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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ladies Only: Late visit from your favorite Aunt!

Just when I thought I'd experienced the last of the medication side effects, it dawned on me that I hadn't had a visit from Aunt Flow since the surgery. My how time flies when you're self-absorbed to the point of mania! One of Hydrocodone's side effects is alteration of menstrual cycle, yippee. So, here she arrives in all her fury and I can't resort to my usual high dose Ibuprofen because the Doctor has said it interferes with healing. Since the only thing I can take, Tylenol, is of no use, I'm heading back for the Ultram. Now I'm glad they prescribe 50x more pills than I could ever take.

Since I am still walking outside every day and now that the incision is healed, I have started using Mederma SPF 30. Rubbing the scar does not hurt, exactly, but the skin is sensitive and the tissue beneath is definitely still swollen. Although it's not painful, when I swallow my neck muscles feel a little sluggish. My esophagus is also still a little smaller than before because I still occasionally have trouble getting food down if I have not properly chewed it. The only other lingering symptom is the numbness in my left thumb. It waxes and wanes, worsening after I walk. The doctor said it would persist because the nerve remains irritable.

As the weeks stretch on, my inability to drive while wearing the neck brace is taking a toll. Now that I'm out of the acute phase, its gotten tougher to get rides from folks. Something as simple as needing new batteries in my mouse (because I can't use the stupid trackpad ;p) throws off the whole day. Never again will I take mobility for granted. As a person who likes to get things accomplished, this aspect of recovery is proving harder tham the boredom. If you're thinking I should just take the brace off and drive myself, I tried but after 3 weeks of not rotating your neck, I don't have the ROM to pull it off. So, I'll wear out the sidewalks for 3 more weeks.


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I'm 43-years old, married mother of two boys. I work full-time but the daunting prospect of 6-ish weeks of recovery has led me here. How much TV can one person watch?

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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.