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When does it truly get better

libby724llibby724 Posts: 107
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Ok So I saw my Dr last week 7 week check up. I proceeded to tell him I had gone back to working full time from home and then proceeded to tell him of the pains I was still having in my shoulders.....He turned looked at me and said I never said you could go back to work full time. And I thought Oh Oh I am in trouble. So he said its just probably from doing too much back to part time I go. I can drive but only short distances and the collar came off. But what I don't get is I have been following Dr's orders working part time (2 hours in the morning then a nap and rest and 2 hours in the afternoon) but I am still getting all this stiffness in my neck and shoulders. I know if I tell him he will just say don't work at all but Dr in the real world my bills need to get paid. When does it get better.....truly!

I am having a bad day so I just needed to vent.

Thanks for listening!!


  • If you are the typical patient (Turns out I'm not.) You can expect real relief in about 3 months. I didn't have any pain after that related to my surgery but I only had a one level done. I developed new issues that I am working out now. But at the 3 month mark the doctor and I knew we were no longer looking at surgical pain and found another issue at the adjacent level. So I've not had a pain free day yet in almost 6 months. But that's just me. You're recovery should be much different.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
    but it all takes time. 7 weeks is not a long period of time.
    Just today, I must have responded about 4 times dealing with the same subject.
    Recovery is a process that takes time. It requires patience and adhering to all the limitations and restrictions that you doctor laid out for you.
    Now, going back to work full time after only 7 weeks to me sounds like a sure way to bring on a lot of pain.
    After any spinal surgery, and after the proper recovery time and the patients efforts, you should only return to work part time to start with. You need the chance to build up strength and endurance. That alone could take months depending on your condition , your situation and what you are doing to help.
    Dont give up, before you even realize this, your surgery and problems will be in the past. But just one word of caution, stay well and always remember that you had surgery and you need to be aware of that
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I have not had my surgery yet but by just reading other people's posts, it just takes time. Sorry you are having a hard time. I will say a prayer for you. Take a deep breath, try to relax and remember this journey is not a short one. There will be good days and bad days. Hang in there, Libby
  • Hi libby,

    Vent away anytime that is what we are here for. As Ron stated each individuals circumstances are different. When you see the Surgeon next time ask him how long does he truly believe you will be out of work. Not knowing what type of work you do it is hard to say. I went back to work at the 10 week mark after my first surgery and although I had some pain thought i was doing rather well. Key word is "thought" I ended back up in more surgery and that lead to a whole bunch of different issues. So knowing what I know now i can truly say listen to your body. Always follow your surgeons orders. When I felt some of the pain coming back i blew it off that it was all in my head. Bad bad bad idea. A return visit to my surgeon landed me back in a more emergency surgery and caused more problems. If your getting bored around the house, which happens a lot take plenty of walks. There are some great walking programs out there. Although I'm not sure where you live, if it cold still that may be a bit difficult. If you don't of course first check with your surgeon but you can find some great walking programs out there. But try to relax and be patient easier said than done i know. But you have had a rather large surgery and it is going to take sometime. Before you know it this will all be past tense and you be back out there doing the things you so enjoy. Congrats on getting the collar off a huge step in the right direction.

    Thought i would add this link in may help with some of your shoulder pain while you work part-time as well.
  • And remember, you have only been part time one day! It will take time for your sore muscles to go away from overuse. I returned to work at 4 weeks, and still regret it. Good luck, and patience :D
  • What drives me crazy is my Doctor told me originally it would be 4-6 weeks, well I am at 2 months now and still home and still part time. And today woke up feeling good no work all I did was go to the Densist, go food shoppping and run a couple of other errands its 4:00 and I am totally exhausted. I have never been like this and thats whats makeing me crazy. Its not really a lot of pain that I have its more like tightness of the neck and shoulders that I can deal with. Its the always being tired that is making me crazy....Hopefully it will get better soon by the sounds of it maybe at my 3 month mark I will be doing better. If not the Doctor will definitely hear about it next time!!

    Thanks everyone for listening!!
  • Libby

    I had a 4 level ACDF on Dec 8, 2008. I still have pain in my arms and neck, numbness starting at the shoulders all the way to my fingers. They keep telling me it takes time. I am ready to get my life back. I hope you feel better soon. I do not work outside the home but I am ready to be able to do things in my housr I want. My doc tells me no lifting, no sweeping, vaccuuming or anything like that. I drive very little. I still wear my collar at nite cause it makes my neck feel better. Hang in there.
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