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December 1 c4-7 APDF

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
~X( Hi all! My name is Susan, I am 44 years old and and I just joined. I am a nurse. Herniated c5/6 in Dec 06 lifting a patient. Had the whole c5/6 ADF with no relief. Pain continued to worsen, results of all tests showing fusion was not taking. Had a c5/6 redo in June 09. The MRI following showed c4 had collapsed and c7 had herniated due to weakness of previous fusion. Dec 1 had Anterior and Posterior removal of hardware, ablasion discectomy and cage and plate c4-78. To say the least, the posterior part of the surgery is the most painful. I have a high tolerance for pain and do not like to complain about my pain and tend to lessen the severity of my pain because I am a nurse and know other people are far worse off than myself. BUT...I am at the point now where I cannot take the pain any longer. I am sleeping in a hospital be in the middle of my living room because I cannot climb he stairs. I have pain lifting my arms, doing my hair. I cry all day and cry myself to sleep at night. I have refused to ask for help because I am the one who is supposed to be helping others. I cannot go this route anymore. I am taking Percocet for pain which doesn't even touch the severity of the pain. Going for a bone stimulator in January and am being told to look for another area of nursing to work in besides my normal area. (Was ER, then geriatric nurse). I do not know where to turn from here and I feel the pain of everyone else here. I did not get into nursing to sit behind a desk. My career is gone, I cannot lift my grandbabies or anything else for that matter, I have ot slept with my husband in my own bed since my surgery. Is there anything out there to hope for? I have been told things will get better. Huh? I lost my house because my salary paid the mortgage, we just had it built in 06 three months before my first injury. I am sorry I am rambling on but I have no one else to talk to and found this site by accident. Has anyone had the same experiences? What has helped you. P.S. Had to type this message 5 minutes at a time because I cannot even sit at a computer longer thatn that because of increased pain. Bless you all


  • Hmmmm... we might not all have the same experiences but we sure all share the same pain, the same uncertainty...some of us a great loss of income.

    Certainly, my faith has helped. AS has this forum and going into chat rooms. I had an ACDF, run a home childcare service (paid for by the great city I live in) but haven't had any kids in 2 months! sigh... I need a coat but no money. but despite that all...I had the surgery, I'm dealing with the recovery which as an RN I'm sure you know isn't so easy but the symptoms for which I went into the OR are completely gone.

    I hope that things improve for you. The procedure should help...at least after a few weeks/months you'll be able to hold your grandbabies!

  • Faith...That is one thing I have been relying on and praying to help me every day. I am so happy for you your symptoms are gone. You are one of the lucky ones. For me, hte symptoms are still here and not improving at all, even after three years from the first, but, I am still here and hoping and praying the pain will subside enought to one day hold them again.
  • Lets believe together that it will happen for you. I still get pain just not the original pain. I had a dumb accident and got hit in the head...a bit of a set back.

    will you be trying this surgery again? When? how can we believe together?
  • Dear Susan,

    Welcome to Spine-Health. You are going to be surrounded by very caring people here and I welcome you with open arms.

    I can very much relate to where you are at with your pain right now. I will never forget how painful it was to lift my arms and the inability to brush my hair. It took me a good three months before I could attempt to brush my hair. My sweet husband had to shower me and take care of my general upkeep, as I could do nothing more than lay flat with a hardshell brace on 24/7. The brace went from my collarbone to my hip bone... on my front side and back side. Being unable to care for yourself and fighting the excrutiating pain, is exhausting and it does create a lot of mental distress.

    Please, reach out to others to help you right now. Particularly, your husband. It is time for you to be cared for, so you can heal properly. You have been through a major back surgery and it doesn't heal overnight. It takes a LONG time to heal... particularly when you have a posterior surgery. Do not rush your healing process... let your body tell you when you are ready to reach your arms a little higher.

    As much as you enjoy caring for others, please know that others feel the same towards you. Let them help you... welcome their offerings. It will make them feel good to do something for you. My faith has got me so far in life and I have needed it more than ever, during my life-changing fall last year. I believe God works through others, to help us when we are in need.

    I was wondering if you are on any extended relief type of pain medication?

    Once again, welcome to Spine-Health.

  • Tammy,

    Thank you so much for your reply. You actually made me cry. It is so difficult. Being a nurse it is hard for me to let others take care of me, but I am trying. I know it will be a long road to recovery. The mental distress sometimes is the worse. Being home alone all day with no one to talk to, looking at these walls, trying not to do things I shouldn't be doing. I am on Percocet which does not touch my pain. Calling the MD tomorrow, but I have a surgeon who does not believe in pain medication. What??? I have a husband who is the most caring person in the world. He does the same for me as yours does for you. It is difficult for me to ask and need help. Psychologically I am accepting the change slowly. i was wondering if the Oxycontin worked for you? I was on a two week taper. I just made me feel loopy. My mom has been on it for 10 years and trying desperately to wean off but no physician will help her.....God Bless
  • Dear Susan,

    I didn't mean to make you cry sweety, but you know... sometimes we need a good and healthy cry. Tears can actually be quite healing... particularly to our souls.

