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  • My Stapedectomy report

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    Old 03-18-2008, 09:57 AM   #151
    CAB1
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Yes, it's still open.

    I have nothing new to say until today so I haven't posted.

    YAAAY! I can finally blow my nose. This won't mean a lot to some of you, but the ones that have followed my progress since Jan 07...are hopefully smiling for me right now.

    All is good, I can hear great. NO opens/closes or other lingering issues.

    Life is Good.

    Good Luck Mommy, I see you are getting close to your surgery date.

    More later,

    -Carol-

     
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    Old 03-18-2008, 10:19 AM   #152
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Carol,

    yep! one week and one day. A little nervous so I check this board 3 times a day. lol.

    I did go back and re-read all your post and I am smiling that you can blow your nose.

    Have a great day!

    Carrie

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 12:06 PM   #153
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    I so wish I would have found these board before my surgery. Here is my deal:

    Husband and friends have been bugging me about my bad hearing for the past 2.5 years. Finally went for audiogram and follow-up with ENT who dx bilateral otosclerosis with mild/moderate hearing loss. Realized I had been using many different coping strategies (ignoring, joking, reading lips, etc.) I am a teacher, so the hearing loss was affecting my job performance. Tinnitus was never bad enough to complain about; in fact, I just thought it was normal to have a constant quiet high-pitch sound. Was going to get hearing aids, but decided on the stapedectomy.

    3/12/08: 1 day until surgery
    Running around like a maniac trying to ready my classroom for a substitute and my home (and 2 small boys) for my absence. Getting really nervous.

    3/13/08: surgery day
    Reported to hospital at 6:15 a.m. Taken to pre-op around 6:45, given IV cocktail, anesthesiologist assured me that general anesthesia would NOT make me nauseous (???), remember being wheeled into OR and the room being so very cold, then waking up in recovery. Had to use bedpan twice to pee (yuck.) Was very groggy and just wanted to nap. Remember surgeon saying "hello" in my operated ear, asking me if I could hear (yes) and putting tuning fork on my forehead (yes, could hear it in operated ear.) Finally taken to regular room, and was so surprised when my husband told me it was 1:30! It seemed like I had been in recovery for only an hour or so. I felt like I could hear people's voices from a speaker inside my head from my operated ear. crazy!

    No private rooms available, so I just wanted to go home. Nurses said I needed to try some liquids, so I sent my husband for a chocolate shake. I was still very groggy and kept dozing off. When he returned, I started getting dizzy and nauseous and didn't want the milkshake. Every time I moved my head in any direction, even just a few inches, I felt a *WHOOSH* through my head. One time the room started spinning around me for a few seconds. Another time the bed felt like it was tipping over and I was going to fall on the floor. I got up to go to the bathroom and that made the dizziness worse. I tried a few sips of milkshake. The next time I got up for the bathroom I started the puking. Zofran in my IV helped and knocked me out. I decided to stay the night. Had a long dizzy/puking episode later, and they gave me more Zofran and then Reglan. Finally got over that nausea but didn't eat anything until 5:30 the next morning -- one saltine.

    3/14/08: 1 day post op
    Nausea not as severe. No puking. Finding ways to move my head very slowly when necessary as dizziness and *whooshing* has increased. Operated ear feels stuffy due to packing; no noticeable change in hearing. Finally keeping down crackers and sent home around noon. I would have stayed longer if my hospital roommate and her visitors weren't so distressing.

    Ride home was OK. Feeling very weak and lightheaded. Got a shower at home and had lunch. Went outside for a bit to watch my kids play. Getting so tired so fast. Have been discouraged and slightly depressed thinking I made a mistake and should have just put up with the hearing loss or gotten hearing aids.

    Have had no pain, though!

    days 2-6 post op
    Unbelievable how tired I get. Should have been resting much more than I have been. Mild pain in ear/face (sinus?) and jaw beneath operated ear, but regular tylenol works. Packing in ear is getting annoying. Slept 12 hours last night and still woke up tired. Heartbeat in ear is annoying, too, especially since it's rapid at times and seems irregular.

    Other than the Tylenol, I've been on prednisone and augmentin. I have not used any of the zofran or percocets the dr gave me.

    At this time, I do not think I will be having the stapedectomy on my other ear. I know I may change my mind in a few months if I have significant hearing improvement and when this recovery phase is over.

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 01:44 PM   #154
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Becca,

    I hope you get to feeling better and have some of the great results some of the others have had. I must admit..your post makes me more nervous than ever. I am having my surgery on a wednesday and am hoping to return to work the following Monday. (I will have someone drive me to work for about a week) the dizziness is what I am most concerned with. I hope I have given myself enough recovery time but I really have no choice as that is all the sick/vac hours I have available at this time. I have gone back and read everyones posts again trying to ready myself.

