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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


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Hi Everyone: I haven't been on the website since the 15th of January and feel so behind on how everyone is doing. First of all, I have my 2 Level ACDF C5-C7 last Thursday, January 26. Oh my god.....talk about stressing out. Thank god my primary dr gave me some Ativan as I took this before I went in the day of my surgery and had no cares in the world. They had me come at 11:30 am and surgery didn't start until 3 pm, so if I won't of had the Ativan it would have been a horrible long wait. Surgery went great and even the overnight stay was grand. They had lots of good drugs through the IV and even my throat was perfect. The the S*** hit the fan when I returned home and lost of all of great IV meds. My throat started to hurt, I was so nauseated that it was unbearable, and all I did was cry. They sent me home with a very strong muscle relaxer that probably made me sick as the Vicodin for the pain I had already been on with no problems. I could not adjust to wearing my hard collar and that was frustrating me. When I called the ER 2 days after surgery they told me to stop taking the muscle relaxers and I would get over the nausea. I did beg them for some medication for the nausea and they finally prescribed something. So 4 days post op I was miserable. Finally, a friend who had the same surgery told me to force myself to eat something small each hour along with drinking. Which I did and finally the nausea subsided. The nurse at my NS said my nausea had nothing to do with my surgery (that ticked me off because it did). I asked for a muscle relaxer that I had taken in the past which they did finally prescribed. So life was good. Now 1 week after surgery my pinky in my left hand and the outside of the hand started to be numb and the pin prickle type feeling that is an aweful feeling. Worse than before surgery. When I woke up from surgery all my pain in the left arm and hand were gone. It was great now this is creeping up and I am scared to call back to my NS because they think I am nuts already.

My throat is back to normal but my tastebuds are screwed up and I know someone else had this same issue after surgery. Everything tastes spicy or hot to me. It is so weird. I can't really say I have any neck pain unless I happen to move a wrong way. I wear my hard collar as directed 24 hrs a day except to shower. I feel like a turtle sucking my head into a shell. I wear makeup from checks up. What a strange life I have right now. I continue to take the muscle relaxers and low dose of Vicodin just to make me comfortable. Sleeping has been good. In fact, the first night home my kids put a whole bunch of pillows in my bed and I slept through the whole night and did not move an inch. I have been able to sleep in my bed every night and even on my side with the collar, so that is great.

I hope to go back to work in three weeks, just a few hours a day and someone will have to drive me. So in a nutshell I am surviving. But can someone shed some light on this tingling and pin type feeling that is in my pinky finger and outside of the hand?

Thanks for listening to my long story and hope everyone else that I visited with in the past are also doing well since their surgeries.
Hey jas good to see you back on here! So I had the 2 level acdf on 1/10. The first week to me was too easy( having a lumbar fusion yrs ago) well don't worry , all that did was set me up for misery when the aches & pains came!after about 5 days I started getting the " electric shocks from my elbows to my fingers. Called the nurse said it was normal & put me on neurontin. Did good until about the 23 rd- got the horrible " crushing pains in my shoulders down to my elbows! Felt like this was unbearable! Called me out a different muscle relaxer. Didn't help much at first but tried to hang in there. The one good thing I guess from anesthesia? I could sleep about if I could get the pain down for a few minutes. I went for post op on 1/27 & he said this is all normal but at least he didn't act like I was just being a big baby! Lol he gave me stretching exercises to stretch the muscles in my shoulders & arms. Yesterday & today have been a really bad day( couldn't sleep last night, got nausea & dadgone spasm. But I know I'm getting better & the things I feel are different than what I felt before surgery, so hang in there!!! Now I just have to wait 3 months he's gonna redo X-rays & another MRI because I have a ?chairi malformation where your brain stem starts dropping into your spinal canal. All in all we survive! Good luck!
Thanks for the heads up on the upcoming weeks. The first couple days I got home were uncomfortable and emotional. But the last 3 or 4 days I have been good and thinking hey I could go back to work already. But will just play it by ear. I sneezed twice today and oh yeah that is quite a pain. There are some really weird sensations that I did not experience before and hope they will fade. I really set myself up for alot worse so I guess I have been able to deal so far and hope that it continues. But I appreciate knowing that others have had the same symptoms after surgery. Everyone has told me don't rush it back to work. I have only been off 1 week and it is hard not to go back the days I feel pretty good. But I will take at least 1 or 2 more full weeks off and then slowly go back.

