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soundboy 11-29-2009 05:56 PM

New Stapedectomy Report
 
So..a little about my history

I noticed a little hearing loss when I was pretty young maybe 15 didn't really think much of it. When I was 18 I had a hearing test and had mild conductive hearing loss in my right ear. Over the last 7 years (I just turned 25) my hearing has got to a point where I can generally communicate, however I miss some words and miss everything from some people (especially with deep voices who mumble) and in very quiet environments where people whisper. I have now lost up to 60dB around 250hz and maybe average of 40dB.

I also happened to have spent the last seven years of my life producing electronic music/studying sound design/and working with sound technology. So this impairment is not only a blow to my communication but also my career.

For this reason I have opted for a stapedectomy. Hearing aids were not an option due to my line of work, I don't have to worry about having kids (ie waiting for the operation) and I have next to no sensorineural loss in either ear(i've always been really careful with earplugs even though i'm constantly exposed to loud music) - so there a lot of room for improvement.

My surgeon has been doing this operation since 1975 and is regarded as one of the most gentle and experienced in my area (according to a doctor friend who did some research).

I go for the operation at 6am tomorrow morning. i'm feeling really positive about a successful outcome.

Reading through the hundreds of pages of "My Stapedectomy Report" has probabaly given me a great understanding of what to expect in the next few months. :angel:

I'll share my experiences with recovery as it comes.

soundboy 12-01-2009 04:59 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
So i went in to hospital 6am and had to wait until 11am for the operation so I was really hungry and thirsty.

I was wheeled down to the theatre (where it felt like a fridge it was so cold) the anesthetist put a needle in my arm said I would start feeling sleepy....and I woke up an hour later in my room. ie General anesthetic ;)

I was really not ready for how dizzy and sick I felt when I woke up, even the slightest turn of the head resulted in me throwing up. I was given a shot in my leg for the nausea which also made me drowsy. I then slept on and off until early morning in the hospital bed.

I woke up to the doctor telling me it had technically been a successful operation. I was then discharded at 10am.

I have no nausea now, just dizziness when I walk or move my head. I have noticed a strange blandness of taste on the right side of my tongue but nothing too bad.

The most exciting thing was that after 24hrs i'm hearing bassy but muffled sounds from my operated ear!!! I'm expecting this to fluctuate but stoked with the early indication of a successful stapedectomy:)

soundboy 12-03-2009 02:08 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
This forum doesn't seem quite as active as it used to be, that's OK i'll keep putting this up cause I know I was in need of as much info as possible. (And i'm sitting inside doing nothing for a month :P)

Yesterday I was struck down with such intense nausea, I don't know whether it was the antibiotics or the op. My gf came home from work and rang the surgeon, who sent through a prescription for anti nausea medication. I felt a lot better for the rest of the day.

So I'm up to day 4 now
No pain, slight difference in taste(not too bad), still quite dizzy when walking and focusing on things.

Last night was the first time since the operation I slept properly.

No great increase in air conduction hearing as yet, Tinnitus is Really loud in the operated ear, and my voice in my head and footsteps are also loud.

Each day there's less blood/gunk when I change the cotton ball which must mean that it's healing accordingly.

Looking forward to hearing again :)

theponderousman 12-04-2009 08:42 AM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Hey there Soundboy, my name's Christian and I just had a stapedotomy on Monday the 30th, a procedure close to yours but a bit newer (and supposedly less intrusive). I'm experiencing about the same as you right about now with lound tinnitus in the left ear (operated), echo-y sounds all inside my head and a VERY subtle odd taste in the back of my mouth. After reading all of the posts on this awesome site, I've pretty much been ok with these side effects. I will say that my patience is getting to the 'awwww cmon' point with wanting it all to be over :)

My 1st and 2nd day I had some throwing up but I haven't gotten sick since Tuesday AM really. Going up and down stairs is VERY odd but tolerable. I get the packing out this coming Tuesday and it's so packed in there right now that there's probably no way sound can get in! :) Oh well!

More to post later. Glad to hear (no pun intended) that things are going well with you so far!

Christian

soundboy 12-04-2009 01:28 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
hey christian,
Sounds like we're having a pretty similar recovery, I couldn't believe when I read someone walked out of the hospital an hour after a general anesthetic and went back to work a few days later.

I went in the car (gf driving) to the video store last night and that was enough to say I shouldn't driving at least for a while, my balance is still way off.

