My C5-C6 disc replacement procedure in the Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia.
My husband drove me to the Jefferson Hospital and we arrived in Philadelphia at 8:00 am. I was checked-in around 8:30
am. My husband and son were long since gone, since a Mickey D's breakfast was their first agenda item. I was moved
into a small room where I was given a gown to change into and spent the next 30 mins+ watching a very nice small flat screen
TV. Then they wheeled me into an open room next to the surgery. Several patients and myself were being prepped
for surgery. I do not recall anyone's name, except Dr. Albert who, in his usual charming fashion, greeted me with a
cheery, "There she is!" He had already successfully completed one operation that day and if I recall correctly
he'd been there since about 5:30 that morning. I had to ask whether the surgery went well, and he nodded in a positive
fashion, as if to say, could it go any other way? I was not at all nervous. I wasn't in good hands ... I
was in the best of hands! Surgeon assistants, nurses, and others came up to me, introduced themselves and told me what
role they were playing in my procedure. Everyone had a positive manner. Nobody was grumpy, tired, bored, irritated.
Good! The young lady who I recall the most I believe held the title of neuro-anaesthetist. She was the kingpin
in this procedure. She was monitoring the activity of my spinal cord! My successful outcome depended on no damage
to my spinal cord. Worst case scenario I could be paralyzed. Looking back, I cannot believe I knew nothing about
what she was going to do. It was fascinating. She placed two-fork prongs all over my body. The places I recall
the most were the top of my hands and top of my feet - these are very painful areas to be stuck into, so she used an icey
spray to temporarily numb any feeling. Once the prongs were in place I felt nothing from them. They went down
each arm and leg, and shoulders. I looked like a pin cushion! Each prong was connected to a wire that went to
a monitor. My entire nervous system was going to be scrutinized. Excellent! It was while she was finishing
off that they anaethatized me and the next thing I knew I was waking up in a hospital room.
I felt groggy and they were quick to tell me that if I felt any pain to press a button.
Any pain? Feeling pain was now optional? The concept was foreign to me! Self-medication is a wonderful thing!
This was the first time in months I had gone pain-free! To my amazement, that tingling and painful feeling that ran
down my left arm was completely gone! I was thrilled at the outcome already!
I was wearing a soft neck collar. I had been fitted for this a couple of weeks prior to surgery.
I still have it and it feels very comfortable to wear, if I ever feel I need not to bend my neck. (Dr. Albert feels
that the hard collars are not necessary, and I completely felt the soft collar was sufficient.)
The staff at Jefferson were great. There was one male nurse trainee who irritated
me as he made a couple of sexist remarks about my not being interested to learn which channel had sports TV; he was very full
of himself. Other than that it was a great experience.
one thing that nobody at the hospital told me until before I left the next day was how to sit up correctly. I was pulling
myself forwards and apparently this is incorrect after neck surgery. I was supposed to roll onto my side and pull myself
up that way. They completely missed that one.
night I didn't eat much, and did at one point feel nauseous and threw up some liquid - a natural reaction to the anesthesia.
In the morning I think I ate a little beakfast. By noon my husband was there, but it took a couple of hours to get me
The physical therapist gave me a lesson on
how to correctly sit up (a little late) and how to go up and down stairs.
I was given a prescription for hydrocodone/acetaminophen, also known
as Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Anexsia, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, and Norco for the pain, with instructions that as soon as possible I
needed to switch to Extra Strength Tylenol.
released from the hospital.