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The light at the end of my tunnel was a train!

sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:47 AM in Recovering from Surgery
How can things be going so good and then *wham*!?

18 days since my ACDF and someone is using a corkscrew on my muscles AGAIN. Nothing will help and believe me I've tried it all. I keep telling myself this is normal...funny how that really doesn't make me feel any better though.

I was going to call my surgeon and ask for some muscle relaxers but I knew it would be a waste of my time. I know he wouldn't give me anything good now when he sent me home with so little after surgery.

I keep telling myself to keep moving...that'll help with these muscles...well they evidently ain't listening darn it. Why am I telling you all this? I don't know...maybe I'm just looking for sympathy. I can't say any of this at home because I'd here the "I told you so" that I've been trying to avoid. Whenever any of them ask me how I am I say I'm great. Then I think what am I gonna do if this keeps up?? I don't know how long I can hide it...

Debbie
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Comments

  • Howdy Debbie,

    Sorry to hear you're hitting a rough patch. A lot was done in there woman, try and give it time and patience. Hiding what is going on from your husband is probably also adding to your stress, and is a negative for healing. So he says "I told you so", so what? You can reply with educating *him* in that with the trauma a surgery causes, causes changes and adjustments to your spine, muscles etc., so days like this will happen from time to time. :)

    I hope you get some relief. Try alternating heat and ice, gentle rubbing like massage, gentle stretching, and too walk a bit and see if that helps. Hoping you feel better soon. *HUGZ*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • My vote is to call the surgeon and ask for the muscle relaxers, so what if he tells you know, but if you don't try you will never know for sure. Having muscles spams at this stage of the game is rather common. It might also be that he would put you on a medrol dose pak to help some possible inflammation down. Your not doing anything wrong by asking for a simple muscle relaxer and getting the spasms under control might be all it takes. Also you might want to check into get a message, of course don't let them touch your neck but it may help on the shoulders.

    Now on the "i told you so", If i had a nickel for every time someone said that to me, well I know I could be sitting in a nice warm place right now sucking on a nice fufu drink.
  • Debbie,

    What's this "I told you so" business? Did they tell you not to have neck surgery because you'd be complaining of it hurting all the time, or something? You should NOT have pussyfoot around your family pretending to feel "great" when you're probably near tears. I guess I don't understand the dynamics in your family, but you have my sympathy.

    If I were you, I'd try calling your surgeon's office and asking for a strong muscle relaxer because you're in misery. If they won't give it to you, at least you tried. You'll never know unless you try.

    I'm sending healing thoughts your direction and hope you have a tolerable week-end!
    Linda

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Thanks for reading my whiney post.

    I've been walking daily because it really helps with the stiffness. I've also been using the lidoderm patches, icy hot rub, heat, ice, and flexeril.

    I know that this is fairly common and I did tell my husband that we could expect this. It's just that after the grief he gave me about having this surgery I don't want to complain now you know?

    I broke down and called my surgeons office today and someone was supposed to call me back but the office closed 2 1/2 hours ago and no call. Ah well...

    I'm sure this will pass. Yep, I'm an impatient patient. lol. It's just that I've been so good...taking care to not cause stuff like this. As far as my pre-op pain, so far it's gone. Yippee! I guess having these muscle spasms start again is just scary.

    Thanks for listening. It helps having everyone here at SH who understands.

    Debbie
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I explained in my reply to Brenda about the Drs office failing to return my call. Hope it's not a terribly long weekend...hopefully it'll let up soon.

    I was feeling really discouraged when I posted this today. I know I shouldn't post when I feel that way. I would much rather have positive posts so others contemplating the surgery will feel hope you know? Still, I think the surgery was successful in taking care of a lot of my problems. I know I'm just to impatient sometimes.

    Thanks for all your help and advice. How are you doing now? Oh yeah, can I join you having that drink??

    Debbie
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Thanks.

    My family had a hard time with my decision to have the surgery but they've really been good to me since then. All of that was a long story. lol.

    Thanks for the thoughts. I'll be okay. Just doing a little grumbling today. If it gets unbearable over the weekend I'll call the on call physician...or go to urgent care. Hopefully it'll ease up before then though.

    Take care,
    Debbie
  • When I couldn't get any help say on a weekend or holiday, I would find some semblance of relief with moist heat.

    Hope they ease soon.

    "C"
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm sitting here now with the heating pad on my neck muscles and an ice pack on my upper chest! These spasms (or whatever) feel like someone is stabbing me clear through! I feel sore all through my shoulders and chest.

    I've tried to think of what I may have done to bring this on and I hate to admit it but I think I've figured it out. (I'm afraid to say because some of my friends on here may come find me and smack me!)I've been doing my housework (my son vacuums for me)and it doesn't bother me but...I mopped the kitchen and bathrooms yesterday. It was one of those "hit and miss" kind of jobs and I was careful not to strain my neck...or thought I was. Guess I won't try that again for a while.

    Well now that I've figured it out...still hurts. lol.

