Post Op Update 3 Weeks

(Left styloid/ligament removed….. 30 mm……external approach 10/28/13 by Dr. Samji)

This was my experience……His entire team was awesome and treated me (& family) very well. (both before and after surgery)

******Special note for those who wear a jaw splint ( I do)******

They let me wear it right up until I was wheeled in. I brought my case and they put a sticker on it and put it in my clothes bag. They let me have it (the splint) back right after I woke up. ( I asked for it).

He said he had to put my head/neck in such a way as to keep it off my carotid and he had to stretch a nerve ( not sure which one) in order to remove it.

First week was the roughest…. but doable

Less dizzy when I woke up from surgery then when I went in (very flared up and had spins that


Tender at incision site and swelling.

He had to do more than anticipated so it is 2 inches (instead of 1 to 1 1/2 in.)

Swollen and numb from behind ear down to mid throat /across to almost chin. (had bruising from

jaw to collarbone)

Tongue numb….mid way back…. left side (was before surgery)

Expected to have pain in/near jaw and around ear. (pulsing noise in left ear louder/ but no pain….

first day/night)

Had pain near hyoid bone/voice box area instead.

Soreness when swallowing off and on the first couple of days. (worst on first day- probably from


Felt better once the pressure bandage was off ( do not remove steri- strips)

Ate soft foods (easy to chew and swallow)

Ear (left) was crackling off and on but still plugged. (has only opened approx 10 times in the last 4


Right ear was having the pinching/ ice pick sensation (never had it on this side before surgery……

always on left)

Ended up icing (frozen bag of peas) both sides separately and with time in between.

Ringing in both ears …………..but left side was definitely quieter than before surgery.

Itching at incision site

Had some lightheadedness, off balance and dizzy spells (but no worse then before surgery)

Expected a lot worse!

Felt a different kind of tingling along bottom of jaw…..more like vibration/ a few bees under skin.

(Nurse & Dr said it was normal. Nerves waking up)

Hardest part for me was sleeping.

Breathing better (left side)

Shoulder is less tight/ more relaxed on left side. (did have a couple of muscle spasms in front- left

side of throat…..just like before surgery)

Noticed more energy…Surprisingly! (overdid it a couple of times and paid for it)

Second week…….

Some swelling (and bruising) have gone down.

Numb from jaw to incision site and across to under chin.

Tongue is still numb….. left side….. mid way back. (was before surgery)

Ear (left) still plugged but threatening to open. Can feel air in and around ear….. Weird!!

Ear (left) still ringing……. but still quieter than right.

Right ear getting twinges off and on (but not painful) this week. ( didn't happen in this ear before


Had vertigo while looking down flight of stairs.

Had very rough first time in car (since surgery) going to post op and after (spins, motion

sensitivity….was a problem before surgery as well).

Had my last (hopefully) seeing "stars"( the sparkly kind in upper/ sides of vision) incident same

day after getting out of car. (exhausted/day 8)

(just realized that last one…. Thanks Tee and Todd for mentioning it :) Tested it yesterday…

bending over to pick something up off of floor) Yay!!

Samji said he had to remove a big lymph node (first time I heard about it) and it was benign..

Thank God!! :)

He said between the two (the bone and the lymph node) what wasn't being pressed on?!

He told me to keep my eyes open while in the car now to help send the right messages to my

brain. (haven't driven in 3 1/2 yrs….can barely be a passenger)

Also said to start massaging scar in downward motion at 2 week mark and apply aloe vera &

vitamin E.

Did better once home and got more sleep.

Having some lightheadedness and balance issues……however seems like less. YAY!!!

Still breathing better.

Noticed more energy …..blew it again and did too much a couple of times.


Vision is getting sharper….. Like when you get a new glasses- contact prescription….Surprised

and grateful (but a bit nauseating too)!

Third week……

More swelling ( and bruising) have gone away.

Numb along jawline to just under incision site now.

Tongue numb but starting to feel different…… kinda icy/ hot

Left ear still feels plugged but ringing quieter still.

Still having some lightheadedness and feeling wobbly.

Vision seems sharper still ( I was able to read a clock on my oven from my couch….about 35

feet away..... couldn't do that before surgery)

Getting more range of motion (neck) Can't go all the way side to side yet……swelling and incision

start pressing in and feels uncomfortable.

Having more energy still and trying to do more without overdoing it.

Went for a short walk and been doing more around the house. (had a sedentary lifestyle before…

so it's a start) Was good at holding the couch down :)

Last couple of days………

Been going up and down stairs looking down….. even with out holding on and not spinning!!

Yawned last night and my left ear opened up for a few seconds (hurt like crazy) then closed.

Woke up this morning and my tongue isn't as numb as before (feels like right before the novocaine

wears off but no pins and needles).

Sorry this is soooo long……… should've updated before now but was afraid of jinxing myself ! :)

Thanks for all of the support and prayers :)


We are on our way, my friend.

Keep fighting the fight, let the swelling subside.......and we win this #!%4!@# battle !!!

Yay for you!


Aw, Sheila, thank you so much for taking all of the time to do this; it was worth the read to me. I really appreciate the detail and the way you put it referencing the weeks. I get a little mixed up reading a lot of posts and this was cool to see how things stayed the same or changed as time went by.

I laughed at your reading of the clock on the oven; that is my blurriness check too haha....!

I have those 'bees' in the jaw (laying on my back it starts up) and rarely see it described here. It started up with my first vertigo last year.

I didn't realize you had such a bad time in the car. Wow. I sure hope those days are gone for you at some point- that is pretty major in terms of having a normal life.

I'm paying attention to your balance issues and how they progress. Really hoping this one gets better for you.

Thanks, again. Helpful post!

Thanks Todd!

Victory is in our sights!! :)

Thanks Tee!

I hesitated to do that much......however I knew..... I would want to know. (can you tell I journal?! lol!)

About the clock..... you made me laugh too! ( I thought I was the only one who did that). Crazy..... how we learn to find our gauges.... on how bad it is.

I still can't get over how bad it was. I can honestly...... say I am seeing things in a "whole new light". Someone has turned up the dimmer switch and as if a layer (maybe more) of the static has been lifted and I can focus better. Sooooo wasn't expecting this at all!!

Interesting......The 'bees' are a new one for me. Doesn't happen everyday now..... only if I put my chin down.... I am used to the circular pattern of tingling in cheeks, lips, chin.

Do you still have vertigo?

The car (any motion) really sucks..... I have to get out and take breaks after a short time just to get a grip! I learned from PT that when you are having a vertigo attack....... to put your head up straight, focus on something stationary and reach out and hold on to something also not moving. Works for me in most cases but I can't do that in a moving vehicle. :(

I hope those days are gone too!! On day 8...I was soooo flared up it took us nearly 5 hours to go 12 miles. We had to stop every 2 to 5 blocks. (I had a total meltdown! Don't know how my Husband didn't?!)

Take care,