Spine Solidarity...any and all responses welcome.
I am in my last couple days of waiting for a spine surgery and was desperately searching the internet for someone or something to relate to. I happened upon this website and feel that i should share my story with some people who understand my suffering while I wait for my friday morning surgery. I am desperately looking for some solidarity because of my horrible personal spine history. I am a 21 year old female who has been suffering from level 4 spondylolisthesis for the past 7 years of my life and my spinal fusion scheduled for friday will be my THIRD major spinal fusion. My condition was not caused by an accident or injury, it is a naturally occuring skelatal condition that caused my L5/S1, vertabrae, to slip all the way out. This first slip was grade 4 and it was 7 years ago, i was just little high schooler, and i got diagnosed on a monday and was in for surgery that friday. I had no choice because it was only days away from paralyzing me. I jumped right into it thinking it would be similar to the 3 hip surgeries and body casts i had endured as a child. (also due to natural causes) i was very young and very wrong about the complexity of my first spinal fusion. It was nothing like my hip surgeries. Most of the entries I have read on this site about fusions have all nailed it on the head about the recovery time, pain, the eating habits, organs going to sleep, PT. And because my case was so extreme and so unheard of for my age you can go ahead and take all those different things that I listed and multiple them by a million. I was in a body cast, my hospital stay was 11 days, needless to say it was a nightmare. but i conquered that mountian and i recovered! for about a year i was pretty much pain free. then i ended my sophmore year and was back to HEAVY narcotics and alternative pain therapy, all so i could painfully graduate high school. as soon as i graduated i was in for fusion number 2. my first fusion failed, my body rejected the fusion and i became a mystery case study for the entire orthopedic staff. my second surgery was met more agressively with new technology in the form of a bone growth protien called "bone morphogenic protien 2" (BMP2) and of course the hardware that comes with every surgery (screws,pins,rods). But you guessed it FAIL!!! since that surgery I have been home bound from the horrible pain i go through daily, from the moment i open my eyes in the morning....to the moment my eyes close at night....my pain chases me down, holding me back from my life. my health, my mind, my heart, my family, my soulmate and my overwhelming need to live life full and free. I can only describe my reason for another surgery that to most looks like a suicide mission as a last chance to live the life i deserve. A life that has passed me by for the last 7 years, and those 7 years where meant for growth, learning, and enjoying the perks that come along with a peaceful suburban life with a loving family. Instead of that i was being swept away by a life altering event that led me down a path of early maturity, extreme self awareness, and an emotional journey of self actualization. My whole life revolves around a very large regimine of narcotic pain killers and that is something i refuse to be stuck with for the rest of my life, i struggle with the strong grip of opiates and how much they control me. I am done with this pain and everything that goes with it. My third surgery is on friday and all i am looking for is something from my fellow patients that tells me im not alone. because for a 21 year old girl with my spine history it can get very lonely. I am just sitting here on my computer writing my story to you guys, feeling so scared and unsure to turn my life upside down again. Any words from anyone would be much appreciated.