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Everyone has disappeared in my life

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:19 AM in Matters of the Heart
I don't remember ever getting the memo that my friends and family would disappear after having back surgery!

I just don't understand, In the beginning I had quite a few friends around who really helped me throughout the first 1-2 weeks of surgery. My family never offered any help so, that was devistating enough.

But I never in my life thought my friends would just disappear. Not even gradually, it was like one day they were there and next thing, gone. No calls, text, emails, nothing. I doubt they were abducted by aliens, but it just breaks my heart.

The heartache I feel is as if someone has died. I know I feel like I have died on the inside, but my feelings are just so devistated by people who I thought were my friends just don't seem to care anymore.

i sure wish I had someone tell me this before surgery. Not sure if it would have helped, but I live all alone and I struggle so hard every day to keep my spirits up, get whatever errands/chorse done, etc., all alone. It's to the pont that know I don't even want to be around people. Today I stopped to pick up a take out order and had my brace on and all everyone wanted to know is what happened. I'm so tired of being seen as only a Back with eyes,nose and a mouth. I have a brain, am educated and have a lot to offer, but all people see is my back.

Does anyone else feel this way and if so, how do you cope with it. It's hard always looking the other way on people's stupidity. I saw one lady just staring at me today when I was taking my garbage out with this cart i Have and I said to myself "what the F are you looking at". I just find myself either crying or getting so mad over everything anymore. I was such a popular person working at this very famous restaurant, so I always had a fantastaic social life. Now my big day out is going to the pharmacy or grocery store. Before at least I had the outpaient PT for a bit of a social outlet, but that was eliminated back in the beginning of June.

Anyway, sorry for babbling, but I just can't shake this feeling of heartbreak and abandonment! image Does anyone have any suggestions on coping with this new way of life?


  • hey girly,pick that head up K? all your friends may have seemingly left overnight,but if your like most good hearted people,did you try to shield them from your pain?

    Some times the very best of intentions,the seeking to shield your loved ones from any harm...backfires misurably,
    Maybe they took your reticence wrong??
    all your guilty of then,if thats what ya did,is Love..

    Your still the vibrant,wonderfull person your were a year ago,five years ago,on the inside! Its the outer side that has changed. Some people see a person in a medical device,and wait and wonder ,if they can be of service,some...wait and stare,wondering, how it would feel if it were them. Some, the grossly human, simply stare.

    Accepting that you are what you are, right now,and that soon enough you will be able to change that...is part, I think of a mourning process. You have an entirely new life to discover,and that can be daunting ,discouraging,but.. it can be cataloged as a new experience to add to a full life,just have to look at it from a new angle.

    Once some of your friends will see the wonderfull and brave person that you are,i say some,because not all will have the internal eye to see, the worthy ones will come back.who wouldnt want to be part of a story of courage,honor,and dignity? who doesnt want to bask in that sun,it improves the character of the friend and reflects the quality of person you are.

    All people see is you,your back may be at the fore of your mind all day and night,but to them your another person,who may..or not fall, by the wayside. Its up to you to turn infirmity into an opertunity to enlighten,encourage and hold someone high on your shoulders!
    Be of courage and grace in the worst of times and people will wonder,"what keeps her head up?" and will want to be a part of this story .

    Your back is going to be in the way for a while...You know that,I know that..so now,the hard part,it will be like starting over,in everything,it is frustrating and a long hard road..but i think you have all the right tools to deal with it!
    learning to live with a new set of limitations is not easy,but you can do it..
    growing up,you had limits,but you never fought them,conciously,you just went round them and moved on.
    I ..never ran a 4 min mile,nor a 9 min mile, what i did do, was to try my very best,and when i did, i knew,it was ok, because i held nothing back in the running,it was all layed there on the ground before me.
    When i wanted my 1600 lb leg press, i left it all there on the floor of battle, no ,i didnt get the 1600,but i did get 1300 lbs,which to me was a victory,i tryed my very best.

