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I'm living in fear

I find myself in fear all day due to having cervical stenosis and minor lumbar. I have not had surgery but as I read the surgery stories, I get terribly anxious. I am on Lexapro which is helping immeasurably. But, the constant thought is always on my mind, if I deteriorate to the point of needing surgery.

I've posted before, I have limited family and really no help. My girlfriend lives across town. If I need surgery, I don't know how I'll make it. Also, the thought of being on opiates while being alone and perhaps the rest of my life scares the hell out of me. I've also said that I have my own business that I have to run and it's getting difficult. I can't do as much. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.


  • Anyone who is faced with spine surgery should be concerned, but as I told you in a previous response, I really encourage you to make an appointment to talk to your doctor and a therapist about how your depression and anxiety is effecting your ability to cope.
    It is not normal to allow fear or trepidation when you aren't even at the surgical point yet to become so debilitating that you are allowing it to effect every aspect of your life.
    There is nothing that you have posted so far that has indicated that you will need to be on narcotics for life, nor anything that says surgery is absolute- from everything you have said so far, you believe that you need surgery in both the cervical area and the lumbar area, but there are so many different types of surgery done in both areas, from minimally invasive ( band aid) surgery to full out fusion that it is impossible to know ( predict) the outcomes.
    I can tell you if you do in fact, need surgery, going into it with the thought that it will be unsuccessful can become a self predicted outcome.
    I strongly encourage you to look into some therapy before contemplating surgery, and and honest discussion with your doctor about how you are feeling. Also I suggested to you before that you look into your county's resources for adult assistance for the post op period. There are plenty of nursing services, and adult resources to help you in the immediate post op period, many of them low cost.
  • I have been seeing a therapist for my anxiety. I have to get control of this. Thank you so much for your nice and informative response.
  • Our greatest wish is to see the members who come here, do well. Whether or not , surgery is the outcome for some of us, or other modalities work their magic, we know one thing, and that is that the right mind set goes a long way in determining how the outcome will be.
    I hope , that for you, if surgery is necessary, that you find that all of your fears are based on reading too many negative outcomes.
    By and large, most of our members here are in the early stages of treatment for back pain and in the acute recovery process post op, so you are going to find more discussions about pain, problems, complications and early recovery, and those are difficult days for many of our members, but by the time that they reach the middle and end stages of recovery, the members tend to disappear and move back into what we call the land of the living and don't post about how well they are doing...
    We do understand the fears going into the whole idea of surgery, we felt much the same, but you can't allow the fear to consume so much of your life, and jeapordize everything you have worked so hard to build .
    Take care of you, and hang in there, we will be here to support you.
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