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Old 11-01-2004, 02:14 PM   #1
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Cool My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov 2004)

Hi all,

Well I am 2 days out from my surgery. Tomorrow I go into hospital and stay overnight. (Aussie time here one day ahead) They then keep me in for 4 days.

My background. 34yo Male, too many years of sports related contact (ouch), including a fall of 50ft onto water ( it feels like concrete) when my harness broke on a little home made experiment me and my mates were trying (boys will be boys! + a little bit of genetics if you look at my mum and dad.

Symptoms: Left Arm pain + weakness. C6/C7 Scans show broad based disc bulge, complete effacement of left nerve root and impingment of left anterior cord. Ostephytes as well.

What I have tried: PT, Traction, Nerve Block, Pain Meds. (Oxycontin)

Reason I am having Op: Very hard decision. After having to come back from an overseas posting because of the pain, I was put on an assignment in Oz. I then had to pull out of that due to a major flare up in my pain. The pain tends to decrease slightly and I think everything is ok and on the improve then it returns at full speed after doing something very minor. I have been off work for 3 weeks prior to the op to get off the Oxy (woh that was an experience!) and just rest.

Doubts: I guess the same as everyone else. You always wonder if you are doing the right thing. My wife is VERY supportive of it. Considering she is pregnant and expecting in Feb I want to try to be as well as I can for when the bub arrives

Preparation: Had my pre-op appointment. Went very well and was very informative.

1/ Orgainsed an automatic recliner that goes fully flat like a bed and then goes up to help you stand. ($40 Australian a week)

2/ Bought some of the button up shirts which should be easier to get on over the hard collar.

3/ Mum is organised to come down when I first get out of hospital as my wife will be working on and off.

Expectation: Well the surgeon is quite confident that the op (if all goes to plan) will provide me an excellent opportunity for a full recovery. He said the key to getting a good success is to select the right people for the op. I understand I could continue to leave this but something in the back of my mind is telling me this is the time. I have put up with it for 3 yrs and the scans all show a progression. I dont want to leave it until I have any permanent nerve damage.

Well I will leave it at that for now. I will post regularly after the op as I will be off work for at least 6 weeks.

Look forward to providing some good news

All the Best
Paul

Last edited by thecraw; 01-21-2006 at 03:41 PM.

 
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Old 11-01-2004, 02:36 PM   #2
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Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Hi Paul,

I've been wondering about you...I knew you were within days of surgery. The last day before surgery is the toughest, but by February you shouldn't be having any trouble holding your baby. Good luck, keep us posted.

Bill

 
Old 11-01-2004, 02:47 PM   #3
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Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Paul,

I'll be thinking about you and looking for your posts - post surgery. I too am 34 and will be having surgery this week, Friday (11/5). Same thing c6/c7 due to injury when I was 14 and it's been getting worse on and off ever since due to my playing competetive soccer.

Sad to say, I'm not really sure what to expect. This is coming on the heals of another big surgery (Ileo-Anal pullthrough to cure Ulcerative colitis) and now that the prednisone is gone my neck is acting up much more.

My doc says that I will not be wearing a brace afterwards. Okay, I'm freaking myself out a little bit realizing that I don't know what to expect when I get out. Time to call the doc...

Best of luck on Wednesday!! Mark

 
Old 11-01-2004, 02:55 PM   #4
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Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KickinIt
Paul,

My doc says that I will not be wearing a brace afterwards. Okay, I'm freaking myself out a little bit realizing that I don't know what to expect when I get out. Time to call the doc...

Best of luck on Wednesday!! Mark
Mark,

Thanks for your kind wishes. Will be very interested to see how we both go. We sound very much the same.

Doctors all have different opinions of this. Mine I would say is very conservative in this approach. I have read elsewhere when people have not had a collar.

Paul

Last edited by thecraw; 11-01-2004 at 02:56 PM.

 
Old 11-01-2004, 02:56 PM   #5
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Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdmoor
Hi Paul,

I've been wondering about you...I knew you were within days of surgery. The last day before surgery is the toughest, but by February you shouldn't be having any trouble holding your baby. Good luck, keep us posted.