I know what you mean about the packing, even if i had perfect hearing in that ear I can't imagine hearing much with all that stuffed in there.
I have to wait another 10 days to get the packing out, hoping for an end to the dizziness (and miraculous hearing of course) must remember to be patient.

theponderousman 12-05-2009 12:19 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
So yesterday I was getting a bit stir crazy at my friend's place and decided to drive home (5 min drive) for a bit. My left to right looking doesn't make me dizzy, it's more of the moving my head up and down that does, but it's not too bad overall. Thankfully I don't have TOO major of the side effects happening to me (just yet, knocking on wood) although I bit numb feeling at intermitent times on my tongue.

My ear's 'sort of' popped recently, but it doesn't STAY that way. I guess that's kind of what I was expecting after reading everyone's post, that once it popped, it wouldn't go back to being clogged sounding so quickly. When I yawn deeply I can kind of 'force' pop it, although I am still careful about that. I've caught myself almost blowing my nose a few times these past few days and just kind of laugh when I do.

Anyways, I can ramble on for a while...how're things going for you today? Any changes?

soundboy 12-05-2009 01:24 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Nothing much to report on my front, I'm at day 6 i guess...

I'm still pretty dizzy, don't think I'd be driving too quick...oh yeah stir crazy, wow this is the most bring weekend I think I have ever had, oh well it should all be worth it.

Dizziness is still pretty apparent but I notice it's better every morning I get out of bed. Still have a little off taste but that really doesn't worry me even if it stayed like that. Pretty much from my operation I've been able to hear a tiny bit from the operated ear(I can hear the phone when I put it up to that ear), and a really loud bassy sound when cars drive past my house, I guess that a good sign. But no popping or 'opening' as yet.

I guess my main gripe is the feeling of this packing in my ear, it feels so foreign I don't think i'll feel normal again until it's out...

Overall can't complain trying to take it day by day

deafleopard 12-05-2009 07:44 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
This is all very interesting to me as I just returned from my doctor's visit.
I am going to have a Stapedectomy right after the first of the year.
I guess I will plan on being laid up for a week or two. I hope I can return to work after a week but that will determine if I have some of the nauseal you mention.
I sit at a computer most of the day so I hope it is tolerable.
I don't know if I should be nervous or excited but I am going ahead with the operation as I have to do something.....I hate wearing hearing aids.

soundboy 12-06-2009 07:55 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Congratulations deofleopard for taking the plunge, going by this forum you can see that it's quite the rollercoaster ride.

Everyone seems different some can work 3 days later others a lot longer.
After one week i'm starting to feel like I can leave the house. But I wouldn't be ready for work that's for sure.
Make sure you leave at least 2 weeks just in case you need it! After going through this it's probably worth giving yourself the time to heal properly.

And make sure you have fun over the christmas/nye break cause it can get pretty boring recovering!

As for me i'm at day 7

- Not much hearing to report, definitley no major "openings"
- Dizziness is getting better every day
- No Pain
- Constant 'pulsing' sound in my ear (pretty annoying)
- Packaging is pretty uncomfortable (Have to wait one more week for appt. )

Waiting...waiting

deafleopard 12-07-2009 09:11 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Soundboy, I had a long conversation with my doctor and he said it is very rare that one does not come out of this operation without positive results. I know of course he is speaking from a surgeons position though and that may be biased. The several people I know who had this operation said it was the best decision they made. So I am optimistic. I have to be because not hearing is beginning to affect my job and it has certainly impacted my relationship with kids, wife, and friends. I will certainly take your advice and take as much time off as needed to recover. I have a lot of vacation time saved up just for times like these. We all play with the cards we are dealt but if I can improve my hand I am all for trying. Let me know how you progress. I know it is still early in your recovery.

soundboy 12-10-2009 02:50 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
So I guess it must be around day 10 for me now

I've finally finished my antibiotics, I stopped taking the vertigo meds and painkillers a few days ago. I'm still slightly dizzy but nothing too severe, I'm sure it's just going to slowly subside until I realise I'm no longer dizzy.

AS for hearing I definitely have some in my operated ear. I can't imagine I should be hearing all that much considering my ear canal is packed with gauze (I don't think my surgeon uses that dissolving stuff). And the blood pumping/pulsing sound is gone which is good.

My taste is pretty much back to normal.

On monday I go in for my first follow up appointment (2 weeks) and hopefully get the packing taken out if it's all healing well.

