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Physical and Emotional Pain

I've touch on this subject several times over the year, but I still feel it is so important to discuss.

I dont think I need to elaborate on the physical pain that spinal patients need to cope with. We all have our various set of treatments that hopefully make every day a little easier to get by.

But our emotional pain. Realizing

  • - We cant do the things we did before
    - Its hard to socialize when all of our friends do not have any medical condition
    - What is in store down the road.
    - Will I have to deal with this pain forever
    - I have young children and I cant play with them
    - Will I be able to have children down the road
    - I might lose my job if I stay out of work any longer
    - etc
That list goes on and on and its impossible to list them all I am sure each of us have more specific items that we need to deal with.

BUT what about our loved ones, spouses, significant others, family members, etc They may not understand the physical pain we are in, but they see the end results. They see the mood swings, they see the crying, they see all the pain medications we take, they see we cant do everything what we want to do. They see all of that, but do they really understand it?

They may look at the situation as if they are being robbed. Lets say , they love to horseback ride, ride a motorcycle, or play golf. We can't, so in ways they are being deprived of what they like to do.. But they do not have any pain
medications to help with that. Many times they have to suffer in silence, but eventually that silence unravels itself and becomes aroar.

How can we avoid all of this? Its difficult, in fact very difficult. We need to have effective communications with those we love. And even then, there will be times when that breaks down.

We expect the understanding of our loved ones to help us with our pain and medical situation. But lets also look
at the impacts all of this has on our loved ones. They suffer also, not the physical pain we have, but their emotional pain may in fact be even more difficult than ours.

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


  • HorseLoverHHorseLover Posts: 5
    edited 06/24/2014 - 3:28 PM
    I am 77 days away from Fusion L4-L5. I am in a much diminished capacity of my life due to pain and pain avoidance strategy. This has consumed most of my life. I used to be one of the most active, strong and positive women among everyone I met. I've ignored the pain and hid it from most people for the past two years. Now, I'm nearly incapacitated and have severly cut back on all physical activiity. I am a craft artist with a large audience, who have begun to ask where are my new designs. My active horse life has stopped and those creatures are mystified. My family is stunned by my diminished capacity. I have always had a hard time asking for help or delegating responsibilities. I look forward to the other side of this surgery and renew my active productive life. I am scared about this drastic event to correct my problem. I feel I need to forgive myself for the lost time for recovery, predicted to be a year, possibly earlier. I have started to train myself to look forward to the positive outcome. Yet I have dark moments when I want to shed things, for example, sell horses and simply cut off my long bushy hair, two things that are important to me. This looks to be a long journey. Its not like when I compression fractured my T10,11,12 and recovered in a brace after six weeks. I learned some emotional coping strategies when I went through that 14 years ago. I will try to use those again. Visualization worked well, probably because I am an artist. I hope that when I get on the other side this battle, I will dance on my 60th birthday!
  • I know exactly how you feel. It's great that you have hope & you're holding onto that. I cut my hair! Finally I have someone who understands the magnitude of that! It was bushy, red & down to my bum when wet. It's still long, normal person long but it was a huge loss for me. I know it sounds silly. I'll never do that again. As you know, chronic pain steals too much.
    Do you blog & YouTube with your art? I've started Art Journaling, just playing but I can do it anywhere in any position & it helps. Helps me to forget what I can't do, helps me to focus on what I can. Craft art is changing. If you're not part of the online world I highly recommend it.

    I've had some monumental changes in my life. Moving from England, leaving my career to be a stay at home Mum, chronic pain.. I don't know if it's easier for me because I'm used to leaving things behind. Don't get me wrong, I have some incredibly dark times. I still wake Groundhog Day to my pain & want to die but I don't. Life goes on & to be honest it's pretty good! I think I got bored of being completely broken. Depression, anger, frustration lasted too long for me. I forget that sometimes & the darkness returns but it doesn't persist like it used to. I've wasted so much time being miserable. This is my life, for better or worse.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Sorry. I got a little distracted & rambled off there! Welcome HorseLover! ;-)
    I'm so glad we've got another artist here. You sound so positive, for a spiney...isn't it funny how we redefine what 'happy' & 'positive' is once we've been living with chronic pain for a number of years? I'm a human being not a game show host, it's not possible to be perky all the time but I refuse to let chronic pain win. It did for a while in my past & I simply refuse to go back there.
    I've found meditation & visualization very helpful too. I like heating & massaging airomatherapy oils at the same time to bombard my senses. I strongly believe that filling my mind with something, anything other than my pain is the key to living with it. I'm also interested in the research that shows that chronic pain decreases gray matter in the brain & meditation, developing new skills increases it...can't hurt??

