Headed to Denver tomorrow

Also I think it’s too early to attribute this to surgery but my digestion issues seem to have gone away. I don’t know if it’s from taking Miralax after the surgery for a couple of days or eating like crap for a week after surgery but things are working like they should.

1 Like

Yeah, post op digestive issues are definitely a challenge because of the opioid pain meds. I have noted that when doctors Rx opioids, they need to also recommend a stool softener/laxative to be taken alongside it. I used CALM poweder (magnesium citrate) because I could titrate it to the strength that worked best for me. Miralax is also fine product for fixing “clogged plumbing”.

It is possible that you could already have the digestive issue improved from surgery. That’s a vagus nerve problem, & since the pressure’s off of it now, it’s got to be feeling happier. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

Glad that’s improved!

1 Like

Have people reported Vagus issues decreasing when having the left side styloid removed or just the right?

Either side as the vagus nerve runs through both sides of the chest but the nerve bundle is more extensive on the left because of its activity w/ the heart.



For some reason I thought the Vagus nerve was just on the right side. It’s definitely a vindictive nerve.


It’s also ver all encompassing in the body controlling many of our major bodily functions from vocal cords to heart rate, BP, breathing, anxiety levels, digestion, bowel & bladder function & even sexual function. Pretty crazy!!

Learning methods to calm the vagus nerve is very important. Deep abdominal breathing, use Voo breathing, meditation (eg. Headspace), walking in nature, I also use NuCalm (but I was an early trial participant so less costly).

On GI issues I agree vagus nerve is major problem. But if VES then the IH can mean bowels won’t open ( as it increases IH pressure), so using water enemas (with distilled water =boiled water cooled), helps bowels open without pushing so less iH spike. D

I’ve been watching my heart rate to see how it adjusts. I’d regularly get alerts on my Apple Watch for having a heart rate under 40 and my average was probably mid to low 40s. My blood pressure was also on the higher side. Both seem to be fairly common with compressed jugulars as the body tries to balance out the pressure. Dr. Hepworth said it would probably be 6-8 weeks until we could evaluate it but it seems like my resting heart rate has been in the mid 50s more often since surgery.


I typically use Calm or the Peloton meditation app. I was hoping to get out and walk the dog during my recovery but it’s 100 degrees here to day :grimacing:

1 Like

Goodness, that’s hot! Try & stay cool. D

I get very low & also elevated heart rates also. Pretty crazy. But as my step Dad used to say “I’m still here”. D :slightly_smiling_face:

:hot_face::hot_face::hot_face:!! I won’t walk in that level of heat either! Staying well hydrated also helps w/ the digestive issue. I’m talking 60-100 oz fluid/day - not caffeinated or highly sweetened - (depending on activity level & how much you sweat). If you’re not used to drinking a lot it’s an adjustment, but it will be very helpful for blood flow as well as digestion. For me, it helps keep my first bite symptoms at bay or at a lower level depending on the day because my saliva is more dilute when I drink a lot.

Not giving up yet but just curious what the next step is if the fullness/pain in my ear and loud ringing doesn’t go away. I have a followup in about 3 weeks where they go into my sinuses and remove some more of the protective coating. I’d say the numbness on my cheek/jaw area isn’t quite as bad but is still there.

There are other things besides ES that can cause the ringing & feeling of ear fullness. For example, I have Meniére’s Disease which has those symptoms. It started between my ES surgeries but wasn’t due to ES. I had a cycling accident w/ a head injury between surgeries, & the MD symptoms started shortly after that. It’s worth talking to Dr. Hepworth about but I’m still expecting it will resolve to at least some extent as your nerves heal. Remember nerve healing is a VERY SLOW process & much patience is required.

1 Like

Definitely trying to be patient. I just wish I had some sign that something was improved. Exercise was the only thing that made me feel better before when I had flareups and I’m not allowed to do that now so just waiting this one out.


Unfortunately, waiting it out can be part of the recovery process. I wish ES surgery was a quick fix but it’s not & watching the days pass w/o seeing much improvement is discouraging. I found that many of my symptoms disappears so gradually. I didn’t notice them going until one day they were gone. I think some may have even been gone for awhile before I noticed. :crazy_face: Honestly, I can say that 6 months post op was a real positive turning point for me as far as symptoms disappearance went though I was back to exercising & normal activity by abt 6-8 weeks post op.

1 Like

Hi Stucke,

I am glad you made it thru surgery and recovering. I didn’t know you were a commercial photographer…Im a former Brooks Institute graduate. I did some commercial work however had 3 kids after I graduated which kinda killed that career.

I was warned TMJ might kick up after ES surgery. It did kick up on my left side like a vengeance and took awhile to calm down…a couple months. When I had the other side done, it was fine. I will say though that the left side was already the most inflamed prior to surgery. I had some first bite with both surgeries but passed for the most part within 1-2 weeks after. I started wearing a TMJ appliance about 6 months after my 2nd ES surgery. I had tried wearing a custom appliance before. Neither have really helped me.

I took have ear issues, ringing, vertigo, etc like Isaiah. 2 years after ES surgery and Im still dealing with them and seen some ear specialists trying to get a diagnosis. I looked for an ENT that specialized in rare ear issues such as Menieres like what Isaiah has. He had specialties in Neurotology, Otolaryngology & Otology. I have been on here much because I am dealing with other medical issues including the vertigo and ear stuff.

I know its hard to be patient. Try not to overdo it and cause a flair. I agree with Isaiah, about 6-8 weeks post op was a turning point however 12 weeks was a turning point for me. I measured improvements by week early on then months after 12 weeks. It can take 12 months for full healing to occur.

1 Like

Snapple I thought about going to Brooks, I ended up at KU and going the photojournalism route instead. I did most of my internships with commercial photographers and Hallmark’s photo studio and got my degree in advertising. I worked at an ad agency for two years as their studio photographer then went out on my own. I’ve got three kids myself and married to a teacher so there are definitely some struggles. I am happy to have her health insurance this year.

I’m hoping mine is more TMJ type issues and not Meniére’s Disease. I think with the numbness in my jaw/cheek and that area around the TMJ that something has definitely changed there. It does give me hope that it will resolve with time. I don’t know much about Meniére’s Disease. With Meniére’s Disease is there anything you can do for the ear fullness? I’d put the ear pain/pressure/fullness as one of the top 3 symptoms of my ES.