Pretty much been spending my days reading and watching episodes of Curb your Enthusiasm" and trying to remember not to lift anything heavy.

nandi 12-11-2009 06:30 AM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Hi, I had a stapedectomy 3 days ago, and find the messages on this board very helpful. It is very reassuring to read that other people had similar experiences after the surgery.

I have had severe hearing loss in my left ear for many years (due to otosclerosis), and a hearing aid did not work for me. So eventually I decided to have the stapedectomy.

I am very fortunate, because I did not have any nausea at all since the operation, and only mild pain and dizziness. I was a bit worried about all the "noises" in my ear, but since reading this board, I realize that it is nothing to be worried about.

I see my surgeon after a week to remove the "plug" in my ear, and hope that I will have better hearing then.

I will check your progress regularly, and also report on mine.

It will be wonderful to be able to hear better.... I am looking forward to it.

nandi 12-12-2009 04:58 AM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Day 4 post-op, and I've had an episode of severe vertigo for the first time today. Fortunately it is better now. I expected that to happen immediately after the op and in the first couple of days, but it didn't, so I was quite surprised to have it for the first time on day 4.

I am a light sleeper, and always sleep with an earplug in my right (good) ear, I didn't need one in the left ear for many years. Last night I woke up and could hear my husband snoring (he is not going to be impressed with me writing this :):)). My first thought was that the earplug must have fallen out of my right ear, but it was still there! Also, he was on my left side. So it seems as if I was hearing the snoring with my operated ear. I must say, it is the first time that I was happy to hear him snoring!!

soundwave 12-13-2009 05:40 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Hi everybody. I had my stapedectomy done on dec 2nd, 2009, along with a tympanoplasty. mine was the result of a small firework going off next to my ear. i had one tympanoplasty some time ago, and during that they discovered that i also needed a statedectomy.

i am on day 11, pain is gone, though my jaw is still tight. i didn't have dizziness this time around. The first surgery i did, and big time. lasted for about 1 month, it was really bad. this time - none.

no hearing has returned yet. my packing will stay in for a month. i am getting to the point where the anxiety is making me a little crazy. did it work? especially because my graft didn't take when they patched my ear drum with the last surgery.

i too have the slight metal taste in my mouth. the clicking and gurggling has subsided quite a bit in the past couple days. i started having some clicking when i yawn, and hope i am not putting pressure on anything.

glad to know there are others going through the same thing. happy recovery to all of you!

soundboy 12-13-2009 11:04 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Hey Nandi...the same thing happened to me with the delay onset of vertigo and nausea, but it all got better in the following days. I'm sure yours will too.
Wow..that's so exciting being able to hear (even snoring) again

and soundwave just stick in there I know it's hard when you start feeling better but there's no hearing to go with it..

I had a great day today. I went to the surgeon for the 2 week appointment, my ear had healed really well for just 2 weeks. I had the 4 stitches taken out.
Then he took the packing out..wow..the moment he pulled this "plug" from my ear I could hear him speaking to me!!!
I then went for a walk in to the city and was amazed by how loud buses, lifts, air conditioning and everything was.

My hearing is still far from perfect, but the bass is back...and hopefully the rest of the spectrum will follow in the next few weeks. Everything is still quite muffled and speaking is still a little hard to work out.

According to fork test it's already better than it was pre-op.

Better than any christmas present I could have asked for.

nandi 12-14-2009 08:38 AM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Hi Soundboy, I am so glad to hear :) that your hearing is so much better after the plug has been removed. I am sure it will improve even further, if I read what lots of other people report on this message board.

My plug comes out tomorrow (day 7 post-op), but I can already hear better than before the op. I even had a telephone conversation today holding the phone at my left ear, something I could not do for more than 6 years.

I agree with you, it is the best Christmas present one could have hoped for!

Iwanttohear 12-17-2009 02:39 AM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Hello guys, you really encouraged me to have the operation. I am having severe problem with my right ear and I am sick and tired of asking people sorry what? they kind of think that I dont understand or anything but the thing is I have otoskleroz and sorry but I do not hear if you talk under a certain decibel. Anyways i am really seeing that it now effects my work and social life.
But I just wonder if I can fly (not really I mean by plane of course ) after the operation. I am living in Switzerland and I want to have the operation in my home country which is Istanbul during Christmas time . My doctor is there and I just wonder if it gives any harm to fly after a while. Does anyone know anything about it? I am pretty worried about the home staying part of it. And what not to dos after the operation. ANy information will be appreciated.
Thank you and quick recovery to everyone.
:wave:

calimomma 12-17-2009 09:07 AM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
[QUOTE=Iwanttohear;4144985]Hello guys, you really encouraged me to have the operation. I am having severe problem with my right ear and I am sick and tired of asking people sorry what? they kind of think that I dont understand or anything but the thing is I have otoskleroz and sorry but I do not hear if you talk under a certain decibel. Anyways i am really seeing that it now effects my work and social life.
But I just wonder if I can fly (not really I mean by plane of course ) after the operation. I am living in Switzerland and I want to have the operation in my home country which is Istanbul during Christmas time . My doctor is there and I just wonder if it gives any harm to fly after a while. Does anyone know anything about it? I am pretty worried about the home staying part of it. And what not to dos after the operation. ANy information will be appreciated.
Thank you and quick recovery to everyone.
:wave:[/QUOTE]

Hi there,

My surgeon told me he would not want me to fly for at least 6 weeks after the operation. However, I also have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction and always have trouble popping my ears on airplane rides, so that probably plays into it. I know a lot of people travel to have this operation done, so I'm sure people fly a lot sooner afterwards.

Hope this helps.

soundboy 12-17-2009 01:33 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
[QUOTE=Iwanttohear;4144985]
But I just wonder if I can fly (not really I mean by plane of course ) after the operation. I am living in Switzerland and I want to have the operation in my home country which is Istanbul during Christmas time . My doctor is there and I just wonder if it gives any harm to fly after a while. Does anyone know anything about it? I am pretty worried about the home staying part of it. And what not to dos after the operation. ANy information will be appreciated.
Thank you and quick recovery to everyone.
:wave:[/QUOTE]

My surgeon said that now they have changed the procedure so that flying after 2 days is fine. I personally would have felt comfortable flying at 2 weeks. I got some vertigo and didn't want to go anywhere for the first week, let alone an airport. I think if you don't have any sinus problems one or two weeks would be fine, but definitely ring your surgeon and get he/her to confirm..
hope this helps and good luck :)

Reidan 12-17-2009 09:07 PM

Re: New Stapedectomy Report
 
Hello everyone,
I too had a Stapedotomy on December 2nd. I have wanted to post before now, but immediately after the surgery I could not stand to sit in front of my computer. Having anything close in front of my face actually made me feel sick to my stomach. Could not even read a book or magazine. You want to talk about boredome!! At least watching the TV across the room did not make me sick! So I was not completely bored.
And when I felt well enough to work at the computer it was time to head back to work. I was out for 2 weeks, 1 week before surgery for the Thanksgiving Holiday and 1 week after. So I had 2 weeks of work to catch up on and did not have any free time to post until now.

I have had many of the same results listed here, numb tongue, hear heart beat in operated ear, ringing in ear got much louder, etc . But, I have also had some differences.

I know that I can be very long winded when I type up posts on the Internet. But I wanted to write up my experiences that led me to this point. I feel that some of the things I have experienced over the last 20 years of dealing with hearing loss may help someone else. So please be patient with my ramblings.

Here is my tale.


My hearing loss was what many here on these forums have described, the lower frequencies were worse. I had an almost even hearing loss in both ears. At the time of my surgery I had a real obvious sharply slanted line on my audiogram with lowest db being around 55 for the lower frequencies up to around 15 db for the higher frequencies. My hearing loss became noticeable in my teens and got worse with age, I am now 42.

My first hearing screening was in 1989 at one of the Beltone Hearing Aid reps. She told me that I was too young for hearing aids and told me to go see an ENT, which I did. In 1991 I was referred by the ENT to go see an Ear Specialist, someone who just did ears and hearing. He told me I had an inner ear bone deformity and that it was genetic and asked if I had family with similar hearing loss, which I do. At that time he told me that surgery was an option and that they would replace all three bones of the inner ear, but that I only had 50/50 chance of coming out with better hearing. And even had the same 50/50 chance of coming out completely deaf.

I did not like those odds at all. At the time the hearing loss was not so bad that it impacted my life that greatly. So I declined the surgery

Over the next few years I returned to the ENT occasionally when I had ear infections and such. Each time I went I would ask if there were any new technologies that might help me. Each time I was told that the answer was no and that the odds of the surgery had not changed. So I continued on for years with continually declining hearing and having no foreseeable help on the horizon. I assumed that once my hearing got bad enough the doctor would give me hearing aids and I would have to wear them the rest of my life.

