I honestly though I was “good” by following most of the rules after my ACDF at the end of October. I mostly wore the collar of shame. I mostly stuck to the 10 lb weight limit. I mostly didn’t drive until I had the all clear.
Except for the time spent picking up shells on the beach…..and folding laundry (which involved getting up and down from the living room floor)…and maybe a few times of carrying laundry up and down the steps in a fit of frustration because someone didn’t do it fast enough for my ummmm taste. I suppose I should also come clean about carrying too much weight. Let’s just say that in the event of a zombie apocalypse- My family of 5 and my 4 pets could survive for months with what i carry in there….. including entertainment in various electronic forms.
I wore the electromagnetic bone growth stimulator- thinking I was “being good” even though I suspected it was one of those medical quackery things you see in museums….
Every time I went to the neurosurgeon, I was surprised to see how little progress had been made in my healing….
I cried all the way home a few ekes ago-when he said I needed surgery. Again. For a failure to fuse- and for worsening of the joint below. (C6-7 was not fused the first time. for those wondering)
Okay…I did more than cry- I raged all the way home. Surgery now, meant IN THE MIDDLE OF MY HUSBAND’S radiation treatment for prostate cancer. This is not just more than I can handle— it’s more than my family can handle.
I kept going on about how “good” I’d been, and how unfair this is.I called a friend to cry some more. (I’m amazed I didn’t get in a wreck with all the ugly crying going on in that car that day..) It was a age prayer-ugly cry-athon.
I considered postponing the surgery until a more convenient time. It felt selfish to schedule a non-life saving surgery in the middle of my husband’s treatment for cancer.
Except I kept hurting. and I was losing control/ use of the outer three fingers of each hand…and it hurt. And I couldn’t sleep. And did I mention? It hurt?
We met with the radiologist in charge of hubby’s treatment. He assured me hubby could take care of himself while I recovered.
My two college boys reminded me that I have 4 adults in this house. We can make it work.
I kept my appointment for surgery. Surgery was Saturday.
It’s a good thing I did. We now know why I was in so much pain. In addition to the failure to fuse and the craptastic condition of c 6-7 (previously not repaired) The neurosurgeon found several fractures in what little bone had grown between the vertebra.
Technically- I had a fractured neck and didn’t know it. I probably shouldn’t have cleaned the carpet the night before surgery.
I probably shouldn’t have done a lot of things. Like pressing the envelope for weight to carry….. and all the other things I’ve already confessed.
I thought it was just a fluke that it didn’t fuse. I was wrong. The truth is- my stubbornness to continue life as before affected my healing. My stiff-necked-ness risked my health. It put me in danger- fractured bone in your neck= not good. I mean- really not good.
Fortunately- it was in the disc area and the surgeon removed it all in order to revise the acdf. (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion- surgery was 6/23- I cam home 2 days later) He also used a different rare earth (Tantalum- for the geeks among us) cage to replace the disc space and fill with what I call “bone spackle” which will hopefully fuse into solid bone over the next few months.
I am sporting a new titanium plate and more screws that span from C5-7. I’m recovering well. Most importantly? I’m behaving.
I’ve learned a hard lesson. Doctors pretty much mean what they say.
I will struggle to do as I’m told. I hate having limits. But- I hate having a fractured neck due to stubborness- even more.
I’m praying. I’m thankful for a second chance to heal.
I don’t know if anyone reading is as stubborn as I am….or what you’re being stubborn about- maybe a decision to be made- a limit to accept or something to give up…..or maybe something entirely different…. but I am praying for you—-that your stiff-neckeness doesn’t result in fractures in your neck… or life…..
Dear lord- Okay- so I get it. I’m stubborn and I always think I know better. I think I know how to toe up to the line without crossing it….. the truth is- I don’t. Thank you for a doctor who helps- and for your tender heart toward me- that I believe protected me from permanent damage due to my own stupidity. I love you Lord- and I hear you… it’s a time to rest and heal. A time to listen and obey. I pray for those who read— that they can learn from my mistake…. and maybe avoid more pain in their own life….. in jesus name- amen.
Stiffnecked peoples been around for a long time.…. I may not have built a golden idol while waiting for God… but I sure built an idol of “I can do it all by myself” while waiting to heal…. same difference if you ask my fractured neck…