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Pre-Op Insomnia and Anxiety

Started by bassetmommy on 01/29/2013 11:02am

I heard from the neurosurgeons' office today after my initial visit on 1/26. I was told I need an L4-L5 Spinal Fusion w/ Facets like 10 minutes into the consultation. I liked the doctor immediately, and he brought me to the computer to show me the flexion films that showed my L4 slipping down onto L5 very clearly. He diagnosed this as L4-L5 Instability- which sounds innocuous, but it's what's causing all the problems. I was told straight up that surgery is the only treatment. This news was initially exhilarating and joyful... to think that I might have a shot at escaping this nightmare of disability and chronic pain was amazing!

Somehow, my joy turned to fear and terror later that day. I began to obsess about having hardware placed, and my mind began to race. I think I overdosed on internet spine information, and didn't sleep all night. I even took my Klonopin, but the anxiety just blew right through. I began to question whether this was a good idea.... what if my body rejected the pedicle screw? How would I manage not to bend, twist or lift for weeks on end? What if my caregiver didn't show up one day? How would I manage my two dogs? The puppy is always underfoot, and what if I trip over him?

I accepted a surgical date of March 4th, as my sister can't be here until the end of February. I spent all day thinking about all the things I would need after I got home. And no sleep again tonight...
I am Bipolar, and now fear this stress may be setting off an episode. I wisely made an appointment with my psychiatrist, and will call today to get it moved up if I can. My point is, the reality of committing to this decision can throw anyone off kilter. Perhaps I need a real sleeping pill for a few days until my rest cycle returns to normal. I am just scared, and that's normal. You just can't separate out the physical and the psychological. They are both very powerful.

We just moved to Phoenix in December. I have no supports here, and being alone all day until my husband gets home is rough. I guess I underestimate the stress I am under with all these changes.

Well, I apologize for my rant, but I thank you for listening. Talking it out with my doctor will surely bring my anxiety down. At least I hope so...

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4 Responses


hi yeah i remb when i got all set up for surgery, nerves I had the whole lumbar fused together. 8 steel screws 2 rods. they knock you out next thing your waking up in your room in pain. they d id what they call open back 10 inch cut, i broke my back also, look up your surgeon and see what his patients say about him, I hope all good things, you should go to rehab for 3 weeks they work with you and help you heal they get you up and walk and exercise. when i went home I had a walker then i had a nurse come in and help with exercise. also if your having a fusion that you get a bone growth simulator it makes the fusion grow. and good luck. its been alittle over a year for me. and if you smoke you must quit fusions and smokers dont work. , also after surgery as hot as you can stand shower really helped me.


so much has happened..

the pain management doc insisted i taper off pain meds prior to surgery. this idea was changed when my other doctor told her i could not safely manage it alone, and would need inpatient stay. this was after my last post, when i was actually decompensating from the bipolar, which is why i couldn't sleep at all.

now i can stay on the pain meds until 3 weeks after surgery when they just cut you off. isn't that a pretty short amount of time?? anyway, at that time i will probably do an inpatient detox. my dose isn't that high (oxycodone 10 mgm. 3X/ day), but safer to get some support and supervision given the other issue.

no mention of in-home help from the neurosurgeon. i had it last time for a micro disc. we had to hire a caregiver for daytime when my husband isn't here. certainly not rehab, either. they say it's a minimally invasive procedure, but a fusion is a fusion and hardware is hardware, right?

i want to develop a good attitude, but i quit smoking in two days. the stress is mounting...


hi again after they get you done they will put you on somthing 10times stronger then morphine. for a few hours then they go back to a pill.


thanks for your information.

i have concerns about pain control post-op. what will they give me in pill form that will work effectively if i go into the surgery on oxycodone 10 mgm 3 X/ day?