    Good luck with preparing for your surgery. There's lots of great information here. Check out the surgery forums if you haven't already. You'll find lots of support there. I look forward to seeing you around & chatting. Welcome ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    that when you start to divert some of your daily and hourly actions to something other than the pain, you start to find ways in making positive strides.

    Take quicksand.

    When a person wallows in their pain, they start to sink into it and when they struggle, they sink lower and lower.

    Where as the person in that same quicksand, takes a different approach. They maintain a level and positive outlook looking for ways out. More than likely get themselves out.

    Sounds simple, but in many ways it is. Its all how you approach things.
    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 first diagnosed with arthritis when I was very young but it had very little impact on my life. My Mum had a 'slipped disc', as they called it back in the 70's, when I was a preschooler & still suffers with arthritis. My Dad is the highest functioning chronic pain sufferer I've even known! He has suffered terribly over the years, it has slowed him, it's even brought his life to a grinding halt at times but he's always bounced back. He's an incredibly obsessive man...about everything EXCEPT his pain.

    I've always been considered a very strong, level headed & smart lady. Put all of these facts together & chronic pain should be a breeze for me. Why isn't it? ...because its so incredibly, unrelentingly bloody hard for everyone!!

    At the start I was in denial. Just look at my genetics. I take after my Dad in so many ways, I was diagnosed young, it should of been obvious that my chronic pain journey was starting for real when I fell (dead leg, sciatica etc) but like everyone, I convinced myself that it was temporary. I just needed to be cured. I think we all have to go through that stage. When do we accept that this is our new life?

    This seems to be where the anger, frustration & depression starts. Why can't our doctors stop this pain? There's the hope...therapy, procedures, surgeries, medications. For some this is the end & life continues as before. Why aren't I one of those people? Maybe the next treatment will make it stop. Am I seeing the wrong doctor? Maybe I need a 'better' specialist.
    Now the anger & frustration hits for real.. It's my doctors fault! Why isn't he doing the right things? Why won't he give me MORE narcotics? The ones I take relieve some of the pain so if he would only give me more, more & even MORE I could be pain free. It's his fault I'm in so much pain! He doesn't understand, he's not compassionate, how can he expect me to live like this??
    My husband doesn't understand. He just doesn't get it! He goes to work all day & I'm left hobbling around trying to keep the house tidy, looking after the kids. He wouldn't leave stuff on the floor if he cared. Where are my family & friends? Why are they carrying on with their lives while I'm suffering like this? I'm in agony all the time, everything makes me hurt more so I can't do anything at all. My life is over & no one cares! Yep... Now it's time for the major pity party!

    I think all of this is perfectly normal & natural. It's the start of the chronic pain journey. That's the most important lesson I've learned so far...it's the START. Just the beginning. The longer you linger on the starting line the worse it is. Maybe you're a lucky one & this isn't permanent. It takes a while to really figure it out but if chronic pain is going to be part of the rest of your life you need to get in the race! What do you want your life to be?

    I just don't want my obituary to read, "She did all this stuff then chronic pain hit in her 30's & she spent the rest of her life in bed or hobbling around crying. She spent the last 40-50 years a shadow of a person who never did anything because it hurt. Isn't it tragic?"

    I'm not saying I know the answer. This life is so bloody hard sometimes but it's my life & I have to keep figuring out how to make the most of it...
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Get into the race, dont be a bystander and let it control you.

