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Hearing Disorders Message Board


Hearing Disorders Board Index


As promised, I am here to report on the stapedectomy for my right ear.

I arrived at the Outpatient center at 5:30 AM on Thursday, Jan 4th 2007.
Before surgery, I was brought to the OR prep area at 7:30 AM and was given an intraveneous "cocktail" to relax me.
I was then wheeled into the OR and was out, without any memory or warning.
I awoke in the recovery room.

The first few hours after the surgery were just terrible. I was so dizzy and nauseous that I threw up several times. I felt drugged and uncomfortable.
None of the 4 aniti nauseal medications that were tried, seemed to do a thing for me. The room was spinning and there was nothing to be done except tough it out, pray a lot, and hope it went away soon.

If you were to ask me if I regretted having the operation done during that time, I would have told you YES!

After several hours, the nausea began to dissipate. Although, the slightest movement would cause severe dizzyness. There was some mild to moderate pain in my ear, and some ear ringing, but nothing untolerable as far as that goes.

Around 12 hours later, I felt much better and was able to drink some broth without feeling sick. I had to move very slowly to avoid dizzyness.

From my understanding, most people go home the same day, unless they have extreme problems. I thought I was one of those people, but as I said, I started to feel much better.
When I spoke to the doctor that evening, he told me that my reaction - as far as throwing up - was typical, and as long as I was being discharged the same day, I am considered one of the "good" reactions.

Typical? I can't recall reading about severe nausea like what I experienced.

Anyhow, I was glad to go home, and now the next morning, I removed the bandages on my ear as directed, and replaced the cotton ball in my ear.

I can't hear anything in my right ear, so I am surprised that some have reported hearing so soon. Maybe some doctors don't pack the ear the same way, I'm not sure.

Anyhow, I feel much better. Hey, compared to how I felt after the operation, I'm on top of the world right now :)

I'll add more if there is anything new to report.
Hey Andy,

I'm just a couple weeks behind you. I'm having my stapedectomy on January 16th, 2007 and i'm scared::dizzy: .

I have read hundreds of articles, posts, etc and all of them say that it takes anywhere from 2 weeks for 6 months for your hearing to stabilize after surgery and all the strange side effects to go away. Waiting this long for surgery (14 years) and then having to wait several more months after surgery to see if it helped or not is really going to be hard. But, I'm like most people who made the decision to go ahead with it because in my case, my hearing can ONLY improve.

I hope you are doing well and am really interested in hearing your progress. I'll keep ya posted on my progress also.
Hi CAB,
It's been 8 days and I have had mild pain that would come and go, along with frequent ear ringing. The first few days I felt no pain, and then suddenly it started.
I was told this is normal to have it come and go like this.
As far as dizzyness, If I don't move too quickly I'm fine, otherwise I feel slightly dizzy, but it doesn't last and is not too bad.
I was driving short distances myself after about 4 days and I returned to work after 1 week.

I have started to hear some things. Like certain higher frequencies are starting to be picked up in my right ear, and they sound like a very high frequency version of what I hear in my left ear. So at these frequencies, it sounds like a strange stereo.
Otherwise not much is coming through in the right ear.

I was very nervous before the surgery. Mostly at the idea of being put under.
But it was so quick, I was told it took about 40 minutes.
I am starting to feel very good about this and am looking forward to having the packing taken out in 3 weeks and ultimately to have my hearing back again :)

Please update me on your progress, and try not to worry. Keep reminding yourself "This is just a simple outpatient procedure, it's not a heart transplant".
Hi Andy,


I'm glad your recovery seems to be going well.

Up, around and driving on day 4, that is awesome!! And hearing [U]anything[/U] at this point, even if it sounds like a strange stereo is great.

Are you having any trouble being back at work?

Was/is your sense of taste affected?

Short story for ya....

I was reading posts from several people and I found one that I thought you might relate to.

There was a man who had his stapedectomy. A few weeks later he was walking out of the doc's office onto a busy street. There were the sounds of the hustle and bustle of people and traffic. He said he heard it all loud and clear. He was waiting to cross the street and was standing beside a street vendor with a cart cooking hotdogs. He said he could HEAR the SIZZLE of the hot dogs cooking and that he just sat down on the curb and cried tears of joy at being able to hear something he's never heard before.

That man, whoever he was, is the one that gave me the courage to decide to have my ears done.

One day, I want to hear hotdogs sizzle and I hope you will be able to too.:)

Update to follow.

GL
I had a slight metallic taste the first day or two, but barely noticeable.
I was a little dizzy my first day back at work because I had to climb some stairs. I just had to slow down a little.

The sound of sizzling hotdogs huh? That's a wonderful story.
The things that sound beautiful that are taken for granted, right?

I hope we both become success stories.
I am eagar to read of your experience and progress to see if it is similar to mine.

You mentioned that you are having your "ears" done, so I assume you will be having one done at a time with many months between operations.

Andy
Hi Andy,

Yes, I'm having my left ear done on Tuesday and the right one sometime in June - if all goes well.

I'm glad to hear the metallic taste didn't last long for you. That is one of the things i'm really worried about. I'm such a picky eater I'm worried about loosing weight because food doesn't taste right - and I don't have any weight to loose!

Yes, there are a lot of sounds i've not heard in many many years like the sizzling hotdogs, clocks ticking, the icemaker on the fridge, my girls calling for mommy during the night, etc. that lots of people take for granted. I'm going to consider it a blessing if I get to hear those things again.

