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long time lurker ready to reach out :)

ladymhurtslladymhurts Posts: 6
edited 06/17/2013 - 1:56 PM in New Member Introductions
hello community! i have been using this website and these forums for the last 2 years as my go to for information and knowledge and, most importantly, to read other people's stories. i have found strength here and the overwhelming feeling of not being alone. which i suppose is odd for someone that has never contributed a thing! i am reaching out now because i feel unable to "keep my chin up, stay positive, be patient, etc..." like i used to be able to.

i am 33yo. in the last two years i have gone through 8 months of chiro, acupuncture, pt. then my gp finally referred me to a spine neuro. my diagnosis at that time (MRI) was 2 herniations at l3-l4 and l4-l5, a disc tear at l4-l5, bone spurs, facet joint deterioration, and unilateral compression on my right side. i tried the epidural steroid injection in aug '12, no relief. my neuro agreed that i would not benefit from anymore injections and i had my first surgery on oct 3rd '12. he did a microdiscectomy, laminectomy, unilateral decompression, and removal of the bone spurs. i was out of the hospital in 2 days. began pt in 6 weeks and was able to travel to see my family for the holidays in december. i had a full month and half of mild discomfort (which was a blessing! no severe pain, just discomfort!!). i resumed pt in january and soon after i experienced almost a full return of symptoms. and it got bad, fast. severe pain, severe weakness and nerve pain returned to my right leg and this time my left leg played catch up and, well, caught up. MRI was scheduled even though i knew it in my gut. at my appt he gave me the news: reherniation of both discs and my facet joints and should i go on? no. he recommended an artificial disc replacement surgery (i was very active before all of this and i am still young, even if my body tells me differently). we tried and pushed my insurance hard, denied and did 2 appeals. by the time the second appeal came i was in such rough shape. so i agreed to a 2 level fusion (l3-l5), facet joint fusion, and a bilateral decompression. this surgery was on april 4th, one day away from the 6 month mark of my first surgery. i know i am leaving so much out, but how on earth do we fit everything in?

i am having such a difficult time. i have been experiencing overwhelming depression, i have new, different kinds of nerve pains and muscle spasms than i had preop, my relationship of 7 years has fallen apart and i am so, so lonely and my true support system is over 1500 miles away. my relationship troubles shouldn't be posted here, especially when this is for introduction purposes! lol. anyway. here i am. my name is michelle and i am grateful this community exists.

oh! as if i haven't rambled enough! the meds i am taking: oxycodone, ms contin er at bedtime, lyrica, flexeril, clonazapam, and topamax (for migraine prevention).
with courage to endure...


  • I'm also 33, and have had multiple surgeries. I have truly been blessed with an incredible marriage and many supportive friends. I know you do not have the supportive spouse, but you might be surprised who would want to help you if you just reached out. I know when I really was "scrubbing the bottom" my family was moving (same area, about 10 miles away). My ex boss found out and asked to help.... at first I was embarrassed and it felt awkward and I needed the help... so I finally said yes, that was HUGE for me to accept help like that... and now we are very close friends. She has now seen me through 4 surgeries. I remember telling her one time that I was so thankful to have a friend to help me and she said she was so thankful to have a friend to help. I guess I never thought of it that way. I know you must feel so lonely with your support system so far away... just try as hard as you can to stay positive. Have you considered seeking treatment for just the depression? You might want to start there, not with just meds but with some counseling as well. Sometimes its so hard to make those first phone calls/doctor's visits to ask for that type of help, but you can do it. If you can get the emotional side fixed, then you'll be more prepared to conquer the physical side (seek additional doctor opinions and such). Best of luck to you. Hang in there... sometimes it takes a long time to find the right treatment... just remember with every test/doctor's visit/therapy session you are one step closer.
    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.
  • thank you so much for the welcome and for sharing your own story. my partner did try his best at the beginning, but he has his own issues and we were not the most stable couple to begin with. i do have one very good friend that comes to visit me every week, brings me lunch and we talk and talk and talk. it's funny, we call each other our own therapists. not to make a joke of it, but i have a hard time accepting that i may need more than my pal...i don't like the idea of having to take a pill every day to feel "normal" or better. how ridiculous and ironic is that! and i know it's about more than just a pill. my thoughts are so jumbled these days that having a professional pull them out of me might be the only way?

    i appreciate you taking the time to respond thoughtfully :)
    with courage to endure...
  • I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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  • Any updates? Have you looked into holistic medicine? Sounds like that could possible be a good fit for you.
    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.
  • ya know, i logged in tonight to check out the mind/body/spirit forums as i am really, really struggling with my long term relationship and its brutal demise. i wanted to take a minute to respond to you before i let myself go down that path, though. at the beginning of my journey, close to two years ago, i did acupuncture, massage therapy, lots and lots and lots of meditation and i hope to try those again someday after i am further down my recovery road from my last surgery. i haven't even started pt yet, i just walk every day. i do take daily journey as my daily multivitamin and i keep my my cabinet stocked with b12, biotin, fish oil, omega 3 gummies. that's as far as my knowledge goes... is there anything else that you might suggest? i would be more than happy to hear any and all recommendations!
    with courage to endure...
  • I certainly know there are TONS of great reasons to take fish oil.... just be certain if you do ever have to have surgery (again) you can tell the Anesthesiologist. the exact kind/amount you take and when. I don't know any specifics, but I do know that one in particular can cause issues with anesthesia if the doctor doesn't know. I do think you might benefit from seeing a "DO" instead of an "MD", they have different qualifications, etc. but both are certainly very knowledgeable. I prefer "MDs", but that is just me... "DO"s are more trained in the holistic ideas which you seem to prefer. Keep going on your journey. Hoping you are finding joy and pain relief every day.
    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.
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