That was nice of your NS to give you some stretching exercises. I think that is important and will talk to my NS at my 4 weeks. Wearing the vista collar makes me think I will really lose strength in my neck and will be terrified once the brace is off. I wish the NS would say it needs to stay on 3 weeks and then do a slow weaning after that period. Not wear it 6 full weeks and then take it off and life goes on because I know that will not happen.

Thanks for the encouragement. Take care.
Nana-are you wearing a collar?
Jas-I know what you mean about feeling like s turtle. I got so frustrated that I took the padding out of the part that your chin rests on and made it so close to the plastic rim so now my head isn't so stuck in and the chin rests right on the edge of the padding. Sometimes I wonder if the guy who gave me the collar even gave me the right size.
Hi jas64.... so you finally had it done Good for you. Now put on your patience cap! I am coming up on 2 months p-o and I still have some off days. Any pains, tingling etc.... just seem to come and go. Don't worry yourself so much. I would highly recomend taking a vtamin B supplement. I started on this 1 month p-o and wished I had started sooner! The relief from my nerves acting crazy, was felt within 1 week! Someone here on the boards suggested it to me! I had a single fusion of the C5-C6 and felt relief from surgery as soon as Iwoke. The pains creep back from time to time but, for short periods and never to the pain level they were at prior to surgery! Scary yes but permanent No way! I just started volunteering at an animal shelter about 4 hrs a day. Trying to regain my stamina and, work my weaker muscles that seem to have been affected by all this! After 6 weeks p-o i started exercising(stretching) each morning. This has greatly improved my mobility. I feel much more comfortable and can turn my neck quickly, without to much pain. If I can say one thing its just that, the healing process of the cervical spine has been anything but normal for me. It has kept me wondering on more than one occasion. Some days I can feel so much better. followed by a day wondering..... if i had done something wrong the day before. Pains return that i thought I was past! Just hang in there and let your body direct your daily activities. by the way... Hows the smoking or not coming along? best to you in your recovery! God bless. : )
[QUOTE=Itralian1;4922919]Hi jas64.... so you finally had it done Good for you. Now put on your patience cap! I am coming up on 2 months p-o and I still have some off days. Any pains, tingling etc.... just seem to come and go. Don't worry yourself so much. I would highly recomend taking a vtamin B supplement. I started on this 1 month p-o and wished I had started sooner! The relief from my nerves acting crazy, was felt within 1 week! Someone here on the boards suggested it to me! I had a single fusion of the C5-C6 and felt relief from surgery as soon as Iwoke. The pains creep back from time to time but, for short periods and never to the pain level they were at prior to surgery! Scary yes but permanent No way! I just started volunteering at an animal shelter about 4 hrs a day. Trying to regain my stamina and, work my weaker muscles that seem to have been affected by all this! After 6 weeks p-o i started exercising(stretching) each morning. This has greatly improved my mobility. I feel much more comfortable and can turn my neck quickly, without to much pain. If I can say one thing its just that, the healing process of the cervical spine has been anything but normal for me. It has kept me wondering on more than one occasion. Some days I can feel so much better. followed by a day wondering..... if i had done something wrong the day before. Pains return that i thought I was past! Just hang in there and let your body direct your daily activities. by the way... Hows the smoking or not coming along? best to you in your recovery! God bless. : )[/QUOTE]

