Hi Straydog: Now I hope you will let me know if I am replying just to you or to everyone.
You wanted to know what my surgeries were. First, there was a microdiscectomy (pardon if I mispell these things), which was supposed to be a quick, easy fix for a compressed nerve. It seemed to be working well. The next week, I lifted a mattress (I know, stupid), and something tore. It make a hideous sound. The next two weeks, I was in agony, however not much more than I am now.
So the doctors brought me back in and did the lumbar fusion (lower back, I think it's called l5, s1??). That was a big surgery and I remember being in the hospital for a long time (over 2 weeks), and then in skilled nursing for another week. When I got out, I realized I had a significant right foot drop, very weak, and needed a cane to stabilize myself. I still use the cane.
Next came another surgery (supposedly minor) to do further decompression. At that point, they found out that the hardware installed in my spine had become seriously infected, so they took it all out. The doctor claimed that the fusion had "worked," so that he wouldn't have to redo the hardware. So there were then two more surgeries, and I can't even tell you what they were for. The final one was to have a neuro-stimulator implanted in my back. I don't think it helps much, and the severe pain I feel is exactly at the site of this stimulator.
Finally, the doctor has told me that there is nothing more he could do for me. I am embarassed to say that I cussed him out because of the cold way he told me about this, so now I have to go to another doctor.
The new one says he won't do further back surgery until I remove the neuro-stimulator because he believes it could be the source of the pain.
So now, I am so confused and desperate that I don't know what to do.
If anyone reads this, I would so appreciate some kind words of wisdom. The pain and stiffness seems worse each and every day. I wish I had the nerve to end it all, but I don't want to die. I have some wonderful friends and I want to live. I know I won't be like I was in my 20s, but just to be able to live without pain (or as much as I have now, which is constant), would be fabulous.
Sorry if I am whining -- I love you all and hope you are all having a good, pain-free day.