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ACDF surgery & Fibromyalgia...emotional and physical pain

Hello all...I posted in the new member section and I was hoping to hear some comforting words but unfortunately I didn't receive that so maybe I posted in the wrong section. So I figured maybe I should repost it here. I did post late so that could have also been an issue as to why I didn't hear from anyone, just a link about the rules....but I just need to know I not crazy...

I'm 35 years old , living in Jackson Heights, NYC, not married , no kids..yet :-}...Work full time, just not at the moment, recovery.

I just had ACDF surgery on the 19th of this month. I know I'm pretty young to be having this done especially since I was never in a fall or accident so the doctors don't understand why it's so severe. I had been to several doctors prior to the surgery and all them would say you're way too young to be having this problem. I had two levels done C5-C6 C6-C7. I also had a syrinx which was pushing against my spine because one of the herniated disc was so severely bulging so that it was pushing the syrinx against my spine, on top of that I had a fracture with a chip already floating around.. It was so bad that I just couldn't deal with the shoulder and arm pain anymore. I manage a business and by the end of the day my right arm felt like it was dead. The one thing I can say my severe arm pain is gone.I still have neck pain and shoulder pain which I expect to go away over time.
Unfortunately I also have fibromyalgia so every muscle in my body had flared up and is killing me, especially my back. So that has been harder to control than the pain in my neck and throat. I don't know if anyone here has had the surgery and have fibromyalgia as well but my entire back feels sooo swollen and painful, the pain is torture.
I don't know also if anyone has had this problem but I am extremely emotional, I cry constantly for no reason at all. Right now I live my boyfriend so he's been working double shifts training someone new so I'm alone all day which makes it so much harder to manage. I will be going back to work next week and I don't think I've ever said I missed my job before. I have such a high tolerance for painkillers I was in ICU for 2 days and in the hospital for 5...they couldn't control my pain.
Right now I'm on so many meds and I'm still in so much pain that I have insomnia, as you can tell since I'm posting at 2 in the morning....anyone else with insomnia.

Sorry for the long rant..but nice to have someone to talk to eventually...


  • I hope you find relief soon, sweetie. As I'm sure you've been told, these are early days in your recovery. I'm a week out of surgery today and just basically I don't have any expectations yet as far as pain relief. Some days are better than others. I do, however, insist that I sleep as good as I possibly can. I'm a firm believer in sleep affecting our total physical, emotional, and mental health, especially after surgery. There's a whole lot going on in the inside, that only sleep can fix. Obviously a good diet, exercise, and all that as well. But sleep repairs. Call your doctor and let him/her know about the insomnia. And good luck to you!
  • I kinda feel lost on this site. I was surprised anyone noticed me at all actually. I've become really depressed lately and I'm trying really hard to fight it, I know once I go back to work I won't feel so distraught. But my boyfriend is working double shifts and by the time he comes homes he's so tired he doesn't even speak to me or ask me how I'm feeling anymore except to say goodnight. I guess I'm just lonely and with the pain and insomnia I kinda feel so alone and unimportant. At work I kinda run the show, but at home I'm lucky if I get a hello. When I try to talk to him about it, it ends u in an argument and I feel even worse about myself.I'm just tired of being tired and I feel like I'm doing this alone, I thought I would have partner.
  • I'm 30 years old and also had the acdf C5-C6,C6-C7. No idea why or what caused my injury, but I'm on week 7 of recovery and finally got out of the Miami hard collar (and have a not-so sexy rash across my chin and jawline to prove it). I also couldn't sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time and had pain EVERYWHERE, not just my neck and back, but muscles I didn't even know I had ached.
    I haven't been diagnosed with fibromyalgia so I can only imagine the added pain you must be in, but I do know how you feel. For a month I was a basket case. I cried constantly "for no reason," but the truth is there is a reason- you just had major surgery. You're tired and your body is stressed and that deserves some tears. It's okay to let them out. I tried distracting myself with TV shows, sometimes it helped and sometimes it didn't. Just know that this won't last forever and you will get through it. Find a friend to talk to, give yourself some time and definitely give yourself a break. :)
    Wishing you a speedy recovery.
  • I've thought so much about you and will pray for you. You had a major surgery, with major problems to fix (not only the herniated discs but the syrinx). And with fibro on top of all that, I can't imagine. I'm so sorry your boyfriend hasn't been more supportive. You didn't mention. Do you have family nearby or that you could call? Any other friends? Right now you need emotional support, as well as a good night's sleep. Going back to work will be good in that you will get to see people and socialize, BUT please try to take it as easy there as you can. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You need and deserve it! Sending gentle hugs your way!
  • Nick.nyNNick.ny New York,NYPosts: 121
    I read your posts and I can tell you that you are not alone.more or less I have the same symptoms..pain,depression ,get emotional , swallow problems and all kind of medications. I too have an ACDF C4/5/6/7,three and a half years ago and basically I never recover and now looking for 2nd surgery on the level above the fusion.... You are way to early so your symptoms are normal ,just 20 days post op.it takes time, my self I couldn't swallow anything but liquids and only with a straw for 56days...From my experience I can tell you that; you need time to recover,going back to work a month after neck fusion??? Ask your doctor,it's too soon for standing so many hours or sitting or lifting anything,you also need help with the house work,cleaning,laundry,shopping groceries,your surgery it's still fresh.and more important you need support from people around you friends,family.it's a major surgery and takes big toll ,physical and emotional.hope it's going to turn in positive.Any way going 3AM again,another sleepless night,and the weather we wave here in Queens doesn't help..every body sleeping here except me.(I have wife and 2 grown children ). If there's anything i can be helpful from my experience I'm your neighbor and a PM away. Nick ACDF C4/5/6/7....(Queens,New-York).
    2011 ACDF C 4/5/6/7.
    2011 repaired sternum with fixation plate and 9 screws.
    4/2011,3/2012,11/2012 and 6/2013  Rotator cuff surgeries.  
    1/6/2016 revision ACDF C4/5/6/7, plus fusing the level above that C 3-4.
    Pending L5-S1.
  • Dee RedDDee Red Posts: 4
    edited 12/10/2014 - 9:00 AM
    I've never been on this site before, so I've already been reprimanded for reposting cause no one seemed to notice my post in the new member section so I reposted it here and I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do that. I think this kind of turned me off to this site and being so depressed I think there's just a better way of maybe letting newbies know when they have made a mistake. Maybe I just need to deal with this on my own. Thank you so much to the 2 ppl who noticed me enough to take time out of their day for me. I just feel like I don't fit in here. I don't have much friends and all my family is always working or too busy. I'm sorry if I offended anyone or I did anything wrong but being this depressed is hard and unfortunately anything that's not positive just comes off really hurtful. I'm just lonely, sometimes I feel like I'm invisible, my brother didn't even call me on my surgery day, he's in Cali, my mom had to tell him to call. I just feel like an inconvenience to everyone....even on here.
  • Having surgery is a major thing & it's easy to allow those 'bad' thoughts muddle their way in. Reading your post I was glad to hear your arm pain has gone. Sounds like your surgery has had some success.

