I just had surgery on a herniated disc in my neck (Between c5 and c6 for those of you who know what it means) and I’m home, healing, with strict instructions not to move my neck at all. That’s hard, considering a few things happening at my house…
1. I don’t have an adjustable hospital bed, or a tv at the right height that keeps me from needing to bend my head to see it.
2. Pain meds make me vomit, apparently. I’m guessing I didn’t hold my head still during that escapade. PS, when the last thing you have eaten was tomato sauce, it’s scary to throw up, because, you know, it’s red – OH MY GOSH is that BLOOD? Nothing like examining your own puke a little closer…
3. Am I wearing this brace right? I mean, I’m holding my neck still as much as I can, but is this the right way? I don’t want to heal with my neck crooked – and I really don’t want more surgery to fix something I didn’t realize was wrong… STRESS!
4. In this house, bouncing children exist. Sometimes they climb on the couch behind me, and extremities fly in directions that even they can’t control…telling them to get away form mommy seems mean, so she hasn’t done it yet…
5. A neck brace for the shower doesn’t mean it will be easier to clean yourself with it. In fact, it will be harder. I’m not sure I’ll have fully clean hair or neck for the four weeks I’m required to wear this thing. Good thing my job requires me to hide in an office and never see people…oh wait.
6. This neck brace is itchy. Apparently my neck skin is used to breathing and would like to continue to do so. My doctor said it’s not a rash, so I’m stuck being itchy.
7. This neck brace looks terrible. I can’t talk well in it, and when people see me – EVEN strangers – they automatically put on a pity face and ask if I’m ok, and sometimes a slough of personal medical questions – “How long do you have to wear that thing?” I have wanted to offer caring to strangers in my past. I’m done.
8. They pushed my esophagus and throat aside to operate. It hurts to swallow and cough, things that happen without thought…boo. Makes me wish I was a biological scientist and was able to find a way to get this procedure done without needing to make any incisions or moving anything aside…yargh.
9. My arms are no longer numb. It’s insane. I’m not sure how well they are doing as I’m not supposed to lift more than 5 pounds, but still! It’s amazing – they could go into my neck while monitoring nerves in all my extremeties, and remove a herniated disk – it’s got a job, but they can just take it out, and upon finding additional disk apart from the original piece, realize it was indeed serious enough to get rid of this way, and put in some titanium, that was sized in the OR WHILE I was open, and then SCREW it into my bones, sew me back up, and all I have to do for four weeks is wear a brace. Kind of amazing, even though I’m sore and salty – this will be over soon enough, and I’ll have a fairly functional neck and fully functional arms. Amazing!