Do you remember how scared/nervous you were the first time you told someone you loved them? Well, my bf whispered it in my ear and I had to say "Huh"? Bless his heart, I made him say it twice, once in almost a yell just so I could hear what he was saying. Then I cried from the embarrasment of not hearing it and making him say it again. That type of awkward situation i'm sure not going to miss.

I'm supposed to be there Tuesday at 7am for the pre-op and then surgery sometime between 9 and noon. How i'm supposed to get up and across town by 7am WITHOUT any coffee to jump start me is a mystery. :)

I'll update you Wednesday.

Laters,
Andy and Cab:

I am 56 and had a stapedectomy done in my right ear on December 18th. I am now 4 weeks removed from the surgery. My hearing is improving although I had and still have tinnnitus. I am still using an antibiotic ear drop. My hearing test is Feb. 7th at Emory Hospital in Atlanta where I had the surgery.

Not eating or drinking the day of surgery was a problem since my surgery did not actually take place until almost 3 pm! After recovery, drinking a sprite and eating a few bites of a sandwich, I went home about 8:00 pm the evening of surgery. The ear was packed for about 10 days. It sure was great getting that packing out and starting to hear, even though it sounded like I was listening thru a tin can. Some sounds were uncomfortably loud. That has improved.

Sound is getting better. Hearing discrimination in my right ear is not good yet. Sounds such as amplified singing with instrumental background in a large auditorium seem "clangy" and to lack fidelity. I hope this improves.

Healing is still taking place but there is only slight discomfort/pain in that ear. The metallic taste lasted about 3 weeks. Unfortunately, I kept eating to find something that tasted right so I probably gained some weight. I found sugar free breath mints tasted ok and relived that weird taste.

I am glad that I had the procedure and look forward to the hearing test and seeing where I stand.
Hi Dwalt
I'm starting to hear after 10 days.
I placed a musical toy of my son's to my right ear and I could hear it. :)
I started yelling to my wife "I can hear it! I can hear it!".

It sounded like a telephone quality sound, or "thru a tin can" as you say, but still, I could hear it so at least I know the pin still must be in place and working.
I was concerned about this because I have allergies and have sneezed several times since the operation. I kept wondering if that last sneeze did some kind of damage. I was told, "just make sure you sneeze with your mouth open", and I did, but a few times I felt a little pressure in my ear.

I have almost constant ear ringing, but most of the time it's easy to ignore it.

Please let me know how the hearing test goes. You are ahead of both of us so it's good to know what might be coming.


CAB, I'm sure your bf understands. Hopefully in a few months that will no longer be a problem :)
I know what you mean about the coffee thing. I expected to get a headache from caffiene withdrawel, but that was not a problem thankfully.
Wow, Just one more day to go!
Hey Andy and Dwalt,

Yesterday was interesting. I did manage to get there on time without coffee, it was a struggle, but I made it.

Pre-OP lasted about 30mins. Blood work and chest xray. I was then put in a hospital room for about an hour waiting my turn. The took me in to pre-op area at about 10am. The nurses talked to me, the anestesia person told me what and how he was going to do, then the doc came in and talked to me for a bit. About 15 minutes later they took me to the OR. The strapped me down to the bed (i felt like i was in an institution and they were restraining me so i didn't hurt myself or something). They put in the iv and covered me with lots of blankets. The they said..it's time. We are going to put some stuff in your iv and it might sting a little, then you will be out. Right as they put in in the iv...it start hurting. I said...."Sting a litte? It hurts like hell"...that is the last thing i remember.
An hour later i woke up in the recovery room. I could hear things immeditely (i had to take both my hearing aids out for the surgery and didn't have the on for the unoperated ear in yet). I was surprised. Yes, it was very muffled like my ear waas full of water - but I could hear then talking. It was very cool. My nurse never left my side, she was very attentative. She gave me some ice chips because my throat was hurting bad and that seemed to help. I was very nausious and dizzy but never threw up.

They took me to my room around 1:10 where my family was and they were all saying they wondered how I was doing as I was coming thru the door (again, I still had no hearing aid in the other ear). I said i feel like crap, but i can hear a little. Big grins all the way around. My bf gave me a huge hand squeese and kiss - he was soooo happy for me.

I stayed in the room till about 3:15 till the dizziness dispated, then went home. The car ride liked to kill me (the motion) but i made it home.

About 30 mins after i got home, my girls got home from school. The first thing i said qas "shhhhhhhhh" cause they were being loud as normal talking to me so I could hear them. The oldest one got so excited. She said to her sister...did you hear that? Mom told us to be quiet! That means she can hear us. It was quite a moving moment.
I slept off and on till this morning. I had a little ear drainage last night but not too bad. I changed the cotton ball as instructed. I am able to hear the tv without putting it on "39" for volume but it's obviously still sounding funny.

W really wasn't expecing to hear anything for a few weeks, but so far - it's been all good.

I haven't had any pain yet, but from everyone's reports - that is still yet to come.

So far, I am very happy with the results. I know it's still early and lots of things can and will happen but I'll deal with them when the time comes.

The dizziness is awful but like Andy said..just move slow. The sudden head movements is what gets me. When walking, i tend to float to the left but that is also getting a little better.

OK. nap time again, I'll update y'all again soon.

