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2+ Week Post Op follow Up. Went great!!!

Aviatrix36440Aviatrix36440 Posts: 5,904
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Whelps, had my first surgical post up follow up today (err...sorry, late hour, yesterday). My surgeon took x-rays (of which I took camera pics for now - can't get CD for a few weeks), and all looks wonderful. I asked why only 3 screws covering C5/6/7 and he said I didn't have enough bone to put a screw there without inducing issues later down the road. I could see that in the MRI, so it makes perfect sense to me. :)

Had my staples out, a few steri-strips added for some areas (can take off two weeks from Friday). We discussed my prior neurological issues (which as of now have not changed), and he advised it will be at least a year to see if any comes back - mutual feeling from prior tests, and this exam, it won't come back. I am okay with that, as that was an understanding prior to surgery. I am so happy that I've not had ONE choke out since this surgery (pills, liquids or food), which is HUGE improvement right there for me. I am in a wheelchair though for the next 3-4 months as he wants NO pressure on my arms (walker/cane) if it can be avoided. Originally it was going to be via walker, but the second surgery canned that thought and plan. Additionally I am to stay in my hard collar for 3-4 months as well. No problem with me doc. I am to connect with the rep for a new bone growth stimulator as well - will call after I get up. 6 months for usage there...

Pain meds are working fine, as are the muscle relaxers. I see my pain management doctor in two weeks - the same doctor who followed me in my hospital stay, so it feels like a good mix right there. I cropped my hair since so much was removed for surgery (15.2 inch incision) - I kind of like the "chia pet' feel when I run my fingers through it!!! Lol!!

My hubby and I discussed last night, and too I relayed it to my OS, "if" I had to go through this surgery again, and its related 2nd surgery, I would do it again in a heart beat!!!

Pluses felt so far...:
No more choke outs
Voice stabilizing, and not scrappy or dry.
ROM as I expected (stinks)
Sleeping so much better.
Am cutting down on the narcotics (Dilaudid) as we speak.
Mentally in a better place.
Very pleased with my decision and my surgeon (and choice)
VERY Happy to be away from hellSouth rehab.
Neurologically no real change - but expected that.
Confirmation my neck is affecting my legs to a large degree. (confirmation helps mentally believe it or not)
Bladder/bowel most likely from neck - much better.

Normal post op pain (bummer, but it will pass).
Long recovery - expected.
Living in a wheelchair and hard collar (bummer, but will pass with time.)
Otherwise, no real 'cons' presently. :)

That's where I am are presently. I will judge by days until the end of next week, then bump it to weekly. I am trying to stay realistic in so far as what to expect, and I think that will keep me mentally grounded for this mess. I again, would go through this again in a blink.

Thanks for listening... Might scream in pain or spasms, but ready for em!! :)

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


  • Good job. Hopefully it will pay off in the long run, Loss of mobility and motion might not be a big deal and might be a good trade off as long as everything is secured and everything gets positioned like where it should be,

    Give it 6 months and with pt or pool thearapy or both in the future you coukd be seeing brighter days, Even if you have to join a health club facility with pool for life to get where you want to be is worth it,

    If there is less stress and pain in the uper area then might give less stress on the lower area of the back also which might just keep you off the surgery table in the future, Good luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Long time since I've been on here reading posts. Sounds like a good plan of treatment you and your "team" have put together. Wishing you great patience and good results during your recovery time.

  • checkup Brenda! Glad to see that your pros list is sooo much longer than your cons list.Actally each of your cons is followed by somewhat of a pro(expected, it will pass) Your upbeat attitude about the whole situation is incredible.

    Hopefully your pool will start to warm up again, right around the time that you are able to get in it. Do you have a heater so that you can use it year round?

    Good that you are judging your progress the way that you are(daily then to weekly) The time will fly by before you know it.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Yay Brenda :)
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg

  • Sounds like you are on your way to a stabilised neck and a better, more comfortable life.

    I think your surgeon sounds great!
    Shame I am so far away from him!

    Keep healing!
    >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • Congrats Brenda! I am so happy for you to be on the other side of the surgery and away from the rehab place. You are going to just keep on getting better :)
    wishing you less and less pain every day/week...
  • Great news Brenda,

    Keep moving forward in your recovery. Your the best!

