It's Friday - Day four post op. Wednesday was bad. I took the full allotment of pain medication, and basically slept all day and most of the night. Yesterday was better, but it was still pretty painful. Today was better, I took drugs at 7:30, and then not again until 3:15. As I'm typing this, I'm thinking maybe I waited a little bit too long, but relief should be kicking in fairly soon.
The last time I had this surgery, I had the metallic taste in my mouth that most people get. This time, I don't have that. I do have an intact sense of taste, so that part is pretty good. My teeth feel furry, which may be due to mass quantities of opiates, or may be from nerve aggravation. It takes awhile for the mouth to settle down after this surgery. There has been no nausea or dizziness, for which I am profoundly grateful.
This picture is amusing. Looking at the right side, the inner ear really looks like a smiling fish with a straw in its mouth. See the temporal bone on the top and bottom of the auditory canal? I am pretty sure he took bone out from the bottom of the canal so he could see all of the ear drum. Since this surgery has hurt waaaaay more than the first time, I'm guessing that the bone removal is related to the increased pain level.
Here is the ear in all of its glory. The stitches behind the ear are from the incision the surgeon makes in order to fold the ear forward and tape it to the cheek. This allows the surgeon to see the ear drum. Those are dissolving sutures - yay!!!!!!! The stitches on the left are one of the harvest sites for cartilage. He used a combination of fascia and cartilage to make the new ear drum. Those sutures do not dissolve - they have to be removed. I hate that.
It's an interesting procedure. There's not enough tissue to stitch or glue. They fill the middle ear with antibiotic infused gel. The edges of the remaining ear drum are trimmed, so there are exposed blood vessels. Then the graft is draped over the ear drum, and more gel is put into the ear canal. The whole works is held in place by the pressure of the two piles of gel. It makes a person kind of afraid to move the head, for fear of dislodging it. There will definitely be no sneezing!