    I am so thankfull for the people who have taken the time to post here.

    Carrie

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 05:53 PM   #155
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Carrie, I do hope you have a much quicker and easier recovery than I am having.

    I am off work this week for Spring Break, and am still wondering how I will ever be able to go to work on Monday. I better have significant improvement over the next 4 days. I think I will try driving tomorrow to see how that goes.

    I am sorry my post scared you. But I do wish I had had more realistic expectations of how hard it would be. My surgeon kept telling me that "most people" have no dizziness or nausea. I wish he would have prepared me for the worst.

    If you can stay in bed and force yourself to relax, I think that is a great strategy. Like I said, I was out back with my kids the day after surgery, sweeping the crumbs off the kitchen floor on day 3, cooking, etc. All the mom stuff we are used to doing and feel guilty for not doing. I would feel OK while doing those things, but the exhaustion would hit like a ton of bricks a few hours later.

    So really try to rest!

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 05:13 AM   #156
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    As you see from reading these posts, no two stories are exactly the same. Everyone reacts in their own way to the surgery. There are common experiences, though, that are great to read about and allow you to recognize when they happen to you. Some get dizzy, some don't. Some are nausous, and some aren't. I don't know that there really is any way to predict what will happen to you. It does seem that the consensus is that it is all worth it when your hearing is restored.... Like with any procedure, there are risks, but if you educate yourself on them and understand what the benefits are, you can go into it realistically.

    I'm one of the lucky ones who had no dizzyness or nausea. I agree that the main thing after surgery is to rest, rest ,rest! Take care of yourself, and don't try to do too much too soon. Don't get frustrated with the recovery process....It takes time. I am so glad I had the surgery.

    Good luck!

    Anne

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 08:01 AM   #157
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!

    I CAN HEAR!!!!

    I just got back from my appt with the surgeon. He removed my packing, and it is ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE to hear things I never realized I hadn't been hearing -- people talking down the hall, a radio playing in the next room, traffic on the nearby highway. I AM IN AWE! I seriously have tears in my eyes when I think about how grateful I am to have my hearing back; and to think I never even realized how much hearing loss I had.

    Despite the rough recovery, I will DEFINITELY be getting the other ear done. I can tell such a difference in the two ears now. At the appointment I told the doc that I felt I was deaf in my unoperated ear, my so-called "good ear." He replied, "Yeah, that's how you've been hearing all along." I cannot believe it was that bad.

    So one day after posting so negatively, I just want to encourage everyone that your experience of being able to hear is going to rock your world! This is just so exciting!!

    I had to move away from the microwave a bit ago after turning it on b/c it was so loud. HAHA! I told my husband to talk a little more quietly b/c he was hurting my ear. He can't believe it.

    I am sure I'll be back with some more examples of how great a day I am having. I am on Cloud 9!!!

     
    Old 03-21-2008, 05:24 AM   #158
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    YEAHHHHH!!!!!! Becca, that is great news... It really is amazing how things can change from one day to the next, isn't it?

    As you read on some of the other posts, you may experience some fluctuation in your hearing as the healing takes place. Just be prepared for that and be careful about blowing your nose or lifting anything...

     
    Old 03-21-2008, 06:34 AM   #159
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Anne,
    Thanks for the reminders about remaining realistic regarding my hearing returning in spurts. My dr didn't say anything about not blowing my nose, but I plan to be gentle! I am aware that my quality (?) of hearing is not so great -- I have that seashell/metal can sensation. Sometimes I get a rushing sound like wind (is that tinnitus?) that goes away quickly.

    I had a few more moments when I almost broke out in tears yesterday:

    1) reading in bed and hearing every word of the conversation my husband was having with my son in the bathroom -- the night before surgery my son had gotten out of bed and was walking around while I was reading in bed, and my husband came upstairs annoyed that I hadn't heard anything!

    2) sitting in the basement office and hearing a plane. Previously, my son would occasionally say, "mommy, hear that plane?!" And I'd have to *pretend* that I heard it.

    3) putting my cell phone up to my operated ear and having to turn the volume to the lowest setting. In the past, I've sometimes even put it on speakerphone to be able to hear in that ear!

    4) asking my husband to turn down the TV last night while I tried to go to sleep. Before surgery, I'd know the TV was on b/c I could see the light from it, but couldn't hear anything. (I guess this might be a negative now that my husband has to turn the TV off sooner!)

    5) Ok, this one is kind of goofy -- but my husbands BREATHING kept me awake part of the night. We have a king bed and sleep on complete opposite sides, but I swear to god I could hear every gurgle and sniff and breath and swallow he was making. He told me this morning that I asked him during the night to "please stop swallowing." LOL!

