Too Much Pain Still And Complications

I inherited a form of scoliosis from my dad and my mid and lower back started really curving in my early fifties.  By my late fifties it had progressed a lot and it was causing me a lot of difficulties.  I had bad back spasms and could not lie on my back.  I could not sit comfortably and long flights were awful for me, especially if I tried to sleep.  I could not lean back and rest or sleep, but had to fall forward to sleep.  I was losing lung capacity and my organs were getting squeezed into a tighter space.  I was probably going to end up with my chin resting on my chest.  It affected my sleep and it affected my being able to walk.

I finally got a referral to see an orthopedic doctor.  He examined me thoroughly, took xrays, and concluded that the best thing for me was surgery.  I had surgery on May 15, 2009.  It was an eight hour operation performed by two surgeons.  They fused 12 levels and put in 2 stainless steel rods and 24 screws.  They corrected my curve by 60% and stopped the progression.  I had to wear a hard brace for 3 months.  I have been going for physical therapy and am still struggling to recover.  I have had a huge amount of pain since the surgery.  I have also had depression and my fibromyalgia has really flared up since the surgery.  I have a lot of trouble walking, but no longer have back spasms.  I am still taking vicodin, only a couple a day, but am reluctant to stop taking them, because it is the only relieve that I can get from the back pain and fibromyalgia pain.  On the up side I can now sit more comfortably, lie on my back and lean back in the seat on an airplane.  I still have a lot of depression and frustration and waver back and forth about being glad I had this surgery and being sorry.  I would like to get some ideas what to expect down the road and whether or not what I am experiencing is normal or not.  Thank you.

nunaka nunaka
56-60, F
3 Responses Feb 15, 2010

I try very hard to keep busy and keep my mind off of negative things, but some days the pain is very bad, like today, and I have trouble being motivated or focused. I did spend some time on the computer today, researching fibromyalgia and got some ideas to discuss with my doctor. I also have been working on a calendar to have a daily plan of things I want to do each day. Tomorrow I plan on doing exercise in two different pool programs and going to physical therapy. Even though today was not a good day I know I will feel better if I go do the exercise. I am also looking for some support groups to join. I will try your suggestion to do something new that I have wanted to do, but I don't really have any hobbies. I want to try and get more active, because that actually does help. Right now I am very tired and I think going to bed earlier tonight will make me feel more energized tomorrow.

Thank you for your advice and support, Lonelywanderer. My doctor's have indicated that it takes a very long time to recover from this complicated of an operation. I am trying to be patient, but sometimes get frustrated by the amount of pain that I have had. Thanks again!

You are obviously a very stupid person who does not have a life. I hope that you grow up, get a life, and I don't think there is much hope for the fact you are stupid, but I will say a prayer for you.