Just wanted to update and let everyone know that my neck is doing great! I've been doing a lot of physical work and even painting overhead (which always killed me!) and my neck hasn't gotten sore or stiff. I do still feel like there's a lump in my throat almost every evening but other than that I seldom even think of the surgery.
I just wanted to let others know that it does/can get better. I don't know what the future may bring since I have two other bad levels in my neck but as of now I'm very pleased. If they could help my lower back as much as the surgery has helped my neck/arm/hand I'd gladly go tomorrow...or today for that matter!