I was rear ended in a car accident on my way to nursing school in Sep of 2010 (right after my 23rd Birthday). There was no damage done to car however, I was getting ready to pull out into an intersection and was leaning far forward looking to my light and that's when the guy hit me. I was wearing my seat belt, however due to how far forward I was leaning (to look left) the entire right side of my head/face hit the steering wheel, my chest was held back by the seat belt and my neck snapped. So naturally I went to the doctor's and was having no significant neck pain, just what I thought was whiplash. My Doctor gave me a muscle relaxer and an anti-inflamm and sent me home. So then fast forward 7 months (May/June of 2011), I woke up one morning with pain in my neck so bad I couldn't move it. After trying to figure out what I had done to it, I came up with nothing! So I chalked it up to a pulled muscle (which I learned in Nursing school and last weeks and cause significant pain) so I thought for sure that's what I was. I didn't seek treatment and it got back to normal within 2 1/2 weeks. Then one morning in Sep 0f 2011 I woke up with the same pain in my neck AND numbness and weakness in my left arm, only this time 10 times worse! I went to the Doctor and because of the left arm weakness he thought it was maybe a pinched nerve or an irritated nerve. So he gave me a refill of the meds he gave me in Sep of 2010 and told me to scedule a follow up with him in 2 weeks (that appt. was on a Thursday) Well by Sunday I could not handle the pain any longer. I remember shopping in Target with my Sister and having to sit down on the floor in the middle of the isle because the pain was so intense I the room was spinning and I thought I was going to black out. I started sweating and it felt like my entire neck was on fire. So I made an appt with my Doctor again on Monday morning and he referred me to an imagining center to get an MRI. A week later I got my MRI and a week after that I got the results saying I had a herniated disc between C5/C6 and that I was to see a neurosurgeon. So 2 weeks later I was lucky and got an appt with a GREAT Neurosurgeon and he took one look at my MRI slides and the 1st thing he said was “Wow, that’s impressive, Ashley. You have a MASSIVE herniated disc”. The slipped disc was so bad that it was pushing into my spinal cord a great deal, so he ordered me on a significant activity restriction. No driving, no work (at that time I JUST got my 1st nursing job out of school, it was part time because that’s all they had available) no bending at the waist, no turning my neck, and no lifting more than 10lbs. . . FOR 8 WEEKS!!! :O So after a week of being on my “work leave”, I ended up losing my job, due to I was only part time, and I didn’t qualify for FMLA and they weren’t willing to hold my position. I was devastated.
I had just graduated and was broke from not working while I was in nursing school and now having Doctor’s bills pile up. So I reopened the case on the guy who rear ended me to get his car insurance to pay for my injury (Which is what my Doctor and I decided that the herniated disc originated from and got aggravated over time), now my case is under “peer review” and is not looking like they will cover my medical bills) So on Dec 1st of this year I went back to my neurosurgeon after my 8 week leave was up and due to the intense migraines I developed and the bad back aches, he was convinced that the disc was diseased and that my only option was surgery. Which I was okay with because at that point I wanted to go back to work and feel like a normal member of society again. So now my surgery is 5 days away (Dec. 23rd) 2 days before Christmas.
So I was wondering in everyone’s experience who has had a C5/C6 ACDF what are the 1st two days of post-op like? Will I have to sit at home alone while my family and boyfriend celebrate Christmas? Will there is any chance that I can go to family functions 2 days after surgery and at least just sit in a chair and enjoy being with my loved ones at Christmas?! :S