Tag Archives: ACDF Surgery

Updates!

I’m not being consistent with my writing anymore. Sorry for those dearly devoted ones that read my blog. I am 7 weeks post-op today. I’m doing PT 2 times a week and am still in the collar. There is some good news though. I had almost NO PAIN on Monday. I cannot remember the last time I had a day without pain.

Yesterday was a little rough. Had to give myself another Imitrex injection. Putting a needle in the fatty part of my stomach isn’t really an issue anymore. I still have to breathe and give myself a countdown. The medication burns, but the medicine works quickly. The migraines come and go. I’ve been trying to document what I’m doing at the time I start to feel one coming on. I also document my pain levels throughout the day and my PT exercises. I document everything, since my short-term memory has been poor, I know I won’t forget it if it’s in my phone.

I have also gotten my walks up to 40-60 minutes. I have to wear the collar while walking, I’m not approved for any more strenuous activity than walking. I can’t do most yoga poses. There are significant limitations I have to my activity level. I have put on so much weight. It frustrates me, because the past year I was inactive due to pain and all the concussion symptoms. Now, I walk regularly, I’m out of my bed; the weight keeps on coming. I’m not eating a ton either. It’s so weird. I haven’t had a jar of frosting or a pan of brownies in like 2 weeks!

I had PT this morning and we discussed getting me back to my real life. Ha! What life? As much as I have complained about this collar, I think I might miss it. I definitely don’t want to keep wearing it, but I’ve gotten used to it. It reminds me that I need to be careful, and it lets others know not to trip me, or karate chop my neck or something. On my walk yesterday it was just as school was letting out. There was a swarm of tweens furiously riding their bikes to somewhere. I know this is ridiculous, but tweens and teenagers scare me. I’m self-conscious about the collar, because it looks like one of the ones that people wear to court and pretend to have been injured. I’m not sure if people think I’m actually hurt or if I’m faking. Walking in 90 degree weather, with sweat dripping from my neck should let people know I’m not just doing this for attention or something. I don’t know why I even care about anyone’s opinion of me.

Ok, so back today. My PT told me that I’m not approved to work until I’m completely weaned off the collar and am back driving. When I start driving again, they want me to avoid the interstate for a while, because merging into traffic on I-25 is out of control. Totally fair, and I’m glad I have that in writing so it gives me an excuse not to drive on it. I was also told that it depends on what kind of job I get, dictates how many hours I’ll be able to realistically. I was told that sitting at a computer all day wouldn’t work, because they feel that it could keep the muscles in my neck tight and I would continue to get migraines. I was told to talk to my PCP as well, to determine if I should really be working in the social work field with the concussion symptoms I’m also dealing with. I see her next week. I’m a bit overwhelmed because I have had so many specialists, different PT’s, NP’s, Dr.’s telling me what I can and cannot do. Some of those things are contradictory.

I’m going to cut this short. I’ve been trying to limit my screen time, because I have blurry vision, I get dizzy pretty much every time I stand or sit up. Then my neck strains and I can tell that I’ll get a migraine soon. This part is especially difficult for me, as we are a society that is very much technological. The phone, computer, TV, etc. hurt to be on for very long. Which limits job opportunities. If I work at a job that deals with a lot of calls, like a crisis hotline or something, I need a headset. I can’t have a regular phone since most of us hold the phone with our ear and shoulder so we can type or write at the same time.

It’s not all bad. I feel like there has been progress. I can have my daughter with me alone. I need someone to drop her off and pick her up from school to be with me. I still can’t pick her up, that’s going to be in what seems like the distant future. I see other people pick her up and I’m jealous that I can’t. She has to climb up a chair I’m sitting in, so she can be in my lap. I can still have her by myself so I’m very grateful for that. It’s not my weekend with her, I’m already trying to think about what I can do, by myself, without being able to drive…..I’m guessing not much. Staying in my house per usual.