    This way, when you take a proactive role, you chances are always going to be much higher if you just sat by.
    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
  • PinkellaPPinkella Posts: 211
    edited 06/26/2014 - 12:34 PM
    I do feel my back is taking over me....I've been fighting it every step of the way to remain the person I've always been....
    Who am I kidding...?
    As each flare happens with my back,the conditions seems to go up another level.....I don't have the power to stop this...
    I don't feel in control of my body no more....I just can't get the pain under control enough to be able to return to work and have a proper social life.....
    What is the point in fighting it? As I can't beat the arthritis in my spine can I ? I can't improve the pain either as believe me I've tried!I remained positive for a Long time in hope something would help,I was no way deluded into thinking it could be cured though,but the chance of improvement in the pain? If one of the treatments was to work!was an amazing though a the time .
    Now I've exhausted all treatments and they haven't helped,or only helped short term, I've last the will to carry on in the race..
    Yes there's surgery (last resort) but when I hear the awful risks involve I no I can't take those sort of risks,if they happened it would finish me of..
    Unfortunately as much as I hate to say it,my back s now ruling me....and destroying what quality of life I did have...fighting it like I have has been a waste of physical and emotional energy....
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
  • I was always into shoes & boots, the higher the heels the better...probably part of the trouble I find myself in today. I got sick of looking at my collection a couple of years ago & gave most of them to my Mum. I kept my very favorites though.

    Today my daughter was playing dress-up & stomping around in my favorite boots. It made me a little sad that I can never wear them again but she looked so cute I got over that fast. The last time I remember wearing them was about 9 years ago. I was in New York at the time. Days wandering around galleries, early evening in comedy clubs or watching a show, then off to a bar to warm up for a night in the clubs dancing. Boy were my feet happy to be set free by the time I collapsed into bed!

    That part of my life ended when I had kids & moved on. I had to reinvent myself as a Mum. Things change. Life changes. I know it's not as simple as that but we have to adapt. It broke my heart when I gave my shoes away (I'm honestly not that shallow. It's symbolic) my spine has stolen more from me than I ever imagined it could. I know I'm lucky that I had so many amazing experiences before chronic pain changed my life forever. I know I'd find it harder if I'd never had a great career, travelled, partied, had a family etc. but I know others who say its harder because they've lost so much that they once cherished..

    When I was in a really dark place I nearly threw out all of my art supplies. These's no way I could stand at an easel, I hadn't painted for a couple of years. I didn't. I found a way to change what I do so I could continue even when I can't stand (which is most of the time now). My kids begged to go swimming today... We made a 'splash park' for their toys on the kitchen table, collected bugs & made cupcakes. Yes, it sucks that I couldn't do what they wanted to (that hurts more than my back) but they won't remember today as another day that they couldn't have fun because Mummy's always in pain.

    I get depressed, of course I do I'm in constant bloody pain! I could spend everyday wishing things were different & it wouldn't change a thing. All I know is my life's better when I think about what I CAN do, my pain does dictate what I can't do but it doesn't rule me most days...I've taken that power away from it. I have fought it & I needed to go through that so it wasn't really a waste of energy. I needed to know that I'd tried everything...to be honest I'm contemplating trying a few things again.

    Helen, do you have reasonable pain management? I ask because I find everything so much harder when I don't. On a good day I get 40-50% reduction with my 'blend' which includes medications. Less than that & I spend half the day hobbling around in tears. That's when I write my really depressing posts...

    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • PinkellaPPinkella Posts: 211
    edited 06/27/2014 - 1:11 AM
    English girl,yes I have pain meds,but unfortunately when I have a big flare in the condition I literally cannot move without screaming!i am literally bed bound on my back,slightest movement sends me in a sweat with the excruciating pain...
    Believe me if I could get out of bed at the moment I would! I have tried and ended up vomiting with the pain....
    My back flares seem to be happening more often and that is a scary though that my bed may well become my life 6months out the year or even more....but then do you go for surgery ?and take those high risks?because we all know spinal surgery is not low risk......?i refuse to put my head in the clouds and ignore the risks....because if I did end up paralysed or incontinent from the op I have to think how that would effect my children and family...for me I know I would be finished mentally if the op went wrong...
    I have tried every treatments I'm aware of...I'm exhausted if I'm honest....
    My facet joints are literally rubbing bone on bone.....nothing can change that only surgery so I think I just need to shut up and put up...
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
  • So sorry your pain is so bad, I know to well that pain, and it really brings you to your knees. I have not got arthritis, but my disc on the L5s1 was bad, and the nerve pain was terrible 2013 was the worst year of my life. I opted for surgery, My Discs
    Were So squashed, And I Couldn't Understand How All The Lotions Potions Needles, Accupunture Could Help Me. I tried everything like you, so I opted for surgery, Im 5 months out now, My Recovery Has not been easy in fact I thought I would never turn the corner but I have and I am so much better for having the surgery ..it is such a hard decision to opt for surgery
    I am glad I did, as last year I was a mess. So helen I hope your days get better and you can get back to your old self.but I agree it takes over your life, it becomes your life...........


