Post-op update. In preparation of activation.

My post-op report is definitely long overdue.

It’s been nearly two weeks since my post-op visit to my ENT, and since then I have spent six days with my daughter running a 104 degree temperature, due to the flu, and nearly another solid week entertaining my children during all the icy weather in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. For any parent who has spent two straight weeks with children cooped up inside, I’m sure you understand the great undertaking of keeping young kiddos occupied.

But lets get straight to the topic at hand. It involves barnyard animals and a strange lump on my neck. You knew that, right?

For the first week post-op, I did absolutely nothing. My clean house certainly didn’t stay clean, but after going through childbirth twice, I know how important it is for my recovery to be inactive for a week. By day 8 post-op, I was about ready to go stir crazy.

My husband and I decided on Day 8 to take the kiddos to a Stock Show that was going on that week. You may think that I was overdoing, as some people have already thought, but it was a very laid back ordeal. We got to the place early, so that we could park close, and walked across the street to all the different barns where the animals were. We had a stroller for our youngest, and we walked pretty slow up and down the rows of cattle, sheep, chickens, birds, and about any other barn critter you can think of. The kids loved it.

The thing about young children is that their attention span is incredibly short-lived. We were there an hour and mine had seen all the animals that they wanted to see. By the time we walked out of that building, back through the throngs of people now there, and to the car, we had been there for a solid 90 minutes total.

On the way to the Stock Show, I had fairly annoying headaches, prompting me to take a tylenol, but by the time I sat down and was riding home, my headache was pretty severe. I had only taken my prescription painkillers for two or three days following surgery before feeling well enough to switch to tylenol, but the headache I was experiencing Saturday sent me straight back to the prescription painkillers.

And by mid-afternoon, after arriving home, I found a lump on my neck.

The lump I found on my neck was about two inches below my surgical ear, was the size of a marble, and was hard. Like a lump. My husband kept feeling of it, and we both freaked out a little bit. My husband wondered if part of my implant had slipped down, since we couldn’t tell where my implant was on my head, so we were pretty quick to take action. The hospital where I had my surgery done is quite a distance from our house, so my husband called the hospital to decide if we needed to drive out there. The doctor on call told us that it was probably fluid retention, but to call my ENT first thing Monday morning.

Sunday the lump got bigger. After finding it on Saturday, I literally laid around the house and didn’t move much. So I was surprised on Sunday to find that it was quite a bit larger than the marble size of the day before. I felt a lot of pressure in my surgical area and neck, prompting more headaches, so I just kept resting and taking pain meds throughout all of Sunday and Monday morning as we attempted to contact my ENT.

Monday mid-morning my mom finally got in touch with my ENT. He had been in surgery all morning, but returned the call when he came out. He also said that it was probably fluid retention, but asked a series of questions (do I have fever?- how bad is the pain? etc). If I had been in an enormity of pain, he said to come out to the hospital and he would see me immediately, but I wasn’t really in so much pain that I felt it warranted a trip to the ER.

When I think about how much the lump freaked me out, I realize how much it’s from listening to doctors go on about lumps. I’m always told at the OBGYN to check for lumps, the importance of going into the office any time I feel a lump, and that jazz, that I just figured this whole lump thing was a big deal. But apparently it’s not really necessary for someone to get really worked up about. It’s just important to get it checked out.

So I did. I held off going in to the ER that Monday in favor of the already-scheduled appointment I had on Wednesday of that week. At some point between Monday and Wednesday, the lump went down significantly. No more larger-than-marble or even marble-size. It was less, although still there. And when my ENT felt it, he did confirm that it was just extra fluid. No major procedures needed, it just would eventually fade out. And it has.

In addition to all that, my first post-op visit was successful. Although I was not activated that day, my doctor did have the magnet checked on my implant. Success! The magnet on the processor connected without difficulty.

The swelling had also gone down enough on my head that my activation date was moved from February 17th to February 9th. Activation is now just two days away, 26 days post-op, at I’m pretty excited. It’s been a heck of a hearing loss journey, and it’s one that I’m so grateful is finally ending.

Beginning will be my hearing journey, one I will be much happier in telling.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Evelyn on February 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Having already found a “bad” lump on my body and having the required surgery and treatments, I would have totally freaked about a lump on my head after major surgery such as you had! However, I am thankful that it turned out to be something that is, apparently, not uncommon to your type of surgery. I am praying that all goes well for you Wednesday. I’m also glad that your kids are on the mend and that you didn’t take what they had.


    • I stand corrected. So glad that you were able to make a complete recovery from that! I was without doubt fortunate that mine wasn’t anything to worry about.


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