Is This Really Happening To Me?

Really? REALLY?!? Nine months post op, and I still feel worse than I did before surgery. Initially, my goal when I started this blog was to regularly update it as I healed. I wanted to share my victories, however small, and paint an accurate picture of spinal surgery and the recovery process. But my victories have been few and far between, and I don’t feel as if my experience has been “typical.” Yes, I know that everybody heals at their own pace. I feel that if a desire to be pain free was enough, I’d be doing cartwheels and running marathons right now. Instead, I can barely walk around my block.

Every decision I make has to take my back and pain into consideration. Just something simple, like going out with friends for a few drinks, or chaperoning my daughter’s field trip, or even going to a movie, can be a hassle. Not to mention everyday things like cooking dinner for my family or folding a load of laundry or just going to the bathroom – none of it is easy.

All of this has taken a huge toll on my soul. I rarely feel hopeful, and cry often. I cannot believe that THIS is what my life has become. I’m jealous of my friends for having quality lives, and easily annoyed with people who constantly bitch about stupid shit, like going to work or tackling the yard work. I fucking WISH I could go to work. I wish I still had a fucking job to go to. No, it wasn’t my dream job, but FUCK, I was good at what I did. And then I got hurt at work because of somebody’s negligence, and ultimately lost my job.

So now instead of bantering with my colleagues around the water cooler or solving complicated problems for clients, I spend my days laying in my recliner watching Gypsy Sisters marathons, in non stop pain. I can feel my ass getting fatter and my brain getting dumber. And honestly…I don’t really give two fucks. Most days I don’t even get dressed. I own more pajama pants than jeans now. My hair has taken on the shape of a permanent ponytail, even when I take the elastic out. Makeup? Yeah, I have oodles of it. I LOVE makeup. Well…I used to. Now I consider it a good day if I merely wash my face and moisturize. Sure, occasionally I have to leave the house, so I’ll shower, style my hair, make up my face and throw on a pretty dress. And then I feel like a total loser when I gimp around in public with my cane. I get evil looks from old people when I pull into a handicapped parking space. And I need frequent breaks to rest. What’s the fucking point?

I so wish I could share something more upbeat and optimistic. But this is some honest shit. I pretty much hate my pathetic life right now, and I hate anyone who has a better life than me (the world). Fuck it all.

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2 thoughts on “Is This Really Happening To Me?

  1. Scott says:

    Hi, ya got some pain there huh? I guess the hardest thing a person can do sometimes is to accept this stuff, it can take a long time to get through. You are not alone in this. It has been 33 years ago when I was 26 years old that my journey thru the valley of tears started. Woke up one morning and couldn’t walk due to left ankle and a knee full of fluid. Thought it would go away like every other pain or injury I had, had. What can I say? I was 26 and would live forever. R.A. sucks big-time, ya can’t seem to fight it off and all you can do is a holding action through drugs, operations, and rest.
    Here’s a list of things that have come and gone:::::
    1. both hips replaced, left one twice. Accumulated down time including pre-op inability to do anything and post-op; about 25 months. A hip reduction using the bone in-growth type takes ALOT longer to recover then the first time around.
    2. right wrist fusion, 7 months, not a good result my hand is numb as hell and doesn’t manipulate well, no strength.
    3. left wrist fusion, 7 months worked pretty well at least I have some strength there, but I now have a problem with it not having feeling because…
    4. had my neck fused, 1 year recovery; from the posterior side (back) all seven vertebra w/titanium rods. Now nearly no movement and hurt quite a bit in the neck and then w/headaches. But I needed it because without it my spinal cord was going to become compressed and then I’m dead. As it was they waited to long and that was why my hand is numb.
    5. left mid-foot fused, 7 months downtime with pre-op time.
    6. left ankle fused, twice ’cause it didn’t take the first time, about one year combined but that was only part of it because…
    7. left leg broken twice and front foot twice, stress fractures, one year, ’cause, all the stress that is absorbed by the ankle and mid-foot was transferred to those two areas.
    And now my lumbar has deteriorated to the point that I’m looking into fusion and from what I’ve read it is come into a alternative because my back pain is now constant w/leg numbness and total loss of strength to the point that I almost fall down when it strikes.which is most of the time. But then it is becoming a dead-heat between that and my left knee. My rheumatologist asked me at my last visit when I want that replaced.This getting old. Just like you I don’t go anywhere because I can only walk about 150 feet and I better have something to hang onto or sit on. So that precludes exercise and then I’ve put on 20 pounds and that makes it worse on my back. On the plus side I think I know how to build just about anything from watching DIY shows.
    I guess what I’m saying is that old saying about God only giving us what we can handle is B.S. Short of being tortured by someone unto death, this is getting to be to much crap.

    • Michelle says:

      Wow, Scott, I am so sorry you have gone through all of that. Just yesterday I said to a friend, ” Wouldn’t it be great if bodies were like cars and we could just trade them in when they broke down or had too many miles on them, and get a brand new, shiny, fast one?” If only it were that easy, right?

      I agree with you about the “God only gives us what we can handle” line being total bullshit. I’ve gotten to the “This is so not FAIR” phase of what I guess is the grieving process over losing my old life, my independence, my happiness. I keep reliving that day when I fell and injured my back, wondering what my life would be like now if it hadn’t happened. I can’t even remember anymore what it’s like to not be in constant pain, and I’m so angry with myself for taking my pain free days for granted. And I get so pissed when some well intentioned person tells me how strong I am, and that they wouldn’t be able to handle what I’ve been through with this. I mean, it’s not like I have a fucking choice, do I?!?

      I truly hope you find some peace and happiness. Living with chronic pain is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m just not ready to give up hope that one day I will be better. Good luck, friend.

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