I’m that person. The one who wants to know what to expect and how to prepare for surgery. Prior to my ACDF’s (2- c5-6 then 5-7 after the first failed.) I found videos, blogs, and lots of spine health boards with tips for recovery and preparation.

Yesterday we scheduled a PCDF from C4-T1. (Previous surgeries were through the front of my neck- this one is through the back.) Pain has been increasing and function has been decreasing since Decemberish… so it’s time to do the next thing. Problem is- I’m not finding much helpful information about this surgery. I’m scheduled for July 3rd.

So far I’m finding that:

1) It really hurts.


2) It really hurts.

That’s not enough information for me.

So- here’s my plan. I’ll be blogging the preparation and recovery as I can. There needs to be practical, accessible information for the next (woman- specifically) to find. So.. in addition to my usual posts….. you’ll be seeing some of these as well.

I have a little over 2 weeks to prepare. Here’s my basic plan:

Housekeeping- taking some time to do major cleaning while I can. And to prepare for the help I’m planning to have post surgery. (Planning on having a cleaning service this summer. Highly recommend for post surgery.) Stuff like: declutter and prepare for a more (temporarily handicap) accessible home. (My mobility will kind of suck for a while… and Cleaning services usually do basic stuff. Not Pick up and declutter stuff.)

Meal planning- Get some meals prepared in advance and into the deep freeze. (Yes- I know people will want to help… but I’ll feel better knowing I have some things ready;)

Family preparation: it’s summer. I plan on making plans to enjoy it as much as I can prior to and after surgery. I’ll also be making plans for my youngest so he doesn’t feel ripped off by yet another summer spent with sick parents. (Day camp stuff maybe? Will check into pool membership, (I’ll be able to sit by a pool:P) End Goal: we have a family tradition timeshare the first week of sept. We’ll be working towards getting there;) We need a vacation.

List making. I’ll be making daily household maintenance check lists for my guys to use during my recovery. That way they’ll know what needs to be done each day and can help. (Will actually just update what I have- I use flylady.net for home-management.) Grocery list prep. (basic staples)

    Personal preparation:

  •  Nails, haircut and roots. (yes, these are things I need to get done before surgery. Pedi too, if I get a chance.I won’t be sitting in salon chair for a while. ) I’m also going to be eating extra healthy and exercising as I can… the better health you’re in before surgery- the faster your recover.

    Take care of medically related needs- I already set up my amazon wish list for the medical/rehab stuff I’ll need during recovery… shower bench, bed rail, stuff like that. I’ll order with time to get everything ready- together- installed.)  I also had enough blood drawn to drown a vampire. We’re checking to make sure there isn’t anything systemic that is causing me not to fuse.  Primary care physician is on top of that. Next stop: bone density test on Monday.

Sanity Preparation: (recovery=boredom. Boredom= cray cray.)

  • Netflix cue/amazon instant video library maintenance. (I probably won’t be able to read for a while… too much pain/distraction. So your movie/ TV recommendations are appreciated.)
  • Bookstore stock up reading plan (For when I can read;) Kindle is already stocked. But recommendations for that are good too;) Kindle is easier to read from post- surgery. Don’t have to hold it up.
  • Project planning- I’m a knitter… lots of recovery time will most likely mean: knitting time. However- the posterior approach may make knitting very painful. Not sure. But will be ready. (patterns/yarn and needles will need to be accessible without bending/ twisting. etc.

Spiritual Preparation: 

  •  Lots of prayer, worship and listening.

Work preparation:

  • Get as much writing/ MOPS International work done in advance as possible. Be sure to alert anyone impacted by my “down time.” (will send out emails and probably set up an away message for my inbox.)  Computer time will be limited. (Can’t look down at screen post surg. Will be able to use social media.. phone probably…but we’ll see.)

Things already to go:

I already have this awesome mirror for once I can drive.

Already have a recliner with heat, massage and power recline. All it’s missing is power lift…. but I can do without that;) (recliners are a back surgery patients’ best friend. Besides Jesus, I mean.)

I promise tomorrows post will be something less medical… But- Like I said…. it’s hard to find info for this— and the next few miles I walk are in the shoes of a mom preparing for surgery… I know I’m not the only mom to experience that… so I’ll leave my footprints here… for the next mom to find;)

Dear Lord- so much to decide and do over the next few weeks. Please help me to be wise, to honor you and to not do more than I should…. Lord- work through the doctors, and be with any mom who is facing surgery and is trying to prepare….