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Panic has set in! :(

jayhawkjjayhawk Posts: 1,032
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know that no one can tell me in absolutes but I woke up this morning in a panic that I may not be able to go back to work. My work is one of my loves in live! I have always known that I wanted to be a therapist and spend my life helping others. Initially I worked in spinal cord and neurology and after about 15 years, my back started taking a toll and I switched to pediatrics. For the past 10 years, I have specialized in working with babies from birth to 3 years of age. The problem is, that babies and toddlers live on the floor so I spend the majority of my working days on the floor and often as I help teach the parents how to strengthen muscles, I'm leaning forward. I can't imagine not working with these most amazing babies and there families! I must be able to return. Not having the surgery isn't a possiblity to me as the compression on my nerves has resulted not only in unbelievable pain, but significant weakness, "brisk" reflexes, signif. tremors. I cry as I write this, praying that I am able to go back to work. Please keep me in your prayers. I so wish I could have had surgery 12/23 when it was originally scheduled. Too much time waiting equals incredible stress!


  • Wow - I really hope you can go back to work. The waiting is horrible and you do worry about everything. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.x
  • I don't know if it is the pain or what, but I just can't stop crying. I want to cancel surgery but I know I can't. Just a rough day...
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  • I would say I am sure it will be ok but, I can't be sure and you would see through that. But I am fairly sure it will be better than you think. Honest - I was so scared before my surgery and, even with the ups and downs of recovery, it hasn't been as bad as I thought. Honest. Yes I am in pain today but, here's the good part, the painkillers actually work. Yes I can't do everything I want but I certainly couldn't before the op.
    There are loads of success stories out there (don't read them on a bad day post op - you wonder what you are doing wrong!) and you hear about people doing karate etc. The bursar at school is ex army and he knows people that have had fusion and then were parachuting 18 months later.
    So I suppose there is a good chance you will go back to work. Just not immediately and, probably, not in quite the same way. You will learn new ways to do the things you do though so that it doesn't hurt.
    The thing you will need most of is patience - ask them to stick some in while they have you open ;)
  • >:D< My prayers are with you :)

    When is your surgery date?

    I have not had surgery, but the thought of it scares me, so I can image how you are feeling right now.

    Hold on tight to the success stories here and claim them as yours.

    Remember you just need faith the size of a mustard seed ;)

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • When I read about you needing to be down on the floor with the babies, my thought was couldn't you put them up on a table or sofa to work with them? I know that babies live on the floor but couldn't they be moved to a more workable place for you during the time you're there with them? Then, they could go back to the floor. Guess what I'm trying to say is, don't give up on pursuing the work you love. You need to put your creativity to work now. There must be a way for you to do the work that is so important to you, and when you figure out some possibilities, you're going to relax a lot. You're going to be okay, you're just nervous right now and have too much time to think. Try to direct your thoughts into constructive avenues and I'm betting you'll feel much better. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
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  • Thank you all! My surgery date is 2/26, they will bump me up if there is any opportunity. It was originally scheduled 2/23 as urgent, but not classified as an emergency by BC/BS. They required a psych eval before they would approve it. That was done 1/5, they took forever to process the paperwork. Another date was set for 2/8 and they finally approved it on 2/9! Ugh,
  • Jayhawk....It sounds like you are having a 'life moment'. We have all been there. It is strange but during my recovery I have been thinking about what I do and realizing that people like you have a wonderful career and are an inspiration to me.

    I know you worry about not being able to do what you love but don't worry just yet. Focus on you. I don't know why you got hurt, or why I got hurt....but I do know that sometimes things become clear as time goes on.

    You sound like you are in pain and that is where your worry is. So now is time for you to worry about you. If you don't, then you won't be able to worry about the kids and their families.

    Trust that you are making the right decision for surgery...the pain is emotionally draining. I know recovery won't be quick but good things will come with time....prayers for you in the next weeks ahead for an easy surgery and quick recovery but mostly prayers for patience and optimism!

  • Wow... take a deep breath...cry some more if you need to... then take another deep breath.

    Pending surgery is so nerve wracking.

    Nobody can predict the future, but from what I have read many people return to their previous jobs, sometimes with modifications, but they go back.

    You will have to be a patient patient. I am sure you instructed many patients to be patient with their recovery when you worked with spine patients.

    Just prepare yourself mentally for the recovery process, you are half way there having worked with spineys, you know how to help yourself.

    Now is not the time to panic about returning to work, now is the time to prepare for surgery and recovery.
    You will do fine as long as your expectations are realistic and you can accept your new life/back with the limitations you end up with, weather temporary or permanant, large or small.

    Everyone is different, like I said no one can predict the future, but you can love your life, no one aspect of your life defines you (like a job) you are the sum of all your life, past and present, faith, family, friends, job,hobbies etc. All of the things that are important to you define you, so if one thing changes hang on to the others until something fill that gap.

    Keep us posted, we will be here for you,

    God bless and keep You filled with peace,
  • I am scheduled for an ACDF on 03/1/10. Last night, I could not sleep because the panic seemed to descend on me. Reading your post, Jayhawk, really helped. I guess it is part of the journey. I am so glad I found this forum.

    Lisa H.
  • Jayhawk, "I can feel your pain". I am having alot of the same thoughts about work and the nerves are a wreck. I go in tomorrow, the 16th, for a TLIF w/instrumentation on L5/S1. Here is what my bride (of 15yrs) keeps telling me: "You've always been a big picture person, so quit worrying over the day to day (the details)." She's right, as usual, the end destination will be better than the steps along the way. Keep looking for the horizon!!

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