Fear of the future

I've always felt like a basically healthy/active person, but I've had back pain this whole year and got diagnosed with several spine problems (ddd/herniated disc, bertolotti's, stenosis, other standard degenerative things) and I have been trying to cope with the fear that this is just my life now. I also have genetically high blood pressure so cardiovascular exercise has been a big part of my day to day, and I can't really do any high intensity exercises anymore. 

I'm only 34 but feel like an old man, managing high blood pressure and a degenerating spine, I've had to buy slip on shoes and a little contraption for putting on socks. I have learned enough about back problems to know that this isn't something you just fix- it's more and more to cope with as you age. I'm just dreading that and desperately trying to avoid a discectomy to ward off the possibility of accelerating these degenerative changes. 

Anyone else grapple with this? Is there hope of living normal & long lifestyle with these kinds of back problems?



  • needabreak

    I also struggle with what my life will be like down the road. I am much older than you (66) but I started having DDD, Stenosis and slipping disks 20 some years ago. It is a mental battle to try to live like I want to at the expense of my back.  I am really trying not to focus on all that I can't do but what I can still do.  

    And deciding on whether to have surgery is a big decision. I would always get a second opinion before considering surgery. I did lots of therapy, cortisone shots and just plain resting on the bed for hours a day to avoid having to take pain medication. I too have slip on shoes and tools for putting on socks.  If they help...then that is a good thing!  

    Being you are still so young yet....your decisions will be much different than mine. Just don't beat yourself up too much. Be your own best advocate as much as you can. The future may not be as bad as we tend to fear!   

  • I tend to look at what my life is like now instead of the future, we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so if there is something that can be done to make my life easier now that is what I choose, I had my first surgery at 23 due to a work related injury, the next on was at 35 due to another work injury, those 12 years in between were good, very little pain at all, and I was working as a auto mechanic, the main thing is that if you decide to have surgery, take care of yourself afterwards.


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  • Thanks guys, both good advice. I guess the only 100% sure thing that can ever be said of the future is that it's uncertain. Sounds like I might be well served to get a little more serious about a meditation practice to keep my mind pointed at the here and now instead of getting tangled up in the what ifs and what abouts.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,570

    From my psychologist I learned yesterday is the past, you can't change it. Tomorrow is the future, you have no control over that. But you do have today. Make the best of it, in your thoughts and your actions. 
    Try to stay positive as you can. 

    Good luck and keep us posted.

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