Hi everyone. Thought I would post some ‘after surgery’ updates because I was so desperate to read those before my surgery. I’m on day three of my left, external, removal of 4cm styloid, and there are so many positives; I’ve had no trouble at all with eating - lamb and roast potatoes last night!; the surgical site is quite comfortable and I have full range of neck movements (will try to add a pic once the dressing comes off, but my surgery seems quite a lot higher, behind my ear than a lot of images I have seen on the site). I was up, and glued to Netflix, for most of day 2 - but think I underestimated how exhausting doing nothing actually is; so I’m trying to do even less than nothing today! I still have pain across the back of my throat, and some numbness along the outer edge of my tongue, and at the tongue base, but I’m hoping that will settle as the nerves heal - or maybe I’ll just have to get used to it. The main thing is that I feel I have done everything I can to give myself a chance of returning to my old self - and that is comforting at the moment. If you’re hesitating about surgery I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it - it was nowhere near as bad as I had envisaged.
@mouse thanks for the update. I’m so glad you are doing well. Who did your surgery?
I’m in the UK, so Mr Axon did my surgery.
Okay thanks. I’m so happy to hear you are doing well. It does provide comfort for those of us who are or might be facing surgery soon.
Hahaha mouse. I was stuck to netflix too however I also did a binge of the hallmark channel watching stupid movies that didnt require me to think much. I had the tongue issues myself but had hard time swallowing and moving food around. My speech was also a little off due to the numb tongue. It got better after a month but took about 12 weeks to subside.
What a great report! So glad surgery is behind you for now. Your nerves will take some time to recover so any numbness, tingling or pain you have along the way is most likely nerves waking up. Those sensations will come & go over the next several months but they will likely gradually disappear entirely or nearly so.
Good job listening to your body! Keep that up & don’t overdo once you start to feel better. It’s all to easy to set oneself back by pushing activity too soon. Rest is best for now! I hope you recover quickly & fully but do expect it to take 4-8 weeks before you feel really normal again.
Thank you Isaiah,
I note that others have found days 3-5 the worst & that seems to be the case for me. I have quite a lot of pain now - in the exact same areas as before the surgery. It is a little disheartening, but I’m listening to all of the wise words on the site & hoping that this is all normal. What a rollercoaster!
It will be a rollercoaster, that’s right! Mr Axon does do surgery a little differently to most of the other doctors, so that’s why the incision is higher. Knowing you’ve done all you can to get back to normal will hopefully see you through the next few days of discomfort & hopefully the pain & nerves will settle…take care & thanks for the update!
@mouse how are you doing?
Hi. Yeah, not a great day today. I’m still totally exhausted, but am taking it very easy and being looked after extremely well. I didn’t use any ice packs yesterday but think that may have been a mistake. Today I have a lot of nerve pain in exactly the same way as before the surgery - particularly the horrible feeling of pain & an elastic band/stringy/cotton wool sensation at the base of my tongue on the surgery side. Sadly, these are all my original symptoms so I’m a bit miserable today - maybe it wasn’t Eagle after all & I’m stuck with this. Sorry to not be more positive…
Oh wow I’m so sorry. That description of your base of the tongue symptoms is exactly what I feel. I do hope it’s just swelling and inflammation and that you can get relief soon. I appreciate your honesty as it helps those of us who haven’t done surgery yet to weigh our options.
Oh gosh, I’m sorry one_day, I don’t want to undermine your confidence - you’ve just caught me on a bad day. I shall definitely post again when (if???) things improve. It’s only day 6 so I’m not going to give up yet. And on a positive note the surgery itself was a breeze.
No it’s okay I totally get it. I want true stories not sugar coating lol. It is early days for you still. I can’t imagine living forever with the feeling of cotton wool stuck back there…
I’m sorry it’s a bad day for you. Take heart! As one_ day said, it’s still soon after surgery. I didn’t get my energy back until 2 months after surgery.
Right now you’re at the end of the period when the swelling & the pain are the worst. Do keep icing for the next week & keep your pain meds on board though you may find you can start cutting them back a bit i.e. either lower dose or taking them farther apart. Keep your head elevated whenever you rest or sleep as that will help reduce swelling & pain.
Nerves can be slow to heal. It was 6-9 months after surgery before I really noticed most of my symptoms had gone. This is a recovery that requires much patience. Your body is working hard to heal, & I’m so glad to hear you’re being well taken care of. That helps a lot!!
Oh no, please don’t give up. You just had major surgery done, give yourself time to heal. And this comes from someone who felt the way you do now.
There will be good days and some bad ones. I’m 5 months post op and only in the last 4 weeks can I say that I feel better. Get rest when you can, keep icing, drink lots of water, eat soft foods, smile when you can and if you are in pain there is help for that. Sending you a big hug.
I’m so glad to read that you’ve turned the corner!! That is such a relief & such great news!! Thank you, too, for the way you encourage our struggling members. I love the “family” we have here & the way we care about & support each other.
Aah, thank you 70melvin6. I read your message in the middle of the night & it really gave me a boost. I look forward to the day when I too can pass on some positive messages of support …
Thinking of you- recovery is ups & downs, you’re doing all you can to heal just give it time.
I am with you mouse, i am day six post op hang in there. Ice ice ice and stay elevated.
The nerves are doing crazy things for me also. Grab the ice when the nerves are twitching. That’s a sign of swelling at least i think so. I had tos surgery many years ago so i know this will pass.