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5 days postop - Depression?

candle99ccandle99 Posts: 279
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm 5 days post op, home 2 days. I'm having trouble with my emotions. I'm okay one moment and just really needy the next. My husband blew up at me when I kept asking him to talk to me, tell me he was glad I was okay...stuff men just don't normally say. Why did I do that? He loves me, he was there with me the whole 3 days in the hospital, but I feel alone. I feel useless and ugly. He made a comment about that I'd finally got a good looking nurse the 2nd nite on nite shift. He's a guy, he makes comments like that often, but he's faithful and he definitely makes me feel wanted and loved. He's been cuddly and loving, but for some reason, I'm extra sensitive and that comment, just made me feel lower than low. I hadn't had a bath in 3 days, my hair stuck out everywhere, glasses, incision, sore, can't get up/down. Why couldn't he have just gave me what I needed and that was for him to say something sweet. He's not one for romance or talking a lot.

I feel like a wreck and have been trying to convince myself that it's the pain medication, the surgery, ?????? can this do this? Or should I worry about my marriage?


  • Hey Candle,

    Please do not panic about your marriage. This is a totally normal range of emotions to be having after everything that your body has been through - just the anaesthetic alone can leave you feeling like that and as you said, you feel crappy, sore, dirty and just in need of lots of cuddles right now. Men in general often don't get that side of things, and I can understand how the nurse comment would have upset you. I'd have been really hurt by that too! But you know that he loves you and that is what you need to focus on. For the first week after my surgery I burst into tears everytime I saw anyone new, and then for several weeks afterwards I felt very low. But you are certainly not alone with how you're feeling so just go with it for now and I promise you, you will start to feel better soon. For a long time I hated that fact that I had a scar down my back and that made me feel ugly too, but that too has passed and now I've accepted that it's just part of me and now it's healed it's barely visible from a distance.

    Hang in there honey, it will get better! Sending you big hugs, Spicey
  • You have to remember that you are very new, you just had surgery and this is a commom emotion... Pain meds, muscle relaxers and other meds all play a part in this.Try some relaxing things, pre surg. I had my family load my IPOD with music, relaxing.... How is your pain control, for me I found that when I was hurting,everything bothered me. Your body has been insulted, let it heal it takes time. Do you have some girlfriends that can come over and girl talk? :) :)
  • Spicey, your message just brought more tears to my eyes.
    Cookie, you're right. My pain control is semi-okay, but not great. I have muscle relaxers and endocet 7.5/350mg. I don't think it's strong enough. Every 4 hours...seems like I'm running out after 2 or 3 hours today. I know it'll get better every day.

    My husband went back to work today, leaving me with my 14 year old daughter.

    She got sick this morning and my mother came over to see us and ending up having to take my daughter to the ER. She was throwing up and hurting low on her stomach. They just called and found a really bad kidney infection and want to keep her overnight and run IV antibiotics. She just seemed to feel bad this morning and hadn't complained otherwise. It was weird, but I'm glad they found the problem. So my mom is staying with her in the hospital. My mom is very nervey (I think I'm becoming her the older I get)...so I hope that she can hold up to be with my daughter through this. I'm okay, but alone. I HATE being alone when I don't feel good. So this is contributing to my mood. I'm about to go and lay down in bed and try to nap for awhile. I had bought the first season of Xfiles and was watching a few episodes, but this couch is getting too soft and I'm hurting.

    Thanks for the good thoughts and hugs. I do have some girlfriends, but I tend to coccoon sometimes when it's me that's hurting. They live about an hour away and are working with kids to deal with too. Seems everybody has so much going on and I hate being a pain. Of course I'm being a pain online to you guys! Sorry. But I'm glad I can vent and ball my eyes out to you guys. :)
  • I'm the same, I lock myself away when I'm feeling sad or hurting. But it's easy for me because I live alone! I'm the one everyone calls when they have a problem so I find it difficult being the one asking for help.

