View Full Version : Good Luck Mark

25th August 2008, 09:59 PM
Will be thinking about you on your appointment.:niceone:
Be sure to eat well tonight and get a good sleep.

We're all with you :squeeze:

25th August 2008, 10:28 PM
All the best Mark, will be thinking about you!

Take care,
Lyssie xx

25th August 2008, 10:36 PM
Yea all the best brother ......

25th August 2008, 10:47 PM
Best of luck Mark, will be thinking of you.

Little Ali
26th August 2008, 05:19 PM
Ooops...sorry I'm late! Hope all goes well! xx

26th August 2008, 05:42 PM
Any news?

26th August 2008, 05:46 PM
Yes Mark, do tell...we are all dying to hear how you got on :ghug:

26th August 2008, 05:46 PM
The anticipation is killing me !

27th August 2008, 12:29 PM
Have we had any news yes am starting to really worry !!

Anyone !!!!

27th August 2008, 03:13 PM
I am very concerned too. I keep on checking for news.

Mark, please let us know you are OK. Either post or PM one of us so that we can tell everyone you are fine.

27th August 2008, 05:30 PM
Hello All

Thanks for your kind words, well it didn't go at all well, the results of the mri scan showed no abnormalities to the spinal cord, i wasn't at first seen by Mr Gibson i was seen by one his registrars again, not a good sign and basically he told me that the risks far outwayed the benefits, of this i wasn't very happy and he said he would consult of which he did and when he came back he said the same, i basically told him that this was it i was at the end of my tether (its hard to admit to begging, but i begged him to reconsider), he said Mr Gibson would see me so i waited to see Mr Gibson, he basically said he was loathe to operate as it wouldn't get rid of the physical pain and i would be considerably worse of again the risks out wayed the benefit, i pleaded with him to reconsider telling him i had done a lot of research into him and i know he deals with complex adult cases, after discussing my mental well being with him he was of the opinion that i was not making a rational decision and said he would have considered it if my mental state was normal, in the end we did with a certain amount of reluctance on his part to agree to put me on the surgery list (which is about 6 months long) but he will assess my mental well being before any surgery can go ahead

The upshot is the wife is not very happy as she see's i have been seen by a number of surgeons and they all say the same, i am starting to have doubts myself, i'm in a complete mess and i couldn't bring myself to switch the computer on yesterday, i have a lot of hard thinking to in the necxt 6 months, not least of which to get my mental state right, i have been to the gp today who has changed my medication to Citalopram, which is an antidepressant used in the treatment of severe depresion, anxiety, eating disorders and body dismorphier (sp) (wrong)

So confused, i don't really know what the hell to do

Hope that makes some sense as my heads a mess

thanks for reading


27th August 2008, 05:38 PM
First am glad your ok you had us all worried
I can understand the surgeons position with regard your mental state but at least now you have something to aim towards .
You have 6 mths in which help yourself and get better we all know you can do it i have every faith in you.

Well done on getting your tablets changed they are a good anti-depressant so keep taking them work hard carry on and getting some counseling...

Am proud of you for fighting your side to mr gibson you have come far mate keep it going am just relived your ok and it is a lot of information to take in we are all here for you mate


27th August 2008, 05:41 PM
mark i'm so sorry to hear it went badly, but thank you for letting us know.

firstly i think congratulations are in order for persistence and well done for going to the GP to get that angle sorted out, i can't imagine that it's easy to face up to any of the psychological side of things.

i think you should take some time out, relax and gradually take stock. you've got six months to sort it all out, that's a long enough time to convince the surgeon i reckon. when you're feeling a bit better, what might be good is if you are seeing a therapist or your GP on a regular basis (i can't remember if you've been seeing a therapist, sorry) and ask them to send perhaps monthly reports to the surgeon, to back up your current psychological state and help to reassure him that you are making a sound decision and surgery is what you definitely want.

regarding what your surgeon said about not getting rid of the physical pain... that's one of the warnings we've all been given before we have surgery. along with infection, paralysis and risk of death, it's one of the disclaimers they have to give out, because purely and simply there are no guarantees with any surgical procedure. however, many of us are living proof that eventually the pain connected to surgery and recovery goes and you are much better off than you previously were. i'm sure you know this and i'd be willing to bet the surgeon does as well.

maybe i'm not remembering the story properly but i'm sure your surgeon was really positive the last couple of times you'd met with him? i'm wondering why he's done such an abrupt turnaround.

the positives are that the MRI results are good, and that you're already taking positive steps towards getting the solution you want.

whenever you're ready for a chat, take your time and we're ready to help you through.

