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Will we ever really be pain-free???

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,554
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Ok, I think I've been pretty darned patient with the muscle spasms that started this whole mess, the tingling, the loss of the use of my left arm, taking the meds, jumping through the pre-op hoops, surgery, neck braces and now more muscle spasms and burning, aching neck pain.

My question is will I ever, ever really be free of pain? I'm beginning to doubt it. Can anybody tell me that after x amount of time, you were free of your pain and went on like you were before the whole thing started? :W

As I said, I think I've been pretty patient, but I'm starting to get frustrated, make that very frustrated and it's starting to piss me off (pardon my French). ~X(

Is there hope out there???



  • Cathy,

    I know it's hard to believe, but you are still early in the recovery stage. I think after your type of surgery, 3 months post-op is way too early to become pain free.

    It is difficult to compare our situations since my surgery was lumbar, but I was told that complete recovery could take a minimum of 8-12 months and may require 2-3 years.

    No one but your surgeon is capable of telling you exactly what is going on right now. It may help if you call your surgeon and ask for an explanation as to why you currently have muscle spasms and burning neck pain. The explanation should allow you to better understand your specific situation and get a more realistic time table for when you really could be pain free, if that is possible.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  • Hello Cath,

    So sorry to read abut all your pain and all that you have been through and are still going through.

    Frustrating? Depressing? And end of patience? I can only partially understand as I have not been where you are. I truly hope that others who have been in similar "shoes" can give you the best thoughts.

    However, if I may - We sometimes set our goals SOOOoo high that it is unlikely we will attain them. And hence the frustration, etc.

    Cath, as my second spinal surgeon said to me when he wanted to do a two level fusion "Do understand that the fusion may help, but remember you most likely will still have some back pain. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, however, he wanted to be realistic with me. He did not want me to have unrealistic expectations which would only have resulted in frustration and depression.

    Cath, I know this is not what you wanted to hear. I hope very much that others can be much more optimistic.

    I am 72. I may want to be like I was when I was 27. That's not going to happen unfortunately.

    Take care.


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  • Cath..I had my surgery july 31st..numbness gone after surgery. Pain eventually diminished. Now back with a vengeance due to return to work (short lived for now!) and additional shoulder injury. Now I am faced with another surgery for that. both docs (neck and shoulder) said I will not really feel better until my shoulder is fixed...I am at the end of my rope..I want to work. I can accept some pain; but right now it is bad.
    But three months for you is early out..but I totally understand your feelings. Hoping things improve for you!
  • I always think about this issue. I have also been told that with back surgery you either get better, feel the same, or get worse and you will always have some kind of back pain. It has been almost 3 years since my back pain and sciatica started and I have been through conservative treatments and 2 back surgeries. Is this as good as I'm gonna get? I'm not sure. I have also heard that after this period of time that if the nerve damage is not reversed by then that it is how it's gonna be. I have heard this from doctors as well. By all means this doesn't mean that I am giving up if this is the case. I will continue to care for myself and seek treatment from my doctors. My goal is to keep looking for ways to improve quality of life.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    Thats always a tough question.

    I believe and hope for those folks that had one spinal surgery and it was successful and that their recovery period was perfect AND that they follow ALL limitations, restrictions and instructions from the doctor. - They can eventually be Pain Free. It just might take some time.

    Now, for those with multiple surgeries, failed surgeries, non compliance with instructions, that is a different story.

    All my doctors have told me that I will never be pain free.
    Living with a level 2/3 would be the best they hope to achieve. I can live with that. What I need to do is just continue to manage that pain. I think there are many others out there that are in similar situation. The hardest part in all of this is keeping a positive outlook. Here is where I channel a good deal of my efforts.

    Now this is one of the reasons I have stressed OVER and OVER in these forums.

    FOLLOW all Restrictions/Limitations/Instructions that were given to you.

    Make sure you keep up with whatever exercise program that was laid out for you. And when there are times you feel good and think to yourself,Oh, I can do that, I feel good DONT, you could just be playing Russian roulette and wind up back in surgery.

    And for those that DONT FOLLOW those rules, you are only asking for trouble and a life ahead full of pain and discomfort.
    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
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  • this a topic that I feel we all can relate to on some level. Will the pain ever stop! I wish I could say yes or no but only time will tell. There is that cliche that everyone hates to hear I know. Patience is a virtue, and sometimes that can start to wear thin when pain is screaming in your face. When I get to the place that pain wants to rule my every tought I try to find ways to distract my brain and get endorphines going. This doesnt mean always walking on the treadmill, or cleaning, or some task that feels like a chore on top of pain. I like to crank up a good song and just sing as loud as I can, or find ways to get my adrenaline going. Chemically adrenaline can over ride pain sensors, so the distraction and raise in endorphines can help alleviate some frustration and hopefully lessen your pain level. If pain screams at you scream back!
    I have come to a place in my life that I just say it is what it is and I will go from here. Accepting that this moment is only this moment and hoping for the following ones to get better to always strive for the better ones is how I cope. But will I ever be pain free...not while Im on this planet, be it back surgery or a paper cut...
    You will be in my thoughts and prayers for a peaceful mind and body and that you will get relief from your pain. Hang in there!
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