I looked for a ton of information online before researching and found everybody's experience varies but it helped to hear the good and bad. ANd my top 5 must have items.
(1) PILLOWS: Particularly a bed wedge/triangle pillow and a neck pillow--I had an old one I take on planes. I put a sheet on it and it was great. The wedge was great since I did not buy a recliner. I had lots of "regular" pillows too (and throw pillows) and I just (with my stepmom's help) tried to figure out the best mixture for the occasion.
(2) BENADRYL: I got a TERRIBLE rash--which I have gotten with previous surgeries. It is VERY itchy and it got irritated when I had heat on it--trying to
I had a level 1 acdf fusion (and a spinal tap) on Monday, January 28. I stayed the night at the hospital which the doctor offered and said only 25% do stay. I am REALLY glad that I stayed. I did not "need" it but was SO glad I stayed. Even though they woke me up every hour---they also kept me following drs orders and allowed me to concentrate on that. My stepmom also stayed the night with me--which was great bc I needed help getting out of the bed to go to the bathroom. I was walking the very day or my surgery--the full length of the hospital floor. I was also much more awake than I expected. I did feel all the heavy duty drugs start to ear out that evening and I still felt pretty good and then was on the hydro-codiene and muscle relaxer combo. I needed it that first night as regularly as prescribed. I also needed an anti-nausea med that night when my stomach got upset.
The next day I was super ready to leave at 8 am and left a little after 10. I had taken walks again that morning and was doing remarkably well.
Throat-I bought a bunch of stuff thinking my throat would be in a lot of pain and it was not bad at all. This seems to be unusual but it was my experience. I was eating mac and cheese and sliced carrots the first night. Progressively, I was able to tolerate pretty much anything. Very nice surprise.
I came home and, again, was doing remarkably well. My family kept telling me to sit down. I felt good and the first few days--I rarely wore my collar--which was only a soft collar to be used the first week. I slept on the couch for the first two nights I was home. It seemed easier to do so but now that I am in my big bed...who knows. I kept a list of when I took my meds...I thought I would not need this (but read about someone else that did) and it was SUPER helpful.