Bill
Thanks WD, yep pretty nervous at the moment. Thanks for the well wishes.

 
Old 11-01-2004, 04:25 PM   #6
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Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Good Luck Paul,sounds like you have everything under control, its grat that your Ma can stay with you and your wife for a while as you heal.God speed in healing!Diana

 
Old 11-01-2004, 06:20 PM   #7
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Periwinkle Liz HB User
Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Best wishes to both of you for a speedy recovery!!!

 
Old 11-01-2004, 08:34 PM   #8
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Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Best of luck, Paul! Come back to update us with your good results when you can! I think you're right ... this is the right time. If you waited until after the baby is born, it would be a lot worse on you not being able to do what you WILL be able to do now that you will be "fixed".

 
Old 11-04-2004, 11:01 PM   #9
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nero HB User
Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Wow you have now officially joined the club and lived through the decision to have your surgery...you should be especially proud of yourself... its a hard one to gravitate towards but in the end its worth it. You are going to have a great life.. major relief from the pain..and a then NEW LITTLE LIFE to enjoy that will become your most valuable possession EVER....

I envy you the excitement and remember to pace yourself now my dear so you can help out MOMMA and bond with your child...its an exciting moment and truly your surgery and having this baby to look forward to with your wife and family, are truly blessing

All the best ....Nearly New...Nero

 
Old 11-07-2004, 08:36 PM   #10
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Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov) ...Back!

Woohoo..back!

Hmm where does one start.......

Operation: ACDF C6/C7 No Hardware, my own bone. Philly Collar 24/7

My Diary

Day before Op: Got a call from Dr to say that the hospital had a bed issue and instead of going in the night before could I go in on the day of the surgery as mine wasnt scheduled till late in the day. No prob as I live nearby. My wife was very happy!

Day of Op

Got into hospital at 11am with a room to myself which was great. My room had a great view of Botany Bay in Sydney where I live. I got measured up for my collar and tried one on. Visited by the doctor who was assisting the neuro and the anasthe...(the drug guy). Getting pretty nervous at that stage.

Got taken to surgery at 6pm.

Woke up in recovery and everything seemed to be ok. I was pleased I could move everything

Day One

Convinced some nurses enjoy inflicting pain At about 5am I was asked if I had 'passed water' during the night. Heck I didnt even know where I was half the time, I wasnt even thinking of having a pee. All I was interested in was pressing that button on the drug machine....mmmmmmmm. She says why dont you stand up that may help! Then she says those magic words. ' You know if you dont pee I will have to put a catheter in. Oh great just what I need ..talk about performance anxiety. I had a better chance of doing a lap of the ward at that stage then peeing. No chance and she whacked that thing in.

I felt great. Apart from the intense pain in my hip my neck felt great and I couldnt feel any pain in my arm. I knew from reading alot of posts that this is quite normal and only the start of the recovery procedure. I thought man if I felt this great now how would I feel when I got home! (lol how the drugs make you think strange things) I seemed to have forgotten all the posts around the 7 day mark

Day one symptoms
Arm: Good, Neck: Good, : Hip: Very Sore, Throat: Sore, Voice: Only slight weakness. I was really worried about having probs with voice. Felt quite nauseous and couldnt eat. Just drank alot of water and juice.

Had my drains and IV removed midday. Physio took me for a very short walk.

Had a follow up xray during the day to make sure bone was positioned correctly. All ok.

Day Two

No IV Pain relief, back to tablets. Digesic. Felling ok. Hip very sore. Noticed some burning pain in my shoulders and small amount in my arm.

Doctor visited and asked about pain. Mentioned I was starting to feel a bit of pain in shoulders and arm. It was not the constant intense pain but more a burning. No weakness or numbness.

Doctor asked the nurse if they were removing my catheter. Oh no it has to be in for minmum 48hrs. He looked at me and said ' I think you should remove it' Nurse looks at me and says 'Well you better pee cause we dont want to put it back in'...oh yeah sure you dont

Catheter out, pee'd within 60sec. Woohoo!

