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Extremely Depressed 6 Weeks Post Op

Sorry that I haven't posted more in the forums, but I've been reading a lot of advice given and it's helped me tons over the past 6 weeks. After a year of conservative treatments (PT, and 3 cortisone injections - which all did nothing but delay the inevitable) I am now 6 weeks post op from a lumbar laminectomy, foraminotomy and discetomy of the L 2/3, L4/5 and L5/S1. Needless to say that it's been a very long haul. I am currently in PT and trying to get back to work (and life in general) within the next several weeks.

While I've been healing quite well, and the bulk of my initial symptoms have gone and I'm starting to feel like my old self again, I simply can't shake this feeling of inferiority towards everyone around me. I'm absolutely petrified to return to the real world, because even the simplest of things (going to the bank, library, store, or playing with my children) all seem like a huge mountains to climb. The longer I go into recovery, the less people want to hear about it, as if to say to me "you had the surgery, you're fixed, now drop it."

I'm basically reaching out to see to others who've gone through this and might have some insight on how to quote "get back to my old self" again.

Thanks everyone!


  • WeekendWarrior.
    It was a natural progression for me, in the transition from "normal" to hurt to the road back where i was healing..and unsure of my self or abilitys.
    I hated re injuring my body..but it happened.
    I healed slowly..went slowly back into life.
    Your condition..
    Doesnt define "Who" you are
    What you are.

    Its merely a part of your life.
    Your nowhere near inferior.
    Your still the same Awsome wonderfull you.

    Just a little more painfull.
    You have gone through a traumatic experience and want to share no?

    What you have shown them is a mirror of their mortality.
    They dont want to be reminded of what other tracks in life can be.
    Hold your head up
    Continue to work toward strengthening and healing yourself
    And remember always..

    You have value
    You are worthy of respect
    You have no god reason to bow your head to anyone.
    Keep that chin up!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Thank you William, that's extremely appreciated. It really has been a long road, and I feel it's defined the last year and change of my life, and as I work towards healing, I want to make sure that it doesn't define me any longer. That's why I've turned to folks like you, who have been where I am, and understand the situation.
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  • Its a step by step, day by day process.
    Decide to define yourself,not some condition or physical limit.
    You..decide what and who you can be and do!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hi weekendwarrior........
    Even if on the road to recovery, you're still in yet another, huge transition.

    I have never been a candidate for surgery, but I know I had struggles similar to what you're describing..as I transitioned into the pain, finding doctor for helping me, needing to go onto Disability, less contact with people and most friends and family too busy..and so it goes.

    For me and my personality, I sought out counseling and as I said it was for transitioning. The counseling didn't end up to be a forever thing. And I learned so much to help me in many aspects of my life, not just pain related.

    I also referred myself to psychiatrist. With depression as long as I had it, like a pillow being physically depressed past a certain amount of time, I, it, may not fully  bounce back when the pressure is released.
    I have chosen to continue with antidepressant and anti anxiety medications, as I now feel mentally and emotionally healthier than ever before in my life!

    As I engage in activities with friends, those rare occasions...... I can become overwhelmed, it's like everyone is moving so fast. I feel I can't keep up.
    It has helped me much to be more gentle and kind with myself and stop to realize how much better I am doing.
    For me, totally fruitless to compare myself to others, or to my former self.

    Being a part of this SH community has been, and continues to be, huge benefit for me, as here people do understand.
    Even my friends and family who try to understand, and I'm so grateful  for them, ...there is much they just can never understand.

    Heck, if I wasn't living it, I'm not sure I'd believe all of what has and is happening with my pain and other issues.

    I had to learn how to ask for what I needed. Well, really first I had to learn what I needed. Initially, I didn't have a clue.
    It has helped me to reach out to those few loved ones and ask them for ex...some of their time for them to just talk to me about what is up in their lives? ..How the kids are doing?...the dog did what?.....

    It helps me to feel connected by hearing what is going on in the everyday household. It expands my world.
    Some of my friends expressed that they didn't want to talk about any issues they were having because I was suffering so, and they felt their issues to be less than.
    I tried to explain that it's not a competition. Pain is pain...stress is stress....

    Eventually, my dearest peeps became more comfortable calling or visiting with their stories...either we have a good laugh! ..or they comment on how I have helped them with different perspective, or just helped to talk it over with me.
    I find that a win-win! And try to keep it near the forefront of my memory.

    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Weekend Warrior
    Howya doin?
    Hope the last few days have been softer for you.

    It is a process.this depression
    Its not over in a day
    You dont snap your fingers and
    Poof!! All better

    Its better week by week
    Month by month with work...that is
    You got to want it
    Those moments where you remember who you are
    Or find ..
    Who you can be.

    Depression happens to Spineys.
    But it doesny have to be a definition.
    Be Gentle with yourself!

    As Savage wisely said
    Outsiders sometimes cant comprehend our internal dialog.
    Spineys get it..
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

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  • NLTNNLT Pacific Northwest of USAPosts: 19
    I can sure relate. I think our surgery dates were fairly close together and we had similar surgeries. I have found my moods really challenging. Normally I can be a fairly positive guy but I have had some major down periods lately. The last week was rough and today is the first day I haven't felt low this week.

    It can feel really overwhelming and I've done a lot of focusing on one moment at a time.

    Hang in there.
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