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New & Scared of Surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi, I'm SO glad I found this website!
This is lengthy but it's my story:
My name is Marcie (duh 8} ) I'm a 29yr old wife & mommy.
I'm a pediatric nurse and EMT, but unable to work at all due to this back issue.
I dont have any real idea of what caused my injury. But somewhere along the line I herniated L4-5. I recently seen my MRI and that puppy was HUGE.
I noticed my pain in May, nothing big at the time, thought I pulled a hamstring. The pain began to get worse down my Left leg, it was siatica, I thought it was just due to pulling a hamstring, the inflammation was just pressing on a nerve...I was wrong.
I went to my doc July 2, he tested some reflexes & I showed some deficits on my left side. So I had an MRI done July 7th. MRI shows 'extremely large disc herniation at L4-5' I tried some physical therapy, by July 13th, I was bedridden with excruciating pain! I had 2 trips to the ER, in which they done nothing for me. I finally got to see a neurologist, he gave me some meds, which took a while to become effective, but after almost 5wks bedridden it was welcomed relief. To shorten the story, neuro#1 who started my treatment moved, left me to one of the others in his practice, in which that one told me I was fine since I could walk, and that I would be fine for an upcoming trip to Disney, he actually told me I was ok to ride rides etc. Common sense told me I couldnt. And I actually ended up with a scooter at Disney due to not being able to walk all that much. Back to my primary doc, he was very unhappy about the 'release' I had, and had me seek a 3rd opinion.
This one was just this past monday. She spoke to me and my husband, we viewed the MRI showing us the herniation. She said she believes I still need to have surgery to get this thing under control. Side background, I am a biggirl, but a week ago had a lapband surgery to help me with weight loss. Im down 25lbs in 3wks, so that's helping, new neuro said since I've just got my band in, and loosing weight, she'd like me to get down 30-50more lbs to do surgery, that way it would be easier for her to operate and recovery better for me. I'm currently 301#, I'm 5'9.
I'm not going to lie, I'm scared about the idea of the surgery on my back. I've got an amazing husband and a wonderful 2yr old little girl, and I'm not sure if I'm scared of the recovery being tough, with more pain or not working, or my daughter seeing me like this, or if it's the thought of possible paralyasis that is very rare, that scares me. So I'm trying to get all the info I can on the discectomy/microdiscectomy procedures. I'm looking for some support & info. Sorry I babbled on.
This is me, thanks for listening/reading.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,349

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

    Welcome To Spine-Health

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact (PM) any one of the Moderators here Priestess , Bruce , Paulgla, DiLauro

    The Spine-Health Web site offers so much more than these Member Forums.
    Check the various tabs at the top of the Spine-Health page and you will find so much that is offered here.

    Please remember that all information you receive from members on this forum is NOT
    formal medical advise. You should always consult with your doctors.

    To get back to the Forums, you can always click on Forum Home

    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    That is good that you find this site so that you have time to chat with others regarding your situation and surgery.
    And you probably already know this, Nurses and other people in the Medical field, sometimes are the toughest patients to deal with...Why because all of you have a lot of knowledge and information. Sometimes its easier going into to something major without knowing that much.
    Lumbar surgery has come a long way. The procedures and the recover period are so much better than it was 25 years ago.
    I had my first Lumbar surgery in 1978, I was in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks, some due to complications, but mostly because of the instability of my spine. When I did go home, I had to wear a heavy back brace for almost 6 months. I wasnt able to return to work for almost 9 months.
    You hear today, lumbar patients are out within a few days and back to work within 3 weeks.
    Its fine to be scared, if you werent scared you wouldn't be normal. Hopefully you will get a chance to 'talk' with other members here and exchange ideas, fears, hopes and more. You have find a site that I am sure you will benefit from.
    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
  • hiya Marcie,
    Welcome to Spine health >:D< We can on give you advice on our personal experiences as we are not medical professionals :) . We are here for you 8} . Marcie i was scared just like you when i had the disctectomy and i was told it was 50/50 if i would walk again :SS , thats what the doctors told me. I had 2 discs removed and 1 shaved, and i am here and i can walk :? . The surgeons do this type of surgery all the time :) , and you will be in safe hands. Stop panicking because your little girl may pick up on you #:S . You will be fine :) . When is the date of your operation? :/ Good Luck! Keep us posted! PM me anytime you need a shoulder. >:D<

    Angie x :H
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  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am not facing the problems you are but we do have pain in common. you have some big decisions and should feel much better getting a third opinion. the more information you have the better. you do have a ways to go as far as weight loss but you seem determined to succeed. what more could you ask for? determination is such a big part of the battle. please feel free to pop in and chat whenever you need to. there is always someone around. good luck! Jenny :)
  • I had this done last Dec 07. My recovery was rough but my microD was radical meaning that they removed most of the disc. I was totally unprepared for my recovery as I was told that I would be back to work in 7 days and the recovery would not be that bad. That was very far from the truth. I am not trying to scare you further but I think that my recovery would have been so much easier if I had been prepared. Some people actually do have an easy recovery but I feel that it is best to hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. If you want/need more info please feel free to PM me. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • I had back surgery on 8/22 for L4 and L5. My spinal stenosis was terrible. Dr said I should have been bedridden for 6-12 months previously but I never missed a day of work (might go home early but still never missed a day. I also had the lap band done a year ago and have lost 80 lbs. I am also 5'9" and started at 269 so feel like I have done well with that. The back surgery was definitely a success. I found out I had scoliosis and was never diagnosed. Due to that, I had massive amounts of calcium buildup and it had trapped all the nerves. I was close to not being able to walk. Like I said, the surgery was a huge success, the pain is probably about 90% better! I still have some pain but nothing like it was before! I have been off work for 6 weeks now and dr said it would probably be another 4-6 weeks before I go back. I have a great office job and a wonderful boss and have set my goal to be back the first week of November. My dr also said that some people get out of the hospital the same day and go back to work in 2 weeks so he kind of set me up for unrealistic expectations. He now tells me that he had no idea how bad it really was - the MRI didn't show how bad. I think if you go in with realistic expectations, you will be much better off. I am so thankful I had the surgery-it is unbelievable how much better I feel. Don't get me wrong, there are still some days better than others but not enough to change my mind about the surgery. Andrea
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  • marcie- welcome to the forum. I know I was scared before my surgery so that is normal for anyone..Hope you find all the support you need and the info on the surgery. I had surgery on L4-L5 (L2-L5 and more) and I was afraid of the paralysis issue but my dr said it had never happened with him. Perhaps ask the surgeon what his track record is regarding any paralysis.... :B jade
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