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Scared out of my mind

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1 month 3 weeks ago #28205 by ange
ange created the topic: Scared out of my mind
Hey

It’s been a while since I posted in here but I’m starting to get really, really scared. I’m having my lower back fused in less than 2 weeks from my L4 down to my S1. I’ve had a lot of surgeries in the past but this one has me really freaking out. Has anyone got any advice on how I might be able to make it through the next week and a half? I’m only 35 and have a 7 and 9 year old and am so worried about everything.

Aargh!!!

Ange
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1 month 3 weeks ago #28206 by Peter
Peter replied the topic: Scared out of my mind
HI Ange,

I really feel for you. I can honestly say that I can't help you, because I have never had surgery and would never allow anyone to touch my spine, unless I was unconscious and suffered severe trauma in a car accident. My spine is shot too. I have my lower lumbar joints fusing by themselves, because there is no disc material in at least one joint. My neck is worse than my back. So I suffer a lot of pain that is generated by a stuffed spine, but still I will not let them touch my spine. Not for all the tea in China!

I can only suggest to you that maybe it might be good if you can find someone here who understands you, or maybe find a psychologist who knows about this sort of thing, who you can talk with to help you overcome these fears.

How you are going to deal with the disability and caring for children after the operation, is currently an unknown. Knowing that your kids are now of an age where they can do most things for themselves, you should get through pretty well I would think, providing you don't lay too much of what his happening to you inside, on them. The one thing that strikes fear in the hearts of all children is seeing a parent suffering and unable to be there for them as their rock.

And I don't mean you have to show them nothing and act like a statue that is impervious to pain. They need to see that you cannot do all that they want, because you are in pain. Just save the times where you fall apart for the privacy of the company of other adult family members. They will understand and be able to better help you than any of us.

However, in saying all the above, just remember we are here for you and will give you whatever support we can. You are a valued member and we all care about you. So many other members will have gone through or maybe about to go through what you are going through and seeing you post your experiences here will help them so much.

So thank you for speaking up and asking for help when you need it. It shows you have strength. I wish you well. Please keep posting and let us know how you get on after the operation.


Peter

I wish the ring (this Chronic Pain) had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. (Frodo Baggins)

So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to us. (Gandalf the Grey)
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1 month 3 weeks ago #28207 by ange
ange replied the topic: Scared out of my mind
Thank you Peter. Your words mean a lot. I hope someone else will benefit from my story.

I have been off work most of this year because of my symptoms and I actually have a double fracture at my L5 which means I’m at Stage 1 of spondylolisthesis (my L5 vertebrae is not connected to the back part of my spine so is slipping forwards) as well as having 2 herniated discs and my S1 nerve is impinged in 2 places. I’m currently being paid via insurance but that has a time limit on the payments so I have to do something to try to get back to work.

I thankfully have supportive parents who are going to be here while I recover so I am blessed in that regard. I’m notoriously bad at showing my weakness to anyone so my kids know why I’m stuck in bed a lot at the moment but I don’t show anyone how hard it is on me. I put on a good front to others.

I’ll be in hospital for up to 14 days as well so they won’t see the really bad first stage of my suffering straight after the surgery. My parents will only bring them up when I am in an ok place.

I will do my best to update this thread as I go through this incredibly scary journey.
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1 month 3 weeks ago #28208 by Peter
Peter replied the topic: Scared out of my mind
Well I do hope it all goes well for you and that the physios get you up and able to cope early on. It seems the earlier they do this when it is safe to do so, the better it is for you.

These operations are never good, but good things can come from them if you behave and do as you are told by the professionals. Sometimes we get lazy and don't do our exercises or rest when we are supposed to.

As for work. Ange, just put it out of your mind for now, because you do not know what kind of work you can do yet, until you find out what kind of disability (or not) that you may have after your initial healing. So just relax, don't stress about work and just focus on the operation, your inner peace and getting better.

You'll get there in the end and you know it. It's just that you are on the edge of an operation right now and that would be frightening for any of us.

Take care and keep us informed.


Peter

I wish the ring (this Chronic Pain) had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. (Frodo Baggins)

So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to us. (Gandalf the Grey)
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1 month 3 weeks ago #28209 by Johnno
Johnno replied the topic: Scared out of my mind
Hey Ange,

Don’t be scared out of your wits the surgery they do now in a lot of cases is keyhole so scars are at a minimum the advances in after surgery care is amazing I had discectomy C5/6 done in March last year they had me up and walking within an hour of coming out of anaesthetic and in hospital o/night .

Please if you haven’t already sit down and discuss with your surgeon the prognosis and the hospitalisation time as I know that post op surgery they are getting people out of hospitals and moving a lot quicker than before as being at home is the best medicine you can also get home Physio if needed.

If you haven’t sat down with the specialist /surgeon to discuss your fears you need to contact him/her and ask for their advise or help to allay your fears .

My wife had fusion on her lumbar L3/4 ,L4/5 approx 27 years ago and she has a scar like a zip but this was 27 years ago we went on and we had another son a few years later so even then the surgery was and is successful she is now 55 and still exercises and plays barbie with our grand daughters , my mother in law had similar done 31 years ago both were told you’ll at best get 10 years before follow up surgery ,neither have required follow up as they have kept fit and exercise daily .

My wife just said to maintain a healthy weight as this can be crucial and maintain a good core strength as well .
Please don’t stress as this can be the worse thing you can do ,just understand that surgery nowadays is done under pristine conditions and spine surgery is a common thing now ,probably more common than tonsillectomy , the blood letting and leeches were stopped a loooong time ago you will be in the best of care and the surgeon will do the best job and you won’t know yourself .

You could also discuss with your Physio some of your fears as they will be able to advise you as well re post op.

Johnno

as long as I wake up alive I'm happy
Because it could be worse

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1 month 3 weeks ago #28210 by ange
ange replied the topic: Scared out of my mind
Thanks Johnno.

I have discussed everything with my surgeon and he has reassured me but at the same time he wants me to understand that it is really major surgery so that I understand recovery times etc. he also knows that I tend to try to get back up and going quickly and so he’s made me promise I will do exactly what they tell me to do at the pace they recommend.

I’m normally a very chilled out person when it comes to procedures. I’ve had some other pretty major surgeries and I’ve been fine about them. But when my neurosurgeon makes a point about this being major surgery and that I’ll be on the table for up to 7 hours and in hospital for up to 14 days, I did get spooked. Immediate recovery time is 4-6 weeks before I can drive/look after others etc but the full recovery will be 6-12 months.

I’ve also had multiple appointments leading up to the surgery and I’ve taken my mum with me on one occasion and my husband on another so they fully understand what is going on. I also had lists of questions to ask him when I went so I got all my questions answered. I think it’s just the magnitude of the surgery that has managed to get to me this time.

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