Hi! I'm Having Major Back Surgery Friday And I'm Totally Cool About It. Just Kidding, I'm Freaking Out.

Lounge By FromScratchSF Updated 20 Feb 2014 , 8:44am by Crazy-Gray

FromScratchSF Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 9:28pm
post #1 of 65

Hey, where has FromScratchSF been lately, you may be asking?

 

Freaking out, that's where.  OK, the short story...

 

In May of 2011 I had my first and only kid.  When I was about 6 month pregnant, I had excruciating back pain.  Doctors blew it off to "not uncommon, nothing to worry about, it'll go away once the baby is born".  It made an already AWESOME pregnancy more AWESOMER.  NOT.

 

6 weeks after my kid was born I bent down into her crib to pick her up... all 8 pounds of her - and couldn't get back up.  I went to my GP.  "It's just your hips trying to go back in place.  Nothing to worry about, take some Advil."

 

12 weeks after - I can't walk, bend over, pick up my new tiny kid, sit, sleep, or stand without being in massive pain.  I go back to GP.  "Well, you should be better now, lets do PT to help get those hips back in place.  Take Advil".

 

4 weeks into PT - PT person says, "uh, you need a 2nd opinion - I believe there is something really wrong with you".

 

I get 2nd opinion, they finally order tests and without going into medical mumbo jumbo, my spine slipped forward 28%, crushed a disk, gave me stress fractures in my back, pinched off a bunch of nerves etc.  Joy.  They believe the cause was where my body was carrying the baby and because my genetics suck, it literally popped my spine forward.  You with me?  

 

Well, I've been working... working... working.  Doing PT 3 times a week.  Working working working.  In total, complete pain.  Blinding pain some days. And taking lots of pain killers.  JOY.  NOT.

 

Despite my best efforts, due to the physical nature of THIS job, my back isn't magically getting better.  So, I am having spine fusion surgery.

 

I'm scared to death, obviously.

 

Things to NOT do prior... watch video on You Tube of the surgery.  You cannot unsee.

 

In case anyone wants to know for sure, I'm having anterior-posterior fusion at L4-L5.  

 

So, I have been not really wanting to post this for, you know, the WORLD, but when I google all I ever read is horror stories.  But I believe people take to the internet when they have negative outcomes - surely there has to be positive?  I mean, if this surgery causes more problems then cures, they wouldn't still do it, would they?  Insurance wouldn't pay for it, would they?

 

So I'd love your stories - maybe someone you know that had this done... and hopefully WORKED?

 

Take care!

 

PS - I SHOULD be better by the time I'm supposed to teach for CC in April!  

 

PSS - listen to your body.  If it's telling you to STOP - then STOP.  

64 replies
AnnieCahill Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 9:36pm
post #2 of 65

Degenerative disk disease runs in my family.  I have L4-L5 compression too.  It sucks majorly.  All the older adults in my family have had surgery.  They still deal with pain but it's nowhere near what it was pre-surgery.  Swimming helps my mother tremendously.

 

I'm overweight so I'm doing what I can to deal with that so it doesn't make the stress worse on my back.  Just take it easy and do PT and you should be fine.  Best of luck and prayers for you!

liz at sugar Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 9:49pm
post #3 of 65

Quote:

Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 

 

Things to NOT do prior... watch video on You Tube of the surgery.  You cannot unsee.

 

 

So sorry for your troubles!  Yes, sometimes too much information can be worse than not knowing.

 

Best of luck on your surgery.  I'm sorry I don't know anyone who has had that done, so I can't add anything there.

 

Take care,

 

Liz

-K8memphis Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 9:52pm
post #4 of 65

oh no! so sorry to hear that--hope all goes better than very very well!

 

rjcakes Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 10:05pm
post #5 of 65

Best of luck to you! I know a couple of women who have had the back fusion surgery and they are both doing fine! One is in her 50s and goes to the gym every morning, the other is in her 60s! My cousin was going to have it but they opted to do something to his back muscles instead (I'm not sure what) and he is recuperating very well - just went back to work after a 3 month recovery. From what I hear, it is well worth it to get rid of that debilitating pain. Sending good thoughts your way!

RJ

theresaf Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 11:48pm
post #6 of 65

Damm those YouTube videos of stuff-you-don't-want-to-see! Been there myself before a different kind of surgery! And Oh Yeah, nobody knows your own body better than yourself, we should all listen to what's going on better!

Sorry you are in so much pain - my prayers for your speedy recuperation!  xoxo

Theresa

Gerle Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 12:54am
post #7 of 65

Was wondering where you were!  I've missed your wonderful input, knowledge and expertise!  So sorry you're having so much pain for so long, and sorry that it took your GP so long to get to the source of your pain.  I don't have any experience or know of anyone who's had that type of surgery, but my prayers and thoughts are with you during this time.  Hope you have a speedy recovery and be sure to take care of yourself.  You will be missed during your recovery, but hope it is a quick and successful recovery.

