I have been awful about updating my blog but I'm a busy bilateral bee. I got my stitches taken out on Saint Patty’s Day at some gosh awful time of 7:45 in the morning. The doctor said everything looks great. As I mentioned in my other post that when I was in the recovery room, the doctor said something about a hole in my head but I was a little preoccupied with organizing a manhunt for my Blackberry to care about a little hole in my head. I was concerned about it later on.
As I was getting the stitches ripped out of my head, the subject of the hole happened to come up. The area where the surgeon wanted to create a bed to put my implant in was thin and in doing so small part of the Dura Mater which is the covering of the brain had a hole in it and some cerebrospinal fluid leaked out. The surgeon had to patch that up. It is a similar to when they implant a baby because their skull is thin and pliable. First, I was a little freaked out because I was envisioning this implant sitting right on top of my brain but it is actually sitting on mostly skull except for a small portion of Dura Mater. That makes me feel a little better. I had to ask if I had to take any extra caution in activities and he told me to use common sense - right.
After the question and answer session with my surgeon, I preceded right back home to take a much needed shower. I admit that with this surgery, I was not as strict with the doctor’s orders as I was the last time. Day three, I decided to throw caution to the wind and slather the incision up with Neosporin and hire a cheap shampoo girl (Mom) to wash my hair. Afterwards, I dried the incision thoroughly with Hydrogen Peroxide and applied a layer of Neosporin. I guess I should put a half hearted disclaimer here: If this influences you to blatantly disregard your doctor’s orders, I am or this blog in no way shape or form responsible for your actions.
Now with the legalities out of the way, I wanted to create a post specifically to compare and contrast my left ear which was my first implant and my right ear which is the newest addition to magnetville. I revisited my surgery posts for my left ear. A wave of nostalgia came over me but I'm over it already. :)
LEFT: When I woke up in the recovery room, I was in a good amount of pain. I felt as if my head got ran over by a Mack truck. The nurses were quick to shoot my IV up with some pain relievers. God bless them. It took a little while to come around from the anesthesia. I was under for three and half hours because my doctor had some issues getting the last electrode in but finally got the bugger in.
RIGHT: This time, I woke up with very little pain. I was able to wake up quicker since my surgery was only two and half hours. I was up and around within a half hour. The surgeon had no problem getting all the electrodes and the only issue were the leaking brain juice.
LEFT: I parked my big ol’ butt on a recliner for a week. There was no way, no how I could lie down. When I tried to lay flat in my bed, I experienced the sensation of a spinning vortex. So the recliner it was for me.
RIGHT: The first night, I slept on an incline but by morning, I was sleeping flat on my back on a pillow and have continued to do so.
LEFT: I was given the generic form of Vicodin that I was instructed to take two every four hours as needed. Well, I needed the whole damn bottle because I felt as if I got into a car accident with the aches and pains. I was a pill popping freak with this surgery.
RIGHT: This time around, I got the good stuff - Percoset which did the trick beautifully. Strictly for pain management - one in the morning and one at night for five days then I switched over to Tylenol gelcaps. One bad side effect of Percoset is constipation so try to increase your daily intake of fiber while popping the perks. :) Words of wisdom.
Metallic Taste Disturbance:
LEFT: I didn't get this side effect the first time and anytime I read that someone suffered from it, my reaction was always the same - dude, that sucks.
RIGHT: What goes around, comes around and it rolled around on day four, I went to take a sip of coffee that I had slumberly prepared that morning and as it coated my taste buds, a distinct copper flavor was detected in the right hemisphere of my tongue. Much to my dismay, I went on a coffee hiatus. It took about a week and a half for that to go away and for that next week and half, I found out what the headless horseman felt like but I lost four pounds. :)
Day of Doom: Day Three
LEFT: When day three rolled around, I was feeling pretty crappy.
RIGHT: When day three rolled around, I was feeling so good that I went back to work on day four which I will now admit was a very stupid move because I was so drained just sitting there. I resumed my right to recovery at home on day five with all the Food Network I could watch.
LEFT: The only time that I experienced dizziness was when I laid down and I tried very hard not to do that!
RIGHT: Nothing at all :)
LEFT: I remember getting the cotton ball feeling with this ear for about two weeks.
RIGHT: The only time I experience the sensation of fullness is when I bend over.
LEFT: My jaw was tender but I could eat a hamburger without cringing in pain.
RIGHT: This time around was ouch. the jaw tenderness was bumped up a couple of notches. I couldn't yawn without flinching. Since opening my jaw anymore than an inch caused me to wince in pain, food preparation was a fiasco. Everything had to be in extra small bites.
LEFT: It was the fattest ear that I have ever seen in my life.
RIGHT: If I had any swelling, I couldn't tell and neither could anyone else. By the third day, curiosity got the best of me because I wanted to see whether the magnet from my processor could find the implant. It had no problem attaching itself.
LEFT: The top of my ear felt as if it had been anesthetized for three months. It took about three months for me to get feeling back into my ear. I could not sleep on for three weeks. In fact, the day of my activation was the day I was able to sleep on it.
RIGHT: Considering that I am two and half weeks post surgery, it is still numb but I can sleep on it now!
LEFT: Before the surgery, I had a major case of tinnitus that sounded like a train going around my head. After the surgery, I woke up to complete quiet. It was so pleasant to have that turned off. :) I did experience short episodes of tinnitus but after activation, it was gone.
RIGHT: I had some minor tinnitus before the surgery. After the surgery, it was like a different album was playing. Now, I don't hear much of anything except on occasions. I expect it to be less than noticeable when I get turned on.
LEFT: I don't even want to recount the anguish I went through when I just attempted to blow my nose with this surgery. I was truly paralyzed in pain.
RIGHT: Considering the painful experience I had with the left ear, I didn't want to take any chances. I decided to follow doctors orders on this and wait the two weeks before I attempt to blow my nose. The result was snot and a slight ear pop. :)
LEFT: My neck was a little stiff but not near as stiff as the right ear.
RIGHT: My neck was stiff for about two weeks until I could move my neck side to side with no problems.
LEFT: I looked like I got kicked in the side of the face by a mule. It wasn't pretty.
RIGHT: I think I had a slight discoloration on my temple. Other then that, I looked good.
LEFT: I was popping so many pills that knocked me out that I was having cat naps every two hours.
RIGHT: I was tired but not to the state of nap time. :)
LEFT: I didn't dare to drive until the sixth day. I cherished the fact that I had a driver license.
RIGHT: I was driving by day three despite the stiffness I had in my neck.
In conclusion, my right ear surgery and recovery went much smoother then the first one. It was so drastically different. Here I am two and half weeks post surgery and I am back to work full time. I went back to the gym doing light work outs. My incision is healing quite nicely. It really has been a super simple recovery. My activation is a week from today - April 2nd at 2pm.
The only gripe I have about this surgery is finding out that I am not as thick headed as I thought I was.