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What has been your toughest decision?

Everyone has decisions to make almost every day. I want to talk about those major decisions.

For instance:
- To have surgery or not
- To comply with doctors orders or not
- To communicate your feelings/fears with others (ie spouse) or not
- To comply with your medications or not
- etc

I guess I am always trying to get into people's thoughts so I can better understand how everyone feels. I know my own thought process (may be strange) but its mine. So, I know how I would react in any of the above situations.

But what about the rest of you?
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


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Every one of my 7 spine surgeries If I had a choice I would do it all over again. The decision was never hard for me, I needed fixed and a surgeon was willing to do it. The idea of possibly being just a little more pain free made the surgery decision easier
    As many know I am getting ready to have surgery again, do i want it....no, but if it is going to clean the infection out and make me feel better it is a no brainer so Im all in on this one. As for communicating my feelings I have a best friend that is also a pain patient so she is my go to girl when I feel like I need to let it all out when it gets overwhelming . i feel I dont need to worry my family anymore then they already are over my issues. As for meds I learned the hard way, if you take too much you end up running out early and then are left for a few days with none. Ive learned some is better then none.
  • I went back to school at a more mature age...lol..and loved the job I was doing and the doctor I worked along with and all my co-workers. First job I felt I truly made a difference in helping heal people. When I had to make that decision to leave that job and apply for disability it was almost like a death. I mourned for months and still am not used to being home daily. Perhaps if I could do more at home I would feel better but not gonna happen right now.

    Ron, you always ask the questions that make me think which usually leads to tears, sometimes happy, many times sad but always thought provoking :)

  • keep living .sometimes I wonder whats the point too much pain no quality of life .I hate what I have become
    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
  • I'm struggling daily to decide whether to continue living or not. I know no one likes talking about this and I don't either but I have no meds for pain anymore and the pain controls my mood, my feelings, my entire life. I'm never going to get better, the doctors already told me that. I just keep going back and forth, will God understand? Will he/she make an exception for something like this?
  • PamhoffcaPPamhoffca Posts: 163
    edited 08/30/2013 - 9:17 PM
    Backache and Bill, We are here to hear you and many understand your chronic pain. You have a purpose on this earth, maybe its to be a good friend to someone who needs you, to be a good listener, to pray for others. You certainly can help others who are in your situation. You are in my prayers <3.

    I struggled with staying off work so long. My company has been slammed with work and is short handed. I had to tell my boss that I was going to be out for a month for surgery, etc. She was so gracious and understanding, but I know that it took a lot of work to re-distribute my work to others, and also burdened others with more work they did not expect. I have since decided to take off longer (an additional month) as we all know this is not a 2 week recovery. Its just the internal pressure to 1) take care of myself vs feeling the tug to get back to work and back to normal. I'm fortunate that the $ is not an issue as my husband is the major income in our household.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
  • im really struggling with just wanting to live.....it just hurts to much,,,im so sad all the time, its very hard to be this way when ive always tried to be upbeat and positive. the medical system is a joke and all doctors do is turf you around and then accuse you of being an addict, it SUCKS
    my everything hurts
  • 64pvolvo1800664pvolvo1800 Posts: 250
    edited 09/01/2013 - 2:19 AM
    Some days my most difficult decision is whether to find the nearest bridge. I struggle with the pain, the limitations as a result of my impairments, the guilt for living like I was invincible and therefore aggravating my pain many years earlier. I struggle with the shame of being "less than". I struggle with the decision of surgery and treatments that may or may not work and take time and money away from the company and family. I struggle with the way this disease/injury has made my existence all about me. It causes me to be so selfish and to undermine others' importance and struggles.

    However, I thank god that I'm a recovering addict (2/14/2003). One who has a strong support system and awareness of these issues and the personal struggles we all face. I'm grateful to have the accountability and responsibility to others and an honest program. I'm grateful for all the lessons and blessings I've been granted.

    As said earlier, there is a purpose for my life. I don't need o understand it, I just need to be present to participate in it. Sometimes the light bulb goes on when I share my experience strength and hope with others. To see the impact and joy in heir eyes when they realize they are not unique or alone is payoff in and of itself.

    It is a struggle, but the journey IS the goal and the payoff. I keep passing the open windows, just for today. 44 magnum early retirement is always an option, just a very permanent one. Permanent solution to a temporary problem.

    Keep passing the open windows and the bridges. This too shall pass.
  • ShmooeySShmooey Posts: 89
    edited 11/19/2013 - 7:39 AM
    My toughest decision was deciding not to seek a second opinion about a lumbar fusion back in 2009. I have a ruptured disc at L5-S1, and the orthopedic surgeon I consulted told me he'd have to fuse from L4 - S1, which would cause compensatory stress over time on L1-L3. He said if I did a lower fusion at age 39, he guaranteed I'd need another lumbar fusion for the upper area, and I would be totally disabled by age 60.

    That scared me so bad, I never considered a second opinion. But lots of times I wonder if I should have.
    (see profile for medical details)

    I *heart* my TENS unit.
  • I think that my toughest decision was whether or not to have the fusion surgery. That decision was hard for me because I am young and thought that I would have back issues for life if I got the surgery now. However, once I found a GREAT surgeon I was confident that he knew that his recommendation had a great success rate. I am so glad that I got it done, I am getting better daily.... :) I'm thankful for the members on here, I wouldn't have gone through with it or taken it so well without their encouragement and friendship! :)
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    hear about the success stories. Most of the time, when people start to get better, they start to disappear from here. I am also so very happy for those folks. They made it. They got past those huge obstacles and are moving on. Its even better when folks like yourself stay around to help others.

    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
  • For me, the decision to go ahead with surgery was simple. I had tried physical therapy and chiropractic, and have had bad experience with cortisone in the past. I was comfortable with my doctor and his opinion. And I could see on my MRI why surgery was indicated.

    My biggest decision is still up-coming.
    I don't know if I'll be able to safely continue with my current job. It's fairly physical, and if I had to go back today, I couldn't/wouldn't. I wouldn't feel safe doing so, the chance of re-injury is too high. I have a good back up plan, but I really like my job.

    Compressed Discs/DDD - L2/L3, L3/L4
    Major Herniation - L4/L5
    Bulging Disc - L5/S1
    "no healthy 24 year old's back should look like this without a major trauma"
    MicroDisc L4/L5 Nov 7, 2013
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