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  • 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

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    Old 02-01-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
    jas1964
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    2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Hi Everyone: I haven't been on the website since the 15th of January and feel so behind on how everyone is doing. First of all, I have my 2 Level ACDF C5-C7 last Thursday, January 26. Oh my god.....talk about stressing out. Thank god my primary dr gave me some Ativan as I took this before I went in the day of my surgery and had no cares in the world. They had me come at 11:30 am and surgery didn't start until 3 pm, so if I won't of had the Ativan it would have been a horrible long wait. Surgery went great and even the overnight stay was grand. They had lots of good drugs through the IV and even my throat was perfect. The the S*** hit the fan when I returned home and lost of all of great IV meds. My throat started to hurt, I was so nauseated that it was unbearable, and all I did was cry. They sent me home with a very strong muscle relaxer that probably made me sick as the Vicodin for the pain I had already been on with no problems. I could not adjust to wearing my hard collar and that was frustrating me. When I called the ER 2 days after surgery they told me to stop taking the muscle relaxers and I would get over the nausea. I did beg them for some medication for the nausea and they finally prescribed something. So 4 days post op I was miserable. Finally, a friend who had the same surgery told me to force myself to eat something small each hour along with drinking. Which I did and finally the nausea subsided. The nurse at my NS said my nausea had nothing to do with my surgery (that ticked me off because it did). I asked for a muscle relaxer that I had taken in the past which they did finally prescribed. So life was good. Now 1 week after surgery my pinky in my left hand and the outside of the hand started to be numb and the pin prickle type feeling that is an aweful feeling. Worse than before surgery. When I woke up from surgery all my pain in the left arm and hand were gone. It was great now this is creeping up and I am scared to call back to my NS because they think I am nuts already.

    My throat is back to normal but my tastebuds are screwed up and I know someone else had this same issue after surgery. Everything tastes spicy or hot to me. It is so weird. I can't really say I have any neck pain unless I happen to move a wrong way. I wear my hard collar as directed 24 hrs a day except to shower. I feel like a turtle sucking my head into a shell. I wear makeup from checks up. What a strange life I have right now. I continue to take the muscle relaxers and low dose of Vicodin just to make me comfortable. Sleeping has been good. In fact, the first night home my kids put a whole bunch of pillows in my bed and I slept through the whole night and did not move an inch. I have been able to sleep in my bed every night and even on my side with the collar, so that is great.

    I hope to go back to work in three weeks, just a few hours a day and someone will have to drive me. So in a nutshell I am surviving. But can someone shed some light on this tingling and pin type feeling that is in my pinky finger and outside of the hand?

    Thanks for listening to my long story and hope everyone else that I visited with in the past are also doing well since their surgeries.

     
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    Old 02-02-2012, 08:20 PM   #2
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    Cool Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Hey jas good to see you back on here! So I had the 2 level acdf on 1/10. The first week to me was too easy( having a lumbar fusion yrs ago) well don't worry , all that did was set me up for misery when the aches & pains came!after about 5 days I started getting the " electric shocks from my elbows to my fingers. Called the nurse said it was normal & put me on neurontin. Did good until about the 23 rd- got the horrible " crushing pains in my shoulders down to my elbows! Felt like this was unbearable! Called me out a different muscle relaxer. Didn't help much at first but tried to hang in there. The one good thing I guess from anesthesia? I could sleep about if I could get the pain down for a few minutes. I went for post op on 1/27 & he said this is all normal but at least he didn't act like I was just being a big baby! Lol he gave me stretching exercises to stretch the muscles in my shoulders & arms. Yesterday & today have been a really bad day( couldn't sleep last night, got nausea & dadgone spasm. But I know I'm getting better & the things I feel are different than what I felt before surgery, so hang in there!!! Now I just have to wait 3 months he's gonna redo X-rays & another MRI because I have a ?chairi malformation where your brain stem starts dropping into your spinal canal. All in all we survive! Good luck!

