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Surgery fears

I'm having microD in 4 weeks and feeling so scared. Had the same surgery to same disc 3/4years ago and it was actually horrendous. I was in hospital for a week & in agony for 2 weeks and on oxycontin for 3 months afterwards. I thought it would be easier if I ever had to go through it again, but second time feels more terrifying knowing what is coming. I've read so many stories from people on here of being ok after a few weeks/months & it seems so far away from the experience I had.
I have anxieties about what happens if something goes wrong, how long it will be until I feel better & how will the rest of my life look after the surgery and I would say that I'm generally quite positive and working from home in bed up until my surgery. I want to stay strong but some days it is so hard to feel happy and sleep at night with all the anxieties (and sciatic pain!). I guess I just wanted to come on here and share my thoughts with someone other than my fiancee - who has heard about my pain for so long, but been the most wonderful person I could wish to have around. There's also the fear that he may leave and want to be with someone who doesn't (we've been together for 5 years since we were 23 and I've had chronic pain for 3!). But he's stuck by me so far (and asked me to marry him so I guess that helps reduce my fear there!).

Do other people have these same thoughts?


  • I have all the same thoughts. Worst part is that I do Infection Prevention for both the Ortho and Neuro service lines at the hospital, so my fears take on all sorts of craziness. I just try to control what I can and do everything on my part. I'm scheduled for fusion this time, which I think will not be a picnic. I focus on all the things I'll be able to do after the surgery.... You are going to have a great surgery.... Hang in there!
  • Good luck with your surgery. It sounds as if your first experience was a lot worse than normal for a MicroD. Which disc did they operate on and which disc are they dealing with for your next surgery.

    I have had two surgeries in the lumbar area of my spine. The first was painful and it took time to rehabilitate from it but your experience sounds worse as I was release from hospital after a night stay. I thought I was ready for my second experience but how wrong was I!!! I actually had a Micro D to two discs and a Wallis inswing stabilisation so more work I guess. I struggled physically but I struggled more mentally, due to me thinking I was prepared for it.

    I am wondering if you had surgery complications or a leak?

    'Time will pass' and pain does reduce, so try to keep that in mind :-)

    I have also had a proposal ... a week before my second surgery, so hang in there. I am sure your partner would not have proposed if he had any doubt about sticking around :-)

    Good luck
    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

  • Lily2014LLily2014 Posts: 84
    edited 10/28/2015 - 4:47 AM
    Thank you so much for all your support. I hope your fusion goes well. When are you going in? It was L5S1 and wasn't straight forward as the disc had leaked/fragmented or whatever & he had to remove a large amount of it. I'm now left wondering how much there is left to take out? I'm so thankful I have someone here for me & I bet you are too.

    What I'm finding so hard is the guilt of letting others down. I've had to cancel everything I had planned in the last few/next few months & other people just simply don't understand. I've missed family weddings, birthdays, holidays & so much over the last few years & it's so hard being unable to fully commit to doing anything! You go through a whole whirlwind of emotions & doctors never seem to talk to you about that side of things.
    How has your recovery been from the second surgery now? I feel like I'm more prepared with practical stuff but emotionally finding it so much harder! I guess it's better to expect the worst & just hope for the best. Indeed this time will pass & I guess you never forget the people who've been there for you through the worst!
  • recovery after my second surgery was a struggle to start with from surgery pain .. (sorry being honest) but the pre surgery problems and pain were reduced dramatically. I started Physio and then Hydrotherapy which helped so much. All was going in the right direction and then the leg night cramps, nerve pain etc returned which was rather depressing. At first I was positive and took the advice of starting Lyrica (pregabalin) to help with nerve pain. I am on other medications and had been hoping to reduce those when this happened.

    I have recently had an MRI scan for my lumbar and neck area, as suffering numbness in my right hand/arm. They also scanned my ankle as they seem to have discovered an injury which I was unaware I had done! I recalled after the appointment that I had missed the last step on the stairs when trying to answer the door after surgery. while on lots of medication. I guess the medication covered any pain that the injury created and i just carried on. I started having balance problems so have to use a stick when out, or I fall over when i try to adjust direction if somebody walks at me ... seems to happen a lot!!

    Your comments about feeling guilty for cancelling social things reminded me so much of me! I have missed SO many things and have tried to stop feeling guilty. It is difficult to deal with and I feel for you as I know exactly the feeling of guilt, isolation that pain can bring and how back issues cause ripples right through out life.

    I try to 'save' myself for the really important things in life .. that's the important things to help me, my family and my sanity. Pain has affected my mental state, so I try to avoid anything that I know will depress me any further. I surround myself with people that truly understand and have stopped contact with people that think they know how I can resolve my back problems! They think that a pulled muscle, back strain is the same as my problem, so really don't deserve my company, if they are stupid enough not to listen carefully to what my pain levels are and what my condition is!! Its quite amazing how many people suddenly become back experts and what to share their lack of wisdom :-D ... sorry just being honest!

    I try to use the technique of praising myself for the things I have achieved, rather than the things I have been unable to complete. It is very important to view your ability in your current state and move forward, rather than look backwards at what you could do before.

    maybe you can give us a few tips? its good to share ways to cope :-)

    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

  • Lily2014LLily2014 Posts: 84
    edited 10/28/2015 - 3:54 PM
    I agree with you & hearing your experience resonates with me so much. I've heard so many times that I should be doing this, that and everything. I find that easier to brush off than the "you should be positive" or "things could be worse". I have no idea how many times I've heard that I'm not coping well enough or shouldn't try to do things even though they hurt because then at least I'm trying. I think just walk (or hobbled!) a day in my shoes! I also try to focus on what I can do & how far I've come. Even the smallest thing can feel so fantastic. I try to never think about what I can no longer do and instead try to just find some acceptance of where I'm at and do something else instead. I used to do a lot of running and cycling and haven't been able to do either since first surgery. I still miss it and find it hard when friends or family do races but now I do pilates twice a week and really enjoy that. I doubt I would have ever done this unless I'd hurt my back.

    I also try to treat myself when I'm having a bad day, sometimes something small like a piece of cake or bigger like booking a trip away. I also have a ridiculous thing of buying a new pair of shoes every time I've been to a hospital!

    I recently finished my PhD and the pride I had at finishing was so much more than had I been healthy and I think when you've been through so much, you appreciate things so much more! In a weird way, I felt strangely happy that I'd experienced so much. In March when I was really well, I also went on a big trip and went jet skiing through Miami harbour & zip lining in Mexico. I never dreamt I would be able to do those things and pain free, but they gave me a complete sense of freedom - so much so that I cried with happiness after both!

    I often think that people are so critical of people with pain and fail to recognise the strength we have to even get up when the pain is so bad. It's so hard not to let that rub off on you, but I guess there's an inner strength which I reflect on and feel proud of & I think that gives resilience to just keep going.

    I think these forums are really so helpful to speak with others who are going through the same thing and I really appreciate you sharing your story. Have you got another bulging disc which is why you have pain post surgery or is it related to your foot injury? I was on 375mg pregablin for 3 years post surgery due to nerve pain (but no bulging disc on MRI) and had only come off this 4 months before herniated again. Are you having another surgery?
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