----CAB---
***Sorry for all the typos in my last post, i'm blaming it on the pain meds****
Hey CAB, that's great!
I'm so glad it went so well for you.
It's amazing you can hear anything yet.
Yeah, those sudden head movements, it's like the marbles continue rolling around a little even after you stop moving. :dizzy:

Do you notice any ringing?
Also, how soon before you go back to have the packing removed?
Andy and Cab:

Like Andy, I do have constant ringing in my ear. But that was already there before I had the surgery. Most of the time I just ignore it. I understand the ringing can get better once the hearing improves. I still have some pain in the ear, but it is becoming more infrequent. Still using antibiotic ear drops.

I find myself yawning alot trying to get the ear to pop. like ears sometimes do when you fly. Sometimes the ear feels full... But that is also becoming less frequent.

Hearing is improving overall. I went to a movie yesterday and the sound in the theater did not sound muddled or too loud. The hearing was actually good.

About 3 more weeks before I have the hearing test. I'll keep you posted on how that goes and what the doctor suggests on the ringing. I am praying that the ringing decreases.

Dwalt
Good Morning Guys!

Yesterday was mostly a good day. I gotta tell you though, when i read all about the dizziness and every one stressed that i would extremely dizzy I thought i was prepared for it. No way - this is awful. I mean moving my head even a quarter inch and i wanna just pass out. Nothing properly prepared me for exactly how bad it would be. They gave me valum for the dizziness and it works for a couple hours but you can sure tell when it wears off. It hits me like a rock.

The ringing/buzzing comes and goes and is usually after I get up and move around. If i'm laying still for any period of time (which is a lot) then it doesn't happen.

This morning I put the tv volume half way. I could hear it, not really clear but could make out most of the words. So having the volume on 17 instead of 39 is cool.

I go back to doc on the 24th for my first post op visit and hopefully to get the packing out, then again on Feb 28for my first hearing test.

I Popped my ears last night - both of them by accident. In the operated ear I could hear a "squishing/gushing sound" when i did it. I gotta call doc today and see if i need to go in and get it looked at. I hope I didn't mess up the way the ear drum is laying and it keeps it from healing properly. That has me a little worried.

I had a little drainage from my ear last night but other than that, it appears fine.

I'm still very surprised that my taste was not affected at all. Nothing has tasted funny or like the metallic taste people have reported.

My mom told me that after the surgery for a couple hours the left side of my face was drooping a bit but by the time i got home and in front of a mirror it was back to normal.

Today i'm able to walk a straight line instead of floating to the left. That is also an improvement. I'm also having a little pain in the operated ear, but nothing unbearable.

Of all things to hear..i heard my dog snoring last night! I even heard myself snoring so loud that I woke myself up a couple of times.

Doc tomorrow at noon to see if I messed up the ear drum seal - but it's supposed to get really icy here tonight so i'm not sure I can get there. I'm in Dallas, TX.

More later,
-CAB-
It's been 2 weeks since surgery:

The last few days, I've had these strange pains in my jaw when I eat something cold. It feels something like those same nerves along your cheeks you would feel if you were to suck on a lemon. But everything tastes normal.
My hearing is really improving! I think my right ear can hear volume almost as well as my left now, but it is just more distorted.
I was amazed by this yesterday, I kept covering my left, then right ear trying to compare them while watching TV. :)
The volume level is a noticeable improvement from my pre-surgery days. I think the ear drum itself has to heal, and may be a source of at least some of the distortion.

CAB, I hope your dizzyness clears up soon, I know that's a terrible feeling.
I remember those first few days, when I got out of bed, I had to sit up very slowly, then just sit at the edge of the bed for a minute before getting up.
Occasionally, I would get this sudden off balance jarring sensation in my head for no apparent reason. I seem to be back to normal now.

Ice in Dallas? Maybe the Cubs will finally win this year ;)

dwalt, it sounds like your hearing is coming along very well, except for the ringing. Mine is also constant and I will be glad to get rid of it.

Andy
Hi Guys,

I went to the doc today to get the ear drum that I popped checked out. He said everything was fine. He did the tuning fork on my forehead and behind the ear..I could hear it the same in both places. He then put it right beside the operated ear...I could hear it fairly well. It was pretty cool.

I now don't go back until Feb. 28th to get packing out and my first hearing test.

The dizziness is getting a little better. Just move slow. I'm finally remembering that. I had very little ringing in the ear today and absolutely no buzzing. No pain either, just the clogged ear feeling.

Sounds are still very distorted, but they are there. Not loudly, but they are there.

All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Andy - I have absolutely no idea how you were able to drive on day 4. If i had to drive somewhere to save my life, there was no way I could have done it.

More later.

-CAB-
My ear is still healing. Sometimes it feels like my ear drum is still swollen a little. Other times not. Also, once in a while I have some pain in that ear- last night (after 4 1/2 weeks) when I lay on that ear for several minutes. But it was temporary and went away.

The taste issue is back and annoying. I have to say that I have a generally sweet taste in my mouth. That can be annoying when you are eating popcorn or chips and salsa and you are looking for a salty taste. I have to say that I also am liking stronger tasting coffee than before the surgery! I really hope the taster returns to normal... but it may take a while.

Ringing is steady but not overpowering. I obviously still hear much better out of my left ear.

CAB did you say you did not get the packing out until the end of Feb? That seems like a long time. Mine stayed in for 10 days and as soon as it came out I physically felt much better. I did start driving about 6 days after surgery.
Diziness was only a problem for 4 days.

