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I am having probs

factoryratffactoryrat Posts: 104
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have a fever almost everyday, DR days its OK, go get staples out Monday (will see him then). I can't seem to keep my pain in control until my next dose time. The hand thing got better, but I cant open my med bottles and my wife wants them on the child proof side. Damn, I was doing so good, I can feel my spirit breaking. The longest I have sleep has been 3 hours , but usually less. It's only been 15 days since surgery. I have no appetite, quite frankly I'm freaking out. Wife just took temp and I am normal!Took me a good 5 minute to open a Gatorade bottle last night cause I did not want to wake my wife up. . I don't cry much, but have cried more the past 2 weeks than the last 5 years. I don't even know what I expect writing this. If this ain't the bottom I got to be close. I can't even find one of those moments I was talking about. I wish somebody could help me. Dr. has me going back to the assembly line in 4 months instead of the minimum 6 he had said.I am so embarrassed and ashamed I was so OK to now be so miserable.
No DR will say I can go back to the factory, but they say I can do whatever I want. Then I ask a couple of examples and the say probably not, or my favorite you need to have realistic expectations. I wanted to enjoy the rest of my life with my wife, I was set up to retire @55, have a pension and have always put money in my 401K. Now what, I read the paperwork before I turned it in. The only way I could afford to go out on medical for this surgery was to sell my dad's 442.I don't know what to do I see no hope. When I came up here I swore I would never live in a mobile home again, and I would never eat hominy.


  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,362
    I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. I don't know what surgery you had or even really have any advice for you. Just wanted you to know someone is listening. I have heard of a lot of people who go through a set back/depression about two to three weeks post op. Please try not to worry so much. I know how hard that is when you're unable to work. The stress will only increase your pain though. Hopefully the doctor will have good news for you.
    Take care and good luck.

  • factory,what surgery did you have?
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  • I have no real words of wisdom but I hope things start looking up for you. I worked my way up from a poor childhood, myself, and am more than a little worried about my job. It is also frustrating looking into my future and worrying about the impact this will have on my life.

    It is particularly hard with back problems because people can't always see the pain you're in.

    Anyway, I'm sorry things are so rough right now for you. I hope all will be better soon.

  • Sorry to heat this......my father in law had same thing you are experiencing. ..... just to let you know a year later he is nearly back to full capacity. He could not even turn faucet in bathroom on.....keep your head up
  • Dude,
    First off, take a breath! Calm down. It's 15 days after surgery; you ain't gonna get fired. I'm not sure what surgery you had(please tell us) BUT, according to the Family & Medical Leave Act, an employer must grant you at least 12 work weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period for serious medical conditions. At least. Any company that's worth working for will go longer than that. Read up on it at www.dol.gov (Dep't of Labor)
    Second, what are you ashamed of? If you needed surgery, then you needed it! Fifteen days into it is WAY to early to be freaking out. It's going to be OK. How can I say that? 'Cause I'm in nearly the same boat. I came from beyond poor. I hate hominy. And over years I have managed to work into a pretty good paying job with a top company. I am 3 months into lumbar fusion and I don't know when or if I'll get back to work at the plant. Thing is, it IS going to be OK. How can it be otherwise? If I keep my job.. great. If I have to do something new, then it'll be an opportunity. Same for you. Even if we (you or I ) wind up "poor" again, realize that it's much more important to be a good person than how much stuff you can buy. I had one time fallen into that trap of thinking that the bank account made the man, and then I learned better. Where you're at..it ain't the bottom. You got a wife, house, job and insurance. That ain't so bad. The pain? I'm sure that sucks and you have a right to cry about that. Calm down, get as informed as you can about your job options.
    Do you have long term or short term disability insurance?
    I don't mean to sound like a hard ass or anything. I just want you to know that others are in your shoes and we are going to be alright. So are you.

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  • One other thing - it only makes everything worse when you worry about them.

    Try some calming and breathing exerciese. Realize that you are still REALLY early in your recovery. It's compeletly normal to freak out about now, I think most of us have been through it. You can get to the other side of this, take each day one day at a time.

    Be smart, do talk to your dr. about your pain levels, realizing that your stress is probably ratcheting the pain up a few notches. Maybe have the doc write up an rx for a stress reliever as well as trying some different pain meds.

