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Old 03-22-2011, 12:22 PM   #1
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12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Hi All,

I am 12 days post stapedectomy and getting worried it didn't work. I know everyone says PATIENCE but I am freaking out that I can't hear anything. And no one else seems to get it, they all say just wait its only been 12 days. So, I am coming to you for advise :-)

Here are the things I can here... itching my head at my hairline behind my ear on the left side (operated ear), the tuning fork if i bite down on it (but not when it was held up to my ear). I do have packing in my inner and middle ear, gelfoam it what i think they call it. I still feel the pressure that everyone is talking about. I can't hear if i rub my ear and I haven't heard the cracking/poping noises everyone describes.

My doctor is very experienced in this surgery and assured me that everything went text book. He said everything else was in good condition, the nerve and the bone that the prosthetic hooked on to. I didn't have ear infections as a kid, so everything was in fairly good condition. Except for the otosclerosis that is!

I had the vertigo everyone was talking about and that subsided after 2 days. I still have some dizziness but nothing too crazy.

Can anyone please help!? My doctor seems ok with me no hearing yet and says to wait until my next appointment (April 4th) before we make any decisions.

Thank you, thank you!

 
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:41 PM   #2
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

4 weeks - 4 days post op
Hello...
I had my stapedectomy surgey on February 18th so will be 5 weeks come this Friday. I know exactly how you are feeling..I have been there . but you came to the right place. You will read alot of posts from so many people and one thing I have learned is everyone is different.
I never as of yet have had the bionic hearing. My packing on the outer part was taken out 10days post op. and was told the same about the packing inside..will need to dissolve on its own. I will say when I had the packing in there I really could not hear much at all..I believe you said you still have both inner and outer packing in there... Let me ask you..if you rub on the cottonball that is in your operated ear can you hear anything..I will say I too felt that it did not work more then once. I have little hearing in my other ear but I do have my hearing aid to fall back on. I know you dont want to hear this..but as I was also told..be patient..I so know it is hard..I have had my ups and down..smiles then to tears the next day because I can t hear anything. When I went to my 10 day post op...my doctor took out the outer packing and I could hear him speaking but it was very soft. I was expecting the loudness that others have experienced. How was your hearing before this operation..I had just about nothing so what I am experiencing is more then I started with.
Each week does seem to get a tiny bit better...I think the three week mark I noticed small changes...As I was told...there is alot of blood..swelling..and of course the gel packing that needs to dissolve. I was also disappointed because i expected alot to happen quick.. As of today..I am still having difficulties with certain voices..tones..being way to soft to hear...but I am hoping that will get better as time goes on... It is hard but please try to relax and take it easy..don t do to much..
Cindy
I go for my hearing test this coming Monday and I am anxious to see what improvements I have so far..I have been told that there will be another hearing test down the road to compare this one too...

 
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:01 PM   #3
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Whoa, Take a chill pill. The ear needs to heal and the inner ear packing needs to melt out.

Worrying about it is not going to change what it is. Relax. Wait until your next appt. and the doc will take a look with the microscope.

It will be ok.

 
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Hi Cindy,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I am so glad to hear from someone who seems to be having the same experience as me. I feel like I have read all these posts and am not really experiencing what they are. So, I started to freak out.

I am one of the rare cases that only has the otoclerosis in my left ear. It will happen in the right ear eventually but I currently have text book hearing in that ear. I don't know the exact hearing loss in my left ear but it was bad. The chart was depressing! As far as I can remember, I have had the tinnitus, but, my hearing started to go maybe 7 years ago. I could not talk on the phone in that ear (couldn't hear anything, if it did, it was VERY distorted). The lower the decible the worse it my hearing is.

As for hearing, i don't have any cotton in my ear anymore. I have some ointment left with the gelfoam next to my eardrum, as well as on the other side of my eardrum. But, when i had the cotton, rubbing it produced no sound. Today after I posted, I tried so hard to hear something. (hahaha). I plugged my good ear and rubbed my operated ear... I could hear it! Barely, but I could hear it. I don't know if that is a good sign, but I am hoping it is!

Also, the doctor put me on drops to help dissolve/heal the ear when I went for my first week post-op appointment. I do that for a week, then I go back April 4th.

