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Physical and Emotional Pain



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526
    What is the exact nature of your spinal problem? Cervical, Lumbar, Thoracic? Which discs?
    What has been your doctor's recommendations?

    There are so many different types of spinal surgeries. Many have become so common. L4/L5 surgery happens so often, it almost becomes like a molar extraction. Some of the lumbar surgeries today are 1 day. In for the surgery, out the following day or before and back to normal activities within a week.

    Yes, not all spinal surgeries are like that. Some are much more involved. But in terms of high risk. The potential end result are so much better than not having the surgery. You read about failed surgeries, problems afterwards. True, I cant say all are perfect. But so many times, those situations are due to patients not adhering to their restrictions. You will read countless threads here about problems after surgery. But you read, that those members did not follow the restrictions and limitations. They acted as if everything was fine. Its not, especially after surgery.

    Surgery, any surgery is a personal choice. But look at it this way.. Can you see yourself continuing to be consumed by your back? Don't you want a chance to eliminate some of that pain? Talk this over with your doctor to better understand the pro's and con's of spinal surgery.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Something else to remember when you're reading about the risks of surgery... Often we're talking about major surgery, many years ago or in an emergency situation without the right surgeon. I use these examples because it's something I've done with another English member here! Technology has dramatically changed over the years. Some countries have been behind the USA in this progression. We can be guilty of chatting as if everyone knows our history & particular situations.
    Please listen to Ron. I know I have given the impression that surgery is always a huge life changing experience & it can be. Many people get their lives back! Some of the older members say 'surgery' but they're talking about multi level fusions in an already very messed-up spine. As Ron said, many surgeries these days are very, very basic. You have to take it slow & recover properly but if you're already bed ridden that won't be hard. ;-)

    Please take my warning. I have permanent nerve damage because, to be completely honest, I was terrified! I would love to be able to turn back the clock. See a surgeon. Ask what will happen if you don't have surgery & take it from there. Get second & third opinions & in the end the answer will be very apparent. This is the best way to take most of the stress out of the decision.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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  • Helen. My personal situation means I can't stay in bed no matter how bad my pain is. This has been a blessing in disguise over the years. I know this is hard to hear but laying in bed makes everything so much worse. The exception for me is surgery recovery. I've recently been through surgery (not spine) & my Mum flew over from England to help with my kids. I can honestly say that lack of movement has made my back so much worse!
    I also have the sweaty, faint, vomiting etc reaction to pain. It's so debilitating. I feel so bad for you. This can't continue..you know that don't you? We reach a point when things get so bad that it's just not sustainable. Something must change. A month in bed will cripple you. Even after surgery they want you up & moving the next day for this reason. I know how hard it is. I wish I could give you a big hug. It must be so isolating & depressing. Thank goodness you've found this site to get some of your feelings out.
    How recent are your diagnostic tests? Do you see a board certified great surgeon for advise? The level of pain you describe screams nerve impingement. I'm not a doctor but you know what I'm saying. We talk about the blend & positive attitude but if you're stuck in bed it's time for action, time for something, anything! We need to get you moving! ;-)

    Huge hugs, things will get better. Grab your life again. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks for the hugs Jenny...it's great to hear uv turned a corner and are now doing well...
    I've tried many different pain killers and the pain eventually breaks through ...
    I think another few months of this and I think I will opt for surgery as there's nothing else I can do...
    I'm literally at my wits end with it...
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
  • So I've been on this site for a couple years now. I had a 2 level fusion on L2-4 in June 2013. Fusion is now a year out and fully fused and successful. That's the good news, though the year was tough. This year in Jan I had a L4-5 foraminotomy to try to decompress the cord and the bulging dic. It was hard too and unsuccessful. The disc is still bulging on both sides now. Currently I have no disc space and bone on bone at L1-2 and the same situation at L4-5. L5-S1 is somewhat damaged but not terrible. This is all the results I was given after last week which I spent in the hospital due to pain. The MRI and xray showed these results. I have been hospitalized in March and last week now for a week each time because I moved wrong and threw it out so bad I couldn't move. My husband carried me into the ER because I couldn't walk. Like the rest of you I have tried about every alternative therapy possible and currently am on muscle relaxants and morphine, both ER and CR. It helps a little I guess.I'm incredibly frustrated all the time. I need to have my L4-5 fused and my L1-2 fused. I was told this by my original surgeon over a year ago but he wouldn't do more than 2 levels at the time. As is the case with fusions, the levels above and below take on more stress and get worse. Mine were already a mess before so it has just sped up the process. One surgeon says he won't touch me and nothing more can be done to help me. I'm waiting to see the other surgeon who did my fusion last year in August. If he says he won't do surgery than I have nothing left to do. I'm depressed. I'm angry. I'm having a hard time accepting that I may be disabled for the rest of my life. I'm only 38. I've endured 37 surgeries (only 2 on my back) but they range from little (appendectomy) to major (open heart and fusion rank up there). I've spent over 200 days in the hospital since I was 15. I'm exhausted. My husband is a saint but he is exhausted too and my 2 teenage kids are always sad that I can't participate in activities anymore. Instead they are frequently getting me ice or water or whatever because I can't walk. I try to walk on the good days (which are fewer and fewer). Stretching and PT are off and on. I can't seem to balance the good days with the bad. I overdo it on the good days and pay for it for the next few days. The other night I was honestly just done. I wanted to end my life, but I thought of what I'd be leaving behind and snapped out of it. I am already on 2 different anti-depressants. They help. I'm rambling, but I have no one else to talk to except you guys who understand what this is like. My friends and family are sick and tired of hearing about my pain, my appointments, my meds, surgeries, hospitalizations etc... they are done being supportive and I don't blame them. I don't know what I'm looking for in this group, just help. guidance, anything I guess. Thanks spineys
    Severe DDD in S1-T12. 5 disc herniations. 5 compression fractures. Had a 2 level lumbar fusion/decompression on June 12, 2013. L4-5 foraminotomy on Jan 8, 2014, Right SI fusion in Oct 2014. Scheduled for L4-5 fusion to existing fusion on Sept 28, 2015
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  • Ron&Suz I think the site has been playing up because I never saw your replies until now on this thread.....the site wouldn't even let me look at my recent posts yesterday ...
    Ron- rather than me repeat myself, I have a conversation in the chronic Pain forum called 'severe weakness' all is explained in there...
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
  • Pinks. This forum never shows it has new posts for me either..I think it's just a glitch. All the others do. My husbands a geek & everything technical in our house is so confusing I'm used to stuff not working right!