I’m a little lost still. Sometimes I will sit at the top of me stairs and stare off into the distance trying to figure out what my purpose in life is. I’m really struggling with that. I’ve started to read daily devotionals in the morning and at night. I have “Jesus Always” and “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. There’s a little message on each page, one for each day of the year. When I have my daughter, we read the “Berenstain Bears Bedtime Devotional.” I think that this has helped to lift my spirits sometimes. It’s a nice little tradition we are starting. We used to let her watch shows up to bedtime. I’m turning things off an hour before her bedtime and we can either play, read, or take a bath and get ready for bed. It helps calm everything down. While she fake cries about not being able to watch her shows, she does seem to enjoy it and has started saying prayers on her own.

Maybe a good thing that has come out of all of this mess is helping me get reconnected in my relationship with God. I grew up in a fairly strict religion. I loved it when I was a kid. Church was rarely missed. I stopped going regularly when I was 23. I’m 33 now. I’ve been trying to kind of improve my faith, but has always had a wall built up. This wall was up because I don’t want my non-God believing friends might think I’m a Bible thumper. The struggles I’ve been through, loss of loved ones, mental health issues, physical health issues, not devoting the time for focus on God makes me feel bad. I really want to get better with that. I would love to have more trust and faith in God. I think that I am taking the time to do this now is helping me somewhat. It’s like I’m on a tightrope and I want to walk across, but I’m shaking and stuck in the middle.

I’m guessing that, yet again, my post will be a little scattered and hard to follow as I jump from topic to topic. I frequently start talking to people mid-thought and they have no idea what I’m talking about. Or I will trail off without finishing what I was saying. My mind is chaotic and I’m working on slowing down. So here’s my little update that turned into a long post.

I complain about the weight gain, but ever since I wrote about frosting and brownies I’ve been fixated on getting some. I don’t have any at home. I’m trapped here. I want chocolate. If I am going to gain weight regardless of what I do, I might as well commit and enjoy what I’m eating. I wish there was a cupcake, brownie, donut and other desserts delivery service. Can someone get on that please and thank you! XOXO

Somber Sunday

I took this week off on writing. I’ve been a roller coaster of emotions. I started PT Tuesday morning, then I remained home with my daughter because she wasn’t feeling well. My mom has been running around like a chicken with her head cut off, helping me, my daughter, my sister and her kids, helping my dad work on a home renovation and she doesn’t feel well on top of that.

I once again tell everyone I’m fine because I don’t want to be a burden. They say I’m not, but that is how I feel. It was basically me and my daughter for 3 days by ourselves. On a positive note, I got to spend some alone time with my darling little girl. On the negative side, she was coughing so hard she threw up. Several times. I throw up as well, but not from coughing.

The longer I can’t drive, the longer I feel horrible for friends and family. I’m going on week 6 post-op and it feels like too much to just ask for help. Finally, on Thursday after 3 days of her feeling horrible I needed to take her to the Dr. I called her PCP but they couldn’t get her in, so I decided I’d take her to urgent care at Children’s. I called my father in law to help me. Rich was out of town on business. My mother has already helped me so much. His mom had a major surgery a couple of months before mine. Anyway, she had to go potty. I had to ask my Father in Law to pick her up and put her on the seat because I physically can’t and it’s against Dr’s orders.

Do you know how heartbreaking it feels to have a sick daughter and she’s not getting better, but have no¬† way to get her treatment? When she just wants her mommy to pick her up and I physically can’t. Do you know how shitty this makes you feel as a mom? This injury has taken so much from me. I know to I should look at the positive and one day I will be able to find alternative ways to do things. Isn’t it weird how to good times speed by, and the bad times seem to drag on? Why can’t it be reversed? Our monkey had to go back to Children’s yesterday. 2 Days after already being there. She was acting like she had a uti. It was awful. Poor girl was just miserable. She refused a popsicle from the Dr. and sour patch kids that I had in my bag in hopes we would get to play at the park.

This process is not ideal. I am just so tired. My head still feels like it’s carrying a bowling ball on a toothpick about to snap. My self-esteem is really special currently. Neck braces and collars are really in this time of year. Especially if you have a round or square face. I’ve heard the chubby cheek look goes with everything. I know it has really put a pep in my step knowing I’m going into public looking my very best!!

