It appears that there is a lot who wants to read about my experiences from the days after my surgery. My last post was read by 234 people over 2 days 😉 So I have done what I could to get the next part of my story ready so that you did not have to wair for too long. In this post I continue where I left off by presenting the rest of my first week after the surgery.
The third day was without any doubt the toughest day. This day I had to fight with swelling, pains and loud tinnitus. My swellings mad it feel like I had a tennis ball under the skin behind each of my ears. My wound also hurt. When it was worst I looked like something you would not believe. At one point I looked in the bathroom mirror and thought I looked like a chinese guy – my face had become totally round and I did not look like me at all – the shape of my face was almost like beach ball. It was a very unpleasant feeling.
In top of all that my tinnitus had also reached new heights – I still heard the foghorn from a ferry but because I was so low on energy it occupied my mind much more. It felt like everything was unmanageable and I really could relate to anything. I also found it weird that I had to take so many pills. I felt like I was a junkie because I had to take 10 pills 4 times a day. The pills were:
- 2 Panodil (pain killers)
- 1-2 iPren (pain killers)
- 2 penicillin pills (they were large)
- 4 pills to make my stomach calm after the penicillin
- Apart from that I also had some extra strong pain killers from the hospital (Tradolan) which I could take when the pains were too great.
It was very tiresome to get all these negative impression so there was no doubt that I needed a nap after my lunch. But I did not feel that this nap was of any help. It was almost impossible to relax in my bed because of swellings, pains and noise. But I managed to get some rest.
When I woke up again my swellings was at its max and I felt very uncomfortable with all these annoying impressions. It was too much and I could not avoid crying a little.
When I got to my senses again we had some cake – that was great although it was a little difficult to open my mouth enough with all those swellings. But it made be feel better although I really could not focus on anything else than the feeling of loud noise, pains and two tennis balls behind the ears.
In the beginning of the evening my swellings suddenly reduced a lot – but they did not totally disappear. This meant that I felt much better but still had pain. When I got a little more energy I decided that it was time to get my first shower since the surgery. At the hospital they told me that I could shower 24 hours after the surgery – but I know that it is very difficult when people is allowed to get their first shower after the surgery. But nevertheless it was a very great feeling to get a shower and get freshed up. But it was also a challenge because of the pain and I could not move my neck very much so all the water ran into my face. To avoid getting soap into my eyes I also decided to avoid the use of soap in the hair. It was also very difficult to dry my hair – I could not use the towel in the way I normally do, and I could certainly not let hang down over my ears.
But I managed to do it and I felt much better for the rest of the evening. The following night was more tough than the previous as I woke up a lot of times after 1.00 am because of pains and the feeling of not being able to find solutions to the problems I had with pains and sleeping on the back.
In the morning I still had pains in my head but for the first time since the surgery I managed to reduce it with the pain killers – hooray. I still had tinnitus but it had changed into a range of high frequent noises and one humming sound in the midtones – but it was still loud.
After breakfast we went out for a small slow motion walk in the nice weather. We fed some ducks and I also sat on a swing while I enjoyed the weather – I did swing slowly back and forwards and could therefore notice that I did not have problems with the balance or dizziness. It was a very great trip and it managed to remove my focus from all the annoying things.
After the walk we had some lunch but as you see on the image below I still had some slight swellings in the head. It was however much less than the day before. It felt like a powerful tension headache and that is why I use my hands for supporting my neck. I still thought it was weird to eat with the missing taste in half of my tongue but I noticed that it had become more easy to ignore that. Besides I also discovered that it felt best to eat food with a strong taste. But I had also noticed a great thing about the lacking taste – Some of the pills have a bad taste but I could not taste that if I just placed them correctly on my tongue 🙂
I took a nap after the lunch but I still felt tired after the nap so I decided to take a shower after the dinner in order to stay awake for a little longer. After that I saw a movie together with my mother – this was the first time I watched a whole movie since the surgery – in first days I really could not focus on the TV long enough to watch an entire movie so I only watched a few episodes of a tv-series in those first days.
The night went much better and I was only awake 1 time at 1.00 am and then I slept til 7.00 am. For the first time I also managed to lean my head a little to the sides – especially my right side was beginning to feel more comfortable to lie on. If I did not have to sleep with a raise headrest I would probably have tried to sleep on my sides.
