Originally Posted by carroc
Well, my time has arrived; I go in for my TT tomorrow. I want to thank everybody on this message board for all of the support and guidance you have provided me. I'm still a bit nervous about tomorrow, but I suppose thses types of feelings are normal considering the circumstances.
I'll post again when I'm feeling up to it. However, in the meantime, those of you that have gone through this surgery if you could answer as many of the below questions as possible, I know that I will appreciate reading your responses in a day or two when I am able to boot up the computer again.
1. How did you wash your hair without getting your incision wet? When were you able to shower without worrying about getting the incision wet?
2. When did you feel well enough to eat solid food?
3. How did you sleep the first few nights? Also, did you sleep flat or with your head tilted at some sort of angle?
4. When were you able to cook for yourself?
5. How dependent were you on the pain pills you recieved from the hospital once you arrived home?
6. When did you feel well enough to venture outside...what types of things did you do? How quickly did you integrate your daily activities back into your life?
7. After the surgeon removed the tape from your neck and/or stitches (about a week after surgery),did you wear something to cover the scar? If so what and for how long? Did your doctor recommend you use the silicon tape over the incision to help flatten it? Did you use any other products to help minimize the scar, if so which products do you feel worked the best?
8. A lot of people on this healthboard recommend ice packs to reduce the swelling in the neck after surgery. How many days should I use the ice packs and how frequently do you change them out?
9. When did you feel like you could hold a conversation on the phone? How long could you talk before your voice got tired?
Thank you in advance for any and all input you may have given me on this healthboard today. My surgery is in about 13 hours so I guess I should get some sleep.
Good luck with your surgery tomorrow. Here are my answers to your questions - I'm sure many answers will vary, but here are mine from my tt on 4/21 of this year.
1. My surgeon told me I could get my incision wet, no problem trying to keep it dry. I first showered and washed my hair the day after my surgery. Maybe this depends on how the incision is closed, I'm not sure - mine was closed with glue and then had strips over it.
2. The night of my surgery, I was given a liquid dinner - broth, jello and ice cream. I had a really bad sore throat and didn't even want to try anything else. The next day I was given a soft diet - I had oatmeal, pasta for lunch and meatloaf for dinner. My throat still hurt pretty bad but I was able to eat it without any problems. I stayed on that soft type of diet for another day or two - and then moved on to eating anything once my sore throat felt a bit better.
3. My surgeon told me to sleep sitting upright, at least a 30 degree angle, for two weeks - to keep swelling down. He also told me not to bend over for the same reason. Anyhow, I slept sitting up - I didn't sleep well the first few nights and was given an Ambien in the hospital (I was there two nights) to help me sleep. It wasn't because I was in pain, I just couldn't sleep for whatever reason. The insomnia lasted the first few nights at home also. But, overall, I had no problems after that sleeping in my semi-sitting position and slpet well after the 3rd or 4th night post-op. At home, I used one of those reading pillows (the ones that are high in the back with arms on each side) and then put my regular pillow over it to make it more comfortable. I slept on my side most of the time, but with my head and shoulders up higher on these pillows. After two weeks I was allowed to sleep flat, but chose to sleep upright with 2 pillows for awhile longer, as sleeping flat caused some pain at my incision site.
4. My husband cooked and brought me food my first two days home, but after that I got my own breakfast and lunches. I cooked for the family several days later. I could have cooked sooner, but I was trying hard to rest up and also trying to enjoy someone else cooking for once!
5. My first day home I took the pain pills around the clocck (Vicodin) and then only when needed....which tended to be late afternoon when I had done too much all day long. I took tylonol a few times during the day but usually didn't even need those. I did take the Vicodin for about 4-5 nights home, as I was sore by the evening time and also they helped me sleep. After day 4-5 I didn't need to take anything for pain.
6. My first venture (besides going to the dr. at day three for some calcium concerns) out was a walk around the block with a friend on day 5, followed by a trip to Starbucks for a coffee. It wiped me out after, but I felt pretty good during the outing. My neck was very stiff and I looked funny probably walking while holding my head so still, but it was great to get out. It took me the full two week time period off of work to really feel like I could go back and function. I drove at day 8 post op to my son's baseball game and sat and watched him for 2 hrs. Once I was back at work after two weeks, I would tire easily but I really didn't have pain.
7. My tape stayed on for 2 weeks until the dr. removed it at my 2 week post-op appt. He told me to wait another week and begin to put the vitamin oil on it. I am using that now, and may add a scar cream down the road. I never wore a scarf. My scar is not raised, just red - very noticeable but it's still sore when touched and it's not comfortable for me to cover it up. I do wear sleeveless mock turtleneck t-shirts when going to my children's soccer or baseball games, as I'm trying to keep the sun off of it. Other than that, I never have the scar covered. I try to put sunscreen on it also on a regular basis since I don't cover it.
8. My personal experience is that I never used ice packs and didn't need them. I had very little swelling, I think because I had two days of IV medicine to reduce swelling. Many people have used the ice packs, I'm not saying don't ask for them. Just my experience that I waited to see if needed, and when I didn't swell, I preferred to not have anything near my neck/incision. I was very surprised at how little swelling I had....I had more swelling from my FNA. That being said, I did have some internal swelling and which has caused some vocal cord problems so I do wish that my I used the ice packs back then also!
9. I tried to talk on the phone the first two days in the hospital and couldn't - I had a lot of voice issues. I know other's didn't, but my voice was very hoarse and it hurt to talk. I tried to stay off the phone for the first week, but did talk at times. I could hold a conversation but tried to keep it short and it hurt when I talked and I was told it was best to rest my vocal cords. 5 min. talking was probably my limit for the first week. I still get tired by mid-afternoon from talking and can't raise my voice like before. My voice is also a bit huskier than before and does get hoarse at times. I notice it's improving bit by bit each day though.
Best wishes for your surgery. Hope this was helpful!