    So, now , are you going to try your very best,every day to over come your new limits,you may not reach where you were before,but you will be higher than where you started.
    I think your up to the challenge! Heal yourself up, be ready for battle!Be ready to leave it all in the ring,you have all the tools you need to do this.theyr all inside ...waiting to be brought out,,honed to a razor quickness,and ,to be brought to the fore!

    the only thing,the only thing you need to fear..ever,is that you will have to look in the mirror,and see yourself..and see..Did i do my very best..and face the answer. that the only place where you will stand alone.

    Dont be afraid,these times will pass,you will be stronger,lighter and faster,without so much emotional baggage,coz you will have left it in the ring.

    Friends leave,that, we cant change. who we are, we can!
    you will have new exciting companions in your journey
    You love,that is your only fault here,and any one who will find fault with that is not worthy of having as a friend.
    chin down
    hands up
    start swinging!

    you will come through this in a shining way! have courage,were here for ya.
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • I went to Walgeens today to pick up some cream for my beautiful new scar. Well, there was one spot near the door (not handicapped...I don't have a card for that) An older man (maybe 75), came right up to my door and began to berate me for takig a spot so close when someone else might have needed it. As I got out with my CANE...he turned beat red. :jawdrop: And then offered to hold the door for me!!! I told him, no let me do that for you, I'm obvoiusly the stronger person }:) .

    What right do people have to judge us?

    I Also understand your feeling of loss of friends. I am very fortunate to have been going thru this for a shorter period of time...but I've seen quite a few "friends" disappear. I do have a few that have been with me for years, and will always be there (god willing). I believe those who have gone, were never really true friends. They may have shared an interest, or the time to go out (dinner, drinks), but those people are not those I would call in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. I have a few freinds like that, and I thank god for them every day.
  • The really unfortunate thing is that they probably were not real friends anyway. Were they mostly people that you worked with? Those friends usually disappear when you are no longer working with them. I have really found that unless you have friends that you have known all your life you rarely are able to make real friends that stick with you through thick and thin. I am a loner. I quit dealing with trying to make "friends" a long time ago. They were always way more hassle than they were worth. You may want to talk to your doc about changing or adding to your meds for awhile with all of the stress that you are going through. I am taking cymbalta and have found that it not only helps with my anxiety but has also helped some with my pain. Have you tried calling any of them? Maybe they are thinking that you will call them if you feel like company.
  • Hi Ranchhand, Thank you for your pep talk. When I look in the mirror I don't see a person with a disability. I am proud of the things I have acomplished by myself, because as a single person I dont have a choice. I have called and called my friends and even emailed them and told them how much I miss our friendship and that they are more then welcome to come over anytime, we can do dinner and a movie, get caught up, etc. I even said that I can go to their house. I had one friend say I was too much of a liability for them to have me in their car! NO THAT HURT! I don't believe I have pushed them away, I think they just don't know how to deal with my new disability to they just choose to ignore me. They won't even return calls, so now I refuse to call them anymore because their lack of response just kills me. I have done all I can do to reach out. BUt isn't this the time people, meaning my friends should be reaching out to me? Maybe I'm wrong for feeling this way. All I know is I have been there for them time after time, boyfriends dumping them, etc.

    Yesterday I decided to be kind to myself and went swimming more for fun than exercise. The water was amazing on my body. It amazes me what all I can do in the water as opposed to land. When I'm out I dont even realize I have a back brace on, but it's the stares that really piss me off lately. People have been so rude to me at times. I dont have to wear the brace anymore, but I do when I'm out in public because I don't want to get shoved around. Heck people push and bump into me with a brace on and don't even apologieze, so I go Jersey on them and yell at them for being so rude. Hey at least I get it out! Believe me I always take the high road, but I'm so tired of being tired. I can't always be my cheerleader. I just need a hug and perhaps I'm proud of you Pebbles for how far you have come. That's what hurts. I guess if I had a family maybe they would say that? I don't know. But thanks for the pep talk again, you definitely have a way with your words.