    Tlif L5S1 fusion on the 14th Jan 2014
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    What is the exact nature of your spinal problem? Cervical, Lumbar, Thoracic? Which discs?
    What has been your doctor's recommendations?

    There are so many different types of spinal surgeries. Many have become so common. L4/L5 surgery happens so often, it almost becomes like a molar extraction. Some of the lumbar surgeries today are 1 day. In for the surgery, out the following day or before and back to normal activities within a week.

    Yes, not all spinal surgeries are like that. Some are much more involved. But in terms of high risk. The potential end result are so much better than not having the surgery. You read about failed surgeries, problems afterwards. True, I cant say all are perfect. But so many times, those situations are due to patients not adhering to their restrictions. You will read countless threads here about problems after surgery. But you read, that those members did not follow the restrictions and limitations. They acted as if everything was fine. Its not, especially after surgery.

    Surgery, any surgery is a personal choice. But look at it this way.. Can you see yourself continuing to be consumed by your back? Don't you want a chance to eliminate some of that pain? Talk this over with your doctor to better understand the pro's and con's of spinal surgery.
    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
  • Something else to remember when you're reading about the risks of surgery... Often we're talking about major surgery, many years ago or in an emergency situation without the right surgeon. I use these examples because it's something I've done with another English member here! Technology has dramatically changed over the years. Some countries have been behind the USA in this progression. We can be guilty of chatting as if everyone knows our history & particular situations.
    Please listen to Ron. I know I have given the impression that surgery is always a huge life changing experience & it can be. Many people get their lives back! Some of the older members say 'surgery' but they're talking about multi level fusions in an already very messed-up spine. As Ron said, many surgeries these days are very, very basic. You have to take it slow & recover properly but if you're already bed ridden that won't be hard. ;-)

    Please take my warning. I have permanent nerve damage because, to be completely honest, I was terrified! I would love to be able to turn back the clock. See a surgeon. Ask what will happen if you don't have surgery & take it from there. Get second & third opinions & in the end the answer will be very apparent. This is the best way to take most of the stress out of the decision.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Helen. My personal situation means I can't stay in bed no matter how bad my pain is. This has been a blessing in disguise over the years. I know this is hard to hear but laying in bed makes everything so much worse. The exception for me is surgery recovery. I've recently been through surgery (not spine) & my Mum flew over from England to help with my kids. I can honestly say that lack of movement has made my back so much worse!
    I also have the sweaty, faint, vomiting etc reaction to pain. It's so debilitating. I feel so bad for you. This can't continue..you know that don't you? We reach a point when things get so bad that it's just not sustainable. Something must change. A month in bed will cripple you. Even after surgery they want you up & moving the next day for this reason. I know how hard it is. I wish I could give you a big hug. It must be so isolating & depressing. Thank goodness you've found this site to get some of your feelings out.
    How recent are your diagnostic tests? Do you see a board certified great surgeon for advise? The level of pain you describe screams nerve impingement. I'm not a doctor but you know what I'm saying. We talk about the blend & positive attitude but if you're stuck in bed it's time for action, time for something, anything! We need to get you moving! ;-)

