The Road to Recovery: How’s Your Neck Healing?

As you may already know, I broke my neck at the end of June. Whenever I see friends and family, they ask, “How’s your neck healing?” It’s so kind of them to ask, but honestly, without a CT scan, I have no real way of knowing for sure how I’m healing. Here’s an update about what I do know about my healing process.

My Neck

My neck was actually more broken than I had imagined. When we went for my 5 week follow-up visit, they performed another CT scan. This time, we saw the results.

If you haven’t seen CT scan results on a computer, you’re really missing out. The doctor was able to pinpoint the exact part of my vertebra that he wanted to reexamine. Then, he turned the image so that we looked at my break through the depth of my vertebra.

For some reason, I had imagined that I had some crack in my C6. I have no idea why I thought this exactly. The only thing that I can imagine is that the doctor kept calling it a fracture, and in my head, a fracture is not as bad as a break.

Just to let you know, it turns out that a fracture and a break are the exact same thing. My husband and I looked at the dark gray line running through my entire C6, from top to bottom. The doctor says that as the break heals, it becomes more of a fuzzy line.

There was no visible fuzz. Initially, this concerned me. With 5 weeks in this neck brace, I should have some healing to show for it! The doctor, however, wasn’t concerned. “Yeah. Two to three months for this kind of break. That’s really pretty standard.”

For the next few hours after that appointment, I was disappointed and sulked.

But the bones stayed perfectly aligned. I don’t need surgery. Now, I just have to serve my time and keep doing what I’m doing.

My Face

When I fell, I cut a gash into my right eyebrow. They decided to glue me shut instead of using stitches. In the ER, they gave me  a choice of shaving my brow or trimming it. I picked trimming it. That may not have been the best choice.

As I healed, the glue started to work its way off my skin. The product that I was using to help my incision and black eye heal also seemed to have some sort of gumming removal property to it. No problem, I thought. I’ll just keep using this Healer Stick, work the glue up, and trim my brows.

What ended up happening was that I worked the glue away from my skin and wanted it removed so badly that I started peeling it. This led to the equivalent of me waxing off half of my right eyebrow. In hindsight, I maybe should have just rocked the Vanilla Ice look from the get-go.

Sarah Stockett, broken neckRegardless, here it is about 6 weeks after I lost half my eyebrow, and it’s all back. Here’s a side selfie of me that I sent to my brow gal, Ashley. I’m really pleased with how well the eyebrow hair has grown back, but I wonder how long it will take the scar tissue to bust up.

I have about a pea-sized knot right on the edge of my eye socket. It doesn’t normally cause me issues anymore, but it was really sensitive to cool breezes from the car air conditioner and our ceiling fan. Randomly, I would have waves of pain shoot through me. It felt a lot like eating ice cream when you have sensitive teeth, except the pain would go through my whole body, not just my teeth.

Recently, I haven’t had any issues with scar sensitivity.

My Right Knee

My right knee was skinned so badly that they did an X-ray to make sure that my patellar tendon was still attached. It was. However, the whole front of my knee was ripped up. The damaged area was so large that I had to wear one of the big BAND-AIDS with another smaller BAND-AID above it.

After a couple of weeks, I got to switch from using the big BAND-AIDS to using multiple smaller BAND-AIDS. It was a traumatic time for my kids, who both hate and refuse to wear BAND-AIDS. The youngest constantly worried about my BAND-AIDS and what that meant about my overall health. In my head, I imagine that, to him, the sight of my BAND-AIDS meant that I might not see another day.

Regardless, we all lived through my awkward BAND-AID phase. Now, I’m doing my best to lighten the scar tissue. Every so often, I exfoliate to remove dead skin. Everyday, I use You Apricaught Me! Dry Body Oil, and I have seen a noticeable reduction in the size and darkness of my scar.

Despite my jokes and nonchalant attitude, this was a very serious injury. In fact, it wasn’t until this week, nearly 9 weeks since the accident, that I was able to kneel with both knees on a padded surface. I still can’t kneel on our floors, which are mostly hardwood and tile. However, I can kneel on my boy’s bed to kiss him goodnight. So, that’s a huge win in my book.

My Left Thigh

My left thigh seemed to be the simplest of my injuries, but it has proven to be the most challenging. When I fell, I banged my left thigh on the side of our back step. At the hospital, I didn’t notice any discoloration or pain in my thigh. However, when I got home the next day, my bruise was starting to show.

The bruise continued to grow each day for weeks. For weeks! The largest that it ever got was slightly bigger than the palm of my hand.

Sometimes, it hurt but not often. I really thought that this would be the easiest of my issues, that I would just have to wait for the bruise to go away, and then I’d be fine.

That hasn’t been the case. Instead of having a sizable bruise, I have a dent. I have about a 4 inch long, half inch wide dent! Ugh! What the heck is that?!

In my attempt at personal dent removal, I turned to The Orb. A little while ago, I decided that even if I couldn’t do Pilates or yoga, I could work on my muscles with The Orb. So, a couple of times a week, I get on the ball and try to roll any gunk out of my system.

I’m hoping that the reason that I have a dent in my thigh has something to do with fascia. To try to remove my ding, I drink plenty of water to hydrate the injured muscle, and I roll on The Orb, trying to remove any fascial adhesions that may be creating the dent.

I appreciate everyone’s support and good vibes as I go through my healing process. With any luck, when I see the doctor at the end of September, he’ll give me the all clear sign and I can kiss my neck brace goodbye!

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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