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.