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How do you deal with being fragile? (c3-7 adcf 2009, l4-5 l5-s1 af 2013)

Started by 100000108172538... on 03/04/2016 3:57pm

I've been dealing with chronic pain issues from severe degenerative disc disease since 1999, exacerbated by car accident in 1999. I had awesome surgery at c3-7 front and back in 2009 after it got so bad I had cord compression there. Miraculous surgery, allowed me to return to work in 2011-12 and most of the time since, although I did require an additional fusion at l4-5 and l5-s1 in 2013. I worked in 2013-14, all of 2015 til now. I've been having very successful results from epidural injections at l5, s1, and my piriformis muscle which have helped me put off additional reconstructive fusion at those levels in the posterior, where I have vertebrae still resting right on l5.

I've had a recent bad flare after slipping (not falling or even catching myself) 3 weeks ago. I'm frustrated trying to get the right treatment fast enough, or really now the right diagnostics (new MRIs) fast enough, both for my own health and pain relief as well as to make the decision about whether I can even think about returning to work shortly. I'm a contractor, jobs can't be held open indefinately.

What do you do when you feel fragile like this, trying to succeed or even advocate properly for yourself, deal with the pain, call with the Healthcare system and approvals/noncommunications... How do you communicate to lovedones, family, friends, coworkers and medical folks that you're not flaky, you're frustrated and trying to get answers?

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1 Response


HI, I am new here, had cervical spine surgery in Sept of 2015, a little over 5 months ago. Two discs were removed, bones were prepared and cadaver bones were placed in the discs cavity. Screws and plates and fusion! Today my husband caught me in tears just trying to get through the day. I have pushed myself to keep going since about three weeks after surgery. I am a hairdresser two days a week and a nanny for an infant four days a week...you do the math. My clients are relentless and the baby I care for is getting heavier every day. I have a husband, a grown daughter, a big dog, two jobs, a garden and house and a passion for running (33 full marathons since 1998). For the first time in my life I want to just fall down and quit. I am a passionate and active 49 yr old who wakes up every day in fear of moving the wrong way or lifting something too fast or driving too far....I live in fear of the pain getting worse. I know on Monday that I will probably be okay until the end of Tuesday, and on Tuesday I go to bed before eight pm just to have hope for Wednesday. Thursday I take Advil all day to get to Friday. Friday I cry in the bathroom and in the car on my way home. Saturday I realize what a problem I have and burry it deep enough to get through the day. And on Sunday...I rest.