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I feel like a yo-yo!

DIFerrisDDIFerris Posts: 86
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Since my meeting with the surgeons on the first of June to discuss my need for fusion surgery, I have been worried and debating the pros and cons of having the surgery.

I am scheduled for July 2nd. For the most part I know I need to have this done.

Then I have days like yesterday. I felt so good. Went to the gym and walked on the treadmill, then did some shopping and ended the day starting a craft project. Nice day. So I am thinking last night, I can manage this pain and should not have the surgery.

Then, I wake up this morning. It is evident that I am NOT okay, I am in horrible pain this morning, and know my "good" days are only because I have not been doing much and taking it easy. Ugh... I feel like a yo-yo with this decision.

I am so worried that this surgery will not help, and maybe I will even be in more pain after.

I wish I didn't have to wait until next month. That is just giving me more time to worry. It is impossible not to think about it. I try to stay busy, but my mind seems to constantly focus on what is upcoming. I've never been so unsure about anything in my life!

Please tell me I am not alone with this doubt! I am really struggling with this one.

Thanks for listening... I am not usually this indecisive.



  • Hi Deanna. I just posted today crying the blues, then I read your post. Enough about me! You know something that helped me get through the up and down indecision feelings before I had fusions? It's remembering that I was in charge. Remember Deanna, you have likely done a lot of research. Hopefully you have found an excellent surgeon and you trust that person very much. You know what to expect. You have decided to have this done, but it is totally up to you, right? You are calling the shots here. So, this isn't out of your hands, you don't have to have this surgery if you don't want to.

    Apparently you have decided that this is the way to go. Likely the surgery will go well, hopefully it will help you. I hope you find some peace today and in the days ahead. Try not to fret too much. You have made your decision, you have done your homework. Do what needs to be done to prepare for when you get back home, then enjoy these days. Thinking good thoughts for you. KE
  • Deanna,

    What you describe is very common, somebody here made the comparison that when your car makes these weird noises and eventually you take take it to a mechanic it starts to purr like a pussycat. It is the same with us, many people here feel suddenly better and more pain-free that before once a surgery is imminent. But don't let that fool you. Your back does not heal itself overnight. Hopefully the surgery will ease your symptoms and you will find relief.

    Wishing you the best,

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  • Deanna,

    What you describe is very common, somebody here made the comparison that when your car makes these weird noises and eventually you take take it to a mechanic it starts to purr like a pussycat. It is the same with us, many people here feel suddenly better and more pain-free that before once a surgery is imminent. But don't let that fool you. Your back does not heal itself overnight. Hopefully the surgery will ease your symptoms and you will find relief.

    Wishing you the best,

  • Deanna,

    Take a look at my post "to cancel...or not to cancel surgery." Looks as if we are both struggling with the same. My first meeting with my OS resulted in me not scheduling a TLIF based on my OS saying his best advice was to try and avoid a fusion for as long as possible. That lasted three months and I scheduled another appt after feeling increased tingling and numbness in both legs. My L5 S1 Herniation is on the right side and I have grade 1 spondy. This time I scheduled it and wouldn't you know it about 2 weeks after I scheduled the surgery I begin to feel better and I start to think about cancelling. Since my OS did not show me my new xray and mri results just told me things looked pretty much the same, but since my symptoms increased I needed to decide if I wanted surgery. Today I checked out my xray pics and mri's and compared them. Noticed a significant loss of disc space from Dec 08 to May 09 - pretty soon I am sure I will be bone on bone - crazy thing is I've been able to cut back on meds as well. Since I am 39 and in pretty good shape my guess is I will press with the surgery on 3 Aug as things are only going to get worse - being able to review my MRI and Xrays from home was great as I was able to take my time and not feel rushed becuase the doc had other patients to see.

    This has been an absolute roller coaster ride since Sept 08 (time of my injury) and you have been dealing with this for much longer. How are you pain levels? Does you surgeon plan to do a 360 fusion? Like you - I wish this could be easier and results more predictible. I got some really good advice from our SH friends on my post, but again my issue is not just disc related I also have a stability issue that only a fusion can fix - that makes my decision to press with surgery just a little easier I think. Are you a candidate for ADR? Taking any meds? Keep us posted on your decision - I know this is scary stuff. I wish you all the best - Mike
  • Thank you for your words of encouragement. Even though I hate hearing other people have these same problems, it is comforting to know that I am not alone in feeling the way I do.