Sorry I didn't reply earlier I just haven't been on the computer much. The no smoking is going well. I think it has been like 4 weeks and all is well. So yeah for that part. I sometimes think I should have lived with my pain. No one has every described me as patient or willing to follow the rules. Even though I have with wearing the collar and the no smoking. I think wearing the collar is causing more harm than good. I too question why different directions are given by different NS. I have been walking as much as I can weather permitting. I have not been lifting but have done some very light housework. I have had family members take me to the stores and the next day I am usually worn out. I am thinking about starting work the week of the 20th but only part time and very light duty if my NS will release me. I am stir crazy which is not good. I cannot just sit and I think going back to work will help. I will have someone drive me to and from work so I wont be driving myself. So I am trying desperately to be on my best behavior. It probably does not sound that way. My kids have been a great help and call me each day to see what I need help with. My husband helps when I ask as he is not a good one for just seeing what needs to be done. Bless his heart. So the healing and patience process goes on. I hope all is well with you and thanks for the great post. Take care.
Great jas! I am happy to hear your not smoking! Wow what an experience this has been! I honestly believe you are better off that you had the surgery. Funny but, I had the same feelings for almost two months p-o. You will start to feel better and patience plays a big roll here. I too do not like to sit around. I am doing the animal shelter thing one day and, the following day I am grounded. I have really good days followed by a crappy one! I am just plain crazy with all this. I was told by a reliable source that, It will be a good 4 months p-o before I will feel alot better! Not what I wanted to hear but, I am feeling results compared to where I was at! And this alone motivates me! Hang tough and God Bless!
Yea I think the patience thing is the hardest part! Lol I almost feel like I'm faking at times because everyones always asking me how I feel & for maybe a day or two it's" pretty good , things are getting better. And then the next day I hurt like crazy & so tired I can't get out of bed. I'm sure then my husbands probably thinking oh she's playing the sympathy card today. Lol most of the pains I've felt since surgery have felt like spasm or just a lot of muscle ache. But since Friday I've had that BURNING on the same side of my neck which I know is a nerve & that scares me. I don't want to freak out every time I have a pain but when it's the same pain as before surgery that scares me. And one end if my incision looks red & is stinging! And it seems like it healed the first week and a half. Ok I'll try to be patient but it's hard because everytimes something starts I'm like oh shoot something didn't work or I've messed it up. Sorry don't mean to be discouraging. Hope all goes well!!!
Hwy Jas! I took a mental health day on Saturday-the month anniversary of my surgery, just stayed in bed and relaxed and caught up on my sleep and now most of the depression I had is gone. As for the collar, it doesn't seem as bad because when I did take it off for a few minutes I had bad spasms in the back of my head. So it stays on.

It's hard to walk when the weather is so lousy. I walk around the apartment as much as possible. I think it's like everyone says-we just have to be patient. I'm just glad that the awful stabbing pains in the neck and arms are now gone. I guess we should be grateful for things like that that others take for granted. No one knows what the pain is like unless they've had it themselves. And you got to admit it DOES feel GREAT to be relatively pain free.
Hi nanacan I hope your burning sensation is improving. I too get this feeling. for some reason lately, the right side of my neck clear out to my shoulder has been acheing every day for the past week. It doesn't stay but, i never had this. I think it,s a good thing to be feeling again. Both my arms and shoulders totally went numb for weeks, before my surgery.
For me to feel pain, I feel is a good thing. As long as they don't last. I have had some of the craziest of pains, since going under the knife. I suggest vitamin b to anyone who had cervical surgery. It has greatly reduced the episodes I do have! best to you moving forward in your recovery! God Bless!
It is so comforting to hear feedback from the three of you who have also recently gone through surgery and suffering through this recovery period. I also have been having the burning sensation in the back of my neck and to my left side. I have never had this before so it is scary. Lots of muscles spasms which I did not have before. The days I move around more or go out of the house then my hands start getting numb again which really scares me. The weather has been up and down in MN so I try to get out walking as much as I can depending on the day. I did ask my dr if I could return to work next week. This Thursday will be 3 weeks post op. When I am at home I do not take naps as I try to keep my schedule as I would if I was working so I don't totally die when I return to work.