    Huge hugs, things will get better. Grab your life again. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks for the hugs Jenny...it's great to hear uv turned a corner and are now doing well...
    I've tried many different pain killers and the pain eventually breaks through ...
    I think another few months of this and I think I will opt for surgery as there's nothing else I can do...
    I'm literally at my wits end with it...
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
  • So I've been on this site for a couple years now. I had a 2 level fusion on L2-4 in June 2013. Fusion is now a year out and fully fused and successful. That's the good news, though the year was tough. This year in Jan I had a L4-5 foraminotomy to try to decompress the cord and the bulging dic. It was hard too and unsuccessful. The disc is still bulging on both sides now. Currently I have no disc space and bone on bone at L1-2 and the same situation at L4-5. L5-S1 is somewhat damaged but not terrible. This is all the results I was given after last week which I spent in the hospital due to pain. The MRI and xray showed these results. I have been hospitalized in March and last week now for a week each time because I moved wrong and threw it out so bad I couldn't move. My husband carried me into the ER because I couldn't walk. Like the rest of you I have tried about every alternative therapy possible and currently am on muscle relaxants and morphine, both ER and CR. It helps a little I guess.I'm incredibly frustrated all the time. I need to have my L4-5 fused and my L1-2 fused. I was told this by my original surgeon over a year ago but he wouldn't do more than 2 levels at the time. As is the case with fusions, the levels above and below take on more stress and get worse. Mine were already a mess before so it has just sped up the process. One surgeon says he won't touch me and nothing more can be done to help me. I'm waiting to see the other surgeon who did my fusion last year in August. If he says he won't do surgery than I have nothing left to do. I'm depressed. I'm angry. I'm having a hard time accepting that I may be disabled for the rest of my life. I'm only 38. I've endured 37 surgeries (only 2 on my back) but they range from little (appendectomy) to major (open heart and fusion rank up there). I've spent over 200 days in the hospital since I was 15. I'm exhausted. My husband is a saint but he is exhausted too and my 2 teenage kids are always sad that I can't participate in activities anymore. Instead they are frequently getting me ice or water or whatever because I can't walk. I try to walk on the good days (which are fewer and fewer). Stretching and PT are off and on. I can't seem to balance the good days with the bad. I overdo it on the good days and pay for it for the next few days. The other night I was honestly just done. I wanted to end my life, but I thought of what I'd be leaving behind and snapped out of it. I am already on 2 different anti-depressants. They help. I'm rambling, but I have no one else to talk to except you guys who understand what this is like. My friends and family are sick and tired of hearing about my pain, my appointments, my meds, surgeries, hospitalizations etc... they are done being supportive and I don't blame them. I don't know what I'm looking for in this group, just help. guidance, anything I guess. Thanks spineys
    Severe DDD in S1-T12. 5 disc herniations. 5 compression fractures. Had a 2 level lumbar fusion/decompression on June 12, 2013. L4-5 foraminotomy on Jan 8, 2014, Right SI fusion in Oct 2014. Scheduled for L4-5 fusion to existing fusion on Sept 28, 2015
  • Ron&Suz I think the site has been playing up because I never saw your replies until now on this thread.....the site wouldn't even let me look at my recent posts yesterday ...
    Ron- rather than me repeat myself, I have a conversation in the chronic Pain forum called 'severe weakness' all is explained in there...
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
  • Pinks. This forum never shows it has new posts for me either..I think it's just a glitch. All the others do. My husbands a geek & everything technical in our house is so confusing I'm used to stuff not working right!

    Ex-Gymnast. It's wonderful that we have this site & tragic that we need it. I'm so sorry. This life can be a bloody nightmare sometimes. I completely understand the "I can't live like this for another moment" thoughts...like you, when I hit rock bottom & really contemplate the final solution is the moment I snap out of it! We do have blessings & I hate chronic pain for blinding me to mine. Sometimes I need to bottom out, cry, scream, 'it's just not fair!'. I used to think that being like that is pointless but now I realize that I need it. We can only bottle it up & paint on a happy face for so long. Life carries on. There are horrible days & there are great times. I just try to have more of the great ones & forget about the bad as fast as possible.
    It's incredibly hard when surgeons & specialists don't want us. I hear the negative, they just want our money so often. How bad does it have to be that they won't take my cash?? I still get so optimistic before a new appointment & it just makes the disappointment all the worse. You know all the usual...new developments are coming all the time, stay positive etc. I say sceam & cry when you need to! Then give your loved ones a gentle hug & carry on. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I find that the exterior may not always match the interior. I know my anger and pain wears on everyone around me. So this morning while giving pain meds time to kick back in before arising, I gave my self some time to think about the effect I had on others yesterday. Sometimes I creep along carefully, as I did going into the dentist office, yesterday. Mark one off the to-do checklist, thank you very much. I am a bad dental patient, meaning I avoid the dentist. The receptionist watched my careful movements and explained that I need to fill out the paperwork since it had been so long. After the appointment, I stood in front of her again, exhausted, and asked for a copy of the "quote" of my payment liabilities. I asked a question, and she was gazing out the window away from me, and I waited, she looked at me and apologized and reached up to her neck and complained about a bad pain. I wondered if I was the pain in the neck. She answered the question, I thanked her, offered condolence and unasked for advice about a stretch that might help. She smiled wanly, and thanked me. I knew she would be able to see me walk out through the parking lot to my truck. So I smiled as I went through the door, and imagined myself a dancer on stage, and carefully and lightly walked away, and thought about the morning breeze. I hoped I looked better than when I arrived.
    As I thought about that event this morning, I waited for something to make me smile, and heard the skipping trot of our happy dog outside the window. I smiled, and was determined to give my husband that smile, and I arose, yes, painfully, but went to greet him with a smile and chuckle at that happy dog as they came back from the barn, from doing my usual chores. He left for work with a lighter stride. Lesson learned: smile and the world smiles with you! :)
    Yet a few weeks away from L4/L5 fusion, still in pain from nerve pinch, and nauseated from instability. I will continue to try to be positive.

