Monday, May 9, 2011

Surgery Happened

You know the saying "Life Happened?"...(or "happens").  Well, recently, SURGERY happened.  It was a simple outpatient procedure to correct a hereditary hearing problem.  But it was still SURGERY.  I thought I was cool with it....until a day or two before.  I was pretty much freaking out!  I was an emotional, teary, blubbering MESS. 

I've only had surgery 3 other times in my life.  The first was in 4th grade.  I had ear tubes put in because I couldn't hear.  It was because I had SO MUCH fluid constantly in my ears.  That is the only time I had ever been put under general anesthesia.  The second time was in 8th grade.  I had an in-grown toenail surgically removed.  That was a local anesthetic.  Kind of gross, not fun, but not too traumatic either.  The third was the birth of my daughter.  An Emergency C-section.  I was TERRIFIED.  Here I was planning to have a nice easy birth in little old Concordia, KS.  It was going to be "great" b/c I was going to get an epidural (which I wasn't able to have with my 8lb 1oz son b/c our hospital is small and only has one anesthesiologist who was stuck in emergency surgery during my delivery!).  Well, Miss Keely progressed too quickly and her heart rate started dropping when I tried to push.  I BAWLED the whole way to the OR.  Everything went completely fine.  Keely just had an abnormally long umbilical cord and it was tucked up around her stomach...so every time I pushed, it made her heart rate go down.  That was the first major surgery I'd ever had - but I was still awake.

So, I was pretty freaked out about the whole general anesthesia thing.  The condition I have is called Otosclerosis.  It basically means that I have a bony growth that forms on the middle ear bone, called the Stapes.  That bony growth eventually makes the middle ear bone not be able to vibrate properly - which doesn't allow sound to travel through the ear canal like it's supposed to.  The only people that had really started to notice that I hadn't been hearing well lately were my husband and my co-worker.  I could tell that I had a hard time hearing male voices, and other low sounds - but I never had trouble talking to people face to face because I could read their lips.  I also didn't have trouble on the phone because I used my left ear (it's not as bad as my right one). 

So...they performed a Stapedectomy - to remove the Stapes bone with the bony growth - and replace it with a PISTON.  My MIL went with me to the initial appointment.  She and I both thought it was kind of funny that I was having this type of "part" put in my ear -and thought my mechanic BIL and service manager hubby would think it was pretty funny. 

My step-mom came with me on the big day.  I had a HORRIBLE migraine two nights before the surgery.  I called her and was bawling.  I think she knew I was pretty stressed out about the whole thing.  So, between that and carrying Keely's twin frame, box and mattress up to the top floor from the garage by myself...causing my neck to need a chiropractic adjustment (I cried at the chiropractor too)....I was pretty miserable!!  I was nervous the whole way to Overland Park the night before.  I was nervous that morning...and then I had to wait over an HOUR after being prepped for surgery.  Talk about BORING, and even MORE nerve-racking.  I remember being wheeled into the operating room, and thinking it was pretty freaky looking.......and then I remember waking up in the recovery room.  The nurse was there beside me - but I was pretty freaked out.  I didn't go crazy or anything, but tears started running from my eyes.  I think I was scared.  She asked me if I was scared, and I nodded yes.  She asked if I wanted my Mom, and I nodded yes.  She came back, and I knew I was okay - I was just pretty out of it.  They said I had trouble waking up after surgery, but thought that I was just really tired (Gee, ya think?  I had NOT sleep well the 2-3 nights leading up to it - so my body probably took advantage of the anesthetic and got some much needed rest!). 

I felt like I had a bad ear ache, and my throat kind of hurt from the tube they have to shove down it.  They had me eat some ice chips, then drink some water, and then eat some applesauce before taking a Vicadin.  After that I was feeling pretty good!  LOL  I wasn't in any pain.  I wasn't even very dizzy, and I was NOT nauseaus...so that was awesome.  I was afraid I'd feel like I needed to puke afterwards - but nope! 

We were able to leave shortly after, but they recommended that we break up the long trip home.  We stopped in Topeka for a late lunch, and I felt good enough to eat pretty well.  I even felt good enough to go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get Keely a new bedding set for her birthday...AND to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few things I needed for a couple projects.  That's right people...shopping for birthday gifts and craft projects ON the SAME DAY as SURGERY!  Woot!

I had to stay the night at my parent's house that evening because I wasn't allowed to drive home and I had to be monitered for 24 hours.  The next day I got up, stopped by "Total Addiction" in Clay Center b/c I've been following them on facebook.  They said 1st time shoppers got to pick out a free $5 ring!  SWEET!  I also found some cute little red earrings (I've been looking for cute little red earring since last Fall!)...AND I picked out a blue pair for Jill for Administrative Assistant's Day.  When I got back to Concordia, I ordered flowers for Jill, picked my daughter up from preschool, and covered the shop over the lunch hour (against doctor's orders).  And then I went home and took a LONG nap!

The next week and a half were a bit of a blur.  I tried to take it easy, but of course DIDN'T do a very good job of that.  I had a really bad dizzy spell the next day while covering the lunch hour, and barely made it home and up the stairs to my room.  We had to make a quick trip to Olathe/Gardner that weekend to celebrate our God-son's first communiun....I was dragging...  I definitely have a new respect for surgery.  It takes a lot out of you, and you have to REST so that your body can recover.  Even for a tiny little procedure on your EAR.  It's still a little sensitive, and I'm not allowed to get water in it for six weeks...which makes washing my hair difficult.  They said to put a cotton ball in my ear and cover it with vaseline.  I tried it.  Twice.  It does NOT work.  I finally bought some ear plugs from Wal-Mart that kids use for swimming when they have ear tubes.  I still get mildly dizzy every once it a while, but I'm definitely doing MUCH better this week.  Finally feeling back to myself, and hopefully soon I'll notice that I can HEAR better!  :)  BIG Thanks for all my family and friends for their help and support and love and prayers!  :)

P.S.  I would have totally posted pics, but they freaked out some people at the shop....so I don't want to gross anyone out or anything...

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