I've been lurking out here for a couple of months, and so appreciate all the information I have picked up from the group.
I see my surgeon again 2/1, and I know I can't keep putting off the C5-C6 fusion/donor disc thing much longer. I have been having pain in my right arm and shoulder since last May, but it hasn't followed the "correct" pattern. It doesn't go into my thumb, but into the back of my hand. My MRI is a frightening thing, with my spinal cord twisted around a huge rupture, but the surgeon was willing to be conservative, since I don't seem to be losing the strength in the arm, either. Because I have crackling in my right shoulder, I made him order me an MRI of the shoulder, just to confirm that the SHOULDER wasn't causing the arm pain. I have bursitis and tendonitis in the shoulder, but no rotator cuff tear. So...here I am...not wanting to do the surgery because it doesn't seem like I'm "bad enough" yet, but not sleeping much at night either, due to my inability to be comfortable for long. I'm managing pain fairly well during the day with Darvocet. My primary question is...how long did most of you need to be off work, if you are working? I'm a nursing supervisor, but in a call center environment, so I don't have to lift patients or anything, but have to do a lot of walking, computer work, and TONS of turning around when somebody comes to my cube with a question, because I'm set up with my back to the door. It drives me NUTS to sit at home, with nothing decent on TV! However, I don't want to rush back in here, and cause more problems for myself. Guess I just need some kicks in the pants to bite the bullet and get it done. We have a trip planned to Hawaii in May, and I don't want to be in pain the whole time. We just went to Phoenix for the BCS championship, and I felt awful the whole time!
Thanks for any help and info you can provide!
I live in Nashville too, which doctor are you seeing???
I did a non fusion procedure for my herniations at C5-6 and C6-7; I was having terrible pain in my right arm that started at my shoulder and got progressively worse until it stopped at my elbow. I never felt any pain in my forearm or hand...
Since I did the nonfusion option, I wouldn't be able to help on the recovery time question. But in my case, even with a less invasive procedure I really wasn't ready to do a whole lot for a few weeks...
I'm seeing Everette Howell. He did my L5-S1 surgery and was amazing. I actually got out of bed and walked to the bathroom right when they rolled me back from the recovery room, and was walking a mile at a time on day 4. I know he's great, but getting my throat slit freaks me out. He says he actually does it as an outpatient procedure, which seems really weird to me!! What about that IV Morphine????
Do not worry even a little about the neck incision part. I know it does sounds scary as $%^&*(. I made jokes to my friends, before my surgery, using my hand like I was slitting my throat. They would get all mad at me. hehe. My incision is 2 inches horizontally on the front right side of the neck. Today I got my steri-strips off and it looks amazingly good. It never really hurt, either. I SWEAR!!!
If I were you, get it overwith as soon as you can, so you can enjoy your trip in May. The worst part is waiting for the surgery, not after the surgery. I was such a nervous wreck beforehand. I wasted my time worrying because it was fine. By the way, I am on day 12 post op. and had a 2 level with donor bone.
I know I'm miserable, but try to keep telling myself "it's not bad enough yet." I wrote out a long list of questions to take with me to my appt, and hopefully I can move forward with some answers and some assurance that I'm not jumping too soon. I've already done 3 mos of PT, and the therapist told me that she's really not able to help me much. Something about an incompetent anulus, and she can't get the bulge to resolve and pull off the cord. I'm still doing home traction, although I'm not sure it's helping much. I feel about the same when I do it 3x a day as I do when I miss it all day.
Thanks for the input and encouragement. It's just a hard thing to consent to, especially since I won't have help at home during recovery. Hubby has to work, and mom is 81, and freaks out with worry if anything is happening with her"baby", so I'm not even telling her about it. I recovered from abdominal surgery last Jan alone, and was fine, but BORED!