    The mental distress is difficult... no doubts about that, Susan. During my fourth month of recovery, I went to my family counselor and she put me on some anti-depressant medication. I had non-stop crying sessions that I could not control and I have to be strong for my two children at home. The medication helped a great deal and I found myself looking forward to my monthly visits with her. She has also been a great help to my family members, too.

    Yes, the Oxycontin has worked very well for me. I was initially on 180mg's a day and I have tapered down to 90mg's a day. The first couple of months are a bit blurry to me, as not only did I enter the chronic pain world... I was also thrown into the "big kahuna" medication world. I thank God every day for the pain relievers, as it would be one rough time without having oral pain medication for relief. I had unbelievable muscle spasms and nerve pain, so I do take medication for those disturbances, too. I take Percocet for break-through pain and Susan... I have such an awful time with short-term memory loss as a side effect. I've come to terms with announcing to everyone that I have short-term memory loss, as the Percocet has worked very well for my break-through pain. I don't need to take it as much as I used to, but I have it on hand when need be.

    Susan, please know this horrible pain will pass. I know it probably seems like it won't, but it honestly will. There is no surgery comparable to back surgery. I've had a C-section, hysterectomy and other minor surgeries and there is just no comparison to the recovery time. The recovery from back surgery is slower than a one-legged turtle. It's hard to find patience, so that's where Spine-Health comes into play. I honestly don't know how I would have survived this far, without the help from my many dear friends on this site. You will meet the kindest of people and some very knowledgeable ones.

    It took me a while, to be able to sit for a 10 minute time period to type. It does get better and the days will start to pass a lot more quickly for you.

    You know, you are going to be such a blessing here. Being a nurse, you have a lot of knowledge to pass on to others. Right now it is time for you, so the concentration will be getting you to feel better emotionally. Reach out to that sweet hubby of yours... they LOVE to be needed and wanted. Men are like that.

    Take good care and please keep venting any time.

    Tammy >:D<
  • I totally understand looking at these same walls...wanting to do the things that I (emphasis on the I ) should be doing. It has been the hardest 7 weeks of my life.

    My husband is great and stayed home with me for 10 days. After that, he's had to work twice as hard to make up for my missing income and that makes me more depressed because now I barely see my best friend.

    And truthfully, we're women and as such we're doers, multi-taskers. To be told to do almost nothing drives me crazy!!!!! My doc said it was ok to ride in a car but not drive. So I did. Rode an hour to get to Walmart and got hit with my car door. Another 2 weeks of extreme rest! I cannot understand more rest...rest from what???? Wiping counters?

    You'll meet some great people in here if you haven't already. there have been days when I didn't think I could take another moment, but then I logged onto s/h and some post or some person changed my day. I'm daily thankful for this forum and the chat room.

    Make sure to call your surgeon. At maybe 5 days after my surgery, the meds were not working. The pain almost drove me to the ER except I hate NYC emergency rooms. I called the dr and he upped the precribed Vicoden. Its better now. 2 weeks ago he gave me valium to help with muscle spasms and sleep issues. I''m trying to not use those anymore. I like the sleep...but I don't want to get used to meds to fall asleep, ya know????

    Find us...we're a big spiney family here. Trust me...these forums make a HUGE difference!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    You need a good pain management practice with caring doctors. My PM is a blessing. They have me on a cocktail of meds that keeps me functional and the pain at a dull roar for much of the time. It took 2 attempts to find the right PM practice but it was well worth it.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I have found there aare a lot of people who understand and share my pain/mental anguish, etc. etc....UNFORTUNATELY...I wish this were not true, but it is. I have found some comfort in the last five hours (LOL) of my new membership. I understand about the pain meds. The Vicoden does not help me at all. The percocet wont even touch the pain and the 10 mg Valium that would normally knock anyone out for a few days is like swallowing nothing. LOL I have a high tolerance for pain and medication, even taking the percocet and valium together will not effect me. My body builds tolerances very quickly to meds. I hate Television, never used to watch much, but lately I've been up till 3am until I cant keep my eyes open anymore. LOL I already love my new spiney family. Susan :T
  • I am a lumbar instead of a neckie, but I have to chime in just a bit and remind you of how early on you are in your recovery. It's going to take some time - unfortunately.

    That said, you DO need to figure out the pain med issue. You cannot heal if you are in that much pain. Seriously, who does this dr. think he is???

    Have you considered anti-depressants? My homecare nurse gave me quite the lecture on how no matter how I felt I was going to have some depression issues as a result of my surgery - she said no matter what, I had just undergone major surgery and she felt that is was imperative that I get an antidepressant for the first 3 months to help me cope. At the very least I was to get someone to go to Walmart and get some Melatonin for me to take nightly - it helps for sleep and depression.

    If wishes were horses... I wish I knew more, but at the very least I can be here along with the rest of the SH crew to cheer you up when you need.
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