Sunday, June 26, 2011

under the knife...twice.

so most of you know that I have been def in my left year for over a year.  I finally, (thanks? to Shawn) went in to have it checked out.  It just felt like it was plugged.  not so.  I found out I have "otosclerosis" which means the tiny stapes bone had hardened, unable to conduct my hearing.  This is genetic, though we don't know anyone else in my family who has it.  My doctor told me it was an "easy" outpatient surgery fix and my hearing would be restored to approximately 90%!

Everything went really well with the surgery and I was told I would be back to myself in 24-48 hours, but put on bed rest, because my equilibrium would be off and I could fall. (p.s. waking up from that surgery was one of the worst experiences I have ever had.)

That night, around midnight I turned over in bed.  I felt something "move" in my ear.  So I turned back to the other side to try and undo what I had done.  Immediately I couldn't feel my arms.  My body started to tingle all over and I got extremely hot. I could tell I was going into shock.  I woke Shawn and told him something was wrong. He jumped up, turned on the light and got my pills (Valium) and some water.  I then heard a REALLY LOUD noise in my bad ear.  I knew it was bad.  I told Shawn he might need to call 911.  I can't explain what shock feels like, but those of you who have been in shock know.  You just know.  It was soo scary!  I took the Valium and I immediately relaxed, so much so that I fell back asleep.  In the morning I told Shawn to tell my mom what happened.  (He didn't remember any of it!  You know Shawn and his funny sleeping history!  He was still asleep during all of this...he only told my mom "she had a rough night").  My mom called the doctor and as soon as he found out about the loud noise in my ear, he immediately wanted to see me.  I tried to get up and immediately started throwing up...and felt MISERABLE.  I kept telling my mom I couldn't go in...She called my dad in for reinforcement and to help me to the car.  As soon as he got there and said we needed to go in, I said "ok daddy"... (lol)

When we got to the clinic, the doctor met us in the parking lot...and started asking me questions.  I asked him to tell me what to say and what the right answers were because I did NOT want to go back to surgery!  (of course, he wouldn't) and they took me in for a CAT scan, which I started throwing up...again.  He cancelled the rest of his day and told me I was his #1 priority and personally accompanied me to the CAT scan and waited there for the results.  They were only able to get one set (out of two) results, which he thought looked good, but he wasn't comfortable and wanted to go back in.  (emergency surgery).  He said it would take 30 minutes just to "look" and if something was wrong, it could take 2 hours.  He brought his partner in with him to have two sets of eyes and make sure he didn't miss anything. 

so back to surgery I went.  This was around 3:30 p.m.  After I had been in surgery for 3-1/2 hours, Shawn and my mom were climbing the walls, wondering what was going on...noone had came out to tell them what was happening and they just wanted to know if I was still breathing!!  Finally they grabbed a nurse to go find out. 

What they found out was that the prosthesis had collapsed into my inner ear and all the fluid in my ear had leaked out and was replaced by air (the loud noise) I heard.  (basically the worst thing that could happen) He had to take veins out of my hand and wrist to use as a "cover" for the prosthesis so it wouldn't happen again and basically redo the procedure.  But because there is no fluid left, my recovery would be a lot worse and he didn't know if my body would replace the fluid, something essential to your hearing and also something they cannot duplicate.  (The amount of fluid is about 3 drops).  So now the chances of regaining my hearing is at 30%. 

Because of how I came out of the first surgery, he wanted to keep me pretty sedated and in the hospital for a couple days to keep an eye on me.  I only remember snipets of that night after the surgery.  I remember looking at the clock at 11 p.m. and wondering "why am I not awake yet"?. 

I knew I was given a blessing, but I don't remember it.  My brother had came over and he and Shawn gave me a blessing.  I remember friends coming and wanting to talk to them, but then I would be out again.  So I had to wait all night until morning for Shawn to tell me exactly what had happened.  And also learn that I may not hear again in my left ear.  The other scary thing for me is that the same thing could happen in my right/"good" ear. 

He put a "plug" in my ear that will dissolve with time to help heal my ear and then he can do some hearing tests and see where I'm at.  I am hopeful.  The recovery was very hard.  So I ended up being in the hospital for 3 more days and then on complete bedrest for a week.  Valium became my best friend, (who knew Valium was for dizziness?!) well it is and it works like a charm!! 

As of late, I have been weaned off the Valium and am finally back to life!  I am so glad to have this behind me.  I so appreciated all the love and support from my sweet family and friends!  Especially my dad who came to "walk" me up and down the street so I wouldn't get blood clots...luv you dad!

My doctor felt terrible.  Nothing like this had ever happened before.  I know it wasn't anything he did and just one of those "fluke" things that happen.  He is LDS and asked if I was given a blessing and tells me every time I seem that he prays for me every night that I will hear again.  He is very sweet and also told us we would not have to pay him a dime.  I told him I knew there were risks, but he said it was something he needed to do for himself.  He is a great doctor and took very good care of me.

You just don't realize how wonderful having your health is until you get sick or something like this happens.  I am grateful I can at least hear out of one ear and especially to be feeling better and doing things for myself. 

Wow longest post ever!  But that's what's been going on in my neck of the woods...