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Post Surgery - beyond physical pain!

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Maintenance
I believe everyone understands the physical pain that we suffer after our spinal surgery, but there is the matter of emotional pain.

There are many different feelings that we experiencing after our surgery and during the recovery time. What are they and why?

I recently talked with another member about this and we both agreed that this subject matter is worth discussions.

After surgery, here are just a few feelings we may experience.

Frustration Sometimes we get impatient about the progress we have during recovery. Now that our surgery is done, why is it taking so long for me to feel better.

Depression The surgery is done, it was successful and now we are on the road of recovery. But every once in a while, especially times when we are alone, we start to think about what is future holding for us? Its the What will I be able to do?, Can I go back to xxx?, etc

Fear We are listening and adhering to what the doctors told us about limitations and restrictions. We try to pay close attention to this. We can then start to worry, about .. What happens if I fall? If I sneeze or cough real hard, will that cause a problem with my fusion?

I am sure that almost every member here has experienced feelings similar to what I just listed. I think it would be worthwhile to have some dialogue about this.

Your feelings?
Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 


  • And that is only because you have touched a deep and sensative area.

    I like the name "ugly" pain...it describes it well for me.

    The rollercoaster of hope, anxiety, fear, fighting depression, physical pain, grief, aspirations all wrapped in a rolling snowball.

    I feel like a cracked egg too! Put on a brave face every day for ppl around me. They suffer too but I feel I have to put the face on. Sometimes it helps me feel better but it is only a mask.

    That is why I get much support from SH. O:)
    I have wondered often about therapy bt feel that if I get some stupid remark (we all know the ones) I will explode in a million bits! So unless one has walked that mile, I am not sure where to go!

    And i carefully say, "Fighting Depression" - I am very scared of his place because of where the pain takes me. I know some of you will understand. So the fight goes on!

    You have given me an idea though, I will look into local pain support groups. Bet there aren't any!

    Take care my SH friends.
  • Yes I have had all of those feelings and still have some of them. It will be 2 years this month since my last surgery and depression seems to be what I battle most. I feel so old beyond my 52years.

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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
    So everyone knows, the member I was talking with is
    Cahtie, CATH111, she was the one that came up with this idea in having a topic thread that we can discuss problems other than medical.

    Thank you Cathie
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I have to say that fear of doing something to hurt my fusion has always been in the back of my mind. No matter how careful I try to be, it always makes me think twice before doing anything. I know my limitations when it comes to lifting and such, but with my myelopthy I always worried about falling...on Dec 22 it happened, falling while showering, just took my mind off what I was doing and next thing I was looking at the ceiling...the good thing is I did not harm my fusion at all, just found out that I am fused and ready to go, but I know that fear will always be with me. I also relate to being frustrated with my recovery, seems that just when I thought things were ok....surgery 3 pops up, so now it is time to go through recovery again. The only good thing is after this surgery they won't have much of anything left to do on my cervical spine.



    2 level ACDF c5-c6, c6-c7, November 2007...cervical stenosis with myelopathy....Removal of hardware and another 2 level ACDF c3-c4, c4-c5 and posterior cervical laminectomy at c5,c6,c7 in March 2008 to help stop the progression of myelopathy..was moving right along..looks like stenosis and such has moved itself to c3 and c4...2 level laminectomy at c3 and 4 near the end of March. Thought it was a light at the end of the tunnel, maybe it's the train.....lol I am not a medical professional and my opinion is just from my experience.
  • My thoughts were "Oh God, it hurts so bad. What did I get myself into?!" I experience all the emotions listed above, and the prevalent one I had was despair. Pain ruled everything I did or couldn't do. Agony was right behind it, I just couldn't get comfortable no matter how I positioned myself. Then on top of everything else I was accosted with nerve pain so bad my Valium was bumped up to 10 mg's. That didn't work and had no choice but to take anti inflammatories very early in the recovery.

    The early part of the recovery is the roughest. You're stuck at home bored to tears because it's too painful to go out. Making it to your follow up appointment was an ordeal. You never feel ready to PT. You want to die after your first PT session. After a while your body gets used to the pain, and you can move easier. One wrong move will put you in bed for a few days, so watch it. Your car will get you wherever you want to go, but it doubles as a torture device if you have no lumbar support and a low suspension.

    I think if you go through something like this that you can handle whatever else life throws at you.
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  • Was going from being a perfectly healthy individual to an incapacitated one. It was like my life was going by in slow motion. I couldn't believe what was happening all around me. I felt all alone until I found you guys. I had never heard of ACDF didn't know what a spinal cord injury was and I was absolutely heart broken over it all. I spent many days crying my eyes out wondering if I would ever get my life back. What it will be like when all of this is over still weighs heavy on my mind. I look at the pictures of my X rays and still can't believe I have a plate and screws in my neck that will be with me forever. I've had to battle the Why me's? and the how did this happen for way too long. I know I'll recover but still. What will my life be like next year? Right now I just want to get through tomorrow. Thanks for giving us a place to vent.
  • Tonya, I could've written the post you made. It's unbelievable that last May I was golfing, having fun, doing whatever I wanted, only taking my herbal meds to keep me healthy, passed a physical and mammogram with flying colors, then my spine issue hit me between the eyes. Ten months later and OMG, what happened to my life?

    I'm such an optimistic person and I don't really like who I've become. I've never experienced the depression I get into now. And when you do get depressed, you wonder if it's a pity party, but have to tell yourself "it's ok to feel down every now and then. Look what you've been through." I also get very frustrated and angry with the length of recovery. I had no idea how long it would take.

    But the best thing through all of this, besides my hubby, is Spine-Health and the forums. It's wonderful to be able to vent here and it's comforting to know others feel the way you do.

  • It is just so hard when life sits you on your butt and won't let you up. I've been fighting every inch of the way to get to the finish line. I know there's no miracle for me tomorrow but I am willing to work for the prize. Just to hold my Grandson for more than 2 minutes would be the ultimate for me.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
    and I can get mellow about it.

    Geez, if it was only the physical pain that we had to endure,
    life would be a bit easier.

    I live for today, its here
    I cant change yesterday, its gone
    I want so much to see tomorrow
    I cant wait till see what next week will bring
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I love a challenge but some days this adventure just gets old.

    Some days it seems like a classic nightmare - you run and run and get nowhere - or farther away.

    Then - seemingly out of the blue - a good day comes along and I think "OK, this IS going to get better." But, the next day - pain. That is when I am most discouraged.

    But every night I go to bed with the hope that the next day will be better.

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