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Had my Surgery

Crystal47CCrystal47 Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:43 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I received a call from the hospital where I was going to have my surgery on March 30th asking if I could be there the next morning at 6am. I was quite shocked but said yes I would be there. My husband and I were up at 3am the following morn, March 31st. Left the house at 4am and made the 2 hr drive to the hospital. At 7:45am I was taken into the OR.
The surgeon and his staff did an ACDF C4/5 C5/6 on me. I woke about 3 1/2 hrs later with a collar on and a bandage on the front of my left hip. I needed to use the bathroom and the nurse was going to get me a chair but once I was standing on my feet I held my hubbies arm and he helped me to the washroom and then back. My nurse was a bit surprised but allowed me to walk about as much as I felt I could. I did use a walker for support for the first little while. I didn't rest very well in the hospital due to my room being right inside the IC unit and heard the doors open and close every time anyone entered or exited the unit. Which was almost every 3-5 min. At 4am I was up and washed had my vitals done and waited till 6:30am for the doctor to come and take out the drainage tube from the incision in my throat and sign my discharge papers. My instructions were to wear the collar for 6 wks, remove the bandages in 2 days and that I can shower, but not to scrub the areas where the incisions are. Make an appointment to have my family doctor remove the staples from my hip in 10 days and an appointment for a FU with the surgeon in 6 wks. At 7am my hubby arrived and I was dressed and waiting at the door to the ICU to go home.
Day 5 now since the surgery and I'm feeling good. I have a bit of a sore throat and my hip just feels like i got kicked. My surgeon made a point to explain that the pain I have had for yrs in my back will always be there and that the nerves may have been damaged to the point that my hands may never get better but that I will be thankful for having the operation in that I can walk and will not be in a wheelchair in a couple yrs. My hands still feel sensitive and numb but not as bad as they were. All in all I think I was anticipating to feel worse than I do which may have been a good thing as now I am more relaxed and feel less stress.
Now that the waiting game was over and the surgery done I was able to enjoy Easter with my family. I know I haven't posted much on here but I'm gratefull this forum is here to share our experiences with one another.
Happy belated Easter to everyone.

ADCF C4/5 C5/6


  • Congratulations on being on the other side. Getting home is one of the best feeling in the world, even with the pain. I believe we all rest easier and heal faster in the comfort of our own surroundings.

    It sounds like you're moving along nicely in your recovery and I'm happy to hear that.

    Welcome home and keep on recovering. Be sure to follow doc's orders and follow your med schedule. Don't let the pain get ahead of you, it's hard to get back in control otherwise.

    I had a shower chair and my hubby helped me take my showers the first few weeks. I also had those clean wipes so I didn't feel the need to shower every day and still feel and smell clean. My hubby and I actually found his helping me shower was quite the bonding experience. I think it helped him because he felt like he could do something to help.

    Keep taking care of yourself and please keep us posted.

  • Thank you Cat. It does help to hear the positive side of things and to know you're not alone with this.
    I have managed to shower on my own, even though my hubby would be glad to help if he were needed.
    He started back to work on Mon. We work together road paving. He's my boss at work but I'm the boss at home, lol. I operate a roller.
    I will have plenty of time to recuperate and when I do start back to work I can operate the finish roller. This one has no vibration and I will be able to walk around quite a bit.
    I slept great last night. The best since the op. I have a little pain in the right side of my neck and some burning across my shoulders. I know this is rather normal to feel some discomfort. Just have to suck it up lol.
    I think it's wonderful for you and your husband to find a way to share what is going on with you and it helps him to understand what you are going through. It's a way for him to not feel useless or helpless. It sounds like you have been through a great deal. How are you doing now? What are you able to do as a result of your surgeries? What do you take or how do you control the pain?
    I hope you too are doing well and recovering with great results.
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  • Well, that's a very interesting work situation you have and it sounds like a good one. I'm not surprised that you're the boss at home - aren't all of us women? LOL

    I'm glad you slept well. Sleep seems to come in spurts, so enjoy the good nights when you have them. You mention pain in the back of your neck and across your shoulders - I had the same thing and still experience that. According to my surgeon and seeing others' experiences here, it's very normal. The pain in the neck is from the surgery and fusing and the shoulder pain is probably muscle spasms. I hope your surgeon continues to give you some meds to help.

    I have gone through a bit of bad luck with my spine, but I'm hoping I'm done with surgeries for a while. The continuing problem with my neck is from non-fusion/movement at my C6/7 level. That's the most difficult level to fuse because it moves every time you move your head. My surgeon continues to prescribe me Norco 10/325 and Flexiril 10mg, and since my TLIF, Valium as well. With the TLIF posterior approach, the muscles in my back tend to spasms pretty bad sometimes, especially now that I'm in PT. I had weaned down on my meds a month ago and did pretty well, but I started having more pain and decided that I'd worry about weaning later. My surgeon agreed that this wasn't really the time to try with everything going on.

    As for my non-fusion, my surgeon asked if I wanted to deal with it now, but my choice is to wait until if or when I have symptoms in my arms because of it. Right now, I only have the pain in the back of my neck and shoulder spasms, so I can live with that. I'll eventually get my meds down to where I'll take them only when needed, not every day. That time hasn't come yet, lol, but it will one day.

    I consider my TLIF a complete success, but it's a longer recovery that the ACDF. The lumbar is the core of the body and going in posteriorly makes it more difficult as well. So patience is important.

    I'm able to do most things, but twisting and lifting too much is out for now. My PT says he'll get me back on the golf course sometime this year, so we'll see how that goes.

    Anyway, I'm rambling, sorry. I hope your recovery is quick and you have some great nights of sleep. That's a luxury to some. :-)

  • Hey Cat rambling is allowed, lol I find myself typing away here putting so much more than what I think anyone wants to read, but ya know it's great therapy too. You and vent, laugh, cry, whatever lol and in our own little way it does help just to get things off our chest no matter what it is.
    I have a lap top so I'm able to take it where ever I care to sit or lay. I'm a FB junkie and play so many of the games, which help to pass the time away. If you do the same feel free to add me as a contact. I'll give you my addy.
    I take 2 oxycodone (perks) every 4 hrs and 150mg lyrica 4 times a day to help with the nerves. And then I do take 10mg amitriptyline every night to help with sleeping. I can take 2 if needed but so far I haven't had to.
    By far you have been through so much more and I only have a slight idea of what you have had to endure. My thoughts and prayers will be with you every day that goes by that you feel any progress in recuperating.
    I googled my surgery and found a video on You Tube.This woman did a video 10 days after her op that described her surgery and what to expect afterwards. I really found it quite informative. She did the video to help people who are having the same procedure.
    Do you have a wedge pillow? I have borrowed one from my daughter-in-law and i don't know what I ever could have done without it. I've been trying to find one in my area, I live in Ontario, and have had no luck. I may contact my aunt that lives in Florida and have her send me one, lol. I hunted around and got a over the bed table like the ones in the hospital and have everything i may need in baskets beside the bed. I have personal wipes, powder, lotion etc. etc. Also our home is a bungalo with finished basement. Everything I need is all on one floor and I have plenty of room to walk even inside. When I feel ready for it I have a tread mill downstairs. I guess I just don't want to overdue it too soon.
    You would already know about how long it takes for recuperating from surgery on your spine. Not that it makes it any easier but just knowing what to expect, when you can do certain daily activities and so on. I am in the quetioning stages about some things. Mainly right now I do know I'm to rest and walk rest and walk lol.
    I think I'm going to rest now for a bit. Thanks for your time, and I'll check back again soon

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