Good luck at your hearing test, I am crossing my fingers for you :-)

Your kind words, really did make me feel better!

 
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

I am glad I helped..

I too have heard the be patient..to early..but it is good to hear from someone who is where you are and understands your worry. I will be honest..when I read some of the other posts and reading I could hear perfect when the packing was taken out..It depressed me. I was so happy for them..but it did worry me.

I am about 4 weeks ahead of you I guess...and I actually have read several posts where hearing was not even back to normal until 2 - 3 months post surgery... I m glad to hear your other ear has perfect hearing... How has the vertigo been for you? not to bad for me at all some days are worse then others but I can function....how has washing your hair been. I found that if I plugged up my ear with a cotton ball then put a big bandage over that to seal off my ear...LOL it seemed to work. I still have to be careful not to get any water in my ear at all...so it scares the heck out of me when I do..but I have not had any leaks as of yet

I am planning on going back in for surgery next year for the left if my dr. feels that ear is a good canidate for the surgery. I find that some days my hearing is better then others..not sure why...sometimes to much pressure it feels like or my ear just needs to open or pop I guess.. I know that it is a sensitive area and needs to heal...so I am "trying" to be patient...it is hard though.

I will let you know how my hearing test goes on Monday then I go to see my surgeon right after and see what he has to say. I will honestly say. My hearing is def. better then what I started with before the surgery..but I hope it will get better as time goes on. and from what I have heard....it will....

Please continue to post here so I can see where you are and what you are experiencing...Keep your chin up.... : )
Cindy

 
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Hi Cindy,

The veritgo for the the first 48 was horrible! But it was expected. I only got sick the first day, I am assuming from the vertigo and the anestesia. I still get light headed and a bit dizzy but its better each day, and actually it varies. I hope yours isn't too bad! I am back to work, I actaully came back day 5. I am an interior designer, so I tend to work on the computer most days. Work knows I have to take it easy, so thats nice. How long did you take off? Are you back to work now?

As for showering, I went to get my hair cut day 6 so they would wash style it for me. I told them up front and they were amazing! They gave me these little ear shower caps. I use those and just put a cotton ball heavily coated in vaseline under that. The cotton gets wets, but my ear has never been soaked. Works pretty well. They part that stinks it taking the time to dry my hair!

I heard from the doctor last night. He is great, he answers all my crazy emails! But he is concerned about my hearing as well. The fact that I can't hear barely anything, not even touching my ear. So I am going Friday morning for a hearing test. I think it will calm my nerves and let me know something really did go wrong. If anything it slipped. But, I am hoping not of course.

I will definitly keep updating, and you do the same! Thank you :-)

Nicole

 
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:33 PM   #7
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Hi Nicole...

My vertigo also varies daily and I still have it on and off. I honestly think it has something to do with the gel melting in the inner ear. But I will talk with him on Monday..I am functioning though.

I work with children and only took one week off...I actually was bored after about 4 days home but honestly could not have performed my job and needed the rest more then anything. I decided on school vacation for my surgery and my 13 year old son took the best care of me..even sitting on the couch watching my favorite shows with me..not his for sure..LOL this way dad was able to get back to work after a few days home.

You are the second person to talk about these ear shower caps-wish I had them myself..I am hoping come MOnday my doctor will give me the ok to finally wash my hair and not worry about water in the ear..but whatever he says I will follow.

I am so happy that you are going on Friday to your doctor..I know you have so many questions about your surgery and your hearing right now and once you get that hearing test all your questions will be answered and then you will know what comes next. Remember no matter what...keep your chin up ok... everything will be fine.. Pls. let me know how you make out...I am keeping my fingers crossed and will anxiously wait for your post on Friday...

Cindy

 
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:01 PM   #8
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Hi!

So I went and had my hearing test today. I would like to note, I am 15 days post op and my spirits have been restored :-)

The hearing test went well. I didn't score to high in my conductive hearing loss but my sensorineural hearing improved! Which showed them that it was successfull but I still need to heal. There is also a lot of "stuff" still in my outer ear as well as it is very swollen still. I guess I just heal ALOT slower than most. The test made my ear drum vibrate, I must say, that was intense! Hahhaha. I think i was pushing the healing process too because I was to anxious. But it is good to know that if you can't hear anything, there is still a chance.

