CAUTION: This week’s Friday Favorites post is not for the faint of heart. Don’t read while you are eating breakfast or if you are easily grossed out with medical stuff.
Well, after almost a year of a progressively painful neck and shoulder, I finally had the surgery. Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion, also known as ACDF. Holy frick to the frack, this is no joke. The pain is unreal. However, one of the wonderful things about having a blog is the number of people that have reached out to me who have endured the same procedure, and everyone said they were happier after they were healed. And everyone said the healing is excruciating.
It is no joke.
My experience at Orlando Regional Medical Center was extraordinary. From the very first person who greeted me in the lobby to the last nurse who oversaw my discharge, everyone on staff was friendly and super empathetic. Though this type of surgery is fairly routine, my fears were addressed as though I was an actual human being and not just another patient. I think it takes a very special type of person to be patient and kind with someone who is terrified and perhaps a bit on the irrational and eccentric end of the what-if chain. (I know, those of you who know me would be shocked to hear me describe myself as irrational, right?)
The first thing I did was check with my Doctor that he had used the proper eyewear to view the solar eclipse the day before. It’s important his eyesight was intact for surgery, right?
Once the crazy gas was initiated, I don’t remember a thing until I woke up to Mr. Beet holding my hand sitting bedside. I was definitely quite nauseous at first, but by the time I was in my private room I was begging the nursing staff for some real food. And they were surprised that I was able to chow down a grilled cheese sandwich and soup without pain and without being sick after. I even slept well. I was in a little bit of pain, mainly a sore throat from the breathing tube I was given during the surgery.
And these leg pads that kept my circulation moving – it was like my legs were constantly being massaged.
And the anti-pneumonia machine is fun.
In the morning I had no problem scarfing down a plate of eggs and potatoes. Pain? What pain? After they took a few more X-rays, I was ready to be released. Mr. Beet and I grabbed lunch in the hospital cafeteria as I figured it was an acceptable place for me to be in my pajamas with my neck all marked up and swollen. As we sat over lunch, I told Mr. Beet how I just could not believe how little the pain was. I had big plans to come home and write out a few blog posts I have fallen behind on.
I even grabbed a Starbucks on the way home. The cold frappe felt so good on my slightly sore throat.
Wait for it……….
And then reality kicked in. The steroids I had been given for swelling wore off. The pain meds weren’t enough anymore. My neck and throat have swollen to the point of extreme pain when even trying to swallow a sip of water. I ended up calling the neurosurgery floor I was on at the hospital and they said I had just endured a major surgery. The words they used – “We sliced your neck in half and moved your insides over to get to your spine.” Ouch. The pain and swelling were normal.
They upped my pain meds but other than that it really is just a matter of waiting the pain and swelling out. And it is miserable.
However, prior to being admitted to the hospital, I spent two days making a couple different types of soup and rationing out sliced fruit and veggies for smoothies. Anything I could do to make life a little easier for Mr. Beet as he has been the one who has to listen to me whine and whince these few days, or maybe even a few weeks. Thank goodness for Mr. Beet. He has been lucky enough (or maybe UNlucky enough) to be able to stay at home with me for a few days as I get over the real painful part of the recovery.
And then there are all the well wishes I have gotten on Facebook. And the flowers. I loved getting flowers from my parental units, and such a sweet card. “Hoping these flowers brighten not only your room, but your heart.” Sniff sniff.
Anyway, that is the big story here in Beetsland. I am looking forward to the day when I can get out and run a mile again, though it won’t likely be anytime soon. And I look forward to sleeping through the night again without pain.
And that is my Friday Favorites this week. Happy to be on the healing train and happy to be on the healing end of this pain. Don’t forget to join the Friday Favorites party with Andrea, Katie, Heather, and April. I am hoping next week I will have better and more happy favorites to share. Until then, have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!