Saturday, October 02, 2010

Post-Op Recovery

Wednesday night

After coming home a few hours after surgery (yes, it is considered an outpatient procedure),
I was only able to sleep 1 ½ to 2 hours at a time. I slept downstairs on the couch for the next week and a half.

Hubs cut up some watermelon and made cucumber salad. That was pretty much what I ate for the next two days.

I did not have any bouts with nausea since leaving the hospital, except for Friday night, I felt some nausea, but it could have been the pain killer.

The kids still had school so I was able to veg out without interruption during the day. I faithfylly took my antibiotic medicine three times a day for a week. I only took painkillers as needed, but I only took some for about two days.

Friday I got the "face-enhancing" headband off. I did not get the “big relief” I got the first time around. I still felt weak. My neck felt stiff on that side and my jaw hurt. I couldn’t open it wider than an inch. I thought it was the headband that put pressure on my jaw that made it hard to open, but it wasn’t. I tried to joke that maybe I was “knocked out” in the jaw instead of anesthesia prior to surgery.

It felt good to shower and wash my hair. I noticed that the incision was along the back of my ear instead of along the hairline like the other side. I wondered if that made a difference in why the jaw hurt (having the incision closer to the ear and jaw). Then again, there are several nerves (facial nerve, taste nerve, and one other nerve I can't think of now) that could have be disturbed during surgery.

I ate flattened toast and soup for the next couple of days and still slept off and on through the night.

But I did notice something: I had NO taste disturbance this time. I had to test it a few times to make sure by chewing food on one side of my mouth and then the other. Nope. I did not lose my sense of taste.

Sunday, four days post-op, I washed three loads of wash and did some cooking. I felt so weak. Maybe I did too much too soon, but I had to do some picking up around the house. It wasn’t going to clean up by itself. (With the first CI surgery, I don't remember this weakness. I was totally zapped. Imagine grabbing a chair by the stove and browning some meat. That was how weak I was.)

On Wednesday, the week after, I had a date with a steamroller. This was also the day I was under attack by germs. Yep, I caught a cold. My husband caught one a few days earlier and I guess I must have touched the remote or computer keys or something else he touched and got sick. I had a cough and runny nose. I was a drippy faucet for two days.

The steamroller, you ask? The mammogram. Maybe that’s not a good enough description, but it does “flatten”. After the results of my mammo, I had to go back on Friday to have it done again. Gah. Turns out I have a cyst and they want to keep it monitored.

The next four days were tough. It was hard not to blow my nose. After a CI surgery, you are told not to blow your nose. If you have to sneeze, keep your mouth open. You even “grounded” from flying an airplane unless the doctor says otherwise. You have to avoid anything that may cause your ear to pop.

Let me tell you, there were times when I’d forget out of habit and start to blow. In mid-blow, I’d feel this unpleasant sensation of my eardrum expanding. I’d freeze, “Oh, no.” Then it’d pass. I pretty much just kept a Kleenex in my hand to catch the drips. I was thinking about tying something around my head to keep the Kleenex in place so I could be “hands free”, but decided I’d look ridiculous.

By Sunday, a week and a half after surgery, I felt more like myself. I kept dabbing antibiotic cream on my incision twice a day.

I got my stitches out the next day. The incision looked good. I told the doctor that there was no facial paralysis or taste disturbance.

It just seemed like it took me longer to recover from the surgery than the first time. Maybe because of the cold or maybe every surgery is different.

I am getting better all the time. The ear still feels rubbery. It might be a good four months before my ear feels “normal” again.

Next: The activation. Stay Tuned.


At Mon Oct 04, 03:12:00 AM , Blogger hillgrandmom said...

Good to know you are slowly getting back to normal after the surgery. I'm sure you must be apprehensive/excited about the testing for the new CI. All the best for Repeat.

At Tue Oct 05, 11:56:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to LOL at getting literally knocked out for anesthesia...yea, that would definitely give you a sore jaw! :)

I'm so glad you are feeling better now...the worst is behind you! Looking forward to your activation -- on Oct. 15th, right? (I think?)



At Fri Oct 08, 03:22:00 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Shari. Congratulations on your operation. I've been reading your blog for the past months. I've just gotten interested in eyesight problems blogs 'coz I'm actually experiencing some eye problems myself. I don't know, but some say it's part of aging. For the last couple of months, I've already visited a few optometrists. Indianapolis-based eye doctors did examinations on my left eye. How about you? Have you consulted some optometrists? Indianapolis, Indiana near Franklin is where I'm gonna stay for a while until my diagnostic results are out. Hope you do well on your post-recovery. And good luck.

At Mon Oct 11, 01:31:00 PM , Blogger Becky said...

The anesthesia alone would be miserable enough to recover are quite a trooper pulling through with a cold on top of it all!

Sounds like you're on the mend now, though, huh? Glad to hear it!


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