View Full Version : Fate, Destiny or Fear?
08-16-2001, 10:39 PM
I have surgery scheduled for the end of this month to remove rods placed there for spinal fusion from a car accident 9 months ago. I have a bad feeling about this operation, not that I will die,but spend the rest of my life in a nursing home, brain damaged.
To make matters worse, this mornings paper had a front page article on a local college athlete who died in prep for an out-patient surgery to remove a cyst from her shoulder. She reportedly had fears of this procedure and those with her said although she tried to hide it, she had tears in her eyes as she was called to go back in the operating room.
Just wondering if anyone here has thoughts of whether each of us have a destiny and that some of us, maybe all of us, know what the future holds.
08-16-2001, 11:06 PM
It is a fairly routine procedure, very low odds of anything major happening.
08-17-2001, 08:25 AM
Stephen, I think the fear is normal under the circumstances. I don't know of anyone who enjoys going under anesthesia or being cut on. But try to go in with a positive attitude. This WILL ease your chronic pain and a positive mental state is a powerful weapon. Best wishes for a successful operation and a very speedy recovery.
Stephen, this is an elective procedure. You should delay it until you are ready to have it. Although it is a fairly safe procedure, there is always risk involved anesthesia. We were always taught that if a patient is unusually fearful of death in any surgery that counseling should be provided prior to the surgery, or it should be postponed if this is not life threatening. A mind-set like this can become self-fulling. Ask your physician to refer you to someone you can talk this out with...a psychologist, social worker or clergy should be able to help.
08-17-2001, 06:53 PM
It's not that I have a great deal of fear but a feeling. If I go to a shrink there are going to be so many other things brought up that are screwy in my life now because of this SCI and years of accumulating results of not listening to this "inner voice" that I never will be able to end the sessions.
I've always respected your comments KLD, you may be right on this one too.
Martha, Curtis, as always your words are reassuring. Thanks.
08-17-2001, 09:36 PM
You could talk to a Mental Health specialist till you were blue in the face and what good would it do? Sometimes I think it is best to talk to other SCI people like you have done who have an understanding what it is like and can relate.
I say go for it, get it done, get it out of the way. You are a lot better off getting those rods out, I hear too many stories about pain and other problems due to Harrington Rods being left in, best to get them out.
Look up stats on operations gone bad like the one you are having and I am sure you will find the percentages very low. I think one reason you are scared is because of the bad luck of having the SCI itself. But there again, just think about how rare that is, there are only 250 to 400 thousand of us in the country and when you think about the total number of people in this country, we are a major league minority. Think about all the people that Dive, Ride Motorcycles, drive Cars etc. everyday in this country and are never Spinal Cord Injured. It is the same with Operations, Flying, Riding the train etc. There is a ever so slight risk with everything. You just have to take the risk and do what you have to do. Like Kld said tho, if its a real problem you could put it off and do it later. But if it were me, it is like pulling off a band aid fast, you want to get it out of the way rather than have something to worry about and let it drag on.
08-18-2001, 12:04 AM
I understand how you feel because I have gone through those kind of feelings myself before. I have thought that I am psychic and that scares me a lot. One thing though is that with time you learn that lots of times is mostly anxiety. Anxiety that can/will dominate your life if you let it. I recall feeling so apprehensive while I had surgery pending (and that has been through a lot of surgeries)that I felt like calling it quits. What I found helped me was to put my faith and trust completely in God and let Him take care of the whole operation. If you believe in a greater power you can rest your entire future in that power. I believe that once I concentrated on my complete trust in God, that He will guide the physicians hands and that everything will be allright from there on, my anxiety would leave.
I don't know if this will help you, but I hope it does give you more peace of mind. Also, like Curtis said, it is best to get it over with than keep dwelling on it and feeling more anxious as time passes.
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
May God give you strength throughout this whole time of trouble.
08-19-2001, 07:26 PM
Curtis you don't just give good advice, you words give strength. I can tell you've been there and know what I'm talking about. I've followed your posts since coming to this community shortly after my accident 6 months ago. You're one that hasn't let a SCI prevent you from doing most of what you want. You've lived a full and interesting life and have learned from it.