    Ex-Gymnast. It's wonderful that we have this site & tragic that we need it. I'm so sorry. This life can be a bloody nightmare sometimes. I completely understand the "I can't live like this for another moment" thoughts...like you, when I hit rock bottom & really contemplate the final solution is the moment I snap out of it! We do have blessings & I hate chronic pain for blinding me to mine. Sometimes I need to bottom out, cry, scream, 'it's just not fair!'. I used to think that being like that is pointless but now I realize that I need it. We can only bottle it up & paint on a happy face for so long. Life carries on. There are horrible days & there are great times. I just try to have more of the great ones & forget about the bad as fast as possible.
    It's incredibly hard when surgeons & specialists don't want us. I hear the negative, they just want our money so often. How bad does it have to be that they won't take my cash?? I still get so optimistic before a new appointment & it just makes the disappointment all the worse. You know all the usual...new developments are coming all the time, stay positive etc. I say sceam & cry when you need to! Then give your loved ones a gentle hug & carry on. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I find that the exterior may not always match the interior. I know my anger and pain wears on everyone around me. So this morning while giving pain meds time to kick back in before arising, I gave my self some time to think about the effect I had on others yesterday. Sometimes I creep along carefully, as I did going into the dentist office, yesterday. Mark one off the to-do checklist, thank you very much. I am a bad dental patient, meaning I avoid the dentist. The receptionist watched my careful movements and explained that I need to fill out the paperwork since it had been so long. After the appointment, I stood in front of her again, exhausted, and asked for a copy of the "quote" of my payment liabilities. I asked a question, and she was gazing out the window away from me, and I waited, she looked at me and apologized and reached up to her neck and complained about a bad pain. I wondered if I was the pain in the neck. She answered the question, I thanked her, offered condolence and unasked for advice about a stretch that might help. She smiled wanly, and thanked me. I knew she would be able to see me walk out through the parking lot to my truck. So I smiled as I went through the door, and imagined myself a dancer on stage, and carefully and lightly walked away, and thought about the morning breeze. I hoped I looked better than when I arrived.
    As I thought about that event this morning, I waited for something to make me smile, and heard the skipping trot of our happy dog outside the window. I smiled, and was determined to give my husband that smile, and I arose, yes, painfully, but went to greet him with a smile and chuckle at that happy dog as they came back from the barn, from doing my usual chores. He left for work with a lighter stride. Lesson learned: smile and the world smiles with you! :)
    Yet a few weeks away from L4/L5 fusion, still in pain from nerve pinch, and nauseated from instability. I will continue to try to be positive.

    Yikes! Englishgirl, I wish I had been back here sooner. I got my hair cut by a new stylist (previous one moved away), and well, it is still below my shoulders, but not getting caught in my armpits, that is good. It is bushier and more unruly than before. I put it away in a bun with a hairband. I hope I can take the hairband with me to surgery. Haircut: check another off the list, thank you very much.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526
    edited 07/11/2014 - 11:40 AM
    That always shows threads that had recent activity to it
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • PinkellaPPinkella Posts: 211
    edited 07/11/2014 - 11:46 PM
    English I'm talking about when I have a severe flare and I'm not saying I'm in bed 24/7 by no means.I mean I'm in and out of bed not sleeping but lying down as that's the most comfortable position when I have a severe flare..when I move to get out of bed yes I scream out as it's agony to move but I did and do move in a flare..
    I do get up cook the dinner for the family them have to lie down again,then I get up put the washing on hang it out in the garden then lie back down again ... Do you get my drift?? If I go hard at it and don't lie down Inbetween, my flare becomes ten times worse...Then when the flare comes to end I become more active once again ...
    The flare I just had lasted three weeks I am now back to been out and about but if I overdo my back will flare again..
    I've learnt the pattern with my back....
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
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