27th August 2008, 05:41 PM
Wow Mark, thats a hell of an appointment...but you must have some persuasion skills to get on that waiting list!! (well done for that!)

As for your doubts, its probably natural considering everyone keeps reminding you of the "risks".... i can only suggest you really think hard about it and use the support of your family to understand how they feel. If its a 6 months wait, that gives you plenty of time to properly do your homework and digest everything before jumping to a decision. Even if it came down to the day of surgery - you are allowed to change your mind!

Hope you are feeling ok in light of everything and you know where we all are if you need us!

27th August 2008, 05:43 PM
Hi Mark,

:squeeze: I'm not sure what to say! I'm so sorry the appointment didn't go as planned for you. I can't even begin to understand the frustation you must feel right now! It does seem like there is a glimmer of hope, as he is putting you on the waiting list though.

Did he discuss many of the risks to you, or just state that there were "many"? It seems like you are being totally shunned by the system, and I wish there was something I could do to make it all better. :squeeze:

27th August 2008, 05:47 PM
I got the risks in detail down to the 1 in 200 chance of paralysis, yes it laid on pretty thick, he has me down for an anterior and posterior release, i had no chance ask him many specific questions as i was too busy fighting for my life, so i don't know if its one or two operations or how long they will take, all he said was you will get a pre op test the week before any proposed surgery,

I'm just so confused

27th August 2008, 05:51 PM

I have not had an operation so I am really not able to comment if the consultant is right or not. But it looks as if he really wants you to focus on mental well being before he considers anything. It is hopeful that he will re-assess the situation later, provided he is satisfied with your mental health. Go for it Mark. Prove to him that you can pull yourself put of your depression. I know you can get out of that darkness. If I can, anybody can turn things around don't ever forget that.

All I can say is that we are here for you. The fact that you were so insistant that he helped you showed real balls Mark. You have more grit than you realise. I totally agree with Simon and am proud of you too.

Don't worry about being confused. Anybody would be so that is completely normal. Try to put it aside for a few days and come back to it when things are a little calmer.

Love and Hugs,

27th August 2008, 05:57 PM
Hi Mark, sorry the appt., wasn't what you hoped for, but good for persisting and getting somewhere in the face of adversity.

I wonder why they say that to you? Can you find evidence of other similar cases, that have had ops so you can show them? My consultant told me surgery was out of the question in 2005 and then in 2007 apparently it was the best thing for me and 'would change my life'!!! So they certainly can have different views at different times.

At least you are on a list and have some months to sort your thoughts out and the new pills should help.

Must be confusing though. Take your time to think it all through and discuss if that helps.

:squeeze: xx

27th August 2008, 06:27 PM
Mark, I'm really sorry the appointment didnt go as you hoped. I know you probably havent got the clearest memory of the appointment now but I'm wondering whether the risks he says outweight the potential benefits are the same risks we all had to accept or if he's found something about you that makes surgery more risky than for the rest of us? I remember being told that for me, there was a 30% chance that my pain would be better, 50% that there wouldnt be much difference and 20% that my pain would be worse after surgery. Again I wonder whether this is the same for you.

It seems very harsh for him to say that your mental state isnt allowing you to make a rational decision considering your kyphosis is a big part of that problem. Myself and a number of other members were taking antidepressants before and after our surgery so thats not making sense to me either.

Please dont let this get you down too much. If anything it shows that if you can make progress on your mental health, then you should also be able to make progress on your back. I think 6 months is a long time and we can all help you put together a list of questions that maybe you need clarification on for your next appointment ie. why does he feel you have more risks over the rest of us that have been through it.

Please stay strong.. I know it doesnt feel like it but there are some positives you can take away from this and things you can work on.

27th August 2008, 06:42 PM
Well, the first thing that absolutely has to be said is that if the risk was truly too high, or you for any other reason were genuinely not a sugical candidate, he wouldn't have put you on the list. He's an orthopaedic surgeon, and takes only a reasonable responsibility for the mental health of his patients - what I mean is that if you were genuinely not a surgical candidate, and yet had told him you would kill yourself without the surgery, that would not make him put you on the list. Refer you for a psych consult, maybe, but not put you on the list to shut you up.

Now, I've held back from saying this before, but actually something which worried me is that while obviously you do have kyphosis, and a pretty large example at that, I have worried that you'd go and have the surgery and then find out afterwards oh heck, I look different but I'm still me. It's something I'd planned to bring up closer to the time, and suggest that you have all your support systems (counsellor, GP, whatever else you can find) in place to be there for the fact that sometimes rather than a lightbulb moment, the mental and emotional recovery can be slower even when the correction is superb.

