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Day 4 after ACDF surgery--Top 5 things

I looked for a ton of information online before researching and found everybody's experience varies but it helped to hear the good and bad. ANd my top 5 must have items.

(1) PILLOWS: Particularly a bed wedge/triangle pillow and a neck pillow--I had an old one I take on planes. I put a sheet on it and it was great. The wedge was great since I did not buy a recliner. I had lots of "regular" pillows too (and throw pillows) and I just (with my stepmom's help) tried to figure out the best mixture for the occasion.
(2) BENADRYL: I got a TERRIBLE rash--which I have gotten with previous surgeries. It is VERY itchy and it got irritated when I had heat on it--trying to

I had a level 1 acdf fusion (and a spinal tap) on Monday, January 28. I stayed the night at the hospital which the doctor offered and said only 25% do stay. I am REALLY glad that I stayed. I did not "need" it but was SO glad I stayed. Even though they woke me up every hour---they also kept me following drs orders and allowed me to concentrate on that. My stepmom also stayed the night with me--which was great bc I needed help getting out of the bed to go to the bathroom. I was walking the very day or my surgery--the full length of the hospital floor. I was also much more awake than I expected. I did feel all the heavy duty drugs start to ear out that evening and I still felt pretty good and then was on the hydro-codiene and muscle relaxer combo. I needed it that first night as regularly as prescribed. I also needed an anti-nausea med that night when my stomach got upset.

The next day I was super ready to leave at 8 am and left a little after 10. I had taken walks again that morning and was doing remarkably well.

Throat-I bought a bunch of stuff thinking my throat would be in a lot of pain and it was not bad at all. This seems to be unusual but it was my experience. I was eating mac and cheese and sliced carrots the first night. Progressively, I was able to tolerate pretty much anything. Very nice surprise.

I came home and, again, was doing remarkably well. My family kept telling me to sit down. I felt good and the first few days--I rarely wore my collar--which was only a soft collar to be used the first week. I slept on the couch for the first two nights I was home. It seemed easier to do so but now that I am in my big bed...who knows. I kept a list of when I took my meds...I thought I would not need this (but read about someone else that did) and it was SUPER helpful.



  • It sounds like your surgery has gone well and that you have made an excellent start to your recovery. :-)

    It is great that you have given some advice to others about things that you have found useful after surgery.

    You haven't mentioned a grabber, but perhaps you have help from your step-mom. It sounds like she is going to be a wonderful support. Once/if you are on your own, a grabber can be really helpful. I use mine, not only to pick things up (it is amazing how often you drop stuff when it is not easy to pick it up!), but also to reach up and open and close a high window. I can also use it to flick the low down switch to turn on the power for the tv.

    Keep letting us know how you are getting on, and if you think of the rest of your Top 5 Things to help after an ACDF, add them to your list.
    This is a great place to have support while you are recovering. I think you are almost bound to have queries that you will want to ask of those who have experienced this surgery.
    We are always willing to share our experiences.

  • Pangea250PPangea250 Posts: 15
    edited 02/02/2013 - 12:42 PM
    Nice to have you here. This is a great bunch of folks that have helped me tremendously.

    Now you have me thinking about my top 5 things. Hmmmmm....

    1 - pain meds --grin--
    2 - recliner to sleep in
    3 - drinking straws
    4 - pre-made meals to heat in the microwave
    5 - daily emotional support (mine came in the form of a phone call from my mom every day, random calls from friends, surprise get-well flowers from people I volunteer with regularly, texts from co-workers)
    - Pangea
    ACDF C4-5, C5-6 on 12/3/12
    Bone growth stimulator 4 hrs/day
    Follow up 1/21/12 - growing bone, still in pain though. Working desk job but still not cleared for volunteer EMS :-(
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