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Family, Set Backs & Sadness

I am 8 weeks post op from my 2nd spinal surgery. I had spinal fusion with decompression on L5-S1. I had L3-L5 fusion in 2007. Although I have come along nicely, my family has since stopped helping. I still have 2 more months to go with no bending, twisting or lifting. My dr said I will have good days and bad. All normal. The last 2 days my pain has really increased, there is swelling along the incision site (that goes down with ice and laying down) and I have been very discouraged with this. It may be normal but it scares me. My husband is an angel but when he says things like "why are u in so much pain? Or why are you going backwards now? Really upsets me. Makes me feel like I am letting him down with my progress. I have been in bed so much before the surgery that I want nothing more to get out of it and get back to my jewelry designing and health counseling practice. The ups n downs emotionally are tough and no one tells you that before surgery!

I just wish the family would understand (and remember) this is a long process. 6 months. I have 4 more to go. In the meantime, I wish they would pick up a vacuum or a broom! My house looks like a frat house! (I have all teenage boys).

Thanks for letting me vent. Sometimes I feel so alone until I come on here. Someone always understands. :)

DDD 2 level ALIF L3-L5 in 2007. 4/11/13 posterior fusion w/decompression on L5-S1.


  • It might be time for a family meeting- one in which you lay it out for them, that they are now responsible for the upkeep of the house while you recover from the surgery and rehab of getting back on your feet. Back surgery recovery is no picnic and they should be understanding of that. If talking with them, assigning daily chores doesn't work, take them with you to the next surgeons appointment so that he can explain to them the importance of you sticking by the restrictions post op if you are to get a good outcome. Otherwise, they may find that they are now going to become permanently responsible for all of the chores and housework if you get messed up by their lack of understanding and compassion.
    I feel for you, it is impossible at times to make someone understand that there is no quick recovery after back surgery, and doing things you aren't supposed to can cause big problems if you try too early.
  • I think sandi is right about taking them to your next appotment if a family meeting dose not work, my son was 7 when I had my first surgery and I could not walk for nearly 2months so he just learned the hard way to pick up after him self he 14 now and he still dose. I am glad your recovery is going ok but some time recovery is like that 3 steps forward and 4 steps back, I am sure your family are behind you some times they just need reminding how inportant a mother is because we do get taken for granted alot and when you tell them how your felling I hope they pull there socks ups. Takecare
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 06/11/2013 - 5:59 PM
    I think a family meeting is in order, and I think you should tell them how you are feeling when they ask about set backs... and remind them how hard you are trying... perhaps taking them to your next doctor's visit as well. I so understand, I REALLY REALLY DO... I have two small children and I just knew Id be able to get my house back in order during my summer break.... um.... so wrong. Preparing food, potty training the youngest, entertaining them, taking them outside... its just all I can do. So I'm chilled on the couch trying to relax while my husband who worked all day, cleaned up supper, bathed the kids, did laundry, and now is picking up the house. I feel SO SO SO guilty and I can tell he's "annoyed".... but I can also tell how hard he's trying not to be annoyed because he does know I've been through a lot. Still... there's that guilt... and I ask myself, so what if the house is a train wreck? As long as its "clean/healthy"? But then I know we have neighbors in and out all the time and I just can't bare for them to see my house like this. In fact one of our cute little neighbor boys came running in my den this afternoon hunting a kite... and I almost had a heart attack because all I could think of was him going to tell his mother that our house was a disaster.... Then I just had to remind myself... he's 5... so we found the kite, and sent him back outside... and now my husband is "stomping/banging around cleaning while I feel guilty....When two weeks ago I cleaned the entire house all by myself... I get it...
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I think that we all tend to feel guilty when we are not performing up to our usual standards but the reality is that if we don't follow the doctors orders and restrictions, ultimately, the entire family will pay the penalty for it, but most especially us. It might be inconvienent for the rest of the family at the moment, but in the long term, assuming that all heals as it should, they will get their mom /wife back, one who is able to do the things that we did prior to our back or neck problems.
    I made the mistake of trying to do too much, and not making my family stick by the agreements made prior to my first surgery, and making excuses for why they didn't live up to their agreements, and I am still paying the price some years later.
    If the family meeting doesn't work, then the visit to the doctor's office to find out the long term ramifications of not following the restrictions just might be the next step.
  • paininohioppaininohio Posts: 240
    edited 06/13/2013 - 3:30 AM
    Michelle, I agree with what everyone has suggested. Did you have the family meeting yet? Just wondering how things went for you and how your doing.
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