Am so glad surgery is over with! I was really nervous about it all and didn’t get much sleep last night.
Surgery was first thing in the morning but I had folks to keep me awake and relaxed until I was taken into the operating room. Jeff (interpreter, aka scuba diving instructor), Tanner (interpreter intern who is also a friend of mine), Dennis, my mom, and my dad all showed up. It was so nice to have people chatting about things other than the surgery to distract me!
I signed a bunch of consent forms and answered the same medical history intake questions over and over with about 5-6 different nurses/anesthesiologist/surgeon. They got the IV in on the first try this time–yay!
I actually don’t remember “falling asleep,” the last thing I remember is a mask being put on me (I assume for anesthesia).
Surgery took about 2-3 hours without any complications and went really well.
I must have woken up just as they pulled the breathing tube out of me. I don’t remember seeing or feeling the breathing tube but something affected my breathing pattern enough that it made me panic a bit. I was still out of it and was unable to communicate due to the influence of anesthesia. Between my experience with asthma, the fact that the last thing I saw was a mask, the removal of the breathing tube, confusion, and the change in my breathing pattern all at once made me think I was having serious problems breathing (I wasn’t). It scared me.
I thought maybe surgery had been cancelled because of breathing issues. The anesthesia wore off as I was wheeled out of the operating room to the recovery room and I was able to process the situation a bit better. It was then that I realized me panicking was affecting my ability to catch my breath and that surgery was over. I was able to calm myself down before the nurses became concerned and I looked up at the clock.
It was 10:40 am (I was wheeled into the OR about 7:40 am and surgery started around 8 am) which is almost exactly the same time I remember the first CI surgery being over at. Things were perfectly fine after I stopped letting my imagination run away once again.
I got the a-ok to leave after they checked to make sure there was no facial nerve damage and all my vital signs looked great.
I got home around noon where I just kind of sat around, watched TV, dozed off every hour, and took it easy. The left ear is actually a bit tender to touch due to the placement of the bandage and to being on that side while the right ear was being implanted. The right ear feels all smashed up against the side of my face due to the bandage. I do have some pain but for the most part it’s been manageable.
I. Can’t. Wait. To. Get. The. Bandage. Off. I think it’s a source of some of the pain and discomfort…although it does protect it against being banged against the chair/bed when I move around.
Am also having some popping in the newly implanted ear which is normal right after surgery.
I’ve been eating pudding and Mac & Cheese which is amazing compared to the first time around. My throat/mouth was extremely dry and mouth was numb in additional to extreme stiffness of the jaw/face with my first CI. With the first CI, it took me 5 minutes to get ONE goldfish into my mouth, chew it and then I couldn’t even swallow it because my mouth/throat was so dry. I currently have some stiffness, mild sore throat, and mild pain with chewing hence the soft food.
Am hoping to get some sleep tonight and that the pain level doesn’t get any worse (I would rank it a 4-5 on a scale of 10). Overall, I’m pleased with how surgery went and am thankful I got to head home immediately afterwards.
Activation Day is August 9th.
Picture of my insides! Left picture is where he drilled a small (very small) hole in the cochlea for the cochlear implant. Right picture is the edge of the implant after placement.
Thank you to everyone who sent texts, emails, and Facebook messages. Your support meant a lot, you put a smile on my face today. It made things easier.