My daughter is scheduled for surgery April 15. Prom is April 27. She really wants to go but I’m not sure if she will be able. Any suggestions?

Each case is different, of course. At 12 days post op, my daughter (14 yrs old) still had a TERRIBLE time brushing and washing hair so for her, a hair do or salon visit would have been totally out. She still needed 12 hours of sleep a night with a lot of laying down throughout the day. Loud was still rough, lots of lights and excitement were a bit overwhelming so an all night event would have been bad. On top of that, she spent so much time playing normal before the surgery just to get by and could not wait to be normal FOR REAL again. After the decompression though, a lot of emotions hit her and she was in so much pain. Ready to be normal but she had this big gash up with back of her head and had been through the wringer...

She had to learn to accept what her own normal is.

Thus, if it were my daughter Lynn, at day 12, she could have done basic hair and semi dressy dress. She could have met everybody at the venue and stayed as long as she felt like while I sat down the road with a book, waiting for the call to take her home to rest.

BTW, new "normal" did come in time with my daughter and the whole CM medical odyssey culminating into surgery and recovery seems a little surreal now! :)

I would reschedule her surgery…even if she was feeling better I wouldn’t want her away from me that soon. The loud music, flashing lights, etc might be too much. Let her go have fun before her surgery.

Thanks GMA

Their plan is to go to prom for an hour or so and then go hangout elsewhere. But I am concerned about the prep time to get ready. As well!

Sslak, we can’t reschedule surgery. She has syrinx as well as Chiari. Her surgeon wanted to do surgery right away but her team made it to championship and she begged h to wait until after that. He scheduled surgery the next day. There is no way he will let her go later. My hope was to wait until school got out on may 16 but he said no way!

I know that the docs can differ on their aftercare plans, that being said, my doc has me laying flat on my back for 30 minutes for every 1.5 hours of being upright. If that’s to be your daughters case , prom night might be difficult. Also for me it has been very easy to over do it. If I feel good ill go shopping and run too many errands, then pay for it then day with fatigue and nausea. If your daughter has to skip prom, that’s too bad and certainly a disappointment but There is always the future, don’t forget… Maybe her friends can get dressed in their prom outfits again -when shes feeling better - and go out to dinner together??? I never went to prom so I made up for it when I got married by having an extraordinarily beautiful wedding dress. I wish your little girl the very best and look forward to your post-op-posts telling us how well she’s doing.

Thanks Beeba and no you weren’t going in circles. I have been wrestling with these same questions. She is going with a bunch of girlfriends who are dateless (it’s actually her whole colorguard team). They all know what she has been through and have been an amazing bunch of girls. So really if it came down to the day and she really wasn’t up to it I’m sure it would be fine with them. I’m more worried about her mind. If she has it in her head she’s going she will push herself. She is very stubborn and if she can’t go I see her getting very depressed. I also can’t see spending 300-400 on a dress she isn’t going to wear. I do like the idea of sitting down the street with a book (sanity for me too). I can’t imagine letting her out of my sight!

Thanks everyone for the awesome advice. It is so nice to be able to listen to people who have been through all the same things she has.

Razzle, it’s not putting it off one or two days it’s 2 more weeks and we already put it off so that she could go to championships with her team. He is concerned that putting it off will do more damage to her spine as she has multiple syrinx throughout her spine. I wish it was just as simple as waiting a few days.


First of all I wish your daughter the best of luck with her surgery.

I know this must be a really hard decision for you both but it sounds like you have a bit of time before making a final decision.

I think you really need to go over a yes and a no scenario with your daughter.

There are so many different outcomes with this surgery. I will say that I was only on strong pain killers for about 10 days. It was my husbands birthday 12 days after surgery and we did go out for dinner. Honestly I was fine with that. The following week we went out again and i felt even better. I’m not sure if i wouldve been upto dancing or being on my feet fr a long time though. I’m 29, so your daughter being younger may have more energy you really can’t foresee what happen or how she will feel.

My recovery has gone well beyond my wildest dreams and I was back at work after 6 weeks and pretty muh enjoying my new normal (just a little more tired than usual). I think I am in the minority though with such a fast and easy recovery. Hopefully your daughter will be in that minority too.

Good luck!

I had my junior prom a couple weeks after my surgery. I ended up falling asleep at prom, luckily my wife (then girlfriend) understood that I really needed to leave, and she took me home. The prep time before prom was not fun at all. The lights and noise were the worst part of being at the actual prom.

Thank you everyone for all the help and advice. I think we are going to let her decide. I believe Beeba is correct in that she may or may not make the right choice but I will be there ready to jump in if need me. She probably won’t dance (she’s not a dancer) and I agree the music and lights will probably bother her but as she is not planning in being there long anyway maybe it won’t be so bad. I believe as a parent there is a time to put your down and when not to. She has been through so much and I have already had to tell her no trip to ITaly with the rest of her class in May. Again, thanks for all the advice. I will keep everyone posted as we get ready for surgery and postop. :slight_smile:

Plan a private prom. I know I wasn't up for doing anything at that point. I missed my "real prom". So I bought a beautiful dress, and my fiancé put on a tux. We danced outside under the stars and the firecrackers. (it was the forth of July) I pray that she does feel well enough to go, but if not, a private party with a prom theme is always a great back up.

At 12 days post surgery I attended a Halloween party and did ok, so it's possible she'll feel able to attend her prom. I would just stay close so she could leave as soon as she gets tired. It's really easy to overdo it on days you feel good post surgery but if she feels up to it then it's worth a try!

Postpone the surgery and let her go to the prom if you can. Our 8 year old had two surgeries so we understand. She is used to the pain she has now so she can handle it for prom. Twelve days after surgery she won’t be in any shape to enjoy it.


Just throwing this out there....Have you mentioned this situation to her NS??? I, personally would let him know that she has her heart set on going to the prom...just see what he has to say about it....Let him be the 'bad-guy; if he thinks it will too much for her.

I have a daughter...Jr. in I can understand how you are in a hard spot...BUT..her health comes 1st and not to sound insensitive.....that is the bottom line. Hopefully, she will be doing great and get the NS's blessing....and attend the prom for at least a little while.

Keep us posted on how she id doing and how YOU are doing!

Again, thanks everyone for the advice. You all have been great in helping me deal with this situation.

Lori, I did ask her NS and he said there is no way to tell. If she is up for it then she can go. We will just have to wait until then.

I will pray for your daughter and your family. Our little guy had syrinx too. Surgeons said “now not later” too. We were terrified about paralysis if we didn’t rush to do it like the ns said so I understand the feeling. We lived it and still do. We have seen our baby before and after both surgeries and as horrific and life threatening as his chiari and symptoms were before surgery, looking back it was all he knew so he was accustomed to it. It’s hard to explain but If I knew then what I know now, he’d go to the prom and to Italy. Since that’s not possible, I would definitely be in the parking lot or home with him on prom night and definitely say no to Italy and yes to surgery so I understand completely. Everyone can give you advice but every chiari and every surgery and after math is different…you can ask en people and get ten different responses (including the doctors and surgeons) but all you can do is what you and your family think, and just do your best. Just by being the one chosen to accompany your child through her journey and path in life, as her loving parent, it sounds like you already are.