I'm Alive ! :o)

Hurrah......I survived!

First, rather than send out 20 separate messages to everyone, I wanted to say:

I am so humbled and blessed by the over whelming outpouring of well wishes, prayers and overall kind words you have sent my way. It meant a lot and everyone suffering truly deserves to get better and get on with their lives!

Ok.....the mushy stuff is out of the way (atypical Todd)........down to the nitty gritty.

Just like everyone else has reported, Samji's whole office staff / OR team are a class act from Samji down to the nurses to the techs.....everyone!!! Our hospital where I work in Spokane could take a couple lessons. Enough said.

As expected, I was stoned like a Bob Marley concert post surgery..........so I gave my wife a few questions to ask Samji when he came to see me post op.

From the scans that he originally saw, he said it was not quite as long as he suspected........still about 45 mm, but not in the 50's.

That being said, he said it was absolutely enormous..........ridiculous I think were his words. He did not recall seeing one as thick and just "blob" as it was. It was also curved differently than the vast majority of his patients.

He also said that it was impinging on my left carotid, something that he said was NOT happening per the scans. (I guess the scans aren't always right :o) He was very glad that he took it out.

In fact, he immediately wants me to schedule the right one for 3 months later! Purely speculating, but I think he has a guess that the right one might be impinging on the carotid as well. We will see.

As far as an update on me, pain and all that stuff was fine. Little upset tummy, but my great wife played RN and took care of me with soft, yet healing foods.

Now, I still hear the ringing in left (and right ears) this morning. I am certainly still light headed, but I have had a couple of moments where I feel like the right side is worse (something that I never felt before).

I don't want to over-analyze anything, as I am only a whopping 16 hours out from surgery. I don't know the timeframe when I will actually begin to notice if this surgery has helped me ????? You guys can chime in on that one :o)

So that's it for now......if I feel changes, I will let you know. Nothing yet, but I am still so doped up on anesthesia and narcotics (and not sleeping well) that I am obviously not ready to give a verdict!!!

Thanks again for the support.

Your friend in Spokane, Washington,


OMG!!!! I literally burst into tears!!! I am soooooo excited for you!!!

I knew it had to be pressing on your carotid. Our symptoms couldn't mirror each other (mine being impinged) and yours not.

WOW!!! In just a few months!!! You are closing in on this nightmare being over!!!!

Agreed!! My experience with Dr. Samji and team was amazing!!

My right side hurt as well and it didn't before surgery. I asked him about it and he said it happens for multiple reasons.

The position they have to put you in to see to remove it.

Keep it off the carotid.

Plus he pushes quite a bit over to the right to get to the left. ( muscles, nerves, and voice box)

Also due to swelling and the pressure bandage.... it is putting quite a bit of pressure towards that side that normally isn't there. This eases up a little once it comes off.

I ended up icing both sides. Separately of course and waited time in between.... to help calm the nerves down. It lasted off and on for the first week.

Sleeping is the hard part. Couldn't get comfortable. It gets better. :)

Rest and take care :)


Glad you survived! haha I think that carotid is key for a lot of your symptoms! I hope you hurry up and heal....I like all of the information that you got out of Dr Samji. He got it all the way to the base? Wow...3 months for the other...crazy news!!! Thank you for getting back to us so fast!!!! HEAL FAST!!!!

Dr. Samji's whole team is top notch. They were awesome at keeping us informed about what to expect before and after Sheila's surgery. I'm very impressed with the scar (or lack thereof). Even though he had to make a larger incision than anticipated, and we're only two weeks out, you almost can't tell it's there unless you're close up. Dissolving stitches, under the skin.

Interesting about the carotid impingement. Your's and Sheila's symptoms are so similar, and both have/had this impingement, it's got to be one of the major factors. Hopefully, very soon, you guys will start to feel the benefits of this first procedure!


Great news, get well.

Hurray for you Todd!! Dr. Samji’s team was awesome, even when he was at Stanford. My advice is REST. REST. REST. I felt better within a week, but I took three weeks off from work which was needed as I am a pediatric OT. Expect some numbness under the jaw but that gets better. Mine is still a little numb along scar. Yeah the scar is hardly noticeable. Now, each day will be better! Take care!

Thanks Polly.........let's talk soon and we can compare our notes, as our cases (symptoms) were so similar in nature. I am heading in to Samji's today at noon for my post op visit.........then back to Spokane!

Will keep you posted!


Good for you Todd, I am glad you came through the surgery with flying colors. It will take time before you know if your symptoms are less or totally improved. Hang in there and heal thy self first before calling a judgment on your symptom relief. Sorry about the tinnitus problem hanging in there. Mine has stuck around too. I had hopes it would calm itself down but I think the damage was already done from either medicine, a car accident I was in, or the eagle's. The important thing is your surgeon realized the extent of the styloid problem and acted accordingly. Please keep us posted on your recovery results. Speaking of tinnitus, PBS Newshour had a special segment on November 5, 2013 that would be worth seeing as it discusses new treatment options in the works. Good luck and God bless!


I think you nailed it Viper. I need to temper my expectations......at least in the short run.

My plane ride back from San Jose to Spokane yesterday was...........somewhere in between feeling off balance and a nightmare. Ugh.

My damn left ear was raging last night after all of the flights and I was off balance again.......Grrrrrr.

Obviously, a lot of this had to do with flying......and a bumpy flight at that, only 4 days out from surgery.

Dr. Samji also told me that the swelling INSIDE the neck area will not subside until about 4-5 weeks.........so that is my timeframe to gauge whether or not this worked.

I am being cautiously optimistic but the flight was a big reality check that I have a long way to go.


Sorry you had a rough time on the flight and afterwords :(

Absolutely agree.......Even though the "tusk" is out the swelling has taken it's place.

The nerves were already aggravated for multiple reasons before surgery and will be for a while. Not only because of swelling but because of the procedure itself.

Hang in there........ I have NO doubt that you will feel better once it all calms down. :)

Take care,


Hang in there. Sorry to hear about the flight home but there is time to let it settle. Take it easy and REST. ;). Sending positive healing thoughts. PS. I had some “tree frogs peeping” in my ears for the first two weeks. Somedays I still have tinnitus. I just think it is the other side causing it.