     
    Old 02-02-2012, 09:22 PM   #3
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Thanks for the heads up on the upcoming weeks. The first couple days I got home were uncomfortable and emotional. But the last 3 or 4 days I have been good and thinking hey I could go back to work already. But will just play it by ear. I sneezed twice today and oh yeah that is quite a pain. There are some really weird sensations that I did not experience before and hope they will fade. I really set myself up for alot worse so I guess I have been able to deal so far and hope that it continues. But I appreciate knowing that others have had the same symptoms after surgery. Everyone has told me don't rush it back to work. I have only been off 1 week and it is hard not to go back the days I feel pretty good. But I will take at least 1 or 2 more full weeks off and then slowly go back.

    That was nice of your NS to give you some stretching exercises. I think that is important and will talk to my NS at my 4 weeks. Wearing the vista collar makes me think I will really lose strength in my neck and will be terrified once the brace is off. I wish the NS would say it needs to stay on 3 weeks and then do a slow weaning after that period. Not wear it 6 full weeks and then take it off and life goes on because I know that will not happen.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Take care.

     
    Old 02-04-2012, 12:01 AM   #4
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Nana-are you wearing a collar?

    Last edited by joaneeo; 02-04-2012 at 12:01 AM.

     
    Old 02-05-2012, 01:05 AM   #5
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Jas-I know what you mean about feeling like s turtle. I got so frustrated that I took the padding out of the part that your chin rests on and made it so close to the plastic rim so now my head isn't so stuck in and the chin rests right on the edge of the padding. Sometimes I wonder if the guy who gave me the collar even gave me the right size.

     
    Old 02-05-2012, 03:10 AM   #6
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Hi jas64.... so you finally had it done Good for you. Now put on your patience cap! I am coming up on 2 months p-o and I still have some off days. Any pains, tingling etc.... just seem to come and go. Don't worry yourself so much. I would highly recomend taking a vtamin B supplement. I started on this 1 month p-o and wished I had started sooner! The relief from my nerves acting crazy, was felt within 1 week! Someone here on the boards suggested it to me! I had a single fusion of the C5-C6 and felt relief from surgery as soon as Iwoke. The pains creep back from time to time but, for short periods and never to the pain level they were at prior to surgery! Scary yes but permanent No way! I just started volunteering at an animal shelter about 4 hrs a day. Trying to regain my stamina and, work my weaker muscles that seem to have been affected by all this! After 6 weeks p-o i started exercising(stretching) each morning. This has greatly improved my mobility. I feel much more comfortable and can turn my neck quickly, without to much pain. If I can say one thing its just that, the healing process of the cervical spine has been anything but normal for me. It has kept me wondering on more than one occasion. Some days I can feel so much better. followed by a day wondering..... if i had done something wrong the day before. Pains return that i thought I was past! Just hang in there and let your body direct your daily activities. by the way... Hows the smoking or not coming along? best to you in your recovery! God bless. : )

     
    Old 02-12-2012, 05:12 PM   #7
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Itralian1 View Post
    Hi jas64.... so you finally had it done Good for you. Now put on your patience cap! I am coming up on 2 months p-o and I still have some off days. Any pains, tingling etc.... just seem to come and go. Don't worry yourself so much. I would highly recomend taking a vtamin B supplement. I started on this 1 month p-o and wished I had started sooner! The relief from my nerves acting crazy, was felt within 1 week! Someone here on the boards suggested it to me! I had a single fusion of the C5-C6 and felt relief from surgery as soon as Iwoke. The pains creep back from time to time but, for short periods and never to the pain level they were at prior to surgery! Scary yes but permanent No way! I just started volunteering at an animal shelter about 4 hrs a day. Trying to regain my stamina and, work my weaker muscles that seem to have been affected by all this! After 6 weeks p-o i started exercising(stretching) each morning. This has greatly improved my mobility. I feel much more comfortable and can turn my neck quickly, without to much pain. If I can say one thing its just that, the healing process of the cervical spine has been anything but normal for me. It has kept me wondering on more than one occasion. Some days I can feel so much better. followed by a day wondering..... if i had done something wrong the day before. Pains return that i thought I was past! Just hang in there and let your body direct your daily activities. by the way... Hows the smoking or not coming along? best to you in your recovery! God bless. : )
    Sorry I didn't reply earlier I just haven't been on the computer much. The no smoking is going well. I think it has been like 4 weeks and all is well. So yeah for that part. I sometimes think I should have lived with my pain. No one has every described me as patient or willing to follow the rules. Even though I have with wearing the collar and the no smoking. I think wearing the collar is causing more harm than good. I too question why different directions are given by different NS. I have been walking as much as I can weather permitting. I have not been lifting but have done some very light housework. I have had family members take me to the stores and the next day I am usually worn out. I am thinking about starting work the week of the 20th but only part time and very light duty if my NS will release me. I am stir crazy which is not good. I cannot just sit and I think going back to work will help. I will have someone drive me to and from work so I wont be driving myself. So I am trying desperately to be on my best behavior. It probably does not sound that way. My kids have been a great help and call me each day to see what I need help with. My husband helps when I ask as he is not a good one for just seeing what needs to be done. Bless his heart. So the healing and patience process goes on. I hope all is well with you and thanks for the great post. Take care.

