Howdy all!! Kind of “on my feet” a bit here. I haven’t read much yet as still on the groggy side of things – I’m using spell check to catch the fog and butter fingers! (G) I’ll be on an off to try and read and post.
The game plan as many of you know was 3-5 hours to do laminectomy for C4 to T1, and posterior cervical fusion C4-T2. The surgery was just over 6 hours and ended up being Laminectomy of C4-C7, but fusion remained at C4-T2, screws, rods and BMP with my lami bone mixed in. Oddly no blood needed minimal blood loss. Then oops!!
As they brought me out of anesthesia (and I get a bit fuzzy here), post neurological assessment, my right side was paralyzed! My right thumb worked though errs, well was responsive to reflex and pain??? This of course put a monkey wrench into a quick diagnosis and assessment for sure!! All my ears heard were “It is possible she had a stroke during surgery, but the thumb doesn’t make sense at all. Let’s send her right up for an MRI of the brain down to T3 to rule it in or out.” Of course my groggy ears initially just heard “STROKE” and me thinking oh crap, after all this, and now a damn stroke? Oh come-on man!!!
Okay, in the tube I go….55 minutes later I hear good news …brain is clear, but we do have a large hematoma in the cervical spine! So my surgeon and I have a discussion about this new development and whether we should “go back in” and remove it, or see if it resolves overnight. I preferred plan “A” since this development was direct to the surgery, with instant function and paralysis, I preferred to go in and remove it vs. chance overnight pressure and more damage. My surgeon agreed, and exigent surgery was scheduled. I was delayed for 2 hours due to a finishing procedure in progress, and the need to clear the OR of Latex.
I found out today that my husband feared I either wasn’t going to make it, or the damage was already done! How crappy of a feeling that had to be! Fortunately for me and him – neither fear come to reality. When I once again was woken up from anesthesia, my arms and legs were good to go (right side). I am getting neurological assessments every 30 minutes, and remain in ICU. Tons of steroids, some more antibiotics, PCA (Dilaudid .1mg allowed every 8 mins) for pain, though max 1mg if needed. Also a strong breakthrough medication (IV can't remember the name of it right now) that works great!
Guys I found out the hard way about not keeping up with pain levels and medication. I got behind, and the pain was unbelievable, and I can take a bunch of pain - stupid!!! Won't do that again if I can help it. Lol!!! Ouch!!!
Due to the need to go back in, my hospital location and discharge instructions for higher chances of maximum recovery have changed. I am being kept in ICU until Saturday or Sunday, and then going to be transported via ambulance to an acute aftercare facility for between 2-3 weeks – 24/7 facility supervision, nursing, neuro and wound management along with PT. “One stop shopping” right? (G) At first I was BIG TIME depressed over this change, but then I remembered my hubby was not comfortable with my being home alone originally to begin with, and now the need for another 2 hour surgery and his fears; I too am now comfortable with this post hospital heath management. ICU here has a great staff, they are keeping me comfortable, and my medical team has privileges at this hospital if need be. Whew!!! My surgeon also ordered me a walker (he doesn't want me using my cane until fusion starts to keep an even balance) and a wheelchair - for more lengthy activities - sit woman!! (G)
My surgeon as per my request took pictures during the course of my original surgery. I can’t wait to see them! He also told me he has an x-ray for me too! I will put them on my Photobucket site when I have them. I might do a link with a gory or “weak stomach” warning, lol!!!
Well, that is where I am at presently. 5 levels and pretty darn comfortable – much to my surprise. Granted very soon as I tell others after surgery, so to I do know the hammer will begin to fall, and the ouch modes en-route to recovery will begin. Mentally I feel in a good place with my medical decisions. My compression socks are alternating on inflation and acting like a mini leg massage – rather pleasant feeling actually. My nurse (wonderful nurses so far – love em!!!) on the night shift told me that it’s funny, patients either like them or absolutely hate them! Weird. They are great for me anyways… (G)
I’ve been here in Word typing this in between Dilaudid naps, so now going to copy it into an “I’m back kinda” thread. Then going to try and see what Dave (Metalneck) posted to add my replies there. Thanks for speaking for me in advance Dave, you’re a super friend indeed!! I know there are more that too may have spoken after we talked voice (Sleeprgirl ), so if I missed you dear friend, apologies ahead of time!! *HUGZ* to you guys, and all my other spiney brothers and sisters. I could feel the energy, I really could!!
PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.