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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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Hi gang! I've been kind of quiet around here, gearing up to have my ACDF surgery. I'm glad to report I went in yesterday morning, got it done, and am now back home this afternoon. I had a 2 level fusion, donor bone, with metal plate. I spent the night overnight in the hospital and they sent me home late this morning.

I am doing ok. I have trouble turning my head side to side (naturally) and surprisingly, the pain has been manageable thus far. The nurse told my mother in the hospital I was doing very well with needing pain meds. My plan at home is to stay ahead of the pain and not let it catch me. I've had to be careful not to do too much too soon. I realize the pain meds are masking any real pain I may be having.

My left hand is still numb and tingling. Dr. says that once he got in, he saw that my c6/7 disc in particular was in worse shape than the MRI showed and that my nerves were very irritated. He said it will take time for the neuro symptoms to subside. I am not having any back pain at the moment though, and that is a huge relief. (Could be the meds though).

I do not have to wear a collar so I am happy. Should be allowed to drive in a week or two, and will be back to work in about 6 weeks. Just wanted to drop in and share my experience. It's taken a long time to get here, but I'm glad to finally have it over with.

Moonchaser (Kim)
Glad to hear this surgery is behind you and that you are doing well - it is a big relief to begin focuing on the healing (instead of dealing with the problem and dreading the surgery!). Give yourself time to heal. One of the big things is to begin walking when your Dr says its OK - start small, and build on each day's success!

My experience with pain meds is that they don't necessarily take my pain away - its more like the meds made me not care about the pain so much. I think your plan to stay ahead of the pain is a good one - hopefully you will find that the pre-surgery pain from pinched and irritated nerves really is a lot better, now that the pressure on them has been relieved.

Hang in there - and keep us posted!

Please don't rush into driving. I know BobM would concur. I had a 2 level also, in Jan. I tried driving at 2 weeks. It is too hard to turn your head to look back when changing lanes or when backing out of a parking space. When I did try, whew....I was so sore the next day. It wasnt sorth it. Spasm City!!! My Dr. told me it was OK. I didnt wear a collar either. He is so darn liberal, like an idiot I listened to him. Beware of the driving...ok?
Thanks SKZ. I promise I won't get too excited and take off driving too soon. I rode with Mom down to the post office and back and had to take a nap afterwards. So I know I'm not ready for that yet.

Isn't it amazing how liberal the docs are? My friend says their take on it is "go ahead and try - you'll figure out you don't want to do that real fast". :)

Thanks for the note. I appreciate it! Off to nap again now.
Nice to hear you are doing so well. I also would caution again driving too soon. I, however, was in a collar for two months post-op. Even after two months it was very difficult to turn my head and drive. Actually still today I don't have full movement in turning and driving at times is difficult. Good luck to you!
i had sugery the same day you did how are you doing? leslie
Kim - I'm so glad to hear that you're surgery went well. It will be wonderful to get back to "regular" activities, but as others have pointed out do your best to take it easy and focus on healing. It's so easy to over-do (I'm the worst at gauging what's too much) and a couple times recently I have really FELT it later.

Keep getting the rest you need! You are in my thoughts. Keep us posted on how you're doing.

~ Jo ~ :wave:
Hi. I am nearing the end of my second week (surgery was 8/6). All in all, I'm doing pretty well. My voice is getting stronger, and I'm getting around with no trouble. My pain has diminished, but isn't completely gone yet. I am still taking pain meds as needed, usually 2 a day now.

I did get out and about early. I got out of the hospital Tuesday, and went to a horse show to watch my horse compete on Saturday night. My cousin was great - took excellent care of me. She came and got me Friday night (it's an hour drive to her house), I slept most all day Saturday, got dressed and went with them to the show Saturday night. My cousin rode my horse to a 1st place win! I'm so happy I went. It really helped to cheer me up. They took good care of me, had me a camp chair up in the back of our truck w/pillows and blankets as needed. All my horse circle friends were amazed that 4 days out of the hospital I was at a show. Lol. I slept the whole next day.

I have heeded your all's advice and have not tried to drive yet. I may give that a shot and go to the post office or something next week. I know what you mean by needing quick reflexes for turning your head that we normally just take for granted. I don't want to push it too soon.

One lesson I learned is that pain meds definitely cover up your pain and give you a false sense of energy! I talked my mom into taking me shopping day before yesterday. What I meant to be a two hour trip ended up being a six hour one. I was loving it at the time - I had taken pain meds, had a pillow for the car ride to the stores, and we kept the walking time in the stores relatively short. But that night when we were back home and the meds wore off - boy oh boy did I regret it. So lesson learned there.

I am glad I've had the surgery. My pain in my neck and back is gone, and the neuro symptoms in my right hand are gone too. My left hand tingling and numbness is still there, but it's becoming less and less. The doctor said in time it would subside. When he got into my neck, he said my discs were worse than the MRI showed and the nerves were very, very irritated. He told me to give my left side time to calm down, and so far he's been right.