6 months is plenty of time to do a lot of serious sorting out, plenty of mental housekeeping and developing coping strategies and the like. But I do think Mr Gibson is absolutely right to want to be sure that you're ok, and it sounds like your GP is on a good track too - given that you've noted that citalopram is used for treating body dysmorphic syndrome. The thing is, having a genuine physical problem does not mean you don't also have BDS (a trivial example was me and my flipping nose - yes it had changed shape dramatically, and for a time until the excess bone was re-absorbed was rather unsuited to my features, but the way I felt about it was out of all proportion to the reality of it - again, I stress I'm aware this is only a trivial example), so ensuring that you've dealt with that is the way to have a smooth recovery, and feel happy with your back rather than thinking but if only they'd got a little more correction. What I mean is I don't know if you do have BDS, but you show some signs that you do, and it's an insidious thing - like the weight can often be "well yes, I'm slim, but another half stone would be even better"... and half a stone later thinking the same thing still, I think it could be quite similar with satisfaction after surgery.

I would also hold strongly to the fact that it doesn't appear he's given you any indication that the surgery is likely to make your back pain worse. Speaking of pain, do you take any painkillers on a regular basis? If not, I'd suggest you have a chat to your GP about NSAIDs, see if he'll try you on diclofenac (arthrotec if you need the stomach protector with it) or something similar. I'm all for pain control, and NSAIDs can be safely taken with most or all ADs as far as I'm aware, although of course your GP will consider this when deciding what to prescribe.

Your wife is naturally very scared about the whole thing. Something that is very difficult for someone who hasn't experienced it to understand is that actually, just having something continually nagging at you, nagging pain and nagging discomfort and nagging emotional distress, really drags you down. The fact that you're able to lead an apparently normal life makes it very difficult for someone else to understand the impact that it has. She doesn't want you to be going through any of this, but the surgery aspect is what is easy to see, and to understand, and the risks do sound daunting especially to someone who loves you. The other thing is she loves you, fancies you and is married to you anyway, just as you are. I know sometimes some people can find it feels almost like a betrayal that their love is not enough somehow - I don't know if your wife is feeling any aspects of that, but it can make it harder for some people to deal with things. I'm not saying that you should be burdening yourself with that, but that if it is the case, it's something that by understanding it becomes hopefully a little less of a problem.

Anyway, all of that aside, remember we're here for you all the way. We absolutely understand wanting, no needing, to get it done regardless of the risks and regardless of anything else, because a lot of us have been there. You're not alone with this, and now you're on the right track and we're going to help to keep you there.

27th August 2008, 07:00 PM
Thanks everyone for your kind words

As usual titch you hit the nail fair straight on the head in most of what you posted, the only thing he did say was he was adamant that my pain would be at best equal to what it is now and at worse make it whole lot more troublesome

I think the misses thinks i just want the surgery as a badge of honour or something that i can other people feel guilty about, which to me is ilogical as those thoughts never entered my head, she's also worried about a lot of what you said and the correction and the psychological problems still being there as they have always been there and just by having an emense amount of iron mongery in my back that fact isn't go change, the surgery she thinks and to some extent Mr Gibson thinks is that it will not make any difference to the way i feel about myself

thats whats confusing, thats what i'm thinking about now and thats what i have to sort out in the next 6 months or so

Amazed Jean
27th August 2008, 07:04 PM
Mark, It's your" Mum" (as you refer to me -which I might add is slightly better than Kentish calling me Granny.) At any rate - you again succeeded - you made it through the dreaded appointment and are still standing. The results weren't what you so hoped for.... The doctors are right to scare you and scare you some more. This whole process can end in disaster. Quite frankly they don't know what the results will be - there are no guarantees. Yours' isn't an easy case. We all knew that going in to your appointment. You are fragile mentally and physically and you have no reserves to draw on. Any surgery would be risky. Any surgery is going to be a tremendous stress on you physically and mentally. Having had a few consults with some pretty negative doctors I'd say they kicked you around a bit. They put you on the list anyways. Now is the hard work. Get yourself in an operable state. Get your body back up to fighting weight and get those lungs working. Expand your breathing all you can. Take vitamins or supplements and eat well. AND work on that mental state. DO NOT ALLOW NEGATIVITY TO TAKE OVER. You have a long way to go in a short time. We are right here for you. Now get your butt in there and get ready!!! I love you as a twisted brother! Mum and Granny indeed!