    Hi Abudrow, What a jerk that guy! I'm glad he had egg on his face for treating you that way! Personally I would have beat the man with your cane! LOL That Bleeper Bleeper! Your Dr. didn't get you a handicap sticker? Perhaps you can download the form online and have him fill it out for you. It really helps for the times you just can't walk. I think you are right about the "so called friends" I thought that were really there for our friendship, not just to pass the time and get drunk all the time. I am grateful to have friends still from 9 years of age, one is in Jersey, one in Virgina and my other BFF is in Dallas. They are absolutely a Godsend and like you said I feel so blessed to have them. They are LIFERS! They call all the time, send cards, etc. I love them to death and would be there for them in a heartbeat. It's just so hard for both them and myself because they wish they could be here physically, but I always tell them I understand and I really do. It's the ones here that i used to get dolled up with a go out to the high end restaurants and socialize with that I thought would be there for me, but I now know I was wrong.

    Hi Pain,
    I hear you about the "so called friends", obviously they only wanted to be around for the Bartender Pebbles who was always the life of the party. The funny thing is I'm still here, it's just my body doesn't move the same. But they never gave me a chance to show them that. I mean my house is clean again from the sewage leak and I try to keep it clean so that anyone can just drop by and say hi. I have called, sent thank you notes, emailed people, etc. I can't and won't do anymore like I said it hurts to much when they ignore my attempts to get in touch with them. I get lots of voice mails these days. But like you i do have my life time friends and we are sisters! I am blessed! I mean I called my friend in Jersey 2 days ago, because i was freaking out about going to the sex. harass. attny and she just talked to me until I was able to get a grip again and that's all I needed. She's the best.

    My PCp did put me on Lexapro 10mg back in Feb. after the Apartment was ruined and the staph infection started. I was dealing with so much chaos and anxiety I'm glad he noticed it. But now I notice that I really need help. I'm scared for the times that I'm depressed which seems to be a lot lately. I mean I'm so grateful for things, so I don't understand how I can be depressed at the same time. BUt the nightmares are out of control anymore and that I have to get help. I really think I'm suffering from PTSD. So Im looking forward to seeing my PCP on monday. Thank you for your suggestion.

    Again, I have called and called and called and emailed and called and written letters to these people and only 1 person responded. One of those people was my Brother in NJ and he still hasn't responded. So i'm not calling anymore!

    Anyway, thank you all for giving me tips and helping me to see that you are all dealing with certain degrees of the same nonsense. I really appreciate it and that's why I appreciate SH because I met so many wonderful people and there are about 4-5 that we will honestly meet soon in person.

    Thanks again, xoxo Pebbles
  • Don't know if this will make sense to you, but when people look at you wearing the brace, let them know what it is. Tell them about your back injury and the surgery. Tell them how not to end up wearing a back brace.
    I had chunks of skin come off me from surgeries to remove melanoma. Some unpleasant scars that attracted stares. When I noticed this, I'd tell people about skin cancer and how they could avoid ending up like me. I found that kids liked looking at the scars and hearing my story.
  • I can relate to your story some what,when i went to church when i was young i had alot of friends, once we started to go to high school,these so called friends never even gave me the time of day,i never went to church again after that,I still have a strong believe in God though....
  • After reading this forum, I see that it just isn't "ME" thinking people are staying away from me. I have been struggling with people not calling me back, or emailing me when I give them the update on my medical(which they told me to do)
    I belong to clubs and had done a lot of events, but its like they don't see I am not there, and don't call to see where I am. Or when I may be coming back. Its like I died and they have all excepted it. But dear friends I am here yet, and really need your support. I do believe only the real friends are there at the end. I find only 1 or 2 of them though :(
  • That they don't know what to say or do? Friends get really frustrated when they can't help you. Everyone has a natural desire to 'fix' whatever is wrong, and when there is a long-term illness or problem, it is human nature to get scared and stay away. The group of friends may think "Pebbles can't go dancing, so let's don't invite her." or "Pebbles will be uncomfortable sitting in the theater seats, so let's not invite her" or "Pebbles can't drink with us (can't mix meds and alcohol), so let's not invite her."

