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Back to Work at 10 weeks ACDF C5-6 C6-7

frenchfriffrenchfri Posts: 325
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Recovering from Surgery

I went back to work as a teacher (4th grade)on 2/14 (Monday). There have been many ups and downs. After school each day the recliner was my best friend for the entire evening other than dinner. I was exhausted, sore and achy a few days but in excruciating pain for 2 of the days. (took hydrocodone which I hadn't done for a very long time) Not sure what I did to cause the pain. Those 2 days I was not sure if I was going to go back the next day, but I did. I was so glad when Friday arrived. (I feel like a wimp) Now I have a week off to recuperate. Not sure how I will be when we return after the week off as the next break won't be until the end of April. (OMG)I have a great bunch of kids and additional staff that was willing to come in and help out. I did sit at my desk with a high back wonderful chair that I bought early in the school year many times during the day. I showed my kids the xrays with the hardware and they were intrigued and asked wonderful questions.
Had the eval for PT and generally it went well. There were a few things that caused pain and I let they guy know that very quickly. I am sure I will be in pain after each session next week. At least I won't be working. Still not looking forward to additional pain. Hope that they saying is true: No pain ...No gain.
Hope that all of you who have ad surgery are recovering well. Love to hear the stories.
12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7
DDD, severe arthritis
4 hours with a bone stimulator per day
no bone growth yet
PT starts Monday had eval (painful)
Went to work as a teacher 2/14/2010


  • You are still early in recovery so I'm not surprised you still have pain. I had only one level done, C5/6, but it took about 3 months to feel like myself again. This was back in 1/08. Now many days I forget the fusion was even done. Hang in there and best wishes!

  • Frenchi,

    How cool for you to create intrigue for you 4th graders. I'm sure they were quite inquisitive. I hope your feeling better each and every day as you get back in the swing of being on your feet. Don't forget to ice during the day if you can....At your desk maybe during a test. It sure helps. I still ice on my own...it's easy to over do it. I went dancing with my H on this past saturday. I've no idea what I did, but I'm paying for it...I'm hurting...so I going to go Ice right now, Again. :) see ya round.
  • My kids are great. They are so caring, helpful, inquisitive and willing to help out how ever they can. Sometimes I feel they are more helpful and caring then some of the adults in my school (principal and ap). Looking down to mark papers or workbook pages is very difficult. They love being little helpers. We have a SmartBoard in the classroom and sometimes I can not reach the top to complete an "action" so one of the kids will be my righthand and touch everything on the touch screen for me. i also have music stands in different locations in the room to put the teachers manuals so I can look eye level.

    Hope the ice is helping you. I'm sure the dancing was worth the pain now. It is nice to feel "normal" for a little while even if we pay for it.

    Have a good day :)

  • I know what you mean, frenchfri, about the kids being more helpful and caring than some adults!
    The kids in my school are always willing to help me, and often tell me to let them bend for me and carry stuff for me. Even some of our 'tough' kids have really shown their kind and sensitive side towards me. :-)
  • jelly hall

    Are you a teacher or do you just work in a shool? I agree that the kids are amazing. :) Hope all is well with your recovery. Have you rec'd the MRI results yet?
  • Hi Frenchfri,

    I had my surgery about a month after you. I went back to work on an intermittant basis after 4 weeks. In retrospect, it was way too soon. My recovery has been two steps forward, one step back. But when I pushed it at work, it became one step forward, two steps back.

    I find that I get a lot of comfort from reading the posts of others on this site. Just when I am feeling like a total wimp, others' stories remind me that I am not.

    You and I are very close in our recovery period. I would like very much to "compare notes" if you are up for it.


  • I am a teaching assistant, so that involves getting down to the children's level to support them while they work. Those little chairs are not good for my back. I have a chair and a child helper to move it to where I need it, but it is never in the right place for long!

    I will get the MRI results on 15th March. This is the longest 7 1/2 months! I was referred at the beginning of August!! My symptoms have got worse since the scan in October.

    I have now been referred for an MRI of my lumbar spine. I wonder which will come first 8>

    There are others much worse off than me. I must try to stay positive. :D
    Hope you had a better day today.

  • jellyhall: Hy does it take so long to get the results of an MRI? When I had a cervical MRI I had the results within a week. Are you in the USA or UK or Canada? Yes, it is important to stay positive. SOmetimes it is very hard to do so. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  • I am in the UK (the waiting centre of the world!!)

    I am having to wait to see the neurosurgeon, who will give me the results of the cervical MRI. I was referred to see him last August. My appointment for 15th March was given to me in about end of September.

    If it had not been for my physiotherapist, who contacted the hospital with his concern about the symptoms that I am having, so I got an MRI scan in 2 weeks, I wouldn't have even had the scan yet. They have not brought the appointment with the neurosurgeon forward. I hope that means that things are not bad.

