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My story.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello in January of 2009 I was scheduled for Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion. I had horrible disk herniation at Level 5 and 6. Old football injury that only got worse as I got older. The surgery went well but in post op I became paralyzed and eventually stopped breathing. I was brought back into surgery because my surgeon suspected there was a blood clot.
They discovered the blood clot and after several days of close calls I woke up in the ICU after 4 days a sleep. They anticipated that I would not walk right away and weakness in my upper body. The first day awake was horrible. Tubes sticking out everywhere and I had developed pneumonia. Too much of the doctors surprise I walked on my 5th day but my upper body was extremely weak. 8 total days in ICU and 2 on the standard floor. I went home and went thru 3 months of physical therapy. It's August now and I'm still on Percocet, Soma and Naproxen. Before the surgery I had level 9-10 pain that radiated down my right shoulder to my finger tips. Also some numbness. After surgery I have 4-5 pain in both shoulders to my fingers. My doctor feels that 2009 will be a difficult year and he tells me it will take much of it to recover completely. I hate taking Percocet and Soma and often people wonder why I'm not taking nerve pain blockers instead. I've left out a lot of details just for the sake of time but I'm wondering....with all this...will I get better?? I guess I should be thankful I’m still alive but I actually tired of taking medication and feeling horrible all the time. Whats worse is the office staff gives me grief everytime I request a refill. My doctor tells me not to worry about it because they aren't aware of my situation.



  • Hi, welcome to our community.

    WOW! I can't believe what you have been through this year! I mean, I do believe it, but... WOW!

    Remember, you have to give yourself time to heal. Even though you feel "well" on the outside, you are still healing on the inside. I'd say that cutting your pain basically in half is awesome! I know you want to be totally pain free (we all do!), but it may take you a while to get there.

    I'd listen to the doc and pretty much count 2009 as a recovery year.

    Good luck to you!
  • So glad you are here to share with us your story. Your body has gone through a traumatic experience, and I agree it will take this year for you to recover. Its not easy dealing with the pain, but you are getting there. Your pain level has improved. Its hard for others to know how you are feeling, that's why we are here for you.

    Best wishes to you,

  • welcome back...i guess you could say you were that close to the other side. thank the lord you made it.
    with all the complications you had i would think the normal heling process would be delayed. hopefully pain will further subside with time. it can take well over a year for nerves to calm down.
    the medication situation must be complicated by the clot you had. are you still on blood thinners? i too hate narcotics. all drugs have side effects. you need to find one or two that wont conflict with blood situation. so best consult further with your dr.
    i hope the angel that accompanied you after your clot is still with you for your future recovery :-C
  • Welcome to SH :H I'm sorry you had to go through such a frightening experience and I'm glad you are okay in that regard. It is a long recovery process and you will need pain meds as you're trying to heal. As long as your doctor assures you he has no problems prescribing these meds, try not to listen to the rest of the staff. If it does continue to be a problem, maybe you can discuss it so that he will handle things for you. You have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and nobody should have an attitude about you taking pain meds.

    I've been taking them for a long time, despite having two spinal surgeries. Unfortunately I have chronic lower back pain and nerve pain in both legs and this stems from disc herniations in my lumbar spine (see below). I know how difficult it is to suffer pain on a daily basis. You have been through so much and you have clearly shown that you have the mental fortitude and courage to overcome whatever obstacles standing in your way. Take it easy and we're happy to have you join our community. O:)
  • Hi, Just hang in there. It does get better.

    God Bless
  • :jawdrop: Wow, I think they invented the phrase "been through the ringer" for you.

    Welcome to our spiney community. You'll find lots of support here. I agree with everyone else and your doctor that it will take a little more time for your nerves to heal but that fact that your pain levels are down to a 4 or 5 is awesome.

    Most of us are taking drugs on a daily basis so you're not alone. I don't know what helps you to relax but I suggest you incorporate a stress reducing activity into your daily routine. It will help your pain levels and calm your mind.

    Take care and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Take care,

  • This is great. It's good to see that people understand what I've been thru and what I going thru.

    I think the hardest thing was thinking that I could have left my kids without a dad. The night before the surgery I felt something awful. I felt it was necessary to kiss the kids and my wife and tell them how much I loved them. My wife thought it was odd and told me to relax. The doctor said this is pretty routine.

    When I was under in the ICU and coming out of everything it was difficult. 4 days a sleep till doctors could figure out what to do next. My wife brought one of the electronic cards with my son saying get better daddy I love you. It's the first thing I remember when I came out of it. I'll always remember it. I haven't listened to it since and my wife thinks it's odd. It's hard to explain.

    I'm not sure why exactly but the doctor said I wasn't prone to blood clots so I never did get blood thinners. Weird we thought but he explained what happened to me was very very rare. He actually mentioned it at a conference for other surgeons.

    Today we moved away from Percocet to Darvacet. I'm happy I think but with all the recent news with Tylenol based products I'm not sure what to think. I'm also on Soma and Naproxen. I get these odd spasms in my neck all the time. And apparently my doctor feels I have a great deal of swelling in my neck still. I have my good days and my bad days but I think I'm getting better.

    My company went out of business in July. I was on Cobra until I was eligible for my new company’s group plan. I was notified in August that my old company stopped paying my Cobra premium. I still had two month until my group plan would kick in. Essentially the 63 will lapse and I won't get my preexisting issue covered for 1 year. When I spoke to my new insurer the underwriter was actually pretty sad about having to put exclusion on my plan. Gotta love healthcare. I'm considered uninsurable in the individual plans.

    Thanks again everyone for the support.
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