    Regarding your brother not calling, don't stress about it. I've had 3 surgeries this year and my brother hasn't called me after any of them. He did ask my parents about a week after my fusion how I was going. I don't hold it against him, it's just how things go. Life is busy as you said.

    I don't have fibromyalgia so I can't comment on that. I did suffer some depression though, that has taken me most of the year to sort out. In the end I decided that life is what it is and to make myself say something positive about myself everyday. Even if it was just 'I can finally do up my shoe laces like a normal person'.

    Insomnia seems to be a common thing. I've only had one or two full nights sleep since my first surgery in January when I was doped up on pain medication. The less sleep I have, the more I feel sorry for myself. I'm trialling another medication now for nerve pain and am hoping to only wake up once or twice a night.

    Hang in there, unfortunately healing takes time,
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Hi dee,

    I'm in the same boat as you dear, I'm sorry we are in this situation. What medications are you on? Talking will help and many

    people read your concerns but are not sure what to say. I had a ACDF at 40 and that was too young too. I am in pain every

    Day. I take lyrica for fibromyalgia and nerve pain the most. I soak a lot in my hot tub as often as I can. I wear a soft cervical

    Collar to give my neck a break, 14 lbs is too much weight for my neck. Some days it's a half a day others its a full day. I let my

    Pain be my guide daily. Posture is very important for us ACDF patients. Insomnia could be from the pain meds, they make

    Me hyper. I use them very little so when I do they work better. My doctor had me on anti inflams regularly to reduce pain.

    Once it builds up you do feel better. Then if you stop taking them you will notice they wrk more then you think. Wearing the

    Neck brace helps me feel less tired and pain as long as I wear it. I just finished a series of injections and just found out i

    Need a 2nd fusion so I can relate to everything you said. When your in pain it causes depression. It's important to find

    Something or someone that makes you happy. Find a position where your as comfortable as can be and watch a comedy

    Or a project that keeps your mind busy. I love watching Steve Harvey's family feud, he is a laugh a minute.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • hvnsngsShhvnsngsS FL - FloridaPosts: 1
    Hello, Dee, I just had this done to C5/C6  August 23rd, and I understand your pain.Having fibromyalgia is a hardship of its own, and now the surgery has everything. It is disheartening at best when people look and question the pain.I have a high tolerance as well being in the hospital and nothing eases the pain. 16 days later and the pain is sometimes unbearable.They gave Norco 7.5  nothing has touched the pain.The one good thing I got at the surgical center before leaving was a soft collar.Every time I swallow it hurts and feels like I'm swallowing chunks of sand. Haven't eaten anything just keeping hydrated. I've had several injections and a neuro block to the area that left me flat on my back for a week.Unable now to lay down I set in a recliner to get relief, and I'm up til four in the morning because of the pain. I'm happy to have met someone else with my symptoms as well.My R hand is still numb in areas and the left at my fingertips.I know this will get better I believe Gods report of complete healing .I'm just waiting for relief.
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