If you read the previous post, you already know that I just had my surgery for my bilateral (second) implant. This one happened so fast that I really didn’t have too much time to obsess over it. Less than a week, really. I have to say, I’m glad it happened that way because on the one hand, I know what to expect; but on the other hand, I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT!
The surgery is not a pleasant experience and there are a number of discomforts and side effects we have to go through. Don’t get me wrong, it’s worth going through that a hundred times to be able to hear again, but it doesn’t make it that much easier to jump in to.
I had a rough go the first time. Starting with loss of taste, a bad reaction to the pain meds, an excessively “leaky” incision, constipation from the meds, and just general overall discomfort for a good week and a half. You can see why I may have had some anxiety going into this one.
The biggest plus of knowing what’s coming was the hospital routine – I knew exactly what to expect there. Even better, I could actually hear the doctors & nurses this time around since I could wear my processor all the way through.
My surgery was scheduled for 8am so I had to arrive at 6:15. A bit early for my liking, but I was glad I didn’t have to go the whole day without food since I couldn’t eat after midnight the night before. I made sure to really up my fiber intake and drink lots of fluids in the days before surgery to help combat the horrid constipation I had the first go round.
I checked in and got decked out in the fashionable hospital gown. Seriously – why haven’t they improved hospital attire after all these years?? Then waited to be wheeled back for surgery.
Finally my turn came and I said goodbye to my hubby. I answered the same questions to probably 8 different people as I waited outside the operating room. My wonderful audiologist, Sylvie, was there too. It was so nice to have a friendly face there to help calm my nerves. She showed me my AB implant box (I joked that it would not have been cool if they implanted me with a different brand – so actually, I was really happy to see that!) and we chatted a bit to take my mind off things.
They wheeled me in to the operating room and transferred me to the operating table. As they were preparing to put my IV in, I made mention that I have a slight aversion to needles. Actually, I said I really hate them. They said, no problem! We’ll just give you a bit of laughing gas to take the edge off. Ok – if you’ve never had laughing gas, let me just say that it is no laughing matter! It was the most trippy thing I have ever experienced. As they started the gas flowing, I suddenly found myself trapped in a time loop – a jerky cartoonish replay of the same few seconds, over and over. I was aware of them ripping the tape for the IV – but it was repeated in my mind a multitude of times. Then the feel of the needle pricking me, over and over and over again. During this whole experience, I kept trying to rationalize what was happening in my mind but all I could think of, was I was going to relive the same few seconds for the whole surgery. It seemed like an absolute eternity and I must say, was not a funny experience. I’ll suck up my needle phobia over laughing gas any day!
Thankfully, the laughing gas wore off and then they were telling me it was time to take off my processor so they could put me under. Moments later I was blissfully ignorant of anything happening and the next thing I knew I was waking up to have my head X-Rayed. It took me a good amount of time to really come to, but I wasn’t feeling too bad when I finally woke up a few hours later. It was probably around 3 pm when I became coherent.
One thing I noticed this time around was that the pain seemed far more tolerable compared to the last round. In fact, I only needed 1 heavy painkiller during the night. Aside from that, just Tylenol was needed to keep the pain manageable.
I got discharged at 6am the next morning and had my behind planted in my recliner by 7:30am. Since then, I’ve been taking it easy but the overall feeling has been that this has been far easier than the first one. We’ll see how it goes from here, but feeling pretty positive! Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my fiber plan totally worked! My bowels are functioning as they should. Hallelujah!!