ACDF &Amp; Removed A Bone SpurHi guys, its been a while since I posted and realized tonight that I really needed to send an update.
Quick summary, my pain started in May 2012, followed by a diagnosis of Cervical Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, a bulging disc at C4/5, and a ruptured disc at the C5/6 level.
The journey has not been easy and the pain was horrible, and between a medical system that is very afraid of creating or enabling more drug addicts, as well as the total failure of many drugs that "should have worked," I spent a year without any real relief for longer than a couple day.
Typical days I woke up at a pain level of five, and anything beyond laying in bed was a 6 (sitting and being useless), a 7 (doing things like driving, cooking or cleaning), or worse if I lifted, carried, or basically did anything people never think twice about.
I turned thirty trapped in a body that was nothing but uncontrollable pain.
More than once I was ready to die just to make the pain stop.
There was nothing that I could do, my brain had all but shut down trying to function in a state of constant torture.
On June 19, 2013 I went in for ACDF surgery to fix the ruptured disc at C5/6.
As I laid flat on my back, my pain level just kept climbing, I hadn't been able to lay on my back for months, and here I was stuck on my back for hours in PreOP.
I hadn't had cold feet until moments before surgery, the point at which I was starting to lose all sanity, as the pain had hit a point that I was convinced that the surgery would never help.
By the time I was on the table and being gassed, I began to hope that everything went wrong, total painless paralysis from the neck down or worse, wrong.
And then I woke up, and my first thought was "can't these people shut up, I was sleeping so well."
Wait, my neck hurts. Except it doesn't.
And that's when the questions started.
"Can you speak?"
"Yes," I kind of whispered loudly.
"Good, what's your pain level?"
"A two, and that's because you just put a hole in my neck."
The tingling, the numbness, the pain that I had had for over a year were gone.
I found out later that my surgery required a major bone spur be removed, and that was most likely the greatest reason for my pain. From the looks and attitude adjustments in the staff, I think that I was previously treated like a cry baby, and the finding of bone spur was kind of a rolled up newspaper slap against their belief that I was kinda faking it. And some comments alluded that I should have been reporting more pain than I was for that kind of issue.
In several hours it will be exactly 3 weeks since my surgery.
I have been careful but self challenging, cautious but explorative with my recovery.
The post surgery hydrocodone was only used for a couple days at the every four hours level, then I dropped to one before bed for a week, then dropped them almost completely. I have had two days when I have taken a night dose.
I was able to move my neck, in terms of turning my head withing the first 10 days, and started driving on the 10th day, just a little at first.
By two weeks I was driving and cooking, but needing some rest.
I went back to volunteering on Monday of this week, and today was spent going to the bank, grocery store, potting some plants, doing some laundry, and then cooking dinner.
True it isn't all easy, and I do watch my weight limit and break tasks up to make sure I don't over do it, (like making daily grocery store runs with the hand basket and getting a few items at a time), but the level of things I can get done in any day just keeps improving.
And while I'm not exactly pain free, I still have some pain when I turn in certain directions, or if I sit wrong for even a few minutes, I am definitely thrilled with the results of my surgery so far.
Just wanted to give an update on how I'm doing, perhaps give someone a little incentive to keep fighting, and hopefully brighten the day of other members that either read and commented on my previous post, or those who read and were quietly concerned.
Thanks, hugs, and warm thoughts to everyone here!