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going bonkers after ACDF surgery

I am 1 week post surgery and bored to death because I'm not supposed to move our list anything how did anyone get past this? Its Thanksgiving week and I can't stand depending on others is bothering me. I'm a mom to 3 and the one that plans and organizes the family. Please give me ideas other than raising my cable bill with on demand


  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,345
    edited 11/20/2012 - 8:57 AM

    First, welcome to Spine Health. Speaking with others who are going through recovery at the same time as you and understand the frustration and pain, is helpful and a great support.

    There is a thread entitled November Surgery Buddies, where there are lots of us who have either just had surgery, or about to undergo it. Can I suggest that you come and join us? I had a 2 level ACDF 2 weeks ago.

    You are still very early on in your recovery, and hopefully things will get easier and you will manage to slowly do more and more. I emphasise the word slowly, otherwise you could flare up your pain.

    Can you do the planning and organising and allow other members of the family to help with the work? Hopefully, if your youngsters are willing to muck in and help out, this could be a special Thanksgiving to remember how you all worked as a team to create a special day.

    I hope that you will have a great Thanksgiving this week and that afterwards you will find some things to do to pass the time. Do you enjoy reading? Any hobbies that you have always wanted to take up? Sorting out those family photos that could really do with putting into some order? I wrote a short story for my granddaughter after my lumbar fusion, and now am planning to write a sequel for her brother.

    I always feel that if we were given a month or two off to catch up with all the things we wish we could, or do that thing that we have been longing to try, we would be delighted. Somehow when it is forced on us after surgery, it isn't so much fun.

    Although it seems like an eternity stretched before us, if we can find some things we enjoy to do, the time will soon pass.

  • Hi there, clspisak:

    I definitely know how you are feeling. For me, it is three weeks post ACDF surgery and with the weather changing, even taking the short walks I take on my street are going to come to an end, although we are due for some sun on Thanksgiving, which will be nice.

    Some of this is about really learning to surrender to the healing, which I know you hate - something I hate, too. We have to acknowledge that we are mere mortals despite our super human existence before the surfery. Believe me, I am here on my own and although I have a number of neighbors and friends wanting to help (and I do let them when necessary), I tend to prefer to do things on my own, too.

    Lifting for me is limited to anything more than a gallon of milk, so if you are not supposed to lift anything at all, it sounds like yours might be a little different than mine.

    Like you, sitting in front of the tv is not exciting to me, but I am able to distract myself by working.
    For me, an added part of the challenge is that my voice is a whisper-to-whispering hoarseness, so I cannot even really distract myself by talking on the phone with friends and family.

    I would love to be able to clean out closests and whatnot, but I am determined to not have my fusion fail, so I am cooperating as much as possible. Thankfully, I have grocery delivery here, which helps a lot.

    I literally just finished making two types of cranberry sauce for a Thanksgiving gathering I am attending, so that distracted me for a while and it really didn't involve lifting much at all, so unless you are in pain, even doing things like that might help.

    If you ever wanted to knit or crochet, this might be a great time to start up something like that. Holidays are coming up, so if you are artistic at all, maybe drawing, painting or making candles or fragrance sachets or something personalized that people will appreciate receiving is an option. None really involves lifting, but might be a nice creative outlet.

    I hear your frustration and perhaps some of the ideas that Jellyhall or ones that I (and others) offer can be helpful.

    I wish you well with your recovery!
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
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  • I'm first day post op and feel really good, hard to imagine sitting around not doing much- like you, I am a slight control freak and the only one in the house that cares how things stay picked up and clean! Just like jellyhall said, I have lists of books I always wanted to read, or movies I want to see, yet now that I have the time it seems more like a chore!! how silly, huh? I knew I would do nothing for Thanksgiving- I am just showing up! I guess I think about things like organizing, and list making- what about your Christmas planning? Cybershopping? I am researching online for my friend- she can't decide between a nook, kindle or google nexus, so I'm doing the comparisons. I have an ipad and use it constantly, I love researching trivia, electronics, etc. i don't know about your dr's directions, but i am allowed to ride in a car short periods- have someone take you to a coffee house you've always wanted to try, or the bookstore for some magazines to indulge in. how old are your kids- do they have video games- have a tournament with them. just trying to brainstorm with you, but i know where you're coming from. i plan on lazyboy alternating with a walk around the block about 2-3 times a day, bought my first e-book to try (i have a short attention span!)
  • FrancineSFFFrancineSF Posts: 318
    edited 11/20/2012 - 11:56 AM
    One of my goals was to not be 'passive' with my brain. Even while in the hospital, I didn't want to turn the tv on, so I picked up my smart phone and played games of Words with Friends and Scramble - which kept my mind engaged and also kept it more interactive than passive. It made me feel good that I hadn't lost too many brain cells! :)

    It would sure make it easier if I could talk, but I just have to accept that I cannot, for now (hopefully), and do things around here.

    The big excitement for me was a field trip to get my hair done. I took a cab (yes, Ms. Independence over here) - and there was a supermarket across the way, so I went in there -- walked around with a shopping cart in my Miami J Collar. You should have seen the looks!! I smiled back and could tell people wanted to ask questions -- but I just smiled back. I think I would have really freaked them out if I actually tried to speak, given that the strong tone that comes out of my mouth is a whisper.

    Clspisak - are you in a collar? Did your surgeon tell you how long you cannot lift things, go out, etc? 6 weeks? Longer?
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
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