As a zipperneck (post ACDF) still in recovery, there are many things that I still have trouble doing and a couple of things that I should not do. I am approaching my 8 month montheversary and I am looking forward to getting back to these normal activities of daily living. Let’s start off with some things that I have trouble doing.
1. Driving – You know, I have never been excited about driving. I’m more of a passenger seat kind of girl. I do it because I have yet to hire myself a full time personal driver. One day my friend. One day. I digress. Driving takes alot of neck work. If your neck is in good shape, you’ll take that shit for granted. Looking in all directions before turning or proceeding through a four or two-way stop, changing lanes, backing out of a driveway, backing into a parking space, merging onto the highway… Full disclosure, I don’t do the highway at this point. I take the long way every where. I’m okay with that. I tried my hand, my neck, at the highway a few months ago and thought I was going to lose my mind, if I survived. My neck was not having it.
2. Dressing – Have you ever been held hostage by your clothes? Not cool. This limitation is more a consequence of my frozen shoulder than my neck (at least these days). I am able to sufficiently move my neck to put on a shirt or any over the head garment. However, this shoulder issue has me crying uncle.
3. Sleeping – Neck pain ain’t no joke. Remember when people use to say “you’re a pain in my neck”? Well, that’s one helluva pain! Trust me. There is no comfortable position. It’s more a lesser of the available evils. I can’t sleep on the frozen shoulder. Sleeping on my back causes my neck and trapezoids to cramp and spasm. That leaves my left side. And my neck still fusses about that. My dear sweet father bought me a MyPillow pillow. I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial. The guarantee is that it will be the most comfortable pillow you’ll ever own. It has helped. It is much better than the memory foam pillow I purchased. But I’m still waiting for a full night’s sleep to come my way. Until then, I’ll have to deal with this sleep schedule reminiscent of my newborn children’s feeding schedule. Yawn.
There isn’t much that one shouldn’t do while at this point in ACDF recovery. It’s really about listening to your body and using common sense. I know. Common sense isn’t so common. At a minimum, there are some things you just don’t think about until you have no choice. This was brought to mind the other day when I read about a man who ended up in the hospital after holding in his sneeze. Wait. What!? ::insert raised eyebrows::
How often do you, we, hold our sneezes to be polite or because we don’t want to elevate the noise level in the room? Well, this man learned the hard way that sneezes need to be released in their full glory. He held his and was hospitalized for seven days as a result. When you sneeze, air comes out of you at approximately 150 miles per hour. So if you retain all of that pressure, imagine the damage that could cause. Well, the trapped air caused a rupture in his throat. Ouch. That got me thinking. That guy was healthy and ended up jacked up. I have a titanium plate and screws in my neck. I’ll pass on that kind of bodily mayhem.
To sneeze or not to sneeze? That, my dear, is not the question for me any longer. Let ‘er rip!