So the surgery is behind me. Tuesday I had to show up at the hospital at 0845. Had a chat with the nurse at Surgical Services who took all the relevant information and asked me to pee in a cup (a pregnancy test being mandatory for all women of child-bearing age). I changed into a sexy ensemble of gown, robe and booties, with a coordinating hat for the OR. All my possessions (even my book and yarn <sob>) were put in a bag for the locker. I was given a warm blanket and told to wait, with only a small selection of the usual crappy reading material available!
The anaesthesiologist came to talk to me, and the doctor who was to perform the surgery, and my left ear was marked with pen.
I was taken through pretty much on schedule, about 10.50. Walking into an operating room is daunting – you just wish you were asleep before they wheeled you in. I had to lie down and be hooked up to the anaesthetic with a needle in the right arm, an oxygen mask taped to my face, leg warmers slipped over my lower legs and a blood pressure cuff on the left arm.
It was to be a semi-awake process, though I feel like I was all the way under for part of it. I came to a more conscious state while the doctor was still working away in my ear – it was quite unpleasant and I think I flinched a little. The doctor said later I was moving at the most crucial part, but he likes his patients to be able to answer questions to test their hearing, hence not knocking them out completely. I don’t remember the questions.
So what he did was remove part of the stapes bone and replace it with a teeny tiny titanium prosthesis that’s only 4mm long by .5mm thick. There was also some drilling involved to remove calcification from the otosclerosis.
I woke fully in the recovery room and was told not to turn my head to the left. I had to keep it straight or turned to the right all day. When they decided I was ready, I was wheeled off to a regular ward with only two beds in it. My roommate turned out to be a youngish man who had an incision scar all the way down his tummy, and he was quite chatty and sociable, and said he had oesophageal cancer and he’d had part of it removed.
I slept for a while and when I could, I nabbed a passing nurse and asked for my cellphone from my bag. Texted Tai Chi Man to let him know my status. The rest of the day was spent sleeping, or chatting with the occasional visitor (who kindly brought flowers, food and friendly faces), and texting/emailing a few friends. My drip had an anti-nausea drug added to it every eight hours for which I was very grateful.
I wasn’t allowed out of bed at all, so enjoyed using a bedpan for the first time ever (NOT recommended)!
This morning, I managed to get to the bathroom with assistance, but OMG it was like being on a boat on a rough sea. At least I brushed my teeth. The morning was basically one long wait to be discharged. About 1.00 the nurse finally brought in the forms and took the needle out of my arm, I texted dh, and managed to get dressed before he arrived. I had the luxury – well, necessity really – of a wheelchair to the exit.
Being in the car on the way home was ok, and I made it to the sofa without incident. That first cup of tea was awesome. Later I decided to go and change my clothes and freshen up. That wasn’t a good idea, as it turned out, let’s just say it’s a good thing I had a bowl to hand.
I took the chance to eat pizza for dinner. Not too much, but it was good, and my theory is that as long as I stay on the couch for at least the next four hours I should be able to keep it down. I have a blanket, pillows, my phone, iPad, crochet, water, tea and that bowl around me, so I’m set.
That’s enough typing with two thumbs. TTYL