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Sunday, October 28, 2012

5 Months post-fusion: 5 star review

I don't care if its too soon for a New Year's Resolution.  I've got one and it is to conquer 2013 without surgery. It's been five months already and I feel like I'm about at my recovery plateau.  I'm sure some of it is due to my simply adapting to how things are with this new neck, but I forget sometimes it even happened.

The good: Neck movement in all directions is so good I can do everything as before.   Sleep is comfortable again, albeit with a neck pillow.  No recurrence of arm pain and my strength feels equal again.  Because it was my dominant arm, I use it all the time which has helped.  I still haven't gone back to the pain meds since stopping at about week 3.  I'm standing up for more than half the day at work which means much better posture and no neck issues even after staring at the computer for 10 hours.

The so-so: I notice the numbness in my thumb once a week or so but its very slight.  Some days I have stiffness in the back of my neck which I can forget if I'm working or occupied.  My scar is still darkened and visible and occasionally itches.  My jaw above is still the tiniest bit desensitized but it feels like the nerves are slowly coming back.

The rest: Not being able to jog has thrown my exercise schedule off and I am less active than before.  Partly this is due to changes at work but also needing more time to walk vs. run.  Still trying to settle back into a new workout schedule but so far, laziness is winning.

Also having fun meeting all my scar twins - who knew a visible neck scar would be such a great way to meet people?  All you singles suffering in pain, one more perq!


Kathy Shade said...

I just read your blog from the beginning to end- decided earlier today to have the one level (C5-C6) acdf and started searching for other's experiences that weren't written on the forums where people list their multitude of afflictions and surgeries in their signature- I had faith I would find someone who would chronicle their successful journey. I will not wear a brace- not sure how i feel about that......biggest concern is being off work- I'm an RN that made the switch to IT 2 years ago, and I imagine going to full time desk work didn't help. but the thought of being home with restrictions scares me! I like to DO and GO!!! so, surgery scheduled 11/19/12- thanks for documenting the journey- hope I have such a good outcome too!

R Palmer said...

Hi Kathy,
I'm glad you found me! I didn't get much help from the message boards either which is why I wrote this. I have have since met lots of other people with the same story which is just what I was hoping. The neck brace was a big part of the chore for me so without one, you will be surprised how quickly you can rebound. I am not one to lie around either and I really think that sped my recovery.
My surgeon's best tip was to return part-time at first but to start in the afternoon so the days didn't stretch into full ones. Modifying my desk so I can sit or stand at the computer was also a huge help. No PT needed, just gradual return to normal activity. Best of luck for your surgery over the holiday! Let me know how you are doing after.

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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.