Being patient is the hardest part. The only medication I am still taking is antibiotic ear drops. I took vicadin for about 10 days to help with the pain, and without side effects. Now other than pain medications or something to keep my nose clear, I take only the drops.

Hope you both continue healing with patience. And don't worry too much about sneezing and blowing your nose. Avoid it if at all possible, but if it happens it will probably not wreck your surgery.

At this point faith and patience are the operative words.
Hi guys,

Today was a MUCH better day!

It's 8pm and I have taken no pain meds or dizziness meds, just my antibiotic today. I was up and around quite a bit today too without feeling like I was the walking dead or something.

My taste is still fine and my appetite has returned. I can't get enough to eat now.

My first post-op appointment was for Wed, the 24th. But when I popped my ear on day 2, I went to see the doc the next day about it. He said it was all good and that he would see me in a month and that my appointment on the 24th wasn't necessary. So....I guess i'll call and see about when the packing will be removed. He did shoot some powder or something like that in my ear on Friday when I was there, but didn't "remove" anything. I was pretty out of it when I was there and didn't think to ask about the packing staying in until Feb. 28th.

I am hearing my "heart beat or pulse" or something in my operated ear most of the time now. It's kind of annoying. I have had very little ringing/buzzing in the ear today and when it has happened, it didn't last very long.


My kids have been at their dads since the surgery. They come home tomorrow (they have been visiting me every day though for a lil whle) and it's back to meals, laundry, homework, etc. I hope I can handle it. They have for years been told....talk louder, speak up, etc. Now it's going to be...shhhhh, don't yell, etc. It should be an interesting adjustment period for all of us.

I went to my youngest girls basketball game today. I wore ear muffs and it helped with the loud noises. The loudest thing I heard that rattled my head....was me hollering every time she scored.:) I wasn't sure if I would be able to endure the entire game, but I did. She was excited to see me there.

I'm going to try to drive a little tomorrow and see how that goes since i'm not having the dizziness anymore.

I guess DAY 4 for all of us was the magical end of the major dizziness days!

Patience - I don't have any, but I'm working on it:dizzy:

More later,

-CAB-
It seem like everyday my hearing is getting a little better.
I first noticed my hearing problem about 6 years ago. I was in bed listening to the radio, and I turned my head with my left ear to the pillow, and I thought "what happened to the sound?".
Now I do that, and I am amazed at the improvement.
The only problem here is that when my wife has the TV on in our room and I want to sleep, I can no longer sleep on my left ear to quiet the sound :)

dwalt, my packing removal was scheduled for 1 month after surgery similar to CAB, and I was told to keep water out of it during that time.
I don't know why there is such a difference in schedules.

Also, I was told that for three months, I can't fly in a plane, lift anything over 10 pounds, blow my nose and to avoid sneezing (which is why I was concerned about that issue).

Just curious if both of you were given the same limitations.

Probaby the hardest thing for me now is not being able to lift my son.
He is 1 year old and weighs almost 25 lbs. He holds his arms up for me to pick him up, and I can't.

Andy
Ok Guys, here's my story. Share yours with us if you feel comfortable doing so.

My hearing started getting bad when I was 18. I joined the Navy and during boot camp they almost sent me home because of my hearing. I never noticed that I was having hearing issues and pretty much just ignored it until many years later.

I went to the audiologist at age 26 and he told me - "your bone is hardening and doesn't wiggle like it should, it's partially hereditary and very common. Your hearing isn't too bad, just get hearing aids." At that time both ears were affected but the left one was a lot worse than the right. I asked if there was any surgery that could be done to correct it, he said [B]"no, just get hearing aids".[/B] I was young and dumb and took him at his word that there was no surgery available. I was also too worried about appearances and refused to wear hearing aids so I just said "huh?" alot to everyone.

At age 27, I had my first child. I weighed 93 lbs before I got pregnant...and I gained 65 lbs during the pregnancy. I lost all the weight in about 3 months and was back at 93 lbs - That is when my hearing went downhill extremely fast in the left ear. The doc said that gaining all that weight changed the bone structure of my entire body - including my facial and inner ear bones. Then loosing it so fast changed the bone structure AGAIN... which really messed up the "bones ability to wiggle" to make sound.

I gave in and got a hearing aid for the left ear because I really couldn't hear much at that point out of that ear. I could still hear ok in the right one, not perfect, but ok enough to function.

At age 29 I had my second child. Same story - 93lbs before, gained 56 this time, lost it in 3 months...and lost the hearing in the right ear in the process.

I was going to loose the hearing in both ears regardless - all the quick weight gain and loss just accelerated it about 10 years is what the doc said.

So, a hearing aid for the right ear was now a necessity. Every time I went for hearing tests, then went to get new hearing aids over the last 13 years..no one - I mean NO ONE, has ever said that it could be corrected with surgery. I asked the first 5 years of going to the ear docs and was always told "just wear hearing aids". I finally quit asking and decided that this was how life was going to be and I would just have to live with it.

If divorce is EVER a good thing, it was for me. I had to get on my own health insurance. I also got a bf. He did some research and found out in September 06 that there was indeed a surgery to fix it and I now had a health insurance company/doctors that wouldn't lie to me. It was then that I realized that it was because my insurance during all those years was Kaiser Permenante [B]HMO[/B]..and they just didn't want to pay for it and had trained their docs NOT to tell people that there was a surgery to fix it:mad:

So, here I am now at 42 years old, feeling stupid that I never checked things out on my own and I just took the doc's word about no surgery being available. I am also very excited about the future. The last 5 months have been a whirlwind of excitement/hope for me. :blob_fire
I went to a couple of specialists in Dallas, went through many many hearing tests, etc. and decided to get it done, the left one first because its 90db. I'm on the road to recovery on the left ear and already excited about having the right one done. The right ear is 60db.