    We all know that "normals" just don't understand. It is my opinion that they are often so afraid of hurting our feelings or making us feel bad that they stay away, which hurts our feelings and makes us feel bad.

    I have friends who I have made pacts with that we are not to discuss my problems. I want to discuss the fun things going on in their lives. I want to hear about what they are doing, where they are going, how the family is, what book they are reading, what recent movie they saw, etc. But a couple of my friends feel like by telling me these things, it will just make me feel worse that I am not out doing the same things. So they stay away.

    My very best friend seldom calls any more. This makes me really sad. But I can't even count the number of times she invited me to go shopping with her that I declined. Or to go to a movie, and I declined. Or go swimming, and I declined. Now she doesn't invite any more. Did I do this to myself?

    The famous first sentence in a conversation is "Hello, how are you today?" Do they really want to know? I think our friends care how we are, but they don't know what to say when we tell them the truth.

    My advice would be just to keep sending cards and making phone calls. I'm sorry you feel alone today. We all have those days. But please know that you have many many friends here on spine-health and you are not alone. We all understand.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!

    That is what my oldest and dearest friend told me on the phone one day after surgery. And two weeks later took a few days off to do just that! (She lives in Virginia and I'm in Jersey) BTW she is a big girl tall, a bit plump, DD, and as she says very delicate. My response to the delicate part is "my a**" She was a full time MARINE for 4 years....when we were much younger.
  • All of the posts have been wonderful. I considered not responding as all of you have covered this topic beautifully. But I'll add my two cents.

    Pebbles, like you I'm a single gal and live alone. My family lives across the country. I have just a few good friends and several acquaintances. I herniated my L5-S1 back in January --11mm. I've had severe and debilitating pain since then. I did manual chiro for about 3 months with very little improvement. I had to stop work in February as I could not stand for more than 5 minutes and sitting was completely out of the question. Even laying down flat was no picnic. I started DRX 9000 treatments at the end of April. I'm doing much better, but I still have not been able to resume my normal activities. I need help cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.

    There were only 3 friends that I felt comfortable enough to ask for help. Mind you, prior to my injury I was stubborn (still am : ), lifted a lot of heavy weight, helped friends moved, worked several jobs, volunteered, went to church, etc. I was constantly on the go. I was the caretaker who was forever giving the help. Anyhoo, of those 3 friends, only 1 of them is still in my life. I am forever grateful for the 1. She is my blessing. Funny, the other 2 often told me they loved me. One made plans on several occasions to come visit me. But she never showed up--except once. I thought once she saw the condition I was in she'd realize that I could use her help. I asked if once in a while --every few weeks or so--if she could stop by and help with laundry or taking out the trash. She said "Sure. No problem. I'll do anything." She seemed very eager to help. I never saw her again and she never offered to help. She explained later that seeing me in my disabled state made her too uncomfortable. This really hurt as over the years I've helped her on numerous occasions and never asked her for anything. She admitted as much. My other "friend" came by every so often, prayed for me, and just hung out. But all of a sudden she just stopped. She wouldn't return my calls or emails. She'll occasionally send me an email forward. I guess I became a burden to her.

    I'm not mad at them anymore. I am grateful for the time we did have together, but now our season of friendship is over. Next!! And you know what, I swallowed my pride and asked several other friends for their help. They stepped up to the plate and are doing what they can and are happy to do it. I think this is also a time to be still. Re-examine our lives. Who are we? Where are we going? On my more positive days I look at this time as a gift from God knowing that I'm going to come out stronger on the other side. On my less than positive days, I'm so glad that you and the other spineys are here.

