I'm about six weeks out from two level ACDF c5-7...My focus will be on planning and prep to help get ready for the surgery, and then recovery as quickly and as soundly as possible...
> Ramp up cardio and strength training...In some respects I don't have the energy to do this due to my issues, and the strength training (light) tends to inflame my worst symptoms. But the theory here is that surgery is a shock to the system, and the better shape I'm in, the better odds I have for a faster recovery.
> Lose 5-10 pounds...I don't really "need to", but it probably won't hurt, and it will make it easier to move around after surgery.
> Stretching program, maybe yoga...I've noticed that a lot of folks comment on muscle pain from surgical positions, so the theory here is that if I'm loose, I have better odds of avoiding some or all of this issue. I'm going to stretch for 30 minutes the morning of my procedure.
> Take care of my "business" at home, work, etc. before surgery. The less I have to worry about, the more I can focus on a quick recovery.
> Load up on books, comfy pillows and easy to eat foods to ensure comfort and avoid boredom after surgery.
> Week 1 - Complete focus on recovery...No pushing it. Meds when necessary, but hopefully tapering off by the end of the week
> Week 2 - Gradual return to my "desk jockey" job, from home of course. This assumes I am mostly or completely off the meds...I will be taking a minimalist approach with the pills.
> Week 3 - Back full time to work, from home only if necessary. Begin reasonable cardio and very light strength training. No meds, buy maybe in the event of extreme pain.
> Week 4 - Most "normal" activities, with full respect for the need to have those bones properly fuse.
> 3 months - Vacation time...active, but nothing that would compromise the health of my c-spine.
Of course all plans can change and some of this may not hash out as expected, but this is my approach for now...I am optimistic about surgical success, but I have low expectations regarding resolution of some of my symptoms, since they have been chronic and persistent.
Let's hope it works out on the upside.