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ACDF Horrible Recovery

2

Comments

  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287

    dilauro said:

    Most states in the USA will only take hand written prescriptions
    • No faxing
    • No phoning in
    • No email
    • etc
    Songlin, it looks like Arizona/New Mexico area.  I don't know about specific state rules on this.

    Yeah I'm in Arizona, and supposedly that is in fact a law regarding the scripts needing to be hand-written, although I was reading about there being possible exceptions. If I had known that, I would have had way second thoughts about doing the surgery out of town, although I thought they would have at least given me enough medication to last between re-checks. 

    The best part was, since I had to go in person to get my medication scripts today, the car we were in had a blow out of a tire, swerved all over the freeway, and almost got in another accident (I wasn't driving, of course). Then we were stranded on the highway in the middle of the desert heat for an hour waiting for some assistance, which let me tell you, in my hard sweaty cervical collar, was not fun. Now I'm in even more pain than I was before from all the car trauma. Even better was that my surgeon did give me more medication, but it's still not enough to last until my next re-check appointment. Feels like this nightmare will never end. 
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287
    edited 03/16/2016 - 5:04 AM

    Hualani said:

    SongJin
    there may be a time difference as noone can instruct on time adjustment for forum and you are not listing a geo location. Ive seen members from China to USA and UK here. Each country and province or state has laws regulating controllled meds.
    You are not alone, if that helps. my NS also released from hospital on weekend without ample meds to travel home,
    If it helps I do see a variety of recovery reactions. My NS said he doesnt see pain after ACDF surgery. I know that's not accurate, seems common that the surgeons are out of touch with recovery.
    It is Tuesday in my part of the planet. Yes most places will require controlled meds to be picked up and delivered to pharmacy with ample ID to fill them.
    How are you today, and what progress are you making?
    Im having large swelling behind my left knee and will call my PCP to be sure Im not developing a clot, as the pain is impossible to go up or down any steps and this is new today.


    Oh sorry yeah I'm in Arizona, in the United States, geo-wise. Today was still really awful for me (see the above story for the problems with the car travel to even get more medication). I'm really disturbed by the new nerve pain down my left arm (though I'm told that's normal), and I'm still really bugged by the fact that I can't feel anything between my jawline and my incision. It's like a bizarre combination of numb and painful because it hurts if I press, but the skin itself itself is numb. For I think the same reason, it doesn't hurt to swallow (like the intubation pain is gone), but if I swallow hard it hurts the incision area, like the pushing down on my throat is really painful. The incision itself doesn't look infected, so I hope that's okay. 

    I've been trying to walk around as much as possible to avoid the clots issue myself--how is your swelling? I hope you don't end up with an issue like that! 
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  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287
    I'm still just doing really poorly. My neck and shoulders are just in total spasm, and it's giving me these unrelenting headaches. And the headaches are the worst--nothing is helping them, especially once they get to a certain level. Tylenol is useless, and I'm already taking low doses of percocet and valium (still didn't get enough from my doctor to take on a regular schedule). None of it works. If anyone has any other ideas to ask my doctor about, let me know! I just feel totally non-functional, constantly in pain, and totally depressed that I did this to myself.  
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287
    Posting this here too, since I think this might be the thing to deal with. A better question to ask is what muscle relaxers have people here tried that have been the most effective? I'm convinced most of the headaches are from the muscle spasms. Valium is already a stronger muscle relaxer, but it's obviously not working well. Flexeril and Robaxin also didn't work for me. Has anyone on here tried ones that were especially effective that I could at least ask my surgeon about trying instead?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528
    The ones I have found most efficient
    • Flexeril  -   Strong, but seems to make you drunk the next day
    • Soma   -  Very good but can be addictive and not room for dosage changes
    • Zanaflex -  Powerful, very effective, but can make you real drowsy
    • Baclofen  -  For me, the best, wide range of dosages, does not make me drowsy but it relaxes all my muscles
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • I was given Ativan immediately after surgery for muscle spasms and it seemed to help.

    Before surgery and currently, I take the generic version of Skelaxin as needed. Unfortunately, even the generic version is not in my insurance formulary, which means I have to pay cash and it doesn't count toward my deductible. Even the generic is quite expensive.  I just paid $165 for 30, although I found out after-the-fact that I could have gotten the generic at Walmart for $65 or so.  I like Skelaxin because it doesn't make you drowsy.

