Surgery Over – Day 1 recovery

Getting ready to go home, after a long day!

Surgery went well.  I had an Endolymphatic Sac Enhancement Surgery.  After much searching, I found that different doctors do different surgeries and call it the same thing.  Basically had a Mastoidectomy.  (surgical removal of the mastoid process) with extra stuff.  Dr. Kaylie removes more bone so the sac can decompress (on its own) and will have more room to expand.  Leaving the endolymphatic sac and dura with no bone covering it.  However, most of this is under your ear, so it’s pretty protected.

Hopefully, this surgery will stop 70% – 90% of the vertigo caused by this ear.  I had this surgery on my right ear in April of 2010, it appeared to work.  But since I’m bilateral, sometimes it was hard to tell if my vertigo attacks were caused by my right or left ear.  Sometimes I could really tell, but since my hearing has diminished so much, and the tinnitus has gotten so much worse all the time, it makes it harder to distinguish.

I got home about 7:30pm.  Had to be at the hospital at 11:30am, surgery was to begin at 2pm, but it was delayed  until after 3pm because they had to give me a pregnancy test.  I told them there was no way I was pregnant even explained that because of my hip issues, we haven’t had “intercourse” in a very long time.  They asked again, how I could be sure I wasn’t pregnant.  I told them, “let me put it this way, there has not been a penis in my body for months, because of my hip pain, we get creative, but we haven’t had intercourse.  And I haven’t skipped my period.”  (they considered giving me a test anyway, but I peed right before they took me back, and since I hadn’t drunk anything for about 14 hours, there wasn’t any to come out.)  The nurses accepted this, but come to find out, if you are of child-bearing years you must have this test, hospital policy.  So I squeezed out some urine for them….and we waited….and waited for the lab to do the test.  So that delayed the surgery, luckily I was his last for the day so it didn’t put anyone behind.

When they decided I just had to have this test, Stuart joked, “Well, if you are giving birth to the messiah we want to make sure we don’t cause him to have birth defects.”  Only, Stuart would come up with that one!

Before leaving the hospital they did have my pain under control, but I was hurting quite a bit shortly after we got home.  I was sick to my stomach, (lot’s of anti-nausea medication), and pretty dizzy.  I slept some, but I woke a lot because of the pain.  I don’t think I took enough pain medication until about 4am.  Finally, it started to work.  I’d wake up in a few hours, and take half of a pain pill, this seems to have kept things under control.  One thing that was odd, I had this horrible taste in my mouth I just couldn’t get rid of.  Tasted like plastic and medicine.  I swear I tasted that same taste as they were putting me under.  I don’t remember this ever happening before.  It was gross.  I’m also having some crazy post nasal drip, and a cough.  Of course, my throat is sore from the breathing tube, but it’s better today too.

That big cup they put on my ear, filled with gauze and stuff, I swear it causes more pain than the actual surgery.  There was too much gauze and it pressed on my ear.  When you have a hole drilled in your head about the size of a 50 cent piece, you don’t really want to feel something pressing on it.  Thankfully, we got to take it off today, I removed all the stuff from inside, ewww, and just put a little packing back in, now it feels better, and I can sleep with out the worry of rolling over on that ear.  They said I could just take it off, but the ear will drain for some time.

I have a tube in that ear, so the drainage comes out the ear a lot.  This is actually an advantage.  My Eustachian tube is very sore, so I know it’s handling a lot of drainage too.  If I didn’t have the tube I think I’d have a much harder time with vertigo and pain.

My main nurse during pre-op, Janice, was amazing.  She was so caring, compassionate, and professional all at the same time.  She looked pained to hear what I had been going through.  I told her one of my mottos, “Life isn’t what I expected, so I’m just changing my expectations”.  I didn’t say this to be profound our anything, I said it to let her know, I’m OK with things.  Yeah, it’s hard, not what I expected, but I’ll make the most of what I have.  She was really stuck by this.  She said everyone could learn from that, so many people get caught up in the what if’s and can’t get past it to see what they still can be.  Right before I went back, she patted me on the arm, wished me the best, and said that she was going to remember to change her expectations as things change.

I was so humbled, and touched.

They had a hard time getting in an IV, one nurse tried, and even though she gave me lidocaine, it really hurt and it wouldn’t go all the way in.  Janice came in and took over, she had a hard time finding a vein, I remember telling her, I wished I could help.  She told me I was such a good patient.  She soon found a vein, and I didn’t even feel her stick me!  Amazing.   (about IV’s, I had another one in my other arm when I work from the surgery…wonder why?  I’m very glad I was out for that one, it was inside my wrist, a very painful place to get an IV.)

Everyone was very nice to me, and very professional, but Janice was exceptional.

Now, I’m getting tired, and a bit nauseous.  I’m thinking all this drainage, and post nasal drip, is making me sick to my stomach.

think I will take a nap.

For now, all is well…I may be posting a lot during my recovery.  I want to keep up with all my symptoms, so I may get a bit boring.  I thought of keeping a written journal of it, or on my calendar, but I know I’m much more likely to come here, and talk.

Thank you all for so much support!  You cannot imagine how much it means to me.


