I'll start with what I know from the beginning and work from there, please be patient, this is all new to me.
I'm currently in the hospital (10/15/15) and have been since my initial surgery (10/6/15).
In June of this year, I went to my PCP and with a chief complaint of lower back/right hip pain. She started me on steroids and sent me for an MRI.
My results showed severe stenosis in my lumbar spine (with my spinal canal opening being less than 3mm as opposed to the norm of approx 12mm) as well as degenerative disc disease, severe compression etc. I was immediately recommended to a neurosurgeon who decided after seeing my results wanted to perform surgery , but first wanted additional MRI'S to see if there were other problems in addition to the original lumbar issues.
I found out my spinal cord was already compromised, there was no room as well as having permanent damage already, calcified mass of approx 7mm on spinal cord. My cervical spine was deemed an asap requirements and surgery was scheduled. I was told it would be in and out and the only reason I wasn't treated as outpatient was because of the distance I live (almost 2 hours from hospital) I had an ACDF of the C5-c7 double fusion,bone removed, plate installed. Immediately leaving recovery, to go to my room, the first 2 fingers on my right hand were screaming. No pain in my neck from surgery ,just the 2 fingers that felt like every nerve ending in my body was sticking out of my fingertips.
My neurosurgeon kept me, pumping steroids, hoping spinal cord swelling went down etc. I would wash my hands and just the water touching my fingers would drop me to my knees.
We waited...finally Sunday, after my surgery Tuesday, he decided to go back in, posterior this time. Surgery lasted about 3.5 hours, with me receiving a cervical laminectomy and fusion of my C-3,C-4,C-5,C-6,C-7 AND T-1...totally diffent this time. From no pain to excruciating. But as soon as I woke up and checked my fingertips and found they didn't hurt, I cried like a baby. A little tingle but that seemed normal. Still in the hospital, and now starting yesterday, a couple days after surgery, the pain is returning in my fingers.
Not sure what's going to happen. BUT in a month, on November 13th, I'm scheduled for 2 more surgeries, lumbar and thoracic spine. I believe L-3 through S-1 laminectomy, bilateral foraminotomies (?) L-4/L- 5 microdisectomy, decompression, etc with other decisions made intraoperative, not knowing exactly until he gets in there.
I'm not sure what's going to happen from here on out. The plan has always been to do the lumbar /thoracic surgery within 4 weeks of the first cervical surgery, even though there was another unplanned more invasive surgery a few days ago.
What do I expect? I'm dying now, are my fingers going to get better? I know this all HAS to be done, but now recovery is extended even longer because of the unplanned surgery.
I'm not even sure what I'm asking. This is all so new and frightening to me. An overnight stay has now turned into me being on my 8th day here. What can I expect in the next month, between now and the lumbar/thoracic surgery? Anything is appreciated. Time, input advice. As soon as I started learning about needing surgery, I joined this site and started using it as a go to for learning. This is my first post and I apologize for it turning into a novel and all the meds have me a little loopy. (Currently on dilaudid, percocet,neurontin, Valium, antibiotics etc )
Thanks so much in advance for your time. I understand I'm not asking dr advice, just personal experience.