     
    Old 03-21-2008, 06:37 AM   #160
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    One more s/e:
    my tongue feels big and things don't taste so great.

    On a positive note, I've lost 5-6 lbs since surgery.

     
    Old 03-21-2008, 11:10 AM   #161
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Becca,

    THAT IS AWSOME!!! lol on the husband breathing. As my surgery time is getting closer I wonder if bed time wont be the only draw back. Ha Ha. right now my family makes fun of me for sleeping through everything. "you didnt hear that storm last night?" "nope!". My husband makes fun of me for snoring....think in about a week...I'll have some of his sleep issues to make fun of. I CAN'T WAIT!

     
    Old 03-21-2008, 06:05 PM   #162
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    I went to Target today, by myself. Driving is OK, although I feel the need to be super cautious.

    Being in the store was overwhelming to say the least. Complete sensory overload!! I almost felt paranoid b/c I heard so many voices and conversations, it was like I was almost jumping to see who was talking to me (no one!) -- I assume this is what everyone else hears, and it will just take my brain some time to filter it all. I was also a bit unsteady on my feet, and was glad to have the cart to lean on. Worst part was when a person in a motorized cart backed up in my checkout line: the *BEEP* *BEEP**BEEP* was so loud I wanted to walk out of the store.

    I am nervous about this sensory overload for my first day back at work (at a high school that has concrete walls and floors, so lots of echoing.) I plan to take cotton for my ears just in case. Isn't that ironic? All year I've asked my student to repeat themselves and I now might have to plug my ears.

    Last edited by beccabec; 03-21-2008 at 06:06 PM.

     
    Old 03-24-2008, 05:26 PM   #163
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    I cannot believe I found this forum. To all of you who have had the operation and have posted your progress, I want to thank you. I hope that all who are still in the recovery stage continue to improve. To those of you who have gone through it more than once, wow! I hope you never have to go through it again.

    I work at a school and have off this week for spring break. With my extra time, one of my main missions was to investigate this surgery. You see, my ENT back in January told me to return in 6 months and that if my hearing didn't change / ears stayed the same, he would refer me to a specialist to see about the possibility of having a stapedectomy. I really knew nothing of it, but had heard of otoschelrosis before. I have had a history of ear infections and wax blocking the ear canal. I usually see my ENT an average of three times a year for ear problems. The last two times, about three months apart, he checked my hearing. It was maybe around 50 db's a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving in the L ear, and around January, around 65db's (I believe). There is usually always a ringing noise, and a definite hearing loss, but yesterday I popped it so many times and tugged on my ear, that I am hearing better today but have to keep popping it so that I can have a slightly better, but still not normal hearing in it. It usually has a "full" feeling, and today it is much better, but I know this will go at any minute. Because I work as a speech therapist, I need to be able to hear children speaking the sound they are working on in isolation, and determine if they are saying that sound correctly or not, and provide feed back to them. I am already having to position them on my "good" ear so that I can hear better. I have already begun to sit with good ear to the speaker, and bad ear to the "noise" in
    resteraunts, meetings, etc. I belive I am begining to rely on lip reading in certain situations.

    My questions (for now) are: if I need the surgery, I want to have it at the beginning of the summer break, which for me will begin May 23rd. How hard is it to find a Dr. who is highly qualified for the surgery? My ENT has already said he will refer me, but not do the procedure himself.

    What is the possibility of being able to fly for July 4th week?

    thanks, I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have found this site!
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    Old 03-25-2008, 02:50 PM   #164
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Carrie, Is tomorrow the big day??? Remember to TAKE IT EASY!!!

    Mylesmom,
    I think my postop instructions said flying is OK after 1 or 2 weeks, so you should be fine with that timeframe. I started with an independent audiologist last summer -- just to prove to my nagging husband that my hearing was fine. Lo and behold, she said my audiogram was a textbook example of otosclerosis and she sent me to an ENT. The ENT confirmed her diagnosis, and he is the one who did my surgery. He never suggested waiting, but he also did not press me to have the surgery.

    Looking back, I always felt a "fullness" or stuffiness in my ears that I just chalked up as a residual effect of a cold. Now I know that it was the hearing loss itself. I also realized how much lip reading I was doing to get by.

     
    Old 03-25-2008, 02:57 PM   #165
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Becca,

    Yes! Its tomorrow! feeling a little preassured and dis-organized. But ready! I plan on laying on my behind till Sunday. lol Any other advice will be most welcome. I'll check this site as soon as i get home from hospital.

    Thanks

    carrie

     
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