My first post op exam was this morning. The highlights:
I am healing very well, considering the secondary infection from the breathing tube, and the rough night I had Monday.
I won’t have an audiology test for 6 weeks, but my hearing has obviously improved. My surgeon says he didn’t have any worries on that account; the placement of my implant was “perfect”.
I still have gel packing in my ear that needs time to dissolve, and I’m still healing, so it will be up to three months before my hearing stabilizes to its eventual level.
I didn’t spend enough of the last week resting. My surgeon said that even without the damage to my throat during the procedure (which he said isn’t unheard of, but isn’t common either) I’m still recovering from a major surgery, and he basically made at face at me for not having spent that whole time on the couch, being taken care of. Apparently most people would have just accepted that their bodies were healing from grevious injury. It just didn’t feel like an option for me.
After a couple of days of overwhelming super-hearing, I ended up having more input than I could take, Monday night. I had a terribly physical reaction, nausea and tinnitus so loud I didn’t get to sleep until after 4 am. On top of that, my implant felt out of place, and heavy, like someone had hung a fishing weight from my eardrum; I couldn’t get comfortable, even after two Percocet. Tuesday morning I woke up — and it was so quiet. I couldn’t hear out of my right ear at all.
As the day went on, it slowly mostly came back. I haven’t quite regained my super hearing, and my ear is still popping a lot (like when you change elevation) but I think if I’m careful, it will heal. Given a choice — because I’ve been reminded now that it’s one or the other — I’d rather hear too much than not at all. It was scary to think I’d screwed up and maybe lost the hearing I just got. That’s not an experience I want to have again.
I’ve run out of disability time off, so it’s back to work for me. I’m still taking the antibiotics for the infection, until they run out, and now I’m started on an antibiotic drop for my ear that should help dissolve the packing. I have to be gentle with myself, and maybe do a little less than I’ve been trying to get done, at least for a few more days.
Well, I’m supposed to, anyway. But I have a family to take care of, a day job, writing and editing to do… A week off was already too much. I’ve got people asking me why things aren’t done yet; did I mail that check to my mother? did I get that email about that project? do I know where the key to the prescription cabinet is at work, because my coworkers are texting me?
Recovery time is nice in theory, but real life doesn’t work that way, for me.