They also told me to settle down! Stress and anxiety slow down the healing process. And of course, I learned that the firm I work for is closing. Great. But I will work all that out, I just need to be calm while doing it! Hahaha.

I can't wait for your hearing test on Monday, Cindy. I hope is goes awesome! I get what your talking about with the bordem. It is rough when you can't do anything for yourself and you have to just sit there! Drove me to come back to work, probably to early. So, i will be taking it very slow the next couple weeks.

Thank you soooo much for your support :-)

Nicole

PS. You have an amazing son for him to help you out like that! :-) My boyfriend took care of me and if this didn't bring us close, it won't happen! Hahha. He was surely amazing.

 
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:51 AM   #9
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Nicole....

So glad that your hearing test went well...I am past excited for you : ). I know what you mean about expecting to much to soon. I did pretty good until the packing was taken out and then it went all down hill with my nerves . No one really can understand the emotional stress this surgery puts on a person unless you have been threw it...it really is a rollercoaster ride....my family has been there for me and I am blessed with that... I hope everything works out with your job...

I hit the 5 week mark this past Friday and I will be honest...I am nervous for mondays hearing test. I can say that my hearing is better but not what I was expecting at this point. I can hear certain things but others I just cant make out. seems like my problem is the lower tones. I am sitting on my computer and can hear my windchimes outside my house..but i can t make out what is being said on the tv in this room...weird. Faint sounds are just not being picked up And as far as voices.. I just cant follow a conversation well at all. BUT...my hearing is so much better then before I couldn t really function at all...just about nothing was heard. So I am hoping when I go on Monday maybe my doctor will beable to figure out why some hearing has been restored but not all. I can def. still hear me louder then anyone else...but I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for good news on Monday... Some sounds do hurt...thats for sure. Even if I am talking my own voice will hurt...really weird. But I am so happy with what I was given back so far and I do know that I had read someone had great improvement at 2 months...so I really need to be patient...and once my doctor sees me on Monday I will feel better I know ...

I am going to get a hearing aid for my left ear that does not work...I have been fighting this..just not wanting to have to use anything...but i realize this is rediculious I am struggling...a hearing aid is something I need right now if I am with a group of people in conversation or even watching a movie...and surgery in that ear (left) will be discussed if it is possible..

I will keep you posted on what happens at my visit this Monday...I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be ok and there is an explaination for why I can t hear certain tones...

Have a wonderful weekend....
Cindy

 
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:37 PM   #10
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Cindy,

Don't worry about tomorrow. I know your going to do great. If I can pass the test and have no hearing then you will be ok. Being nervous is normal, you helped me relax with your amazing emails. I only wish I could do the same for you.

I don't know if this is true, but I think the hearing comes back in stages as the ear heals. Plus, you can already hear better than before the surgery and you still have the packing in! Talking to the doctor really does help. I had the test at a hearing center. They told me to relax and let it heal. My doctor is doing a clinic in the Cayman Islands and I haven't heard from him yet. He is supposed to email me once he gets the results. But they have been working together forever and I trust what they say.

I totally get you with the sounds that hurt. I just noticed it today while I was on the phone talking to a friend. Everytime she said something it felt really weird!

I will anxously await your post! (oh and about your other ear as well :-) )

Nicole

 
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:44 AM   #11
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Thank you so much Nicole.... it really is nice to have someone to talk with about this...and to talk honestly about your fears and concerns. Like I had said...only one who has gone thru this can really understand how hard it is on you.

I am going this evening at 4 to have hearing and 4 30 for dr. I will post as soon as I get some answers. I am making a list today of questions for him.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that all is ok....

Cindy

 
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:37 PM   #12
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Just got back from my Doctors appointment. My hearing test was a slight improvement from last (before surgery) but my doctor said he was really surprised that my test was not better. This is my second surgery in that ear not sure if I had mentioned that..my first was 17 years ago and it just stopped working in Dec. so I can honestly say I have more then what I had before the surgery. He wants to see me again in a month...I guess I have to be happy for what I was given back..I do know that some people have this surgery and end up with nothing if not worse then before..so I will wait and see what comes next. I just need to be happy for what I have back...It was always so scary to not beable to hear well at all when I took out my hearing aid..now I can at least hear my alarm clock going off...and know if the smoke detector goes off I will hear it...

