I’m having my surgery (external for calcified ligament) on the 10th in Baltimore. Any pre-op tips? I am an elementary teacher and am wondering how long others recovery has taken. Should I request anything specific to help with the pain afterward?
Thank you in advance!
You could send a private email to seamom as she is also a teacher but I think high school. She had both styloids & ligaments removed last year but hasn’t been on the site for a bit. She could certainly speak to how it affected her as far as teaching goes.
Recovery tips are as follows:
Stick to your pain med schedule as prescribed - don’t worry about becoming addicted - that won’t happen in the week or 2 that you need to take them.
Get gel ice packs & ice your neck 3-5x/ day - 15 min on & at least 45 min. off to help w/ pain & swelling. To accompany your pain meds, make sure you have a laxative & stool softener - pain meds are very constipating & w/ a sore neck you, don’t want that!!
Get a wedge pillow (Bed Bath & Beyond sells a decent one) so you can sleep w/ your head elevated. 30º elevation was recommended to me (practically sitting up) but I found I couldn’t sleep if my head was lower than that as my throat would swell). You’ll probably need it for at least a couple of weeks.
Most important - Listen to your body. Don’t run out the door the first time you start to feel good. Step back into your daily routine very gradually. Rely on family/friends to help you for at least the first week & maybe beyond. My 2 biggest mistakes were cutting my pain meds back too soon & trying to get back to my life too quickly. These 2 things probably set my healing back a couple of weeks.
Remember that nerves can get irritated or damaged during surgery. They do recovery but slowly - sometimes it takes up to a year. Don’t fret if you have nerve pain that isn’t gone in a week or 2.
That’s it for the moment. I’m sure others will pitch in w/ their thoughts.
So glad you’re set to have surgery!
Great that you’ve got a date!
There’s lots of info all about surgery & what to expect in the Newbies Guide section: ES Information- Treatment: Surgery , and also some links to members post-op stories. Everyone is different, so bear that in mind, & also different surgeons have different operating methods so that can affect things too. (I had 2 surgeries with the same doctor, & recovery was different for both!).
There’s a few things it’s helpful to get ready beforehand- extra pillows, a wedge and/ or V shaped pillows as keeping propped up will help with swelling, & also you might find it difficult to chew to start with, so a blender to make your own smoothies and ingredients for those & soft foods is good.
Surgery shopping list
Here’s a surgery recovery story:
Are there any saxophonist or wind musicians out there?
I’m sure your doctor will have an idea about which painkillers are best, again that varies, some need them for a bit, I only took them for the first day & was then fine with paracetemol after that. But keeping up with them is a very good idea so that you don’t get in too much pain.
Recovery also varies- I found turning my head too much was painful for the first few weeks, so didn’t feel confident to drive for at least 3 weeks, but the second surgery was easier, I was driving after 2 weeks. Having to use your voice alot as a teacher is probably going to be the hardest thing for you; Seamom who did the surgery shopping list is also a teacher, so you could private message her to find out her experience. (she’s not on here now, but hopefully would respond to a message).
Isaiah has posted some very helpful advice in a couple of recent discussions which will be helpful:
Here we go...I have a surgery date!
oops- we must have both been posting at the same time (great minds think alike & all that, same advice from us both!!)
We did that w/ agirl’s post, too, except I posted just after you!