My scars are healing well. So that’s a positive. I haven’t been able to have tons of screen time because the migraines are becoming more frequent. I put my first needle ever into my stomach this week, and my second. Sumatriptan, for the migraines. That was another highlight of my week! The neck pain and migraines are such a fantastic treat to my life. It’s been what I’ve been searching for my whole life (thick sarcasm, if you haven’t picked up on that).

Before the car accident, I NEVER got migraines, I barely got headaches. These wreck me. Go into my eyes and make me throw up so easily.

There is a strong part of me, being wrapped in pain, anger, frustration, depression squeezing the living daylights out of me. Once I’m cleared to drive, I’m going on a long ass drive. I don’t even care to where! I am going to get in great shape and lose the 20lbs I’ve gained.

Right now, I’m just a hot mess. I cry constantly. It’s starting to feel like Groundhog’s day. Except in my version I have a lot of physical pain and tons of restrictions. This is that back and forth I’m talking about. Part of me wants to make this situation stronger and fierce, the other part of me wants to be taken care of.

Before I leave you all, want to know something I read? Who knows what all I’ve written since the surgery, it’s such a blur. 1 in 5 people who have an ACDF surgery get PTSD? And apparently you can get PTSD from any surgery or the anesthesia or something. I’m tired of my blog being full of so much negativity, that’s where my head is at now. I’m so tired of restrictions, I’m so tired of depression, tired of pain, tired of being a burden. So tired. So I don’t know how much I’ll be writing here. I don’t even know how many or if anyone reads this. It’s helpful for me to get things out and it’s faster than pen writing. I guess it doesn’t have to be public, but I am making it that way. My head is all over the place, that’s not new. The rambling, I think partially has to do with boredom and loneliness. At least my situation is temporary, hopefully.

Today Can Go Fuck Itself Part 2

I told you I’d update you about my follow up with the surgeon from the ACDF surgery. By the title of my post, guess how well that appointment went? I’ll give you a hint. Today can go fuck right on off.

I did NOT get cleared to drive.

I can NOT pick my daughter up.

I can NOT do anything with my daughter without having a baby sitter or have to burden a friend or family member.

I can NOT spend alone time with my kid.

I still am in the neck prison. Which can go fuck itself too.

I do NOT want to try to look at the positive.

I’m so mad. I’m so sad. I’m disappointed. I’m frustrated. I feel so alone. I feel stuck. I’m stressed about money, even more so now. My divorce will be finalized at the end of the month, while we have been separated for a while it hurts still. I can’t do anything remotely fun. I want to break shit. If I did that, then I couldn’t clean it up because I’m not supposed to bend. I barely eat, but I’m gaining weight.

The bad neck pain I’m still experiencing is my muscles, not the nerve. So I have to go to PT two times a week. The surgeon said the horrible neck pain I have is from the whiplash and surgery won’t fix that. The pain I have right now might be permanent he said. If that is the case my neck can go fuck itself too.

I feel like every day that I remain not being able to drive, not being able to pick up my daughter, every day in this neck prison I should get $1 million dollars for this hell. I know I’m having a pity party and dramatic. Today went in a totally different direction than I thought it would. I’m upset. All 4 of my cats are on the bed near me. I love them, and I’d never do this, but I kind of want to throw them too.

I still feel like breaking things, but the items might be against my weight restriction. Then I’d be even more stressed about money. I’m so frustrated. I want my life back. I want a life. I got offered a job; the same job twice, once before my surgery and the next time 5 days after my surgery. I emailed her last night, as I was under the impression that I would be cleared to drive to see if a position would still be available for me. I also applied for several other jobs, which now won’t be a thing because I still can’t drive.

I think the woman who hit me should be the one with the driving restrictions. She hit me and wasn’t paying attention, so she needs to suffer the consequences and pull it together. Too mad to edit. I’m going to take a nap because I’m just over it. Over today. Monday’s are always an asshole.

