Tomorrow April 30th I will have a 3-level ACDF and will morph from a 'spiney' into a 'spiney with hardware". I want to thank everyone who has posted on this web site. Your comments and sharing of your experiences (pro and con) were very helpful to me while making the decision to move forward with this surgery.
I have researched all the options for many weeks, and ruled out the other forms of surgery and/or treatment methods. Some options were simply too risky (i.e. the two Tampa clinics), while other methods (Chiro) did not offer a long term solution. The weakness in my left arm is progressing to the point it is getting diffult to type this message without significant pain. I can no longer life a coffee cup.
So, for better or worse, I am going ahead with the procedure tomorrow, preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
On Saturday night my older second cousin is having a 50th wedding celebration and I will attend if possible (this being the optimistic approach). The insurance company approved a 47-hour hospitalization so I assume I will be dischared on Saturday.
Since I am self-employed and business has been bad since December the option of "taking time off" does not exist. One way or the other I need to be working by next Monday. All I really need to be able to do is send and receive email to operate the business, so the odds are good. Today I will be fitted with the Miami J Collar (a real 'chick magnet' I am sure
so I will be able to practice using my computer tonight prior to surgery.
Whatever the outcome I am prepared to deal with it. The worst case for me would be to be totally incapacitated. While I have long term care insurance there is no disability insurance. The real fear is what would happen to my family if I cannot work. The house would be lost rather quickly, and at age 61 my wife is not likely to find employment any time soon. I am a recruiter and can attest that age descrimination is more widely practiced now that at any time in the 30+ years I have been finding jobs for people.
I will post a response as soon as I can after surgery to let you know how things turned out. I feel I have an obligation to share my experiences to help others who may be considering a surgical solution to their spinal problem.
If anyone would like to know the name of my surgeon or the
name of the hospital in Naperville, Illinois, please send a
private message to me, or a direct email (email@example.com). I have conducted research on my surgeon and he has an outstanding reputation.
Thank you for your support, suggestions, and insights. Without your input I would be going into surgery tomorrow
with fear and concern. I am comfortable with my decision
and will accept whatever outcome results from the surgery.
Very truly yours,