This past week was really rough. Last Wednesday, I had some ear surgery that was to reconstruct my ear canal and the inner bones in my ear. The surgery was supposed to be relatively straight-forward, but wound up being much more challenging for the doctor (the surgery took a lot longer) and for me (I came out of the surgery very ill and in pain). There was more damage and decay in my middle ear area which required more drilling than anticipated. Plus, they had to lift and move my ear drum back in place to make more space (the red area in the photo-mine was plastered to the back area). The third bone (the stapes) was almost completely dissolved and gone, so a prosthesis was put in place but in an area where there wasn’t much left. I came out of the ear surgery very, very sick, vomiting and in pain. This week I’ve improved but only in very slow, small increments. (Earlier today, I felt a bit better — this evening I have a massive earache.)
We (the doctor/me) are not sure quite why I was so violently sick coming out of surgery. We’re sort of waiting to see if it was something major (perhaps the titanium bone punctured the membrane of my ear nerves (that purple area) and it could be leaking inner ear fluid?). That could be why I’ve experienced so much discomfort, dizziness, throbbing and pain. We’re on hold and waiting to see if I’ll need to go back in for more ear surgery. I am a bit better, though still have a lot of ear pain. It wasn’t supposed to be like this… but… I’ve had a history of very difficult surgeries with complications… so perhaps this is reasonably normal for me? That’s what we’re waiting to see. To be honest, I’m a little scared still having such a massive ear ache and discomfort. I’ll hopefully know more on Friday morning — and hopefully a second surgery won’t be necessary.
You know what I’ve learned this week? All those trivial worries don’t really matter in the big scheme of life…
- Boy, do I have an amazing support network of friends, family, and loving people beyond. How incredibly much that means.
- When you are in the hospital, you really, really need someone there to be your health advocate… to keep track of meds, to pass information along to nurses and those who don’t know what’s going on as they come on shift. My husband was amazing–and I really needed that support when I was heaving and sick.
- I’m really, really happy with my life. I mean, there aren’t a lot of times when you assess life in its totality and look at the finality of life, but when things were going wrong, it took me to a different place. I just had this deep underlying contentment that things are/were okay. Have you ever gone on a trip and when you return, you feel like you have a new perspective on life? It was like that. I looked at my life from a different lens. Not that I was ready to die or anything, but I had this general calm that it’s okay just to take things as they came and to let go of trivial worries…to sleep and rest and know that my loved ones and friends would take care of things for me.
- Yeah–so trivial worries…the night before my surgery I found out that someone had been stealing content from my blog for years…posting it on their own blog. Weird. I’m not sure why they would do that. I still have yet to file the copyright violations to get that taken care of…but in the scheme of life…goodness, it hardly matters.
But then in a way, I also learned that this week that often ONLY the trivial stuff matters:
- The door gently creaking open and creaking shut again to see if I was okay.
- The kids coming up to whisper what fun they had just had…
- ED patting me gently on the cheek and letting me sleep with her favorite stuffed animal.
- Hubby keeping track of all the meds, bringing me meals.
- Waking up to see love notes and hearts by my bedside.
- Meals, flowers, and magazines brought over that just shout, “we love you.”
- Talking to my sis and close friends.
- LD running to bring me some apple juice.
- The incredibly nice words of support… emails, comments… While I wasn’t up for looking at the computer, Hubby would tell me so and so wrote and sent well-wishes. It made me smile.
- All that little stuff matters a lot, doesn’t it? It’s the little stuff that makes your heart full and happy.
And the kids? Grams and Gramps came out from Missouri to stay with us. They’ve held down the fort — making meals, transporting the kids to activities, and even being “substitute” homeschool parents. They’ve had playdates with friends. The kids are even doing some basic schoolwork while I’m out of commission. They’ve done craft kits and crystal kits and all kinds of things “out of the norm.” I should refer back to that first point about having an amazing support network!
It’s been a big, huge week. I am so hugely grateful for my family, friends, and my life. What a incredible lesson for this homeschool mom!!
My other ear posts: