Cochlear Implant #2…a short update

I haven’t been on the computer much since my surgery.  I simply do not feel well shortly after I get on, I get all hot and dizzy…so no computer for me.  (please note, I didn’t read this after I wrote it, I am just too tired, please forgive any strangeness, grammatical errors, or anything that is just wrong.)

However, I did want to update all as to my recovery.

Incision  the Day after surgery,

Day after surgery,  Sorry it’s not cleaned up more, but I hubby just took this picture to show me, and then we forgot to take another one.

Had the Cochlear Implant surgery on the 25th.  The incision looks great.  It still hurts a bit, not terribly bad, but annoying (mostly it’s just itching now!).  The tinnitus has been going Crazy!!  As I mentioned in an earlier post prescription pain relievers have been making me itch, so I’ve had to try different things.

I tried Arnica Montana (most just call it Arnica) in the oral form.  I’ve used the topical gel many times with much success, but I’ve never tried the tablets.  Before surgery we checked to make sure it wouldn’t be adverse to my medications, but didn’t see where it said not to take it if you are allergic to ragweed.  (guess what my number one allergen is?  Ragweed!) So I took it for a day and my muscles seized up.  I couldn’t even sit up without help.  So no more Arnica for me.  It took about 2 days for me to not hurt all over.  Kind of ironic, I used it to help with the pain and ended up in more pain.  But, hey, it took my mind off of my ear!

I am able to take an NSAID by injection.  I can’t take them orally because they have caused me a lot of stomach troubles.  So I have Toradol injections.  Unfortunately, I can only have 2 a week.  But they do help, a lot!  I use this for my most intense migraines too.  We decided to try 1/2 a shot to see if it helped, and it did!  Yay!  So I was able to have more shots just at a lower dose.  This helped a lot, especially when I couldn’t sleep.  But really, over all, I haven’t been in much pain, just uncomfortable with my glasses.

The vertigo started about 3 days ago.  I don’t know what’s going on really, I’m sure it has to do with the fluid from swelling and it going down…or something.  It’s not the normal Meniere’s vertigo.  It’s often positional, so if I lie very still I don’t spin.  I’ve also been having this strange sensation as if I’m having vertigo, but I’m visually spinning.  I feel my body/head moving, but I’m not moving, nor do I see anything moving.  It makes me just as sick as vertigo does.  Strange huh?  I’m still so grateful I was able to get Phenergan injections that hubby can give me.  I think it has saved me many times.

I was supposed to be activated and get my processors on the 8th, but the vertigo would not let me.  I thought I probably could have made it through the doctor’s visit, he is just checking the incision site, but going through the audiologist appointment would have had me on the floor!  That is a LONG visit.  Not only does she actually turn things on, she has to adjust things as I tell her how the beeps sound.(called MAPping for those with CI’s, or those who are just interested).  Then I have to have a hearing test, not just a regular hearing test, but a very long and detailed test.  I get so tired and worn out every time we do this I often have an attack that evening, so going there with me already feeling wonky in the head, would not have been wise.

Unfortunately, that means that I may have to wait until the first week of November.  We/They are trying to work it out so I can get in sooner, but the way I’ve been feeling I wouldn’t say it will be too soon anyway.  The office is looking to set up the appointment with my doctor on one day and then the audiologist on a different day instead of trying to do both in one day.  This should be easier to schedule.  Plus, it should also be easier on me.  At Duke they normally try to schedule as much on the same day as possible because so many people come from far away to be seen.  We often have to remind them we just live about 10 minutes from there.

So that’s my news for now.  I’m tired a lot, sleeping a lot…..guess I’m healing.  (oh who am I kidding, I was sleeping a lot before the surgery!)  Catching up on some reading, and watching TV.  The new season of Rupaul’s Drag Race just started!  (actually, they are showing season 1 again, it’s a hoot!)  If you asked me last year if I watched any reality shows I would have said no, but I love Rupaul’s show! after all……

“If you can’t love yourself how the hell are you going to love anyone else?…..can I get an Amen?” – Rupaul signs off each show with this quote!

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15 thoughts on “Cochlear Implant #2…a short update

    • Thank you Allison, I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. Drop me a line when you get a chance, and I will do the same, I just need to hear you are ok. My recovery is going pretty well, just the dang severe wonky head feelings. But I’m getting along. I’m sure it’s no worse than you have. hugs wendy

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  1. I’m so far behind and you are the first I’ve read in a long time! I certainly hope you continue to improve quickly and your CI is successful. Is it possible to do the hearing test in phases so you don’t tax all your energy in one day? It seems that if they could break it down for you, the results might be more accurate. A long day is difficult through. What do you think? Take care and stay safe.

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    • Hi Edie! I know you have had a lot going on, I’ve been trying to keep up with blogs, at least reading….I get many in my email, but I can’t comment from there and I often read them on my phone. The computer has been a challenge. I hope things are better in your neck of the woods.

