Daily Archives: July 25, 2008

Pictures – CI Surgery Day

I finally have pictures to share.  They don’t start out graphic but there are photos of my incisions at the end here so if you are squeamish, run quickly!!  :D

This is the morning of surgery, just as we were getting ready to leave the house at about 4:15 am or so.  I am in all my glory with no makeup on and no contact lenses in — I’m wearing my glasses.  (Dave modified these while I was in surgery, so I hold them up to my face now.  I only use glasses first thing in the morning and right before bed — otherwise I have my contacts in):

15 am

Wendi & Dave, July 22 at 4:15 am

This is in the hospital, while I was waiting to be wheeled down to the anesthesia area.  They have the IV in at this point but nothing “good” is going through just yet.  :D

In the hospital, before anesthesia

In the hospital, before anesthesia

I grabbed the camera and got a picture of Dave holding my purse, which is pretty much like asking him to wear a tutu and dance across the room for me.  He usually acts like touching my purse physically burns him…ha ha!  Here he is proudly doing his purse-holding duty for me:

In the pre-op area

In the pre-op area

This is after we got home — the same day I had the surgery.  The head bra was so tight that I looked like I was frowning — I’m trying my best to smile and raise my eyebrows here!  I’m still sleeping on the couch this way, because it’s the easiest way for me to keep my head elevated:

After Surgery on July 22, in the late afternoon

After Surgery on July 22, in the late afternoon

I’m wearing one of Dave’s old shirts in that picture, BTW.  I found that t-shirts were not even an option — the neckhole isn’t big enough.  But polo shirts work well because I can unbutton them enough to make a wide enough opening for my swollen head.  Luckily we have a lot of those, between the two of us!

Okay…warning!  Pictures of the stitches are coming up next.  This is your last chance to bail!!

My left ear (next two pictures).  This is just after we cut off the bandage.  My face was amazingly swollen this morning but I think it’s a little better now.  Anyway, left ear:

Left ear, after surgery

Left ear, after surgery

Left ear, right after we took off the bandage

Left ear, right after we took off the bandage

Now here’s my right ear:

Right ear, a little hard to see in this photo

Right ear, a little hard to see in this photo

And another photo of the right ear:

Right ear, after CI surgery

Right ear, after CI surgery

I look forward to posting pictures when my face isn’t swollen a mile wide — hopefully next week things will be looking a little better.  :)

I am feeling quite a lot better tonight — my head isn’t quite as heavy and numb.  I am still taking the Vicodin though and don’t plan to stop just yet.  Breaking them in half is working out pretty well.  It’s getting easier to walk around and sit up for periods of time without feeling totally exhausted.  The doctor wants me to take it easy for 2 weeks though, so I don’t plan to jump up and start doing too much just yet.  I’ll be happy if I can get some more computer time in over the weekend!

More tomorrow, I’m sure!!  :D

3 Days Later

The head bra is gone!!  What a relief.  That has really helped with the pain, I have to say.  It was so tight that originally I could barely open my eyes — I had to push it back off my eyebrows a bit.  I looked like I was grimacing and pissed off — it was really comical.  But it was really, really tight and I think that made my head ache more.

Dave cut it off last night but I was afraid to wash my hair just then.  I waited until this morning.  To be honest, it felt good to shower but also kind of scary.  I am still nervous about touching my head and not sure where I should be touching or not.  My hair is clean and no longer crusty (LOL) but it looks like crap.  Actually, I don’t look like myself at all right now.  My face is totally swollen — both sides of my face by the jaw line are completely puffed out.  I still have a little bit of a crease in my forehead from the head bra.  Yikes!!  My hair looks frizzy and limp but that’s because I can’t style it.  I guess it really doesn’t matter what I look like since I don’t plan to leave the house for quite a while yet!

So, three days later.  My head feels very heavy and numb, but rarely am I in pain.  If we had a laptop I would be posting a lot more but it really takes a lot out of me to walk over to the computer and sit here to type, so the long, detailed description of surgery day will be a post for the future.  Right now I come over to the computer a couple times a day to check mail, mostly.

I’m still sleeping on the couch and imagine I will be for a while.  The lower part of my back swells a little bit from having to lay on my back all night long (no sleeping on either side since both ears were done) but it doesn’t hurt — I just feel this swollen lump at the base of my spine.  Weird!  Dave is sleeping out in the living room with me — the first night on the love seat, all curled up (poor guy!) and now on the floor.  What a sweetie.  When he isn’t here, the kids take care of me — Paige is especially doing a great job and she even made me a grilled cheese sandwich yesterday!

Dave said it looks like there’s some kind of “second skin” over my incision area — no stitches or staples.  He said the doctor mentioned the stitches were under the skin.  I have a post-op check on August 8, which I think is about 2 weeks after my surgery date.

I feel lightheaded from the Vicodin but I’m still taking it regularly — I break the pills in half during the day.  I may look really frightening  :D but I actually don’t feel as bad as I expected to.  I’m not nauseated or dizzy.  I just don’t have a lot of stamina, so I am staying on the couch most of the day.

I’ve learned it’s not worth the calories to eat bread or any kind of bread item (sandwich, etc.)  It has no flavor at all, even if I push it to the back of my tongue.  So I’m sticking with soup, pudding, oatmeal, fruit — we had Italian ice last night and that was tasty.  The front of my tongue is still a dead area, taste wise.  But coffee tastes fantastic — I guess when I drink it, it goes straight to the back of my tongue.  Yum!!

My activation date and mappings were set up yesterday….August 20th is the big day!!  It’s also the day of Paige’s high school registration so we have to see if the school will make an exception for us and let us take her at 10 am.  My mapping is at 1:00 pm so we have to leave at noon; the school has her scheduled to get her books, etc. from noon to 12:30.  If they refuse to budge then I guess my mom will have to take her, but hopefully they’ll work with us.  Anyway, I go back once every week for 6 weeks for my future mappings.  Yay!

It’s hard to believe I’ll feel normal again, as I sit here with my heavy, numb head :D but I know things will be so much better in just a week, so I’m giving it time.  In the meantime, have I mentioned how happy I am??  :D  I can’t believe the surgery went so well and so quickly, with such minor side effects.  I absolutely do NOT regret doing both ears at once, you guys.  I admire those of you that have gone back for a second CI because I’m a wimp and wouldn’t want to go through this again…LOL!!  I’m serious — I’m really impressed by you all.  I actually hadn’t really thought of the extra recovery time, etc. when I first mentioned wanting to do both ears at once…and once I started to really think about it, it was too late to turn back.  Now it’s behind me and whew, I’m glad!!

Well, I think I’ll head back to the couch.  One of these days I’ll get to the details, I promise.  I know my posts are usually SO long but I really wanted to remember every little detail when I started this blog, which is why I write those kinds of posts.  I know some day I’ll look back and will have forgotten all those little things.  I never want to forget!  :)

Thanks for all of your support and good wishes — I can’t tell you how much it means to me!

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