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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

3 weeks post cervical fusion: Easing back into work

I got the okay to start work today, half days in the afternoons.  So far so good but I am definitely going slowly.  My job is largely sedentary so the challenge is varying position as much as possible.  I'm sitting on the Variable Balans chair (see below) and finding it is encouraging me to relax my shoulders away from the neck brace which has been a big problem for me. 

Today's schedule was:  Work 1 hour, walk around for 5 minutes.  Work another hour, take a 15 minute break to relax, etc.  I definitely am not ready to sit at a desk for 10 hours so I am glad my company permits me to start back half days. 

Physically, I am continuing to feel some mild to moderate aching and stiffness in my neck and upper back.  I noticed my spine seemed to have a different shape at the cervico-thoracic juncture (where the neck connects to the upper back) - a sort of bump.  When I spoke to the nurse, she reassured me it was normal having just had this procedure and that it was partly swelling which would diminish.  There's no pain its just a different feeling spine than it was before, I guess I shouldn't be shocked? It also looks a little different.  If I get a mirror and look at my neck from the side, there's a bit of a bulge there. 

My neck itself however seems to be much less swollen.  I can tell because I am having to cinch up the velcro straps of the neck brace more and more.  (See!  I knew there was another good reason to wear the brace ;)  There is obvious scar tissue under the incision but the discoloration is very diminished.   The skin around the incision feels more normal, less numb.  Unfortunately, the heat has picked way up and I am still sporting a heat rash under the brace.  I've taken to wearing it over my shirt rather than under which was my vain attempt to hide it a little, ha.


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Medical Details If You Must

Two-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion scheduled for May 29th. Herniated discs at C4-5 and C5-6 indenting the cord with significant kyphosis.

I am not a medical professional. The information contained in this blog is not intended to be nor is it medical advice. Nothing contained herein should be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health professional.