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back pain

what do people do when life is crashing down before there eyes and cant do nothing but watch and listen. I have had chronic back pain for some time now and have had a back surgery 8 weeks ago. I have a 2 year old running around and a life that needs to be busy all the time .. we get bored very easily. anyway I can see the toll my condition now is taking on my family. my spouse asked me the other day if we could go out and do something and I snapped at her because in my mind what she asked was like her pointing a finger at me and laughing cause I think she should know my condition already cause ive been having trouble for years now. I do really want to be the fun dad but my back just wont let me have fun anymore. ive been trying so hard to rehabilitate it that im just mentally tired of it all. my relationship is probably finished and the once excited dad is now completely depressed cause im unwillingly letting my 2 year old son down in life. I now believe he wont have the dad I wanted him to have.. is there any hope for us.. my spouse understands im in pain most of the time but she just refuses to get that she needs to be more understanding that im not the super hero I was 2 years ago. im at a stage where I cant get around a little bit but refusing to go crutches or wheelchair but maybe I need those.. my opinion of a wheelchair is you don't use one until there no chance of walking.. sorry I know this is very scattered but im running out of solutions. all I see is pain and lonliness in my near future


  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 02/10/2014 - 9:14 AM
    Justin it's early on in your back surgery so that might work if you do your rehab and you could be back to nearly normal. You still have hope that the surgery will work. Better than nothing.
  • My children are now 7 & 4. My chronic back pain started about 6 1/2 years ago. I know exactly how you feel. The hardest thing I've had to come to terms with is accepting that I'll never be the mother I dreamt of being. The most rewarding thing is the realization that I'm still wonderful in their eyes. You are & always will be your sons hero & no one could ever replace you. I believe there will always be times that the curse of depression strikes & takes me down for a while. I was never this person. I've mourned the loss of who I was in so many ways & it's been a very long road for me & I've still got a long way to go. In many ways the depression & self loathing has been harder to deal with than the constant pain. I still have terrible times when I linger on the darkest thoughts that I'm a huge disappointment to my husband & children but as time passes & I've settled into my pain coping routine (finding the right medications & learning my limits was a huge step for me) there are many more good times.
    To be completely honest 2 is a REALLY hard age. They're full of energy & don't understand they can't jump & swing on Daddy when the urge strikes! Just listen to some 'normal' parents talking..even without constant pain very small children are mentally & physically exhausting. It will get better! We snuggle on the sofa & laugh & eat popcorn on movie night. We lay in my bed & laugh & joke & read stories. Life changes, it's different than I thought it would be & it took me a long time to realize that's not a terrible thing..it's just different.
    When my family is taking one our (very slow) nature walks, talking & laughing, discussing the things we see & the things we feel we pass the local park. I watch the children playing while most of the parents are either on their mobile phones or talking to other adults & I wonder is our 'different' really a bad thing? My son has seen me go through a lot & he is an incredibly compassionate, caring little man. A great Dad isn't a man who can swing their kids around & play sports & do all the physical things you're mourning the loss of. You can still be the rock of your family. Your strength can teach your son what it is to be a real man. Your family doesn't need superman, they need you! It's a bloody hard road to walk & it's cruel, frustrating, basically a living nightmare at times but it will get better. You're just getting over surgery. It's going to take time.
    Sorry for rambling on. I hope your family pulls together. Keep talking to each other you can get through this. Sometimes it's hard to even imagine a light at the end of the tunnel. Someone very close to me took their own life & it's the cruelest thing you can ever do to the people who love you. I know sometimes we don't think that way. If people could glimpse the carnage they leave behind they would never even consider 'that' way out.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Have you seen the discussion here "How can I help my loved one?" ...you could show it to your wife & discuss it. I know my husband found it helpful to know that he's not alone either..
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Justin,

