(Drugs) That’s What I Want

“It’s an easy surgery. You might not even need to take Tylenol.”

This is what the surgeon told me regarding the pain related to getting a cochlear implant. I was a little surprised, since I knew I’d need stitches and all, but cool — next to no pain and I’ll be back to normal in a couple of days, aside from waiting for the swelling and stuff to go down.

Not even.

The first day was the easiest. I was sore and had a headache, but that’s to be expected. Halfway through the second day is when it hit me and I was thankful that I filled my Vicodin prescription. Holy hell. This shirt hurts. It’s like the worst ear infection I’ve ever had combined with a burning feeling on my scalp, my jaw is locking up, plus muscle pain from being in an awkward position during surgery.

Wimp! 

That’s what I thought at first. Now, I’ve walked around on a broken foot all day before, gotten tattoos, dealt with gallstones throughout a pregnancy…I didn’t think that I have a low pain threshold, but if all I needed was a Tylenol and I was still hurting, then clearly I have gotten weak lately, right?

Maybe not.

I went on some message forums for cochlear implant users and found that most people needed more than a Tylenol in the week or so after. Whew, so it’s not just me. That doesn’t exactly make my ear/head feel better, but it does help my ego a bit. (And really, I can deal with pain, it’s just when it catches me off guard like this…)

Today I found out exactly why it hurts so much. Skip to 2:19 to see the real deal.

They drilled a hole in that bone! OUCH!

I thought it was just a “We’ll make an incision, slip some implant shit in there, and stitch it up” deal. Nope. Now I don’t feel so wimpy for hurting at least, but it’s a good thing I didn’t watch that video before going through with the procedure.

My husband counted and I’ve got 22 stitches. Little Man said it reminds him of Darth Vader’s scar (except for the location of it and all, I guess), and being compared to Lord Vader is always cool. I would share the picture that I took and sent to my friends and family to gross them out, but I’ll be nice and skip it. Okay, maybe it’s less about being nice and more about not wanting to post my oily hair on the Internet. Maybe.

All right. Enough bitching from me. I’m off to neglect my house and watch more Netflix.

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Surgery Went Well

Everything went well during surgery today! No facial paralysis from a nerve being cut, doesn’t appear to be any issues with some nerve connected to taste being cut, AND I can faintly hear music out of the implanted ear with my other ear plugged — that’s a great indicator that at least not all of the residual hearing was lost! I’m also not wobbly or dizzy. The implant area hurts, but that’s to be expected. Next week I get the stitches removed and then the implant will be activated in a month.

Funny:

My husband said when the surgeon came out to give him an update, he said, “We were able to fully insert the canal.”

That’s what she said!

The people who do the implant kept telling me how I’d come in “to be turned on.”

Y’all implant people need to choose better phrasing, because I can only do that “mature 34-year-old woman” thing for so many seconds.

That’s what she said!

Also funny:

When my husband brought the kids home, Baby Girl ran in and wanted to know how Google Home was doing. This child was rather upset about me having surgery, but she didn’t say a word about it when she came in. She is low-key obsessed with Google Home (she is convinced a tiny woman lives in it) and that trumps mama. Boo!

Thanks to everyone for the positive thoughts! ❤

Tomorrow’s The Big Day

Tomorrow I have the cochlear implant surgery. I freaked out briefly and contemplated writing letters to everyone to be opened in the event of my death. (Anesthesia freaks me out.) I’ve calmed down a bit, though, and am not writing death letters anymore. I’m worried about a couple of things, but at least it’s not that. (This better not be a case of jinxing myself.)

I am a bit anxious about how my hearing is going to be over the following year. The doc emphasized yesterday that I’ll likely lose my residual hearing in the ear being implanted, which I knew. I picked out an array that is supposed to be more flexible and better for preserving hearing, so we’ll see. The big thing I’m worried about is how everything is going to sound once it does kick in (assuming it does indeed work for me).

“I’m really worried that Hanson is going to sound weird,” I told my friend. Yeah, y’all know I’m a bit obsessed with that band, but I don’t even care at this point, I’ll gladly let my freak flag fly. (And I’m so going to order a processor cover with the Hanson logo on it to wear out to embarrass my husband.)

“Maybe it’ll make you realize they suck and you’ll want to find good music,” my friend said.

It’s going to be interesting see how it sounds since I’ll be using a hearing aid in one ear and the implant in the other. The implant is supposed to sound kinda tinny, so I wonder if that sound will overpower my other ear or if it’ll combine together somehow. Hmm.

(Near the bottom of this article on NPR, you can hear how a piano sounds with normal hearing vs. cochlear implant. I thought they sounded the same, but my husband thought it was very different. If you listen, comment with your thoughts.)

My other concern is my hair. They’ll have to shave off a patch of my hair. Gah. I seriously almost said “Never mind” when my husband brought it up, since I hadn’t even considered it for some reason. I know, I know, if all goes well, it’ll be worth it, but I’ve had some shitty short haircuts. If the clippers (or however they’re cutting the patch) slip, then…shit.

All righty…I’m off to get the kids ready for bed, finish up an article since I’ll be off for a couple of days, and then listen to music with the hearing I’ve been accustomed to for the past 34 years, maybe do a doodle blog post, and go to bed myself!