I've been reading this forum for awhile. Ever since I learned of my condition actually. I was diagnosed with otosclerosis, and was recommended a stapedectomy or hearing aid. I am 38, and have had gradual hearing loss over the past 15 years. Largely due to a lack of insurance, I had to wait until I finally landed a nice job with good benefits before I could do something about it.
I've spent a lot of time reading this forum. So much so, that my doctor was surprised just how informed I was about the procedure when he recommended it. I did a lot of reading online, but I think it was this forum that really put a human quality to the information.
Needless to say, let me share my experience with you.
On Thursday, I went in for my surgery. I was given a general anesthesia. I remember talking with the operating room staff... And feeling the influence of the drug begin to kick in. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room. I was immediately alert. No groggyness. I swear, it was like I just had 8 hours of amazing rest. Also, I could hear EVERYTHING. The recovery room had so many noises it was unreal. If you've ever seen the movie Interview with the Vampire, I felt like Louie waking up and experiencing the world with his new vampire ears. My bionic ear (as I've been calling it, ever since reading someone else's posts on this forum) was picking up all sorts of noises in the recovery room. The hospital staff was amazing. They seemed surprised I was so alert and excitable so quickly. According to my doctor, he felt the surgery went amazingly well. I have to say, I have to agree with him.
The drive home was difficult. Everything was SO LOUD. I finally made it home, and was able to relax and enjoy the day. I heard the birds chirping outside. I hear my friends loud server in the living room. I thank myself for having the foresight to replace my bad power supply fan in my computer before the surgery. Needless to say, I have have ZERO of the potential negatives. I have had no vertigo, no nausea, no altering of my tastes, etc etc. All I've had is remarkable hearing. And this is with the 'plugged' ear.
It has been about a week now. Sounds are a little distorted, they have that 'hollow' tone to them. I am sure it's all related to the packing, etc. I mean, It's only been a week now after all. But, I was able to go back to work on Monday, because I had been sitting at home stir crazy all weekend. I'm now on my third day of work. The hardest thing about my job is I work in a raised floor environment, where fans are constantly blowing. Thankfully, I have a pair of riffle range ear muffs that I can put on to trap out all noise. So I put them on occasionally when things get a bit to much for me. Aside from that tho, I haven't needed any pain killers, or anti-nausea medication at all. Every once and while, I feel a tinge of pain, but it doesn't last and fades quickly. I'm sure it's just normal healing discomforts.
I think I'm even getting used to how loud things are. My car rides are getting more and more tolerable. I'm ecstatic tho. I'm actually able to talk to people and understand them. I rarely have to ask people to repeat themselves now (which had become a regular occurrence for me) At work, I can finally hear everyone around the meeting table without the need of the android app I was using to amplify sound. So far, I've noticed my only complaint would be things are just too loud sometimes. But, I'm finding it hard to complain about that. And I am getting a bit used to it. I look forward to continual healing.
So, yea. Thanks again for all the conversations on this forum. You made my decision a lot easier.
The Following User Says Thank You to DragonEar For This Useful Post: tinchito (05-01-2012)
So happy to hear of your positive results from surgery...It is truly amazing isn t it. I had my first stapedectomy in 1993 and had amazing results too..I had a revision on that same ear last year do to my incus eroding and my hearing not there after...my first revison was not as successful due to an artery that runs in that area on me and also my scar tissue but having a very stubborn doctor and not accepting these results we did it again and WOW what a difference and a success too. I just had my other ear done this past Feb. and it is so wonderful to hear out of both ears... I have the same amplified sound in this ear and I am almost 9 weeks post op...not complaining at all...I have noticed that some things that were unbearable are getting alittle better...I do remember back in 93 this happening and it did get better in time but I will have no problems putting a cotton ball in that ear to help it out...
It sure is nice to wake up with my windows open and the birds chirping sooo loud...LOL love it.... It sure makes you appreciate your hearing thats for sure...
You are very lucky to not have suffered from the side effects..I have read some that were not so fortunate...I had it so easy on my first revision last year no side effects at all..second...not so good...needed help for about 2 - 3 days w walking...amplified echo in my head for anything that I did..even scratching my head was painful and I also started hearing out of the packing on day 5 I believe...was really nice...this last surgery was not that bad at all...had alittle off balance first day but I was able to walk on my own just very very slowly... Never really heard out of the packing so that worried me so much then when it was pulled out..WOW..SOOO LOUD. I guess we all have different experiences thats for sure...and ea. surgery is different too...well for me anyway...
Keep us posted on your progress...when is your packing coming out..wait until you have your post op hearing test...it is so exciting to hear your results compared to before...
Ironically, I've come to the conclusion the most discomfort I have had from this whole experience has been today. My arm is itchy where they did the vein graph. It has settled down a lot... but aside from my arm feeling itchy under the bandage strips, I have to say I feel pretty frelling awesome.
As far as my packing is concerned, I think it is some sort of bio-degradable material. He said it would degrade over time, and that after 4 weeks I would start using ear drops that would make sure it was fully degraded for my 5 week check up.
So, on Thursday night my ear become a little muffled. I'm guessing my packing has closed up a bit. Everything is still loud, but voices are a lot harder to distinguish.
On friday, I was yawning and heard a crunch or perhaps a sproing or buzzt noise in my ear. It was rather alarming. But, it didn't seem to have any immediate ill effects. The rest of my friday was still muffled.
On Saturday, I woke up feeling really dizzy and became nauseated. It was pretty bad, I couldn't even take the anti-nausea medication because I really couldn't keep anything in my stomach. I took it easy all day. Sunday, I was still feeling minor dizziness but already I felt a lot better.
By Monday, (today) I felt fine enough for work. So at least the timing of that was pretty good. My ear is still loud but muffled. It's rather disheartening when I felt my hearing was doing to well before. I realize this is probably just a temporary thing, and the fact I am still hearing background noises loudly is a good indicator it's just a drainage blockage or something similar. Overall, I'm feeling pretty good today. Things are still loud but muffled. I'm looking forward to hearing clearly again.
So, it has been about 6 weeks. I had my 5 week audiology test. Turns out I have fully recovered my hearing in my left ear.
All of my hearing tests match with the inductive hearing results I had originally gotten. I'm thrilled!
My hearing has adjusted to the loud background noises, and I feel like I'm completely living 'normal' again. Only, now I can actually talk to people who aren't standing next to me. At work, I can hear everyone around the conference table. Etc. I'm looking forward to October when I can do the surgery with my right ear.
I have been living with moderate hearing loss in both my ears for a couple of years now. I have reached the point where I want to have a stapedectomy done because it is becoming increasingly difficult to hear people at work when I am in any kind of group setting. If there is not a microphone, I am not hearing half of what is being said.
I am looking for a surgeon recommendation in the Chicago Metro area.