Today, January 2, 2012, marks exactly two weeks since my revision ACDF surgery to repair a non-union at c5-c6. I have the very unique perspective of having gone through the exact same surgery exactly one year ago. I re-read my post marking two weeks after the first surgery and I am struck by both the similarities and the differences. On the similarity side, the main thing I am experiencing is not pain but boredom. On the differences side, I am not experiencing any of the post-surgery depression I had last time around.
It seems that with this second surgery, I was much better prepared mentally. Of course, having gone through the surgery once was a big advantage mentally. I knew exactly what to expect. This time around the weather was much different this time around and that has made a big difference. Last year it started snowing the day of my surgery and continued for several days. For the first two weeks after surgery I was not able to get outside and walk around because of the ice on the sidewalks and the danger of falling. This year the weather has been unseasonably warm with temperatures in the 50′s and 60′s most days. I was able to get outside and start walking immediately after returning home from the hospital. I have been walking twice a day for about 20 minutes each time. It’s amazing how just that little bit of exercise makes a big difference.
There really isn’t much else to report two weeks out from surgery. I am feeling pretty good and getting better every day. The pain is not terrible but there is still some pain. The level of pain is directly related to my level of activity and how much pain medication I have taken on a particular day. There seems to be an upper threshold of activity and a lower threshold of pain medication.
For privacy reasons I wont’ discuss what medications I’m on or how much I’m taking but it is all well within normal ranges for what is prescribed by my doctor. The physical activity level threshold is about a mile of walking and carrying almost no weight of any kind. On the couple of occasions that I have carried my laptop, I have seen a rise in pain.
I have my post-surgery follow-up with the surgeon on Friday, January 6, 2012. It will be interesting to see the x-rays and get his take on my progress. I’m also curious as to whether he will recommend the same amount of time off of work and in the hard brace or if, since this was a single-level surgery, he will clear me to go back to work and switch to the soft brace sooner. I am in no hurry. I don’t want to go through a third surgery, and so prefer to take things slower and give myself plenty of time to heal. This is why, after all, I have good insurance.
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