Chronic Illness · My Health Stuff

Post-Surgery Update, My Version

Warning: Post contains some images of the surgery site, which are kind of graphic looking.

First off, I’ll start by letting you know that the doctor says everything is fine, no complications 🙂 This is good, and I’ll give more details below. I just didn’t want any of you to be anxious while reading!

Lizz sleeping
Just a reminder of how the whole post-surgery recovery stuff started.

I’m going to start at the moment I wake up. I really hate waking up from anesthesia, it’s not like you’re going from dreaming to waking, but a weird and disjointed confusion. You only remember up until the anesthesia/amnesiacs take effect (provided they are administered properly). This time, I was given the amnesiac in the pre-op area. As she was injecting it into my IV, I forced Dan to stop talking and give me the “good luck” kiss so I’d remember it. Good thing too, because it’s the last thing I remember. Then, *BAM*you’re waking up in the post-op area: “Woh, what happened?!” Yeah. That kind of thing. And this time, it came with a “What is on my forehead?” Yeah, the bandage. I don’t know what I was expecting, but that’s also a side effect, at least for me, of the anesthesia; I get a major case of The Dumb. At least the nurses know you won’t know who they are, even if you met them right before the surgery or something, so they automatically introduce themselves. I get very nauseous when I wake up, too, so I immediately asked for an alcohol wipe (I figured they were right next to her somewhere). She actually knew about the smelling rubbing alcohol to ward off nausea, so she didn’t think I was crazy. Then she ran off to find something called Quease Ease. Turns out, Quease Ease is an essential oil stick thing; that actually makes me more nauseous if I’m really bad, but it does help for mild nausea. After a little while, she asked if I wanted some water or food or something. I was extremely nauseous though, so she brought me some water and crackers. It felt good to get something in my stomach, but it always takes so long to get it down.

Technically, this is pre-surgery… close enough!

As I was munching, the nurse went and got Dan. After reading the paperwork, it turns out she let him back earlier than it says they do. I’m glad she did though, because she told him things… and all I remember is that she was talking, I can’t remember what she was even talking about. She escorted him back out, told him to get the car, and I got dressed. I don’t remember getting into the wheel chair, nor do I remember how I got down to the ground floor. But, there was the car. I got in, I’m not really sure how many hands helped, but there were a lot of them, and off we went. When we got home, I just kind of passed out cold on the couch. I was exhausted, and I needed to sleep off the rest of the anesthesia. I woke up at one point and realized that my mom and Dan were also both sleeping! Apparently, none of us enjoy staying awake after four-five hours of sleep (that was my fault, I wanted to finish the board game we were playing, and then we had to get up in time to be at the hospital by 6:30a). I slept pretty much the entire day. Yesterday, I asked Dan if I ate at all. I only had the crackers and some bread, and I’m pretty sure we had plain chicken and plain rice for dinner. I’m pretty sure I slept most of the next day as well. Yup, I skipped my classes. I wasn’t in pain, I was just exhausted. We did remove my pressure bandage that Thursday though.

So, the gauze was stuck. Had to use diluted hydrogen peroxide and a q-tip to slowly work it off.
So, the gauze was stuck. Had to use diluted hydrogen peroxide and a q-tip to slowly work it off.

I was doing fine with my pain for awhile. My ear was numb, so I couldn’t feel it very well, apparently. Monday night was not so fun, however. I REALLY needed to shower. I’d showered Wednesday morning before surgery, but my ear needed to stay dry so I was giving it as much time as possible. I knew I’d need Dan nearby for balance assist, since I’d been really dizzy all weekend and Monday. We were told to hold a plastic cup over my ear to keep water out of my ear and off the incision. I figured it probably wouldn’t hold water out on its own, so I covered the rim in petroleum jelly. Turned out, I needed more than supervision. Turned out I couldn’t really hold the cup and wash my hair at the same time. The entire side of my head is sensitive, so I ended up in tears during my shower, more than once. I did manage to get everything soaped. However, I got petroleum jelly in my hair, which is still there (I haven’t showered since that one, trying to let the incision heal).

Right after the bandage removal
Right after the bandage removal
My eye is bruised, not entirely sure why. We think they had something there to protect my eye.
My eye is bruised, not entirely sure why. We think they had something there to protect my eye.
My ear is swollen (only one day after surgery)
My ear is swollen (only one day after surgery)
IV Bruise
The IV bruised my arm, this is the day after

Tuesday was miserable. I had classes, which I attended. I didn’t take any of my pain medicine with me (I couldn’t take more ibuprofen until I got home anyway). Just being upright and mobile for that long made me completely miserable. By the time we got home (Mom has been driving me to my classes since I’m taking strong meds), I was almost at my limit. On my 0-10 pain scale, 10 is “get me to a doctor of some sort now, because I can’t handle it on my own and just want to remove whatever is hurting me.” Well, Tuesday evening I was going between a 9 and a 9 ¾ … obviously, I did not feel well. Thankfully, I felt a bit better on Wednesday, and I was able to rest most of the day before my appointment with Joleen. Yesterday’s classes went better. By the time we got home, I mostly just had a headache and about a 6 or 7 from my ear.

Incision Site
This is what my incision site looked like 8/30
August 30: eye bruise and ear swelling
August 30: eye bruise and ear swelling
August 30: The IV bruise has gotten much more interesting at this point
August 30: The IV bruise has gotten much more interesting at this point

Today, I went to see the doctor. I had called on Wednesday asking if this much pain should be happening. The answer is no. Most people don’t have any pain after 4 days. While they knew about the fibro, they wanted to be completely sure that there wasn’t any sort of infection or anything else that was causing me pain. It’s been 9 days since the surgery. Dr L (a doc that works with Dr K) examined me, pulled off the SteriStrips, and gave me a clean bill of health. He said that everything he could see looked perfectly normal and expected, so the pain is most likely my fibro acting up. He also gave me ways to adjust my meds as needed (I can increase my Tramadol and/or add Tylenol if I need extra relief). But it looks like everything should be on track for healing up. I have to admit, I’m doing much better than I expected, but I’m definitely struggling with pain. Since so many pain meds don’t work well for me, I try to hold off as much as possible… it’s a dumb “out stubborn the pain” thing, that usually just puts me in a lot of pain. I also have a love hate relationship with pills in general, so I will also hit a hate phase and just not want to swallow them. I’m ridiculous. Now that Dan is home, I’m going to take more medicine (since I’m getting a headache), finish editing the photos for this post, then lie down.

The doc took off the SteriStrips!
The doc took off the SteriStrips!
This is what my bruise is doing now...
This is what my bruise is doing now…
This is how I've been having to wear my glasses. My incision site is extremely sensitive.
This is how I’ve been having to wear my glasses. My incision site is extremely sensitive.

More posts from the Great Ear Saga: The Great Ear Saga of 2015Bawling BeanStay on the DropsCutting in Time for SchoolThe PreOp HighlightsClass, Surgery, Life, AnxietyDan’s Post-Surgery UpdateQuick Ear UpdatePostOp Physical TherapyPain Killers, Exhaustion, LifeOctober: PostOp and Life

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