I’m Getting a Four Level ACDF this Week
I’ll keep this post short(er).
After meeting with the surgeon at Jefferson, he recommended a 4 level ACDF. I have no idea what went into his thinking but it was clear to me that he had spent time trying to figure out why the NYC surgeon, who is someone he clearly respects and speaks with often, recommended the more extensive surgery. In the end, he thinks I have a “80 to 90 percent chance” of the ACDF working. That’s good enough for me. Worst case, which will be horrible if it happens, is I will have to get a posterior surgery.
Today is Sunday. Last Tuesday I met one last time with my surgeon to sign the consent forms, got fitted for a hard collar (which isn’t that hard really). Thursday I went downtown and did an EKG, got a physical, blood tests, and met with an Internist who had a bunch of questions. In the end, she said I’m one of the healthiest people they’ve had in there. I guess it was a compliment but for a minute or so after she said it I started to question this whole thing yet again. But, pretty much from then on I am at peace with this and, surprisingly, I am not anxious. If anything, I’m more in “Let’s Fucking Go!” mode. I am tired of this and want to get this surgery behind me and start healing. Let the chips fall. This has gone on for far too long, consumed too much of my life. Time to move forward and either get used to a “new normal” that is either really bad, or hopefully, good. I yearn for the days of exercising, being active, feeling alive.
Tomorrow morning I head back into the city for a COVID test. I believe it is the “swab all the way up your nasal canal, touching your brain” type test but I don’t care. I’m more concerned with passing it. The last thing I need is to have to push this surgery back. If I pass the COVID test, it’s a go for Wednesday.
Forgot to mention – so about 3 weeks ago (a few days after my last post), the right side radiculopathy came back with a vengeance. For about 2 weeks it was horrible, but this past week it is has subsided to almost nothing. I’ve been sleeping in the recliner every night and probably will keep doing so, as I know I’ll need to do it for a while post surgery. But the pain is 95% gone to the point that, if surgery wasn’t in a few days I’d probably start working out again. In fact, just as I type this I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be cool to do, perhaps, one last yoga class tomorrow night. It’ll certainly be the last one for at least 4 months I believe. Nah, I won’t do it. I need to just chill, enjoy the last couple of days before the rest of my life begins. The new normal.
I’m about as ready as I can be, I think. I initiated the short-term disability claim. Surgeon says request 12 weeks. I’ll confirm with my claim manager and HR tomorrow. I’ve been burned out from this health thing to the point where I am burned out from my job, so this time away might be a good thing (not really, but you get my point). Onward.