  • This is an interesting topic, one that goes beyond having a disability. Look, especially in the US, friendship is a malleable and fragile thing. More often than not, many people view friendship as a utilitarian arrangement. Once they cannot get utility out of you, ranging from career to social opportunity, they will tune you out. Well, having a disability not only makes you less utilitarian, but it demands sacrifice on them as well.

    Connect the dots, sorry to be so blunt.

    When I was hurting, I had immediate family and cousins in ample number rally to my side. I grew up in a more traditional upbringing where even today I send at least emails and cards to note rites of passage with my close circle. Suffice to say, there is no social safety net like family. Never was. Never will be.

    When you truly need help, nobody can help you like family, except friends that truly have been treated and entreated with like family. This kind of bond goes beyond simple workplace engagements and socializing.

    Look, when I was suffering at my worst, professional colleagues turned on me in various ways in my hyper-competitive Silicon Valley environment. Only when I recovered and was able to fully apply myself technically and politically did a sense of respect come back, as nobody here wants to burn a bridge they might have to potentially cross.

    People in today's culture of ego gratification and immediate sensory gratification are disposable. Going beyond this takes bond building that has deep and strong roots, anchored in family, faith, and community. I can't state it any more plainly.

    Cheers, Mate
  • Pebbles,

    I had this happen to me as well. When I got hurt I was a very active person. I was very involved with my dog's breed club and hunted my dogs often. As I live in a rural area, I had people here to my house and property to hunt all the time. When I had my surgery it all stopped. The phone didn't ring, the emails stopped, nobody came to visit. I had no help either and still don't.

    It took me a long time to realize it but the problem was that my "friends" couldn't take seeing this new version of me. They were used to the 4-wheeling, gun toting, roll in the mud, anything goes Griff, not the one who has a 5# weight limit and a spine that's held together with screws.

    People don't get that our minds stay the same even though our bodies go. They think, perhaps, that if they are around they will remind us of the things that we can no longer do. I have a few friends that have stuck around but even they don't realize that I need HELP and have never been here to visit me.

    I don't know what to do about it, obviously. I do understand how you feel though and wanted you to know that. I'm your friend and, even though I can't hang out with you in person I can back you up here. Just say the word and I'll kick anyone's cyber-butt that you want }:)

    Hang in there Lady. This is a long road and you're just a short distance down it. You're going to be amazed at what comes of this new life if you give it a chance.



  • Hi,
    I have been through a heck of a lot in the last year and a half and I too expected friends to reach out to me. They did for a while and then their life got too busy and got in the way with helping me. My 4 surgeries scared people away and the fact I didn't get well quickly, most of the others left. Well the journey has made me see I have a lot to offer others that are going through similar trials in their life. I think that is why I went through this so I could easily help others, because now I can relate. Isn't that what we are supposed to do?
    I guess what I am trying to say is figure out why you are having to go through this and then how you can use all this education to help others who are worse than you? Maybe it was time to get new friends? There are so many people out there that haven't had the privilege you have had of writing in this forum and getting support from so many people. Turn your experience into something good. You never know who you will find out there that will see you and not your brace and soon you won't see yourself as just a back either.
  • Hey Pebbles,

    I am very lucky that I have a few friends who do keep in touch although it's not as often as it used to be. The others hardly ever call anymore and some never call anymore. It's certainly a test of friendships!

    Some of the people who have been with me through all of this have been really supportive, so I was upset when they stopped calling. So instead, I called them. Not all at once, but one friend I asked over for dinner one evening and we just stuck some ready made pizzas in the oven. Other friends I have sent them text messages to ask how things are going in their lives. When I do speak to people they ask about what's happening with me, what's the latest from the hospital, etc., but I also try to steer the conversation around to them because first of all I want to know what's happening in their lives, but secondly because I am sick to death of talking about my back problems! Once a period of time has lapsed. it gets harder to make that call. That is why people don't call anymore. So if there is a friend who you are missing more than others, then call them. Be the bigger man and don't give them a hard time about abandoning you and don't talk about you unless they ask. Once you have taken that first step, time will tell if they really are interested in still being your friend.

