fantastic-o!

For the oldies like me, you may post every day, or you may ebb and flow. But in the end, we all need a place to go when you stay or become a needy spiney again. I thought my days of NEEDING here were gone - I had a job and a life. It’s gone again. But you can always come back - we’re always welcome. ALWAYS!

I appreciate that SH is always here. I’m having another surgery, I’m scared. I face another 3-4 days without my sweet Wally (my adorable dog), needing someone for a couple of weeks to care for me, not being able to drive for 4 weeks, not being able to do everyday things, needing my recliner, toilet seat riser, grabber, losing my independence.

Don’t take it for granted. When you have those good days, live them. When you have those bad days, fight it. I believe once a spiney always a spiney, but I had no idea I’d have a surgery facing me every 2-3 years.

I’m sorry for those I’ve been long friends with then seemed to abandon. I’m sorry that I have to be here in this situation, not so much helping, but grateful beyond words that you’re here.

So much to say, so little time. Know I’m not looking for sympathy, support or anything else from this post. I only want to say don’t take SH and its forums for granted. Someone is always here to support, help, inform and commiserate with you. You never know when it will hit you, or hit you again. I myself am humbled by the need for another surgery. It may never end, and to those that are lucky enough to have it end, don’t ever forget that you’re a spiney and you have friends here. Need us now or not, we’re always here, be it a few days, months, or years, there’s always someone here that understands and no doubt has been through it or is going through what you are.

Take good care, my fellow spineys. I’m a little nostalgic and meloncholy tonight and am once again extremely grateful for you and SH.


PS I will still support anyone when I can and will be there for you. It’s no ALL about me, just mostly as I await the knife. LOL


  • Thank you Cathie for the encouragement. Your posts I have kept up with since I found yall in June. You are so right on everything you said. Yall were here for me so much after my surgery in May that failed and still having horrible pain and may be looking at a 3 lvl fusion in lumbar ir I can get thoracic pain under control. It is hard to talk to family so I just come here to vent. I try to at least say hello to someone new each time I am on here I hope you do well with your surgery and glad when I get on here and see that you have visited:)

  • Well - it's good to see you here, when you're here - but of course, not so good, because you're feeling bad. I've come to SH a lot over the past - almost five years - since the beginning of 2008! Hurt my back in 2007 - and it's just never gotten better. I saw a lot of surgeons, but they didn't really feel they could help me - were more worried about making my situation worse. But like you - I've sure learned A LOT about the spine, and spine/back pain. I've just come through six or seven months of GREAT mental health therapy - And finally feel that I have stopped comparing myself to my "pre-spiney" life, and just accepting who I am now, my limitations - well, we all, always have limitations.

    I'm kind of just babbling here, but your post struck a lot of chords with me. I think most people (except maybe Ron -haha!) come and go on this site - but we're chronics - and like you say, once a spiney, always a spiney. I've come and gone too - sometimes I was busy, sometimes I was "living life", sometimes I was too depressed - or sick to death of reading about all those bloody people in pain - haha! But Cathie - you of all people have nothing to feel guilty about - you have replied to soooo many posts - you have shared your life and experiences and your knowledge with so many people - you have really been kind to "strangers" - including me!!

    I have certainly enjoyed this community - I spend so much time at home now, hardly see friends or get to meet people like I used to when I worked. It's like a neighborhood bar - I'm the one sitting in the corner, watching, not saying much - except for now and then when I put my 2 cents worth in. I've seen you Cathie - for years now - welcoming people. I was so happy for you, when you got your job - I know you inspired me and others, with your courage. When you couldn't be here - you just popped in briefly now and then to say you were busy - well - that's what we all hope for! But I have always worried for you too - I kept thinking of you bending and picking up those boxes - even though you could get help - there was always so much opportunity for you to do too much. We all make those choices too - I feel like that's "anelson" biggest problem - he wants to do too much! But sometimes we just want to do stuff - and we know we'll eventually have to pay for it, one way or another. These are all just my opinions/observations of course!

    Anyway - I know you're scared with another big one coming up - so it's too bad you're back here - you've got time on your hands again, and time coming up. And still your good - sharing it all with others, some who are too shy, or "not the type" to post, but who gain from your posting - "someone feels like me". It's scary - but just because you're scared, it doesn't mean your not courageous - you are. Even though you're weakened by back pain, you're strong. And you'll be strong again - it's all going to take time. I'll be praying for you Cath. When you're scared, pray, do your relaxation (breathing, etc.) - remember that you're loved. Remember that nobody understands the pain, except us. So just because someone doesn't understand doesn't mean they don't love you.

    Take care. Look after yourself. I rediscovered bubble baths during my therapy - they're one of life's great pleasures - make sure you indulge in whatever is your great pleasure (that doesn't hurt your back!)
  • Even when I go away for extended periods of time as I have off & on for the 3+ yrs of being a member here, I have ALWAYS KNOWN 100% I could come back "home" ANY time I wanted to. If my return was due I needed to return or I wanted to return (you all know what I mean) I KNEW I would find the lights on waiting for me (like a rhinestone cowboy - sorry song just jumped in my head lol).

    It is sooooooo very very nice to know I have a soft place to land when needed or a nice cozy place to visit if I want it.

    Just knowing I have SH has been one of the very few comforts of this life I now live :)

    I am grateful for your post as it reminded me how much I truly appreciate & need SH! :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • TracyLynneTTracyLynne Posts: 598
    edited 11/24/2012 - 3:09 AM
    I know how you feel about the guilt of 'coming and going'.....but when we disappear for a while, it can be a good thing. The fact that we are able to have periods of REALLY living is fantastic, and all we can hope for is that everyone on this site has that chance every now and then.

