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I think I ruined what's left of my life

asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi my friends,

I had a terrible day and I hesitate to tell you because maybe I'm just whimping out so to speak. I had the surgery on December 14, 2010 and ever since then alot has changed. I've gained about 16 pounds. My dace and scalp have like psoriasis, dry skin, redness, flaking skin. I am either in pain or sleepy from the pain meds, can't find a balance. My lower back, hip and both legs have significant pain, and that's worse considering i had very little right leg pain before. And now two fingers in my left hand are in chronic pain. I have gone backwards instead of forward. I was over weight to start with, and now 16 pounds more is just causing more issues, and I haven't been eating cheetos and drinking pop either.

I don't see any good times ahead, and the pain meds which I know I need to reduce my pain have a number of side effects that make things worse and make me useless.

Today I got so worked up I felt like ending the nightmare and then I thought I need to go to the psychiatric ward at the VA and just stay there. I don't know which option bothers me more. I am sorry for talking this way and letting all of you down. I also think my doctor wants to start cutting back the pain medications and while I know that should be good for me, I am terrified of that idea because of all the pain issues now. I don't just feel useless , I am useless, i can barely do anything like chores at home, much less anything I really might enjoy.

I have actually forgotten what it feels like to enjoy something in my life, it all seems lost to me. I am trying to reach out and find what I need, but I also feel like I can barely type this between the pain, tiredness, and loss of interest in anything.

I do have PTSD, anxiety, and major depression which I'm sure is feeding this. I hope you all don't think too badly of me, this isn't how I choose to feel, it's just how I feel. I just can't see any light at the end of the tunnel any more.

God bless



  • Hi Al. I'm not the type of person to just say what I think a person wants to hear. I speak from my mind and from my heart, but more, I am honest. I don't have in me what I would like to give tonight because I too feel pretty worthless a lot of the time.. but I know that I am not. I'm a good worthy person and I'm certain you are as well.

    There will be good times ahead for you and you will get beyond this nightmare of pain and depression, or feelings of not feeling good about yourself, but right now your body is recovering from a trauma and needs time to heal. I don't want to sound bossy, but you do have to find something to do with your mind other than think badly about yourself-and I doubt it if anyone else is thinking bad thoughts of you. I think it takes a really brave person to be as open and honest as you have in your post, and really, who hasn't had periods in their life when they felt the same way as you are now.. I know that I have.

    Your pain levels do need to be taken care of, along with every other aspect of your health. It's all a circle, one helping (or hurting) the other, and on and on, like a domino effect. Once you get something good going, even just a little good, it will continue to grow into a good thing, but accept what you can't do right now as ok and change something that you are able to.. even just one small thing or thought. Well, this is the way that I did (do) it whenever I have had my bad times and it has worked for me so far, I hope at least a little of it can help, at least a little. All my best~
  • No one thinks badly or any less of you! We are here as a community and as individuals to provide you support. We do not desert a ship in mid water just because it springs a leak. I wish I knew the right words to say that would flip a switch and make you feel better or more optimistic. It is I who feels useless in an instance such as this. I hope you are able to be with someone or talk to someone. You do not have to carry this burden alone!

    I have been in several situations where it seemed that the surgery to fix the problem, created far more and greater problems. I was fortunate to have an awesome surgeon who refused to listen to his peers and promised to stick it out as long as it took, to get me to feeling better. He succeeded and I am now able to work and do most any activity I so choose.

    When I know intuitively that there was still something wrong after surgery, I refused to buy into "this is as good as it can get".

    Hang in there Al. You have a family here. You have friends here.

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  • please hang in there al and ride out the storm, a number of us have been where you are now and it's a sickening place. hypothetically we can throw you a life preserver from shore and you can ride it out 'till we can pull you in or you can swim to shore.

    aside from my back issues i have another rare neurological disorder that causes exessive pain which at times renders me non-functional. whereas i have a lot of chronic pain now, about 5 years ago it was pretty much unbearable. my parents drove halfway across the country to come and get me and take me to their home back then because they were concerned. numerous times i sat awake at night wishing so badly that i wouldn't wake up in the morning. i prayed and prayed for relief from pain and lo and behold some 5 years later, at present day, i am doing better than what i dreamed and prayed i wanted to be at. strange as it may be i am grateful for my pain level now because i know it can be worse, and i am so grateful that i got some respite from my worst pain. as i said, i still suffer from some moderate to severe pain, but i am happy and respect the good hours/days that i have beccause it could be worse. this is not to minimize the pain at all.

    anyhow, i hope my words have brought you some consolation. as others have said, we care for you here. at some point in the future i look forward to reading a response you write for a thread another spine sufferer writes who shares the same story as yourself. you will have the wisdom to help this person even though you might not even be aware of it.

    yes it sucks, but please ride it out. you don't have to like it, but please ride it out. how's that for harpin' on you? lol
  • first off, your not letting anyone down, i no you feel like you are, but thats prob the depression talking.
    you are still early after your surgery, it takes time to recover, ya no.

