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21 and I feel like my life is over

Herniated Disc at L5-S1
Degenerated L4-L5

I had a microdiscectomy but the pain is still there. It's getting worse

I'm only 21 years old and I feel like my life is over. I have trouble going out with friends. I had to drop out of school.

I really don't know if I want to live the rest of my life in pain. Is it worth it?


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 08/22/2013 - 5:55 AM
    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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    How long has it been since the microdiscectomy?You are very young to have had surgery on your spine, but it can take some time to get back to your activities post op. Your body needs some time to rebuild muscle strength and for you will find that things should improve as more time passes and you increase your activity level. How did you injure your back?
    Hang in there, there is life after back surgery, and hopefully, you will soon start to see improvement. Don't become inactive because doing that only makes recovery that much more difficult.
    What did your surgeon tell you about follow up or activity levels since the surgery?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    When you are young and get hit with spinal problems and/or surgery, the impacts on your normal daily life are great.
    It can be very depressing, especially when you were used to a full speed way of life and now, you feel you are stuck at a stop sign.

    I cant tell you that it will get better or will it get worse. What I can tell you is that you have to put yourself in a position to accept what you have and deal. That does not mean giving in, or giving up what you did before... It may just mean adjusting to what you can do today.

    My first spinal surgery was at 28 and it put a throttle on so much of what I did. My problem, is that I ignored that for years and had multiple repeat spinal surgeries. Know your limitations, stay with them, but at the same time, always look to ways you can do things better, enjoy life more, etc. It aint easy, but its worth the ride.
    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
  • I was 19 when I had my first surgery, a micro D on the lumbar spine. Made it 8 years until I couldn't function enough to go on and had a three level lumbar fusion. Now having a cervical fusion, then a knee surgery, then possibly another level added to the lumbar. It has NOT been easy going. I have struggled to accept, adapt, etc, I must have done something right though cause I am still here, and not without some measure of hope. I hope that you and your doctors can find something that works to relieve you. Feel free to send me a direct message any time you want to chat.

    One Love,

  • I can relate. I'm 24 with Grade 3 spondy at L5-S1. I've been in pain for more than 3 years. I feel like the debbie downer when I go out with my friends. I can't keep up if we have to walk anywhere, I can't get comfortable at restaurants or the movies, and I just spend the entire time thinking about how soon I can go lay down.

    I'm set to have fusion surgery in a month, but I worry about it failing.
    L5-S1 360 fusion on 10/1/13
  • I'm right there with you and know what you're going through! I'm 35 but mentally and physically don't feel or act like it (haha) and having my life taken away like this is tough! I, like you, miss going out at all - I haven't been out of my house in 9 weeks straight, stay in bed 23 out of 24 hours a day and am just plain miserable :(

    I have an L5-S1 as well and headed into surgery on September 12th for a micro-d. I'm scared it won't work and don't know what i'm going to do if it doesn't....

    I think there are a lot of us in this same boat and if we can all pull through and get through this together, I truly believe that having people who understand each other is the best thing possible right now.

    I'm here to talk too because I get it.

  • nurse jillnnurse jill Posts: 5
    edited 09/03/2013 - 3:16 PM
    I haven't had to undergo surgery, but I can relate to feeling lost so early in life. My pain started when I was 12. Some days it gets the best of you mentally and physically. The important thing is to get up the next day and keep going. Life in pain is worth living, you just have to find out what makes it worth it to you. It could be school or family or a goal not yet accomplished. Mine is my niece and nephews and my education. I too have thoughts of ending it, but that's the easy way out and people who have chronic pain are the toughest people in the world in my eyes. Remember, you are not alone, ever.
  • Hello!

    I am so sorry to hear of the pain you're experiencing! I am 26 and 4 months out of a fusion, so I completely understand the pain you're going through, I suffered for 4 years before finally getting a correct diagnosis and then undergo surgery after the non-surgical treatments didn't work. Just keep at it, perhaps getting a second opinion and seeing if there are any other treatment options since you've undergone a microdisectomy already?! There is no reason to believe that your life is over, as it truly isn't. Being young and in pain is really hard, I am still in that boat- unable to do a lot of things due to the limitations I have after surgery. However, don't get depressed.... get a second opinion, see what other options there are for you. I know it hurts to move, but the best suggestion my doctor gave me was NOT to lay dormant as the muscles then get frozen and it increases the pain and lack of mobility. Just short walks or even just small stretches will do wonders. Keep me updated!!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • I wish I could give you a hug, because I understand. I just got my MRI today, so I don't know exactly what's going on with me. Bu I understand the limitations, pain, and suffering.t I can't do ANYTHING and feel so isolated and alone. I'm here if you need someone to talk to.
    ~*Let all that you do be done in love*~
  • Don't Give Up We Are Only Here Once Not Matter How Bad It Gets Never Let Pain Win
  • I know how you feel. I want to scream that I am too young for this, it's not fair, and I simply can't stand the pain for another second. And when the pain does does stop for just a second, I can't do anything because I am terrified to do anything to start it again. I wish I had a great answer for you. Just know that someone gets it
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
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