I'm having a 2-level ACDF in 3 weeks on 1/3, and I have some questions that I need answered before my pre-surgical appointment a few days before my surgery. The pre-surgery checklist has been a wonderful resource, but I'm not always sure what pertains to cervical verses other types of surgery.
My doctor said I'll be wearing a hard collar 24/7 for at least 4 weeks. Can you shower, soak in a tub, or get into a pool while wearing the collar? I presume it's probably different for the first week or two because of the incision, so whatever perspective you can give on how easy it is to wash up or wash my hair - I know I may need to use dry shampoo for a bit, but UGH, I can deal with sponge baths way longer than I can deal with unwashed hair.
Is there anything that you had (or wished you'd had) that really helped with your basic personal hygiene?
On the "how to prepare" list a few people wrote about needing help wiping, but it wasn't clear what surgery they'd had - - please tell me that's only an issue with lumbar surgery.... :S
I see lots of recommendations for a recliner after ACDF. We don't have one, and the ones I seen that friends have offered to loan me are really difficult to open and close, so I'm serious considering renting (for $90/month) a recliner that has electrical controls for both lying back and getting up out of the chair. Would something like this have been valuable for you?
I'm also considering investing in a stand that can hold books or my ipad or kindle, even flat facing down so that I could read it even if I were lying all the way down. If you are an avid reader or internet-cruiser, would you have appreciated having something like this as you recovered? How limited was your ability to reach up or out as you recovered?
How soon were you able to feel up to doing things like cooking? I know I can't lift anything heavier than a half-gallon of milk, but I could still cook with an assistant - I just don't know how soon I'll feel up to doing that.
How soon were you feeling up to socializing? shopping (with someone to lift things)? going out to dinner?
Would you have realistically felt up to attending a 1 hour work meeting just 2 weeks after your surgery? It's something I REALLY need/want to attend, but I don't have a clue as to whether it's realistic to consider it.
Did you have (or wish you'd gotten) a temporary handicap permit for when you needed to go somewhere (with someone driving).
If you're a parent, any specific suggestions?
Anything else you'd suggest that you wish you'd known sooner?
If you've read this far, I'll reward you with what at least gave ME a good laugh -- that my 16yo granddaughter (who we're raising) very sincerely offered to drive me around since she'll get her permit about a week after my surgery. :loll: Ohhhh yeah, that will make me feel confident - NOT!!