    but when you see your surgeon next, do let him no of your new pains, it may be the case that nerves were moved around in surgery and there reacting to this.

    if you feel theres something wrong, call your surgeon and explain whats happening, ok

    now, the way your feeling, mite be a good idea to ring your therapist and tell them how you are feeling and your fear of pain meds being reduced and that you felt so bad , that you thought you should go in patient. al, i think you should call your psychiatrist and tell him/her exactly how your feeling

    re, meds, there are many options , talk with your dr, and work with them, to come up with a comdo, that works for you

    al, dont forget, try the distraction techniques, watch an interesting movie, do something, no matter how small, that you enjoy, and you would have been taught your breathing techniques, so dont forget to do them, ok :)

    hang in there al
    and keep posting to us all here

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  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    You're not sounding wimpy. You're sounding *human* like the rest of us. You're not useless Al, you've been a great help to me and still are. Pain has a way of messing with your mind or at least it does mine. I always say that I get kind of crazy. In times like those we just need to talk to people and not keep it bottled up inside. You've reached out to your friends here and that's a big step in helping yourself. We appreciate the trust you put in us to try to help guide you through the bad times. All of the others above have given you some great advice. I sometimes have a hard time finding the right words to say what I want to say but they've pretty much covered it.
    You are so early in this recovery and having two major surgeries so close together must be double hard on your body, mind and soul you know? You are normal, you are useful. You're just having to deal with a lot. Just try to remember that this too shall pass and you have many better days ahead. Just think how much you'll appreciate them!
    Sending you a PM my friend.
    Take care,
  • Just sending good vibes your way and ditto the others. I never experienced the kind of pain I have had - the lying awake at night just watching the clock and thinking maybe it will subside in a minute or if I shift this way will it get worse or better. My heart breaks for you as you are feeling so low... please continue to reach out to us - to your Drs or therapists whatever it takes - let your body heal and also find something simple you like to help break up the time whether it is certain TV shows or movies and crosswords. My husband bought me an ipod for Christmas as I love music so I have been breaking up my day downloading songs I have not heard in so long and then just listening .. hopefully you can find something like that to help you get thru each day as your body heals.
    One idea on the issues with your scalp - my experience and I am no expert is that anytime I take pain meds (narcotics) it gives me psorarsis in my scalp horribly. There are over the counter items you can get for dry itchy scalp that can help at most pharmacies.
    We are here for you and again sending positive vibes your way!

  • For your kindness and taking the time to share some thoughts and ideas with me. The psorarsis on my scalp and parts of my face have been bad last two weeks, and the feeling this will never end which I pray is not true.

    I even told my home care PT person and OT person today about my emotional down turn and how last night I even called the suicide hotline which wasn't much help either. At any rate they said they were sorry I was feeling so bad but their social worker was out sick so nothing they could do.

    I fear I have to try to watch what I'm saying or they will pull my pain meds completely and i'll be on my own. It's hard to believe but there is very little help of this type out there in my opinion. You guys offer so much more then any proffesionals right now because you care.

    I am trying to use distraction and sleeping as much as I can. The bad part is I've been isolating myself alot from even answering the phone, I just don't feel like talking to anyone. Oh, I told them today I couldn't do my PT or OT because it just causes more pain for me.

    I am just in a bad place right now and worried about what is going to happen with pain meds and the pain still being here. I don't know about anywhere else, but the doctors in Ohio seem afraid to write pain meds for long as they have law enforcement watching close for abuse. The ones I see aren't abusing the meds nor am I, but i think they're afraid because you see doctors getting raided for suspicion of abuse so I think they're afraid.

    Well I just wanted to try to update you guys and thank you for your supprt and prayers.

    God Bless

    Scared Al
    AL S
  • But your post really caught my eye because I too have felt this way. The only thing that gets me through those dark, dark times are the thoughts of my 15 yr old daughter and prayer. I am not deeply religious but I do believe that there is a higher power that helps us whenever we ask. Almost 18 months post surgery I was up to 45mg morphine 3X a day,Dilaudid 6X a day, plus muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories - nobody wanted to believe I could be in that much pain until they finally did another CT and found the fusion had FAILED and I had an L5 fracture which the surgeon said would account for the pain. The prospect of another surgery or two is scary but when I am scared to death I PRAY and I give up my pain to God. Hang in there Al.
  • Thank so my for writing, and i agree with what you said. I had an ACDF on August 4th 2010 and they haven't check yet to see if it's going ok or not. My necj felt fine but lately I've dbeen getting unusual pain and stiffness in the neck, a rea, burning feeling in my ypper back and pain in two finger of my left arm. This is all new, right after that surgery my neck and keft arn felt pretty good, so what is this now?

    Also i feel bad because wwhen i try to describe my curent pain in lower back and legs I feel almost like they think I am embelishing or something, the said part is I not. I am truv fearful of being in pain without meds to lighten the load.

    I have to try to think more positive and b greatful for lifting mr=e up when i'm o so down

    Thanks to you and everyone of the deaar people that has tried to helped, because at least for me it certainly does work.

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    AL S
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