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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cervical Fusion - 3 months post op

So I've settled in to my new normal and I've got no complaints.  Well, mostly none.  I had my last post-operative appointment which was massively anti-climactic - no Xrays, no exam, just a lovely chat.  No news is apparently good news meaning as long as I continue to be pain-free, that's good. 

Nothing much has changed in my symptoms which remain just a smidgeon of numbness in my left thumb.  I am also a little stiff in my neck when I wake up in the morning.  Before the fusion, I used to be able to flex my neck and get a crack out of it to relieve the stiffness - not so much now.  I've also got some occasional itching at the incision and sometimes a painful twinge there too.  (Scar pic here).

I had my first long solo drive Friday for about 5 hours.  It was not delightful and I felt pretty sore afterwards.  I think it was from being in a fixed position for so long more so than from holding the wheel.  Being fairly tense because of the merciless tailgating on the interstate surely didn't help.  I worry a bit about getting rear-ended but I sure do pity the fool who runs into the lawyer who's just recovered from neck surgery!  First cross-country plane trip this week - not really relishing 8 hrs of travel plus sketchy hotel mattress.  I am now that chick who travels with her special pillow ;p

Unfortunately, I'm still not able to run - Doc reminded me it wasn't recommended but of course I tried again, same result :(  So me and the elliptical have come to terms - the terms being I crank up the elevation and essentially run on it.  I still haven't been able to get back to swimming but am determined to get in there and see how it works out.

Despite continuing to tell people my scar is from a bar fight, my fellow fusion patients usually figure me out.  After we play "who's got the gnarliest Xray", we swap tales. (BTW who keeps their Xrays on their iPhone??).  Based on what I've heard, lots of others have not had as easy a recovery and 3 weeks back to work is pretty good.  After a fairly rough year, my display of dedication by going back to work early may pay off if I get the promotion I've applied for...fingers crossed!

What 1 item helped you the most after surgery?

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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.