23 days after surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 4/21/2011 6:32 PM (GMT -6)   

So today is my 23rd day after posterior neck surgery.... I had level C-2 through T-1 done with a four day hospital stay.

I've got to say it was brutally painful and my Morphine pump did nothing for me..... I cried the entire first night.... I was totally frustrated and couldn't believe
I was left to suffer with such bad pain.... there are no words to describe it...

After the first night finally I had to have the head of the department speak with me... I was
still crying at this point... they pulled me off the Morphine pump and gave me Demoral shots... those immediately put me to sleep for 3 hours and then I woke
up screaming in pain again... I only did 3 of the shots because at that point the shots were too hard to get (they sure smarted!)

So the next course of pain management was 2 5mg of Percoset every 4 hours....

The hospital staff never gave me my Opana prescription which may have helped.... I didn't get them at all for the 4 day stay so when I came home I didn't start
them again as I was already off them.

I read a post here before surgery.... I forget from who... but it was a nurse who also complained that the hospital did not manage her pain.... thank goodness
I read her post because I had given my husband my script for Oxycodone 15mg.... I know it wasn't right but he started giving them to me on the third night...
but sadly they didn't help me.... the surgery was horrific and I severely disliked the male nurse I had the first night who just looked at me crying the entire
night and did nothing about my pain.... I kept telling him I the pain was overwheleming me.

I complained about severe muscle spasms all night and finally the next morning they addressed it...

I am right now three weeks with my Miami J collar 24/7 and I am miserable.... 5 more weeks with this and then on to a soft collar for 4 more weeks

If I could I would post a photo of my scar down the entire back of my neck on to my upper back.

All in all.... it was and still is brutally painful.


New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/21/2011 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like you were around some real winners. I know my recent hospital stay the doc let me have a pill an hour early and thought he was doing me a favor. Then I couldn't have another one for 6 hours instead of 4. I told them if I'd know that I'd have suffered for the extra hour. As soon as I got home my reguler doc upped my pain meds knowing I don't exaggerate or try to get pain meds. I didn't even realize she could up the codeine level in my medication so I was just hoping for a cortizone shot or something when I went to see her post-op. It's nice when your facility has a patient bill of rights that says the patient has a right to be pain free. Since the VA adopted that policy I've had much better luck. They had me on motrin for years, what a joke. It wasn't until my kidney's were starting to shut down from taking so much that they agreed to try something else. I guess they realize you're not faking when your organs start to fail. Well I hope you're feeling a little better today.

Too many injuries and medications to list.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 4/21/2011 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
While it was not right that more was not attempted to help your pain I do want to play devil's advocate a little and give everyone a little something to consider. (and I am not pretending to know the exact situation that occurred. )

Doctors write the orders for medications not nurses. Nurses can only give you what the doctor has ordered and nothing else. They can not even give you an Tums if it is not ordered. Also it is not uncommon for doctors to include in their orders under which circumstances they may be contacted for any given patient. Of course the odds are neither the nurse or doctor will tell you this (about the contact order).

In addition to this nurses are taught to be very careful in touching a patient as well as what they say to one, especially when it comes to dealing with someone of the opposite gender. This is thanks to those people who make mountains out of molehills and who have their lawyers number on speed dial. Sadly this, and other things, can make a nurse appear cold, distant, uncaring, etc. Not saying their are not nurses like that, only that for some of them it may be them going to an extreme in protecting themselves for stupid allegations and legal troubles.

My wife is currently a nursing student and we have had many talks about this kind of thing and she has told me about some of the orders she has seen in patient's charts while she was doing clinical studies.

