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Can I manage this by myself?

ktrombkktromb Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

In five days, I'll be having a 2-level ACDF (and I'm eager and dreading it all at the same time). I asked my surgeon about how long I would be in the hospital and he said probably 2 nites, but that my insurance had approved 3 in case I need it.

I live alone and since I have good friends just down the block and a sister about 20 minutes away, I haven't made any arrangements for someone to stay with me 24/7. I am assuming I'll be able to shuffle around, make coffee, shuffle around, get to my recliner, shuffle around, get to my meds, etc. Am I expecting too much of myself? I really can't expect constant care from my friends and family because they've got lives, too. Should I consider hiring a sitter (even tho I don't really have the $)?

thanks for any advice!


  • Did your doctor give you any instructions regarding help? I was told to have somebody 24/7 for the first week, but I had 4 levels. I would have had trouble getting food prepared to eat. I needed help with showering - getting the hard collar off, covering the incision and putting on my soft collar. I recommend you have a grabber. Look at the lists available on the site for things to do before and in preparation for surgery. I wouldn't have been comfortable being home alone the first couple of nights. I was in the hospital 4 days.

    I wish you the best of luck with your surgery.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • My wife was there but I could do a lot for myself. I was even washing clothes and taking the trash out after a few days. Just couldn't lift over 8 lbs ex gallon of milk. Your situation may be better than mine since I had to get a lumbar lami about 3.5 months later. This was after I spent over a month in the hospital last 8/15/10 from a motorcycle wreck. Good luck, I hope all goes well with you.
  • I just had a 3 level ACDF. I went home that evening at 6 after surgery at 11. I could have stayed but wanted to go home. My daughter was home but I did not need any help that night. I have been basically home alone since and I have been fine. Just like lbritt64 I cannot lift much.
    Good Luck!
  • Wow! Thanks all of you for the quick responses. I'll sleep better tonite knowing I probably won't need to spend the $ for a sitter. And surely I can call in a favor or two from my sister if I need her to be here.

  • Hi,
    I have had that surgery twice, and other than the no lifting, I was ok. Not much pain, just discomfort..
    Anterior is not that bad, but if you ever need a posterior (I recently had both) it'a a whole other ballgame...you would need help for that one.
    Feel better!
  • Two ACDF's here, and except for my driving restrictions (due to meds and collar), I was pretty independent on both. My hubby had to drive me for my 10 day and 6 week post op on my second surgery. But 'day to day' after surgery, I really didn't need any help either.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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