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Living alone

Hi, I have cervical and spinal stenosis. I have not been operated on yet but I fear given my symptoms, it's merely a matter of time. I was given Tramadol for pain and they have me in PT. I get numb in legs and left arm. I have my own business which I cannot do much work; therefore, I pitch work to competitors. Pretty soon, all work will dry up. I am mentally devastated by the news and what future holds.

I have limited family. We all fought our lives and have resentments to one another. My one brother may help me but he can only do so much. Friends and girlfriend are already growing weary. I take Lexapro to deal with depression.

My question is, when and if I have to have surgery to recover functions due to compression and pain, I'm sure I will graduate to higher medicines such as I read here. If I get to this point, I don't know if I'll have the strength to take care of myself, to live on my own. I'm 51. I hope I can get Social Security if I become debilitated. If the pain gets bad on a daily basis, are there facilities where I can go live? Or do you have to live alone and take the pain and lonliness with no help?


  • I urge you to see someone prior to the surgery ,to help you get through this depression. Giving away business contracts, feeling like you will need to find a new place to live, that you can't resume your life are big red flags, and concerning.

    The biggest, most difficult part of recovery, is in the immediate post op period, and the post op depression that comes.
    You have to go into the surgery believing/KNOWING that you are making the right decision , and that you will do whatever it takes to get a good outcome.
    Feeling that you are going to come out worse, or needing more or stronger medications tends to become a self fulfilling prophecy.
    The fact is that you may wind up needing stronger pain medications temporarily, for a short period of time, but for most of us, it is far less time than we think it will be.
    You may very well be one of those people who undergo surgery, and wake up feeling better than you have in years, and within a few weeks of acute recovery, find that you are able to do most of the things you were doing 10-15 years ago.....of course watching not to worsen things, but back into the land of the living.
    Worrying about getting SSD or any other long term income is premature, since you don't know for sure what , if any surgery is going to be required or what the outcome might be.
    I hope that you will talk with someone before going into surgery, because while I understand your fears and concerns, thinking too much negatively can and does often effect the outcome because of the way we perceive things.
  • You are very right. I am taking an anti-depressant for help but I find therapists don't know a lot about chronic pain. So, I made on e with someone who does. Problem is, can't see them for a couple of weeks
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    There are so many people on this site that do not have any family within hundreds of miles, but they still have the surgery that is required. I would reach out to some of your friends to see if they can lend a helping hand. Also there are many local agencies, Visiting Nurse Associations (VNA), Churches , Knights of Columbus, etc that have people that can help those that require additional help.

    It is also important that you 'surgery' prepare you living area. The chair you will be spending your time in, the phone nearby, any PC, IPAD, Iphone that you need along wiwth the recharging cords, Remote TV switches... Then in terms of foods, lots of soft cold foods. Ice cream, Puddings, Jello, soups, etc.

    And you should make sure that you designate one person that will call you at a per-determined time every day , just to check up on you. That is very very important.

    I wouldnt even thing about disability at this stage. ACDF surgery is pretty common and the recovery is great. So many people can jump back into doing many of the things they did before.

    I needed more care for my lumbar and shoulder surgeries. When I had my multiple ACDF's, I could be left along for up to 8 hours at a time without any problems. Again, it is till important to have that daily phone call check in.
    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
  • NJDanNNJDan Posts: 31
    edited 12/28/2013 - 12:17 AM
    I'm not having surgery yet. But, I fear it's coming
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