     
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    Old 02-12-2012, 09:21 PM   #8
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Great jas! I am happy to hear your not smoking! Wow what an experience this has been! I honestly believe you are better off that you had the surgery. Funny but, I had the same feelings for almost two months p-o. You will start to feel better and patience plays a big roll here. I too do not like to sit around. I am doing the animal shelter thing one day and, the following day I am grounded. I have really good days followed by a crappy one! I am just plain crazy with all this. I was told by a reliable source that, It will be a good 4 months p-o before I will feel alot better! Not what I wanted to hear but, I am feeling results compared to where I was at! And this alone motivates me! Hang tough and God Bless!

     
    Old 02-12-2012, 10:54 PM   #9
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Yea I think the patience thing is the hardest part! Lol I almost feel like I'm faking at times because everyones always asking me how I feel & for maybe a day or two it's" pretty good , things are getting better. And then the next day I hurt like crazy & so tired I can't get out of bed. I'm sure then my husbands probably thinking oh she's playing the sympathy card today. Lol most of the pains I've felt since surgery have felt like spasm or just a lot of muscle ache. But since Friday I've had that BURNING on the same side of my neck which I know is a nerve & that scares me. I don't want to freak out every time I have a pain but when it's the same pain as before surgery that scares me. And one end if my incision looks red & is stinging! And it seems like it healed the first week and a half. Ok I'll try to be patient but it's hard because everytimes something starts I'm like oh shoot something didn't work or I've messed it up. Sorry don't mean to be discouraging. Hope all goes well!!!

     
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    Old 02-13-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Hwy Jas! I took a mental health day on Saturday-the month anniversary of my surgery, just stayed in bed and relaxed and caught up on my sleep and now most of the depression I had is gone. As for the collar, it doesn't seem as bad because when I did take it off for a few minutes I had bad spasms in the back of my head. So it stays on.

    It's hard to walk when the weather is so lousy. I walk around the apartment as much as possible. I think it's like everyone says-we just have to be patient. I'm just glad that the awful stabbing pains in the neck and arms are now gone. I guess we should be grateful for things like that that others take for granted. No one knows what the pain is like unless they've had it themselves. And you got to admit it DOES feel GREAT to be relatively pain free.

     
    Old 02-13-2012, 07:06 PM   #11
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Hi nanacan I hope your burning sensation is improving. I too get this feeling. for some reason lately, the right side of my neck clear out to my shoulder has been acheing every day for the past week. It doesn't stay but, i never had this. I think it,s a good thing to be feeling again. Both my arms and shoulders totally went numb for weeks, before my surgery.
    For me to feel pain, I feel is a good thing. As long as they don't last. I have had some of the craziest of pains, since going under the knife. I suggest vitamin b to anyone who had cervical surgery. It has greatly reduced the episodes I do have! best to you moving forward in your recovery! God Bless!

     
    Old 02-13-2012, 07:45 PM   #12
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    It is so comforting to hear feedback from the three of you who have also recently gone through surgery and suffering through this recovery period. I also have been having the burning sensation in the back of my neck and to my left side. I have never had this before so it is scary. Lots of muscles spasms which I did not have before. The days I move around more or go out of the house then my hands start getting numb again which really scares me. The weather has been up and down in MN so I try to get out walking as much as I can depending on the day. I did ask my dr if I could return to work next week. This Thursday will be 3 weeks post op. When I am at home I do not take naps as I try to keep my schedule as I would if I was working so I don't totally die when I return to work.

