By in Health & Fitness

What You Don't Want to Hear in a Neurosurgeon's Waiting Room

But you do hope your driver hears it. And when I heard it I was glad it wasn't during my first visit after surgery or the last one before it.

When we walked into the waiting room for what I hoped would be the appointment that would pronounce me OK again and completely healed, I was still wearing the collar I had come home from the hospital in after my surgery. I was told I had to wear it at all times during the first two weeks – even to sleep in. I was not allowed to ride in a car except to medical appointments because my neck was still very fragile and the vibrations of the car weren't good for it. After the first month I was told I could ride in a car for up to an hour a day, but I only did that a few times.

As we entered the waiting room on this Tuesday, and sat down, we saw a man using a cane. He said to me, “I was wearing a collar just like that when I came home from the hospital after my first surgery.” He went on to explain he that he had had three surgeries, and the first was very similar to mine. Five days later he had a doctor appointment and his daughter drove him, since he still was not allowed to drive.

His daughter was much younger and did not alter her normal driving style that day. As she was vying for a parking place, she swerved back and forth quickly to get into the place. And the man's neck snapped. It broke. Of course he wound up in the ER and our surgeon managed to repair his neck. Which is why he was still able to walk. I think one last surgery was required to finish the repair, but it's a miracle he can still use his arms and legs. That's because we have one of the best neurosurgeons in the country.

If you ever have to be someone's medical transport after they have had any kind of neurosurgery, I hope you will remember this story and drive carefully. Remember that person you are carrying is depending upon you to keep him safe and any sudden motions or stops could create permanent damage or even be fatal. Neurosurgical patients are very delicate as they recover, and the collar isn't complete protection. When you transport them, drive as you would for a driving test or with an officer behind you.

Pictures and content are original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 201 5 , All Rights Reserved

Image Credit » My husband took the picture at my request and I have permission to use it.

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melody23 wrote on February 13, 2015, 4:45 PM

That's actually really great advice. I don't think people realise how fragile you are after a surgery like that and I think they think that a collar provides 100% protection which it obviously doesn't. The same can be said for people with injuries, I remember being taken to hospital after my accident I was sitting in the front seat of the car and I felt every bump like it was a mountain. I was completely unable to walk by the time we reached the hospital, the doctor who sent me there should never have let me travel by car!

JeanC wrote on February 13, 2015, 5:04 PM

Oh yeah! After my hubby had his cervical hernia surgery last August I drove like he was a super fragile egg and did everything possible to avoid any rough driving. Thankfully I was driving the van as that is an automatic as I have problems driving a stick now and that would not have been a good ride.

BarbRad wrote on February 13, 2015, 5:05 PM

Exactly. Those who are healing or have injuries can't handle what happens in a car like a healthy, uninjured person can, but many drivers don't remember that.

Kasman wrote on February 13, 2015, 6:29 PM

His daughter must have felt awful! Of, course, we should all drive as though there is a police officer behind us at all times, shouldn't we!

Gina145 wrote on February 13, 2015, 7:06 PM

It sounds like his daughter may have been an irresponsible driver who shouldn't have been driving that way even if she didn't have a neurosurgical patient in the car with her. I hope she learned her lesson from that experience.

inertia4 wrote on February 13, 2015, 7:41 PM

BarbRad That was not very smart of that mans daughter to be driving like that. One must drive carefully with a patient in the car like that. I understand defensive driving, but not under those conditions.

bestwriter wrote on February 13, 2015, 7:42 PM

The ambulance drivers should know this too. They could be rash drivers.

BeckyWiegers wrote on February 13, 2015, 8:11 PM

It's absolutely crazy that anyone should have to be reminded of that. Lawdy, I sure hope I raised my kids better than that!

wolfgirl569 wrote on February 13, 2015, 8:44 PM

I am glad he is mostly ok. That is a very good point about driving very carefully.

shaggin83 wrote on February 13, 2015, 9:21 PM

Wow that is a terrible thing that happened to that poor man. I bet she felt horrible afterwards. I can imagine it happening accidentally if she is used to being an aggressive driver like that. I had to give my pregnant friend a ride home today and I have to go very slow on her road while she is in my vehicle because it is so bumpy.