27th August 2008, 07:06 PM
Mark has mr gibson asked for a referral to the psychologists or is he going to write to your g.p for a report as how can he asses you in a few mths ..??

27th August 2008, 07:08 PM
He never said, i presume he will do it himself when he calls me in for the pre op

Little Ali
27th August 2008, 07:14 PM
Hi Mark,

Sorry to hear about your disapointing appointment.:squeeze: I'm on holiday at the moment and feeling a bit under the weather so will write you a proper reply when I'm more with it.

Thinking of you. Well done for changing your meds. Let me know how you're getting on with it x

27th August 2008, 07:17 PM
Thank you for letting us know how you got on Mark, i was getting really worried.
I think when you have had time to work out every thing that has been discussed at the hospital and also at the Doc's you will realise you are still moving forwards. You should be very proud of the way you handled your hospital appointment, i am proud of you. Please dont rush sorting your head out just try and stay calm and dont forget to take your new tablets. And remember we are all thinking of you.
Stay strong Mark :ghug: keep positive.

27th August 2008, 08:16 PM
Titch shed new light on your predicament! Will you finally be happy with yourself after the op? Many post op patients go through deep depression right after surgery. It could last for months. Your pain may still be the same and possibly worse although cosmetically you might look better. Did the consultant say what kind of correction to expect? If you're doing this for cosmetic reasons and this is the source of your depression then go for it! But if living with pain is intolerable or if you're suffering from general depression, things may not be very different afterwards. The fact that you're worried about the risks of surgery i.e., paralysis/death is a very good sign coming from someone who has had suicidal thoughts. There is still some self preservation. Always a good thing! :D

28th August 2008, 10:33 AM
Mark, I can only echo what everyone else has said really BUT one thing that really stands out from your post is how hard to worked at that appointment, how much more confident you have become to be able to talk to someone about how you feel and just be obstinate and truthful and get a result.

I am very proud of you - you might not have realised, but you're getting stronger I think.


28th August 2008, 10:43 AM
Hi Mark, well done for getting through your appointment your so brave for facing your fear. The appointment mightn't have gone as well as you excepted but you spoke up for yourself and that's a great achievement. You now have 6 months to get yourself stronger both mentally and physically. So stay positive and keep speaking your mind and knock on any door that you think will help you.
We will all support and love you.
Mary :)

28th August 2008, 08:07 PM
Thanks everyone for your support, having talked things through with family and my therapist i am at a lot better place in my mind, i know whats needed to be done and i am fully intent on doing it

Couldn't have got this far without you guys

Unconditional love always


29th August 2008, 02:12 AM
Hey man, I can empathize with you. For me it felt like "be careful of what you wish for as it might come true" - I wanted surgery for so long and when I got the green light - I actually freaked out (still freaking out). I keep wondering if I'm doing this for the right reason. Fear and doubt are natural - I think its the flight or fight in us all. I also agree with the previous responses - if you weren't a legitimate candidate then they would not put you on the list - plain and simple. There is far too much riding on this surgery to be put on a list "just cause" or out of pitty or anything such as that.

Don't worry - everything will sort itself out :)

Little Ali
30th August 2008, 12:48 PM
Well done Mark!
Supporting you all the way xx

30th August 2008, 02:34 PM
Mark you're doing so well my friend! Keep it up (*hugs*)

Lyssie xx

30th August 2008, 10:51 PM
Sorry to hear that the appointment didn't go well.
You sound very positive in your last post and I wish you all the best.

31st August 2008, 03:51 PM
Mark, I had a feeling things might not have gone as you hoped when I didn't get the text on holiday, which is why I didn't bug you by asking, even though the suspense was killing me!

I have read and re-read everything the others have posted and agreed wholeheartedly - Titch puts things so eloquently, I won't even try to add anything further.

I think Mr Gibson's main worry is exactly what Titch said though - that you'll have the surgery and still feel depressed and/or inadequate in some way. It was important that you let him know everything but in retrospect it might have scared him off a bit.

So now you know exactly what you need to do - show him that you can overcome at least some of your depressive state, that you can get yourself strong and fit for surgery, and that you are making any decisions with a sound mind.

Also, please don't overlook the positives - the MRI is fine, if it hadn't been you might not have been a candidate for surgery in the first place, and you are perfectly capable of standing your ground and getting a consultant to hear you out, no more slinking out feeling inadequate for our Mark :)

Take care me 'owd mate :D