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glad i found this site...amazing people and stories!

aardvark85308aaardvark85308 Posts: 52
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi all,

I'm scheduled for C5-C6 fusion with hardware on 25th feb at St Joe's in Phoenix...I've had severe neck pain along with pain in my arm as well as numbness, pins and needles etc since a car accident back in '93 (5 time roll over..very violent but no lasting external injuries...until now). The roll over was on black ice...on my way to an Honor guard (cdn air force at the time), with a sword beside me. The fancy leather work from the sword belt ended up wrapped around the steering wheel, while i was still strapped in my seat, but laying across the passenger seat, acting like a tennis ball between seat and roof. It must have looked odd seeing me wheeled into the hospital on a backboard with a sword beside me;) To make a long story longer, i had whiplash really bad to the front and the side...ever since I've had pain and problems in my neck.

I've been in pain management for several months, and tried physical therapy, which made things much worse, so now it's on to surgery..which scares the livin crap outa me ;)

Reading the stories here sometimes helps, sometimes scares me more...my biggest fear is making it worse...I love mountain biking, and don't want to ruin that..the wakeboarding, well, i can give that up i guess (very hard on the neck). I don't do well even with needles, let alone full on surgery....i almost wish they told me i needed surgery, and it's scheduled for tomorrow! But I wait anxiously and sleeplessly for the 25th, reading eveything I can read at night until i can no longer keep my eyes open.

I know that there are those much worse off, and bigger things in life to worry about...but irrational fear still sneaks in!

Thoughts and prayers to eveyone on this board!


  • Welcome aboard. I had C5/6 fusion done and most days now I forget I had it done. I remember the anxiety before having my neck operated on, of all places to have surgery. I did have bad pain that night due to my nerves screaming from decompression, but was given Lyrica and strong pain meds. This completely cleared up in a couple of months. This isn't to say your recovery will be that way. Everyone is different. Check out the forum faqs, there is information there about how to prepare for pre and post surgery.

    Best wishes,

  • I am glad you found this site--it,and the people on here,are truly blessings.I am a lumbar spiney,so I can't comment on your cervical issues-but I can tellyou it is normal to be scared!This is the place to talk about anything,so keep in touch! Jeannie
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. so glad you dropped in!! =D> sorry you are scheduled for surgery but here is your chance to become pain free!!! i wish you the very best of luck.. :D be sure and follow the doctor's order's!!! stop by anytime!! :D Jenny :)
  • Hey Marianne...that sounds so promising about two months...I understand it may be longer for me, since the damage has been there for a while. I do hope for a quick recovery...my incentive is to be able to carry my new son home somewhere after 9th of may!!

    What happens in Pre-op? Mine is on the 23rd, and I have no idea what I'm in for! Also, how soon at home will I be coherent enough (or care enough) to be at least able to work at home (phone coord and maybe computer)?

    Thanks all for the welcome...I hope everyone is having a great week.
  • my husband had C5-6 anterior fusion, he is great,healed quickly, worked from home after a few weeks and doesn't have any restrictions (still has a bit of numbness at his fingertips but it really doesn't bother him), although, unlike me, he isn't a thrill seeker. We can count the days until surgery together, I am having lumbar fusion the day after your surgery! I think the goal of being able to carry your newborn son home is an awesome goal! Keep in touch and let us know how you're doing!
  • No restrictions after a few weeks? That's awesome!! I heard a few months before contact sports (ie mountain biking contacting the ground) are allowed.
    Yeah, I'm having surgery early enough to be recovered for our little boys arrival. It's like a second life for me...I have a daughter who's 24 getting married on may 8th...but our son is due on the 9th...how's that to add to the stress;) she's having another ceremony a week later that i'll prob be able to make.
    How long is recovery from lumbar? What kind of sports will you miss? The day is approaching very fast eh...soon we'll be able to post our success! Are you scared...have you had anyone tell you you shouldn't do it?
  • No restrictions after a few weeks? That's awesome!! I heard a few months before contact sports (ie mountain biking contacting the ground) are allowed.
    Yeah, I'm having surgery early enough to be recovered for our little boys arrival. It's like a second life for me...I have a daughter who's 24 getting married on may 8th...but our son is due on the 9th...how's that to add to the stress;) she's having another ceremony a week later that i'll prob be able to make.
    How long is recovery from lumbar? What kind of sports will you miss? The day is approaching very fast eh...soon we'll be able to post our success! Are you scared...have you had anyone tell you you shouldn't do it?
  • Hi Peter. I am terified! Although this is my 3rd back surgery in 4 years, this one is "the big daddy"! we have known for 2 years that this day would come, so no one has really suggested that I shouldn't do it. Mainly I think, because they can see my decline~I look different. It's hard for my to stand straight, I walk differently and very slowly. I look pale, I rarely style my hair opting to just put it in a pony tail, I dress differantly~opting for comfort vs style, there is no spark or twinkle in my eyes, I don't smile as much and I no longer have an athletic frame. I'm not overweight, but definately don't have much muscle mass (if any) as I haven't worked out since July. :( I think the biggest concern others have for me is "did I wait too long? and will I be better?"