RonElFran wrote on February 13, 2015, 9:45 PM

Wow! I can't imagine what it would be like to have your neck rebroken because of the carelessness of your driver. Or to be the driver who did that to a beloved relative.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:12 AM

I'm sure your being careful and having the right car helped a lot. I wouldn't go in my husband's car because mine offers a smoother ride.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:13 AM

Of course we should, but we don't. At least I don't. But I still try to behave.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:14 AM

I hope so, too, but it's do bad someone else had to suffer so much as she learned it.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:16 AM

I think she was practicing aggressive, offensive driving. Some people have to be first to get the parking place or the first away after the light turns green at a stop. I think she was one of those.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:17 AM

Yes. I'm not sure they are always safe drivers.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:17 AM

If you didn't, you'd better education them now to be safe later.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:19 AM

I think we don't realize that people who have had some kinds of surgery need as careful a driver as a basket of raw eggs on the passenger seat. But they may be more careful with the eggs because they know how fragile eggs are.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:21 AM

I'm sure you were gentle with her. My driveway is also rough, and the first time I went home I walked it and left the car on the road.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:22 AM

I think it would be horrible to be in either of their shoes.

bestwriter wrote on February 14, 2015, 1:27 AM

10 comments 8 views!!

jiangliu1949 wrote on February 14, 2015, 6:56 AM

The daughter in question would never have thought what she did could have that dire consequences .Would that every driver who transports people that have problem with cervical vertebra could see your this post .

BeadDoodler wrote on February 14, 2015, 9:00 AM

That had to be a traumatic experience for him and his daughter.

Feisty56 wrote on February 14, 2015, 11:01 AM

I was my mother's transportation to and from medical appointments after she had had a minor heart attack. I was concerned because her cardiologist had placed her on blood thinning medication and knew even a minor auto skirmish could be fatal to her should bleeding, internal or external, occur. I am always a defensive driver, but I was even more cautious about those drives.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on February 14, 2015, 5:18 PM

I was thinking the same thing, Kasman ! I can't imagine what it must be like to live with knowing that you caused your father so much injury just by not thinking.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 5:21 PM

Good for you for being careful. I guess some people just don't think.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 5:23 PM

I wish they would. You do have to pay more attention to even things like bumps and dips in the road than usual, and leaving plenty of time for a gradual stop instead of a sudden one.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 5:26 PM

I"m sure it was. I wouldn't have wanted to be either of him. Had he had a different surgeon, he might not have lived.

BarbRad wrote on February 14, 2015, 5:27 PM

Somehow I picture you as someone who would be careful and take extra care when someone is depending on you.

morilla wrote on February 15, 2015, 3:27 AM

I think drivers should 'be careful' all the time, not just when they are carrying 'fragile' patients. With that said, there needs to be even more 'awareness' when you are transporting someone with a physical ailment. Even a cold/flu can make any sudden movement seem as though something is 'broken.' I've driven people after they've had open heart surgery, strokes, heart attacks, back surgery, etc. You worry about every bump and try to remember when you last changed the shocks. Unfortunately, not every one thinks in those terms, especially these days.

BarbRad wrote on February 15, 2015, 4:03 AM

That's true. We all seem to be in such a hurry. I kept urging my husband not to make right turns on the red light, even though it was legal, since it was hard to see what was coming from the left at the intersection where we entered the street the hospital was on. There was no rush, and it was no big deal to wait for the green light. It's a a big enough problem to have to worry about what other drivers might do. That's one reason I'm glad I didn't have to get into a car for a month after I came home from the hospital. Doctor's orders. Now I know why.

inertia4 wrote on February 15, 2015, 7:45 PM

BarbRad I understand being aggressive. I like in NYC and driving here is one for the lesson books. But with someone in the car that is not well, no way. I drive slow with my mother or father in the car. My mother is the nervous type.

CalmGemini wrote on February 16, 2015, 10:07 AM

Very practical advice.In most cases,young,healthy uninjured people are really unaware of the difficulties of an injured old person.It is not that they do not care.But in most cases most of the people are indifferent .We should always educate about this fact starting from those in our family.Really great observation and advice.

CalmGemini wrote on February 16, 2015, 10:10 AM

How is that??Funny.