I had ACDF surgery 3 months ago on my C5/C6. I was orginally in a bad car accident 12 years ago, and my disc finally ruptured and was sitting on my nerve and spinal cord. I had a very active lifestyle prior to surgery. After surgery, my neurosurgeon did NOT put me in a neck brace. He had only given me enough pain killers for 2 weeks post-op, and no muscle relaxers at all. He had also refused to give me any physical therapy. I have been coping with the pain myself. My surgery went very well and seemed to be healing fairly well until the past few weeks. I am finally able to do a few normal things such as take a shower, do dishes, a load of laundry, and drive just a few miles from the house. I have had to quit my job, due to not being able to ride in the car without substantial pain, even wearing a soft collar. It seems as though the pain is getting worse the more I try to do...my muscles in the front and back of my neck, upper and lower back tense up, my throat swells making it harder to swallow and my hands start going numb again. My doctor says this is all normal. I having a really hard time coping with all this pain, sleepless nights even with taking Ambien, and the overall depression of losing my active lifestyle, not being able to drive and lift much, not working, and frankly being bored to tears. It's been a total of 5 months now...2 months of being bedriden prior to surgery.
Is anyone this far along post-op that is experiencing some same syptoms? I feel so helpless, none of my family nor friends can comprehend the mental and physical strain this is having on me even though they have tried so very hard.