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New here, need advice and friendship



  • Six months does seem like an eternity when in chronic pain. And the fact that I have been avoiding the thought of surgery and only just finally accepted the fact that in order to get my life back I really do need it. I think now that I have accepted it, I just want it over with. #:S I just want to feel better, and I want my husband and kids to have "me" back. They are so supportive and I feel like such a burden at times. For once, when my son asks me to go play tennis I would love it if I could say yes. It feels terrible when the people you care about the most get the brunt end of things out of your control!
    As far as the move goes, my husband's company has relocation assistance and movers will pack us (thank goodness for that). Our house needs a lot of stuff done to it before we get it ready to sell though.... like indoor and outdoor paint, landscaping, new carpet, a new roof from a hailstorm. So, I will be busy taking care of stuff and when you are feeling so crappy sometimes it is just hard to get motivated [(
    I had no idea the time needed to recoop from surgery, so I am glad I posted for feedback on here. After talking to my husband, I think I probably need to start researching some doctors in the Houston area and go down in a couple of months and get established with a doctor down there so that once I move I can get the surgery right away. I see my pain doctor next month, so maybe she can work with me in getting some better pain relief until we move.
  • Sorry you are feeling so much pain. I had three discs with tears and only 2 with annular tears. I think your idea of finding a Dr in Houston makes alot of sense. I had my surgery in Dec and still am seeing my Dr every six months. He did a discectomey and put in cadavar bone.Also a two level fusion. It is a long recovery and I would hate to start with one Dr and have to go mid way with another. I think your pain Dr should be able to give you something that will give you better pain relief. Just remember that the more pain meds you are on before surgery, the harder it is after surgery to control your pain. I was on fentanyl patches and oxycodone prior to surgery and they did control my pain but it was harder. But I was on these meds for a year before surgery. So I am sure you will be able to get something to help you. Good Luck. If you want to know anything about my surgery and reocvery and what to expect..PM me. I will be happy to help you through this. Also, one more thing, if you havnt had a discogram maybe talk to Dr. They found all my discs that way. My Dr was only going to do one disc first, but discogram showed I needed more, which avoided another surgery.
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  • Sorry it was so long...I am a dog lover, 1 Yorkie, 1 King charles cavalier spaniel, 2 mini wiener dogs.
  • Hello Annie,
    Boy do I know how you feel. In 2004 I had an ACDF(C5-C6)on April 11,we moved to Montana from Northern Nevada on April 28.I did not have any after care in place in the small town we moved to.It was not good,I also had a 14 month old baby and a major fixer-upper for a house.My recommendation to you is have the surgery ASAP,but have your post op care set up before you get to your new location.If you know anybody in your new area,alert them of your situation,and if you don't,stay connected to everybody here.Whatever you decide,try to get a pain reliever that works better.Moving is a BIG stressor,and so is pain,so help yourself as much as you can.Tell your kids about your pain and lack of sleep,(I tend to keep my problems to myself)and include them in the work of moving.Like somebody else said,the longer you wait the more chance of permanent nerve damage.I don't mean to come off like a know-it-all,it's just that moving is tough,(I moved my stuff 11 times in 18 months) NEVER AGAIN
    By the way I'm a true Afghan fan,have had them for 30 years,until 2007,had to put both mine down(they were 15 years old)my vet had to carry me to the car!
    My aunt gave me a beautiful golden retriever in need of a home,I bought my little girl a Jack Russel,and we just rescued a rough coat Dachsund,I love them all dearly.I sure hope you can find some pain relif Annie,I'll be thinking of you. Keep us posted on your decision. Take Care Sagehen
  • Thanks for your post. I am on hydrocodone now and probably don't take it enough, at least that is what my pain doctor says. Especially with having to drive my kids all over the place, I try to just take them when I know I will be home and at night time. I hate the idea of pain meds but know I need them to get through this. Lately with the pain so bad I have had to take a lot more of them. I didn't know that about having it harder to control pain later if I take more now. When I am rolled up in a ball in the middle of the night in pain crying, I just don't know what else to do. I live in my bath tub.
    I did have a discogram with the only disc showing bad being L5 S1. That is why he said I was an excellent candidate for the artifical disc replacement because they like to do it on younger people where only one disc is bad. I do have some cervical discs in my neck that are painful but not to the point where I am anywhere close to even thinking about surgery.
    As I get closer to making decisions, I would love to hear about your surgery & recovery and may contact you again later.
    Thank you!
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  • What a small world...I was born and raised in Montana and only moved to Oklahoma 8 years ago. AND, my mom raised Jack Russels in Montana for awhile! I love Montana and miss it every day of my life. But now I am moving further south, rather than back north. :<
    I do worry about the stress of the move only causing more pain, I just don't think I can possibly get this surgery done before we move now that I have heard about the recovery time needed for it. I haven't ruled it out yet, but I was surprised when I heard the recovery times. My kids are great....very sufficient and responsible, and very in tune to my pain, my sleepless nights, and what they can do to help me. That is helpful and they will be a great help in the moving process as well. I just wish it was all over. :S
    Thanks for your post and for sharing your story.