    You may not be looking for support, but it sounds like you need it right now.... :wink:" alt=":wink:" height="20" /> Thinking of you, sending positive thoughts your way, and hoping for the very best with the next surgery.

    I feel very lucky to be able to return here now and then to provide some info for others, give people a bit of a boost, or post when I'm feeling hopeless. I, like you, find myself straying away from sharing my pain and/or fears with my hubby, as it overwhelms him and leaves me feeling guilty again....silly, but true.

    The following is a quote my brother sent me a year or so ago, and it is so true....

    "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." -- E.M. Forster, novelist

    This site has helped me through some very difficult times, too, and I appreciate it more than anyone will ever know.


  • and today, more than any other, this is what I needed to read. (I love the way we are provided with what we need, when we need it!)
    I have been feeling rather sorry for myself today, for several reasons,
    I had a bad night, and don't feel very good. Now I am not yet 3 weeks post 2 level ACDF, so that shouldn't surprise me, but I just seem to have a sense of 'doom'. I think that the fact that I have been getting nerve pain and symptoms from lower levels of my neck, my abdomen and my legs, just makes me wonder what the future holds for me.

    I had a lumbar fusion over 2 and 1/2 years ago and didn't expect to need another spinal surgery. Well, now I have had my cervical fusion and this time the surgeon has already warned me that I may need another cervical surgery from the back to deal with the lower levels of my neck that have bilateral nerve root compression.

    I am not trying to tell my story here (wordy as always!) but am trying to show that I understand that sometimes the prospect of no end to all of this can just feel overwhelming.

    Cathie, we have been delighted that you were able, between your surgeries, to get back to life and good times. Hopefully you will be able to do that again, even if those good times are slightly restricted. I have missed you while you have been away busy, but at the same time knew that it was a good sign. Now we are glad to have you back again, and I will look forward to your encouragement and returning mine to you as needed.

    I will pray for you too. :-)
    We are spineys together and understand how these ongoing problems can weigh us down. Always feel free to come for support as well as to be here to strengthen others when they need it.

    You are not alone, and we can supplement your sharing your feelings with your hubby. I definately understand that feeling of wanting to give our hubby a break from how these problems are weighing us down.
    Take care, and keep hoping for happy and fun days ...

  • Stumbled across this post and smiled. Smiled because I know of both good and bad days and completely understand.
    I have been having 8 great months. I finally am sleeping, have lost weight, and dare I saying "living" like you described. I am not bound or confined right now by my pain. I giggle sometimes b/c I know I am not 100% but inside, I feel like I have made great progress. And yes, I do worry...worry that my road was recently paved and I'm enjoying the smooth drive. I know I may turn onto a bumpy or pothole filled road at some point or that someone I know may need my help or encouragement. So, I do visit here often (about every 2 weeks).

    I was at Thanksgiving...listening to 2 family member discuss their back issues. One had had surgery and one injections. Both believe their stories were a big deal, and I just sit quietly and listen. They know I had 2 and that I had more permanent damage so there is no need to try to 'out-do' their experience. Why? Because with back pain and related issues, it is all personal and relevant for the person living with it. I feel for them as I feel compassion for all of you here. I wish for them, what I wish for all of you....pain free moments, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. I also wish that each person who has faced such struggles can find compassion, support, information, and knowledge that I have found here.

    Good luck with your upcoming surgery.
  • Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
    edited 11/25/2012 - 4:13 AM
    Kelli, Coyote, MsHD, Tracy, Jelly and Dnice, thank you for your stories, thoughts, wishes and prayers. True spiney friends!

    I'm glad this post helped in some way and humbled by some of your comments. I try to help others and to know I have is a blessing. We all need help in one way or another and it's so nice to have a place to come for that. I know that most of us have the support of family or friends, but they get very tired of hearing about it. I don't blame them...I'm not sure if I didn't have spine problems that I could listen to the daily complaints. I suppose it's bad enough that they have to listen to us grunt and groan, and watch us struggle to get up from a chair, walked stooped or wince in pain.

    Anyway, I'm glad to have read all your messages and am wishing the best for all of you too. You'll get sick of me by, say, Dec. 31. Lol

  • TracyLynneTTracyLynne Posts: 598
    edited 11/25/2012 - 5:29 AM
    That is what we are all here for. Not too likely that we'll get sick of you.... :wink:" alt=":wink:" height="20" />
  • Hey there,
    Missed you but so very glad you had a year to really live. I am just sad for you news about another surgery.
    I also have gone n come back, and the support this forum has for all is great.
    I don't know how our spouses/family deal with this constant issues. For me I just don't bother saying what kinda day it was.
    It is very hard I am sure to know you are facing another surgery, but hey if it can give you what you had this last year go for it.

    Glad to see you back around, here for you always
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,836
    Your thread was so very special. In a short post you had so much to say and the message was so very clear.

    I just want to add one piece to this.

    Its the importance of YOU and every member on this site which is so very special.

    Spine-Health was created to provide an online repository of medical details, articles, videos and more. Then they added the online forums as a tool in which international members could register and discuss their own medical situations.

    So, its YOU, the Members is why we are here, and why I am here!

    I was a member just like anyone of you before I can become an authority member, then a moderator and to the administrator role I have today I love this site for everything that it has done to help me over the years. So in many ways, its my way in my role to return the favor.

    Just as it was with You, Dave, Graham, Paul, Cindy, Kelly, Miki and today with Liz and Tam

    Cathie, thank you for putting this thread together.

    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
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