Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holding pattern

No posts for a couple of days as things begin to normalize. There are still parts of the surgery experience I would like to write about and in particular an encounter I had during my post-op clinic visit, but for now I'm relishing some great milestones:
  • My problem sleeping was pronounced a 1-in-30 (i.e., common) post surgical "complication" for which I was prescribed a short course of steroids. My airway no longer collapses causing me to snore in scary-sounding snorts and my sleep has improved dramatically (although not entirely normal yet)
  • That same day, post-op day 6, I stopped taking the muscle relaxers as I began to wean some of the meds that were ravaging my GI system. Perhaps coincidentally, but probably not, the day I after I started the steriods I was able to stop taking the oxycodone. Since then I've taken tylenol 2 or 3 times. That was a huge milestone, leading to...
  • Today, post-op day, 9 I drove myself to the Costco and then later went to a holiday open house. 
  • The dermabond glue crust on top of my surgical wound fell off (photo to follow).  It's amazing, really, and makes it even harder to tell that I had surgery.
What I am noticing these last couple of "normal" days is that I definitely wear down. I did a lot of talking  at the holiday party, showing off my pre-decrusted-scar as a badge of honor, and realized that I had to leave because I was fading and had to drive myself home. I also have to be conscious of my activity, which is supposed to be restricted -- no lifting anything over 5 lbs, no reaching over my head, only slow neck rotation supposedly limited only by pain. That's going to be a big challenge as I continue to feel better, as it will be easy to forget at times, but I need to keep in mind the longer-term goal of successful fusing of the bone implant. 

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