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Neck of Steel CindyNNeck of Steel Cindy Posts: 1,050
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:18 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Here I am almost 8 weeks post op and you would think I would be able to start returning to normal, at least somewhat normal life.

Last night my girls and I went to the hills for an overnight campout with some friends. I didn't have to do anything except for show up. Someone had set up our tent, blown up an air mattress for me, and really gone out of her way to make it comfortable for me.

The evening was fun, lots of laughing, singing and telling stories around the campfire, good food (dutch oven potatoes and also bbq spare ribs), and it felt really good to get out and be with friends. My husband is out of town on a business trip, and my son said no way was he going, so it was just the girls and I.

Anyway, should be relaxing, right? Shouldn't be a big deal, right? Wrong!!!!!!

My neck is absolutely killing me. Shoulders are spasming big time, side of my face is numb/tingly, major headache (I haven't had one this bad since surgery), and I am so frustrated. I couldn't sleep because there wasn't enough support with the air mattress and pillows. Tried to sit up for a while, but the tent wasn't tall enough in my corner. Nothing to lean against for support, so couldn't sleep in a reclined position. I finally dozed off around 4:00 a.m., and even then it was short lived. And man am I paying for it today. It hurts to even slightly move my arms, even when typing now. Argghhh!!!! Hasn't it been long enough!

When will it get better? No need to answer that, no one knows. When will I be able to go to an outing and enjoy it rather than putting a fake smile on my face and trying to be tough? Friends don't want to hear about my aches and pains, so I don't talk about it with them. I want them to see me as a person, not someone with a bad neck and chronic pain.

I guess the lesson learned is that I can't go camping again for a while. But I can't just give up on living my life. Right now it is time to go take a muscle relaxant, 2 tramadol, and crawl into my warm, soft, clean bed. For now, I give up!
Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!


  • Just give up for now, not forever! Time does heal this stuff, it just takes it's sweet own time about it. You must always support your neck, it sounds like it had to strain quite a bit on the air mattress. Next time you venture out bring your pillow(s) so your neck is not compromised. You can probably try some ice on your neck, that shouldn't hurt and may actually help. Sorry you're hurting.

  • I am 5 MONTHS out and I still cant do a whole bunch..... :(
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  • Missy, OKay, I won't give up forever. Had a good nap and I'm feeling more optimistic. It isn't often that I get really down, and I was (still am) frustrated because it has been over 2 years now since my injury and I want to stop thinking about it. Enough already, right? No matter what I am doing though, there is always a constant reminder that I am not the same person.

    As for pillows, I took all 3 that I use, and kept experimenting trying to get comfortable. Oh well, Maybe next year I'll be up for camping. If not, I'll suggest meeting at a 5 star hotel with room service!

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • grrr!!! I think we both need to go see the wizard and ask for a new neck.

    by the way, I saw your avatar showing your posterior incision. I would ask if it hurts as bad as it looks, but I already know the answer.

    You are just over 3 months ahead of me. I'm going to watch your posts for some encouragement, OK? Griff is just behind me, so maybe together the three of us can get through this posterior neck stuff.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • yes that would be great!!! my Dr. said I was I was about 2 months behind because of the staph infection I got after the surgery....I have stoped my pain pills because I feel like my brain is turning to MUSH and I was down to one a day...so now I feel like i am going through withdrawls!!! oh my!! Leslie
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  • yes i am ready to go see the wizard!!!!
  • I remember doing things that early after recovery and getting a bit depressed and wondering if I wouldn't get any better than that. It does get better! It's a very long road! You'll get there! You're already doing much better than last time cuz you sure wouldn't have been camping at 8 weeks post-op after the 1st surgery.

    Take care! :)
  • 8 weeks post op last time I was still sitting in a wheel chair and wondering if I would ever get out! Thanks for the reminder. I need to just be patient. But I don't think I'll be sleeping (or not sleeping, lol) on an air mattress again any time soon. I prefer my nice soft pillow top bed at home! Or the recliner when I can't sleep.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • hello, im new to this forum and maybe someone can give me some advice. i am 42 now, but have been suffering from severe headaches and neck pain since 38 yrs old.. i have a os odontoideum vs a postraumatic fracture in my my c1 c2 area. i have an appt tommorrow with a neurosurgeon but am very wary as all i seem to get is well if we do surgery you wont be able to turn your head.I cant live like this anymore!! i have gone through the nerve ablations, epidural blocks, etc. but i live in a small town in new mexico and maybe someone knows of a decent neuro???? at this point im willing to travel since no one will address my odontoid issue just all the damage further down. :( i am a shell of what i used to be as i used to be a cna at a nursing home now i cant lift and care for patients like i did i went to part time home care work i feel like pain rules my life . :( please advise.. thank you.
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