When my husband hurt his neck in a car accident 2 years ago, he tried everything to avoid surgury. After fighting it for nearly a year, however, he finally got the herniated discs repaired. His recovery has been great & we’ve both learned a few things along the way. I thought that putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it might be), that I might be able to share a few insights that could be helpful to others in a similar situation, so here goes…
1) Get a good neck pillow. There’s a company called Cabeau Travel, in California. They make the best ones, period. we bought 4 different kinds before we found these & they are more comfortable & better made than any of the others that we tried. I say “we” because after we got his, I liked it so much, I got one for myself. OK, OK, so I stole his…and we got another one for him. 🙂
2) When taking long trips, schedule breaks. If you don’t schedule the time to stop and lay back, then it becomes this big stressful deal. We don’t want to be late, but neither of us want for him to be in pain either.
3) Rest is important, but so is exercise, so get good physical therapy & do your exercises both there and at home. If you don’t continue to do them after you are out of sessions, you are more likely to re-injure yourself & have recurring pain.
4) Take the pain meds if you need them, but try to wean yourself off them as soon as you can as they can mess up your liver, or in my husbands case, make you pee blood…not good!
5) Be extra nice to your wife who is picking up the slack at home, since you might not be able to pitch in as much.
6) Be extra nice to your husband because he might really want to help out and might feel guilty about not being able to and is probably in pain.
7) Research your options when it comes to doctors. This is your spine. Don’t mess around. Just find the best one you can get & have them do whatever they would do if it was their body.
8) Research your insurance. If your need is immediate, then just get it done. If you have some time before having to do something, then see if your current insurance will cover the best doctor or not. If not, see if it might be possible to change your insurance so the best doc is covered.
9) Don’t try to do too much, too soon after surgery. Listen to your body & do a little less than you feel that you “could do”. Be safe, not sorry.
10) If you don’t want your wife to steal your neck pillow…hide it. Or just buy 2 to start with! 🙂

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