    I am taking percocet 10/325 four times per day and flexeril 10mg 3 times per day. I was getting more relief with Aleve, Advil and aspirin, but as surgery is only a little over 2 weeks away, I had to stop taking those.

    My NS said I am not a candidate for TLIF as my hip bones are too high. They are going to do a PLIF, and will only place a rod and screws on the right side. They feel comfortable that I do not need both sides stabilized.

    Since I stopped taking the Aleve, etc. and went back on the percocet the pain is worse. At least that does help with confirming my decision to have the surgery, as there is not a day now that I feel "better".

    I'm just praying this time passes quickly and it will be over! I have started some craft projects to keep me busy, and have a few new books ready for after surgery when I won't be able to sit very long.

    My NS did not discuss ADR with me. I am not sure why. That may be a question I ask him.

    It is scary stuff... I totally agree!

    Thank you all... I can't tell you how happy I am to have found this forum.

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  • Deanna,

    I also got more relief from Aleve then I did Mobic (another NSAID) and Tramadol (non narcotic pain med) - for a muscle relaxer I was given Valium - which not only helped with spasms, but sleep as well. For the Nerve pain I was perscribed Neurontin - this heled out big time. After popping all these pills for 5 months I decided to cut back significantly on everything, but the Neurontin to see how I'd manage. To my suprise its been better then I thought (on most days that is). Not sure if it is an option for you, but my doc does not want me on pain meds prior to the surgery - he says it complicates adequate pain control from the trauma of surgery. He also says no NSAIDS while the fusion is in process as they interfer with bone growth. Keep us posted post surgery - I am sure you will do well. Atb, Mike
  • Before my surgery, I too would have a lot of good days but they would always be followed by days of laying on the couch in pain. I would always question myself on the good days.By the time surgery rolled around I was having more bad than good. My NS explained to me that this surgery was not a cure but an attempted to improve my quality of life. I am 5 weeks out and feeling much better than before the surgery. Still have pain but it is different than what I was experiencing before. I have no more pain in my legs, no more falling down in public and embaressing myself and my children. It's the best decision I've ever made. Should have done it back in 2002 when they first suggested it. Good luck!!

    Favorite Quote:

    "You can visit pity city but you are not allowed to live there"
    39 yr. old mother of 5 Children, 20,19,14,14,9
    Lumbar strains: 1995, 1997, 1998

    Major injury: 2002, 2 herniated disc w/tears, DDD, Spinal Stenosis, Major nerve damage in both legs.

    Treatments included: Celebrex, Bextra, Ralaphin, Flexril, Naproxin, Motrin, Ultram, Steroid injections, Nerve Blocks, Physical Therapy, Aqua Therapy, specific exercise regimen, loss of 70 lbs.

    Surgery: May 2009 ALIF of L5-S1 with titanium cage and 4 screws,Pro-Disc at L4-L5

    Current Meds: Vicadin 5mg/500, daily aspirin, calcium supplement, senicot, bone growth stimulator

  • Thanks to all for the comforting words.

    I contacted my doctor and told him about my pain issues. He is prescribing Celebrex for me today. I am hoping that gets me through this next week until my surgery. I threw out the percocet... was not helping the nerve pain at all! Could not see taking a narcotic when it was not providing relief.

    I am now actually anxious for next Thursday to get here. No more debating the surgery. Especially after stopping all medication for the last 2 weeks leading up to surgery.

    Thanks again, and I will let you all know how it goes as soon as I am able to post. I will, of course, have my laptop at the hospital (can't separate it from my hip... it is attached :-)). Not sure if I will feel up to posting while in there, though.

    Wish me luck!

  • I hope that you get some sort of relief from the Celebrex and definitely from the surgery. Keep us posted.

  • Good Luck on your future surgery. I hope it goes well for you. Make sure to gret things at waist level before surgery. Look at dresser for clother. I put mine on top so I wouldnt have to bend. Also the kitchen, when you are up to being in it, you want stuff waist level. Make sure you have a grabber and I went to walgreens and got a rolling laptop tray, kind of like a hospital bed tray, that you can keep laptop on. I used it cause I couldnt stand any weight on my lap after my two level plif. Any questions, PM me. I would like to help if I can.
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