Hi Everyone! I have been doing alot of reading on here for a few days and I am so thankful for this site and the people on it. I had no idea what a major surgery I'm about to have until I actually started reading. I would like to give a little bit of history and then I do have some questions that I want to ask and hopefully get some answers/advice.
At the end of last year I started having some shoulder arm pain and just chalked it up to sleeping on it wrong or maybe hurt it working out or something of the like. In January, it started becoming very chronic and and was hurting a ton at night, waking me up, making me cry, etc. I decided it was time to go to the doctor. I decided to go to a recommended shoulder doctor at my local orthopedic office. The doctor examined me, took x-rays and then told me that he doesn't think it's my shoulder. He thinks it is radiating nerve pain from my neck and wanted to do another x-ray, only of my neck. I thought he was crazy. But low and behold he showed me my x-ray and boy is my neck jacked up. It was then that realized all the pain I've had, not only recently, but for years, is from this problem. For years I have had a bicep issue where my arms would have a hard time rising above my head. I would have to maneuver it just right to get them to go up without pain. I always just thought I had slept on them wrong. Long story short, he sent me to a pain management specialist for spine issues in the same office.He looked at my x-rays and we got an MRI which showed I have a bulging disc at my C5-6 along with bone spurs. He recommended PT, which I did for 6 weeks and got no relief. Then he decided to try the epidural steroid injections. I did two of those with no relief. He then recommended me to the neighboring surgeon and now I am scheduled for surgery on May 14.
I am getting pretty nervous about post op. I am probably the most nervous about being able to swallow. I have to have regular endoscopes done to dilate my esophagus due to acid reflux scarring that keeps coming back despite my Nexium. So the surgeon flat out said, yes, you will probably have a tough time with that. Is there any advice or experiences on this effect that may help me?
Also, is a neck brace a normalcy for someone only having one level done? I read alot on two level surgeries but not one level and also not sure if my one level will turn into a two level surgery during surgery. God only knows. It seems some drs prefer it and some don't.
Who used a couch vs a recliner? I am considering renting a recliner for my recovery because it seems alot of people say it is a life saver.
My dr said I would be under house arrest (basically) for at least the first two weeks...but I work for myself (Real Estate Agent) so he said if I HAVE to go show a house or something that I could drive to go let them in, show them the house, and then go straight back home. Do you think this will be difficult to manage in my second two weeks?
I've heard that you can have a hard time lifting your arms above your head for a while...am I going to be able to do my hair? I usually have to blow dry and flat iron to get it to look halfway decent. Any chance I'll be able to do that?
Can anyone recommend any yummy healthy, easy to get down, soup recipes?
Any other suggestions, tips, advice for me?
Thank you so so much!!!!!