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4 week post acdf c5/6

kimmeamkkimmeam Posts: 149
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I can't believe it's just 4 weeks. It feels like forever! I really wish that I undersdtood the healing & recovery before now. I honestly think I feel worse now than I did before. My upper arm is not quite as painful, but I still have much numbness throughout my arm & into my fingers. I do recall the surgeon telling me that he could not guarantee that I would be pain or numb free. I guess I was being a bit more optimistic. I feel that I am in more pain today than before the surgery. Somehow I wonder if it doesn't have to do with not fusing the other bad dics.
I am able to eat solid foods again. That is a big plus.
Under much pressure from my employer I have returned to my office job. Just 4-5 hours per day is all that I can handle. I think that is too much. He is sympathetic to a point but honestly thinks I should be on top of things by now. I have decided not to let him push me around. If I need to take a break or go home earlier than anticipated, I will.
I've been to the grocery store once. Work & 1 dreaded grocery shopping trip is all I have done. I so look forward to getting my life back. I feel useless & bored. Somehow I am going to have to go School shopping.
I guess I am anxoius. I do not want to live like this. I hate having to take pain meds just to function & still be in pain. Maybe I hope someday I will no longer need them.
Sorry for the whining. I know I'm not the only one going through this. These boards help so much.
I thank you for all of your support & please know that my heart goes out to everyone here. We will all be stronger with the support that we find here.


  • No need to be sorry for whining! You are being strong and brave, and you are going thru a lot. I haven't had surgery, and I whine all the time about my neck! You are smart to take it easy at work, even if your boss made you come back. Hopefully, you will have full recovery in time. Bless you and good luck. Keep us posted!--Mazy
  • I've been reminded that it has only been 3 weeks today. Oh my! This is going to take a while,eh?
    Thank you Mazy. Will you need to have the surgery too?
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  • Since my symptoms are too bad, I am holding out on surgery. My last nuerosurgeon told me that I should consider all the risks that come with surgery, and I should wait. My symptoms come and go, but I have no ROM left! I'm not complaining--I see what so many go thru from reading all the posts on SH! So, BE CAREFUL! And, be careful not to over do it at work! Be good to yourself; you have been thru a lot!---Mazy
  • I had (i believe) the same surgery done 7/31..so I am just about 4 weeks post op. I had a plate put in as well. Are you able to drive yet? I am basically restricted to walking..no lifting more than five pounds, turning or bending. I started PT for my arms this week and had a big set back. I couldn't imagine returning to work1 ( I don't sit at a desk: special ed teacher and kids are very disabled).
    Please don't feel bad about feeling sorry for yourself...I am trying to stop doing that now as well. I thought I knew enough about the recovery from this...but obviously didn't realize how drastic it was.
    Can you work out some arrangement with your boss? possibly work from home...only those who have gone through this experience truly know what you are going through? There is a the family leave act that entitles you twelve weeks....Donna
  • delaying surgery was not an option for me. I asked the surgeon if I could wait until late fall. We keep pretty busy in the summer months. Like camping, boating, quad riding. My surgeon told me that since my spinal cord was being "squeezed" it was not an option. The sooner the better as I was all ready having my leg "fall asleep". Next he said would be loss of bladder & bowel control.
    I have driven 2 times as nobody was available to drive me to work. I live just 5 minutes away from my office. I probably am not supposed to yet. My greatest fear is to be rear ened. I too have the restrictions & do my best to obey the rules. Sometimes I forget, until I've done it & hurt.
    So far there is no mention of pt. I have my 4 week post op next week. Hopefully will find out more. We are supposed to discuss my returning to work options at that time. He does not know that I have.
    Having my husband & boys constantly telling me not to do, I have realized that I don't have to pretend that I am Wonder Woman. I have promised to relax & recover & obey the rules. I do not want to comprimise my healing & have something bad happen.
    What is the family leave act & how does it work. I have no type of insurance or disability at my work. If I do not work I do not get paid. My vacation has all been used up. If I had some sort of income I would be more comfortable not going to work.

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  • 2 weeks post op. Had wound check it all looks good. Only taking muscle relaxants now. I wish I could do what I used to do but I can't all I can do is rest and it is boring. I too like to camp and go fishing but not this summer. I did go camping in May but always had to have my pain relievers close buy. O well I guess all of us neckies need to rest and heal.
  • Friday it will actually be 4 weeks since surgery. Paitience is not one of my strong points. My weekend was totaly uneventful. I was good & relaxed & did not much of anything.
    I went back to work today just 4 hours. The pain got to be unbearable & had to come home.I am still on my 5/500 percs just 3 times a day. Honestly this is not enough & I find myself taking 1 or 2 more throughout the day. My 4 week post op is on Thursday & will talk to him about that. I was going to call last week & forgot. Now I think I better wait.
    I think he is going to xray as he told me that we'll see what he did.
    Last night I tried again to sleep in my bed. Not happening yet. I am really tired of the pain.
    I know that me returning to work so soon probably isn't the best thing to do. I do notice that if I am home relaxing & not doing a whole lot, it's not as bad.
    I will be sure to have my list of questions when I go back in.

  • Things have actually gotten much, much better in the past two weeks. I freaked out about 2 weeks ago when both of my arms and shoulders were numb and tingling. Went to the ER, and they gave me Valium and Lortab. That helped quite a bit. Called the DO's office the next week and they said that it was part of healing. Boy was I relieved. #:S

    This past weekend I went out of town and actually did very well. No pain, no numbness and I stayed awake longer than 9 hours. LOL.

    I have my follow up this week and should be released to go back to work on Friday or Monday. I know my co-workers are excited for me to get back.

    OK, well, off for my walk, which I'm doing twice a day since surgery...about 3 miles.
  • this is the link for the family leave act:


    it does not give you an income, but guarentees your job is safe for 12 weeks.

    I can sympathize with you about needing the money..but you may jeapordizing your long term health by doing too much too soon. please be careful.
  • Thank you for the link. I think my position is safe. At least I hope so. It's a very small office & I've been there for 16 years now. Maybe it would be a good time to leave then? He just doesn't understand.
    I will do what I can & be darned sure not to do too much. My health is more important to me that his office.

    Thank you for your sympathy & understand. It is so nice to have you all who understand & really care as you have gone through or are going through the same thing. Nobody can truly know until they've been there & then we all are so very different.

    In time may we all have a good recovery & mend as we are supposed to
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