I'm mostly recovered from my December 12 surgery. Yesterday I had my final post-op with the neurosurgeon, and I finally found out why I was having so much extreme pain in my jaw after the surgery. One of the neurosurgeon's physician's assistants explained this pain as being caused by my 6-1/2 hours on the ventilator and the fact they had my jaw stretched so far apart during surgery. Well apparently that was not it. It was because they CUT THROUGH MY JAW MUSCLE to get to my brain during the surgery. That explains why it hurt LIKE HELL! And man, I wish they had told me beforehand what to expect. Apparently, from what I've read on the Internet, this jaw pain is common after neurosurgery...because they often have to cut through the muscle. I couldn't eat anything but soft foods in the hospital, and even now, 7 weeks later, I can't open my mouth fully.
He also informed me that the "metal plate" in my skull was used to cover up the patch where he took the layer of bone to patch the defect. He said that it was good I had the surgery when I did because the defect (or hole) was larger than they expected. Too bad I couldn't have gotten his office to schedule it earlier! (I did avoid saying that, though--I guess I'm too polite.)
And for those of you following my travails with the neurosurgeon's assistant, guess who took my blood pressure and details at the beginning of the appointment? I had sent a formal letter of complaint, and she must have heard about it because the surgeon thanked me for the letter and told me that the office manager had "made some changes," but she didn't say a word to me or even acknowledge that she remembered me. Phew--made it easier for me!
I also saw my ear surgeon earlier in the month. He told me that he might not be able to restore my hearing...the cholesteatoma has proven to be very aggressive and he's still not sure he has gotten it all out. I will have a CT scan in early June and with luck, the last surgery later that month. The plan is to check on the cholesteatoma again (via CT). If it has not grown back, he will try to rebuild the bones in my ear to restore more hearing. I did notice, when I wore ear buds the other day, that I am getting some hearing back in my left ear, so I felt encouraged about that. I will see him once a year for at least five years to make sure the cholesteatoma does not return (it's similar to cancer that way).
Unfortunately, I caught a bad cold right as I was coming off my pain meds, and I still have a weird lingering sore throat. I don't remember a winter with such bad colds and flu viruses going around!! Then Mike contracted vertigo and was out for the count for a few days (making me realize how much he drives the kids around, especially with various rehearsals around town). Chris has been sick with a cold in the last week, and Nicholas came down with a stomach bug last night. I'm praying that none of the rest of us get it!
|Here's to a healthy, happy 2013--starting in February!!|
I've been working since early January and I returned to the gym this week but still do not have my usual energy and verve back. With that said, however, I stayed up until midnight last week at a dinner party and felt energized by being with such wonderful women! So I'm on my way.