I'm really excited about joining the world again because I had really withdrawn from everyone the past few years. I avoided social functions of all types because I knew it would be more of a hassle than anything to even try to have conversation and I would only get bummed/upset/depressed, whatever you want to call it, if I did go. I haven't watched TV in almost 2 years because it just frustrates me. Again, my bf finally got me hooked on the "captioning" on the tv so I wouldn't get frustrated and i've been able to watch movies reading the words the last few months. He has been such a blessing to me.

Now for current stuff.
A little pain in the ear today but nothing unbearable. The "heartbeat or pulse" sound rattling my head yesterday lasted about 7 hours and thankfully has not started again yet today. Still no taste issues. I did get really dizzy this morning getting out of bed and almost fell but I caught myself. It was so good yesterday not being dizzy all day that I forgot to be careful. I won't make that same mistake again. I'm hearing a little out of the ear but it's still really muffled sounding. Packing is still in there and the cotton ball too. Ear is still draining but not too much.

Yes, I was given the same restrictions that Andy was given. No flying, elevators, lifting, nose blowing, sneezing or anything else that creates "internal pressure" on the ears for 3 months. No water in the ear for a month. My doc even said that it's possible to do the right ear as early as March. We'll see. I've read stories where some people still have side effects for up to 6 months. When all mine are gone...we'll start over again.

Andy - just spend lots of time laying on the ground rolling around and playing with your wonderful son. The months will pass quick enough and you will be able to toss him in the air before you know it - and be able to hear him giggle!

I will ask you both tell everyone you know that wears hearing aids that there are different surgeries available. They may choose not to go that route, but make sure they know it's an option. I just wish someone, anyone would have told me years ago. There is a lady at my work in the same situation - for 10 years - and no one had told her either. She goes in Feb to my doc to start the process.

I'm so happy that however you both found out about the surgery possibility that at least you DID find out.

Dwalt - is your hearing loss a recent thing or an issue you have dealt with for years also? Andy has been dealing with it for 6 years, I'm going on 24 years.

I know i'm prolly make my posts too long, but i'm just so excited about many things these days that I want to tell the world. I feel like i've been given a second chance at a near normal life and my children will no longer feel like they have to speak for me, be embarrased for me or explain that I can't hear every time we go somewhere. The burden will be lifted off their shoulders.:)

More later,

-Carol-
Andy and Carol:

Thanks for the updates. I am 56 and my hearing has been declining for about 8-10 years or maybe longer. My loss was not as dramatic as you. But, the ringing was more of a problem that drove me to the ent. For my birthday last year I received a really nice set of stereo headphones for listening to music. When I put them on I really heard the ringing first more than the music and that really bothered me. The actual hearing loss was there at maybe a 25% reduction. The ent gave me 3 options- do nothing, get a hearing aid or surgery. Financially, surgery was the most affordable option. And now I believe, the best.

Seems my restrictions were not quite as tight a both of yours. Packing came out in 10 days... no lifting over 20 pounds for 3 weeks (my grandons is one and loves to be held- so I know that issue)... no flying for 2-3 months... nothing about elevators... same stuff about sneezing and blowing my nose... no water in the ear although I am now 5 weeks since surgery and may relax that one now... My hearing test is Feb. 9 and that will give me a measurable index to show improvement in my hearing. I am feeling better each day.

I heard the heartbeat thing in my ear for a while but that passed fairly quickly. Taste is still off- still have a sweet taste on the right side of my tongue... just wonder if the ear drops are causing that.

You have both take an important step. Hearing is good and is not overrated.
Carol,
The fact that your doctor did not tell you of the surgery option makes me angry. Your doctor should have at least mentioned that the option exists - especially since you asked for other options. The insurance may have chosen to refuse to cover it, but at least you should have been informed of it. That's a pretty poor doctor in my book, and it may be a case for malpractice.

Your hearing loss was much worse than mine. Although there is some mild loss in my left ear at certain frequencies possibly due to listening to very loud music when I was younger, my right ear hearing loss is hereditary according to doctors.

I can only imagine how difficult your situation must have been like when you felt you had to avoid doing things due to frustration.
I am very happy for you, and it sounds like you have a great bf.

As far as restrictions, I was not told to avoid elevators, or at least I don't remember. That would be a tough one if I worked in a high rise.
The only other limitation that I forgot to mention from my previous post was that I can never go scuba diving. I'm sure that goes the same for both of you.
One of the reasons I held off on the surgery was because I thought I might want to try this some day. Well, I have so many interests, and I realized that scuba diving just doesn't appeal to me, and I would rather have my hearing back without the use of hearing aids.
I think I'm more of the type that likes lying on the beach and watching the waves, rather than being under them :cool:

Now, like dwalt, I am just hoping for improvments in clarity, and a reduction of ringing over the next few months.

Andy
It's now 7 days after surgery and...

O M G!!!

