Thursday, August 29, 2013

Post-Op Appointment

On the day after Activation Day #2, I had a check-up with Dr. Slater at 2 p.m.  My mom came to Austin to spend the day with us and to help me with driving.  At least, that was the plan.  On Wednesday night, I took my last dose of hydrocodone--I didn't plan it that way, but it turns out that was the last time that I needed it.  I just decided to tough it out from then on. 

So, by the time my appointment rolled around, I was driving!  Since I was able to drive myself, my mom watched my girls, and I went to my appointment alone.  This was the first day in a week that I'd been able to drive myself.  I was mindful of how long it had taken me to feel well enough to drive after my first surgery and once again felt very grateful for my speedy recovery.

This appointment was so different from my post-op appointment in October.  Obviously, I was feeling much better, so I had fewer complaints for the doctor.  I was surprised to see Dr. Slater walk in, since my last appointment had been with the PA.  He greeted me warmly and asked how I was doing.  I told him that I was doing fine and asked him what he'd done differently this time.  He kind of shrugged to indicate "nothing much, really."  So, I started asking him why I wasn't so dizzy and why my sense of taste hadn't gone out.  He said that his surgical technique was intended to minimize the trauma to the inner ear (which it did).  He also looked at my chart from my first surgery and saw that he'd had to cut a facial nerve to get to my inner ear, and that's why I had the mild paralysis and lost sense of taste.  (Incidentally, I'm not sure that my sense of taste has completely come back on the right side of my tongue, but it's much better than it was.)  He was very non-chalant about this, as if he goes around cutting nerves all the time (which he probably does, actually.)

The most exciting part about the appointment is that Dr. Slater asked his nurse to remove the surgical glue behind my ear.  She worked for a bit but couldn't get it off and said that I would have to wait a little longer and then try again at home.  A few minutes later, I noticed that it was bleeding a little and pointed this out to Dr. Slater.  So, he came to look at my ear more closely and decided to pull off the glue himself. Rip! Actually, it didn't hurt much at all, and I'm glad that he did it because I would've been kind of nervous about pulling it off myself.  Oddly satisfying.

One other thing that he mentioned is that I may need to watch out for more balance problems, especially if my allergies are flaring up.  I didn't notice any problems after my first surgery, so I doubt that my allergies will give me much more trouble than they already do. How can they possibly?? (My Austin readers will appreciate that.)  And that was pretty much it for my appointment.

Dr. Slater wants to see me in six weeks for one last check, and then the medical side of the surgery should be neatly wrapped up for good.

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