Hello everyone. As some of you know my name is Shawn. And I am having a four level fusion on Oct. 3rd. I just got the phone call two hours ago. I am filled with several different feelings and using this place to vent a little. It feels so weird when I look back on the journey to where I am now. To break it down into sections it would look like this:
Pain: in the beginning it was never constant but in a single movement something felt like it got pinched and I couldn't walk for days. Then the acute part would end and then I would ease back to being completely normal. As time passed it got worse and the recovery time was longer and longer. Then the pain became a constant thing. The constant part was a 3-5 on the pain scale and a solid 10 when I would have an episode.
Doctors visits: I remember after the car accident 7 years ago I started on a journey to getting everything else fixed first. Neck surgery, and then shoulder surgery. When it came to my back next the MRI showed one back disc and the area looked like it was acute. I opted out of having surgery and it was recommended that I enter into PM. I decided to do it on my own for a few years with no pain medicine. Until I had another acute attack is what I will call it here. And decided I would try PM. Did the shots, pt, lots of pain killers and still have gotten worse. Then two months ago out of no where I had another attack except this time instead of it being instantaneous and stuck in my bed not being able to move, it gradually came on. Over the course of two hours of getting ready for work and sitting at my desk the pain increased so much. Then thought I better get to my chiropractor and lay on his rolling bed to loosen it up. He freaked out because I could barely walk then and then back to my truck to drive myself to the hospital. I barely was able to limp into the ER. And when I sat down that was it, I could not walk for three days. Started the whole process over. You know what I'm talking about. Doing the MRI first. In the ER. Was lucky there. They usually don't do that. Was told that I had a total of four bad discs now. First surgeon said he could not help. Went back to the same surgeon who did my neck and he started to say the same thing but then ordered a Diskagram. Along with a bone scan. Holy crap was that Diskagram painful. So there was a discussion of whether or not to do the two that were really bad or all four. And since it was a good possibility that I would be back to have the other two done it was decided to do all four. But not until I saw the neurosurgeon who assisted on my neck as well was consulted. Which to be clear they will both be involved in this surgery. The neurosurgeon confused me a bit by saying, by having pain in all four discs confirmed to him that I needed the surgery. If I would have had pain in only two of them be would have questioned the test.
Mental aspect: It is all very confusing to me. To have been told all this time that I was not a surgery candidate to doing a four level fusion is off the charts messed up. Even with having several opinions I still feel it is a toss up. Half say don't and the other half say this my one chance to get rid of 70% of my pain. At 60% odds I have to take it. As you guys know. Pain changes you. I stay single now because it is not fair to bring someone into my life with all these challenges. Always being in pain has made me miserable. Outside of work where I wear a mask. I stay isolated to hide from people and my family how much pain I am in all the time. I think to myself how sorry I feel for those who have to take care of us day after day because of how dibilitating the pain is. How it must wear on them to have to carry the load all by themselves. Relationships take so much work as it is. You compound situations like this onto it and it's no wonder things fall apart. And I don't wanna be selfish. I want my family and girlfriends to be happy. My hat is off to those who do this with grace. You can't see pain. Only the result from it. Depression, not able to contribute to the chores of a running household. Throwing the ball around with your kidos. Little things like staying the whole time for an event. Movie, dinner party, etc.. I get so sick of it I could just scream. This of course written while I am in a lot of pain. So I feel the person who writes back during one of there good days and says don't give, fight through it. Think of your family. Bla, bla, bull hockey. I want a cure for the pain. I do not want to be in pain any more.
Surgery: You guys have been a great help with what to expect when it comes to after the surgery. The doctors told me I'd be in the hospital for three days and home for two weeks before I could return to work. I found out for you all that was pretty much a lie. Guess the insurance companies have trained our medical professionals into what to say to their patients. Sometimes it's just all about the money. And I have good insurance. My deductible has been met and they will get 80% of their money within 30 days of the surgery. So why I ask are they still like this?
Family: Luckily my sister is going to quarterback this for me. I devised a plan to share the burden between all of them to take shifts so that no one person is being overwhelmed with having to take care of me. We all live (brothers and sisters along with my folks, neighbors and friends) within 15 min of each other and I have been a pretty good person to all of them so I am optimistic.
My gosh! Four levels fused.... Has anyone here had this done and care to share it with me? I would love to here from those who are willing to share.
Appreciate you guys.
Have a good evening.