Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

New Here - post ACDF recovery

Toby1234TToby1234 Posts: 1
edited 02/24/2015 - 3:46 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi everyone! I have been browsing these boards quite frequently the past few months as I prepared for surgery. My history - 39 year old active female. I started having pain sometime in November. It was a gradual onset pain, I have no clue on any specific event that led up to my injury. It started as quite positional with pain radiating down my left arm, then I would get some numbness in my left index finger. This all came and went at first but by December it came and stayed with me. The pain was the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. Long story short, I had such a hard time getting doctors to order the right tests or even take the pain I was having seriously. The one doctor in my PCP office flat out treated me like a drug seeker. I have been on ambien for 10 years, this is a chronic med for me. When I saw him about getting something for pain stronger than tramadol, he refused. I asked for a muscle relaxer because I was having severe spasms in my back. His response? I will either give you your ambien or flexeril, not both (and this was WITH my MRI results in hand!). Very frustrating. I had to see a different doctor to finally get an MRI ordered and it came back with a severe herniation at C6 C7. Thankfully I was an established patient at a NS for carpal tunnel repair so I got in quickly and surgery was scheduled for 2 weeks later. I had already been seeing a chiro for traction and been on anti inflammatories for over a month at that point, I wasn't improving at all. I had no reflexes in my left arm and was losing strength.

I had my surgery 1/21/15. Things went very well I believe. Had ACDF with hardware/cadaver bone at C6 C7. I was discharged and not required to wear a collar. I do have a little anxiety so the first few weeks were very tough, always thinking I was messing something up. I am now 5 weeks out and I am so conflicted about everything that is going on. I apologize if this seems to be jumping all over the place. I just feel I am getting more and more anxious as I approach my 6 week follow up next week. This will be the first post op visit and I am kind of worried. I really haven't been pushing myself too much, following instructions, but at times I feel I need to do more because of the expectations of my family I guess. I think we all came to an understanding that I would take 6 weeks off work and then I would most likely be able to go back full duty. That 6 weeks hurt us, not going to lie. I work part time and I have no short term disability or any paid time off. Lesson learned, I will be looking into some type of short term disability insurance when I get back to normal, whenever that is. So this was 2 months without pay. We took out a loan to cover my lost wages. My husband is very supportive, I don't mean to make it sound like he isn't. I am very lucky. But he really has no clue about medical things or what is expected of me at work. I am an RN, I work in a mental health facility. I think as far as nursing jobs go, I have it pretty easy as far as physical labor. The major thing with my job is the risk. I work with mentally unstable and sometimes violent individuals. It is not uncommon for things to become physical at any given moment. I am now so worried about going back there anytime soon. I just keep imagining some crazy guy punching me in the face or the notorious hair puller there coming up and yanking my head back. Or being stuck having to walk a 150 lb lady to the bathroom and her deciding she wants to fall and I have to catch her. I am certain that my surgeon will release me full duty if I tell him I am ready because he knows the financial hit I took.

I am just so overwhelmed and getting more anxious and feeling depressed everyday. The weather has been horrible, I am sure I would be "blue" even if I was in perfect health. The surgery helped immensely with the pain but I still have some achiness in my left arm and the neck/shoulder muscles fatigue and start burning if I am up too much during the day. I am TERRIFIED of the pain coming back. I don't think I could handle being in that pain again. I go for my x-ray next week, and yes I know it is horrible but I am a smoker and I worry about the fusion failing too. And then knowing that the expectation in this house has been for me to return to work in a few weeks. I don't know how we could get by with me being off too much longer. I get scared just thinking about it all. My husband yells at me when he thinks I am doing too much around the house, he doesn't want me to mess it up either. But how do I go from not even vacuuming to putting myself in such physical situations at work overnight? I just wish I thought he could understand that. His answer would be to ask for help, tell them I can't do certain things etc. etc. This would not go over well where I work. The people I work with are great but I need to be released FULL duty. I can't always depend on someone being around when the 70 year old lady needs walked to the bathroom, or that I can hide in the office when someone starts throwing furniture. I don't even know that I really have any questions to ask here I just think I need to vent. Without feeling that I am being judged as just not wanting to return to work. Any input anyone can offer is appreciated. Feeling a little hopeless at this point that life will ever be back to the way it was before.


  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 556
    I can totally relate to how you are feeling. I got into my mess I'm in by working with a resistive patient. I'm a hospice aide & I was bathing a patient in bed & when I was helping him roll onto his side, he got very resistive & stiffened up & pushed back against me. I felt a horrible sounding "pop" and then extreme pain & I couldn't turn my head. I ended up with herniated C4/5. I had 2 surgeries (first one didn't fuse). I also had (still have) pain & weakness down my left shoulder & arm. Have you had any physical therapy after your surgery? I think that will help you to build up strength before you go back to work? Because of all the issues I'm having (nerve damage), my surgeon has told me that I will never return to work as an aide again. I have been doing this work for over 30 yrs! Needless to say, I'm not real happy to hear that! I don't think people understand how "dangerous" some nursing jobs can be? A patient can be sweet as pie one minute, then the next minute they are beating the crap out of you! My husband could never understand how I got all the bruises I would come home with! And surprisingly enough, it always seems to be the sweet little old ladies that don't weigh more than 90lbs, that pack the biggest punch! Does your doctor know what your job entails? Has he said what the risks are if you would have to react fast if a patient is going to fall? If he doesn't want you to go to therapy, I would ask him what you can do to build up your strength? Good luck! Let us know what he says.
Sign In or Register to comment.