    Take care and thanks again.
    Debbie
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    He (or she) who screams the loudest, gets heard! I think flexeril IS a muscle relaxer. If it is, tell him it's not working and to give you something else.
    I haven't had any cervical work done. But I have had a lot of surgeries. And I've learned If something is not working for me and I'm in pain I call! And if they are closed, tell the switch board operator to have someone call you in a prescription! Someone is on call. If no one get right back to you. Then call again, and again, and again till someone calls a prescription in to your pharmacy.
    If you don't make yourself HEARD then they will think everything is alright. Ask and ye shall receive. And he who bitches the loudest will be taken care of!
    And tell your family that the surgeon said, there will be good days and there will be bad days. And this is a bad day! ~X(
    Don't lay down and take it! Be your own advocate. X(
    Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Oh, boy, those muscle spasms can be a real bear. I know how much they hurt and how annoying they can be on top of that. Just yesterday I was having horrible spasms at the bottom left of my lumbar where my hardware is - it would just shoot pain then go away for a couple of seconds then shoot again, nonstop all day.

    As far as meds, what I did when I started having more spasms recently and I no longer had any valium (just bottomless flexeril refills), I called my surgeon's PA, as he's much more understanding than my surgeon. I left a message telling him that I was going to have my pharmacy fax him a refill because I was having some major bouts of spasms, not all the time, but some bouts that were really nasty and I wanted to have them available for those times. I told him that if he had a problem refilling them to call me and we'd talk about it. He never called, just refilled. When he sees that I don't use them up in the minimum time allowed and even have weeks left on the prescription, he's well aware that I'm not taking them even as much as prescribed, therefore not abusing them.

    So what I'm suggesting is that might be something to try, if you ever did have a muscle relaxer that helped and can have your pharmacy just fax for a refill approval. Then leave a message for your doc and tell them why you've done this. Any surgeon should understand the major muscle spasms that we spineys go through. I'd say that's probably the biggest ongoing problem.

    But, being the weekend, calling the doc-on-call or urgent care is a good idea to get through the next couple of days. And like "C" said, moist heat helps.

    Don't worry about "whining", as you say. I don't call it whining, I call it reaching out for some understanding from those that can. My guess is that hubby would understand if you told him as anybody would guess that there's a healing period after surgery that includes pain and such, but I also understand that you don't really want to dip your toe in that water, just in case it's too cold.

    We're here for ya, my friend. Keep on posting and be sure to keep us updated on how you feel and what steps you take. We can all relate.

    Cathie
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Don't make us come down there girl!
    Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I know you're right. I'm just intimidated by doctors for some reason. I'm always scared to ask for meds...muscle relaxers or pain pills...because I'm afraid they'll think I'm a druggie. I also try to just tough it out.

    Yes the flexeril is a muscle relaxer but it's never done me any good. It just makes me feel bad/tired. Of course that probably helps if just by making me sit around more. I broke down and took one of the percocets they gave me after surgery earlier and it seems to be helping. If only I can keep it down and not be throwing up soon!

    Thanks Jim.
    Hope you're having a better day.

    Debbie
  • We all posted at the same time and I can't believe that you mopped. If I were there right now, I'd stick your head in the bucket. Well, no I wouldn't, but I'd be mighty tempted!

    Consider yourself slapped by at least two people on these forums. Pushing, pulling, lifting are the worst things you can do...so

    STOP DOING HOUSEWORK! PERIOD!
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Believe me I know! Won't be doing that again for a long while....



  • You mopped the floors because you saw they were dirty (probably only to you). You're not even supposed to be looking down to SEE the floors - you just had surgery on your neck, woman...
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    In my defense the PA said I should be able to do 'pretty much everything I normally do' when I came home from the hospital. Really she did. Still, I know I shouldn't have done that. I only 'lightly' mopped but I know now it wasn't a good idea. NO MORE believe me!!