    Yikes! Englishgirl, I wish I had been back here sooner. I got my hair cut by a new stylist (previous one moved away), and well, it is still below my shoulders, but not getting caught in my armpits, that is good. It is bushier and more unruly than before. I put it away in a bun with a hairband. I hope I can take the hairband with me to surgery. Haircut: check another off the list, thank you very much.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    edited 07/11/2014 - 11:40 AM
    That always shows threads that had recent activity to it
    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
  • PinkellaPPinkella Posts: 211
    edited 07/11/2014 - 11:46 PM
    English I'm talking about when I have a severe flare and I'm not saying I'm in bed 24/7 by no means.I mean I'm in and out of bed not sleeping but lying down as that's the most comfortable position when I have a severe flare..when I move to get out of bed yes I scream out as it's agony to move but I did and do move in a flare..
    I do get up cook the dinner for the family them have to lie down again,then I get up put the washing on hang it out in the garden then lie back down again ... Do you get my drift?? If I go hard at it and don't lie down Inbetween, my flare becomes ten times worse...Then when the flare comes to end I become more active once again ...
    The flare I just had lasted three weeks I am now back to been out and about but if I overdo my back will flare again..
    I've learnt the pattern with my back....
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
  • I'm so glad you're starting to feel better. I know now what you've been going through & the action you've taken. My responses here were back when it first started & I didn't know what was going on or the 'action plan' in place. Back then it sounded very different to how it played out. I think you dealt with all this in the best possible way. Sometimes it takes a bit of a chat to really understand someone's situation. What I said here was just my gut reaction to someone saying they can't get out of bed, which we all know isn't the best way to deal with chronic pain. It's great that you're up & about again. Hopefully you can enjoy your summer, maybe not tall dark strangers on sun drenched beaches but I'd settle for mates down the pub right now ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I feel like this daily... it's terrible. I have the daily wonder of if I'll ever be able to have children. Even if I am... how fair is this going to be for them? They wouldn't have asked for a mother with mood swings, depression, social anxiety, lack of patience.... What child deserves that? So, did I get my right of having children taken from me ever since my accident?
    Does this ever get better? Is there any chance of not feeling like I'm useless and just waiting each day for the miracle of waking up and not feeling pain? I'm only 4 months post op...but feels like a lifetime. Is there any light at the end of this tunnel?!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    but over time, as you go more into your recovery period and then what I call your adjustment period you should see a lot of positive strides. They may not be big ones, but they will be heading in the right direction.

    For you now, the most important thing to concentrate is adhering to all the limits and restrictions outlined by your doctor. Weight limits, bending, etc. One a patient does all of that the odds in getting better faster increase.

    The physical pain will start to go away. Perhaps in a years time, you may not even remember all the physical pain you went through.

    The emotional pain. Time still does wonders in reducing that. There are hundreds of mothers out here who either had child birth before or after their spinal surgery. They can attest that it can be a challenge, but its remarkable how much those little ones understand.

    From a mans point of view, I felt I was not able to do all the things I should have been doing with my children as they were growing up. They understood without a word being spoken. Today, they are 40 and 36 and they still look after their Dad!
    They will come over and help around the house. My wife has been picking up for my slack for 35+ years, so she could always use some help.

    Melissa, for now, concentrate on getting into the best condition you possible can... Then you can concentrate on raising a family.
    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
  • Thank you for that. You are very lucky to have such a supportive family!!
    I know they're silly worries now and I need to take one day at a time, I guess I just can't help but to think these things, ya know? Thank you for the read and advice- you're right. I hope your pain iis subsiding, as well!
  • Hi Melissa,

    Maybe make small goals for yourself that you can work towards. I know your loaded with some big time concerns, but perhaps making a list and setting goals one at a time may help. My guess is that by the time you hit the 6 and 9 month post surgery time frame, you will have a better idea of what your capabilities will be.

    Take care!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
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