Day Three

We'll feelin a little sore today. When I got into bed last night I had a bit of a click from my upper back. I think I have strained something. The problem with having this collar on is you adjust your body position and sleeping. I'm sure I have caused some additional pain now in my shoulders and back because of the collar.

Bit bummed. Feeling a bit sore. One thing that always really hurt before the op was when I sneezed. I was siitin there and could feel a sneeze coming on. Wham! no pain

Day Four

Actually slept well. About 6 hrs sleep

Am now sitting at home. Doctor didnt see me again before I left so I didnt get to ask my list of questions I have. I have to see him in 4 weeks time. I see my local doc next week.

Both shoulders are a bit sore. Upper arm pain. No pain in fingers. Throat almost back to 100%. No problem with swallowing or voice. Incision is fine.

Taking panadol for pain and will take digesic when it gets bad.

Collar is really annoying and causing redness and blisters. I know they say 24/7 but I will have to remove the forward part every 3 days to at least shave and wipe with a cloth. Nurse said it would be ok as long as I kept my head really still.

I'm feeling a bit bummed at the moment. Was hoping I woudlnt be experiencing and pain in arms. It isnt what its like when its really bad. Just dull pain. Hoping its just the nerves mending and nothing permanent.

Anyway that was a long read. Hopefully not too boring



Paul
38 Days till collar comes off.

 
Old 11-08-2004, 08:42 AM   #11
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Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Paul, and Mark I will be thinking of both of you,!Just take it easy after surgery, and let yourselfs heal,think positive as we all will be doing et us know how your doing, or if you guys have any questions,Take Care,Diana

 
Old 11-13-2004, 03:12 PM   #12
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thecraw HB User
One Week Update

Well my first week has passed. Overall I am very pleased with my progress.

My voice flared up on day 4 and took 2 days to drop down again. Everything back to normal. I had some intense pain through my shoulders which has now generally gone. By the end of the day though I do start to get increasing pain.

My left arm (which was the problem) still does have some pain through the back of my arm, forearm and wrist. This tends to get worse later in the day as well. My right arm does get some residual pain as well which I would imagine is reffered from where they cleaned everything out. Not really concerned at this stage.

Swallowing is fine. Incision is fine.

I do not have any weakness or numbess.

The pain in my arm is nowhere near the intense pain I had when I had flare ups but it is still a little annoying. Considering I am only one week from my surgery I shouldnt be too concerned. My nerves have been through the works so over time I expect the pain to reduce.

I actually went to a wedding yesterday!!!

I was meant to be in the bridal party but obviously wasnt able to do that. Although I was very happy that I was able to attend and quite proud of myself

Anyway, well that was week one. I'll post back in a weeks time.

All the Best
Paul

 
Old 11-13-2004, 06:36 PM   #13
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Re: My C6/C7 ACDF diary (Op 4th Nov)

Congrats Paul your doing good,Take it easy and dont push yourself, time is a great healer here,Have a good weekend! Diana

 
Old 11-21-2004, 04:31 PM   #14
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thecraw HB User
2 Week Update

Well 2 weeks down.

I have gotten used to the hard collar. I sleep quite well.

Overall I think my progress is good. I have a slight pain in my left arm which is aggravating but certainly not at any lvl where I need to take pain killers.

My throat feels a little strange but again nothing I cant handle for now.

I do wish the pain went completly as it gives you that little niggling thought in the back of your mind.

All in all I think my progress is great.

 
Old 11-27-2004, 12:02 AM   #15
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3 Week Update

3 Weeks down.

I would probably say I am the same as last week.

I have been doing more though. Today I spent all day at 'baby class' and watched one of those fantastic videos! I think it affected my wife more then me......

My pain is intermittent throughout the day in my left shoudler and slightly in my arm. Generally controlled just by panadol which is great.

I am getting a bad rash from my philly collar which is annoying. I have my NS appointment in 1.5 weeks so look forward to some good news hopefully!

Throat is fully recovered. No weakness or pins and needles in arms.

I do get some muscle twitches and spasms in my left arm but nothing too much.

Anyway I shall report back in a week.

All the Best

 
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