It is a bit early to be thinking about going back to work isn't it????? May I suggest when you first start going back try it for one or two hours ( no more than two, one is better) and do that every day for two weeks or so, and then slowly increase it a hour a day in one or two week intervals. but to start off do the hour or two for two weeks. I personally think that it is to early, even if you are only answering phones. I am sure you will find that one or two hours will be more than engough for you at first! And you do not want stress your self or have any set backs! I know when I had my first fusion in the military I was assistant Branch Chief of the A-10 flight simulator at that time, and I did not even go back to work till 6 or 8 weeks after the surgery and I started off doing one hour in the morning for a week or so and then also one hour in the afternoon. and I worked that way for another week or so, I think it was closer to two weeks my hours were increased a hour a day a week at a time till I was working a full 8 hour shift. It worked out well for me.
But again when I had that first surgery ACDF at C-6/7( March 1985) I had no voice for close to 4 months either, as they damaged the nerve going to the vocal cords and I had a heck of a time swallowing too, I found out just before they did my second fusion ( Sept.2009) at C-5/6 that my vocal cords on my right side are still paralyzed and I still have some swallowing difficulties, and a heck of a problem with gagging and retching if I do certain exercises or movements with my neck! When it happens it is just like I am getting sick to my stomach, but the stomach is not involved at all, just very severe spasms of the throat and the gagging and retching! While it is happening, I get needle sticks and electric shocks across my upper chest and upper back from shoulder to shoulder. Infact the monday before last I had a very severe episode at my pulmonary rehab class, doing the warm up exercises and stretches, the rehab nurses, sent me home after it finally stopped! Some times these episodes will last just a few moments, other times they last allot longer and it really takes it out of me. I have had this problem since just a short time after my first fusion! Anyway REDSAM you really need to take it easy and do not hurry to get back to work and when you do go back, you need to be extremely careful, and don't do anything foolish!
I will be anxious to see your post, I hope your appointment goes well!
Good Luck to you REDSAM!
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!