14 thoughts on “Surgery Over – Day 1 recovery

  1. Wow, your ear cup looks exactly like mine did with the sticker smiley faces on it! They must come like that. I’m impress you are even writing. I didn’t go near a computer or phone for 2 1/2 weeks. I’ve had 100’s of IV’s and I bet you woke with 2 because one of them “went bad” or “blew” while you were asleep. During my several 2 week hospitalizations for Migraines, I would have PICC lines inserted because IVs tend to blow on me. Being awake for a PICC line insertion is really one of the worst things. But, I know how painful it is when they are digging for an IV. It is miserable. I’m a hard stick too. One time in an ambulance, the paramedic couldn’t get a line in! I laughed at Stuart’s comment about giving birth to the Messiah. I don’t know why they even ask that question about a chance of you being PG, because as you said, they ALWAYS have to have the test. One time, I flat refused. I had been in that hospital the day before for a failed colonoscopy and was back for another one. There was no way I was going to pay for a 2nd PG test when there was NO way I could have gotten PG in the time period. Otherwise, I hear you…they should take our word for it when we say no. But I’m rambling now. I am thinking of you throughout the day and hoping that you are daily able to make strides. Sounds like you are being a fantastic patient!!!


  2. I love that sweet, groggy picture of you. Thank goodness the surgery went well and you are at home recuperating. I am sending you my love and good thoughts and great healing vibes. I hope your pain is minimal and I HOPE that this surgery works out like your other ear. YEAH for you and your great nurse. I am sure you are a wonderful patient, kind attracts kind!!! Keep in touch, Laurie


  3. I hate getting IVs put in. Hate needles in general, though.
    I’m so glad everything went well and you are home recuperating. I am really praying that this will make all the difference for you. Yes, keep us informed as to your progress. Rest-rest-rest! 🙂


  4. So glad the surgery went well with no complications!! YAY! That picture of you looks like you just want to stay right there and go to sleep! Take those pain meds…that’s why the doctor gave them to you!
    Keep us posted!


  5. Wendy,
    I’m so glad you are through with the surgical part and it sounds like it went well. Don’t throw away your ear cover thingey — when you are well you can paint it and make something fun out of it! I am assuming it is like a protective cup — when you are done with it Stuart can wear it as a cap OR he can wear it to protect his “jewels” to give you a smile since he can’t “give” to you in other ways . . .
    xxxxx J.


  6. (((((hugs))))) and glad to hear that you are hanging in there after the surgery! Here’s to a speedy recovery. !!!!!
    I know about the “over packing;” the first night after my wrist surgery and yet another new cast, I got this horrible pain in the nerve in my inner elbow. I had to hold my arm above my head to get any relief. Before we headed to the ER, hubby got some pliers, and pulled as much packing as he could get at (I actually kept the stuff we pulled out to show the doctor) and I waited til the next morning to call the office due the previous night’s pain, and I could feel the gauze inside the cast was hardening, and see that it was red at the top of the cast (at my knuckles). Sure enough, when I went to the office, and the tech undid the cast, it was full of hard, red gauze, and a ton of packing — the next cast when too far up towards my knuckles, but at least there was no more packing!
    I really hope that this surgery helps with the vertigo, and that the recovery time is short! Take good care


    1. I must admit I had to look up what a fascinator is, and am thrilled with the idea. The cup is actually clear, I know it looks white in the photo but that’s all the cotton and such. It has holes in it for air, so I could easily attach flowers and such. : ) I have a stuffed monkey and thought I might make him a hat…or something silly like that. But a fascinator…what a fascinating idea!


  7. Pingback: Wonky, Sloshy Head « Picnic with Ants

  8. I’m having a modified radical mastoidectomy on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Not thrilled over having to have general anesthesia….would prefer to be awake, but evidently with this surgery it really isn’t an option. I’ll be going home the same day. I am making it clear to them that I do not want to see the O.R. and want to be knocked out before I even get there…just like back in 93 when I had a total left parotidectomy. Hoping this surgery will make it so that no more infections can happen in there!!! WIsh me luck!!
    And, I’m so glad your surgery is over and done with. But, I think yours was two years ago? This is 2013 now.



    1. Yes, my last endolymphatic surgery…a modified mastoidectomy was December 1st, 2010, I did have one on the other ear 2 years prior. I’ve had 2 cochlear implants put in since then. So my surgery wasn’t to stop the infections…I do understand that many do have to have this surgery for this reason. I watched the story of one man who had it on YouTube, he was very upbeat about his.

      I understand not wanting to have general anesthesia, but I really don’t think you would want to be awake for this. I have seen the OR each time, but only for a few moments. Mainly just so I can help move me from one bed to the next, I think. Then I’m out. I was given something before they took me back to calm me down.

      Most people have this surgery and it’s no big deal. I had it twice, and both times were like night and day. The first time I was in a lot of pain for a while. Not a normal reaction, I think my right ear is just very sensitive, as I just recently had my second CI surgery 2 weeks ago, and it is also hurting more than the left side did. My doctor said my recoveries have been strange. My second mastoid surgery caused vertigo for a week. Just too much fluid in my head. (I do also have Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, so raising my cerebral spinal fluid more with the swelling probably caused the vertigo, I’ve had a bit of after this most recent surgery too, but it hasn’t been as bad)

      Have they described this surgery to you? You can look it up on line, but you might get a bit squeamish. I’m one of those strange people who think this stuff is amazing, and wanted to know and see as much about it as I possibly could before hand.

      My surgeries have helped a ton. I don’t know about this second CI (Cochlear Implant) yet, I haven’t had it activated so I just don’t know. But it wasn’t so very bad. (I’ve developed an intolerance to pain medications so it’s been a challenge to control the pain after this latest surgery, luckily it barely hurts now mostly it itches! Driving me crazy!)

      Good luck to you on the 15th. again if I can do anything to help relieve your worries, drop me a line or comment, and please let me know how you are doing?


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