Annabakescakes Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 1:08am
post #8 of 65

AI have degenerative arthritis and what little discs I have left are all up on my spine, so I feel your pain. I envy your surgury, no way in Heck can we afford it with just an HSA. Maybe in 20 years ;-)

I know 2 people who have had it and they can move again without pain, so it is totally worth it!

FromScratchSF Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 1:46am
post #9 of 65

Thanks!!!  Yeah it's been interesting to say the least - thank goodness I've had an amazing sous that basically does ALL my lifting - yells at me when I do.  Like, yells at me.  It's awesome.  

 

It's so scary though when you run such a small business like mine - I literally am turning everything over to my sous and it's just her and I getting the work done as it is.  I'll be missing out on meeting with people for consultations so I'm worried I'll miss booking people for May-June.  Ug.  It's nerve racking!  And as some of you can imagine , I am an OCD control freak.

 

But I am terrified of the additional pain and the procedure itself.  I'm SO GLAD so far all of you have said you know people and it's worked great.  I swear, all I've seen online are people saying to not do it, they are still on dope, they still hurt, their surgery was *****ed, etc.  All I know is I'm too young to be this old!  LOL

cakefat Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 1:53am
post #10 of 65

I wish you the very very best of luck with this!!

 

I don't have any of these issues but my neighbor does -or did I should say. He had a similar surgery about 4 years- and it was very successful for him..he's literally now doing marathons and is extremely fit. he's about late 30s now..maybe 40 years old max

 

Stay positive and recover quickly!

MBalaska Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 3:10am
post #11 of 65

FromScratchSF:  the people who have had the procedures and have had positive results and great success are too busy living their healthy lives again to go on the internet.  Yes, you've chosen to go to hell, but you'll come out on the other side and probably recover to normal life again.  Deep breaths.

 

You know there's a saying about gambling - the time to worry about your bet is before you place your bet, not after. It's a done deal. You've chosen surgery. Unless if you are backing out of your surgery, move you mind forward.  Where the mind goes, the body follows.

 

Now you may start thinking about your recovery, healing, and physical therapy program that follows.  Look ahead to having your healthy life back. Find the happy thoughts that you possess about your life, and watch a few comedies that you love.  Laughter is healing and so are positive thoughts. Find some of the most delightful happy joyful experiences in your life and play them over in your mind.

Good luck,

mb

morganchampagne Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 3:14am
post #12 of 65

AMy aunt had this same surgery and while I wouldn't say she's 100 percent she's doing much better. She had the surgery about a year ago. I will be praying for your health :). Feel better!!

justdesserts Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 3:23am
post #13 of 65

My grandmother had to have her spine fused in multiple places earlier this year - she has osteoporosis and fractured her back after a fall. She was in excruciating pain, and decided to have the surgery as anything would be better than having to live through that. It still took her a little bit to get back to normal, but it was so much better, and now she's her old self again. So no horror stories here! Hope it goes well for you.

 

Oh, and just to add: she's 85, so if she can get through a big surgery like that, you can too. ;)

kikiandkyle Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 4:16am
post #14 of 65

ANo experience with this but sending my best wishes for your surgery and recovery.

FromScratchSF Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 4:21am
post #15 of 65

Thanks everyone!!!  You are all making me feel 100000000% better.  :D

JWinslow Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 7:54am
post #16 of 65

Quote:

Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 
 

Hey, where has FromScratchSF been lately, you may be asking?

 

Freaking out, that's where.  OK, the short story...

 

In May of 2011 I had my first and only kid.  When I was about 6 month pregnant, I had excruciating back pain.  Doctors blew it off to "not uncommon, nothing to worry about, it'll go away once the baby is born".  It made an already AWESOME pregnancy more AWESOMER.  NOT.

 

6 weeks after my kid was born I bent down into her crib to pick her up... all 8 pounds of her - and couldn't get back up.  I went to my GP.  "It's just your hips trying to go back in place.  Nothing to worry about, take some Advil."

 

12 weeks after - I can't walk, bend over, pick up my new tiny kid, sit, sleep, or stand without being in massive pain.  I go back to GP.  "Well, you should be better now, lets do PT to help get those hips back in place.  Take Advil".

 

4 weeks into PT - PT person says, "uh, you need a 2nd opinion - I believe there is something really wrong with you".