    I can't believe your daughter is sick too - that is really bad timing for you, it must be difficult not being with her. I've had a kidney infection and it was horrible so I'm glad they seem to have caught it early. I hope she's soon better. Meanwhile, just let yourself cry if you need to, and enjoy the X-Files, I loved the first couple of seasons of that!

    Take care, Spicey
  • You are not alone, Melisa! Most of us went through the same experiences. You are just recovering from a major trauma, no wonder your emotions are trying to catch up.

    Maybe one day when you feeling a bit better, have a talk with your husband. he has to understand that these are trying times for both of you, but you are the one who is also suffering physically. Fortunately for reading the postings on SH before my surgery, I had this talk with my husband just before my fusion. Men think differently than women (it is the fact folks!), sometimes things have to be spelled out for them, and communication is the key to reach through the gap. Explain to him that you are very vulnerable right now, and remarks that he thinks are jokes hurt you more than usual. Tell him you are aware that it is not easy for him either and that you appreciate it. If you need more cuddling, let him know. He won't be sorry later.

    And remember, we are here and we are hearing you.


    Kin :) :) :) :)
  • Hey Candle,

    I am 5 weeks post-op and there are days I feel and look like a train wreck. You feelings all seem normal to me. I actually kick my wife and kids out of the house so they can have a life. I am healing and do not want to be a burden. I went through the Lord of the Rings series, the Harry Potter series and now I am doing net flix. I should be a film critic. Sorry about your daughter. I always hate when my children are sick. I would rather it be me and I would suck up their pain.

    Hang in there!!
  • Hi candle,

    I had very intense emotions post-op as well.
    In addition, I had bad thoughts. Very bad thoughts!

    Thankfully, things got better.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • hi there ive been the same been holding the tears in for a while i do ive alone with my kids and whats getting to me is the fact that i have to relay on people doing things for me the simple things like making dinner going to the shops i also stopped smoking just b4 the op and think that might be getting to me to i also cant feel my breasts they are numb and really getting me down take care
  • Last night, I told him I was sorry for being so nutso the nite before. Everything got out of proportion. He said he was sorry too for blowingup. When it happened, he went into the "I can never make you happy, can I?". He's more sensitive that I am I think. I told him last nite that I didn't know how to ever let him know that I just needed a bit more him, that he was great and hadn't done anything wrong. That I was feeling down, useless, ugly, just wanted to cry. I told him that you always hope your partner will just make you feel instantly better. He said he reacted badly and scooped me to him and said he loved me. That's his way of saying the 15 mins. of things that I said. geez. Yes, men and women are soooo different. I've read the books on Mars and stuff. I usually am just really short and blunt about what I need him to do and he's right on it. But there are times, that my womanness stumbles and falls and I get all teary and don't make any sense to him, talking out of my head or something. All he hears is that he's failed and can't recover.

    Thanks folks for helping me feel so much better. I really appreciate the guys comments too. I'd forgot about his feelings of helplessness. He was a widow when I met him and he talked alot about feeling helpless when his past wife died with cancer. He's a cowboy from Texas, which is sooo appealing in many ways, ways that I can't even think about much right now, :O but anyway, they seem to have this whole rough shell, with a ooey-gooey inside. I love him so much.

    I am doing alright today, but seem to be hurting more. Seems like there are nerves in my legs and back that are firing off that have been quiet till now. I hope that means it's starting to heal. My stomach incision looks fantastic, but my whole lower stomach looks swollen a bit. I plan to spend more time flat out in bed today. I scooted around the house too much yesterday, thinking I was superwoman.

    My daughter...they released her now saying she also had a ovary cyst that popped. She's 14, so that's scarey at her age. My mom just took her back to for more labs this morning.

    I'll be glad to get to the "complete" side of healing. My left leg is still funky and I can't lift it much. I have to grab it and put it where I want it. I can walk with a gimp on it, but I don't trust it. The NS said it was from surgery and irritation, but it scares me that I will be disabled permanently.I've read other posts about taking 2 weeks to a year to get all the numbness out post op from what they do. The NS said they didn't touch anything to do with my left leg, but somethings not right. It almost feels like it's out of joint at the hip. I can swing it side to side and walk on it, but to lift it up..can't do, it just won't cooperate. weird.