    The issue of being stared at in public is one I've been battling with for ages. People don't expect to see a blue-eyed blonde with big boobs sitting in a wheelchair at the supermarket. When I still had my car, I would pull into the disabled parking area and immediately feel several sets of eyes on me, waiting to have a go at me for parking there. Then they see me trying to walk with my crutches and then get into the wheel chair as soon as I get into the shop because I can't walk any further - that's when they realise that they are more able bodied that I am. I just try to ignore the stares because they upset me too much. They don't know me so if they want to brush me off just because of my disability then it is their loss. There are some people recently who have been absolutely lovely to me while I've been out, so there are some good ones about. It's true that talking about it can help. I've had young children come up to me and ask if I have broken my arms because they see the crutches are in my hands (bless em!) I just tell them I have a poorly back and it means my legs don't work properly at the moment. What annoys me more is when someone will walk up to me and say "Oh, do you have a sore foot?". I want to smack them into next week, if only it were that simple! Someone even asked me if I'd had key-hole surgery the other day. Yeah, right! But I just said, "No, I wish!" and left it at that. I've decided that I have precious little energy to get me through each day at the moment, so I refuse to waste any of it on being upset by people I don't know and will never see again!

    Hang in there honey, I know it's difficult but it will get better. Big hugs, Spicey
  • And as a single person, I can definitely understand, I had to move in with the parents which is driving me nuts :sick: but I had to cause I can't take care of myself after neck surgery and I have no resources...

    So, I hate to state the obvious, but they weren't your real friends to begin with. But oh how it hurts! My friends did the same thing about 3-4 months after my accident, "they just want the old Nancy back"- well f*%@ so do I, but I can't help what happened, anymore than you can! And yeah, the old person is under the surface if you can scratch and get past the pain, but do you want some one in your life who can only deal with you when you're happy-go-lucky? I don't, still have a few people I've been blessed to talk with, one moved in next door when I had pretty much no one, she's my angel and now my bestest friend. You WILL find people who are willing to be with you when you're down and out and I'll keep you in my prayers. Hang in there hon!

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065

    "People say true friends must always hold hands, but true
    friends don't need to hold hands because they know the
    other hand will always be there."

    Not my words, but they are words that say so much

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I am here for you sista! If you lived closer to me, I would be divorced - 'cause I would always be at your house! And our cats would be bestest friends!
  • Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to thank you all again and apologize that I have not written sooner. It's been hard the last few weeks dealing with depression, etc.

    I really appreciate all of you sharing your stories and support. I guess in a weird way it's nice to see that our feelings are being validated by how other opeople have moved on with there lives and we are still here.

    I remember on the old site one guy referred to it like the movie "Ground Hog Day". It's so true. LOL

    Dryden, Spicey, Fancy, see it's so nice to know we are not loosing our minds and that others do feel the same way. I was in such a dark place for the last 2 weeks I almost checked myself into the hospital.

    PMazz, thank you for sharing your story, hope is what we have and that's what makes us get out of bed everyday, but sometimes we get so down that it's hard to find hope when so many things go wrong at the same time. That is amazing about your friend and that muscle treatment. I live in the ST. Pete area so, I might have to look into something like that. Again thank you for your support and sharing your stories they are very inspiring and helpful.

