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CAB1 12-12-2007 08:23 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
HI all...

Good Luck tomorrow Pressed! Let us know how it goes.

It good to "hear" all of you are hearing better.

Juliep - I never had tinnitis until after the prosthesis in the right ear slipped so I can't offer any time frame for you on that one.

Laxmi - You are over the hard part now. Every day will get better. Distortion will completely disappear. One day you will say.."wow, i just notice sounds are really clear". Hehe. That will be a very sweet day for you.

AF - MRI's are fine. I had one after the 2nd ear surgery. No problems but it was scarey until it was actually scanning and I felt no pain. Then I calmed down.

Alexis - Please be care with the "light" blowing of the nose. My doc also said it was ok to do so I did. But evidently his definition of light blowing and mine were different. Thats why my prosthesis never really healed well (attached good)..then I moved on to "normal" blowing at the 14 week post op mark..and blew it right out of place. I don't wanna scare you but want to make you aware that I was as careful as I could be but still managed to screw it up.

5 more days till I go for stapedectomy revision on the right ear. Left ear is still doing great.

More later,

-Carol-

JULIEP28 12-13-2007 08:20 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
CAB1, how did your prosthesis slip?? When that happened did you notice hearing loss again? How did you know it slipped? I doubt mine has slipped as my hearing is actually better. I had the tinnitus before so I guess there is no guarantee it will go away. I guess I'd rather have my hearing back and somehow deal with the tinnitus.

Look forward to your reply--thanks!!

CAB1 12-13-2007 11:07 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
Juliep,

(sorry all, I don't know how to type short responses). hehe.

The hearing in my right ear was great until week 11 or so. Then the opens and closes started again. At the 14 week post-op mark I was still having open and closes pretty bad as well as a major sinus infection/issue. The morning of my hearing test I couldn't hear jack on the way there. I sneezed right before I got to docs office (and ear "opened again") and all the sudden hear pretty good again. About an hour after the hearing test the hearing shut down again.

I thought it was because of the sinus crap and that my ear was blocked. I went through 3 months of constant issues and being completely clogged up because of allergies, etc. BLOW BLOW BLOW the nose, lots of different medications, etc...and nothing seemed to help. I could get unclogged for a few hours at a time but the hearing never "opened" again. All of this was done at an allergy/sinus/asthma doc.

Finally the week of Thanksgiving, my head was completely clear for a week....but I still could not hear anything out of the right ear. This led me back to the ear doc/surgeon. I told him that I could understand not being able to hear during all that time because of being clogged up but why can't I hear now??

He did a battery of tests and said based on the results and the way the eardrum looked, etc., that the prosthesis had to have slipped out of place. It's not an ET problem. My "bone" hearing is still great so that points to the stapes (prosthesis). He said its just one of those things that happen sometime. I later confirmed this by researching how the prosthesis is "attached" and has to heal/seal afterwards. It was during the healing/sealing period that my sinus issues and negative hearing (again) all began. Blowing, sneezing, popping the ears, etc all create pressure in the inner ear and that pressure can move the prosthesis if where it's attached isn't completely healed. So the sneeze that morning moved it just enough back to the proper spot for me to hear for a while. Then it moved out of place again.

To attempt to make you understand....I wasn't just blowing my nose a couple times a day. Seriously, for 3 months straight that is all I did. Many days I went through an entire box of kleenex in one day. I missed lots of work because I simply couldn't function because I couldn't breathe. I also started staying home because I know my employees were quite tired and probably grossed out at hearing me blow and hack and gag all day long.

I had started the "light" blowing about 3 weeks after surgery and by week 10 or so I had to blow "hard" to breathe. Apparently....that is when I "blew" it.


My LEFT ear which I had a stapedectomy done on in January 07 is fine. My RIGHT ear that was done in May 07 is the one that got screwed up and is being done again on Dec. 18th, 2007.

Anyways....be very very careful. I would hate to see someone else go thru this. It bites.

More later,

-Carol-

JULIEP28 12-13-2007 01:09 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
CAB1 (Carol), Thanks so much for the response!!! I have no sinus or breathing problems so I can see how blowing your nose that hard could do that, that is some serious pressure put on your ear!!! So sorry to hear what you're going through!

Sorry too that my responses are short!! he he:D

Pressed26 12-14-2007 07:07 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
Day 1 Post Op

This has been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.

I checked in for surgery Thursday morning at 9:40, a little early. They completed the lab work and then we waited around awhile. I finally went in to surgery at 1:00. Everything went really smoothly.