    I've had to give alot of sports up, skiing~water and snow, snow mobiles, jet skis, kick boxing, bowling. I've learned to like other things such as yoga and pilattes as well as the elliptical.

    Recovery from a lumbar fusion is long, realistic about a year. It is unknown how you will be on the other side. I have a lot of nerve damage and compression on my nerves. I hope and pray to get some of my strength and coordination back in my legs. And it would be great to not have pain, but that may be too much to ask for, so I would compromise on being able to do activites with a minimal amout of pain.

    I now know I waited way too long and then my insurance dragged it out for another 2 months. I try to not be bitter with them, but having time to think, is time to stress especially when lack of sleep and pain is added on top of it all. I am so thankful for this site. Before finding it, I use to wish I knew someone else going through it also!

    How awesome to have a new baby to go with a new phase in life, as well as a new son-in-law. That is definately motivating! After tonight, 10 more days! woo hoo!
  • I'm so sorry you're in so much pain! I worry too about the length of time of compression. But I do have great faith that everything will go well, for both of us! It's crazy that half of your sports contributed to my neck problem..snowmobiling...drove like a fool, wakeboarding...rode like a crazy fool;) the car crash, that was just black ice!
    Regardless, I will have surgery next Thursday, and you on Friday...we'll both do awesome...but I will exercise my right to be freakin scared out of my gourde;)
    Hey, I heard yoga and pillates are pretty tough? As for kick boxing, I wouldn't want to go around hurting peoples feet with my head, so due to liability issues, id opt out of that sport;)
    We got the babies bed this week, and trying to get as much prep done as possible, before I become a house lamp. My wife told me their gonna put a cone on my neck so I don't lick the wounds...I probably won't...unless it tastes like strawberry!
    Anyway...10 days to go, till we get 2seconds of don't care Drugs, followed by oblivion, and waking a new person! Take it easy jayhawk
  • Well, 6 more days. I hope they are going well for you. Having a rough one here, emotionally. I am usually confident, but not today. I think part of it is before, when I needed to escape some stress, i would hit the gym for a hard workout and then feel so much better, can't do that now. So I guess i'll go out for happy hour with the hubby. Not the best choice I know, but.....a gril's got to do what a girl's got to ,to get through the days! Hope you're well. Take care~Shari
  • Happy Hours are great therapy!!!!!!
  • Yes things are going well, thanks Shari:)
    I totally understand the workout stress management!! My own anxiety is pretty high...I'm pretty sure it will stay that way. wrapping up things at work is making me feel like I'm abandoning my team...hopefully ill be able to at least do some phone work after.
    My main worry now is WHAT AM I DOING! What if I make things worse...but its a background worry. Good or bad, I really trust the doc. And if I happen to go into the light, I just hope its not a bug zapper;)
    Have a Great happy hour! Cheers, Peter
  • Well after happy hour with the hubby and dinner and drinks with a girlfriend, I am much better! Even smiling today! I am hoping yesterday was my one melt down day and I'll sail through the rest of the week. It may be optomistic, but I'm going to give it a try! Hope your having a great weekend. Just think, this time next week, we will be on the other side!:-)Take care~Shari

    "My" Jayhawks play today, here's to hoping we beat colorado and stay undefeated in the Big 12!! At least there are hoops to watch and March Madness to recover with! :-)
  • I have had a cervical fusion(can't remember at what level) and I never think of it. It was painless, only took a pain pill when I got home and forgot the Doctors orders and tried to sleep in my bed. He had told me to sleep in a recliner. I rented a hospital bed and slept with my head up and had no other problems. I have even forgot how long I had to wear a neck brace.
    The surgery was a piece of cake and I have had no problems since.
    They went in the side of my neck and that's the only reminder I have of the surgery.
    I hope you do as well as I have.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • I love to hear about the success stories, it's good to know they're out there.
    How did your appt on the 18th go?
  • Well keep smiling shari! Finally in our last week! Pre-op on Tuesday...don't know what to expect for that, or how long i'll be there...but definitely looking forward to getting it over with!

    Get this neck thing over with and then recover for the little one's arrival in may. Can't wait!

    So how's your day today!
  • Hi Patsy,
    It's good to hear such a test success story! Definitely decreases anxiety;) I already moved a recliner into the bedroom to prepare for Friday...or Saturday depending on when I get home...thanks so much for the advice!
  • Hey Peter, my post op was rather long, but I had to wait several times when moving from one department to another. It consisted of registering with the hospital, meeting with nursing, having blood work, meetinng with anethesiology ~ heads up, you may want to ask them to give you something to ease the nervousness that occurs while you are waiting for surgery to begin. They are more than willing to give it to you, you just have to know to ask. I didn't know my first two spinal surgeries. I have never been lucky enough to be the first surgery of the day, and time just seems to drag on when you are waiting. You may also want to ask for meds from the anethesiologist for nausea. The last thing you want is to vomit.

    Hopefully your experience will be smooth and fast! Will you be in the hospital over night?