Finally when you are admitted to the hospital every medication you are given must be ordered by a doctor regardless if you have a current prescription for it or not.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 4/21/2011 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I do hope that things start improving for you soon.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 4/21/2011 11:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Your story reminds me so much of mine, and I am so sorry that you have had to go through that! I have aready had a ACDF done at C-6/7 in 1985, and then another ACDF done right above it at C-5/6 in Sept. 2009, but then this past November 2010 I had the articular joints in the back fused, at C-3/5 with rods put in to stablize it. I was in the hospital for 8 days and they had a dickens of a time contolling my pain. I can really empathize with you. I have an incision down the center of the back of my neck from the base of my skull to my shoulder blades, and I had 47 staples in to close it up, and those staples were a real pain!  You know I also had a male nurse on the night shift and we had some words, I was not pleased with his performance at all! I am a nurse my self, and I used to work with cancer patients on an Oncology unit and I know a little something about treating patients with pain, and I swear the people in general on the surgical unit do not know how to deal with or treat patients with chronic pain!  What you described is just uncalled for! I am sorry that you had to experience that. If it is any consolation to you, I will tell you that this last surgery I had was by far the worst as far a pain and length of time it took to recover and feel any where close to normal! But it will happen and it will get better, and unfortunately it requires allot of patients, ( which  I usually don't have :-) ) So please be gentle with your self and try to have patients, and know that it will get better, I know you had allot more done to your neck than what I did, so it willl probably even take  longer for you, but with time you will get better! 
Know that we are here for you, and you have our support, again all I can say is I am sorry for the treatment that you had, I hope that you can get your pain under control. I wish you well Draka, and Good  Luck to YOU!!
White Beard
P.S. Draka I might also note that I lost quite abit of mobility in my neck and in January I started Physical Therapy and was doing that three days a week for eight weeks or longer and it helped allot. It might be something that you might want to discuss with your doctor after you have plenty of time to get healed.
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16792
   Posted 4/22/2011 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Draka, I am so sorry to hear of the experience you went through at the hospital. It has become nothing but a comedy of errors on the part of these surgeons when it comes to taking care of the their patients after surgery. I do not understand why a nurse could not notify your dr that you were in extreme pain, no excuse for that. Its a shame your husband didn't think to call the surgeons office and speak to him to let him know the shape you were in.

I am also wondering if you weren't going thru some withdrawals too since you had reduced your pain meds. One of the members here just had surgery too on her neck and like you she had a horrible experience. After coming home she as still in a lot of pain and having severe muscle spasms. She contacted her PM dr and he saw her immediately and saw the shape she was in an made adjustments on her pain meds and muscle relaxers and she is doing much better. I urge you to do the same, don't wait weeks till its your appt.

Please keep us posted.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 4/22/2011 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hope you can get hold of your pm and get seen. You need better pain control.
please go see your pm doc...Well wishes in hopes you can get
a low pain day soon...
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 4/22/2011 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Draka,

   It is good to hear from you. I am so very sorry you were treated so poorly when you were recovering. It would have been very easy for the nurse to contact the surgeon and update him on your condition. I wish you never had to go through so much pain for so long. Did you ever make a complaint to the head RN or the hospital?

    I hope you continue to heal and regain your strength. Please know you are in my family's prayers tonight. Try to rest as much as you are able to. Stop by when you can and let us know how you are doing.

*warm hugg*

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator
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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 4/24/2011 3:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Draka, I am so sorry to hear that you've had such a horrible time with this surgery. How people can watch others in such pain and do nothing, I'll never understand. At least you're finally out of there. And three months in collars. Wow. That's some recovery. But then it was a pretty big surgery. Did your surgeon say how long you should expect the surgery pain to last? Are you at least healing up well?

I am happy that you made it here to post an update. I was starting to get a little worried that we hadn't heard from you after your surgery. I really hope you heal up quickly and well. And that this surgery does everything it was meant to do for you.

Feel better. And whenever you have the chance and feel up to it, drop us a line and keep us updated on how you're doing.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 856
   Posted 4/24/2011 7:33 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm also very sorry that you had a terrible (to say the least) experience at the hospital.

I wonder if there is a way to ask your pain management doctor if you can contact him/her if you are having pain control issues like this after surgery? Or, is it just the surgeon that you can get them to call. If I were in your shoes, I would have wanted to talk to my PM doctor specifically. It's terrible that CP patients seem to have so many issues when they're in the hospital.
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