The NS agreed that I could start back next week only working up to 20 hrs per week as tolerated, with the neck brace, no lifting over 10 lbs and no reaching above the head. Also no twisting or straining. I will not be driving as I have family who will be taking me to and from work. Work wants me to listen to my NS and are concerned so they will be watching me closely to ensure that I am not over doing it and that I work only what I can handle. In fact when I spoke with work today they figured I would only last 2 hrs the first day. So even though I am anxious to go back and slowly ease myself in I will definitely not over do it and will stay within my restrictions as I am more of a desk type RN where I work. It will be a challenge I will admit. So wish me luck on that.

Sad to say I feel comforted to know that I am not alone on the weird sensations that we experience since the surgery. I just hope in a yr or so when the fusion heals that I can say it was all worth it. Tonight I had a few minute light massage as my muscles on both sides of my neck and down my middle back are as hard as a rock. I do blame a little of that with my not getting use to the collar. I go back on the 28th and anxious to see how they feel I am doing.

Take care to all of you and I pray that we all have positive success stories in the months to come.
Won't it be great when we can all come one day & write on here that we're all doing great & out of constant pain?!(well I gave chronic pain from my lumbar fusion but I can deal with one, it's when my neck & back pick the same day that it's unbearable lol) anyway I'm sure we'll get there & it will be worth it!!don't know how to maneuver around this website very good yet, but I'm gonna figure out how to keep talks name so we can all kinda keep up with each other since w all had fairly close surgeries. Best to all & hope great days are ahead!
Good morning to all I hope you all had a better night than I! I am trying to wean myself off my meds and, it's gonna be rougher than I anticipated. I have been up every other hour all night!(sigh) @ nanacan if you go on profile (your own ) and double click. you can add contacts to keep in touch with, without posting on the boards. I personally wouldn't mind at all staying in touch. This sight helped me keep my sanity. I thank God every day for the support and insight I have received from these boards and the many members [email protected] jas Best to you returning to work girl but, along with more movement. I have experienced alot more sensations. Some good others not so much. I do believe that becoming more mobile will hasten recovery time somewhat. Thinking back to my H.S. years while playing sports.
One thought keeps popping up and that was the phrase "no pain no gain" When i first started to volunteer 6 weeks p-o I had some rough days and was some what discouraged. I felt ok working but, the following day was uncomfortable to say the least! @ 10 weeks p-o I still have uncomfortable days, following my active ones. I do have to admit that the further I move along. I can feel my bodies slow improvements. I have been in new construction my entire life and was told by many. That if my fusion is succesful there is no reason why I can't return to what I did. I am very motivated to reach this goal and having others here to chat with,has made this possible! Have a great day all and, by all means patience is a must even at 10 weeks p-o.(sigh) God Bless you all and your efforts too! :)
[QUOTE=Itralian1;4927626]Good morning to all I hope you all had a better night than I! I am trying to wean myself off my meds and, it's gonna be rougher than I anticipated. I have been up every other hour all night!(sigh) @ nanacan if you go on profile (your own ) and double click.
One thought keeps popping up and that was the phrase "no pain no gain"[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the info on how to stay in touch. Good luck with the meds-I never took that many of them post op because they never actually worked for me. I take seroquel and a zrytec before I go to bed to help me sleep even before the problems started I have a problem with pain and a high sensitivity to it so any pain meds or muscle relaxers do very little. I have just given up even telling them doctors and learn to live with any flare ups.