Raven, I know what you mean about separating feelings from anxiety. As a poet you have the power to take everyday life and make it Art. You reveal to us in words what we can't see with eyes. And whether this is all about God or just a billion years of evolution, that feeling of a Greater Power is there in times of desperate need. Your thoughts and prayers are felt... maybe we are all connected at some unconscious level as Jung said.
BTW, the local paper had a follow-up article on the unfortunate athlete who did'nt make it through prep. The autopsy showed no cause of death.
08-19-2001, 09:26 PM
I'm a firm believer in gut feelings. If it doesn't feel right, then delay. And try and figure out why the apprehension? Have you met and spoken with the surgeon? Try to remember that most neurosurgeons have practically no personalities at all. Their bedside manner is worse. Seems to run in the field. Wise and several others I've met in recent years are a definite change from the normal thank goodness. So if the surgeon talks like Lurch then you're going to have to ask the questions you need answered. But remember, they may act like they are half dead but they are the most skilled of surgeons.
What sign are you? http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif
08-20-2001, 07:30 AM
stephen, boy, do I know what you're talking about! I am beyond excited about our trip to Ecuador, but as the days grow closer...the nervousness takes hold! I too am a firm believer in gut feelings (as Sue posted). My gut says we should have this done, so we are going. This will mark 3 major operations in a year! Bottem line, you need to stop and take a deep breath, weigh the pros and cons, listen to your gut and instincts. If you still are uneasy, for whatever reason, either reschedual the procedure or put it off perhaps until the time is right. We leave tomorrow at 5AM. No time left to postpone or back out. We have never been away from our children this long or this far! It's hard, but we feel the time is right, and this is the choice we made. Birde ( BTW...the only "bad dreams" I have had regarding this is about the plane, and I always have bad dreams in regards to planes!) http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif
08-20-2001, 08:48 AM
How long will you be off-line? Can anyone give us an update on how your surgery goes and how you're doing? We'll all be on pins and needles waiting to hear. But our warmest thoughts and positive vibes (ok and even a prayer from the agnostic) will be with you.
08-20-2001, 09:18 AM
I hope the procedure yields you some extra function>I know Dr. Kao is the best in his field, so you are in good hands. Are you Bringing a laptop computer to keep us up to date? Good luck. Curtis http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
08-20-2001, 04:09 PM
One thing I had forgotten to mention is that I have had my rods removed. I had to have them removed because they broke. Yes, they broke. They were not supposed to but they did and my life lay on the line. I don't want to scare you or say that your case is just like mine but sometimes we
have to take chances. I did because the point of the rod was close to my heart. They did not allow me to turn in bed or move much because they were afraid it would stick into my heart. Hated to be in hospital, totally immobile until they performed the surgery. I won't say I was not apprehensive because I was but everything come out fine. That was about 39 yrs ago and I am still here enjoying every day I wake up. http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
I will still keep you in my thoughts and prayers and please do keep us up to date as to your decision and progress.
08-21-2001, 05:16 AM
Sue - I'm a Capricorn. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
You're right on about the bedside, roadside or any other side manners of neurosurgeons. I've thought it over and unless I chicken out at the last moment or I hear more unsettling news of the poor girl who died in prep, I'm going through with the rod removal.
Birde - Good luck with your trip and surgery. We all look forward to hearing of your improvement.
Martha - Most people, so I hear, are in the hospital 2 to 4 days. But don't expect to hear anything from me for a least 7. The way I moan and cry around in the hospital the staff will think I'm having complications. Will get back with who can give updates.
Raven - I didn't realize it had been that long since your injury. You always struck me as being someone in their twenty's. It must be your spirit.
My surgeon said rods will break. They bend slightly and weaken, unlike bone, which if stressed will strengthen. Having had one auto wreck that gave me this SCI, I've wondered what would happen with the rods in another bad accident. Your ordeal sounds like a nightmare.
I've heard the American Indians had passage-of-rite rituals where pain was inflicted to prove manhood. There was a certain amount of respect for undergoing this agony. Yet nurse ratchet and loved ones will give us a look as to say, "Stop being a big baby".