Some Say I’m a Dainty Puker

Well, isn’t that just about the sweetest compliment one can get? My mom picked me up so I can sleep at her house as she will be driving me to the surgeon’s office tomorrow morning. This is the long-awaited appointment to possibly be cleared to drive and no longer have to wear my neck prison.

Right before she got to my house I was throwing up in a garbage bag. It was the closest thing to me and I did not feel like moving far enough to puke in a decent place. I would have thrown up on my cat if need me. I don’t care at this point.

PC: treatcurefast.com
My life, but more delicate, not that Niagara Falls shit that lady is doing. She clearly is making quite a large mess

Anyway, we went to the store to grab some stuff, on the way back to the car I stopped walking and just started throwing up in the parking lot. My mom patiently waited for me to finish and then handed me a tissue, because she is still a mom that is always prepared for anything.

She got me a sprite, we drive down to the house that my mom, dad, and sometimes me have been renovating. We chatted on the drive, I was doing fine. Once we get to the house I start throwing up in the bushes. A decent amount came out, considering I have almost nothing in my stomach. I wipe my mouth and look around the house to see how it’s coming along.

We then began our short drive to my parents’ house. I held up a Lowe’s bag thinking I might have to throw up again. False alarm. My mom looks at me and says; “you’re so dainty when you throw up. You just kind of dribble it out.” That wasn’t the exact quote but I can’t figure out how to put her facial expression and hand motions into words. She went on to talk about how when I was in the hospital, I would just politely throw up into my puke bag and then continue resuming my conversations.

I loathe throwing up. I do not feel the need to make the gross puking sounds. I feel like that’s more of a man thing. Being very loud and dramatic so we know how sick and vulnerable they are (sarcasm is thick here). I’ve heard this before actually. I’ve been called a delicate, elegant, quiet, gentle puker. I think I should take pride in that? Maybe? Can delicate puking be placed on my resume under additional skills and qualifications? I’m kind of serious about that?

PC: Google Image Search for Pain
I’m still in so much neck pain, my hip aches.

Now onto my hip. I think this is related to the puke. My right hip has started to ache when going up and down stairs. Dahmer’s bones are getting up there in age. Maybe his arthritic hip is attaching itself to my bone. He’s kind of a dick like that. I also think that he may be responsible for my puking. Remember, I’m a vegetarian. He was a cannibal. I think he wants anything that isn’t human flesh thrown immediately out of my body and that’s why I’m feeling so sick. There are absolutely no other solutions for these 2 issues. I’ve solved the puzzle, but I haven’t found the solution. If you all think I’m going to become a zombie in training, you are sadly mistaken.

I’ve just spent a solid 30 minutes trying to find a pic of Jeffery Dahmer on the internet to post here and none of them would let me. Pull it together google and WordPress. So, just google him yourself. Look at his face and tell me that if ghosts were real; that that creepy horrible man wouldn’t find his way back to resume his shenanigans. Because I think he would. He did find his first little loop-hole in the shape of a tiny iliac crest bone graft filler.

I need to figure out how my bones can put his hip parts back into their own little hip prison where they can’t try to take over my body. I’ll update on the restriction status tomorrow, unless I’m completely overtaken by Mr. Dhamer. He’s clever that one, but I’ll always be one step ahead. Hopefully………..

Week 4 Post ACDF Surgery

I don’t love it, but it’s true.

I thought I would be more consistent documenting my recover process. I don’t think I’ve accomplished that. Or maybe I have been updating in a round about way. My head is so scattered. With the parenting schedule being mixed up, the surgery daze and the meds still in my system I swear I don’t feel like I truly exist. I don’t remember the date, day of the week. It annoys me.

Currently, my gorgeous cat, Toggle, is sitting just behind my computer screen giving me good kitty moon eyes. All 4 cats are in my room, helping me feel less alone. I’m watching Gypsy on Netflix and am beyond confused, so if anyone else watches it, feel free to explain it to me. Seriously.