    Thanks everybody! I love you guys!
  • Hi, Candle-
    Thank you for posting this. I was very touched by your honesty, as I just had a PLIF on L4-5 w/(auto)bonegraft and full instrumentation 2 weeks ago, and I went thru such an emotional meltdown in the hospital around day 3, that I couldn't even talk.

    I am a single mom, considered very strong, and I joke a lot about my pain and fear, etc. That's just my way of dealing with it. No one in my family has ever had anything close to what I have been thru w/surgeries and pain, and I know they don't understand, although I know they try. My significant other has had back pain for much of the time I've known him (8yrs), but has never had to endure surgical intervention, etc. I know he's tried to be there for me as much as he could. I know he gets overwhelmed by the situation with me. We have full custody of our 4 daughters between us, they all need attention too. Plus we have 2 separate households that he has to take care of, so I was alone in the hospital 90% of the time. Usually I don't mind being alone, but this time I was in so much pain, and was so tired of trying to constantly advocate for myself and keep track of all my instructions, and attempts at managing my horrible post-surgical pain, etc., that I just could not keep from crying. My wonderful Mom died a few years ago, unexpectedly, and she had always been there for me thru all my surgeries and hospitalizations, and I missed her sooo much. She always knew exactly what to say or do in any situation like that. She was incredibly compassionate, and I have inherited that quality from her. But I really had no one but myself to rely on thru this whole ordeal.

    I was kind of surprised that my S.O. didn't get me a card or some flowers or a plant. (how's THAT for shallow on my part??) I've never even admitted that to myself until now, but if the situation were reversed, I would have been there every second for any of my children or my S.O., and I would have done many little things to make them feel special. I guess I just really needed a Mommy myself!

    Wow-all that being said, now I guess I can forgive myself for my huge emotional meltdown in the hospital.
    Thank you for bringing this subject up, and thanks for your honesty. I really appreciate the men who have posted here too, as they remind me that men process things very differently than women, but they have emotional needs and fears as well. They don't always realize that "silly" little things that we need them to say or do may mean so much to a woman, but seem ridiculous to a man.

    Anyway, thanks so much Candle, for bringing this subject up, as it was a huge issue for me. I really think that the medication and anesthaesia, along WITH the fear and pain we felt,were all contributing factors to our "meltdown"!

    I thank God I found this website, because there are so many issues that we "Spineys" have that other people could never understand, and I don't even know any other people that have been thru this stuff. Well, now I can't say that!! Now I do know others going thru similar situations, and it helps so much to know I'm not alone!!
    Thanks again, Candle- you are NOT alone!! I wish you the best in your recovery! And I will pray for your daughter, too, that she will be well very soon, so she can help her Mom!!
  • How are you doing today??? Sending good thoughts your way , is your daughter feeling better???
  • Hi Candle:

    Everyone has a different recovery process. Sorry you and your daughter are having problems. I say, let your husband take over at the hospital, and your Mom can come and help you (if that is practical for your family). I had my husband pretty much full time as my "nurse" and no kids to worry about. I really didn't deal with any depression. You will feel better as time goes by. I do think it would help to find a comfortable place to rest if the couch isn't working out. Make sure you are resting enough, many people don't and they "pay the price" early on. I think I may have mentioned before, that this is a long recovery and you have to be patient. Hang in there, it will improve.

  • beacause I had a similar meltdown at 4 days post op. Felt so sorry for my husband and everything that he had to do around the house and with the kids. I felt so guilty and he was more than happy to take care of me and everything.

    The meds, the stress, everything just kind of comes to a head and you have to have a meltdown! Hope you are doing better today and try not to stress too much!
  • Hey Candle,

    I too hope that you are feeling better too. You are going to have all kinds of strange nerve pains during your recovery so don't panic about that. Just take it as easy as you can and let yourself heal. Take lots of naps too, your body needs sleep to heal itself. And finally, enjoy those hugs from your loving hubby! :)
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