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I'm scheduled for ACDF - And I'm Scared because of my size - can you help?



  • Thank you all for the words of advise, which are very much being taken into consideration.

    It is Sat night, nearly 1:00 am, so I'm aprox 79 hours from my scheduled ACDF.
    Is it normal to sometimes feels as if there are moments when it fells almost pain free and the mind start to wonder if surgery is really needed?
    The moment to pain flares up that thought is gone.
    Also, I am beginning to become more & more nervous.
    I keep reading about the CHOKING and LUMP In THROAT, etc...can anyone be more precise about this?
    Is there any advice on how to avoid the choking -
    I hate the thought of the whole sleep apnea thing and choking while asleep at the same time ~X(
  • The good part is, you'll be in the best place to have your issues managed while you have the surgery, and a few days afterwards. Hopefully, for the ride home, they will give you some sort of brace or collar to help you get your neck in a comfortable position. Right before you leave the hospital, ask them to load you up will all the pain meds you can handle. I had a 110 mile ride home from the hospital and I made it just fine on the drugs they gave me. Have you had your apnea evaluated and looked into getting a CPAP machine? I had apnea when I was heavy and used a machine till I had my gastric bypass surgery. Now, after having lost 85 pounds, I don't need it anymore.

    All the best to you.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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  • Reading my last post you'd think I was on lot's of pain meds or something...LOL.

    Linda - 85 lbs? Wow - congrats!!! Thank you so much for posting your comment - I will ask for all the meds I can handle.
    I have not been diagnosed with sleep apnea - nor do I use a CPAP - however, I am looking into getting one for my recovery just to be on safe side.
    Thank you so much!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,082
    I swear there is something that makes us feel better in the few weeks or days leading up to surgery. Every time that has happened to me as well. "hey, I feel good, do I need to do this". But then I have to look back that the last 6-12 months and realize how the pain has impacted me and when that nudge of reminder comes back I know surgery is the right choice.

    I'm facing a major lumbar spine surgery in February and there are days when I'm thinking "Well, today's okay, if everyday was like today I don't need the surgery". And then the next day I turn wrong, get a sharp pain and think "oh yeah, that's why I'm doing this".

    Totally normal to feel this way prior to surgery.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Please forgive my spelling and grahmar...Im on lots of meds =P~
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  • Good to hear I'm not the only one.

    It's 1:00 am again....seems like the pain cycle seems to allow me to hit computer at same time.
    Weird huh?

    Well - I had my CT/Myelo (sp) - that was so intense!
    I'm sure most of you are familiar with the procedure.
    Facedown on hard table that tilts, after some local numbing medicine a needle placed into spinal canal or cord(?) at low back...hips began to hurt, doc says that meant we were
    Next was the really hard pain is from neck up into face, shoulder, shoulder blades and all of the arm. Some braces were clamped onto this table and I was slid forward until my shoulders were touching these braces. I was told that the weight limit was 300 lbs and asked not to be nervous.
    The table was tilted and I was turned upside down. My shoulders felt like they were about to ignite in flames, the pain was so intense and I was certain I would be falling off of table because I thought the braces would fail.It was brief but so painful.
    I was kept in their 'recovery room' for 2 hours afterward. I made it through with just a slight headache afterward but the aggrevation to my nerve pain was about all I could handle...glad it's over.
    Not even sure what the films show. I have them with me and I'm supposed to take to surgery on Wed 12/23.

    I also went to my PCP for cardiac clearance, bloodwork, EKG, etc. I was surprised with an abnormal result on EKG but told that it was still OK to proceed.

    I'm now in wait mode - nervous - wondering what I should be doing to prepare???
    I'm about 52 hours away from my arrival time.
    I feel like -> :SS @) :SS
  • I'm so glad you found us. It seems from reading this thread that you're getting the support that you need to get through your ACDF. I've had a 3-level over a year ago and I still remember how difficult the wait was and how scary the whole experience was.

    I found that the anticipation was worse than the surgery. However, I happen to know that fact won't help you because I'm two weeks away from a lumbar surgery and already asked for some Xanax from my surgeon to help me out because I'm freakin'.

    But you'll be on the other side before you know it and posting back here about your experience. You'll come back as an official "spiney".

    You haven't mentioned - are you going to be wearing a collar? And if so, will hit be a hard or soft one? I'm just curious because I've found that people's recoveries are a bit different depending on if and what collar you're wearing - not better or worse, just different. I had a hard collar for four weeks and although it's difficult to get used to, I felt very safe having to wear it. It seemed like my neck was very vulnerable with out it (could only take it off to shower), so I was glad I had it.

    Take care, Ray. It's all going to work out fine. And if you're home and find you need something that you didn't get before surgery, just have wifey run out and get it for you.

    Also, think about what you'd like to have for mental stimulation during recovery. So many people think about the physical things they need, but forget that after a week or so, recovery becomes very boring and you'll need something to keep your mind busy. I had a Netflix account so I could watch movies, my computer, and my personal life-saver, my Nintendo DS with a ton of games.

    Anyway, I'm truly wishing you the best for your surgery and look forward to your first post-op reply, letting us know that you're ok and on to a successful recovery.

    Take care, Ray.
  • Cath -

    I too am so glad I found you folks. The preparing and wondering and worrying have been very strainful.
    But now I'm about 14 hours away from operation and have decided to turn off the worry for now and leave it the other powers that be hands.
    I'm glad you mentioned mental stimulation.
    I'm working on that now.
    I had a Lamenectomy at L4-5 in 1997 but still have no experience with a neck surgery.

    I will come back and post with updates post-op.

    Thank for all the encouragement!

    PEACE and Happy Holidays
  • Hello,
    ;My doctor told me today, my problem was not being at risk with my blood issue for having cervical surgery. I do not think they will want to do my surgery because I had gastric bypass 3 years ago, have problems swallowing already. I am confused. Gastric bypass slows down the healing process, nutrition is so important.
    I am waiting on my MRI before we discuss my options. Have Back surgery first!
  • I like your attitude Ray!
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