Sunday, April 05, 2009

Neck Surgery

Well here it is 5:45 on a Sunday morning - one of the days that I can sleep in a bit, but I am wide awake.  I guess that is one of the pitfalls of having a regular internal clock.  I get up M-F at 5:00 am and I wake up that early on the weekend also.  Sometimes I can go back to sleep... sometimes.

I guess I am awake because I cannot lay in bed and think about piddly stuff and drift back into sleep.  Instead, I am thinking about my upcoming ACDF (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) and all of the things I have to have done in the next 23 hours before reporting to the hospital.
finish cleaning my bedroom
wash the rest of my clothes
straighten up the living room and kitchen areas
wash the dishes (thankfully they are already loaded in the dishwasher)
go to Wal-Mart (don't forget the shopping list)
get the plants we bought yesterday in the ground
don't eat or drink after midnight
I don't guess that sounds like much, but you haven't seen the kitchen or my bedroom.  

Anyway, I am not worried about the surgery.  I trust Dr. Maxwell.  He is a good surgeon and totally devoted to his patient - me.  Karen will be taking care of me during the surgery.  Brenda is finally back (another story) and I will see her before I go in.  I am sure that I will talk to Amber Joy tonight.  I will also talk with Traci tonight and we will pray.  My Bible study group and my Bible class are covering me, Dr. Maxwell and the surgical team in prayer.  

I worry about stupid things like what will I say or do when I am going off to sleep or waking up. I know you are wondering... "humm, what kind of stupid things?"  Well, you are just going to have to wonder because those who work in surgery can imagine and those not in surgery don't need to.  Sorry.  Let's just say there is a vulnerability that I am uncomfortable with when I am laying there minus my full faculties.  Enough said.

I will finally have some relief from the literal pain in my neck, as well as my shoulders and arms, and more recently my legs.  At least I hope so.  I hope the relief is immediate, but some of the pain has been going on for about 15 years - so we will see.

I will have some decent time off.  Probably about a month.  Dr. Maxwell said a minimum of two weeks, but then I would have restrictions.  I think a month would be better and go back with little or no restrictions.  He said two months is the real "heal" time.  That will be June.  I have Michael and Michelle's wedding that month (the 17th) and then Zambia and the Medical Mission in July.  I need to be feeling not good, but great by then.  

Dr. Maxwell will remove the discs that are impinging/pressing on my nerve roots and spinal cord.  Then I will have a cage device placed as a spacer at both of my levels of fusion.  The cages provide immediate stability.  They will be filled with my bone and they will eventually grow to the bone levels that they are between, thus fusing my neck.  That is a simplistic explanation, but the best one I can give.  

I will update you on my recovery.  I covet your prayers. 

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