    Do what you can to get some sleep. Your lack of sleep is going to make matters worse as well (another reason to get a stress-reducing rx). I took Melatonin to help me sleep post-op. It's a mild sleeping aid and mood elevator that you can get in the herb section at most stores.

    My nurse strongly suggested I go on anti-depressants for 3 months post-op. Depression is a totally natural reaction to the invasion of such a hard-on-your-body and painful surgery as a fusion.

    In the meantime - do let us know more details on your surgery, I'm sure there is one of us that has had almost the same thing done. We've been through it, we can give you real experiences and help you get through the crazy days ahead.

    p.s. ASK FOR HELP when you need it. There is no shame in asking. You've had major surgery, you'll need help for a while yet. just say thanks and be appreciative - it goes a long way for your care-givers :)
  • I'm sorry this is worrisome now. maybe your Dr. will let you go on longer on sick leave. Find out also your Long term disability benefits through your Union Rep. I'm on LTD for 2 years now and I'm afraid I may not be able to return to work. It's important you get sleep for your healing as well as eating nutrious food. Please speak with your Dr. on how you're feeling. I hope you're feeling better soon. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hey there,

    You aren't alone. FMLA (the law mentioned above) in the US is there to protect you. If you are in the US, you just have to file a disability claim (which you should do if you haven't and if no one directed you to, call your HR person and ask for informatio on how to do that). It protects you for a period of time for things like this.

    And, I don't know what procedure you had but sounds like you are early in the recovery. It's tough. it's tough to need other people for help and I've found it was a huge lesson in accepting and asking for help. I'm still working on it but realizing this is a chance for me to learn that asking for help doesn't mean you are weak.

    I would talk to your doctor about the mood/depression. I would also cut yourself some slack. With spine stuff...it can seem to be 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. You are just in the 2-steps back 'period'. This too, shall pass. But let your doctor know. Be honest with the pain you are in, be honest that you had surgery and it's ok to hurt while you recover, be honest that you are depressed so that the doctor can help. The surgery, disability, meds, and slow recovery can wear on a person. That adds stress, which in turn adds to depression.

    So, first things first
    1 - plan out what you will cover with your doctor
    You need better pain management, you need help with depression, and you need him to help you understand what to expect for the high and low times. Sometimes, when we hurt and didn't expect it, it's 2X as bad.

    2 - call your employer and ask them how to file a disability claim. It is not saying you are disabled but it is an FMLA disability protective claim. The rule is generally if you are out 'sick' for more than 7 consecutive days, you should file a claim. I have filed one for my upcoming surgery b/c I'm unsure. I didn't think I needed to because I have plenty of sick time.
    Luckily my HR reminded me that I need to file no just because of money but to protect my job. She told me that this way, my manager cannot try to replace me if my performance drops. She said that the law is protecting my job. They can't try to move me out or to another job while I'm under the protective period.

    3 - Talk to your wife. I'm sure she wouldn't mind being woken up for some gatorade. Or, ask her to loosen a bottle before going to bed. Could the kids spill it? Sure...but if it means you have a chance of getting a drink you want at night while she's sleeping it's worth the risk.

    4 - come here to vent even if you aren't sure you want to hear feedback. Sometimes venting is all I need to clear my stress.

  • Norm,

    I understand your fears. I finished my FMLA in Oct, so now I am on an accomadation medical leave. I am worried about my job too. And stress makes everything so much worse. I also went thru a serious post surgical depression. They are not uncommon. I cried about everything, I know I am a chick and all guys think chicks cry all the time, but i am not a whining crying person, so I knew something was wrong. I would also suggest a request to see PCP if surgeon is too slow to get you some relief. And 15 days is too soon to tell anything about your surgery yet.

    Best Wishes,
  • I did not have an appetite until 2 weeks ago (I'm 10 weeks postop fusion), and still not back to normal. Still have difficulty just picking up a gallon of tea, and I think that is 8 lbs.

    Gwennie told me that I would probably start feeling much better between 2-3 months, and I really believe that to be true. I have to rest several times a day, and doing simple household tasks really fatigue me, and cause pain, so I must pace myself everyday.

    When you allow yourself to just take care of your most basic of needs, you will heal more quickly.

    You are going to feel much better just getting those staples out :-)

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