    My physio is rather annoyed at how long I am having to wait. He has tried repeatedly to get access to the MRI scan on the computer system. He can see that it is there, but hasn't got the password to view it. They won't give it to him, telling him that it must be the neurosurgeon who views it.

    Less than a month to wait now.

    I must admit, sometimes I think that I am starting to get depressed about all this. I have had the fusion surgery that has helped a lot, but I am worried that this is as good as I am going to get!

    I am even getting increasing symptoms, so feel I had better make the most of how I am now, as I may be heading back to how I was before my surgery.

    I am going to spend time this weekend planning excursions for our cruise in 6 weeks. That should be fun. :D

    You have a wonderful weekend too :-)
  • jellyhall:
    How are you doing? Haven't heard from you in a while. Where are you going on your cruise. Never been on one. Have you had your MRI yet? Amazed at how long everything takes in other countries.
    How are you doing? Does the weather affect you? The changes rally seem to affect me.
    I am at the 3 month mark. I do not feel like myself yet. I have not regained the strength in my arms and upper body. I carried a light laundry basket this morning. I will have my son carry it from the basement to the bedroom when it is finished (2 full flights). I find I still wake up each morning very achy and sore. By the time I get home from work I am shot and spend most of the time in the recliner except for dinner. Thank goodness for my recliner. Don't know what I would do without it.
    12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7
    DDD, severe arthritis
    4 hours with a bone stimulator per day
    no bone growth yet (6 week check)
    3/14 3 month check. . . hoping for bone growth
    PT starts Monday 2/21) had eval prior (painful)
    Went to work as a teacher 2/14/2010 exhausting

  • I am moving along while I wait for my appointment with the neurosurgeon. My MRI scan was back in October, so nearly 5 months ago!! Things could have changed in that time. In actual fact, my symptoms have got worse! My latest symptom is a wet feeling that comes and goes in my legs and arms. It doesn't last long.

    I have been spending less time on Spine Health, as I am trying to just get on with my life until I have more news about where I am.

    We are cruising from San Juan. Our flight to get from Heathrow to Peurto Rico is horrendous. Flying via New York, then Miami (overnight) then flying to San Juan. I just hope that my back will behave. Anyone got any tips to help??

    I am trying to make this cruise my main focus rather than my various pains and other symptoms. Otherwise I was starting to get depressed that I wasn't where I had hoped to be a year after surgery.

    Hope that you are having a good weekend. :-)

  • Hi; does your doctor have you wearing the soft collar at all.
    It might help while you are at school, to remind you not to look up or down at the chalkboard.
    Even after going thru the surgery, people still forget, and risk hurting themselves further.

    Best of luck to you.
  • Your okay....your O K A Y.....I'm with you in both messed up arm issues....it's slow going these days...but I know in my heart of hearts that our strength will come back. I've learned from my Hub, that if I have no expectations..i'm not disappointed. It's better for me to accept so to speak. But...BUT, I also know that we will continue to get better Frenchi...we will :) Remember the PMA....hard sometimes I know too well................one year, one year and we will wake up and say " wow" hugs girlfriend...I'm with you!
  • I do have a soft collar. The OSS said that I d not have to wear it anymore. I usually wear it when sleeping as I wake up less sore than without it. I am tight in the am. A nice warm shower helps.I have pretty good ROM looking down. Up is pretty poor. Believe it or not, I do not have a chalkboard. I have a SmartBoard instead. It is a touch screen that I use with lessons that I created or I can use the computer to write or change items. I also have a co-teacher so she allows me to sit back and relax when needed. I am blessed in that respect. I do wear the collar at times if I am more sore than usual.
    Thanks for your concern.
  • Thanks for the words of encouragement. I guess I was just feeling sorry for myself. I am not the type of person to sit around and just wait for things to get better. So I push myself.In the beginning I thought I was going to go back to work by 4 or 6 weeks post op. Boy was I wrong.
    I think you are correct. . . no expectations . . . no disappointments. I'm sure the strength with come back and the pain and burning will disappear. I just never realized that it would take so long. I wish my OSS was honest with me. But I guess I never asked the "right" questions. Who knew.
    Silly question, What is PMA?
    Hope that you have a good week. I will try . :)
  • We all have them!!!! Just some days are harder than others to muster it up.

    FWIW, today and it's still early....I actually feel normal. Thats progress. Yesterday driving home 5 1/2 hours...I had horrible muscle pain and arm pain....across both shoulders. Shrugging my shoulders hurt like hell, but it helped.

    Have a good one frenchi...and take it easy. Ice Ice ice...even if you don't feel bad. This has truly helped me!
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