 

I get 2nd opinion, they finally order tests and without going into medical mumbo jumbo, my spine slipped forward 28%, crushed a disk, gave me stress fractures in my back, pinched off a bunch of nerves etc.  Joy.  They believe the cause was where my body was carrying the baby and because my genetics suck, it literally popped my spine forward.  You with me?  

 

Well, I've been working... working... working.  Doing PT 3 times a week.  Working working working.  In total, complete pain.  Blinding pain some days. And taking lots of pain killers.  JOY.  NOT.

 

Despite my best efforts, due to the physical nature of THIS job, my back isn't magically getting better.  So, I am having spine fusion surgery.

 

I'm scared to death, obviously.

 

Things to NOT do prior... watch video on You Tube of the surgery.  You cannot unsee.

 

In case anyone wants to know for sure, I'm having anterior-posterior fusion at L4-L5.  

 

So, I have been not really wanting to post this for, you know, the WORLD, but when I google all I ever read is horror stories.  But I believe people take to the internet when they have negative outcomes - surely there has to be positive?  I mean, if this surgery causes more problems then cures, they wouldn't still do it, would they?  Insurance wouldn't pay for it, would they?

 

So I'd love your stories - maybe someone you know that had this done... and hopefully WORKED?

 

Take care!

 

PS - I SHOULD be better by the time I'm supposed to teach for CC in April!  

 

PSS - listen to your body.  If it's telling you to STOP - then STOP.   pain


Jen,

 

My sister just had this surgery two weeks ago.  She took along time to make the decision but is so very happy she did.  She is noticing progress every day but this is not quick recovery.  She still has some pain but is a little less each day.  You should expect to be completely dependent on DH for a little while. 

Just so you know, I haven't heard my sister so happy in years not to have the blinding back pain.

 

Many good thoughts for you.  Back/neck pain sucks!

Crazy-Gray Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 9:11am
post #17 of 65

AWishing you all the very best Jen, maybe CC could do an inspiration challenge in your honour :-)

Have you tried the forum here http://forum.spinal.co.uk/ I have a degenerative chronic pain condition and when it all starts to pile up I find that kind of forum really supportive.

If I've something big and scary coming up I actually plan a cake for a charity, something that can be delivered as a surprise and lots of people enjoy it like a children’s hospice or a care home, I don't care how long it takes me to be able to get back baking and make it but it's my post-scary-thing goal :-)

Lots of shoulders here when you need us, look after yourself. Gray

gemmal Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 9:43am
post #18 of 65

Good Luck! I'm sure all will be fine, my Dad has just had major surgery on his lower back and his pelvis because he thought it was a good idea to move giant arcade machines (his job, not for fun unfortunately for his kids) and if there wasn't a forklift, he would just move it by hand... for the last 18 years... I can't say its the same surgery exactly as you and he was a wee bit uncomfortable after but lots of rest (on a decent mattress) and he is miles better than he has been in years in just a few weeks.

 

And on those days when its just a little too uncomfortable, morphine tablets, prescription of course. Magical stuff, he doesnt overdo it but the body, his at least heals better when its not tensing up. Oh and now the bandages are off and everything, hot baths help him. Even though he wasn't exactly doing a jig once he came out of the opp, he said its better uncomfortable than out and out painful like before, just take it easy and you should be fine! Good excuse to lie in bed and have husbands bring you grapes and margaritas in bed...

lorillc Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 11:48am
post #19 of 65

Hello,  I had back surgery 20 years ago. I recovered quickly, I was in my late 20's and had 2 very little babies to take care of so I had to get moving soon.

 

There isn't a day that go's by that I'm not in pain, but it's so much better!  Now it's mostly a stiff back type of pain. I also have degenerative disc so maybe that's where the back pain comes from.  If I had to do it over again I would do it in a heart beat.

 

Good luck on Friday, let us know how your doing.

Dayti Posted 20 Nov 2013 , 12:04pm
post #20 of 65

No advice here I'm afraid, but I did want to wish you all the best for Friday and for your recovery, which I hope will be pain-free and speedy!

-K8memphis Posted 24 Nov 2013 , 9:51pm
post #21 of 65

anybody in contact with jennifer?

 

hope you're doing good!!!

 

best wishes with the sweetest healing for some phenomenal recovery

FromScratchSF Posted 25 Nov 2013 , 5:27am
post #22 of 65

AHi everyone! Thanks for your thoughts! im still in the hospital but sounds like I'm going home tomorrow! yeah this hurt like crazy and there were a few tidbits they didn't tell me but I'm good and hopeful of the future!

JWinslow Posted 25 Nov 2013 , 7:23am
post #23 of 65

Quote:

Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 

Hi everyone! Thanks for your thoughts! im still in the hospital but sounds like I'm going home tomorrow! yeah this hurt like crazy and there were a few tidbits they didn't tell me but I'm good and hopeful of the future!