  • hello there i am also in a similar situation i am now a year post from a 3 level disc replacement done here in the states . i have never been better aside from nerve damage as a result of herniated disc. please do your homework as you mentioned you have. replacement is not for everyone you have to have good bone structure determined by a bone density test. also i decided on replacement instead of fusion for the range of movement and durability. i have also heard of many that have had to undergo revision surgery to remove or redo fusion over again. that was not in it for me i wanted it done once. i was advised by ortho that in my case i would be back in a number of years to do more levels with having done a fusion. so just another deciding factor in my particular case. so please keep in mind that we are all so different and we all respond differently to healing times . but i will share with you i was back on my feet four days after surgery i actually walked out of hospital and got into front seat of car. in a month i drove. i was doing stairs that same morning i arrived home. with no aides mind you. good luck in whatever you decide to do . just do your homework and stay positive that is half the battle.
  • My name is Meydey aka Pekingeselover :H I love small dogs. You know what they say, the smaller the dog, the smaller the poop :D

    I thought I'd cheer you up a bit. You know, you are going to a great city- Houston has the best doctors in Texas. I hear of people traveling down there because they have complex problems and want the best doctors to treat them. If you can get past the humidity, you'll be alright.

    I never heard of Chiari until I saw that Extreme Home Renovation show, and they fixed up a house for a mother and 3 daughters that had the same condition. My heart goes out to you and others who suffer with this.

    I agree with Gwennie that a microdiscectomy is the least invasive surgery with a quicker recovery. I had one in 2007, but unfortunately I had complications such as a recurring disc herniation. I wound up having a 2 level fusion later on.

    Well, it's good to have you here and I hope you find a nice home and a great doctor in Houston. Take care
  • Thanks for sharing your story. It helps to hear from someone who has gone through it and who has had success as well. When I was referred to the neurosurgeon last May I was very much in denial that I was in need of surgery and even now it comes as a very last resort after all other options have failed. I am of the very same thinking as you in that if I have this surgery it will be the only one. I had major brain surgery 8 years ago and the top 2 vertebra were removed and all of my neck muscles severed. I have never been the same, and the surgery was not a success.I still have blocked CSF flow and deal with chronic neck pain and headaches. I have been told that they can do a revision surgery but doctors say that every time you have a revision surgery the chance of success goes down and they only gave me a 65% success rate, which isn't good enough for me. When my neurosurgeon told me that fusions almost always put strain on the discs above and below the fused disc requiring additional surgery, it was a big scare for me. I know that ADR surgery is relatively new and still comes with risks of it's own, but it is extremely important for me to have only one surgery as well. The research I have done sure seems like ADR has an easier recovery too. I will continue to do my homework....thanks for your input!

  • Hi there...thanks for the nice welcome. I love Pekingese dogs and think they are adorable. Who doesn't love a dog that fits perfectly in your lap? Well, I guess there are some out there that don't! 8}
    Believe it or not, I have never been to Houston but my husband travels there for work all the time. I have heard the humidity is awful, but I have grown a little used to that over the last 8 years while we lived in Oklahoma. Before that, I lived up in Montana where it is never humid, just really mostly dry. I am sure we will do fine there, once I get my kids all settled and my back rid of this awful pain! Sometimes I think that might never happen when I start reading some of the posts on here, but I am trying to be optimistic.
    The Extreme Home Makeover for Julie Carter and her family was actually filmed in my hometown (Billings, Montana). I don't know her, but have corresponded with her quite a bit through email as she has a support group for people with chiari. She is an amazing woman. It is a horrible condition and so hard to find doctors that know anything about it.
    My doctor never mentioned a microdiscectomy, and I am wondering if it because I don't have any sciatica going on. I have a little referred burning hip pain every once in awhile, but that is it. I am worried about having one surgery fail and then having to have multiple others, so I would almost have a fusion or ADR to start with if that is what it would eventually lead to anyway.
    This board has been insightful, I had no idea there were so many types of back surgery or things that could go wrong. I made a lot of mistakes on my brain surgery by jumping in to it uninformed. It feels nice to have this forum available and other resources so I can get myself better educated and not feel so naive about things.
    Thanks for cheering me up :)
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