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Life after back surgery?

BodesBBodes Posts: 1
edited 04/13/2015 - 8:22 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone. I am new to this type of support group. I am searching for support with ways to deal with life AFTER back surgery.

I have been dealing with back pain for over 15 years. It became so bad, arthritis, scoliosis, and more. I recently had back surgery and they removed an extremely large cyst, took bone marrow from my hip and put it in my L4/L5. There is so much more to explain, but to make a long story short, I am off work for 2 months. Some people say, "you should be off work for 8-9 months, some say, "you are ok to do whatever now." WHAT THE HELL? I am trying to put all of this into perspective, but NO ONE seems to know what to say to me anymore. I am one of the sweetest people you will ever meet, but over the last few months I have become pretty "crabby". I don't know how to deal with any of this anymore. I knew how to deal with my pain all these years. When I tell people I had surgery they say, "Oh, I didnt know you had back problems?" WELL, I stopped complaining years ago because no one understood and no one seemed to be able to help.

It's been 6 weeks after surgery and the experts say, "you should be better now", I am lost. I don't want to continue using pain medicine, so I am reaching out to you in order to put my life back together. The doctors fixed my back, now I need to fix everything else.

My ENTIRE life revolved around my pain. I don't know any other way to live WITHOUT it. I need to get a handle on this so I can return to work in a couple of weeks. Thank you in advance for your help.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
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    Doug Hell

    Also working with us very closely is Allison Walsh from the Spine-Health company


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Did you have a fusion done? That is what it sounds like. That is a very serious and potentially debilitating surgery, and the only people who will understand are those who have experienced it.

    Everyone is different in how they recover, so you just focus on YOU, not on what everyone else expects.

    Frequently, the surgeon knows his work is done, he has been paid, and moves on. They don't want you to be in pain because that affects their success rate. But there are different versions of success.

    I was in bed for 4 months after my fusion, and have been on some pain meds since and always will be. But consider my surgery a success, because I can do everything I did before. Your body changes so much after this surgery....You are a different person. And crabbiness is to be expected!

  • Doug HellDoug Hell Posts: 335
    edited 04/14/2015 - 4:00 AM
    Hi Bodes,

    As with everything that goes south, you need to re-train those thoughts. I would recommend seeking out cognitive therapy through a Psychologist, Psychotherapist or any other Doctor deemed appropriate for what you are going through.... You may need some meds to help you along as well, but explore that later.... NO, you are NOT crazy. Everyone needs some help along their road to recovery and I feel that this would significantly benefit you.

    Don't listen to what the experts or anyone else tells you with respect to being "better." Everyone is different. Not only are you probably not better on a physical level, but in my opinion, you are definitely not ready mentally. Listen to your body and please, please don't rush back to work as you may find that you'll miss more time from work in the long run, if you return prematurely.

    Best wishes and healing vibes sent!

    Doug Hell
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • kfreedkkfreed Posts: 7
    edited 04/25/2015 - 1:23 PM
    Hi there I'm 32 and am having a PLDF and a TLIF in a week and am worried about not being able to return to work . I absolutely love my job I work with adults with special needs and I'm worried about the lifting it requires . My fusion will be at l5 s1 , should I looking into another position within my company ?

    I don't wanna rush my recover but I have to beable to work . Any advice?

    Thanks Krista
  • He says he is already negotiating because he usually says 12.
  • nutmegxoxoxonnutmegxoxoxo Posts: 14
    edited 04/26/2015 - 4:59 AM
    Hi Kfreed--I saw your post. If you're in the US, you should think about requesting a reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act to see if that will help you return to work. . I'm not sure if your employer qualifies under Title I of the ADA, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Wishing you all the best.

    Post edited, external URLs need to be approved prior to being posted
  • ReadyforchangeRReadyforchange Posts: 90
    edited 04/25/2015 - 6:45 PM
    Are you hurting in your back?Keep it simple. Take one day at a time and see each day as a gift. That helps me. You are a worth while person deserving of respect weither you hurt or not or need meds for pain or mental health. Do something healyh and fun every day if you can!
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