Here we go again??

I'm trying not to think what I called this post - I'm trying very hard to stay with what I know and not leap into 'what ifs'

Most of you know the multiple and very complex surgeries I've had and the progression of my spinal issues. If you don't, and you're interested enough they're on my profile.

So, I was referred back to neurosurgeon who did very serious but utterly amazing surgery in my neck in 2002 - this was the 2nd surgery. I had lost the use of my left hand and was in excruciating pain. Disc was shattered, one piece was resting on nerve going down arm, hence arm and hand symptoms, the rest was floating loose and a piece could have settled on spinal cord and that would have been game over really - paraplegic.

I'd had one neck surgery before that and since I've had 4 lumbar and a thoroscapular fusion ๐Ÿ˜

So, to have numb fingers and forearm again is scary to say the least, especially as I'm in the middle of a series of assessments at St Thomas's for a spinal cord stimulator to treat lumbar and pelvis / groin pain.

I have an MRI next tuesday and another appointment with neurosurgeon next fri. Really can't complain about this as its nhs treatment!! Mr very important Neurosurgeon wasn't too important to ring through for my MRI appt whilst I was with him!!! We don't come across that level of care very often do we?!!

So my question really is how you manage distraction when facing such a scary appointment?

Any suggestions welcome.

Hoping everyone having a comfortable time



16 Replies

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  • Trust the surgeon (you do) . Consider the situation if you didn't have treatment. Be glad someone can and is going to do something to help.

    Good luck and hoping for a successful outcome.

  • Thanks very much Dee,

    I appreciate your encouragement.

    How are you doing?




  • What a wonderful neuro surgeon and much praise to him. Not enough like him and if not too busy a possible distraction here.

    Strange creatures that we are we do adapt to whatever life throws at us. Mostly. Your friends may be amazed at how any of us manage, and manage well, with what functioning parts we have. But very few wake up and wonder what would happen arm sopped working or I couldn't walk. Thankfuly we don't or the pills inustry would run out of coping meds.

    You Shirley my friend have already adapted to losing the use of one arm. Maye not as you would want but nonetheless how you do things is now part of your make up and what you do.

    Knowing the right arm could go the same is the worry. But if at worst this happens you will have a new and diffrent challenge to meet and meet it you will. You change and adapt to any given situation. Even fully dunctional people with all body parts doing a intended adapt. We just have a head start on them!

    Right that's the head speaking bit. Now from the heart.

    Put kettle on, find tin marked Lemon drizzle cake, the 5000 calories per small slice one, and get a large plate marked PAT and put a piece on it. Job done.


    Pat x

  • Kettles boiled Pat and cake ready for you - extra large slice with lots of the sticky, crunchy, lemony drizzle part - you drooling yet?!

    You're so right, as ever, cope and adapt I will. I found a way to put washing in the line with one working arm, without two may be very tricky but I'll find a way ๐Ÿ˜


  • Hello Pat

    All ok


  • Try to calm yourself with breathing exercises and try and do what relaxation techniques you have learned

    I had an operation about four years ago and I found the staff in the anti room were very calm. I was also given a premed on the ward before I went down and they used a relaxant and sedative when they knocked me out. I have had many sedations over the years so it was a well worn pathway for me to take.

    All I can really suggest is hand over yourself to the surgeon your life is in their hands and all you need to do is relax and wake up to a nice cup of tea.

    Mind I am very strange I look on the whole experience as a chance of a good sleep and my condition leads me to quite a few tests where sedation is used

    Good Luck


  • Trust and have faith in your surgeon and your commitment to getting well. If needed you can have a pre med like Diazipam which are widely used to calm people in these stressful situations.

    Best of luck ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€


  • Hi Shirley just remember the things u told me how u and pat helped me get straight if it was not for u and pat I would not be here u know I lost my left arm my right hand is on its way out I have been told I have only a few months use of it, if they had told me that some time a go I would have taken my own life but not now I have a new specialist and he has told me if the nerves in my wrist are still alright then he would make sure I would get a new hand, I hope everything goes well for u. Xxx

  • It's SO good to hear you more positive Pete and finding good things in your new life - such courage ๐Ÿ˜˜

    You really deserved a better life and it sounds like you've found it. Enjoy!!

    Thanks for your encouragement, I know I'll be fine, it's just gathering all our strength to climb over the hurdles eh?!

    Keep going onward and upward my friend, I'll meet you at the top we'll have tea and cake with Pat!!


  • That sounds good to me and I will make the cakes I can still cook even if I only have one hand. Xxx

  • Me too, so we'll have plenty cake!! Get that kettle on Pat ๐Ÿ˜„


  • Ooh who said cake? Large piece please Peter


  • I find playing scrabble on line against a computer a great distraction and quite addictive too.

    I too have had three neck surgeries including a lamenectomy for spinal compression without which I would have been paralyzed. However I have been left with a very fragile neck and chronic neuropathic pain in my hands which after three years I think is permanent.

    I live in France where the health service is brilliant but there doesn't seem to be any cure for nerve pain. Good luck and Bon courage

  • Thank you suzyhayes - that sounds like a good distraction - I'll gibe it a go ๐Ÿ˜„

    I'm glad you are getting good treatment. I'm afraid there is no cure anywhere for these conditions, just management.


  • I am confused here. I understand the diagnosis results could be very scary. I don't understand how the appointment can be scary and in need of managing distraction?

    Can you expand a bit.

  • I can understand how my post was confusing johnsmith!

    I was asking how others manage the waiting time between knowing these investigations are being carried out o the day we see the consultant again for the verdict.

    It's the managing the 'what ifs' That my enquiry was about, the way which others support themselves whilst waiting for potentially bad news.

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply

    Best wishes


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