First off, i'd like to apologize for my long delay in posting here (BTW, see my last thread discussion at http://forum.livingwitheagle.org/forum/topics/bilateral-eagle-surgery-1-of-2-my-day-1-experience-post-op). I had promised that I would keep you all in the loop & I have done poorly with this for several reasons. I don't want to make this a novel, but I will say that this 1st month of the new year was a real challenge for me outside of the surgery itself (when you live my life, if its raining it is POURING lol): I'm in Phoenix, it seemed like people were driving like complete idiots during the entire month of January (seemingly as a result of the Super Bowl being in town) & I was involved in TWO car accidents within the course of that one month (haven't been in a single accident in YEARS). The first accident took place the beginning of January when a guy threw his drivers door open as I parked in an open parking space, then during the last week of January a guy rear-ended me as the light changed from red to green, totaling my vehicle in the process. Two different doctors have diagnosed me with whiplash, so that plus my totaled vehicle has really started this year off on a bad note. Nonetheless, i'm alive, things are nearing completion as far as the insurance settlement process on my totaled vehicle & i'm just trying my best to get things on track before this 1st quarter comes to a close.
I always like to end with good news, so i'll say that in regards to my 30-day post-op recovery (technically about 37 days but same thing lol), that has been going very well. In short, pretty much all of my surgery-related symptoms (first-bite syndrome, dizziness, pressure, stiff/sore neck, clicking in my right ear when chewing, stinging at the surgery site when yawning/turning my head a certain way, neck/facial swelling, etcetcetc) have thankfully gone away at this point. Of course some of this has sadly returned following the 2nd car accident (all but the first-bite syndrome, stinging & swelling/at one point or another), but I know that this is as a result of the whiplash & not a complication with the surgery recovery. Also, the numbness along a small section of my jawline has unfortunately remained, but if worse comes to worse i'm sure i'll eventually adjust if absolutely necessary (hoping that it eventually gets back to normal though :-). I'll also mention that the issue with my tongue smacking against the rear edge of the roof of my mouth (the "palatopharyngeal arch" to be specific) has sadly remained, but I actually expected this: As mentioned, this section of my mouth seemed to re-shape itself sometime after my tonsils were removed & I strongly felt that removal of the styloid would not fix this particular issue. Can't make a final call until the other styloid comes out, but I eventually may seek other options to resolve this including (deep sigh) another possible surgery to raise this "arch" & provide more clearance. Don't know, we'll see what happens... O yea, & I thankfully have not thrown up again since my last throw up marathon lol.
As for the scar from this 1st surgery, it has healed quite nicely (MUCH better than I expected). Like most good doctors who perform this procedure extraorally, my doctor made great effort to place the incision at an angle that would sit with the natural lines in my neck & (as a result) it is much less visible than it otherwise would be. At first it did stick out like a sore thumb however (even 3 weeks afterwards). For this reason, I (correction: MOM lol) did purchase some rather expensive makeup to put over it for the time-being (once it was close to healed, roughly a week or so ago), but now i'm almost at a point where I kinda don't need the makeup on unless i'm in front of a camera. Eventually I think the scar will improve even further, but it already has healed up much better than I thought, it is becoming harder & harder to see without "looking" for it & I feel I owe this to prayer & eating alot of leafy greens :-). If I remember correctly, the stitches took roughly 2-3 weeks to dissolve (for those who might be wondering how long those darn things hung around). I remember that as that 2nd/3rd week came around, the stinging was SUPER annoying & I believe this was mostly as a result of the skin pulling together & healing as nature intended (while the stitches gradually faded away). Just mentioning all of this to hopefully give people an idea of what to expect, even though everybody heals differently.
Altogether, I think it is safe to say that as far as the symptoms immediately following the surgery, surgery #1 of 2 was a success. As for the reduction/ceasing of the associated sore throats/etc, it is difficult to gauge at this time because now that the 1st styloid has been removed, that remaining one has been on OVERDRIVE over the last week. It has seriously been killing me to a point where it kinda overshadows my memory of those 1-2 weeks I had where the sore throats had all but ceased... But the blessing is that I tried to be proactive, I pushed every possible button to get surgery #2 scheduled asap (a process that took place weeks ago) & I go in for my 2nd surgery on 2/11/2015 (next week :-). I absolutely cannot WAIT to get this done & at that point I will finally know what my new "normal" will be. This is when I will finally know if my singing voice will ever be back to 100% or if I should just do something else with my life. I felt a definite improvement since the 1st styloid was removed, but this second one has been acting up so much as of late & having it removed should prayerfully give me all the answers I need... Whatever the outcome, i'm just glad that I know what to expect after going through this surgery once before & I just ask that you all pray for a successful 2nd surgery!
Thank you all for your prayers/well-wishes, thank you for being so kind, thank you for thinking of me, thank you for encouraging EVERYONE to pull through this condition & as promised i'll do everything in my power to help someone else pull through. This year has been somewhat of a train-wreck so far which made it a challenge to stay connected on here/elsewhere, but I know that all things happen for a reason & rest assured that i'll try my best to do better as far as staying in touch. If you sent me a message on here at one point or another, be expecting a reply VERY soon as i'm just getting to them (& I WILL make sure to mention the name of my doctor once surgery #2 is complete). If anyone has any questions/etc. or if I failed to mention anything, please let me know & i'll respond asap. Aside from that, expect a follow-up on this thread (or a new one) following surgery #2 of 2. Have a great weekend guys!