I am going to take advantage of the recuperation time I have and not overdo it. I have a crazy commute (four hours a day) to work and can't afford a setback. I wouldn't have any time off when I come back should I come back too early. So I'm going to make sure I'm really well before I do that.

Another thing I do that gives me a lot of extra energy, helps me sleep better, and generally helps me feel good is that I drink a health fruit juice that features predominently the acai berry in it's blend of 19 fruits. The blend I use also has glucosamine and omega 3-6-9 fatty acids added, which promote joint and muscle pain relief. I love it and know it's been a big help to me as well. My physical therapist turned me on to it months ago, and it's really helped me cope without a lot of extra drugs building up to surgery time.

How are you doing Leslie? And thank you to Fiona and everyone for the well wishes.
well,,,, i seem to hurt alot!!!! all over from head to i have been hit by a truck???? i am two weeks post op does this sound normal???
Leslie, I'm sorry to hear you hurt from head to toe. Are you taking your pain meds consistently? We are all different and our bodies respond differently. This surgery was a big one for us to undertake. If you need your pain meds, don't feel bad about taking them. I refilled my prescription today, as I still find I usually need them first thing in the morning and again at bedtime. I have been blessed though to not experience muscle spasms, at least not yet. Nausea gets to me still, but I think that is happening because of the pain meds I'm on.

I actually got in my truck and drove to the store today, about 8 miles from my house. I figured it would be no big deal, it's been 2 1/2 weeks. Wow, was I wrong. I did ok needing to turn my head in traffic, but for some reason it really took it's toll on me. I don't know if it's the position my body was in, having to hold my arms extended out, or what. I started hurting between my shoulder blades and couldn't finish getting my groceries. I had to just check out and come back home after about 20 minutes in the store. It didn't help that the little checkout girl was of no assistance. I had four twelve packs of soda in the cart and she made me lift out each one to scan. Argh, but that's another annoyance for a later discussion. I may try to venture out again tomorrow to finish shopping and see if I have a repeat experience. I hope not - I really want to be able to get out and about. I hate staying home alone all the time.

Aside from your pain, are you experiencing anything else? Did your neuro symptoms get better? Are you doing ok with the restrictions, ie, no lifting, etc. That is what is bothering me most. Like tonight I had to change the garbage can, and it was a challenge to do so with lifting it out of the can. And I forgot and picked up the jug of cat litter on Monday - the result was the rest of the night laying down trying to recoup from that stupid move. I suppose I'll learn.

Hang in there! Keep in touch with how you're doing.
hi kim, i wasnt sure if you knew my history, i had 2 levels done last august,
c5/6-6/7 had a awsome recovery!!!!!!!!!! i dont even remember being in any pain!! anyway long story short....................i can tell you more if you have some questions..............i had to go back this august on the 7th because symptoms were returning..............guess what I HAD A CRACK IN THE CADABER BONE..............FROM DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING WAS THERE GUESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OVER DOING IT!!!! so my neck had become unstable again and the nerves were being irritated. leslie
Oh no that's awful! I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through it again. I seems like in a year's time the bones would have fused. That's just bad. I hope you are able to fully recover this time with no problems. How soon after your surgery that you had been feeling good again did your symptoms return? Were you doing anything extreme, ie, sports, etc?

I worry about my commute to work each day and what impact that will have on me. I drive 2 hours each way, work all day, then drive 2 hours home. I'm actually trying to find another job now while I'm off work. I'm scared of having a relapse.
[QUOTE=leslie lou;3169818]well,,,, i seem to hurt alot!!!! all over from head to i have been hit by a truck???? i am two weeks post op does this sound normal???[/QUOTE]

Sounds very normal to me. I hurt for a good 3-4 weeks and everyone is different. Take it easy!!! It really makes a difference.
About 8 Months Post Op Is When I Started To Have Symptoms...the Fusion Was Successful .......the Crack Was Above The Fusion.....did You Hurt All Over Like I Do?
[QUOTE=leslie lou;3171712]About 8 Months Post Op Is When I Started To Have Symptoms...the Fusion Was Successful .......the Crack Was Above The Fusion.....did You Hurt All Over Like I Do?[/QUOTE]

For me, I can't say that I hurt all over, but only in certain places. When I hurt it's usually in my neck area and I've been getting stiff and sore between my shoulder blades. I seem to be doing ok with pain otherwise.
Moonchaser, Thank you so very much for your quick reply and all the info you sent me...Your words did calm me. Since I last wrote to you, we have been told this is much more complex then first told. I have a big choice to make, and I have put in an e mail to the doctor to call me ASAP. I have many more questions to ask, before I say yes! Long story, and I will keep you informed as soon as I hear from him.. Take care, and keep getting better.. I know you want to ride again! I too am a horse lover. Always have been. But never had any of my own. God Bless... Janatee:angel:

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