Let’s talk about psychic pain. In my book, "Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder," Mildred recounts a depression from 50 years before as “unbelievably and indescribably painful.” It felt, she recalls, “like a rat was gnawing on my brain.” Suicide, to her, “seemed not like a harm to self, but a relief from self.”
We’ve all been there. Here is a taste of what I went through, also from my book:
Just a little deeper into the Mount Everest Death Zone, I knew, and it wouldn't be a matter of me committing the act. The act, instead, would commit me. The rope would tie its own noose, the pond's frigid waters would warmly embrace me, the bridge would obligingly throw me off ...
Psychic pain is not limited to depression. Again from my book:
If one thinks of pure or mild mania as the music of Duke Ellington or Louis Armstrong on a cool, clear summer night, mixed mania is heavy metal and rap in a thunderstorm, ...
Spondylolisthesis (spaun-di-lo-lie-thee-sis) is a mouthful and is a common cause of low back pain (although it can exist anywhere in the spine, the lumbar spine is the most common area affected). The spinal column is a series of building blocks called vertebral bodies stacked on top of one another. Sometimes these blocks do not line up perfectly. This slight separation in the spinal column is called a spondylolisthesis .
"Doc says I have a spondy-something-or-other. Don't ask me what it is; all I know is that it hurts". Steve tries to explain his low back condition to his friend. But, he finds that he cannot explain what he does not understand. Steve has had back pain for a number of years. Every year the pain gets worse and has now become constant. His doctor sent him for x-rays recently. The x-rays showed a spondylolisthesis with disc degeneration at L5/S1. Steve could not understand his doctor's explanation of the condition. So, now he has pain and has confusion.
Driving a car to the local mechanic to get it fixed is not the same thing as taking the human body into surgery; although, this "fix-it" attitude drives patients and surgeons alike towards surgical solutions. Lately, a growing number of people are undergoing low back surgery . A recent study examined the relationship between patient expectations and the actual outcomes from lumbar spine surgery. Because pre-surgical expectations do not always equate to the actual results, how can a person judge whether or not a surgery was successful? How can one predict surgical success?
Understanding the primary reasons for seeking surgical solutions is the first step towards discussing the likelihood of success. The top three causes for patients wanting lumbar surgery are: 1#, other therapies have failed to help; 2#, the pain is unbearable; 3#, walking has become difficult. Based on these reasons to see a surgeon, patients come to the operating room harboring certain expectations. Patients wa...
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