[I]I heard airplanes this morning [/I]with the cotton ball in the operated ear and WITHOUT the hearing aid in the other ear. I was sitting on the back porch drinking my morning coffee and there was this loud rumbling sound. I asked my friend who's been staying with me - what the heck is that? She just smiled and said "it's an airplane". Within about 10 minutes 2 more planes were in the area. One sounded different and I asked her why. She said it was one of those little private planes. It was sooo cool! Not only did I hear them but I recognized that one sounded different.

Of course, this got me running around the house listening for things. I asked my kids to talk - say something, anything - just talk. They looked at me like I had lost my mind...until they did talk and I said...OMG...I can hear you pretty well. (still without the hearing aid in the other ear).

It still sounds like i'm in a barrell but I can definantly hear my girls talk and can actually understand what's being said. (I used to hear them but it was just undistinguishable words/sounds - unless I had both hearing aids in and cranked up all the way AND they had to talk really really loud).

The other new thing this morning is that I now have a new noise inside my operated ear. It sounds just like the hi pitch squeel of a hearing aid when the air hole is clogged or covered. It's weird. I can change the "pitch" of the squeel if I lean my head to the left or the right.

I do not know if this is one of the things that will come and go or if it is here to stay. It's not too annoying, it's just there. If I lay down it completely stops.

More later - I just had to hop on the let you all in on my excitement!!

-Carol-
Hi Guys,

The high pitched squeel lasted pretty much all day yesterday but this morning it's gone. I had some pain in the ear last night and ended up taking a pain pill.

I'm either getting my normal winter cold or a sinus infection and...I can't blow my nose. My head is very clogged up. I coughed all night long because of the drainage from that. Doc said I can now take anything as far as medicines go so I started popping the tylenol allergy sinus stuff last night. Hot showers helps with the no nose blowing issue.

Other than that, I feel ok today and there are no new issues so far.

My hearing is about the same as yesterday.

-Carol-
Morning All,

I was on the porch having my morning coffee and I heard:
Birds, Dogs, and the highway noise - it's about a mile away.

(I did not have my hearing aid in the other ear).

I also heard the toilet running in the kids bathroom off and on and I was the only person home. It took me forever to find out where the sound was coming from because by the time i'd realize I was hearing it again, it would quit. So...I'm going to take my first drive today to Lowes and get the stuff to fix it. HEHE, I wonder how many years that has been going on!

I'm going back to work tomorrow. That should be interesting. I work in a computer room and the guys tell me it's loud in there (all the fans running on about 100 pieces of equipment). Of course, I've never really heard it much.

I have lots of cotton balls and tylenol ready!!

I'm really having trouble with the "no water in the ear" thing. I took a shower with a shower cap on and then washed my hair in the sink. It took me about 30 minutes just to wash my hair by myself this morning. Other people have done it for me the last week. Any secrets for keeping the water out? I held a small cup over my ear. It worked but was really hard to do by myself.

Is it no water in the ear for 3 weeks - OR - no water in the ear until the packing comes out? I ask because my packing will actually end up being in until Feb. 28th (6 weeks).

I'm going to call the doc and ask, but I thought I'd see what you were told.

At times the ear "opens up" and I can hear more clearly then it shuts again. I can still hear when it shuts, it just has the tin can sound during those times. The "open" times are getting more frequent and starting to last longer each time.

So far, so good with the hearing improvements. It's like a whole new world for me!

More later,

-Carol-
All I can say is "HOLY COW"!

I had heard and read that when your hearing returns, it kinda drives you nuts at first.

Boy O boy is that true!

I drove today for the first time. The road noise was incredible but other than that, I did fine. Then I went to the mall just to get out of the house for a while - big mistake!

Holy Cow - I was in there for about 30 minutes. I heard everything loud - very loud. Kids, music, machines, escalators, strollers. At first it was very cool. Then, the noises just kept building and building and literally drove me crazy. I couldn't escape to back to my vehicle quick enough once it started getting bad. I literally ran to my truck, and when I closed the door I just covered my ears and cried. My head was pounding and I felt like I was in the twilight zone or something. It took a good 15 minutes for the noises to quit rattling my head and for me to calm down.

Now I know it's a wonderful thing that I could hear everything and I also knew there would be a "psychological" adjustment period but I never dreamed it would affect me the way it did. I will stay away from public places a while longer if at all possible until I get used to hearing stuff again. I'm glad my kids weren't with me, they would have been freaked out at my reaction - cause I was freaked out by it.

Tomorrow is first day back at work and now i'm really worried because I do work in a noisy environment (I've just never heard it very well). I think I'm going to hide out in my office all day and avoid the data center as much as possible. I also may look a bit goofy, but I'm taking some ear muffs in case I do have to spend any amount of time in there.

So for anyone out there that has a stapedectomy and goes from having only 10% of your hearing to much - much more hearing capability after surgery - take things VERY SLOWLY. I don't know how much mine has improved yet because hearing test isn't for another 4 weeks - but I bet it's very close to 90%.

Again, it's a wonderful thing to be able to hear again!!!

I just need to rejoin the "hearing" world SLOWLY.

More Later,

-Carol-
Hello there,

I've just registered today. I was searching for info on "after stapedectomy" and am so glad to find other people which also had it done. I've had a stapedectomy done om my one ear on the 11th of jan 2007. Yesterday was 2 weeks ago. Doctor took out some packing, but I still have 2 "gel"like plugs lying on my eardrum, which will apparently dissolve by itself. The only side effect so far is the tinnitus that's gone worse after the opp. Can't hear well with the opperated ear yet but the Doctor says I must not get despondend and that it will take another few weeks before I will hear propperly and the thingies that has to dissolve is also "blocking" sound...I'm very worried. How soon did you start hearing in the opperated ear? If I close one ear and there's no distractions, I can justjust hear if my husband talks, but it is very faint...

