I am blown away by all the amazing replies!
First of all, thank you, @Jules, for the link letting me know that the Q Collar is on the forum’s radar. Dr. Costantino did refer me to the Q30 website where I read about the development of the product to help mitigate the potential for brain injury. As a brain injury survivor and member of the Brain Injury Association of America, I greatly appreciate the work of the team behind the Q Collar and any team diligently working to create equipment that has the potential to prevent or mitigate injury to the brain. The collars might not prevent concussions, and helmets don’t either, but I wouldn’t recommend not wearing one to any athlete about to run out onto the field of play.
I can’t claim to understand how Dr. Costantino is using the collar as a diagnostic tool and more specifically as a tool to help him predict surgical outcomes for VES patients, but I appreciate what he is trying to do and why. I presume use of the collar will be or already is part of the data set that he is collecting. Also, I did forget to mention that he intends to reach out directly to the Q Collar team to inform them about how he is using the collar and presumably to establish some kind of collaboration.
Moving beyond the question of whether the collar accomplishes its intended goal, I discovered that I can walk into a local sporting goods shop and simply try the darn thing on without opening my wallet.
After I’ve gotten all of my belongings moved into my new place on Monday, I’ll take a short ride to the shop to try on the collar. Hopefully, it won’t take longer than 5 or 10 minutes of wear while I browse around to determine if the thing exacerbates my symptoms or not.
On another note, it’s undeniably clear to Dr. Costantino that I do have severe bilateral compression of the IJVs. That’s not in dispute at all. When looking at the CT imaging together, we could see the left IJV was almost completely flattened between the styloid and transverse process, because the styloid is so thick. The same could be seen on the right side, though not to the same degree, because the styloid is not quite as thick.
But in addition to VES, I have other health conditions that present their own problems, like many other members of this forum. Folks may or may not recall that I’ve previously mentioned POTS/IST as well as the brain injury. And so, as I’ve had more time to think about my recent conversation with Dr. Costantino, I understand, even more so now, the need to be absolutely certain about which symptoms are attributed to which disorder and going forward what treatment(s) will provide me with the best outcome.
Along with the Q Collar, I’ve been asked to have posturography testing to better assess what’s going on with my central nervous system and why my universe leans to the left. He’s not 100% certain that is a function of V/ES, because, after all, a person can have more than one diagnosis at a time, which I do. In short, Dr. Costantino doesn’t want to schedule surgery without first being aware of all the moving parts. At least, I presume that’s why he didn’t move on Thursday to schedule surgery. I can’t be mad at him for that, and if that means trying on a Q Collar, then why not? But if all the boxes are checked and our next conversation isn’t about surgery, I’m going to be pretty upset.
I was hoping maybe someone on the forum had already tried on a collar and could provide some insight, but I guess I’ll be the guinea pig. @vdm and @Elijah can report back regarding the benefits of 0g and swimming pools. Personally, I fully endorse the benefits of aqua therapy and floating in water, which I will resume next week after I get through this move. And on that note, I’ve got to sign off.
Thanks again to all for the truly thoughtful, informed feedback! You’ve really helped me to stay positive and keep moving forward…