Yesterday I had the stapedectomy on my right ear, which I hope will repair some of my recent hearing loss. l am recovering at home now, and have a week off of work before my post-op follow-up appointment.
Getting strep a few days before I was due to go in for surgery was, so far, the worst part of this experience. I’m so lucky that I realized what it was in time to take antibiotics and be healed enough to actually get the surgery done… But I wasn’t sure they were going to let me do it until a few minutes before they wheeled me into the operating room. Not only did I have that stress, but since I wasn’t allowed to take aspirin, ibuprofen, or any cold medicine that contained either of those, I basically suffered through several days of feeling like I’d swallowed crushed glass, just hoping that it would be worth it.
The surgery seems to have gone as well as can be expected; the anesthesiologist did cut up my throat inserting the breathing tube, and I’ve been coughing up blood since yesterday morning. It’s not a lot, but it hurts, and worse — it shakes my head so hard that I get vertigo, can’t stand up.
But the vertigo passes. I have some tinnitus, but not more than usual. I’m exhausted, but considering the one-two punch of illness+surgery, it’s not a surprise. I didn’t wake up with any of the serious potential side effects: no facial paralysis, I’m not dead. My post-op care instructions include that I can’t lift anything, bend over, or even blew my nose, so me and my couch will be spending a lot of quality time together this week.
I am keeping a more detailed log off the experience, with lots of bits that will likely end up in some story, somewhere. Would you be interested in reading more in-depth about this process, or do you prefer the highlights only? Let me know in the comments.
Because a couple people have asked: yes, I do have medical expenses. Co-pay to the audiologist and ENT surgeon. Hospital fees. Medication. 8 days off of work. (Fortunately all of the doctor costs, including the big surgical fees, are covered by my insurance, once my $1000 deductible is met, but I still have to pay that.) If you’d like to contribute, click here, or use my PayPal address — same as my email: carriecuinn at the gmail. And, thank you. Big or small, anything helps, even if it’s just enough to buy my son a pizza so he is fed even if I can’t stand up to cook him dinner.
I’m planning to use this week to rest, and get caught up on Lakeside Circus (have you been reading us? You should!). I’m also doing some freelance editing, prepping for my next workshop offering, and hopefully some writing. Whatever I can get done while being basically immobile. I’ll let you know how that goes :)
In case you missed it, my poem “Myth of the Mother Snake” came out at Liminality Magazine this week! I’m so thrilled to be included in their Spring issue. Please do let me know what you think. Thanks go to Bryan Thao Worra and Don for being my first-readers on that poem, and to editors Shira Lipkin and Mat Joiner for buying it.
I appreciate that they kept the stepped formatting that I submitted it with. I rarely care about that sort of thing, but in this case I felt it enhanced the work a little more. I let them know that in my submission cover letter, and though of course I would have accepted it if they didn’t, it was a happy surprise to find they agreed.
Writing this has used up my energy, so it’s back to sleep time. I give it a couple of days before I completely hate this forced resting, by the way. Luckily, I have so many good books to read in the meantime. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments, too!