On the 3rd night after my spinal fusion, I couldn’t sleep. It was the middle of the night, My husband was asleep, and I couldn’t have gotten out of bed even if I’d wanted to. So I did what most of us probably do – I grabbed my phone and started Googling. One thing led to another, and I somehow found myself poring through articles and forum posts about spinal fusions.
There I was, alone in the dark, in terrible pain, fuzzy-brained from the pain meds – and all I could find were stories about failed fusions, repeat surgeries, and horrific ordeals. It was not good.
Fortunately, I came to my senses after only a few of those scary nights. I found an online support group that offered a more balanced perspective about the outcome of spinal fusion surgery. And I started connecting on social media with people who had success stories to share. By searching the hashtag #spinalfusion on Instagram, I met some amazing people who were happy to answer my questions and to reassure me that better days were ahead. To be honest, I don’t even remember who some of those people were – between the pain and the narcotics, everything that happened those first couple of weeks is kind of hazy. If you were one of them, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me more than you know.
Fast forward to today. I’m about 20 months post-op, and I consider myself to be a success story. My hope in documenting my recovery is that you guys will stumble across my blog (instead of a depressing forum) late at night when you’re feeling scared and hopeless. And judging from the messages I get, I think it’s working.
But if you’ve landed here, you probably already know my story. And I’m just one girl. Mine is just one success story. There are others out there – lots of them. Athletes and parents and teenagers and grandmas. So I thought I’d put the stories together in one place for you to read.
I’m still working out the format of these posts, but I thought I’d start by sharing this message from Lizette (shared with her permission):
I just want to add another happy ending to spinal fusion surgery.
In August 2016 I had spinal fusion surgery (L5-S3) here in sunny South Africa. My operation was a great success and I started belly dancing a year ago to keep my back and my muscles supple. I followed my doctor’s advice to the letter and today my back is better than it was long before the surgery. The surgery was extremely traumatic but I’m a tough cookie and made it through.
The week before I returned to work from my spinal surgery I was diagnosed with cancer. I had that surgery too and I’m still going strong. Just be positive and trust in the Lord.
You can find Lizette on Twitter, or you can connect with her here by leaving a comment on this post. Thank you so much, Lizette, for sharing your story and for inspiring me to write this series about spinal fusion success stories.
If you’re interested in sharing your story here, please shoot me an email at mommyrunsit (at) gmail (dot) com, or fill out this form:
Please be sure to include “spinal fusion success story” in your subject and/or message. And don’t worry, I don’t expect your story to be all puppies and rainbows – mine certainly isn’t. I’m just looking to share some hope with our friends who really need it.
Keep your eye out for my next success story (hopefully coming soon). Or if you want to know exactly when it comes out, you can sign up for my newsletter. I only send out a newsletter about once a month (sometimes less often), so I promise not to flood your inbox.
Stay well, friends. I’m excited about this new series, and I hope you will be too!