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  • New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

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    Old 01-02-2007, 01:20 PM   #1
    SKZ
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    New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    Hey All,
    I was originally scheduled for Dec. 21st for ACDF C5 thru C7. I am having donor bone and all the lovely plates and screws. (the usual). Due to a blizzard, it got postponed. Now I am scheduled for Jan. 10 (Wed.) I am getting my pre-op blood work done and EKG this Thurs. Oh boy, I am starting to kind of panic now!!!!! I keep reading such horror stories on this board because I have had so long before my surgery to research and read so many posts. I wish I could read some positive stories, more. I am really worried about my voice being messed up and also not being able to breath. And while I am at it, I am worried about having worse muscle spasms than I already have had for the last 5 yrs. They are so bad, when I look in the mirror I look kind of lop-sided (higher on one side than the other). Even Botox injections didnt help. (in Oct.). The only neurological symptoms I have are numb hands when I sleep at night and hold the telephone for long periods. I dont have much stenosis......very mild. Most of my problem is degenerated disks and consequently degenerated facet joints due to them carry most of the load from the degenerated disks. I am really hoping that the lack of movement after being fused at C5-C7 will help the pain. The surgeon seems to think so. But you know how they are, they love to tell you that stuff. I am not going to be wearing a collar, for whatever reason (I need to ask why when they call me back to answer a few questions.) I think it has something to do with the muscles getting weak from the collar. Anyway, this is scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sue (aka SKZ)

     
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    Old 01-02-2007, 02:32 PM   #2
    PearlDoves
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much, you have no idea what your situation will be like after surguery, so just try and take it as it comes... easier said than done right, lol. I think I know exactly what you are feeling right now... I had that feeling too... that panic and just was like.. oh my, is this really happening. then I was pretty much fine and I was fine as well right before surgery, just a little nervous. It was funny because when the surgeon came in to to see me before I was taken away to surgery, he shook my hand and said something to the extent with a smile - 'poor girl's hands are sweaty' In otherwords he knew I was a bit nervous, lol.

    Another thing that was funny was he asked what was bothering me the most at that time.. as far as my pain/symptoms and I said 'Mmmm.. the IV.' He kinda chuckled about that too. Its that weird medical humor one can accumulte from working in that atmosphere. But then he did a quick neuro check and said I had a little weakness on the left side. Hopefully I've given you a bit of a laugh, but just hang in there, this chapter that you are in right now is nearly over. Jan 10th is a new one.

    Last edited by PearlDoves; 01-02-2007 at 02:32 PM.

     
    Old 01-02-2007, 02:48 PM   #3
    TraveltoSL
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    Hi Sue,

    Please read my post under Jane1950 about hler ACDF surgery....

    Even though I have had to have 3 surgeries, this last one has turned out SO amazing and that was having them go in through the front AND the back. But, that was only because of the failed one's before and he really wanted to make sure that my neck isn't going anywhere...HA HA

    So, I know how it can be stressful beforehand. And if you believe in God...it's a great time to put it in HIS hands and try to keep that mantra and let friends and family help out in every way. I know it's hard for some people, like me, to let others help us, (probably most of us CP'ers) but it feels good to them to help and it really will make things easier for you.

    The biggest thing is planning your recovery and making that as smooth as possible. My post talks about getting a prescription for a sleep aid. I personally like Ambien...This made a HUGE difference it helping me sleep which is crucial....

    And be sure to take your medicine exactly when they say to keep up with the pain. As in...don't wait until you have it...take it every 4 or 6 or whatever hours.....

    My first two surgeries, I had trouble swallowing for the first week and a sore throat. So, just buy lots of liquid things to have around. Especially protien drinks to keep your nutrition and strength up. And enjoy ice cream

    This surgery which was way more major and difficult than the rest....I didn't have any trouble swallowing or sore throat. My front insicion was no problem at all and even barely had pain....

    So, it really can be different with everyone but just prepare things ahead of time, this can help with the stress level.

    One fun suggestion was to ******** some books on your IPOD (or borrow one) or have books on CD's to listen to. I don't know about you but I LOVE to read as well as music.

    Having them on my IPOD was perfect since it was too hard to hold a book and get my neck comfortable enough to read an actual book. It really was relaxing and took my mind off of pain.

    Please talk to your Dr. about post-op pain management and make sure you have a good strategy in place.

    I personally enjoy the PT for the following months since it really helps with my muscle strength and not getting stiff.

    I will be praying for you! There are great people on this site and lots of good advice.

    I truly believe that the best part to make my recovery better and pain less was having faith in God and being surrounded by friends and family and having visitors, watching tv shows that made me laugh, (but not too hard...ouch....lol), and setting up my house in the most enjoyable and cozy way I could. Flowers, candles, etc. Make it your haven for those recovery weeks.

    And listen to your body....you want to try and walk when you can to stretch your legs which really feels good but don't overdo it....stop when you need to stop, and rest when you need to rest.

    One more trick for the ladies...and guys I guess....is that my hair stylist said that they would wash my hair for free after the surgery since it was too hard to wash my own....too painful to reach my arms up...So, ask your stylist or local salon if they will do this for you. It feels SOOOOO good when you can have your hair clean

    Many prayers and blessing,
    Ingy

     
    Old 01-02-2007, 10:17 PM   #4
    ShepherdLady
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    I just wanted to wish you luck! From the different sites I read, it does seem like most get a positive benefit from the surgery.