Toggle. Best Friday Night Date a Girl Could Have

Once again, the pain in both arms, hands and shoulder-blade feels perfect. They told me nerves can take FOREVER to heal, and to have the relief from them immediately is hard for me to wrap around my head. I expected to have a longer recovery in that area. I also thought I’d have more relief in my neck by now. Shooting, stabbing, sharp, devil pain.

The back on my neck, on the nerve, that hurt prior to the surgery is still bothering me. Like physical/emotional wreck. I cry constantly. I’m irritable. I’m lonely. I’m bored. I don’t have an appetite, then when I do feel hungry I binge on sugar. Not just a treat or two, like a pan of brownies that I melted marshmallows on top of, or a whole row of birthday cake for breakfast. I’m fairly intelligent, but can’t seem to figure out how to lose my extra weight. Sugar is my drug of choice.

I ate this today! All of it. S’mores pizza!

I have my first follow-up appointment with my surgeon on Monday. I’ll have an X-ray first, then see the Dr. Fingers crossed I get approval to drive! On the driving note I am nervous to drive in traffic. If I can’t bend, lift or twist; how on earth am I going to be able to look over my shoulder to merge. I’m going to be the car that is pissing everyone off because I can’t see well. Or with my luck I’ll have someone else hit me.

None of this makes sense! I need an adult. Also, completely unrelated, but for divorced parents, does it ever get easier on the days when your child is with the other parent? I saw my daughter every single day for 2 1/2 years, with the exception of 1 night, not of my choosing. I had emergency surgery. Then when my co-parent moved out, I didn’t get to see her every day anymore.

My baby

My world

The best part of my world

She just turned 4. We all went to breakfast as a family and even though it was “his” night with her, I got to have a sleepover with her at my parents. He is an amazing dad. I can not stress that enough. Even with us being so cordial, I miss the hell out of my kid. I think when you have a surgery/depression/chronic pain/mental illness/ etc. Whatever major thing impacting your life anyway, when you are sad and away from your child(ren) it aches. It physically hurts. I miss her.

School drop off on her B-day with mom and dad. The neck brace will be the most glamorous memory.

Pretty Happy 4 year old

She had to be Cat Boy from PJ Masks!

Can’t believe she is 4! It’s gone so fast. No more baby

I see her even less since the surgery and I know insurance won’t see it this way, but I feel I deserve a large sum of money for every extra moment I’ve missed with my little girl because of my injuries. I shouldn’t have to pour my heart out on my stupid blog and cry because I miss my baby. Life can be amazing at times, the other ones are absolute shit.

Wants to be like mommy. Her neck hurts too sometimes

Yes, I get to see my princess. BUT, this is a forever reminder that I had to miss out on so many moments with my darling girl, because of what that accident caused.

I hope the sharp pain in my neck goes away, and that it’s just like they said that sometimes nerves take forever to heal. If this is the best it’s going to get I will most definitely continue to be cynical and snarky.

The other day I had a meltdown, shocking I know. I’m getting so frustrated with the neck pain. I told my mom that I wish for 1 day, then changed to 1 month, then I decided I want 1 year. I want 1 year without someone I love dying. I want 1 year without suicidal thoughts. 1 year without a divorce (likely won’t happen), 1 year without a surgery. Just ONE mother fucking year of a break. I don’t even need a good life. I’m just tired of the “when it rains, it pours” shit I keep going through. My family jokes that if something could go wrong, it would (of course) happen to me. I’ve also joked with my family that if I wrote a bibliography, everyone would think it was made up.

Once I feel a little, or a lot, better I’m going to be a warrior. I’m going to continue to fight my battle with depression. I will continue to fight my pain. I will continue to do it, even when it makes me want to quit, run, hide and just go away. I will not lose my battle with depression. I’m not going to be a warrior, I AM one. Because I keep doing this. I’m honest about it. I’m not one of those people who people say, “oh she goes through so much and never complains, or is always positive.” I don’t know if that would be honest of anyone. I’m broken, but my brokenness can become a beautiful mosaic, I just don’t have all my pieces yet or the design down. There’s time to get it figured out.

Not a huge Freud fan, but hoping these struggles continue to make me stronger. Even though I’m sick of having to be strong.