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2 level ACDF (C5-6-7) scheduled for Wednesday!

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Comments

  • now I hope you are not spending too much time on that computer *laughing*

    J.
  • I probably am...I keep telling myself to limit my time. :) But, after all the encouragement I have received from this site, it's hard not to try to encourage others.

    Hope you are doing well.

    Jan
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  • Hey Jan

    I do understand the part about seeking information and sharing of information. I assure you when I am post op I have every intention of sharing my recovery stages as I am learning first hand just how much it helps hearing about others stories.

    I do have a couple of questions - and direct bluntness is not seen as bad in my books - so if it hurts like crap - then please feel free to share it :-)

    My first question is the swallowing part - how bad is it. Now I know that's a weird question of sorts - I guess I mean how soon can you expect for it to subside. I read one post not sure if it was here - but the person said - ok it hurt like hell - and his doctor told him not 90% but 100% have the sore throat and difficulty swallowing.

    Are there ways to make it "somewhat" easier. I know the timelines vary - but can you expect progress in a couple of weeks? I guess I'm quizzing you more because I'm having the same ACDF c5-c7 :-)

    Last but not least (and last as in for today lolol) - when the doctors talk about limited mobility because of the C7 area - how do you gauge that? does it mean that you will get a blatant pain reminder that you can't turn this way or that - or do you think it becomes a matter of "ok my neck doesn't move that way anymore".....

    I'm just curious.

    Hope your day is going well.

    Ciao for now.

    J.
  • Regarding the swallowing...it's not so much that it hurts, for me it was just hard! I felt like I had a tennis ball in my throat. That first night (after I threw up and dry heaved for 5 hours), I would take an occasional ice chip and try to sip water...but my mouth was so dry I couldn't wrap my lips around the straw! It was pathetic. When I got home the next day, I was able to "eat" jello, ice cream, sorbet, yogurt, broth, and my bestie made split pea soup and put it in the blender. My husband made me lots of smoothies...the cold felt good going down. I am now just over 3 weeks post op and can eat anything, even potato chips! I still get stuff 'stuck' every once in awhile, but it's doable. In all honesty, within about 10 days, I was able to eat regular food without too much trouble...meat and soft bread was the hardest to swallow.

    The good news...I did lose 8 lbs. :)

    Regarding the mobility, at this time I am not sure. I could not tilt my head back because my arm would go numb, but I could look down with no problem. I couldn't turn to my right because my
    arm would go numb, and turning to my left was just tight. Technically, I am not supposed to be moving my head much yet (turn your whole body, not your head)...but when I do, it's pretty tight right now. I can tilt back with no numbness, which is wonderful (meaning the nerves are no longer being compressed), but it's pretty limited otherwise. It is harder to look down. Of course, it's not like I'm pushing it. My NS will be prescribing PT for me - probably 8 wks worth, so I assume that my range will slowly come back. I see him Thursday.

    Honestly, I have not had any pain that was "wow, I shouldn't have done that"...it's been more like muscle pain in my low neck and shoulders for the most part. The trapezoid area? between your neck and shoulder...that's where my pain is. And, since I started wearing my stupid BGS, I do have a little pain in the front of my neck (where the fusion is...maybe those little electric impulses are doing some good!)

    For the past week, I have been taking 1/2 percocet 3-4 times a day, just enough so I am really not aware of any pain. I am icing a couple times a day (again, that shoulder area), and I'm trying to be smart about what I do. I have begun doing laundry, and even helped put clean sheets on the bed yesterday (but my hubby stripped the bed, carried the sheets to the garage, put them in washer/dryer, carried them back upstairs). It's really about knowing your limits.

    I'm going to PM you with my email address - feel free to contact me anytime. I check email more than this site...although, obviously I have been on here more. But I am closing my lap top right now!!

    so, have a great day...Jude.
    Chat with you soon!

    Jan

  • I'm so glad you're doing better, swallowing and all. But please be careful with neck motion. You don't want a reversal of the progress you've made in terms of pain relief, and making the wrong move - doing something your NS advised you to not do - can do damage. The PT will tall you what you can do, and for now it's in your best interest not to do more than that. I can empathize with your situation, because it can be hard for me to be a patient patient, but sometimes we have to be to get good results in the long run. Take care! Love 'n >:D< >:D< >:D< , Ess
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  • It has been a great help reading all your posts,I did not think about the swallowing problem at all looks like plenty of smoothies for a few weeks. PHMom thanks for letting me know about the range of movement you have, it is one of the things I was most concerned about.