How are you feeling...what is happening with your hearing...when do you go for your packing to be takenout. My outter was taken out 10 days after the surgery...

Cindy

 
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:59 PM   #13
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Well, thats good news. You are better than before the surgery! And who knows... it could get better. Some people said on here it took 2-3 months. Your not to that point yet, so maybe it will get better. What about your other ear? Did you already have a Stapedectomy in that one? Do you think you will have one? What about showering? did he give you the go ahead?
(sorry about all those questions!)

My hearing is getting better actually. I still can't hear that well but I am now getting the "cracking" everyone is talking about and today, I heard the cotton ball as I put it in my ear to take a shower! I loved it.

I don't have any outter packing in. Just some ointment and i think some gelfoam residual. I used the drops for a week but there is definately some stuff still in there. I am sure I still have some gel foam beyond my ear drum too. I think last time I spoke about that, I screwed it all up. Hahha. The ear is a complicated area!

I go back to the doctor April 4th. He is going to remove any residual left and check it out. I am hoping it improves when he gets all the gunk out.

Nicole

 
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:37 AM   #14
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Hi Nicole..
no problem with your questions...wish you were with me at the dr.s lol..... I tend to freeze up and forget to ask my questions...even had my little paper with me filled..and yup got to van and realized I forgot to ask. I had only a and...I can now get my ear wet WOO HOO...

I did ask about my other ear for stapedectomy and he said it can be done..but didn t even want to think about that right now until we get my right ear feeling good...I am dealing with pressure UGH and dizziness from it. My ear will not pop or equalize I guess. He said he can put a tube in my ear if it doesn t get better but I am also dealing with sinus issues too...always seem to have congestion in my nose. so flonaise before bed and lets see where that goes.. then the tube is next. He said pressure inner ear is causing the presthesis to be pushed against my middle ear ...causing my dizziness..not to bad though..I think the pressure is worse.but he is trying to see if the congestion has anything to do with it because I seem to always have it...remember I work with kids so a cold is always around me...

So I am going to wait 4 more weeks and see what happens and then go from there. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that I do get alittle more hearing in the coming weeks and I too read someone had improvement later.. ..I am 6 weeks this coming Friday... But I will be happy with what I was given back..before surgery was so scary...
NOW ON TO YOU.. woo hoo..your hearing is improving each day..Iam so happy to hear that. See I told ya...patience my stapedectomy friend..LOL Nicole..how was your hearing before...I know your other ear is fine...So you have not even had the suction in there to clear it out...He did that when he removed the packing on me...that is amazing what you hear..sounds like a jet in your ear.. pls keep updating and let me know where you are in healing and what you are hearing. I will let you know how things are doing with me too

Cindy

 
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:25 PM   #15
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Re: 12 days post stapedectomy and worried

Hi!

I swear I can never remember questions at the doc's either. No matter the lists! I have even called the doctor after I left to ask more questions. Hhahha.

My ear will not pop either! Its driving me crazy. I feel like I could hear better if it did. But i don't really have any congestion... I am taking vitamins like crazy (I already did before the surgery) but I just want to make sure I don't get sick. But I get you with the kids, I used to work with them as well. There is no staying away from colds and germs.

My hearing from the surgery was ok but declining everyday. I could not talk on the phone, loud places (no way) just turned into a mumbo-jumbo of voices that sounded like robots. We do a lot of conference calls at work and no go. I couldn't focus on one voice to understand what they were saying. The other is still great, but I am 27 and he said it will go as well. But I don't see that happening soon (i hope!)

I haven't had the suction yet. I had the cotton balls out 7 days post op. But he was happy with how much ointment/gelfoam was in the ear. And gave me drops to help clear it out. I stopped those last friday. When I go on monday he is going to clean out whatever is left. Which should help I am sure. Today I heard the q-tip (don't worry I didn't stick it in. I just cleaned the outter part). I had to plug my right ear to hear it but atleast there was some sound!

Of course I will keep updating! You better too. I look forward to our posts. Keeps me sane!

Nicole

 
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