I had my consultation with Dr. Bunnell at UF Health Jax last week and my surgery is now scheduled for Sept.20! Dr. Bunnell was extremely personable and made me feel comfortable as soon as walked in the room. He answered all of my questions and also gives you his direct email for any other questions or concerns. My first email question to him was answered almost immediately. I feel very confident that he will do a good job based on other reviews on here as well as my own personal account.
He said he usually gives the patients the option to stay over night, but because of Covid beds are extremely limited. He has scheduled me at his outpatient surgery center so I will be able to leave the same day. Any advice from people who have traveled for surgery would be greatly appreciated. I live 4 hours away so wondering if I will be okay riding back(not driving obviously) the following day? Dr. Bunnell is already doing my follow-ups virtual. I also have a local ENT who is familiar with my situation and willing to see me in person if any issues arise.
NICE!! What great news, Hatty11! I’m so glad for the excellent visit w/ Dr. Bunnell.
Though I didn’t travel, here are a couple of things I’ve heard from others who did - Have 3-4 frozen gel packs at the ready in an easily accessible cold carrier in your car. You will want to use them as you go. Pack extra, regular ice packs in w/ them to help keep them really cold. If Costco is currently selling their insulated, soft-sided lunch boxes, they are AMAZING at keeping stuff cold for at least 12 hrs. They come w/ 2 gel packs - one to put in a top pocket & one in a bottom pocket. That would be ideal for carrying the covered gel packs you’ll need for your neck & not bulky like a regular ice chest. Do you have easy access to a Costco? If not, you might be able to find something similar at Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid. I’m sure Amazon would carry them, too.
You’ll also want to be able to recline your seat so you don’t have to sit fully upright. Driving in a car w/ a spacious interior so you can have some room to maneuver to help get yourself comfy as needed is a good idea (i.e. this is not the trip to take in a mid-life crisis Maserati ). Pillows!! Bring several bed pillows for your head & maybe low back depending on how comfy your car seats are, & a U or V shaped pillow to help stabilize your head in the event you sleep in the car on the way home.
Also make sure you have plenty of water to drink as you may be taking a dose of pain meds while you travel. Besides that, staying very hydrated helps with healing. Some soft foods like jello, pudding, yogurt, applesauce, & even baby food in jars (thinking meat here - not as tasty as the real thing but nutritious) in case you can’t swallow or chew. That’ll save you having to drink milk shakes all the way home (though that does sound kind of fun! ).
I hope these suggestions are helpful!
That’s good news, & not too long away! Really good that your local ENT can help out too. Lots of info on here you can search for about what to expect after surgery if you haven’t already looked!
I’m sure as long as you can find a way to get comfy you’ll be fine on the way home- I only had a 2 hour journey, I felt a bit fragile but was fine. Thinking of you!
I would check and see if Dr. Bunnell gives you RX for steroids/prednisone. It really helps with the swelling and works like majic. It would help if you had a bumpy ride home too. 4 hours isnt too bad of a ride. Sounds like you have it all covered when you get home in the event you need an ENT. Congrats and good luck with your surgery
Thank you all for the info! Just really looking forward to this and putting it behind me. I am 33 and have seen some stories on here of people dealing with this for years and years. I couldn’t even imagine dealing with this another year!
I’m sorry you’re dealing w/ ES at a younger age. I’m so glad you were able to find a doctor & get surgery scheduled in a pretty quick time frame. The good news is that you’ll be likely to heal faster than some of us older “birds” did.
Happy you are getting the surgery! Anymore news? I have my appointments coming up in a week. And did your Eagles have vascular compression?
I got the call yesterday to confirm my surgery and go over preop instructions. As everything looks now, surgery will be taking place on Monday!
That’s good news, will pray all goes well! Let us know how you get on when you’re up to it!
HOORAY!! I will also put you on my calendar so I can pray that day. We will look forward to hearing how surgery goes & are here for you during your recovery, of course, if you need encouragement or have questions.
Please remember that it can take some months after surgery before your symptoms settle down. Surgery isn’t a quick fix but many expect that & are disappointed when it’s not. Nerves can be slow to heal & symptoms can come & go as they do heal. Be patient with your body. Keep those ice packs at the ready & make sure you have a wedge pillow & laxative/stool softener to help aid your recovery.
Hoping & praying for the best possible outcome, Hatty11.
So I am now about two and a half days post op and oooohhh man. Lol. The “honeymoon” period seemed to last until I went to bed Monday night but each day since has gotten worse. Still have pretty significant swelling and I would say the worst part is my throat. Not sure if it is the swelling or what, but just swallowing is excruciating. I was sent home with Oxycodone 7.5mg and having been taking every 4 hours. It helps for a little bit, but wears off pretty quickly. I have been also icing continuously. I did reach out to the surgeon and ask about steroids and he called me in Medrol. I just took the first dose so hopefully I will start feeling some relief soon. Other than the pain, surgery went great and my incision looks good. Will take all the prayers I can get!
I’m really glad to hear your surgery went well. I’m sorry you weren’t given an Rx for steroids before surgery so you could start on them the day after. I had a very similar throat experience but Prednisone was my friend & gave me a bit of respite each day. My sore throat lasted a couple weeks after my first surgery but I had no throat issue after my second one. Curious…
Make sure to sleep with your head very elevated - 30° or more & keep the ice coming. Head elevation when resting or sleeping pays off in helping reduce the swelling, too.
Please keep us posted as to how your recovery progresses. I hope you see some good improvement by the end of week 2.
Sending up prayers on your behalf, Hatty11. Also sending a gentle get well soon hug.
Hope you are doing better Hatty! I found the steroids to be like majic and made all the difference in the world. That along with Oxy. I would set the timer for the pain meds in the middle of the night so they pain didnt get ahead of me. Stay upright and ice and ice.
I hope those steroids are kicking in for you and you are feeling better.
Swelling may well peak in the next couple of days, but hopefully the meds will help quickly. I hope once the swelling goes down the pain will ease…will keep praying
Thank you all for your kind words and suggestions. I began the Medrol last night and I do seem to have some relief today. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that I’m not as stiff so I believe the swelling may be subsiding. I am still in a pretty significant amount of pain and my pain meds are only going to last me through this evening. I have Crohn’s disease so I am unable Take any nsaids or anti-inflammatory meds so I am a little nervous about tomorrow. I keep reminding myself that this is going to be worth it in the end and can hopefully put this behind me. You all are helping more than you know!
Most doctors will extend the pain meds Rx if you need it. I took Percocet for 6 weeks post op though only full time for the first 1.5 weeks. It made a huge difference to have something stronger than acetaminophen & ibuprofen. Don’t be afraid to ask for a refill.
Thank you for the suggestion! Swelling seems to be getting better each day. I took your advice and reached out to my doctor. Each day seems to be getting better!
I hope that you can get more painkillers to keep on top of things, glad that the swelling seems to be improving for you. another hug
I’m with you Jules! Get more pain meds! and ask for stronger ones. Rather than percocet, I ask for straight oxycontin (with no tylenol). I had bad GERD and cant take NSAID’s (cause stomach bleeds) or almost anything else due to stomach upset. Glad you are getting better with the steroids.