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Old 09-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #1
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Collar??

Well my 3 level C4-C7 ACDF surgery is back on for next Tuesday 9/18. Now that it's getting closer I'm starting to get a little scared. My fear is waking up in the aspen collar. I'm horribly claustraphobic, I mean A LOT (domestic violence victim, being confined in any way makes me panic) I've been practicing wearing it around the house, and can't believe how confining it feels. I understand the need for the collar, I'm just hoping it won't be as bad as I'm imagining.

So what was everyone's experience, waking up in the collar on?? I'm hoping that when they prep me for surgery someone will understand my problem, and have my head elevated a tad. Also being highly medicated would be nice too I'm fortunate that my surgery is at a small hopsital with only 30 beds, and a high nurse to patient ratio. I know it's silly, I don't have any fear of the pain, just the silly collar. I did find a couple of men's silk handkerchiefs, and they feel much better against my skin. I wonder what the nurses would say if I asked them to please line my collar with these pretty handkerchiefs...lol

 
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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Re: Collar??

Hi. I can certainly understand your frustration with wearing a collar.

First here is my story. I have been thru 7 spine surgeries. I have had issues with the lumbar and cervical areas.

I had surgery on my cervical spine back in 2000 which was the most difficult of all surgeries that I had been thru. First, I had "Kyphosis" of the cervical spine, in that my neck was not in proper alignment. Initially I was told that the surgery would be a 1 day surgery that should last 6 to 8 hours or so.

Well, unfortunately it didn't turn out that way. It was a srugery that was done in 2 stages. The first stage was from the posterior where they put in Harrington Rods from C3 to T4 levels. Then a week later they went thru the front and took a bone graft at I think it was 3 levels. The total surgery time was 12 hours long between the 2 surgeries.

Then the recovry time. The surgery was done in February and I had to wear a collar from the time of the surgery thru either June or July. I cant remember which. But it was at least 4 months. Claustrophia was not the issue. It did become extremly difficult to sleep in and extremely uncomfortable. At one point I was allowed to take the collar off for an hour at a time. I needed to have the collar so that the bone would fuse correctly.

I wont kid you in saying that it was easy. Not sure how long you will have to wear the collar for. The only think I can recommend is take each day as it comes. Wish I could offer more to you, I am here if you have any questions and will give the support that you need.

 
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:07 PM   #3
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Re: Collar??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nittany168 View Post
Well my 3 level C4-C7 ACDF surgery is back on for next Tuesday 9/18. Now that it's getting closer I'm starting to get a little scared. My fear is waking up in the aspen collar. I'm horribly claustraphobic, I mean A LOT (domestic violence victim, being confined in any way makes me panic) I've been practicing wearing it around the house, and can't believe how confining it feels. I understand the need for the collar, I'm just hoping it won't be as bad as I'm imagining.

So what was everyone's experience, waking up in the collar on?? I'm hoping that when they prep me for surgery someone will understand my problem, and have my head elevated a tad. Also being highly medicated would be nice too I'm fortunate that my surgery is at a small hopsital with only 30 beds, and a high nurse to patient ratio. I know it's silly, I don't have any fear of the pain, just the silly collar. I did find a couple of men's silk handkerchiefs, and they feel much better against my skin. I wonder what the nurses would say if I asked them to please line my collar with these pretty handkerchiefs...lol
I would talk to the pre op nurse about your fears-maybe she can help you.

Good luck with the surgery

 
Old 09-13-2012, 01:33 PM   #4
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Re: Collar??

Thank you both for your thoughts. And kind words. I'll definitely talk to the preop nurse. As I've aged I've lost the shyness I had when I was younger. I've come to terms with my fears and phobias. I still have them, and it really has helped to be open about it.

 
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