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I'm in the house!

BizcoachBBizcoach CanadaPosts: 28
edited 07/11/2015 - 1:16 PM in New Member Introductions
Hello Everyone,

I am in Canada and I have suffered with DDD (confirmed with CT) for 20 years. With the help of the medical community, I have managed well by using PT, arthritis medications, 85 pound weight loss followed by hiring a personal trainer to come to my home three times a week and then about 8 years ago focussing in heavy weight training and core stability.
My maternal grandmother , mother, younger brother, and 10 year younger sister have all had multiple spine surgeries.

At age 55 while out for a nightly wAlk with my wife, i had one single step that signalled the point in time where I needed ti bring in the bug guns to help. I always keep walks relatively short as I had a weak hip (pain) and regular Arthritic back pain . That one step turned into a nightmare case of nerve pain, sciatica that was anything but classic.

The "public" medical system in Canada puts a top priority in life saving procedures but orthopedic spine issues generlly are not life threatening so since early March 2014 I suffered until surgery was finally executed as an "emergency" case on May 13 of 2015. A two year wait for surgery is common but in my case evidence if permanent nerve damage bumped me up the triage list and got me to the surgeon.
Diagnosis was difficult and the surgeon struggled to believe the descriptions of the different pains I was experiencing. I went twice to America and personally paid for MRIs in order to jump the line which take months to get a free MRI in Ontario. The evidence came in that my spine was in rough shape from top to bottom explaining the various symptoms.
Our decision was made that operation #1 would focus on the lumbar spine so that I might be able to walk again. I have not walked since August 2014.
Surgery involved the following:
Bilateral laminectomy including spinous process at two levels L4/5
Foraminotomies in 4 different nerve location routes.
Removal of a large synovial cyst
Decompression of the spinal canal from L3 to S1
Removal of grossly swollen ligamentum Flavum
Reprofiled 4 facet joints and removed spurs
Realigned a spondylolesthesis l4/5
Posterior gutter bone graft fusion
Instrumented fixation l4/5

Typical depression and anxiety have taken their toll.

My doc wants me to start PT this week for three days a week for 8 weeks before assessing my abilities to return to work.

I see an employment lawyer next Monday to sort out my employment rights. Deep breathing and an understanding doctor is prescribing what I need ti dull pain and reduce stress.

The good news is at age 56 I am financially able to retire (if forced) , I have a super supportive wife and 5 grown kids that help when they visit. My dog keeps me sane. Music and prowling this forum for months has helped. Now I am at a place where I feel I can speak spine language.
Thanks for the welcome.
May 13, 2015. L4/L5
2X bilateral lam
2X s. process removed
2X lumbar sten
1X discotomy
1X synovial cystectomy
4X f. joint modifications
4X foramenotomies
1X spondylolisthesis
1X bilateral post. Llumbar fusion
1X instrumented fixation


  • 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.
    Here are just some of the highlights that are available as tabs on the main Spine-Health menu bar

    Spine-Health Main Menu Tabs

    Conditions Detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal condition.
    Treatment List of treatments to the conditions identified by Spine-Health.
    Wellness Section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.
    Medical Articles
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    Videos Index to all Spine-Health Videos

    As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family[/u] who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. You are now part of this family that is approximately 27,00 international members and growing daily.


    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts[u] do not violate any of the rules.[/u]

    - All new members must read our FAQ in order to understand the layout of the forums, how to navigate through the forums, helpful terms, how to make effective threads and posts, plus a link index to many of the important medical forums and key medical articles on Spine-Health Forum FAQ

    I am positive any member, new or old will find this Chroinc Pain - Step by Step thread very valuable.

    Here are some links that all new members need to review to create effective threads and more

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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
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 07/01/2015 - 11:19 PM
    Sorry to hear about everything you've gone through.
    And sorry your boss is requesting you pay back of six weeks.
    Hopefully, that will work out for you with Disability, as maybe you will receive back pay from beginning time of being unable to work, and you will have enough money.

    It's very difficult to deal with all that sort of navigating the system while you are in pain dealing with your spinal issues.
    Hang in there!
    Keep us posted on how you're doing
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi & welcome Paul. Wow you've been through the wringer!! I'm so sorry. You sound incredibly positive for all you've been through. Please keep us posted on your recovery. I hope things go well with your lawyer on Monday...you deserve it! ;-)

    Hope to see you on the forums.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Betty65BBetty65 FloridaPosts: 83
    These forums are so helpful in relieving my depression (well, more like "lowness" rather than clinical depression I guess). The other information on the main site is very educational and gives me the knowledge I need to talk to my PM doctor.

    Glad you found the forums....take care!
  • Yeh Betty, they have a name for it now! It's "Chronic Pain Situational Depression". I know exactly what you mean. I suffered from post natal depression. I'd never had anything like it before. It was really frightening! I know I don't have 'depression' but it can be so bloody hard to keep a positive attitude to all of this, all the time.... Hahaha! my 5 year old just walked in wearing her big brothers huge lion costume, dragging her tail behind her! Too cute! ;-)

    Hope you guys had a great 4th July.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thank you all for the welcome and your comments.

    I have a good understanding of my employment sick leave rights after visiting a lawyer and things could get prickly soon. It's starting to hit the fan!

    I'm feeling better each week mentally and physically my recuperation has stalled but physio began and may have set me back a bit. Enjoying the great weather.

    May 13, 2015. L4/L5
    2X bilateral lam
    2X s. process removed
    2X lumbar sten
    1X discotomy
    1X synovial cystectomy
    4X f. joint modifications
    4X foramenotomies
    1X spondylolisthesis
    1X bilateral post. Llumbar fusion
    1X instrumented fixation
  • Please keep us posted. I used to stay in Vancouver every year to get my visa. I LOVED it in the summer, beautiful place. Where are you?
    I hope you're having a good weekend....or at least a little better. Many of us know the deep dark hole all too well. I'm glad things are a little brighter. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks Englishgirl

    I split my time between a home in Barrie Ontario (north of Toronto), a secluded cabin on the water in Haliburton, and my winter home in Crystal River Florida.

    May 13, 2015. L4/L5
    2X bilateral lam
    2X s. process removed
    2X lumbar sten
    1X discotomy
    1X synovial cystectomy
    4X f. joint modifications
    4X foramenotomies
    1X spondylolisthesis
    1X bilateral post. Llumbar fusion
    1X instrumented fixation
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