The best thing to report is that I didn't have any dizziness or nausea. My tongue is numb on the left side a little. I wonder if that is like the metallic taste I have heard others talk about. The only time I have had any real pain is right after we left the hospital. I made my husband stop to get me something to drink so I could take the pain medicine. I had a little Jell-O for dinner and lots of water. Then promptly to bed.

I saw someone on the board had recommended not sleeping on the operated ear, so I thought I would try sleeping elevated a bit, more reclined than flat. I think that has helped with drainage. The first night, my ear was definitely swollen and felt very full. Today, it doesn't feel as full, and frankly not much different than before the surgery, in terms of what I hear. But that is what is amazing.

All along, I have been thinking that I was going to have a stapendotmy. Not sure if I spelled that right, but I thought they were going to leave the stapes in and attach the prothesis. But Dr. Owens has always said the procedure was for a stapendectomy and he said there wasn't anything to save. So the simple fact that I hear ANYTHING is phenomenal. He took out part of my inner ear!

Unfortunately, with the big change in the weather in Texas earlier this week, my sinuses started to act up. I didn't take a lot before the surgery because the office gave me a laundry list of stuff NOT to take prior to the surgery. I did a lot of salt water rinses, but I can tell that I need to step up the preventative measures starting tomorrow. Right now, it is just in my nose. And seeing Carol's story below, I don't want this to escalate.

Monday is my 37th birthday and my family wants to celebrate. I do, too. This is one of the best birthday presents I could have gotten. Thanks to all of you who have shared your experience with us. Your stories have helped me tremendously.

I'll continue to post with updates. Best of luck to you!

Pressed26 12-16-2007 08:03 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
Day 3 Post Op

I am feeling great. I have only had one dizziness spell and that was in the middle of the night, in the dark. So I wasn't surprised. No real pain either. Lots of ringing in my ear, but no popping or static like others have reported. I am still very patient and trust for the best.

I have been still sleeping elevated, but I think that I'm done with that now. I don't rest as well and my back is starting to yell at me. I think I would recommend that to others as I think it made a real difference right after the surgery.

The numbness in my tongue is slowly easing. It has been weird trying to eat food when all you really feel is texture.

I went out to dinner last night with my family. We picked a quiet resturant with carpet on the floor. It wasn't uncomfortable for me, just odd in the way things sounded. I don't feel like I am hearing more than before yet, but it does feel directional. Like I can hear where things are. Hope that makes sense.

And today, I AM WASHING MY HAIR!!! Whoo ho! I am sure that I will really feel more like myself with a clean head.

I'll check in later.
Elke

CAB1 12-16-2007 08:00 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
HI all,

Elke - I'm glad you feel good and don't have the major dizzies!!!

The numbness in your tongue is normal. When the feeling started coming back in mine was when the metallic taste appeared. It's kind of annoying but part of the healing process. It means your nerve is waking up.

If you can tell which direction sound is coming from already....WAHOO....wait till that packing comes out and you start hearing stuff AND know where it's coming from. Its creepy at first and kinda cool at the same time.

Happy Birthday!

Keep us posted.

I go tomorrow for more hearing tests before surgery on Tuesday. Since mine is a revision, he wants more tests.

I didn't think I would be nervous this time...but...well, I am. I hope I'm up and around without the dizzies for Christmas. I got all my Christmas stuff done so I don't have to worry about it. I can just rest and not push myself.

More later,

-Carol-

AF244 12-17-2007 06:14 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
Carol- Hang in there, you are a veteran at this thing. You'll do great! You've been waiting for so long to get this one done, and now it's here! No more waiting...yeah!!!! Really, I hope all goes well this time. No blowing noses!

Elke- Glad to hear your surgery went well. I'm sure you'll be like me and go through and read the old threads to see what others experienced and how your recovery compares. It sounds like you are doing fine.

For me, I am now on day 18 or so. I feel fine, but am a little concerned that I am not hearing better. I hear a little bit out of my operated ear, but it seems about the same as before surgery. I guess it's good that I hear a little, because if my prosthesis slipped I wouldn't hear anything, right? Compared to last week, I hear less distortion of sound. The distortion seems to be most prevalant when I'm in a real loud enviroment, like a basketball game. The buzzer is the worst...I don't feel pain, but the sound is real grating in my head. When the band plays, I also hear distortion. Another thing I noticed that I'm sensitive to is when I'm putting dishes away, the clanging together of my stoneware plates. The sound is so much more sharp and loud than I ever remember. Not sure what this means. I've occasionally felt a little pain, but I think this may be due to sinus fluid. I've taken some Claratin or sudafed on most days, mostly because I feel some drainage in the back of my throat and for that pressure I sometimes feel in my sinuses.

