Former Miss SA Suzette van der Merwe recovering after neck operation
Suzette van der Merwe. (PHOTO: Instagram)
Cape Town - Former Miss South Africa Suzette van der Merwe is recovering from a neck operation following months of back pain.
The operation was a success, according to 1990’s Miss SA, who has no idea where or how she injured her neck.
"I woke up one morning in January with a muscle spasm in my left shoulder blade," Suzette (50) explained to YOU. "I hoped a good massage would clear it up but it just got worse. Later, the spasm spread into my neck, shoulder, arm, hand and even my left buttock."
She’s posted post-surgery pics on Instagram which she captioned: "Post-op spinal neck surgery – I’m so thankful to say I am pain-free after months of unhealthy over-the-counter pain meds and look forward to a quality life again."
Suzette told YOU that the medication gave her only gave a few hours relief at a time "and of course it’s unhealthy [to be on pain meds all the time]."
"Last week one morning on the way to work I was in so much pain I started crying and felt nauseous. I turned the car around, went home and got into bed.
"Later that same day an orthopaedic surgeon did an MRI which immediately revealed nerve damage. He scheduled an operation at the Life Faerie Glen Hospital in Pretoria for the day after the national elections [8 May]," she says.
"I was so grateful! I think he realised I was practically in tears and couldn’t stand the pain any more."
Suzette says although she no longer has any pain in her arm or back, her body still feels a bit sore and her neck muscles are weak and stiff.
"I do physiotherapy every morning to strengthen my muscles and I rest with a soft neck brace," she adds.
The mom of two spent one night in the hospital’s high-care unit before being discharged. She says she’ll never take her health for granted again.
"I also have new respect for medical personnel and can’t thank them enough for the treatment I received before, during and after the operation."