Just over a week ago, I had my fourth ear surgery since October. I was braced for a tough recovery. The surgery was a bit more invasive than the one three weeks ago so it was definitely uncomfortable afterwards.
As far as we know the surgery went well. Right now we’re in a long waiting game to see how things settle down. If you have followed my story, you know that I have a hole/dehiscence in the horizontal semi-circular canal (in my inner ear). My doctor said it was a bit bigger than he had anticipated and it was closer to the facial nerve than he thought (which made him nervous). He plugged the hole with bits of my own muscle (since I am apparently allergic to bone filler and bone cement).
I was told I would have severe vertigo and the recovery would be long and arduous. I was braced for the worst; in fact, I was braced for the horrible vertigo I had in November (where all I could do was sit on the couch holding my chin to keep it from moving). It hasn’t been that bad. I definitely still have balance/dizziness/vision issues that are not normal, but I have to wonder if things were SO bad all through February that where I am now is better by comparison.
What I wasn’t expecting was the incredibly loud, loud, LOUD noises I’ve had… cicada’s roaring in my ear, swooshing sounds, jingle bells and drilling sounds. At times it has been so loud that I’ve barely been able to hear out of my right (good) ear. So a pulsating, jingle-bell wielding cloud of cicadas driving through one’s head?!! That’s certainly not normal is it? Well, I was relieved to hear in my post-op check up that many people experience something like this.
I’ve been trying to do my re-hab exercises (shaking my head no and trying to keep my eyes from sliding off what I’m looking at… and nodding my head yes while looking at a fixed target). Plus, I’ve been going on walks with the kids and am looking from left to right as we walk.
Most importantly from all this, I feel hopeful…
- I feel pretty sure that I’ll be able to drive again in another week or so.
- I’ve been able to be around the family again because I am not as sensitive to noise.
- I’ve been able to read aloud to the kids again (my own voice isn’t making my cringe).
- When I go for walks, things (like the trees) aren’t jumping around as much as they were.
These are all GREAT signs! I’ve been telling my Hubby how difficult it is not to be completely better… for me this has been five MONTHS of trying to get better… whereas in reality it has only been eight DAYS since this last surgery.
I heard this really great quote that really resonated with me this past week:
There are no guarantees in life… We’ve all heard that a thousand times, but honestly — no one expects the rug to be pulled out from under them. When the straight-forward ear surgery last October led from complication to complication and things got worse and worse… to the point that I could barely leave my own bedroom — it shook me and my family to the core. But I’ve learned a lot…
- I love and am GRATEFUL for the life we’re living. We love homeschooling and despite everything have learned a LOT! Some lessons may not have been the ones we had expected to cover. My kids learned about compassion, responsibility, caring, and patience. They learned the value of being a good friend; they saw first-hand the power people have when they reach out to others. They learned we have to continue on despite our daily challenges.
Other things I’ve learned?
- I have an incredible support network!
- It’s okay to cry, but then it’s time to get back up again and continue on.
- I really love the outdoors and NEED to spend time outside!
- It’s important to be fit… it is crucial when your body is asked to do more and endure more than you ever expected.
- I love writing! It’s been an amazing outlet. In fact, I’ve been working on two different book projects.
- And… I love blogging!
My other ear posts: