My dad had one last Tuesday. He’s 61.
I brought over an old recliner from my basement and he switches between that and a high-backed couch propped up with pillows. His doctor told him he’d want to switch positions and so far it’s been true.
The doctor said he can sleep without the collar but the first time he tried it, it sucked. Then he slept with the collar for a bit and it was good. He slept one night without the collar and woke up not being able to move, and was better with the collar. Today I was visiting and he was sleeping without the collar because he said the collar bugged him.
So uhm…you may get frustrated with the collar?
My godmother had the procedure a few months ago and didn’t take 12 weeks to heal (YMMV of course!) She says she sat propped up in a bed all day and also slept with the collar. I would definitely make sure you have plenty of pillows and plenty of options for sitting and lying down.
Make sure you have straws to drink out of. No way can you drink anything with that collar on.
Get yourself some Chloraseptic spray and some lozenges because you are going to have a sore throat and you aren’t going to be able to throw your head back and gargle.
Dad is having problems swallowing. Pills are getting stuck in his throat and liquid gets shot to the “wrong pipe.” I think it’s mostly because he has tonsils and they get irritated by the procedure and the intubation. So YMMV on swallowing. Our next step is to make sure he eats after his pills, so he doesn’t wake up with a pill in his mouth like he did today :-/
He’s been able to eat ok actually. But more like eggs and mashed potatoes, altho he did have me get him Wendy’s. Protein shakes wouldn’t be a bad idea but don’t think you HAVE to eat them. His post-surgery sheet says “normal diet.”
Make sure you recruit someone to help you. Mom and I have actually been watching dad like hawks since he came home, but he was sort of feeble before he went and since he has an opiate addiction he’s now on massively more drugs. So we put him to bed with a baby monitor and all that.
I was pretty amazed and pleased at how well he got up and walked around the day after the surgery. My mom said he was just in awful awful shape the day OF the surgery. By the time he got home, about 24 hours after the surgery, he was in less pain and doing “well.”
Good luck…it seems like a painful thing to go through with a huge payoff at the end! If you have more questions about how my dad is progressing, let me know.
Oh yeah, here’s an animated video (with no sound - it’s just a sample from a better site) of the procedure. I send it to people who inquire what sort of surgery dad had.