I awoke on Christmas Eve about 5 or 6 years ago with a real bad ear ache. Being Christmas Eve my normal ENT was already out of the office for the holiday. Went to the Insurance website to get our approved doctor list and called several doctors until I could find one who was actually open on Christmas Eve and agree to see me.

When I went to see him, turns out he was a young Dr. Do not know if he was just out of college or not, but he had his own practice. I gave him my history verbally as I did not have any of my records from previous hearing tests. It had been a few years since my last hearing test so he had his audiologist give me one. He tells me that the results of my test indicated typical otosclerosis and he gave me a real high pressure pitch to have surgery. High pressure pitch from a new doc did not sit well with me so I passed on the surgery, got prescriptions to deal with the ear ache and went my merry way.

Over the next few years I kept going to see my old ENT, even after he moved his office to be about a 45 minute drive for an office visit. And all the while he kept making the same recommendation. Telling me that he trusted the findings of that Ear Specialist 18 years ago. He even confirmed that when I felt the hearing got bad enough that I could not function any longer, he would give me hearing aids. But during that time that single visit to the young Dr's office kept nagging at the back of my mind. Was that Dr. right and the Ear specialist wrong?

Eventually I decided that it was time for a new ENT closer to home and work. And one who was willing to consider other options. I talked with my family doctor to get a recommendation for a trustworthy ENT. She gave me two names. I researched both and choose the one I thought seemed to have a good reputation. Even after choosing the Dr, I took several months to actually call and make an appointment. I was actually scared to move forward.

Eventually I got up the courage and made the call. Had a new audiogram done. The Dr. came in to discuss it with me. He listened to my history and I felt that he actually listened to my concerns with the previous diagnosis. He actually pulled up a chair and we sat and talked for awhile. He said he honestly could not 100% guarantee his diagnosis was right and the other Dr. was wrong. But, he has been doing it for years, has done 100's of the stapedotomy surgeries. And he said my results were text book matches for the diagnosis of otosclerosis.
We even talked about what would he do if he opened my ear and found out that all 3 bones needed to be replaced and not just the Stapes. He said he was always prepared for those conditions and that he would have prosthesis ready to go for that situation.

My hearing has gotten really bad. It is effecting my life and my work. I had to do something. I did not want to live with hearing aids. I agreed to the surgery.

Still with me after reading all of that? Good. My main reason is to help other people who may be holding on to a diagnosis that may not match. I guess the moral of my story is to get a second opinion.

Now on to my surgery, and the surprises I got!!

The morning of the surgery I arrived at the hospital. After getting checked in, changed into the hospital gown, getting an IV started, etc, the doctor comes into check on me before the surgery. We talked with the Dr. and he told my wife he would come see her afterwards. I thought it was kind of funny, but the Hospital Policy is that the doctor actually had to verbally confirm with me which ear he was operating on. He then had to sign my head next to that ear. He signed on my neck under the ear. I guess they have had to many people having surgeries on the wrong parts of the body and this is their solution!

The rolled me off to surgery. Last thing I remembered was the anesthesiologist cracking a joke to me as they held a mask over my face and pumped the anesthetics into me. The surgery went well the Dr. told my wife. I never got to see the Dr. after the surgery as he had back to back surgeries scheduled and by the time I awoke he was in the middle of the next patients surgery. As I was waking I remember hearing voices asking me questions. My first words I remember speaking were "I can hear you out of my right ear" (that's the ear I had surgery in) A nurse laughed and said that it was a good sign. The anesthesiologist came in to check on me and I could hear the nurse telling him what I said. He patted my leg and said that was excellent.

Once I was awake enough they took me to the next recovery room. When the wife got in to see me they had a large bandage that covered the entire ear and part of my face. I was happy that I was able to hear thru the bandage. Everything sounded very weird. Kind of like a cave with dripping water causing lots of distortions of the sounds. But, I was able to hear and to me that was a good thing.
I Was on my way home about 3 hours after the surgery ended. That night was my worst experience as the anesthesia drugs made me have lots of nausea and vomiting and I could not even keep water down. But after that night it was gone, with maybe some occasional nausea with the vertigo, but thankfully no more vomiting.

The next day after the surgery I had a post-op appointment at the Dr. office. That is when he surprised me with more details of the surgery. My wife had already told me I was in surgery much longer than we were told it would take. And he told me why. apparently I have very narrow ear canals and a small opening in my skull into the inner ear. The Dr. sliced my ear canal open and the incision went all the way out to about 4 mm onto my face. That part was not too bad, but then he told me he had to widen the hole in my skull to be able to get into it!!!!!!! I was not prepared for that at all!!!!