In the morning I felt much more comfortable and I just felt a little pain in the left side and in my throat. I the right side I just felt some tensions. The reason for the throat pains were that during the narcosis I had been intubated. They do this to ensure my breath during the surgery. But luckily I never experienced the process of being intubated 🙂
Before the breakfast I had to acknowledge that the penicillin is tough on the stomach and I lost my appetite because of that. But that luckily resolved quickly so that I could have my breakfast.
My tinnitus was still bad and I felt that it occupied more of my mind. It became more annoying in the first part of the day and I then felt that it took all of my focus – I really could not think about anything else. I experienced that the tinnitus made all my thought processes happen in slow motion and that almost made me feel a little dizzy and very tired.
My nap after the lunch did not change the volume of the tinnitus but I felt much better and watched a long movie in the evening and went later to bed (about 11 pm)
The night went fine but I really wanted to sleep on my sides but I couldn’t do that with the raised headrest.
In the morning I experienced the tinnitus as being on the same level as the day before, but I had much more energy and therefore felt that it was much easier to ignore it. This was the first day where I had energy to watch TV before lunch and I did not need a nap after lunch.
My mom and I went shopping. It was nice to get some air but I felt that it was quite overwhelming to get all these visual inputs. I also experienced that it was confusing to orientate without sound. All the things that I could not see simply did not exist in my reality. That meant that I had to keep turning around to see what was behind me. When we were in the shop I felt totally bombed by visual impressions and let my mother decide all the things that should be purchased – I really could not relate to other things. It was a strange experience but no matter what it also gave a little feeling of success because I was now able to go to a supermarket.
In the afternoon we cut some of my hair with a trimmer so that it looked more sensible than the crazy haircut I had from the hospital. It was nice to get it done but I could also feel that I was nervous about letting someone touch my head – it could easily cause me pains.
The night was almost like the previous and I felt impressed that my nights did go that well despite the fact that I had pains, tinnitus and did not lie that well in the bed.
This was the day where my mom had to go home. I felt that it had been fantastic to be cared about in the first days but I also felt that it was hard to acknowledge that I now had to take care of my self – it was still a little unmanageable even though I knew that it would not be a problem and that I would get a visit from my dad on the next day – he had to work in a neighboring city and therefore wanted to stay at my apartment for those days. One of the things that was most tough was that I was hit on my ability to communicate – I could not just take the phone and call someone – all communication was time consuming and did not provide me with the same outcome.
My stomach was not happy about the penicillin this morning – It felt like it hurt but luckily it helped when I was about to get my breakfast.
I decided to try to listen to some music again with my in-ear headphones but on this day I could not hear any of the sound – it seemed that my ability to hear was varying from day to day. A possible cause for this is that I could have some blood in the middle ear and that this would prevent sound from penetrating.
I had started to get frustrated on the missing sound in my surroundings. Movies in the TV seemed “dead” when there was no sound – but it was also all the other everyday sounds that seemed frustrating not to have. I could for instance not hear what happened in the house or if someone entered the room that I was in. I therefore had to be on guard in another way and had to prepare my self for the events that I knew would come – for instance if my mom was about to enter the room that I was in – I did not want to get surprised. On my two trips outside I also felt that the missing sound meant that I had to use my other senses in another way for orienting myself and that was also tiresome.
In the afternoon my tinnitus changed a lot in frequencies and volume – for a short while I actually thought that it had disappeared – but it wasn’t – it came back.
I felt that my patches was starting to feel annoying. One of them was beginning to get loose in the edge – it was very sticky below and I could also feel that some of my hairs was starting to grow through the patch and that made it very itchy. I therefore looked very much forwards to getting the patches off at my doctor five days later.
The night went fine and it was the last night where I had to sleep with a raised headrest – I looked forwards to the following night where I would be able to sleep on a flat bed 😉
This was the rest of my experiences from the first week after the surgery. In my next post I will present my experiences from the second week. There much more to tell about – for instance I had a day where I felt dizzy. But it will also be a post where it is clear that I felt better as the week progressed 🙂