    I have also found taking two Tylenol  Arthritis formulation to be quite effective for neck spasms.  The Arthritis formula is basically a megadose of time-released Tylenol. Even if regular Tylenol hasn't worked for you, you might try the Arthritis version and see if that is any more effective. It's difficult to find in-store, so I order it online.
    C6-C7 ACDF - January 20, 2016
    Shoulder surgery - August 2, 2016
    Interlaminar laminotomy, mesial facetectomy and foraminotomy bilateral at C5-C6 and unilateral left at C6-C7 and bilateral C6-C7 facet fusion - December 7, 2016

  • I felt rushed out of the hospital and left with 5 days of pain control medicine. I also doled it out sparingly thinking I shouldn't need that much if they only prescribed a few days worth. When I contacted the office I was told they typically need 48-72 hrs notice for a refill. I told them I was discharged with 5 days worth and would have basically needed to ask for a refill upon discharge. There definitely is a f.lw in the system somewhere,  be persistent and request what you honestly feel you need. 
    newbie to forum, veteran to pain
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287


    I was given Ativan immediately after surgery for muscle spasms and it seemed to help.

    Before surgery and currently, I take the generic version of Skelaxin as needed. Unfortunately, even the generic version is not in my insurance formulary, which means I have to pay cash and it doesn't count toward my deductible. Even the generic is quite expensive.  I just paid $165 for 30, although I found out after-the-fact that I could have gotten the generic at Walmart for $65 or so.  I like Skelaxin because it doesn't make you drowsy.

    I have also found taking two Tylenol  Arthritis formulation to be quite effective for neck spasms.  The Arthritis formula is basically a megadose of time-released Tylenol. Even if regular Tylenol hasn't worked for you, you might try the Arthritis version and see if that is any more effective. It's difficult to find in-store, so I order it online.

    Yeah I had the same issue finding affordable Skelaxin, and eventually got the generic for an okay price. Unfortunately, for me, at least pre-surgery it didn't do much for me. It wasn't useless, but it wasn't dramatic, so it's definitely not going to work for me now! 

    It's like some cruel joke that you can't even use effective pain meds after a fusion--I'll see if I can find some other Tylenol types around but for me, that stuff may as well be sugar pills. I think I read an article somewhere basically saying something to the same effect that it was essentially useless for a bunch of different problems. 
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287

    mistpa said:

    I felt rushed out of the hospital and left with 5 days of pain control medicine. I also doled it out sparingly thinking I shouldn't need that much if they only prescribed a few days worth. When I contacted the office I was told they typically need 48-72 hrs notice for a refill. I told them I was discharged with 5 days worth and would have basically needed to ask for a refill upon discharge. There definitely is a f.lw in the system somewhere,  be persistent and request what you honestly feel you need. 

    Mistpa it sounds like you had the same problem I did! I honestly feel like not taking pain control seriously should be some kind of malpractice. How can you even heal properly when you're just miserable and in pain, and then the make it a huge hassle to get the relief you need. Then, on top of that, they'll probably start making you feel like a drug seeker if you keep asking. That hasn't happened to me yet, but I'm waiting for it...
  • kcase15kkcase15 New HampshirePosts: 14
    My husband had ACDF on C6-C7 last Thursday and upon discharge, was informed that they, by law, can only prescribe narcotics in 1-week increments. If he needs more, we need to either call with enough time to receive the new prescription via mail or drive down to the big city of Boston, MA again to pick up a script. His followup appointment isn't for another 3-4 weeks. He has been moving around off and on since Saturday and that seems to have helped with his pain. If he sits too long, he seems to stiffen. He had an illiac crest, where they removed a portion of his hip bone and replaced the disc with it. He was also informed that he does not need to wear his collar at all times but it is best to wear it when moving around, sleeping and when his neck gets tired. I think using those muscles has helped with the pain level as well. He's been able to not only split his pain medication dosage in half, but he has lengthened the time between doses as well. I really hope that you are now starting to feel better and are now on the fast-track to recovery!
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