I am excited and nervous that four days from now, on 8.25, I’ll be having my decompression. I had one of my worst ever headaches last week, a six day monstrosity only eventaully controllled by hydrocodone. It reminded me of WHY I’m doing this invasive surgery. Because I have no syrinx, the statistics of the procedure reducing my symptoms is 80%, and I feel confident I’ll see some improvement.
I’ve had the summer to prepare for the surgery. I did a juice cleanse and followed that up with a very healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. I worked with a nutritionist to come up with a pre and post surgical plan to support my dietary needs. I have a long list of supplements I’ll be taking post surgically to aid in healing, immune support, etc, including rhodiola, boswellia, astragalus, magnesium, chlorella, alpha lipoid acid, n-acetyl-l-cysteine, coq10, a strong probiotic, and glutathione. Daily I drink a smoothie with collagen protein, hemp, flax and chia seeds, d-ribose, bee pollen, fruit and greens. I’ve made and frozen individual servings of an anti-inflammatory green juice with turmeric and ginger, organic homemade bone broth, and lots of healthy broth based soups. I have aloe to put into water to help digestion, as well as senna tea, which is a natural laxative. Food is medicine and I hope to optimize my recovery.
As far as what I’m taking to the hospital, I’ll have a travel and other pillows. A small comfort bag for by my bedside with lip balm, ginger lozenges, and eye mask, my phone, a charger, and headphones. I’m also taking button front pjs and a robe for if I feel ok enough to change, and comfy nonslip socks. I’m also taking dry shampoo, hair ties, wet wipes, micellar water and cotton pads, and some moisturizer. I have insanely sensitive skin and can’t use a soap anywhere unless I’ve tested it. I’m also taking some herbal tea bags because I love mint or ginger tea, and I’m not sure the hospital will have it.
As far as making home recovery more comfortable, I’m lucky because I have an excellent bed on an adjustable base which I think will help. I have a variety of pillows to try as well. I’ve lined up a walker just in case for the first week, and I got a shower chair to make bathing easier. I have a tray for eating in bed, and my Netflix queue is full. I have a variety of heating pads and ice packs of different shapes and substances, magnesium oil, tiger balm, and other topical. I’ve organized those supplies into baskets, along with pjs in another basket, and other things I want at hand so either my husband or parents (who are staying for the first -second week after surgery to help) can grab what we need.
I also have a bottle of CBD oil and topical patches to try for when I transition off the painkillers.
I’m taking 2 months off work, maybe 3 depending on how the recovery goes. I don’t have small children, which makes things easier too. I think I have everything in place I can think of. But if anyone else has any advice, I’m all ears!!!
I know the surgery will be painful and that recovery can have many ups and downs. I’m hoping to just rest and heal as best I can. As I’m able, I do plan on writing about my experiences with the surgery and recovery. Reading everyone’s stories here has been so helpful during this challenging time! It’s a great resource.