Well -- 22 hours 35 minutes until my 2 level ACDF tomorrow, but who's counting?
To say I am nervous would likely be an understatement, but I am staying as busy as I can at work, making sure loose ends are covered, etc. Have my Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney done, a new sweatsuit to wear, which will likely be my uniform for the next little bit.
I guess the worst fear I have is that the surgery will not work in terms of relieving the pain. But I can't sit around anymore and do nothing -- I have to take the chance, which is pretty good, that this will help.
I will keep you all posted as to how things go. The plan is ACDF at C4-5 and C5-6 with BMP and Atlantis plate. Don't know about post surgery care, i.e. collar or not, bone stimulator, etc. I'll find out in due course.
Nice thing is that the hospital is only about 7 minutes from our house, so that wife and son aren't inconvenienced too much, except for the fact that I have to be at hospital at 5:45 am. Going to the hockey game tonight, which will help keep my mind occupied.
OK, just rambling now. Thanks to all for the support, and I will be in touch as the process continues.
Good Luck Jeff!! It will be OK. It was so much better than I anticipated. I feel so much better now (C5-C7) plate...no collar. Most of my issue now is stiffness and some spasming, which is alot better than what I had before. I think this will get better, too...with time. YOu will do GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lots of button down pjs
soups, juice etc
pillows, wedges and positioning
a plastic stable chair for showering (you'll probably need help with hair washing)
and a pill crusher (this I have used a lot)
Ohio you will be fine......I don't remember much from the hospital except that I could not urinate after surgery.......if that happens tell them quickly..........
Post op.......have a comfy place to lay down, recliner will probably be choice for the first day or so ....try your bed though, you may be surprised how much better you sleep......just depends on you......Straws are a must......
Stay in front of the pain....don't wait till it is too bad.......Rest and don't rush recovery..........I really thought by day 10 I would really be going........
Remember You have a surgically induced broken neck....do what they tell you and don't do what your body screams at........Even when you don't hurt anymore remember your body is healing ........A true STRONG fusion takes 4 - 6 months...........Good Blessings to you ........I will say a prayer for you and your family.........quilter 58
I've been browsing for a week now, but it finally took your message to make this perennial lurker finally register! My big day is tomorrow as well.
Hospital at 7:30am & surgery at 9:30. I'm having 3 level ACDF, donor bones, titanium plates C4-C7 and am having quite a bit of anxiety myself tonight. Thank goodness for this board and all of you contributers. I just feel the more info I have the better prepared I'll be.
Good thinking going to a hockey game tonight because frankly American Idol just isn't cutting it as a distraction! Hmm I wonder what medical mystery Dr. House will solve tonight?
Well OhioGolfer Jeff, you may not see this until sometime after your surgery, but know that I'll be thinking of you and wishing us both well.
Thanks to all for your support -- it is greatly appreciated. Debbie -- sorry American Idol isn't cutting it for you. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't make it to the hockey game either. Snow brought the town to a virtual standstill -- took me 2 hours 20 min to travel the 21 miles home from work. So watching on the tube, getting my paperwork ready for the morning, etc. Still nervous, but more resigned. Not long now, and it will be another "learning experience" completed ;-) I'll keep you all posted. Thanks again!
Hospital at 7:30am & surgery at 9:30. I'm having 3 level ACDF, donor bones, titanium plates C4-C7 and am having quite a bit of anxiety myself tonight. Thank goodness for this board and all of you contributers. I just feel the more info I have the better prepared I'll be.>>
Good Luck to you as well Debbie. Those are the same levels I had done as well, along with donor bone, plate and screws.
I am sure you'll do fine.
Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.
Good Luck, you all!
Yes, be very careful with the ice outside. We have it ,too and I am trying as much as possible to avoid it like the plague. This is a really good time to be recuperating. You arent missing a thing outside!!!
OhioGolfer-Jeff, I am new to this website, and also from Ohio. I am wishing you well. I don't know you, but you are in my thoughts and prayers. Everyone on this site is in my thoughts and prayers. This is such a scary time for all of us, and from what I have seen on here, you all are very brave. Me, on the other hand, not so much...lol Hang in there. Keep us posted.
Thank you all for your well wishes. As you all expected, surgery went very well and I'm on the road to recovery.
As you all know the last few days have been difficult, but knowing that so many of you have gone through the surgery and are now better really makes a difference. There have been a few times that I've had "buyer's remorse" (surgeree remorse??) either because of the pain or because of my inability to sleep but I was able to quickly move my thinking in a positive direction just because of certain posts on this board. I keep telling my husband that several have said that once we get past the first two weeks, things will likely get better.
Besides the pain, sleeping more than an hour at a time and swallowing anything larger than the size of a baby aspirin have been my greatest challenges. The pill crusher was absolutely critical - thank you for that idea. I also have severe arthritis in my neck, so sleeping on my back is almost as painful as sleeping on my side (not that I've actually managed to get on my side yet!) and with sleep apnea...well, let's just say it has been rough few days. One way I've gotten by was by thinking of young kids serving in the middle east, sometimes going days without sleep and then still having to be functional in boiling hot temperatures. By comparison, my life is pretty pampered and I'm grateful for every moment of it.
Ok, I'm done rambling. Just know that even though there may not be many responses to some of your posts, there are probably hundreds of shy lurkers like me hanging on your every word/post and benefitting from them. On their behalf, thank you.
Glad to hear you are on the road to mending as well. I certainly understand the sleep apnea issue! I have been able to sleep but awaken with terrible back stiffness across my mid back and some in my Still experiencing the sore throat and difficulty swallowing, but was able to eat Red Beans & Rice and an Oatmeal Cookie last night, so progress is being made. I'll be glad when sore throat goes away.
I get a little nervous not knowing what to do with my neck. Without a brace, there is no guide, except pain. Whatever I do, I try to do very slowly. The pain and stiffness are my guides.
On a more humorous/macabre note -- today is February 11, which is the one day I told my surgeon I would not allow an operation, due to the fact that the last 4 generations of men on my father's side of family have all died on February 11. Superstitious? Perhaps, but that is just too weird to challenge. ;-) At any rate, having some back spasms and difficulty swallowing beats the heck out of the alternative! Alive and kicking today, and that's a good thing.
It's great to hear you're alive and kicking! As for February 11th, how about one part superstitious and three parts prudent? I have friends who get anxious as they approach an age that several relatives haven't survived, but have never come across a particular date creating the same type of anxiety! I think I'd have to have an annual "Happy February 12th I-made-it-thru-another-year" Party.
Using pain as your guide may be the best substitute for a brace as even with the brace, pain is my guide. Pain requires me to use both hands to hold my head when making any movement that requires my head to be anything other than 100% perfectly balanced on my neck (leaning back in my chair for instance). Now I'm at the stage where I've become so used to the brace that I feel naked (and somewhat more vulnerable) without it.
Red beans and rice! Sounds great! I'm not quite there yet. Yesterday I tried eating a grape, but couldn't get the skin to go down! I just kept swallowing and swallowing, but it wouldn't go down. The funniest thing I've noticed is that I have to do a "double swallow" every time I take a drink! It doesn't matter what I'm drinking or how big or small my gulp is, I still have to double swallow because some won't go down the first time! How weird is that?