    I truly do undertand your worry. I am scheduled for surgery 11 days after you.

    We'll all be here when you come back and tell us what a success it was!
    __________________
    Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

     
    Old 01-02-2007, 10:17 PM   #5
    ShepherdLady
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    I just wanted to wish you luck! From the different sites I read, it does seem like most get a positive benefit from the surgery.

    I truly do undertand your worry. I am scheduled for surgery 11 days after you.

    We'll all be here when you come back and tell us what a success it was!
    __________________
    Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

     
    Old 01-02-2007, 10:18 PM   #6
    ShepherdLady
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    I just wanted to wish you luck! From the different sites I read, it does seem like most get a positive benefit from the surgery.

    I truly do undertand your worry. I am scheduled for surgery 11 days after you.

    We'll all be here when you come back and tell us what a success it was!
    __________________
    Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

     
    Old 01-02-2007, 10:20 PM   #7
    ShepherdLady
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    So sorry about the triple reply. That is what I get for trying the Quick Reply button.
    __________________
    Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

     
    Old 01-03-2007, 10:06 AM   #8
    SKZ
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    Thanks all, for the good wishes. I will make it my business to update people about my surgery. Maybe I will have some positives to add to this board.

     
    Old 01-03-2007, 12:31 PM   #9
    Melindafm
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    I had my surgery 11/30/06 (2 level). I can relate to the anxiety. I almost backed out but kept praying and putting it in God's hands. I finally was given some peace about 2 days presurgery. The day of surgery I just drifted through the whole thing. That day was the only really rough day I had. Once I got home I felt like I had a little more control even though you must remember to take it very easy. I am still sore and stiff in the neck but get better everyday. Every once in awhile my nerves will fire or I will get muscle spasms but if you are already experiencing these symptoms presurgery you will deal very well post surgery.

    Books on tape were great. I also had soothing music to listen to if I couldn't sleep. Sleep is the absolute top thing that you loose. I was in a hard collar but I am not sure if that contributed 100% to no sleep as I have been out of the collar for about 1.5 weeks and still wake several times at night. My doc wouldn't prescribe sleep pills so I use over the counter. I hate pain killers so got off of them ASAP. Same with muscle relaxers but do need a little most nights to sleep. Pain from the incision is not bad at all. Actually a paper cut on your finger can hurt worse than this incision pain. The throat is not really sore.... It is an odd feeling like you can't swallow anything but liquid. At least that was my problem. I also loose my voice sometimes or am very hoarse. You just have to be careful what food you try to swallow as you can literally choke. I could not eat shrimp or lettuce. My husband loves salads so he even tried grinding up the lettuce (lol). Did not work. I still take some of my pills either crushed or with applesauce or pudding. Get you plenty of bending straws. I also got some of those energy drinks (Ensure). I am not really crazy about the aftertaste of those but they do have lots of nutrition. Eating takes a long time and it does tire me out, which is a pretty good diet..... I also bought a couple of soft collars off of the internet to wear in the shower. I was in an Aspen, used corn starch and a men's silk hankerchief for comfort for 3 weeks, 24/7. I initially was given a Philadelphia but could not stand wearing it. I used it in the shower and to give me a rest from the Aspen. I can't imagine not having any type of collar. The collar gives your neck a rest when the muscles get tired. I still wear the Aspen if I am traveling very far in a car. I put on the soft collar to wear my bone stimulator so that device doesn't rest right on my neck. Anyway good luck. Once it is over you will relax and get onto recovery. It is a slow recovery but the best thing I can say is walk, walk, walk. It helps keep your strength up and makes the time pass.

     
    Old 01-03-2007, 12:46 PM   #10
    SKZ
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    Melinda:
    Thanks so much for the words of advice. You are so sweet to reply!
    Sue

     
    Old 01-03-2007, 01:10 PM   #11
    Melindafm
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    Re: New Surgery Date Scheduled ACDF C5-C7.

    You are welcome. Try not to worry too much, easier said than done. My paper cut remark may offend some but I am just trying to say that other cuts have been way more painful than this incision. I saw where you may be alone a few days after your surgery. My husband had to leave me over night to take boy scouts on a campout about 12 days after. Just make sure that everything you will need is down at your waist level. Have plenty of prepared food. The hardest thing is taking showers and washing hair depending on your hair length. Please be very careful taking a shower so you don't slip. That may be the time you need someone in the house with you. Most of the rest of the time you just sit and take it easy. If you do go out to walk you may want to let someone know and stay on surfaces that you won't trip on. Alot will depend on how you react to pain meds an muscle relaxers. At that point you should still be taking them on a frequent basis. If they make you sleepy or dizzy you will definitely need assistance. I will keep you in my prayers. I am 50 also and am amazed at how well I am doing considering the type of surgery this is. I started back to work yesterday, stayed the whole day and that was too much. It was also the first time I had driven since 11/29/06 but had my husband as passenger. He had to drive me home. Today I drove myself to and from work but only stayed until 2:00 (about 5 hours). I am now home and sitting....... Main thing talk to doc, let him know your situation and then follow your gut feeling.

     
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