As for the "no pain, no gain" comment that's funny because my ex-PT said she didn't believe in that yet it was one of her exercises that made my pain worse.
Hope everybodys having a better day!! I've been having a rough couple days but I keep telling myself duh you just had neck surgery!! I think I've been moving my neck around too much. Starting yesterday my neck on the front & back is hurting like I've atrained it. Haven't picked up on anything but I don't think we realize how much we turn & look up & down !! My ns only wanted me to wear my collar for 2 weeks & only when walking around. I was glad cause I hated it but I'm thinking I might go back to wearing it for e few days to see if it helps! I also started yesterday having the tingling & twitching in my hands causing me to drop things. Suppose this is normal too??? Lol I smite y'all for trying not to take meds & going back to work!! I've been taking some pain med for a ling time( after lumbar fusion that I never got a lot of relief & now have a couple more disc that need to be fixed. I went back to work after that but couldn't keep it up because of the pain so I went on disability. I do keep my grandkids (3&4) but theyve been staying with their other grandmother for now. I've started keeping them a couple of days right now & I'm worn out at the of the day! Good luck to y'all!
I cheated last night. I have to wear the collar but the back of my neck still had some major spasms so I took that collar and used my shoulder and neck heating pad and the pain went away.
Hi all. I haven't been on here in a while. I also had the surgery about a month ago and I am having the same symptoms you all are having. I teach so I took the semester off. I am not bored, just the opposite, there are so many things I want to do and can't do. I haven't been off of work in the winter since I can't remember when. And a great winter too in WI this year, MN too. I'd love to keep in touch with you all and not have to post on here all the time if you don't mind me joining the group. This message board has been a lifesaver for me. 4 days after surgery when I thought I was dying the messages of support I received saved me. My ns office did not, neither to my pcp. It's nice to talk to people who are feeling it and not people who tell me how I should feel when they have no idea.

Oh my God I'm rambling. I just have so much to say to folks who understand.
Here's my biggest concern. I still have a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders. I know some of it is from the site that was fused. BUT...I still have a C5-6 disc protrusion with moderate spinal canal stenosis and bilateral neuroforaminal stenosis with an osteophyte complex. My NS wanted to fix it with the surgery, but the insurance company said they would not pay for it. He even called them and did a peer to peer review of the MRI, which he had amended because the radiologist misread it. So if I heal from one surgery and in four months(ish) if I still have pain, are they going to have to open me up again? It's a huge worry because I hated the surgery, the hospital stay was horrible, and post op the doctors have been downright rude. I understand why some of you think the NS office thinks you are crazy. My husband called them 1 week post op and had a heart to heart with the NS assistant. I don't know what he said, but they started treating me a lot better after that.

Keep on improving everyone. Good job on the non-smoking. I know that is important and I still smoke....Don't judge me, ahhhh. I must quit. I have cut back to 3 a day and plan to go to 2 tomorrow. That's been working out so far, but I'm crabby sometimes due to that I think.
Glad you posted to kabatron so we can all stay in touch! I will be 6 weeks post op Tuesday & things are still kinda of rough so the ones after me don't get discouraged yet! My incision (which has been healed since 2nd week after surgery) got infected last thursday- so I said well I just need some anti biotics. So my husband & my dad insisted my ns( which is 3 hours away from where I live) I call the nurse & ask her to call me in some antibiotics & she said oh no you have to be seen today or tmrw! I'm like I'm 3 hours away & idk if I have a ride! No matter so I ask her can I see my pm doctor which is a lot closer , she said call him right now & ask him if he'll see you. I call & he said no he didn't want to take a chance cause if it was infected down in my neck , he would rather the surgeon see it. So anyway my husband took me to Houston the next day & they put me on string antibiotics & medicine to put on it 3x day. But my husband & I spent the night in a hotel so got some much needed quality time so it turned out ok! Then yesterday we get home & the house has just been neglected, so I did dishes & general cleaning for a few hours & all of a sudden I got nauseated & felt like I was gonna pass out!! Went & laid down & my arms went crazy with those " electric shocks" from my neck through my hands! Never felt anything like that! Idk this surgery seems to have kicked my butt this time. Course when I had my lumbar surgery I was only 36! I expected the muscle aches & spasms from my neck, but it still scares me that I get the burning in the same place on my neck that I did before surgery! Maybe it comes from I didn't get a lot of relief from the lumbar! Just gotta have faith! I'm putting all y'all on my friends list so we can stay in touch. Hope everybody's having a better day than yesterday
How did it get infected? That's kind of scary. How are you doing now?