    Hi Mate, as always I look forward to your spin on things. I'm so glad you have the support of your family. I have tried for years to bring our family closer together, but it doesn't work. My own father stopped speaking to me when he heard I was having surgery. I am fortunate to have 3 friends from childhood but they live out of state, but let me tell you they are so helpful and encouranging. They feel so bad they can be here. But I get packages from them or cards all the time. So I am so blessed in that manner. it's just my everyday life I have only 2 people that I can count on and at that they are very busy people. So I pretty much have to be my own support system, which is fine I've done it for years, but have never had to endure a serious surgery and then be my own support system. Plus I'm facing another one, so I just always know i have God who will always provide in ways I can never even imagine.

    Julie, I am right on track with what you wrote. AMEN. I am learning to embrace this new way of life and I know God has a plan for all of us. I want to be able to help others and never want them to go through the hell I faced with this WC injury. I ask God all the time, what is the lesson I'm supposed to learn. Know I'm sitting back and waiting for his guidance. Perhaps I was ment to be a patient avocate and educate people to the fact they do have a say in their healthcare. As a matter of fact, its are darn essential these days to be hyper vigilent when it comes to your doctors, nurses, and healthcare systems. So like I said I am really going to use this process as a learning tool and hope to help others. You are right we are fortunate to have sites like this to help us become more knowledgable about our issues.

    Spicey sis, you know I so wish I could be there to help you out. You have so much courage and you know we've had our private conversatons, but I'm so proud of you and love you dearly.

    Cranky, I wish we could just build a Spiney Compound on your golf course so we can be there for each other.

    Ron, Thanks for your quote, very powerful.

    Ok, again thank you all dearly for your postings and I hope I am able to offer support to you when you are in need.

    Godspeed! Pebbles

  • Good to have you back online Pebbles :) I missed ya!
  • As a matter of fact, its are darn essential these days to be hyper vigilent when it comes to your doctors, nurses, and healthcare systems.

    I agree. But once you do have doctors, understand that they can only do so much in a field of medicine that is not deterministic. What I mean is that surgeries often have mixed results when it comes to pain. Don't get me wrong, as whatever surgery is done should be executed skillfully and physiologically work. Just keep in mind that it might not resolve pain issues, especially in the short term.

    I think you know that my surgery resulted in my being in pain on a level of 10, every day, with normal sleep being impossible. Fast forward to 2.5 years later, well, I am basically "cured". I never took any pain medications during this time, except for minor does of Gabapentin and Amitryptiline for a 3 month stretch. The pain is minor and I am once again playing sports. Sometimes it takes time to resolve these things.

    Just be careful about trying to find a "silver bullet" through more surgery and medicine in the short run. Keep your spirits up and simply "endure". My surgeon's only good advise during my ordeal was to wait and give it at least a year. His nurses eventually were honest enough to say that the soft tissue damage over the years and because of the surgery could require several years to overcome.

    Well, that is exactly what happened with me. I was as low as you are now psychologically and spiritually. You seem stronger than me, so we all know you will find the strength and stamina to see this through. You already are doing a remarkable job, being single and alone. I know I couldn't do it, but you are an example for many of us.

    Strength. Strength. Strength. Keep it up. God bless you Pebbles. We're with you in prayers and spirit.

    Cheers, Mate
  • Wow I just happened to be "strolling thru" the forum today, feeling very alone, and I came upon this thread. Reading all of your posts, I had some major realizations about my own situations with the people I've worked with (and called my "friends") for over 20 years. First off I was glad (don't mean that in a mean way!) that other "Spineys" have issues with people "forgetting about them" as I call it, too. I wass really starting to think it was just me! It seems even my family and my teenage daughters are avoiding me lately. There are some REALLY great observations in this thread, and I realize now that in my own situation, I have been guilty of talking about my situation almost non-stop since I've been out of work in April, right thru my fusion surgery 2 weeks ago, and I really did not even realize it! It's just that it is so maddening to be in chronic pain, that I have spent 90% of my time trying to "solve" my pain problem by researching on the web, learning as much as I could about it, and tackling it from a logistical standpoint, as I've done with other monumental issues and problems in my life!! None were quite as monumental as this, though!! It's as if life simply stopped for me (as it is for most of us on this site, I'm sure!), and I'm kind of at a standstill, until I can push the "go" button again to get back to work and have a life!! I just have a really hard time accepting it!! THAT's why I am constantly trying to talk it thru and solve it!