I'd appreciate some advice
Thank you,
Noeli
Noeli,

I agree with Andy's post. I am now almost 6 weeks removed from surgery and I still have ringing in my ear but I had it before the surgery. I believe it is not as severe as before. My understanding is that as the healing takes place and the hearing improves the ringing will reduce. I do not know about the plugs your doctor put in your ears. I was given ear drops to use (antibiotic).

My hearing has steadily improved since I had the packing removed (10 days). The ear still feels thick (swolen) sometimes and I still feel like yawning to pop the ear, much like you do while flying. I have my hearing test in 2 weeks to see if my hearing has improved.

By the way, I spent 10 days in South Africa last July, your winter, with my 21year old son who was staying in Jo'burg for 4 moths. We spent most of our time in Cape Town and Durban although we did do the most exciting thing of our lives- go cage diving in Gansbaai to see the great whites! The water was 55, water was choppy, rainy, cold and we saw so many sharks from 5-6 feet away in the cage. We also did a one day safari (all time would allow) in Hluhluwe. I would love to go back someday.

As for your surgery, congratulations! I believe you will be feeling much better about everything in another 2-3 weeks. Best wishes in your healing...

Dwalt
Hi all!

OK - yesterday was my first day back at work. The first 30 minutes or so drove me nuts, then I got used to the noise and was ok after that. I did get completely worn out and crashed hard when I got home. My ear "shut" around 6pm and didn't open back up until this morning. I don't know if I was just so tired that my body shut down or what. I was worried, of course, but I knew it was just a "bump in the road" and it would open back up when it felt like it.

Noeli,

Hi, welcome to the Healthboards!

I think the variation in the reports from some people hearing a lot immediately and some not is the degree of hearing loss they had before the surgery. In my case I was 90db. In other words, I was deaf in that ear and heard nothing before, so now I am hearing even though I still have packing, swelling, and lots of healing time left. Remember, I had no where to go but UP. My ear still "opens" and "shuts" when it feels like it. Sometimes I can hear and sometimes not, but the "opens" are getting more frequent.

I agree with Andy and Dwalt - It does take 4 weeks to 6 months for hearing to completely stabilize. My doc told me that and I have ready many posts that support that time frame. Some from people back in 2002 forward that were wonderful and kept posting for about a year on their progress. It was around the 5 month mark for most of them to say things finally leveled off and changes stopped occuring. Here is the link if you would like to check out the older posts.

[url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=58124[/url]

It's great reading, there are 37 pages of posts and yes, I read the entire thing. Zip2play was the cheerleader of the group and keep talking about all the "bumps" in the road of recovery. (The story of the sizzling hot dogs is also in there).

What was your hearing in that ear before your surgery? Were they trying to close the gap by 10% (in which case you will not see much difference very soon) or were they trying for 90% like in my case (so any little change was very drastic)?

Please keep us posted of your progress and I wish you well. Like your doc said - please do not get worried. It's waaaaaay to soon for that.


Dwalt - It's good to hear from you. I have been wondering if your hearing was still steadily improving. I hope your hearing test goes well and that the ringing does go away.

Andy - It's good to hear that your hearing is also still improving daily. Do you have any ringing or any other crazy things going on in the ear anymore? I also want to say a special thanks to you for your "cheering" me and others on to the "hearing world". That was very sweet and made me laugh.

Rah, Rah, Rah - let none of us get discouraged!

More later,

-Carol-
Hi all,

Today at work was a lot easier. I handled the all the sounds pretty well. I also actually had a little energy left when I got home :)

I'm still fighting the sinus issues. My hearing opened and closed every time my head would get clogged up and then clear up. It was wierd and annoying. If only I could blow my nose - hard - for about 10 minutes!!

I had a little ringing in the ear today also but it was very faint and only lasted a few minutes every time the hearing opened up.

Tomorrow is another basketball game and I just can't miss it. I may end up in my vehicle with my ears covered again, but I hope not. I think I'll handle it much better now that I know to leave any setting that is really loud when it starts getting to me [B]before[/B] it has my head pounding.

More later,

-Carol-
Hi All,

Zip2play was banned. For what I don't know - he had over 5000 posts. You couldn't find the info because he had misspelled "stapedectomy", he put "stapedectoRmy". (Again, praise to the bf from me - he found the info from zip, not me).

I'm still having ringing in the ear off and on. I can barely hear it, but it's there. Like Andy, when I take out the cotton ball, it's even less noticable. Hearing is still good even though some things are distorted because of the packing and waiting on the ear drum to heal completely.

Apparently the loudest part of the bball game yesterday was ME, according to my kids. HEHE! I did walk outside a few times to let the sounds clear up and then went back in. It seemed to help quite a bit. No panic attack!

Noeli - where did you go? Please give us an update.

More later,

-Carol-
Hi Everyone,

Don't know what I'm doing wrong, 3rd time I'm trying to post. Anyway, it seems my hearing problem is hereditory. I noticed that I'm not hearing to well over the past few months, if people turn away when talking and also had to ask people to repeat themselves a lot over the last few months. I spoke to my gran and she confirms other family members also have ear problems. Dr replaced my stapes bone due to calcification, he says I'm actually a bit young (34)as this usually happens to older people. I was quite upset when he showed me the graph after my hearing tests. He basically told me to either get the opp or go deaf slowly, day by day....

