I am doing really well, guys! My surgical pain is not bad at all anymore. I am still taking muscle relaxers when I need to, and the occasional pain pill, but other than that, I'm doing pretty good on my own. And I actually drove my car yesterday and went to Target! :) I can turn my neck, though it's a little sore when I do it a lot. Right now it feels like when you get a bad muscle sprain or deep bruise (all on the back of my neck). The incision itself doesn't hurt, the area is pretty numb from nerves being cut. The dermabond glue is starting to peel off and it's hard not to pick at it....but I'm trying my best to leave it alone. I don't want to get an infection. It's healing pretty well.
I can't say yet if it's going to help my chiari pain, since my pain was all in my neck and my neck is still sore. But I'm glad I did this. The first few days were terrible pain-wise, but then the recovery sped up a lot once I got over those days. If you'll recall, my doc told me I could hike by 2 weeks...I think I probably could, albeit short flat distances at first. Swimming laps might take longer than the 3-4 weeks he said, because I still have some pain when I lift my arms higher than my shoulders. But I have confidence that I will get there within 5-6 weeks or so. I'm pretty young (just turned 30) and very active, so I think that works in my favor as well, you know?
Anyway, just wanted to update. I highly recommend doing this surgery endoscopically, if it is available to you as an option. It accomplishes the same things (laminectomy, craniectomy, duraplasty, etc) but with a much smaller incision and a less invasive process. I have to give mad props to the Cleveland Clinic.