    After having surgery recently I am a little anti morphine,what do you think? It lowers blood pressure a lot,( I collapsed in hospital on the floor and had to be hoisted,don't even remember hitting the floor)it also makes you constipated,and for some it makes you feel sick,I was quite bad for 6 days some patients around me were refusing morphine in favour of anti inflammatory meds,When on morphine they were giving anti constipation meds so you can imagine what it was like without me going into detail.Having said that I may take it if the pain is too bad,otherwise I will just take my usual medication only.
    The operation was fine just the morphine or (Oromorph) that done me in,and many others on my ward,some however were ok'ish,it is obviously going to vary from person to person.Maybe don't have too much is the answer I don't know.

    I think I the info on one of my earlier posts was wrong, I am not having pedical screws in my neck like I said,they were used in my lower back L5/S1, having read the leaflet given to me it will be anterior cervical decompression disc removal c5/6 with a round metal cage put in where the disc comes out with bone inside it,then a plate with screws to secure the vertebra together.along with removal of bone spurs.

    Not as big an operation as most of you have had,or having, you have all gone through it.I wish you all a good recovery for the future.

    Sorry about the morphine bit but I had to mention it.Look it up on the net if concerned.

    All the best Des
    desb63
  • Hi Ess...
    So, should I not be moving my head much at all...kind of pretend that I am wearing me collar? I am being careful, but I absolutely do not want to do anything that would 'hurt' me. Other than 'no bending, no stooping', I wasn't given much information. Since I only wear the collar to ride in the car and when I am out in public (or taking my walks), I have a lot of 'freedom'. I really appreciate your input.

    Jan
  • hi Des...
    I was given dilauded (hydromorphone) after surgery, and threw up for 5 hours. I didn't even use the self-medicating pump because I didn't want to be sick. They switched me to percocet, which I have been able to tolerate. However, I had a HUGE problem with constipation. I am now taking stool softeners each night and drinking metamucil in the morning...and occasionally have to take a laxative pill...and I'm hardly taking any pain medication at this point.

    As for your operation, it's still a 'big' surgery. :) Mine was just 2 levels (c5-6-7) instead of one. I had 2 discs removed and artificial bone material put in, then the titanium plate and screws to hold and eventually fuse those two levels. I also had a foramotomy (rotor rooter out the foramen canals where my nerve roots were being compressed) and multiple bone spurs removed.

    Best wishes to you - please feel free to message me if I can answer any questions. I received so much encouragement from this site, I am happy to pay it forward. :)

    Jan
  • hi Des...
    I was given dilauded (hydromorphone) after surgery, and threw up for 5 hours. I didn't even use the self-medicating pump because I didn't want to be sick. They switched me to percocet, which I have been able to tolerate. However, I had a HUGE problem with constipation. I am now taking stool softeners each night and drinking metamucil in the morning...and occasionally have to take a laxative pill...and I'm hardly taking any pain medication at this point.

    As for your operation, it's still a 'big' surgery. :) Mine was just 2 levels (c5-6-7) instead of one. I had 2 discs removed and artificial bone material put in, then the titanium plate and screws to hold and eventually fuse those two levels. I also had a foramenotomy (rotor rooter out the foramen canals where my nerve roots were being compressed) and multiple bone spurs removed.

    Best wishes to you - please feel free to message me if I can answer any questions. I received so much encouragement from this site, I am happy to pay it forward. :)

    Jan
  • Hey Jan - as they have me on the percocet - pre-surgery - I have discovered that the immediate and best way around the constipation part is a bowl of instant oatmeal.
    For real!!!! oh i tried the probiotics, the prune juice - but nothing beats Mr. Oatmeal in a bowl.

    Put one little package of that instant stuff (by Quaker I believe) into a bowl - bit of water - hit the microwave for 1 minute and voila - it kicks butt (no pun intended). It's also good to add a wee bit of cinnamon and it's all yummy.

    Another thing I've discovered to make sure you get your nutrients is Emergen-C multi-vitamin powder. You just put one package into a 4-6 oz water (cold is best) and drink away. I got apricot-mango flavor and it's also yummy. Being in Canada though I had to order it from the good old USA. for some reason we have all the single vitamin packs but no multi vitamin packs.

    Take care and keep up the good health :-)

    Jude

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