    AL S
  • for everything including short trips around the house? If that was me I'd be afraid to put any kind of pressure on my neck via the arms, yet I'm kinda surprised that a walker wouldn't do for navigating from, say, the bed to the bathroom (especially if it's an en suite bathroom/bedroom arrangement.) But don't do what I say - do what the doctor says (as for me, I'm an MD - Medically Dumb!) Love 'n Verrry Gentle >:D< >:D< >:D< , Ess
  • essmoe29 had the same thoughts I did. Isn't the use of your arms moving around in the wheel chair also hard on your neck? Possibly the loading is different versus using the walker and the weight distribution.

    Glad things are working out for you.

  • Glad it went well. I was also thinking the same thing like "C" about the wheelchair putting strain on your arms also. Maybe you could get a scooter or electric wheelchair to get around. Rental or buy maybe? I hope the nerve issues resolve in time. Praying for a complete healing for you. 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
  • Brenda, I am glad to hear some promising things from this surgery of yours. Again, you are an angel even when you don't even know it. I had my lumbar fusion done Sept. 7th and have been having some yuk days because I am going stir crazy. I feel like I should be break dancing by now. LOL I have mobility with my legs. I just have to wear the brace 23 hrs a day for like 3 months or so. I would say my overall is better then what it was. I still have pain but not constant. Here I feel grumpy and bummed having to read or watch TV all day and look at you. I should be truly thankful that I can walk. I don't hear you complaining at all for what you have to go through. Thanks for keeping it real for me. I hope to keep hearing more good reports from you. Beth
  • Thanks very much for your post. :) My "pool season" is ending here soon due to cooler night temps chilling my above ground pool too much! Sniff... There are no gyms or clubs with a pool within reason down here (part of the reason I bought a pool in the first place). In 4-6 months my hubby will be working a 'shutdown', so not sure if he will be able to get me back and forth to a gym or rehab. Hopefully our mirrors will be modified, and I will be down on the narcotics so I can drive. Yeah, ROM bites with only 2 good levels above. :)

    Not like I have a choice, but I can "live" with what I had and now have. Of course hoping for some to come back, but won't be surprised if it doesn't and there was a wee bit more damaged by the time all the surgery was done. Stable and stopping further damage seemed to be in play as planned, so I am good. Thanks very much for the well wishes, I do appreciate them. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Nice to see you back with us! Yeah my surgeon - all the doctors he's hooked me up with, and too many of which worked on me post op as well are really good and dedicated doctors. It still rather shocks me honestly!! My pain management doctor is also a working Anesthesiologist! That there makes me feel good, and too his attitude towards me, and the mutual respect between us I feel is a good fit - he will continue my pain management from here on out.

    So far, so good as they say. I love this team approach, and here I thought that only happened on the show 'House'...lol!!! Gladly I was wrong! 8>

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

    I've seen some of the worst of the worst of humanity in my career, and due to that, I try to stay upbeat at the wonderful parts in my life I have. I do have my pity parties (we all have to - healthy for the body), but more of them are 'feeling for my hubby' in having to go through all this with me. Every day I realize I did find my "soul mate" in this life. My hubby and I even talked about that today, and he too feels 'he' found his soul mate and is happy, confident, and comfortable. God I love this man!!!!

    No heated pool, but hubby and I are thinking of an add on to the house, and putting in a therapy pool such that we can both use it, but of course presently around my mess. Fingers crossed that all works out. Thanks very much Karen!!! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Donnabe said:
    Yay Brenda :)
    Thanks Donna!!

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

    If you ever need his name and contact info, PM me anytime!!! He has patients that come to him from all over the world! Pretty neat huh?

    I know I feel great considering the surgery and my 2 years of instability. Keep me in your thoughts please, Dankie in advance. :)

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

    Thanks very much for your wonderful, kind and supporting words. Fingers crossed that all continues to go smoothly. Whew!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • No, actually around my house (inside of course) I walk. I have plenty of quick supports if needed. I actually do quite a bit of walking just in the house itself. Now if I am doing a lot in the kitchen (better not be "a lot")

    So bath to bedroom, or bedroom to living room, dining room etc., is cool and okay with my surgeon. His thing is activities away from the house, or even out and about around the house - he doesn't want me walking off center and added unneeded/uneven pressure transferred to my neck (cane, walker). So... Wheelchair outside of the home, walk inside of the home as much as possible. I told the hubby to clear my stair stepper so I can walk more 'with' neutral support on the arms. :) Sorry, I hope that cleared things up?