    They cannot begin to understand it as spouses, its something no one could unless you are forced to live it. What you feel is the letdown of expectations or beliefs you probably had your entire life of what a good dad should be, I had/have those same beliefs. A man should get to be coaching his son, playing sports , fishing, hunting, outdoors , playing outside or etc. You could still be a very good dad, but do not expect you to change your vision of what a father should be quickly, its something formed during your entire life up to this point and it will take time. Your child will always love you, but loving yourself is the hardest part by far.
    I get bored very easy to and staying busy was always a way to fight any depression, now you dont have that escape, i am bored out of my mind. I was my childs ( I raised her but she is my godchild) everything, I was the hero, the rock for the family, the supporter/positive person when times rough, the breadwinner before injury, that was what I was known for being a great dad and being a hard , dedicated worker. To sit here and say all that did not change , i would be lying and its still hard. At this point I would focus on healing, 8 weeks in is short time and just remember short term sacrifice for long term gain. Nothing makes it easier, its a crap situation , but hopefully one that will soon be in your past.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,342
    edited 02/10/2014 - 10:44 AM
    is still the acute phase post op, and depending on the type and extent of surgery you had. Recovery from spine surgery is a journey, not a destination. You will continue to see improvements and changes for some years down the road, and what seems impossible now, may very well become possible in the months, days, and weeks to come.
    Depression is quite common , especially after major surgery, and spine surgery fits that description. It is vitally important that no matter how much it hurts, that you continue rehab, once surgery is done and work toward resuming your life.
    Having small children makes things a bit more complicated but you do have other options than being dormant or a wheelchair, teaching your child to be careful when it comes to climbing over you, and quiet moments are just as important as going out and roughousing with your son.
    As you get better you can increase the activities with your son. Going to the park, him chasing a ball, or watching him ride a tricycle are still things that you can actively participate in with your son. Playgroups afford you both the opportunity to be together, and him to burn off some of that excess energy, and you still to be involved and active as a parent.
  • thank you englishgirl, and everyone else that answered me. even tho I have many friends and many family members. im at a point of feeling very lonely. that's why I have turned to this site. I injured myself at work and since that day everyday has been a struggle that ive tried to hide. i got depressed 4 months post injury when they decided to force me back to work. ive dug myself out of that dark place but put a huge toll on my family then. now being 2 years later and 8 weeks post surgery im starting to notice symptoms of depression again and im scared to drag my family into it for the 2nd time. thanks for listening
  • anelsen15anelsen15 Posts: 119
    edited 02/10/2014 - 11:37 AM
    You know justin, I was recently tested for PTSD at physc office and according to the test I fit . I never would have thought because I assumed it was for soldiers or people with these huge things happen and it felt almost disrespectful to think I had that, but the more questions she asked the more I answered yes. I to was hurt at work the first time and I totally cut myself off from friends I had at work due to being depressed, i practiced avoidance most of the time and when I would think about the accident I would either sleep or curl in a ball, but I funtioned. Now after second injury I get same feelings when I think about the second accident and I feel so wierd seeing my old school books or college I was going , any thing that reminds me and many other wierd symptoms. Now Im not sure if thats actually what I had, but the physc said when I lost feeling in both arms and had panic attack I may have started PTSD and now everytime pain occurs it replays over and over. Like I said I dont know whats to come out, but one thing about the spine and human body is nothing really suprises me anymore, I dont underestimate anything that might happen.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • so true anelson. i feel i have ptsd as well and will bring that up at my next doctors appointments. i don't know whether its the depression but i know when i suffer the panick attacks while being depressed that's when my body and mind starts going to places ive never felt possible. its like i have tunnelvision and i need help asap. such an awful awful feeling
  • anelsen15anelsen15 Posts: 119
    edited 02/10/2014 - 1:32 PM
    Yea justin, Ive been depressed with first injury and never had a panic attack. But with second one I have had many, also feeling of being in small spaces and breathing issues along with depressioin and aniextiy and concentration issues. I have several medical issues that may/may not be contributing. Its just more to muck up the waters of figuring out what the real issue is. This wonderful body was designed spectacularly to function normally, throw a couple of wrenches in the spokes and its amazing what begins to fail you.
