Sorry that you have to go thru a major surgery ..but you have found the right place for support!! I know that I have gotten lots of info and support here..I know you will too.
I had the posterior fossa decompression and C1 lamenectomy...I did not have the craniocervical fusion like you are having.
So, i can only tell you how i did...i spent 7 nites in the hospital....1 nite in ICU....right after the operation, in the recovery room..the nurses and doctor makes sure you are well medicated...not out of it..but at least tolerable.
I went prepared..with cozy jammie bottoms b/c i didn't want my butt hanging out with those awful gowns you have to wear ..also...i brought a fleecy blanket from home ..which was a wonderful thing..i folded it and put it over the pillow case...naturally , the incision is going to be sore ...that really helped!
Don't be shy...tell the nurses when you are in pain...no heroics !!
The 1st few days after I was wobbly on my feet..used a walker, then cane...my NS said this was b/c my brain/body was not use to the CSF flowing correctly....he said it takes a while for the body to adjust to the new flow...he was 100% right.
I will be honest with you....the worse day was the day after surgery ..when the NS's PA .physicians assistant...came to see me..we had a great rapure....he told me i was going to hate him after he took the bandage off.....he was right...I said a few choice words..LOL....When closing after the operation was done...the PA place a large piece of guaze type thing on the incision ...when he took it off....all the dried blood and hair around it came off too!! hurt like hell...so, if i were to do it again...b4 the operation...I would ask the NS to PLEASE wrap my head like a mummy or whatever...just don't slap a piece of gauze there to save the hospital 2 bucks!!!!LOL....But ya know, now I laugh about it..so, I guess it wasn't that bad!!!!
Once home....I was still on pain meds for a while..but I found that moving around was good for me , mentally as well as physically. I had good days and not so good days right after..that is natural with any operation...Trust me......it does get better....
Oh, sorry for this long response....one more thing....make sure they give you stool softeners in the hospital...between the pain meds , not moving around a lot ect...you do not want to get constipated!!! I even brought my own Senecot from home...that is a natural veg. laxative..they sell it at Wal-mart....I get the generic...4 bucks. Just my experience.
Marisa,I am so happy you found us...we are all here to help one another.....keep us updated.