Yesterday I had a very painful reminder that I am still healing from my cervical fusion surgery. While walking around Walmart in the afternoon, I began to experience pain up and down both arms. So, I hurried up, made my purchases and got myself home. Not long after I returned home, the awful, burning pain started from between my shoulder blades, up the back of my neck, up to the top of my head. I can honestly say that I freaked out a little. I hadn't experienced pain like this since before my surgery in March. Had I dislodged the plate or screws that hold my neck together? Had the new bone they inserted where my disc used to be moved somehow? I have read about fusions that didn't take and required a second or even a third surgery. I was getting really nervous!
A call to my surgeon's office put my pain in perspective and helped to ease my mind. I had done a lot of car riding over the weekend. In addition, we rode the trolley all over Boston on Sunday. Apparently, your neck takes quite a beating during car rides. It acts like a little shock absorber for your head. While you are bumping up and down, turning and stopping, your neck is busy keeping your head balanced. That's a lot of work for a few vertebrate and some muscle tissue! Anyway, after surgery like mine, the muscles are not as toned as they used to be and the discs above and below the fusion take more of a load than they used to when all discs were mobile. So, I ended up really stressing my neck during our little vacation and am now paying the price.
I am feeling a little better today after a Lyrica and some Aleve, but I can still tell that my neck is very tender and weak. The doctor said it could take a couple of weeks to subside. I also have to remember that things don't totally heal until 6-9 months after surgery. I've only just past 3.
I only hope that I'm better for our trip to the Cape in a few weeks! That's an even longer car ride, so I guess I'd better bring my meds!