|Based on the picture of me here smiling, you would have no idea|
about the true situation that was happening.
Below is a X-ray of my neck from November 2014 compared to February 2016. Notice in the x-ray from 2014 there is a curve at the back of my neck, while the one in 2016 everything just drops forward. When I told the doctors in the Fall of 2015 my neck moves in ways now that I couldn't before in 2014, they just blew me off...I beg to differ.
|Nov. 2014. Notice there's a curve at the back of my neck.|
My neck still moves more than it should
in this x-ray but you can count 7 vertebrae.
|Feb. 2016. Notice there's no curve at the back of my neck and everything drops forward. You can only count 5 vertebrae.|
|Enjoying my final moments without pain in my neck because|
I knew when I woke up it was going to be a different story.
|Got to love that EDS lovely connective tissue of mine. A vein blew|
trying to get an IV started.
|I don't know how long I was expecting surgery to be, but I knew it wasn't 4 hours. This was my look of shock when I heard how long surgery would be and what Dr. F told me about my neck.|
The time had officially come. I gave my parents as good a hug as you can in a halo brace and I was wheeled off to the operating room (OR). The last thing I remember once in the OR was chuckling about how they were going to have a party. Then the anesthesiologist gave me versed medication in my IV which blocks your memory and that was it.
|Operating room was directly to my left.|
The anesthesia was starting to wear off and I was becoming a little aware of my surroundings, but my eyes were still shut. The pain in my neck was unbearable. I heard a nurse to my right say, "She was on her stomach for 6 hours." They walked over by me. I'm saying my neck hurts as they are looking at the sores on my knees and hips from being on my stomach for so long. Next thing I remember is having both of my parents on my left side. I heard one of them say I was in the ICU. I was crying. Sharp, stabbing, throbbing pain in my neck. I was asking for pain medication but something got lost in translation because there were no orders for any pain medication. There was nothing the nurses could give me. Not even a single over the counter Tylenol. All I kept thinking to myself was, "I just had rods and screws drilled into my bones and nobody ordered any pain medication. How is this possible?" Mom was holding my hand. I kept telling her to let go because I need to squeeze something and I didn't want to hurt her hands. I told her to let me hold dad's hand instead. I squeezed with all my might. I kept saying I can't do this with tears rolling down my cheeks. My blood pressure was high. My heart rate was high. The one nurse tried to distract me by telling me she liked the pink nail polish on my toes. I completely ignored her and said, "Damnit my neck, my neck!" The only thing the nurses could say was, "We know honey. We're waiting for the orders to give you pain medication." To which I said, "Damnit. My neck. My neck hurts so bad" as I squeezed my dad's hand as hard as I possibly could.
|So much pain.|
The night was filled with much activity. One would think at this point I'd be able to rest for the night because it was late in the evening. Wrong. The doctors wanted a CT scan done to make sure all of the hardware was in the correct position. I wish they would have done that when I was still knocked out. The pain was so bad going over bumps to the CT room. Once I was in the CT room, four medical staff people had to pull me over on my sheet onto the CT table. It hurt so bad and the rest of the evening was a game of catch up.
Finally my pain was becoming "tolerable". I still hurt like no other but I didn't feel the need to squeeze anybody's hand off.
|After a very long time my pain was finally somewhat|
under control. I gave the "thumbs up" sign indicating
that I'm fine. As my parents would say, "You're a lot of
things but fine isn't one of them."
The next few posts will be about the days that followed surgery. They were certainly hard ones indeed. You'll even get to see what my brand new stable neck looks like.
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