Wednesday, September 9, 2015

One Week Post-Op from the Tympanoplasty

We saw the surgeon yesterday. He took out the stitches from the cartilage harvesting site and removed some of the gel that's holding my graft in place.  He was upbeat and pleased at how I'm healing.  However, I view this as nice, but not significant.  The eardrum will not be visible until the grand unveiling in two more weeks, and then and only then, will we know if it has stuck.
Taking out some of the gel has changed what I hear.  This is completely mysterious to me, remember there is gel packing on both sides of the ear drum.  Why does taking out some of the exterior side gel change what I'm hearing?  It's partly the eustachian tube opening and closing, but it just weirds me out so much.
So now we start two weeks of ear drops.  Five years of a perforated ear drum have taught me that ear drops hurt, a lot.  These don't hurt because they're not getting through the middle ear, but I keep expecting them to hurt.  This also weirds me out.  The drops will push antibiotics towards the gel, as well as dissolve dried crud from drainage out of the ear canal.  The dissolving part is working, I woke up this morning with ear dribble on my ear lobe.  OK, enough detail on that!
Just in case you are wondering, this is how I'm showering without getting water in the ear.
  1. Put a small cotton ball in the ear, don't press hard, it will hurt.
  2. Take vasoline and coat the outside of the cotton ball and the ear.  This is making a seal.
  3. Put a band-aid over the cotton ball.
  4. When water is running towards the ear in the shower, deploy a plastic cup over the entire ear.  Have the husband standing by to hand over the dixie cup.
  5. Remove the band-aid carefully, don't yank on the ear!  That hurts, too.
I think I'm off the pain pills.  Last night I took one before bed, today I have had none.  It would be good to not be taking opiates anymore.  I'm still tired, a trip to the Verizon store and Target just about did me in this afternoon.
Nothing much should be happening with the ear for the next two weeks.  Fortunately, the universe has provided me with blog fodder in the form of what's happening with the RV when it rains.


  1. Hang tough… I know time can't pass fast enough right now. Hope it is a success in the end, tho.

    1. Thanks Mark. It's amazing how time stretches over the horizon when we're waiting for healing to be over.

  2. Showering sounds like quite the ordeal!

    1. It's not the usual relaxing use of gallons of water!

  3. hhhmmm....I think I would be fashioning me a bathtub out of a storage tote. ;-)

  4. Everything you are going through just sounds so painful. Pain is exhausting so make sure you take extra good care of yourself.