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What now? Help!

So, I'm currently 3 1/2 months post op. I had a 2 leveled spinal fusion. I am 23 years old and terrified this isn't going to be my last surgery. lthough I'm still in pain, the pain is different than prior to the fusion. I experience more spasms and inflammation now - whereas before I felt more stabbing sensations. I am trying to stay positive, and I know this is a long healing process... but between full time work and full time school... I am incredibly burnt out and feeling like this depression is taking over my life yet again. I thought with the surgery, the lack of desire for activities and/or company would subside.... but it's just so exhausting having to make sure the pain isn't making me look like a miserable (&$#!&) the entire time! lol... I'm sure many of you know the look I'm talking about...
Any advice on how to get through this depression? Does it ever go away with recovery?


  • I have personally found it helpful to talk to a psychologist. I have had 2 spinal fusion and at first had no pain but after each surgery my pain is worse than before. I found a psychologist who works well with me and also goes to pain clinic with me to make sure I am doing well and can be an advocate. It reall helps me to be able to talk it out with someone who isn't always there 24/7 but also someone who can just help me cope. She may not be able to get is of pain but she can work on trying to have it not have a hold on my life anymore or at least not as much. So while I'm still in pain it helps take that edge off of me each week to talk it out with someone outside of the situation.
  • Thank you! I'll have to look more into it. I guess I'm secretly scared of them telling me I'm crazy or something!'lol did it take time to find one you connected with? I'm so sorry to hear youre still experiencing such hurdles. I can't imagine how incredibly frustrating that must be after all this time. Do they know why your fusions were a fail? I wish you the best
  • You may be over doing it between work and school. Try to back off the things you don't have to do and let your surgeon know what's going on. Fusion at such a young age does make you more prone to further surgeries later in life.

    Remember what you do now can affect you for the rest of your life so be smart about how you move, activities you participate in and don't be afraid to speak up to your doctors about what's going on. I'm going to send you a PM in just a bit about this.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • You're right... I've been considering dropping down my hours at work... Im in the gist of making a budget so I'll be able to do this a little less stressed! Im enrolled in online classes right now, which has helped tremendously... my professors have been amazing through this. I feel like keeping my mind busy is the only thing helping me from going crazy lol
    I just found the depression forum and posted In there... maybe cutting down some activity is for the best...
    I am still light duty at work, so I feel like this is more mental than physical! I'm not really doing much physically (I don't think!) Thank you for the read :-)
  • Post op depression is so common, after a major surgery, not just spine surgery. Part of it is the chemicals used during the anesthesia, and part of it, is the lack of activity and mental stimulation, and part is just that we are focused on the hope of the surgery being the cure for the pain, and then we have post op flare ups and find ourselves second guessing whether we did the right thing or not by having the surgery.
    In addition to all of that, our activity levels are severely restricted, we can't go out and do the things that we did previously, etc......it's a vicious circle.
    Invite some friends over, get together for a movie night, engage in a good book , and of course, many of us have taken anti depressants to help manage the depression as well. A good support system helps to ease the depression as well, and some of us have gone to see a counselor just to have someone to talk to , that understands.......
  • I saw one bad one who said that I need to suck it up and deal with it and then I found the one that I love! Every single time I thought she would say I was crazy or I needed to I to the psych ward she told me that it makes total sense as to why I would feel like this or that. She is amazing so just keep looking! I'm actually 16 and was 14 and 15 when I had my fusions. The reason for my second fusion was because I still had too much motion and ended up loosing strength in my left hand which I still am struggling to get back.
  • Thank you both for the support! Having a gathering at the house sounds like a fantastic idea! :-) I'll keep looking into counselors and thank you, Sandi for the sites. I'll be sure to check them out! Hope you both are doing well
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