    I know everyone is different, but my husband has only had 2 spinal surgeries. A lumbar fusion and a cervical fusion and both were an immediate success! So...it can happen!

    Good luck! Do you have a name picked out for your son? What a wonderful thing to look forward to, post surgery!
  • Hi Shari! How are you? Thanks for the advice, I will definitely ask for the anti nervous juice...I will be staying overnight at the hospital, and I guess it depends on how well I'm doing whether or not its a two night stay.

    Other than the preop start time of 0830 tomorrow, I'm not under any other time constraints, so I will be poked and prodded at their leisure. (though They should call it Pre-scare;)

    We've named the little one Keenan...a nice Celtic name! His middle name is Gerohn, a combination of my and my wifes dads names. They will likely coax him out at 39 weeks making his bday sometime around may 1...still hard to believe he will have a 24 yr old sister and 21 yr old brother!

    It's good to finally be so close to the surgery...I'm nervous like crazy, and may wear Sprint shoes just in case, but if they get the 'dont care' juice in me quick enough it'll be ok;)

    Hope you're doing well Shari!! Just a few more days to go!

    Take care eh,
  • In Pre-op testing...waiting for chest xray. It will be a double fusion, c5 c6 and c6 c7....
  • Hey Peter! Hopefully you made it through pre-op, love you called it pre-scare! That's a good one! I was lucky enough I got to do ittwice because of the delays with my surgery. I almost had to do it yet a third time, but just under the 30 day limit before the bloodwork expires and needs to be done again.

    I'm hanging in there OK. I worked today and will tomorrow, got a little tearful telling coworkers goodbye. I work with babies from birth to 3, so telling them goodbye is also sad. My hubby had to go out of town today, will be back thur. I feel like someone took my security blanket from me :(

    Do you know what time you are scheduled? I find out Thur. Anxious to find out so I know if my daughter needs to stay with a friend Thur night.

    soon....we just need to stay calm.....take care ~ Shari
  • Made it thru Pre-scare;) cleared for surgery!!!...they're doing a two level fusion...I thought it was one...though I have symptoms from both disks, so I'm glad they're fixing both now. Looks like a two nighter as well.

    We have to be at the hospital at 0530 Thursday for a 0730 surgery...they said it will be around a 3 hr surgery....i'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared ;)

    I would freak if they rescheduled and I had to go through the wait again...I can't believe you had to do that! Hopefully your blanket returns soon;) I have one more workday tomorrow, then its pass the reigns over, and trust....lots of trust ;)

    How soon to you expect to be back working with the little ones? Hopefully soon. I'm prob out for at least two weeks. But one day at a time as of today!

    You don't know your surgery time yet?

  • So glad pre-scare went well! Tomorrow willbe my last day of work also. My surgeon will not give me an exact length of time to be away, but at least 3 months. I'm trying to not have my heart set on 3 months, knowing it could be more. One day at a time, right.

    I also don't know how long I'll be in the hospital anywhere from 3-6 night, again, I'm praying for 3.

    How awesome you are so early in the morning! I hope I will be too! I think it is easier that way!

    Here's to our last day at work before our "new and improved" lives!

    I think you both picked out an awesome name for your son! Congrat! I know you are going to do awesome during your surgery! Have a peaceful nights sleep! Shari
  • Thinking of you as your day is almost here! Hopefully today/tonight goes fast. You and your family as well as your medical team will be in my thoughts and prayers. Don't forget to be sure they give you something for nausea!

    When you feel up to it, pls let us know how you are doing as we will be thinking of you!

    Take care and happy healing! Shari
  • Thanks Sheri,

    Will try to log on tomorrow. Quietly freaking out right now;) If I don't get on in time, I wish you the best of the best in your surgery! Mucho thanks for the support!!!

    They said during preop that they would be giving the nasea meds afterwards regardless...just over 12 hours now!!!

    Take care!

  • Any surgery is hard, but good luck, relax , breath and hopefully over fast!

    You are in my prayers
  • Thanks cess,
    I'm in the bed now waiting for iv...schedule for 0730
  • Wow Peter! Your day/time is here! I woke up several times early morning and have been thinking of you and your family~sending many. many prayers your way! I am so happy for you and wish you happy healing and thoughtful nurses!! Happy Healing, the happy juice is on it's way! ~ Shari!
  • Thanks Sheri!
    I really appreciate your support and prayers, and I wanted to wish you the same. By now you're prob in.surgery right now.
    I've had a fair amount of pain, ajdthiss first note.
    It has hit 10th a few times. I can barly btype on my phone, so will updae later. The surgery was long..I thinkbjust over 4 hrs. I guess bones are soft.
    I have a huge histomine reaction to the morphine and dialodid.
    Shoulders running out of power now. So I will sign off. My thoughts and prayers to you and everyone on this board,
  • My recovery is going well, but have some remaining arm, shoulder blade and back of neck pain (oddly that's should be everything anyway;). So as not to repeat (re-pete;) recovery stories, I have them covered in a treatments forum topic called "back from 2 level acdf....blah blah blah " thanks so much for your support!!!! It means w lot!
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