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Please see my reply to Ess. Outside the home, my hubby is getting me 'here and there', so he too is pushing me around, so not using my arms much at all.

    As for loading on my arms, the fore/aft in the chair (on the wheels) is way less than the load of my upper body on a walker or a cane. I know I've tried each (aren't we all curious), and I felt a way more uncomfortable feeling on my neck with the walker or cane vs the wheel movement with my chair.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Complaining... I guess part of the reason I really don't complain "warts and all" is that I and my surgeon where pretty blunt on what "to" and what not "to" expect from the surgery based on my (at the time) neurological exam (diagnostics) and assessments of same. He and I knew (heck I knew over a year and a half ago..lol!!) the neck was a mess. What I didn't envision, or think, the neck with myelopathy was causing a lot of my bowel/bladder and leg issues than I thought. Post op I am seeing what he meant.

    Angel, hehehe... sorry you're right, never thought of myself that way. I just try to work with what I have, and know that pain, discomfort and collars, bone growth stims, meds and eventually (my rehab was waaayyyy too early the first go!!!)my PT to get everyone (my body parts that is) working the best they can. Most PT's love me (my 34 YO niece is a spine [more so peeds] physical therapist) because I have most of the tools at home for "homework" (tension bands, stress balls, hand grip improvement tools, TENS/EMS, etc., plus home safety tools, risers, rails, grips for the shower, shower chair etc.), the list can go on and on and on..well, you get it! (G).

    I get mad at her because she is on the mental mode that "all get well" after PT...yeah, I wish! I love her if we DON'T talk PT and its wonder fixes if you know what I mean! (G)

    Beth, please keep me (us) posted on how you are doing, and how it is going. The end of next week (week 3 post op), I start measuring by week no longer days. I know now that most likely me and Lyrica will be life long friends, and for what "she" does for me,that's okay...the narcotics, hopefully can knock them down a big chunk in time - but I do feel to some level, they and I will be friends as well....I have lumbar (see sig) on the list for later...yep, neck wins yet again! (G) Wishing you well woman!! Big supportive and understanding ***HUGZ*** :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    At the posts left here for you. And I see (or don't see) what I posted. Come on, I know I posted. I still like you, really! Keep up the good work. I'm really glad your doing so well! =D>
    Jim :D
    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!
  • I have another thread thanks to Essmoe, and in it there are over 100 posts. I believe you posted in there maybe? I too remember reading some lovely posts from you, so yes, I like you too darlin!!! *HUGZ*

    Working it day by day as they say! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Now that we got that point settled. Go back to bed and take care of yourself! I)
    Jim :D
    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!
  • Planning on hitting the pillows shortly. Just took my ER Oxy and Dilaudid, so snooze time coming soon! (G) Damn man, you're starting to sound like my DH! (G) 8>

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Very Gentle >:D<
    I don't want to post to long because I know you and you have to answer each one.
    Get back to bed lady plenty of time down the recovery road, so stop your typing and be good lady and get to bed.
    Really so happy your over that surgery.
    Just another book for you to work on down the road.

    chat soon
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Just woke up. Catching up on my soapies! (G) Hubby and I are thinking of adding onto the house - a swimming spa type of room. Could be interesting, that's for sure!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi; and wishing you the very best during your recovery, and always.

    Been reading to stay current on everyone, just having a tough time posting.

    Right now i'd rather sit in the back, and listen to everyone else, hope you can understand.

    Take'r easy, and follow doctor's orders.

    My best to ya.
  • No problem my friend, I understand entirely. *HUGZ* I hope you are feeling better, or at least have answers that will help achieve that. Rest, read and stay supported sweety!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385

    Glad you're still kicking around down there

  • Debbie,

    Just nobody to kick anymore!! (G) In all seriousness, one new "good" difference is I am not getting the 'burning shooters' down my legs since surgery! Another "plus" for the Pros in my book! Whew!!!

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