    But boy, I can just imagine I haven't been the most interesting person to talk to lately!! I guess now I do see why I'm alone most of the time lately. It is so different from other illnesses or injuries (such as a broken leg) that have a beginning, middle and an end!! You heal up and you go on your way!! The length of time that spine problems take to diagnose and treat and "cure" is unbelieveably long, and I think that friends and family sometimes don't believe it could take that long, and people are really turned off by the relentlessness of it I guess. Well, you know what???
    So am I!! That's why I can't help but talk about it!! It's hard to even think about other things until I can get beyond this!!

    But seriously, it has helped to read what others in similar "pain situations" are going through, and again, it helps me more than anything, to know that I am NOT alone in this!!

    Thank God, once again, for everyone who is kind enough to post on here!! God bless you all, and I pray for good health for each and every one of us!!

    Thanks again~
  • I see that no one has posted about this issue for a long time, but I think it Is an important one. I am new here so if I have not found newer posts, please re-orient me.
    I found that the longer I stayed sick, the more people just left me and that adds to the pain of it all. What do you all think
  • I have severe stenosis and have been dealing with this for about 35 years. I am bed ridden now due to severely compressed spinal cord. I have a few friends that help, but wonder when they will tire of me. I was widowed 18 months ago and then my symptoms increased. My sister had the odacity to call and ask me today to do work for her, I reminded her of the severity of my situation, and that I cannot stand, sit, walk, or drive. My family is "tired of my disability, my dad tells me I had all these procedures done I should be better by now. I accepted that people will either support you or not, you can't change them. I feel bad that my daughter may have to live with her dad, she doesn't want to, and I may be moving to assisted living. I have no choice, I can't take care of myself and NOBODY helps the disabled.
  • Hi, I was reading through the posts and they really hit home . I feel very alone too . I had L5-S1 surgery w fusion rods and screws in late August. It was and is one of the worst things I ve ever been through ! My sons were there for me at the hospital and first week and were my Heroes for taking care of me, But none of my close friends came, no one called, no flowers. I got home and felt abandoned too by my friends who said they would be here for me . So many people don t realize you need laundry done, can t clean your showers or bathtubs, can t mow your yard, or wash your vehicle - when you finally get to drive again, or deal w large rambunctious pets, etc.There are so many things that are hard to do. And I really miss my friends and feeling like I m able to help someone else . I also feel abandoned by my Dr . I feel like after the surgery they were already saying" Next "and dumping me at front door to figure out how to recover on my own.

    So I am so very thankful for all of you here and that we can talk and support each other ! I don t know what I d do without being able to read and chat w other spiney s going through the same things !
  • If it wasn't for you guys here on Spine health, I would feel so very alone too. I don't post much but reading every day has helped in many ways. A big thank you Rambi for voicing what I think. Through this whole process I have learned who my true friends are. They will notice a blueberry on your floor that you can't pick up! Will ask you round for dinner but insist you don't bring anything cause they don't want you worn out before you arrive.
    I hope we all manage to be surrounded by the friendship and care that we need.
    You're not alone.
    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • I think sometimes we have to just change our way of thinking about how others see us. Instead of being angry that someone is asking about your brace, think of it as someone caring about you. Attitude has alot to do with the way people look or react to us. When we are in pain, it is hard to look at things in a positive light,but it will help you so much more in the end. Have you contacted the friends you have not heard from? Maybe a call from you would be nice. Ask them how they are doing. It is so hard to be alone, but the old saying applies. I complained one day when I had no shoes,until I saw a man who had no feet. Hope you are feeling better. Do something nice for yourself.
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