But, he says that once he got into the inner ear, he found exactly what he expected to find. I did indeed have Otosclerosis and not the inner ear bone deformity that would require all of the bones to be replaced. Once he had access to the bones the rest of the surgery went exactly as planned. He implanted the prosthesis and sealed me up.

After telling me all of this he removed the bandage to inspect the incision. It was covered with butterfly strips and he said it looked fine. Other than the bandage he did not remove any of the surgical packing. He put a cotton ball and a small normal bandaid over the surgical packing. Said to come back in 1 week.

As I left the thought that kept going through my head was "He had to drill a larger hole in my head!!!!!!" That was the surprising part. I was trying hard not to freak out about that revelations. In fact, I knew that I had small ear canals. If I ever used headphones with changeable tips I always had to use the small sized tips or they would not fit my ear comfortably. So I was able to accept that he had some difficulties with that physical aspect of my body. But he had to drill a hole!! DAMN! What makes it crazy is that I am not a small guy. I am 6'3", I have a big head, big feet, big hands, etc. I played football as a defensive lineman in high school and college. I am not a small guy and have never been told that any part of my body was small! So, that was a shock.

But, over all of that. The most important part is that the doctor told me that the inner ear bones were exactly what he expected to find. He told me that I have an excellent chance of having a successful outcome from this surgery.

After leaving I had the wife stop by the pharmacy and purchase some Neosporin and some more of the extra large bandages that the hospital had used. If I had a large incision that led all the way into my skull, I wanted something more on my head to keep out infection than just a small band aid and cotton ball.

Over the next week I had all the same symptoms everyone else has reported, Vertigo, nausea, ringing in my ears, everything tasted like metal, had some mild pain, etc. I could hear things thru the bandages. And loud or high pitched sounds caused discomfort. It is not pain, but I really feel sensitive to the sounds.

Once the 1 week was up I returned as planned. On this trip the doctor removed the first layer of the surgical packing. He also removed the butterfly strip and cuts out the stitches from the incision. He tells me that everything seems to be healing just fine. He tells me that there is additional packing deeper in the ear that he is not going to remove at this time. And to come back in 1 week. He also tells me that I can return to work as long as I feel that I am able.

I return to work the next day. Over the next week things get better the nausea is gone. The vertigo is mostly gone. Only get it now if I move fast or bend over for more than 1 second. Sound in the ear does not change much. I can hear, but it is muffled. And loud or high pitched noises still cause some discomfort.

My main complaints after this are the ear has that uncomfortable plugged feeling, the incision is starting to itch. The itching is helped by using the Neosporin to keep the incision from drying out. Will also keep the scar from being as noticeable.

I also have some numbness in the outer ear and part of my face where the incision is. The doctor tells me that is caused by the cut nerves from the incision and that it will go away in a few months.

1 Week after that visit I go back. This time he removes the last layer of surgical packing. It is the gel layer that is right up against the ear drum. The sensation of removing it feels really weird. But once he does it is like someone pulled a cork out of my ear. The plugged feeling is instantly gone and the sounds come flooding in. Everything sounds really distorted. Almost like they did after surgery. Only negative is that I also got an instant headache after the packing was removed. Do not know if the packing itself caused the headache, or the new sound sensations.

The facial numbness continues. But is not as bad, or maybe I am just getting used to it.

One thing I have not mentioned previously is that I use a CPAP machine to sleep with due to Apnea. I have not been able to use it since the surgery. One of my main complaints is that I have not been sleeping well since the surgery. I was very happy when the doctor tells me I can resume sleeping with my CPAP. So happy that I instantly go home and take a nap with the machine!!

That was two days ago. I have now had 2 nights sleeping with the CPAP and I feel more rested. The hearing has stabilized. Things sound normal. I do not feel as if I am hearing better than pre-surgery yet. But the doctor tells me that there is still healing left to happen and that there is still fluid, blood, etc, still inside the inner ear that needs to drain. He said from this point the hearing will gradually get better.

Also, the loud and high pitched noises continue to bother me. Doctor really did not comment on that.

He wants to see me again in 1 month and at that time we will do my first hearing test since the surgery.

So, that is where I am at in my journey. I am not done, but I am well on my way. And I still have to have this done to my left ear.

I am certain that I have missed parts of my story that I wanted to tell. But, it is late and I have been typing on this for over an hour. I will post more as I think of it.


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