    You have any panic attacks prior to your injury?
    For me those injuries have really so far been the defining point of my adult life unfortunatly, so looking back at the consrquences of those accidents and its substantial and continuing. Ill be starting wellbutrin soon to help, but I dont want to cope I want to figure out what the underlying cause is and work on it.
    I totally get what you mean about thoughts that you never thought you could think, after second injury I did things I would have never done in my life, it was as if I was not in control/or present in my body. I never miss work, did that; I never drink and drive, did that ; and several other things that are not representative of me. I was almost purposly sabatoging my own life rather than try to accept things were falling apart again after so much hard work, I could not accept that at all. Dark time, I came to one time with a belt around my neck and hanging by a door. Dont let yourself get there , go see someone, Im not embarrassed because I literally dont remeber any of it until I came to, it was real out of body experience, but I was in alot of uncontrolled pain and drinking alot to control it. My need to escape pain was so overwhelming, i could not think or reason with anything else, it felt like a primal human instinct as if it was more important than anything in my life. I was trying to tough things out, I was doing alot of medically administered steroid injections that I think had me very depressed along with very uncontrolled pain and alchohol, I was crying everyday in bathroom at work from pain and also having multiple tests for things such as MS, ALS, dystrophy as they were all suspected and my relationship had ended. Very bad time and I should have been seeing a physc more, when I did and told her about the last 3 years she asked how I possibly coped with all that stuff that was happening in my life, I said I wasnt.
    Wish you the best and hope you get some help before it gets any darker like mine did, just giving you heads up where it can take some people if the depression not in check.. I take it you are young with a 2 year old and I hope to see you not on spinehealth in a bit, only checking back in to say how great you feel to the new people on here contemplating surgury or dealing with their own surgical pain.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • i never had panic attacks before injury it was till 4 months after thatim like k this injury is bad and for real and i had responsibilities and my wcb claim got denied and had to fight that for 10 months but in the mean time used short term disability which barely kept me afloat. i just sunk nothing was controlling pain. i quit drinking 5 years ago i was an alcoholic so i never had that to fall back on and the pills they were giving me had no affect. i was suicidal never attempted cause im too scared to die but i sought help from a physc i also went to er for help but they looked weird at me. i was in a very dark place. i was in intense panic and depression for about 1 month the month they sent me back to work.. im a heating and cooling journeyman with many awards won. i was so scared i couldn't talk to my customers without crying.. i managed to dig myself out when my doctor finally took me off for depression. ive been off since because im still in spinal pain its been 8 months since then. first time yesterday i started noticing similar feelings and my doctors apt cant come soon enough.. it scares me thinking about that level of anxiety hitting again. when you said the word ptsd i was in denial when i read about all those soldiers offing themselves but now believe that might be whats plagueing me...

    thank you for your replies
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 02/11/2014 - 11:14 PM
    I have had PTSD and have worked with people with PTSD for 20 years.

    Sandi obviously my experience is invalid. In my experience most guys keep it locked up for years, firstly it is too confronting, secondly they are expected to be men and not show any weakness or speak about the experience. I was exposing my private life,( I will not do it again openly) and considerable research on PTSD to try and give some strategies that could help. It is a very private experience to me, I thought it may help.

    The strategies I suggested come from a book written by a professional especially for soldiers who have had PTSD. I was in no way suggesting people did not go and get professional help. But in my defence I think you will find most guys who suffer PSTD episodes are the ones who have not spoken about it and locked it away for years.
  • treatment is very, very successful when it is used in the right therapists hands, so please , seek the appropriate treatment if you suspect that you may be suffering from that or any other health problem.
    There are many successful treatments, therapies and medications available to help to treat the symptoms, and help you get backi on your feet. Do not attempt to self treat or self diagnose, and if you feel that you are at risk of hurting yourself, please reach out.
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