My incision looks great. I feel great. I have some muscle spasms still and I'm in this collar but all in all I can't complain.

I'm six weeks post op this Wednesday. I had my second post op xray which was kind of funny. When I went in the techs were very nice but not too bright. The woman asked me what brings me in today even though she has all the orders from the doctor(I guess they want to make sure they have the right patient-they asked me that before surgery too-sometimes I'm tempted to say "I don't know, I just got a phone call from a scheduler saying my doctor had scheduled for some procedure")I told her I had to get an xray of my neck because I had a 2 level acdf. She asks what is that. I told her. Then the male tech who brought me back looks at what the other tech wrote and asks if I am in any pain. I just looked at him and said no. He said you're not in any pain and I said no, why are your surprised. That was why I had the surgery, Oh, you had surgery and was like, God help me. I said the doctor wanted to see how the hardware was doing.

Then this older gentleman walks in and I hear them talking to him. I think he was a radiologist. The girl said I had an anterior cervical and the new guy says she had an acdf. I chimed in and told him I had a 2 level acdf at levels c4-5 and c5-6. They looked at the xray, something else was said that I didn't hear and he asked me who my doctor was and if he said it was okay to take the collar off. I said no but asked if he wanted me to and he said no. I don't know what else was said but he sort of yelled to them in a joking way-THE FACT THAT SHE IS WEARING A COLLAR SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOU SHE HAD SURGERY! I lMAO when he said that. Then they get ready to take the second xray-the computer won't work so after a few tries they go and get the older guy. He comes over, looks at the machine and says, why is she sitting down. The girl tech said it was because my leg hurt and I started laughing and told him I had a torn meniscus. He asked me a few more questions on which levels I had done-I guess I confused him so he left for some reason. It ran pretty smoothly from then on-he came back with some papers before they were going to redo the xray where you hold your mouth open. The girl tech says we are done. I walked out and told the radiologist he had a wonderful sense of humor and he said thanks, so do you!


I see my NS PA for my 6 week post up tomorrow. I'm going to find put when I can have the surgery for the torn meniscus because it's starting to lock and catch on me again. I'm pretty sure she said 8 weeks from the surgery but I'm going to wait until I am out of the collar in case I have to wear a cast after surgery(which I totally don't look forward to because i HATE having to use crutches) So that means I'll be calling my orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday to discuss ANOTHER surgery.
I'm not sure why my neck got infected so long after my surgery. I guess there was a small area like a pinprick hole on one side of my incision, I noticed it was kind of stinging one day, so I put neosporin on it but the next day when I went to put neosporin on it, there's like a knot on one end of incision & a little bit of puss coming from that small pinprick area. My ns said it couldve been from the dissolvable stitches one got infected? Anyway he said said he put me on strong abx & should lookbetter in a few days. I don't think it's any worse, not sure if it's better yet. That's hilarious all that stuff that happened when you had your x-rays! Idk why but I don't have to see my ns( except for the infection ) until April at which time he will do c- rays & another MRI to see what's going on with the chairi malformation. Can't believe your gonna have knee surgery too! Geez it seems like you have one surgery & then it never stops! That's like ns said when I come back in April he wants to discuss taking the hardware out of my lower back- because I have so much pain with it still- but I just don't know if I can handle another surgery & also I keep thinking what if that's not the problem? Oh well first things first!
Edited:):)





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