So glad to hear from you!  Sounds like all went well  and you're going home.   Good thoughts for a quick recovery.  Please keep us posted :)

mcaulir Posted 25 Nov 2013 , 11:24am
post #24 of 65

Oh hugs. No advice, but glad to hear you're doing OK post-surgery and wishing you a speedy and uneventful recovery. :)

liz at sugar Posted 25 Nov 2013 , 1:05pm
post #25 of 65

Quote:

Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 

Hi everyone! Thanks for your thoughts! im still in the hospital but sounds like I'm going home tomorrow! yeah this hurt like crazy and there were a few tidbits they didn't tell me but I'm good and hopeful of the future!

 

So glad you are OK!  Sorry about the tidbits they didn't tell you about - may have made you more tense and apprehensive if they had (like those dang You Tube videos)!

 

Wishes for a speedy recovery!

 

Liz

MsGF Posted 25 Nov 2013 , 1:35pm
post #26 of 65

Glad things went well.  Sending my thoughts and prayers your way for a speedy recovery.  And remember to take it easy this Holiday Season.  That's why they invented online shopping  LOL.

 

Take Care, Lots of Love

MsGF (Teri)

milkmaid42 Posted 25 Nov 2013 , 2:13pm
post #27 of 65

I wish I had read this post earlier so I could have gotten my story in to you before your surgery. I, too, had the very same spinal fusion surgery last spring. My spinal stenosis had me in such pain that I could neither sit, stand, nor lie down without excruciating pain. I have a clotting disorder that prevents me from  being able to use Advil or any other pain med but plain old Tylenol. (Which is the same as a placebo in my book.) So surgery was my only option. I am 71 years old and immediately after the surgery I felt like I could strap on my skis and hit the slopes like I did in my 20s! My restrictions were no twisting--(you don't realize how automatic that action is, if I were to look over my shoulder I had to rotate my whole body), no bending, and no lifting of anything heavier than a 10# bag of flour. If that had been a permanent lifestyle change it would have been worth it for the pain relief.

 

Fortunately, the restrictions were only a few weeks while I healed and next month I go in for my final check up. I had been fearful when I contemplated the surgery that somehow I would lose the flexibility in my spine. I envisioned having a ramrod straight back and an inability to twist or bend over. Nada. I totally forget that I have metal, bone grafts and a solid section in my back. There is nothing that I cannot do that I did in my youth.

 

Good sense tells me that skiing is no longer something I should do, but it certainly is not due to my back. I feel great, no I am exhilarated! I am so glad your surgery went well and you will soon be back to normal with a delightful child to enjoy. I, too, have missed your thoughtful and interesting posts. Welcome back to the world!

 

Jan

Gerle Posted 25 Nov 2013 , 4:20pm
post #28 of 65

So glad to hear the surgery went well.  I'm hoping you will have a speedy recovery and soon be able to enjoy your little one and your life as you did before.  You are missed here, and we look forward to hearing from you as your recovery progresses.  My prayers and thoughts are with you for that speedy recovery!

FromScratchSF Posted 9 Dec 2013 , 10:01pm
post #29 of 65

Well just thought I'd update because, well, why the heck not?

 

Things did not go so swell.  I ended up back in the hospital for a few days after sending me home after 3 (my first ambulance ride - YAY!).  I'm home now but alone and very alone.  No idea if things will get better or if I just made the worst mistake of my life having this done to me or not but I can tell you, the desire to go onto every thread here (and everywhere else online) and call all people doo doo heads and pick fights are overwhelming.  I've never really been a "take it out on someone else" kind of person but man, I seriously understand the compulsion to!  I'm just so mad right  now and don't know what to do with it.  My sister came for a short visit and kept reminding me things could be worse.  And I know they can.  But that means I have to be cool wit this now?

 

I also normally type 120 wpm and it just took me almost 20 minutes to type this.  Another thing to make me so MAD.

 

On top of that, all I want is sugar.  Sugar sugar sguar.  Cake.  Pie.  Doughnuts.  I think I'd eat a tub of pilsbury vanilla icing with a spoon if I had had such an abomination in my house!  I'm even salivating over the thought of the super gross Safeway cake with the gross sprinkles on it.  And and when i mean gross I mean GETINMABELLY.

 

So how you all doing?

FromScratchSF Posted 9 Dec 2013 , 10:04pm
post #30 of 65

And if I were allowed to walk more then 20 feet with my new shiney walker, I'd be walking my butt to the closets corner store to buy them out of every Hostess item I could carry while still trying to push mu useless butt on my stupid walker.  Imagine that with me.  LOL

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