      I don’t think they can break up the MAPping and testing, because I have to have it done before I can leave with my processors. However, if it’s off it’s not a big deal, I can go back for many MAPping appointments. This is a continuous process. As long as I’m well rested when I get there I do ok, but I knew I wouldn’t have been able to do it the other day. If I can’t do it all, they will just have to deal with it. I’m sure they will, they are so nice to me over there. But I also know me, I am one of those who is strong and will bravely go through it, not really noticing how tired I’m getting until it’s over, then I collapse.

      One day at a time, right? be safe w

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  2. It seems logical that in post-surgery, recovery mode, there would be swelling, etc which presents it’s self as your newer vertigo-like feelings.
    Hope you can get those appointments correlated to your best advantage.
    (((((hugs)))))

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    • Phylor, Stuart got a call today and they are working on getting me in there sooner. The audiologist is open on the 24th or 30th, if I can just see the doctor for a few minutes before, we’ll be doing good. Frankly, I’m glad I have a bit of time, these major wonky head feelings are coming too often for me to feel safe out. But I’m also glad I probably won’t have to wait until next month. {{{hugs to you too}}}}

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    • Thanks Laurie, I just seem to be an odd duck when it comes to medical stuff. But I don’t think I have fibro, was diagnosed with it years ago but symptoms all but went away when I stopped eating gluten. I no longer feel like I have the flu all the time.

      Recovery is going better. Now it’s just itching me to death!

      I hope your balance tests come back with something easy to fix. I run into walls and things all the time, and fall almost daily. I know balance issues are no fun, but a lot can be healed. Good luck. W

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  3. On my first cochlear surgery I was so upbeat . Not many men post on these experiences . I was told I would only need Ibuprofen . The pain medicine I was given is called Hydrocortisone/apap 5-325mg .My nose bleeds every time I stand up to go to restroom . Medicine on first night / last night didn’t dent the extreme pain .wife called doctor . He said this was normal . Day 2 I will stay in bed as well .Does everyone feel like this? Mike

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    • Mike,
      Pain for a few days is not abnormal. some people may need less pain meds, but most need some. You just had your ear mostly taken off and put back on and part of your skull removed. I had the skull removal part done in a separate surgery, (I had a mastoidectomy on both ears before I lost my hearing to try to help with the vertigo). I had a lot of pain with the first surgery. and a lot of vertigo with the second. I’m surprised they told you that you would only need ibuprophen. I’m sure some people don’t need much. I didn’t take anything stronger than tylenol with the second CI because I’ve developed an intolerance to opiods. And it hurt….a lot.
      I wouldn’t even say the nose bleed is abnormal. If your Eustachian tube can’t handle all the drainage, it had to come out some where.

      I had my CI’s turned on a couple of weeks after surgery….different doctors do different times. 2-4 weeks is normal. I was still sore when I had them activated, but it was tolerable.

      You will feel less and less pain. But remember you have had major surgery, and everyone reacts differently. Some may bounce back in a day or so, some will hurt for longer.

      I’m a member of a group called The Say What Club, they have a board (well, it’s an email list, you talk to others through there) that is dedicated just to CI’s. you may want to check it out. This is the main page http://www.saywhatclub.com/

      I hope this helps. Feel free to write me if you want to… apicnicwithants@gmail.com
      good luck
      wendy

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  4. I’ve been tested for gluten several times and I don’t have any allergies to wheat etc. NO celiac disease. I’m wondering if it just healthier all around to cut off gluten for a test run? I’m not there yet but thinking about it. Has anyone done it?

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    • laurie,
      don’t know how many people will see this here, but many people give up gluten just to see. some have great results, some say…not so much. I do have a slight wheat allergy, it now does not show up on any tests since I haven’t eaten gluten in a long time.

      I was diagnosed with fibro and had horrible symptoms. Felt like I had the flu all the time…..bad brain fog….ect. ect. I stopped eating gluten and it changed. A LOT. The pain subsided. I mean I don’t have that kind of pain any more. I still have some moments when I feel icky, but normally it’s when I’ve been “glutened” (accidentally eaten gluten).

      Giving up gluten wasn’t hard for me. I didn’t go and get a bunch of gluten free substitutes, I decided to concentrate on what I could eat. I eat GF pasta, and I do occassionally eat GF bread (not much, I hate making it…so I do buy this, it’s expensive so I don’t eat much). Make GF pancakes sometimes. if I want a GF substitute for something I can do it. and like it.

      If you try it, ….. I noticed a difference in 2 weeks….. a big difference in a month.

      Unfortunately, I have found I have other food intolerances that make eating much more difficult than going gluten free.

      It may not help you. some people with Fibro report finding it doesn’t help them….it helped me…and I know others that it helped.

      It’s up to you. if you need any support, I’m here for you.

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