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Hello, I'm New here.. So glad I found this site!

armymedic's wifeaarmymedic's wife Posts: 18
edited 01/17/2013 - 7:48 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello everyone! My name is Tia. I'm a 35 year old mom of 4 kids, the youngest of which is just 6 months old. I've had back/neck problems since 1995 when I was caught in the rigging of a horse i was riding in a rodeo at just 18 years old. Since then, I've had constant back pain, headaches, migraines, seizures, etc. etc. I've went through countless neuorologists, chiropractors, neurosurgeons, physical therapist, accupuntures, massage therapists, the list goes on.

My latest MRI shows C3/C4 Central hernation, C4/C5 herniation with superimposed bulge. C5/C6 herniation with superimposed bulge, severely stenotic. C6/C7 herniation with superimposed bulge, severely stenotic. I'm scheduled for surgery the first week of March and I'm scared to the point where I want to put if off yet again, but I know I'm to the point where I can't anymore. I lost use of my right arm for almost 4 months, still have numbness in both hands, tingling in my toes, buttoning my clothes has become a task, writing with a pen requires concentration, lots of little things that i always took for granted have become an issue. I guess I'm rambling. I'm just scared. I don't want to miss out on my little guys' life's, and I feel like I'm only half a mom right now cause I'm always hurting. I'm always just half here.

Also, herniations at LF-S1, L4-L5, L3-L4 and spurs on T11-T12, T12-L1, L1-L2. My neurosurgeon and ortheopedic surgeon have both told me that I have the spine of a women in her 80s, This is not the first time I've heard this, literally about the 20th time.


  • your gonna find a lot of support here, many of these folks may have been in your shoes, or will be, Dont be afraid to jump on in and extend that ear, or hand to someone. i hope the surgery goes well and ya find relief!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • I truly hope to meet some people who have been in my shoes. I sometimes feel like I'm all alone here.
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  • Welcome here and hi. You're not alone. I see Jerryhall and KarenD have touched base with you on the other thread.

    That's great.

    This anxiety, nervousness at pre surgery is normal and a phase we all go through!

    I offer two suggestions;
    1. Research, learn from others. There are heaps of patient experiences and stories here of any people that have had exactly this same as you. Invest the time to read read read. Not all will be good. But you can learn from them on what not to do and what to watch out for. By all means have dialogue with folks here but delve into what happened to others. Learn.
    2. Preparation. Read the FAQ near top of page. In there is a thread with masses of hints and essentials for a good recovery. Also the prep will help take your mind of your fears by doing positive things.

    Take care.

  • I'ge read some of the surgery "horror " stories and think "I cant do this " and then my arms remind me that I am to the point where I go no longer put it off.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,372
    edited 02/18/2013 - 4:07 AM
    I really understand that facing all of this is very scary.
    I used to feel like I was trapped in my own body by my spine. I didn't want to have to face the pain and what was being suggested to deal with it. For a long while I avoided it and thought that I would find a way to deal with it without having to have spinal surgery. All that was happening was that things were getting worse and my life was shrinking as the things that I could do were getting less and less.

    I have raised my family and they are all (3) independent now. I can imagine and sympathise how you must feel with 4 young children and a husband who has to travel.

    There are some bad stories on here, but I would like to point out that most of the good stories are never told because the people who have them are long gone and back to their busy lives. I have been around for a while because I have problems throughout my spine and I had to have a neck fusion almost 3 years after my lumbar fusion. I am still off work, so I pop in here regularly to keep up to date with friends I have made and to try to encourage newer members who are scared and facing surgery. I have seen many who were here posting, had their surgery, stayed while they recovered and now no longer come here because they are back to their life.

    Tia, it certainly sounds like you need to have this surgery. You are young and that should be in your favour as far as healing from the surgery is concerned. I know that being a mum of small children feels like a big responsibility when you are facing something as big as spinal surgery. You are going to need help, but as long as you get that, I think you will cope. The early weeks or so will be tough, but then slowly you start to feel better and as long as you follow all the limitations that you are given, you should heal and be in a much better position than you are right now. You will not have a perfect spine after surgery, but you don't have that now. You will probably always have to take care of your spine, and will almost certainly upset it sometimes and have to ease off and be careful for a while.

    Your surgeon must feel that he can help you and improve things, or he wouldn't be offering you surgery.
    Please know that there is great support on here from people who understand how scary this is.
    Please do PM me if you want to chat more, or ask any other questions you have on here as there will be others who will chip in.
    Take care, and look forward to a better future :-)
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  • Oh how I feel your concern. The anxiety leading up to my surgeries was so intense. And nothing is scarier than realizing you aren't being the mom you need to be. All I can say is lots of deep breaths and realizing you are doing this for them. And I had to laught about the "back of an 80 year old". I had been told that too.... but now my back looks FIERCE! You may loose a few months of being the mom you want to be during recovery... but you'll end up being such a BETTER mom when you are healed. Hang in there. And don't let the horror stories scare you. I mean, you birthed 4 children and survived right? I bet if you googled things like horror birth stories you'd never become pregnant with the first. All the "great" stories we hear, smile, and move on... but the horror stories stick in our minds... just remember the percentage to good out comes far out weighs the bad outcomes.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.

  • That is some spine you have there!
    How are you now?

    I don't know about cremation being out - I would get cremated and leave all that titanium to your relatives in your will. Lol!

  • Thanks for your encouragement! They have been telling me since 1995 that I would need surgery so ive had quite a while to prepare for it (I.e. put it off) but you are right, I am to the point now on where I'm very limited on what I can do.

  • You will be able to do this Tia.
    You have a great support network organised and that will be the key to coping.
    Make sure that you take great care of yourself and don't risk overdoing it. Picking up your children is going to be out. Think ahead and work out ways that they can get up for a cuddle. My granddaughter used to climb up onto my lap. Have a step close to where you will sit/lie so that they can do that (once you are feeling well enough). Perhaps have some new story books that you can read to them while they sit with you.

    This is the year Tia that you are going to give the time to sorting out your spine problems and heal from the surgery.
    After my lumbar fusion I am so much better and much more mobile and ablel to get out and have fun again.
    Now my spine is a mess, and I have now had a neck fusion and still have problems even after that, but I am still much better than I was before I 'gave in' and had my first spinal surgery. I am in my 50s, so my spine has had much more time to degenerate and I haave a small spinal canal, so the problems get bad quickly.
    I do not regret my surgeries and if anything, wish I had had them sooner.

    I will be around and will follow how you get on.
    I am back to work next Monday, so won't be around quite so much, but I will pop in regularly. :-)
  • On going back to work!!

    I know that I may have a long road ahead of me as far as recovery, but I think all things all possible with a positive attitude and I am definitely done with this keeping me down.
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