Invasive Cervical Traction was the most horrendous experience I've been through so far. The only things that got me through were the support of my family and friends, and the wonderful care provided by the nurses at NSUH.
They put me to sleep for about 5 minutes to get the screws into my head. When I woke up, I was in the most pain of my entire life, so far, although I couldn't imagine worse. And to make things even better, the nurses were locked in a medicine closet with my morphine, so I had to wait an hour for it!!! Then I had allergic reactions to all the pain medicines they tried for me. But the hard part was when they came to remove the device. I was wide awake and on no pain medicine when I was literally unscrewed! It was the strangest and most horrible sensation thus far.
When I was in the traction device, I was in so much pain that it was hard to tell if I felt better than usual. Eventually, it became pretty clear that my symptoms were somewhat improved. This is wonderful news!!! This means that I should not need the odontoidectomy. So, the surgeries that I'll need are the fusion and the revision. These are scheduled to be performed together on December 29th. I'll write more about the operation soon, as I can't sit up any longer.
These are pictures of me in traction.