    The NS agreed that I could start back next week only working up to 20 hrs per week as tolerated, with the neck brace, no lifting over 10 lbs and no reaching above the head. Also no twisting or straining. I will not be driving as I have family who will be taking me to and from work. Work wants me to listen to my NS and are concerned so they will be watching me closely to ensure that I am not over doing it and that I work only what I can handle. In fact when I spoke with work today they figured I would only last 2 hrs the first day. So even though I am anxious to go back and slowly ease myself in I will definitely not over do it and will stay within my restrictions as I am more of a desk type RN where I work. It will be a challenge I will admit. So wish me luck on that.

    Sad to say I feel comforted to know that I am not alone on the weird sensations that we experience since the surgery. I just hope in a yr or so when the fusion heals that I can say it was all worth it. Tonight I had a few minute light massage as my muscles on both sides of my neck and down my middle back are as hard as a rock. I do blame a little of that with my not getting use to the collar. I go back on the 28th and anxious to see how they feel I am doing.

    Take care to all of you and I pray that we all have positive success stories in the months to come.

     
    Old 02-13-2012, 11:46 PM   #13
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Won't it be great when we can all come one day & write on here that we're all doing great & out of constant pain?!(well I gave chronic pain from my lumbar fusion but I can deal with one, it's when my neck & back pick the same day that it's unbearable lol) anyway I'm sure we'll get there & it will be worth it!!don't know how to maneuver around this website very good yet, but I'm gonna figure out how to keep talks name so we can all kinda keep up with each other since w all had fairly close surgeries. Best to all & hope great days are ahead!

     
    Old 02-14-2012, 02:11 AM   #14
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Good morning to all I hope you all had a better night than I! I am trying to wean myself off my meds and, it's gonna be rougher than I anticipated. I have been up every other hour all night!(sigh) @ nanacan if you go on profile (your own ) and double click. you can add contacts to keep in touch with, without posting on the boards. I personally wouldn't mind at all staying in touch. This sight helped me keep my sanity. I thank God every day for the support and insight I have received from these boards and the many members [email protected] jas Best to you returning to work girl but, along with more movement. I have experienced alot more sensations. Some good others not so much. I do believe that becoming more mobile will hasten recovery time somewhat. Thinking back to my H.S. years while playing sports.
    One thought keeps popping up and that was the phrase "no pain no gain" When i first started to volunteer 6 weeks p-o I had some rough days and was some what discouraged. I felt ok working but, the following day was uncomfortable to say the least! @ 10 weeks p-o I still have uncomfortable days, following my active ones. I do have to admit that the further I move along. I can feel my bodies slow improvements. I have been in new construction my entire life and was told by many. That if my fusion is succesful there is no reason why I can't return to what I did. I am very motivated to reach this goal and having others here to chat with,has made this possible! Have a great day all and, by all means patience is a must even at 10 weeks p-o.(sigh) God Bless you all and your efforts too!

     
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    Old 02-14-2012, 07:38 PM   #15
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    Re: 2 Level ACDF finally done, now what???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Itralian1 View Post
    Good morning to all I hope you all had a better night than I! I am trying to wean myself off my meds and, it's gonna be rougher than I anticipated. I have been up every other hour all night!(sigh) @ nanacan if you go on profile (your own ) and double click.
    One thought keeps popping up and that was the phrase "no pain no gain"
    Thanks for the info on how to stay in touch. Good luck with the meds-I never took that many of them post op because they never actually worked for me. I take seroquel and a zrytec before I go to bed to help me sleep even before the problems started I have a problem with pain and a high sensitivity to it so any pain meds or muscle relaxers do very little. I have just given up even telling them doctors and learn to live with any flare ups.

    As for the "no pain, no gain" comment that's funny because my ex-PT said she didn't believe in that yet it was one of her exercises that made my pain worse.

     
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