Surgery in 1 week! Recovery advice


Your situation sounds awful! It’s no wonder you had the symptoms you did. As Snapple said, because of the more extreme hyoid bone involvement, your recovery time might be a bit longer. Hopefully your throat will start feeling better ASAP.

I’m really glad to hear you’re feeling better & hope that trend continues as each day passes. Do remember that recovery can be a few steps forward then a little backslide then forward again. It seems to be the way of nerve healing. That’s to say, don’t get discouraged if a few bad days follow a few good days. The good will win in the end. :muscle:

I’m praying for you to have safe travels home later this week. :pray: :heart:

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Update post op day 7: I made it back home on the weekend and the flight was surprisingly easy. I can certainly feel my nerves firing back up every now and then as the numbness in my ear and jaw are fading. My pain is fairly well controlled now and I’ve been lucky to have no swelling or bruising. I’m not finding the wedge pillow comfortable for sleeping at all so unfortunately I’ve not been sleeping much. I’ve tried piling up pillows and all different things but I just can’t seem to sleep comfortably. Last night I woke up in a strange position and now the other side of my neck is incredibly sore like I pulled a muscle. I’m taking it easy today so hopefully it eases off. But otherwise, all is going well!


Glad that your pain is under control, & that the flight went well! Have you got a recliner chair you could sleep in for a while otherwise? Depending on your mattress, you could try putting some pillows under that to raise it up a bit, might be a bit more comfy? :hugs:

So glad your flight home went well & your pain is well controlled. I sympathize w/ the wedge pillow. I hated sleeping on that thing, but if I didn’t, my throat would feel like it was swelling closed so I had no choice. Have you tried sleeping without it? You could ditch it & try sleeping on several bed pillows or as Jules suggested, somehow prop up the head of your bed a bit instead of using the wedge.

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Hello everyone, I’m so sorry it has been so long since I updated on my recovery. I would be lying if I said it has been easy. Today I am 8 weeks post op. 6 weeks ago my occipital headaches and neck pain returned with a vengeance, so much worse than pre-surgery. I tried every pain med under the sun, I did PT, ice packs, slept elevated, you name it. Even with all these interventions I had an 8-10/10 headache every single day/night for 29 straight days. Then one day I woke up with no headache. That was almost 2 weeks ago and I’ve had 3 headaches since then. My neck pain is still there though. Samji said my jugular was played around with and pushed a lot so he could get to the styloid and ligaments so he thinks that could be the reason for the headaches but he doesn’t really know. He scheduled another appointment in a month to make sure I’m getting better and not worse. I had a CT in the ER that ruled out any post op complications, but I’m waiting for an MRI to investigate further.

So far no symptoms from my other side have emerged, unless the headaches are related to that side. I only started back at work last week on modified duties and it triggered neck pain. I was started on gabapentin and I think it may be helping, but I hope to wean off before too long. Still hoping that over the next few months I will start feeling better :blush:

Oh poor you, that sounds like a rough recovery…I hope that you have turned a corner and things do improve for you. …glad that Dr Samji is keeping an eye on things too. It sounds like you’ve tried pretty much everything, I think some members have mentioned magnesium in previous discussions as possibly beig helpful, might be worth looking into if you haven’t already?
I’ll pray that things do get better for you, and thanks for updating us, sending you a hug :hugs:

Thanks Jules,
I do take magnesium but I wonder if I’m needing a larger or dose or a different type of mg. I’ll search some threads on this topic.
Thanks again!

What a challenge you’ve had during your recovery, Zoero. I’m really glad to hear the headaches have mostly subsided which sounds encouraging. If you have bilateral ES w/ any type of vascular compression, it is possible that your remaining styloid could be contributing to that, as you suggested.

I’m also glad to know that Dr. Samji is sticking with you through this & gave a possible explanation for the post op headaches, but I’m also glad to you’re having some follow-up scans to ensure all is well.

Neck pain can last for some months after ES surgery as the nerves can take quite awhile to recover. I beileve that by 4 months post op you’ll notice further reduction in symptoms & pain & that will be the case with each month beyond that.

I’m really glad, the gabapentin is helping. Nerve pain meds can take several weeks to make a noticeable difference in nerve pain & often the strength of the nerve pain med needs to be tweaked to arrive at the most effective level.

Please continue to keep us updated as time passes. I will be praying for your full recovery from ES symptoms. :blush: