Surgery thoughts

Surgery is just a little over a week away.  People are starting to ask me if I’m excited or nervous.  To be honest, I hadn’t been thinking much about the actual surgery.  At this point I’m more focused on trying to get things finished up before surgery day rolls around…I’m paranoid that I’m going to be really knocked on my feet for a week or more, so I’m trying to get as much done before surgery as I can.  Focusing on this stuff has pretty much made me forget I’m even having surgery soon!

I’ve been trying to get as much stuff together for Eric’s move to a dorm (next month) as I can.  We’ve been going through the stuff in his room together, since organization is not his strong suit, and throwing a lot of stuff out, setting other stuff aside for him to sell at Half Price Books, etc.  I’ve got Paige’s appointment for her school physical coming up on Tuesday.  I have to drop off papers for a property tax exemption this week, and get to the store to buy a big pillow to use during my recovery period.  After I use it, I’ll send it with Eric to his dorm.  And of course, finishing up the orders we get throughout the week.  We’ll be closing as of Friday, which is also making me nervous.  Since that’s my only job, not taking in any money from the candle business until we reopen is going to be pretty stressful.  All I can do is hope that I recover quickly enough to reopen soon!

But yeah, it’s getting closer and I’m starting to think a little more about going under the knife.  Surgery itself doesn’t bother me too much since I’ve been through it a couple times before.  I know that I’ll be nervous, then I’ll wake up and it will be over.  It’s the waking up part that makes me most nervous.  I’m hoping they give me something to prevent nausea from the anesthesia, since I know it’s made me sick in the past.  (After the first surgery I had, to remove impacted wisdom teeth, I always made sure to mention that anesthesia makes me wake up sick to my stomach.  After that, it’s always been fine so I know that “anti nausea” stuff does work!)

I worry about feeling so bad and out of it that I won’t want to leave the hospital.  That’s what happened after the dental surgery.  They kinda had to kick me out of recovery…otherwise I would’ve stayed there all day, in a nauseated daze.  The last thing I want to do is spend the night in the hospital so I warned Dave that I might put on a brave face and then kind of collapse in the car, just to get my butt out of there.  I’ve done that before with blood draws – I feel like I’m going to faint but I smile and walk out to the car with tunnel vision, and then I collapse on the seat.  I’m fine once I put the seat back and just lay there for a while.

I’ve got to figure out something to do with my glasses so I can put them on when I wake up in recovery.  Unless I’m feeling really awesome and can just put in my contacts (which I highly doubt), I’ll have to find a way to wear my glasses with both of the arms removed.  Abbie suggested a chain or lanyard on my glasses that I can drape over my “head bra” (LOL!) and that sounds like the perfect solution, so that’s another thing I need to work on this week.  I only wear my glasses when I first wake up and for about 30 minutes before I go to sleep, so once I get home I can switch back to contact lenses.

I do worry about big surgical complications like my facial nerves being cut or damaged, but I try not to dwell on that kind of thing.  I think my biggest concern is my sense of taste being affected.  I know this is a really common complication or side effect of CI surgery, so I kind of expect it to happen.  Since I’m having both ears done at once, if my taste nerves are cut or affected then it will affect my whole tongue versus just one side.  I can’t imagine either not being able to taste anything at all, or having everything taste metallic or the opposite from what I expect it to.  I love food (a little too much…ha ha!) and I don’t eat out of boredom or stress.  When I eat (and overeat) it’s because I really enjoy the way something tastes.  It’s going to be really strange to give up that pleasure if my taste nerves are cut, so I’m a little concerned about that.  Then again, if I eat less I might lose weight, which wouldn’t be a bad thing.  😀

The only other thing I kind of expect to happen, and I’m dreading, is getting vertigo or dizziness.  I don’t have much of a problem with that, but I’ve had a couple of experiences with vertigo in the past (usually connected to a cold or ear infection) and oh my gosh.  It’s really miserable!  So I’m really hoping the vertigo and dizziness isn’t too bad during recovery.

On a totally unrelated note, we watched the final Summerfest fireworks display from our deck tonight.  Since we were outside watching, I could feel the deck shaking when the bigger fireworks went off.  It was a perfect night – no bugs, a light breeze, it had cooled off (almost to the point where I could’ve used a light jacket and long pants, instead of shorts and a t-shirt).  The fireworks went on for about 30 minutes and were absolutely spectacular!  The really cool thing was for the super loud ones (the ones that set off car alarms), I think I was hearing them a little bit!  At first I wasn’t sure, and I thought I was just feeling the vibration, but after a couple of the big ones I could definitely tell I was hearing them just a little bit.  It was so weird to actually be hearing something other than tinnitus.  In fact, I realized my tinnitus had quieted WAY down for a little bit, when I was concentrating so hard on hearing the loud fireworks.  Of course, then when I realized that and started thinking about the tinnitus it came back again.  Still though, it was a really enjoyable fireworks display and a beautiful way to cap off the evening.

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About wendiwendy

I'm a real-life bionic woman.

Posted on July 14, 2008, in Cochlear Implants & Hearing Loss, Emotions & Attitude and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I am so excited for you. I did the same thing of nesting before my surgery. The head wrap is crazy. I think my doctor used 5 pounds of graza on my head. I couldn’t lift my head without holding it with my hands. I had to wear mine for 3 days, check with your doctor before you go in. My hubby was so nervous he said the dr said 3 weeks. lol

    I tried to sleep most of the first day, so I didn’t worry about my glasses. The next morning I just put in my contacts and it was fine afterwards.

    Food, I was in pain, so I ate very little during the first week. I found because of the facial nerve monitor, I did not want to eat hot food. I ate pudding most of the time. It also helped when I took the pain pills. I lost 5 pounds the first week.

    The dizziness and balance was a big issue for me. My hubby would walk behind me and help. I didn’t fall, but felt like it for a few months. It slowly stops and gets back to normal. I didn’t drive for 3 weeks until I felt the balance was in control.

    Tinnutis is the kicker!!!!! I heard 50 big band music in my right ear and the theme from 2001 in my left. 24 hours a day until activication. It was loud!!!!! They say it might have stopped if I put in my hearing aids. I should have, but I retired them.

    Just give yourself time to recover. I pushed myself too quickly. I went food shopping on day 2. I was out to eat on day 5 and back to work on day 7. It was a little much, so if you can just take it easy and relax. I am at my one year post surgery, I am so thankful I did it. It has completely changed my life.

    Valerie

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  2. Thanks SO much, Valerie!! You are one of only 2 people that I know of who’s gotten simultaneous bilateral surgery. It’s great to hear how your recovery went so that I can have a better idea what I might experience.

    Was sleeping difficult? I just realized that’s another thing I forgot to mention. I envision propping myself up in a sitting position on the couch and just staying there for a month. LOL!

    Yes, I can definitely give myself time recovery-wise. I do still want to get back to the business ASAP but I can always call a halt and go lay down if it’s too much too soon. (Summer is our slowest time anyway.)

    I’m so used to the tinnitus it doesn’t even bother me anymore, which I guess is good. You’re right though, it is crazy!! My right side is chiming in more and more these days so I have 3 or 4 different noises swirling around in my head all the time. Very weird!!

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  3. I am going through much of the smae worries you are. Hey, if I had to live on yogurt all week, that’s fine. 🙂 And protein drinks if I can’t chew meat. I wonder if it’s bad to suck on a straw? Would that pop your ears? Acck. I gotta ask the nurse…LOL. Been asking her lots of questions. Oh well.

    Hang in there. 🙂

    Shari

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  4. Sleeping was hard when wearing the head wrap. If you have a lazy -boy it helps. I didn’t, so I used three pillows and slept on my back. I was up every 2-3 hours for pain meds.

    Now after you take the wrap off, it is easier to sleep. Your ears will feel different and be different. My doctor gave an ear lift and it took some getting use too. I suggest a contour pillow. It really helps!

    You might even get back to some working in a few days, just take it slow.

    Straws are okay. I used a straw since you can’t really lift your head back the first few days. I wished I thought of protein drinks, that sounds good. I also loved fudge pops and ice cream was good.

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  5. LOL! It is even funnier when you say the head bra 🙂 I did the same thing with the nesting. I cleaned up inside and outside, I was nuts. I was nowhere near as brave to even attempt to go out on day 2 🙂 I wasn’t even thinking of the surgery until the night before because I just consumed myself with chores.

    It will be here before you know it!

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  6. Good luck with your surgery! We will keep you in our thoughts. I posted some pictures of Brianna on her blog with the bra bandage, just in case you want to look at them for some ideas about your glasses. What about a sportsband of some sort? Well good luck and take it easy.

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  7. I was thinking about the glasses. I use a strap that I can slip on each end of my sunglasses and I can tighten the end on the back of my head so that they don’t slip off. I used to have to wear glasses that protect the eyes at my old job. They kept slipping off when I looked down, so the straps were a lifesaver. Usually you can find them at those sunglass displays at the stores. I found mine at the grocery store. Here, found a website that had straps that look similar to mine: http://www.bartswatersports.com/catalog/Sunglasses__Goggles/Floateyes_Pro_Neo_Sunglass_Strap/index.asp . They also love them for when I want to take them off, I leave them loose around my neck. Can’t find them? Oh, they are hanging by my chest. LOL.

    Good tips, Valerie.

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