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Anxiety/Depression after spinal fusion surgery

Spine Health | Last Active: Apr 2 9:51pm | Replies (35)

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So happy I sat down just now and googled "anxiety about lumbar fusion." I appreciate the honest posts and responses. I have my two level lumbar fusion tomorrow, and feel very anxious and sad. I've been staying at a family member's home for 6 weeks awaiting surgery, so not in my own home, wondering if I'll be able to get back to living in Mexico after this (where I'd retired, but had to come back here to use Medicare). What I want is for some friend or family person just to say "I'd be anxious too, no wonder you feel this way, I don't blame you" but what I get is "look on the bright side." What I want to do is cry, but I don't dare, and I talk myself through to the other side. Can't shake the sadness.
I've always been good about just plowing along through difficulties, including decades of chronic pain. I'm pretty much an Eeyore, but I do persevere. But this one has stymied me, I feel overwhelmed. I know the likelihood is for a good/decent outcome, certainly better than where I'm at now. And I know I have to have this surgery-- I'll be in a wheelchair soon if I do nothing. I know much of this fear and sadness is tied to the "here we go again" feelings about past (unrelated) surgeries; so many years of pain and disability, etc. Just tired, and feeling I won't cope well with the lengthy recovery.
But... got to do it. So here we go... Thanks for the opportunity to rant here.

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Replies to "So happy I sat down just now and googled "anxiety about lumbar fusion." I appreciate the..."

Thinking about you in surgery today. I hope you have a terrific surgical outcome. Your sadness and likely depression are, I believe, normal and predictable. I also understand your frustration that, instead of acknowledging your feelings ("I can understand why you feel sad...") well-meaning friends follow the cheerleading path of "Think of the upsides..." It's just human nature at work and there's nothing you can do to change that. As said - folks mean well. Just know that those of us who've experienced
what you're now experiencing - we understand exactly why you feel the way you do and appreciate your quiet desperation. You have a great way of expressing yourself in writing based on your post and I'd encourage you to journal your experiences and feelings every day. I'm glad I did that. Wishing you the best...