I know I have to be patient....I just wish I could hear better. I guess I just have these nagging doubts that I messed something up. I've caught myself lifting something a little heavy, like Christmas packages, by mistake, or clearing my ears and worrying that I pushed too hard. It's just tough because otherwise, I feel normal, and just forget that I have these restrictions. I'm looking forward to Saturday when I have all my restrictions (besides flying) lifted and I can get my ear canal wet again! I'm also looking forward to getting out and running again. I really miss that and feel like a slug!

Pressed26 12-17-2007 11:00 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
Day 4 Post Op

I should have waited to post another 45 minutes on Day 3. That is when I hit the wall. BAM! Nausea and dizziness. I have been in bed ever since. The doctor prescribed nausea medicine and Valium for the dizziness, but I hadn't taken any. I thought if I didn't have any symptoms, I shouldn't take it. Now I wonder.

I also tried to wash my hair. Stupid. Too much, too fast. I didn't get any water in my ear, but it was stupid to do that so fast. My husband kept telling me "It's only been two and a half days. Slow down."

So here I sit, in bed, on my birthday.

Actually, it isn't that bad. My husband is waiting on me hand and foot, giving me back rubs and letting me watch whatever I choose. All the while, my ear is healing.

I'll check in later.

CAB1 12-18-2007 07:59 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
Hi all,

AF - Hang in there. If the sounds clanking in the kitchen are louder and sharper than you remember then its working. Some have reported no real noticable hearing changes until about the 4 week point, some reported immediate changes. With either the removal of or modification made to the stapes bone to allow placement of the prosthesis you would hear nothing..zip..zero.. if it was not working. Ice pack and ibuprofen to get all the internal swelling down might help.

Elke - Sorry you are sittin at home feeling like crap for on your birthday:(
Please just sit back and be lazy. (at least you have an valid excuse for it)Read a book, watch tv, look at old photos and by all means let the hubby baby you till he's sick of it.

Update on me..

Today I had the Right Ear Revision Stapedectomy.

I was originally on standby for today if anyone cancelled and listed as the "last surgery" of the day if no one did. Was supposed to be there at 8:00am and just hang out waiting for my turn.

Yesterday I went for hearing tests (SRT 80) in that ear now. Way down from SRT 20 at the 3 month post-op hearing test of the original surgery. (New people joining us or reading this forum read the old posts to find out why it went bad).

On the way there yesterday they called and said to be there at 6:00am sharp. ARG!! 6am with no coffee..it really would be a day for miracles.

Anyways I got there a little early and checked in, did the admit blood work, etc and then asked if they knew what time my surgery would be yet. They said I was moved to the very first surgery of the day at 8am. WEEEEE.

6:30 I was in my room, 7:15 rolled in the pre-op room and given the IV and talked with all the docs and nurses involved.

8:00 sharp I was rolled into the OR. The next thing I knew it was 9:50 and I was being shaken by the nurses saying "you need to wake up now, come on wake up". To which I replied "I don't wanna". HEHE They all laughed.

10:00 was moved back into my room where I ate jello, drank liquid and went potty (which were the requirements to be able to go home).

At 11:30 I was outta there on the way home. I was groggy but had no dizziness, nausea or pain. I could hear a little but not much.

Got home and went straight to sleep.

Woke up at 2:00......cause the pain hit as well as the dizzies. Much to my surprise I was able to hear even better. That is when I notice major tinnitus. I ate a snack, took the appropriate meds and tried to go back to sleep but the tinnitus was soo loud I couldn't. I ended up turning up the tv real loud to override it and finally fell asleep.

I woke up at 4:30 when my youngest got home from school. My hearing was even better!! The tinnitus was still there but not loud like it was before I went to sleep.

7:00pm (a mere 10 hours after surgery):

*Very light tinnitus.
*Tongue is a little numb, no metallic taste yet.
*Dizzies under control with meds.
*Pain hasn't returned yet but I'm sure it will.
*My hearing is incredible. (I'm back on volume 2 on the TV instead of 14).

I've already had two of these surgeries so I'm aware of what the hearing sounds like during the phases of recovery and now I'm really confused.

My hearing is crisp and clear. No distortion at all (blown speaker underwater effect). I had a conversation with my boyfriend who was in the kitchen and was in my room with the TV on. I heard him loud and clear and this is just 10 hours after surgery. TOTALLY AWESOME! The only thing hearing wise that is the same this time as the other times is that I hear myself really loud, but that is not distorted either.