    Besides, I'm afraid of you all!! hehehe

    Debbie
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Well actually...I saw my socks were dirty.
    It's not like I don't go out on the porch and everywhere in my socks though. 8}
  • If it's unbearable I would call the Dr and tell him the pain is unbearable with muscle spasms etc. I've been yelled at by Drs when I call them in the middle of the night for over 20 years I was a nurse and mainly worked night shifts but I don't care the patient is number 1!
    Also no one called you back during office hours if he says anything let him know that. I still have the Drs as my friends and respected me for helping the patient get some pain meds or whatever. Maybe a hot wet towel put in a bag inside of a pillow case or towel if it's too hot will help. I won't say anything about the cleaning. Hope you feel better. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • spasms after a cervical fusion are very painful. I do not know how you are hiding your pain from your family. There was absolutely no way I could have done that. And doing housework...well you realize that was a big no no so there is no need to say anymore on that subject.
    My neurosurgeon released me with Percocets and Soma for a muscle relaxer. It probably was the best muscle relaxer I have ever taken. At two weeks post-op you should be totally resting and relaxing with the exception of walking some each day and not running marathons just enough to move about and keep the blood flowing. Rest and relaxation is so important after a surgery as this is when our bodies heal. I imagine your muscles are so tensed up not only from the surgery itself but from the undue stress of trying to pretend that you feel perfectly normal when in fact lets face it you are hurting. That part is normal. There is alot of pain after a cervical fusion any fusion but I am only familiar with cervical since that is what I had. Of course I am no dr just going by experience. Honestly my heart goes out to you right now. Without being able to open up to my husband about how bad I was feeling, I don't know how I would have managed. You must be extremely tough or great at hiding your pain.
    Also you mentioned you broke down and took a Percocet. As I said rest and relaxtion is so important in the healing process. Taking your meds as prescribed will enable you to possibly keep the pain on an even keel rather than waiting until it is unbearable. Please don't think I am sounding harsh I am actually in awe of you and don't know how you are doing it. I called my neurosurgeons office many times after my surgery so they are totally used to that. Most likely expect it, you went through quite an ordeal. At the minimum I would take your pain medication exactly at the time intervals prescribed and put a call into the dr. or on call dr and let them know the spasms are awful and the flexeril is just not helping at all. As far as your family, you really need their help right now and you are not going to heal properly if you are trying to do the things you would normally do to run your household. I cannot stress enough you need lots of rest, help and understanding from your family (even if you the the I told you so) and something to relax your muscles. I have a feeling once everything is on the table as to how you are really feeling some of the muscle spasms may ease up (that is if you are taking your pain meds also) Good luck to you and if you have any questions or just want to talk to someone who has been through the same surgery feel free to PM me. I pray you have a successful fusion and get some relief soon. Again if I sounded like I was preaching I am so sorry I just really feel bad for you.
    Jan
  • I'm glad that you called your surgeon's office - I didn't get the impression you were hurting that bad. Kind of sad that they didn't call you back. I hope you let your surgeon know this, as his staff might have dropped the ball.

    Mopping?!?! Smack!! There now your cheek should hurt, and take your mind off of your neck and shoulders! (G) I hope this missive finds you feeling better. *HUGZ*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • j.howie said:
    Don't lay down and take it! Be your own advocate. Angry
    Jim
    LOL, Jim, you're funny!
    Linda

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • dont feel bad ringing the dr,nothing wrong in asking for the muscle relaxers. sorry your having those awfull spasms, they sure do hurt, hope you get some releif soon
    hugs
    flower :)
  • I found out that anyone with cervical issues who even so much as leans their head forward of center (as will happen when mopping, weeding the garden or riding a bike) will wind up getting everything to tighten and even bring on some inflammation. I battle this every day and have to plan the days when I am mopping floors or weeding the garden. I generally plan them for the day before I will be recharging my SCS battery, because I do that sitting back in my recliner with my head and neck supported. My husband and I invested in a hot tub so I can soak my neck, shoulders and lower back every day. That moist heat has saved my behind more than I can count!

    I would definitely contact the doctor's office first thing Monday morning (unless you have a bad time this weekend and need to call the on call doc). I have made the mistake of waiting until midday to give them time to return the call they never did on Friday. Wrong move. Best thing I found was to call very first thing Monday and make certain they know you called.

    "C"
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I wish I hadn't tried mopping. Honestly though I was very careful. Now I'm replaying in my mind my surgeons PA telling me that I could do anything---if she was here right now I'd probably smack her even though I know that it's my fault for being stupid. My husband was with me when the PA told me that so he's thought I should do everything too. Still, the blame is mine but that's not helping me right now.

    I know it's only muscle spasms but OMG! I can't even comb my hair this morning. Can't lift my arms or it grabs me. I have to breathe 'gently' or it hits. I took another of the percocets with the flexeril a little bit ago so maybe that'll help. The one I took yesterday evening didn't make me sick but I was on the verge there for awhile.

    I hope I don't have to call the doctor this weekend because I know there's not a lot they can/will do anyway. There's no one home who can take me to the doctor or even to pick up a script this weekend so I'll try to tough it out. One thing is for certain, if I can get this muscle straightened out I won't be pushing my luck anymore.

    If any of you have any other ideas-I've tried all the suggestions so far-please let me know.

    Thanks
    Debbie
  • Debbie,

    One thing I know for sure coming home from surgery the hardest thing I had to do was keep myself from doing stupid stuff. I mean it was like a the ID/ego battle going all day on me. So if you must do the floors leave the mop out of it and do it on sitting on your butt with a sponge. You can practice wax on wax off deal and get a little movement on your arms. But it will save you from trying to look down, as I am sure that is what did it to you, now. Whatever you do try to keep it in front of you and not something your looking down at.
  • How are you doing?

    I really hope that you are not over-doing yourself. I know it's hard to be patient, but you want your surgery to heal well. If you over-do yourself and your neck, you are sure to bring on extra pain that you certainly don't need during the healing process.

    After I read about you mopping, I just about hit the floor. You shouldn't be doing stuff like that, yet. You need to give yourself time to heal and I can't stress that enough.

    I hope to hear back that you are feeling better, the muscle spasms are starting to ease up... as well as your pain.

    Please take good care of yourself, Debbie. I really do worry about you over-doing it.

    Hugs with love,

    Tammy >:D<
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