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Young and Lost

PeachesPPeaches Sleaford, Lincolnshire, EnglandPosts: 1
Evening, This is a new system for me to speak to people over forums so please bare with me. 

I am 23 years old with disintegrating discs and I am four months post op from a disc replacement at L4/5 - and to be totally honest I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. 

Overall the operation was a success despite all medical professionals telling me it wasn't right or worth doing. I have had significant improvement in my sleeping, movement and am now off of Tramadol for the first time in nearly a year. 

I do still have a lot of nerve pain and numbeness as well as muscle loss etc which should all be quite positive I know. I can hear myself sounding ungrateful and I am disliking myself for it. Believe me, I suffered for 7 years with this problem before getting surgery so this is my life started over new as an adult but I have felt myself getting more and more down as the weeks have gone on. I should be getting happier right ? Each week my movement gets better, I have gone back to work for a few hours a week which gives me something else to focus on and more people to interact with - to be honest I feel like I did mood wise before my op but with less pain pills to make things easier. 

Please understand, I do not wish to come across as a rambling idiot but I am worried I have lost my goals and my fight. When I was first post op, my goals were to get walking, get back to work, get my body better etc but now I have completed those goals I am struggling to find a reason to keep pushing my recovery. 

It is making me angry, frustrated and feeling exhausted. My pain level has changed as I detoxed from the Tramadol which does affect my mood as you all know and I normally would put this down to a rough couple of days getting to me however, I am starting to feel like the invalid I was before not the new able bodied body person I could be. 

Sometimes at real low points during the day it feels like me and my scar on our own little planet!

It is also quite difficult as there seems to be recovery where everyone smothers you and wants to do all for you and than there is normal life - there doesn't seem to be an in-between and quite typically I am in between. I am definitely a lot more able than being in recovery and am slowly getting back to work etc but I am not fully recovered and still tire very quickly and have a high pain level at the moment. 

I can understand frustration at this point as I should be jumping for joy that they finally believed I had pain and did something about it = and believe me I was but now it seems the rose tinted glasses have come off and reality has sunk in. 

Any advice or comments welcome, 

Keep going everyone, one more day down...

Peaches x


  • kiopokkiopo UKPosts: 26
    edited 04/04/2016 - 7:36 PM
    Hello. Firstly I just wanted to say that I wish you well for the rest of your recovery. I think what you are going through is understandable and normal. Don't be hard on yourself about it, instead try and treat these thoughts and feelings with compassion and remember: your thoughts are not you, so don't fixate on or over-analyse them. It will exhaust you and won't help. In these situations we go through a lot. Think how long you were in discomfort / pain, and how much that took over your life over that time period. You are bound to feel lost to some degree when that finally starts to lift, as it was a goal for so long. It's also a fairly structured goal: you know what you want to achieve, and there's a plan in place to try to achieve it. Once that is over there is no real plan, and so many options for recovery. It is hard to deal with.

    Post-surgery, you develop a support network and way of living that is so different to normal life. It is also very isolating, so it can be a real struggle going back into the real world. The longer you wait to try to integrate back in to normal life, the harder it is I think. And with back problems, other people can't see that you might be struggling or in pain, as it's not an obvious injury.

    For myself I think there's also a small aspect of reality. Realising that you may never quite be able to go back to how you were before and that it may well be a long-term struggle. I guess you kind of know this beforehand, but it hits home after the surgery and when you experience it. Even if you've had mostly successful surgery, unless you recover completely I think there's an aspect of this. And then you start to feel guilty and ungrateful.

    All these feelings are normal and understandable, be kind to yourself and accept them. Don't overthink. Take your time and try and enjoy the small things again. 

    Good luck :)

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello peaches!
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    There is a post ...Recovery the Most Important Phase...you may be interested in.
    You can find by using search on their site, upper right on page.

    It seems you did well with your description of being ..in between.

    re your moods...chronic pain can take it toll and depression can often accompany the pain...but not to be taken as normal.
    I referred myself to psychiatrist and did some talk therapy. There are therapists who specialize with chronic pain.
    That was a huge plus for me!

    Any kind of therapy does not have to be a forever thing....but just during some of the transitions we exeperiwinkle in life. I'm grateful for my therapy moving me along with a new and brighter perspective.
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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