I don't know if the differences are because it was a "revision" surgery not a "first time" surgery. Either way he had to cut open the ear drum to perform it so its no longer sealed/healed which would make you think it would have the same healing process as before. I'm really confused about that one. Also my bf looked in my ear with a flashlight and said he couldn't see the "blue" packing like he could the last two times. He could only see dried blood. Maybe it's covering the packing, maybe there is no packing, I dunno. I also remember that there was no cotton ball in the ear when I first woke up and thus far I have had no drainage. All very different this time around, and subject to change, i'm sure.

As for why the revision was necessary and what he found once he got in there...as he suspected the prosthesis had come out of place. As the bone it's attached too heals (hole starts closing/sealing) sometimes it pushes it out. It's not common but does happen. That combined with the whole nose blowing bit is what what happened. He took out old prosthesis and put in a new one and attached it differently.

I do realize that I'll prolly be in pain, have more dizzies and my hearing may decrease again several times during the healing process but at least at this point I know it worked! Maybe I will be able to sleep better not worring about it.

Yes, I know folks - another long post :)


More later,

-Carol-

Alexis27 12-19-2007 02:20 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
Carol...Congratulations!! I"m so glad that the revision went well. I can imagine what you have been through this past year and I have such respect. Thank you so much for providing us all with this forum. Without it I think I would have had numerous nervous breakdowns and panic attacks!

As for my healing process, I"m 35 days post op. I'm still experiencing some distortion. Not nearly as bad as earlier in the week though. I made the mistake of taking a roadtrip down to LA (6 hrs from SF). For some reason the vibration of the car on the freeway got into my ear and it was 6 hrs of hell on earth. Every little sound seemed to trigger the distortion. It's finally starting to clear. The doctor said it was normal as the vein graft heals over the prosthetic. Sometimes it pulls a little too tight and it takes the healing of the scar tissue for the distortion to totally clear.

I went for my 1 month hearing test today. It was amazing!! I don't know the exact numbers, but my hearing is essentially in the normal range now. They were shocked at the improvement in such a short time. I really just still can't believe it. I was nearly deaf in the right ear, especially in low tones. Anyways, I nicknamed my doctor the Ear Angel.

I have been given the go ahead to do everything..including get my ear wet. Pretty exciting. Back to the gym I guess...no more excuses.

I hope everyone has an amazing holiday full of beautiful music, love and amazing conversation.

Justine :angel:

Pressed26 12-19-2007 10:48 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
Hello, all!

My nausea has subsided and I went into the office today. It is nice to be back. I am getting combination "Well Wishes" and "Happy Birthdays". My boss gave me a Willow Tree ornament of an angel holding a sea shell to her left ear -- listening to the ocean. It was very sweet.

I am still light headed every now and then. But I am wearing motion sickness wristbands and that seems to help.

My ear popped this morning. I have been trying not to do that, but it did. Wow. It hurt for a little while, and now sounds are very sharp. It is still muffled, but a lot of the noises are coming through.

I also have pretty consistent ringing, but it isn't loud enough to distract me too much. It is time for our office party, so I'll stop for now.

Keep going, Carol!!

LAXMI60 12-19-2007 05:39 PM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
7 weeks post op
First post op visit hearing is normal, pure tone average air post op 13db, bone conduction 5db. He had to vacuum gel plug and old blood out.
Had flu 3 days ago mild dizziness after that, but I think it is improving. Next visit one year from now.
CAB1, I am glad that your surgery went well.
LAXMI

CAB1 12-20-2007 10:22 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
2 days post-op.

Ear closed. Mild pain comes and goes. Dizzies come and go. Still having mild tinnitis.

I'm pretty much just sleeping and eating all the time right now.

More later,
-Carol-

hkmaradana 12-21-2007 09:21 AM

Re: My Stapedectomy report
 
Hi,

First of all Happy Xmas to all,While searching in the internet i found this website which is very very good.

I am 35 yrs old and i have both ears stapes problem. When i was 25 years old my right ear stapedectomy operation was successful in india. Now i am planning to get operation for my left ear. I am in Atlanta GA state.

Can any one suggest good doctors in atlanta and also please guide whether i go for operation or hearing aid for my left. I am unable to hear if some one speaks slowly particularly in office when they call me behind.

I am able to communicate infront but not behind. I feel guilty and it is giving hints to other people he is very arrogant.

Please suggest again good doctors in atlanta and your valuable suggesstions.

Maradana


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