The plug I think is what you guys call the packing. On my eardrum to keep it in place and will dissolve by itself. So I have to just be patient and pray for the best. It is not asif I was deaf before hand, but I had tinnitus, which is now worse. I'll just practise staying calm and take it day by day. It helps a lot to read your posts.Thank you for all the encouragement.

I will keep you updated

About SA - it's the best, I love my country, there's lots to see and do. We love close to the Krugersdorp Game reserve, Rhino and white lion park and the Cradle of Human kind heritage site is just a stone's throw away. Very Cool place!

It really warms my heart if I hear people enjoyed their stay in sunny SA!
Noeli
ps// excuse the grammar...english my 2nd language, I'm actually afrikaans
Hi all,

The ringing is a lot better today, less noticable than yesterday. My hearing is about the same and i'm still getting the open and closes based on whether my head is clogged up or not.

The dizziness is back. It's not near as bad as the first 4 days but it's enough to make me feel sick all the time. Yesterday and today I ended up taking dizzy medicine again. I don't know if it's just a regular "bump" in the road or not. My mom has been in the hospital the last two days and i've been taking care of her and my household. As a result I haven't slept more than a couple hours a day the last few days. Being so worn out I think is making the dizziness "feel" worse. (Mom is ok - btw).

Noeli,

Otosclerosis (hardening of the stapes bone by the build up of calcium deposits (growth) on it) is heredity and usually starts around age 16-18 and progresses at it's own speed. That speed greatly varies in each person. You being 34 is not considered "young" for this. I was 26 when it got to the point that I had to wear hearing aids. Your doc was correct with the choices he gave you, the calcium will continue to accumulate and the hearing will most definantly continue to degrade. Some people get the hearing fixed immediately others wait until the hearing loss is "life altering".

Patience is your friend. That's the hardest thing for me to remember. The healing process and hearing stabilization seems like it takes forever but it's only 2-6 months out of your life. Properly put into perspective, that's nothing. There are about 15 phases, issues, side effects, etc you may or may not go through during those months BUT...the end result should make you extrememly happy. In fact, I try not to look at the healing/stabilization time frame. I keep thinking [COLOR="Red"]"Wow, 24 years of not being able to hear FIXED in a 22 minute surgery[/COLOR]. That is how long it took the Doctor to do the actual surgery. Now I just have to wait for the end result of that surgery".

More later,

-Carol-
Thanx Carol! I feel a lot better after reading your post, I think the whole "earthing" just caught me off guard because it never came up in family conversations....ever, and I have never had hearing issues in previous years, just the last few months. I also went for the opperation 3 days after seeing the doc and I am glad I did not wait, otherwise I probably would have been too scared to do it. I just went home that day after the hearing tests, sat down and cried and wondered where on earth this whole thing came from!

I'm sorry to hear the dizziness is making you feel sick, on top of your other responsibilities, I hope it passes soon. Just hang in there! As you say, 2-4 even 6 months is nothing compared to the longterm positives!

I woke up this morning 05h15 and everything was wonderfully quiet...no buzzing,ringing in my ears. That was sooooooo nice.

Noeli
ps// the buzzing, ringing returned after about 2 minutes but it was nice while it lasted
N
Hi all,

Yes, I think it was me just being overly exhausted that made the dizziness worse. I slept good the last two nights and today I felt better. I'm still a little dizzy but nothing llike I was Sunday and Monday. Its back to being tolerable. My hearing is about the same (I hear everything but it sounds like a blown stereo speaker underwater) and I had no ringing in the ear today at all.

Today was two weeks since surgery. In four more weeks I get my first hearing test. I can't wait to see if the results are anything close to what I think they are.

Noeli,

I'm glad you feel better after reading what myself and other have experienced. I know reading everything I did before my surgery made me feel better and prepared me for all these strange things that are happening.

More later,

-Carol-
Andy,

That's wonderful news. I'm very glad things are going well for you.

Did he lift the other restrictions (no nose blowing, flying, etc) or leave them in place for a while longer?

Is the ringing gone or still there but bearable?

What did it feel like when they took the packing out? (pain, loud, etc) Did you have any trouble with balance right after he took it out?

Inquiring minds wanna know! hehe.

I'm singing a happy song for you - can you hear me now?:D

More later,

-Carol-
Hi Everyone, me again,
Zinging in my opperated ear so bad last night, I couldn't sleep. Also if I bend forward slightly it goes into a loud crescendo! Also bad sinus, so I've had some Sinucons and a last night also some nasalspray because my nose blocked up. Glands just below my chin on the side was also crackling a bit. So I phoned the Doc, today just to hear if the tinnitus going worse is normal or not, maybe it's fluid or something? I am very carefull to not get water in my ear so it can't be that. Maybe it's just my own earfluid. My ear also feels closed. He said it would open and close the whole time but it's doing nothing. Anyway, they said I must rather come in tomorrow morning so he can check it out. Will use the opportunity to ask what I am allowed to have for the sinus/stuffy feeling.

Hold thumbs!
Noeli
Hi there everyone. Saw the doc, got some antibiotics as I’ve got a bit of inflammation due to the sinus. It is also ok to use my sinus medicine. He removed some more packing. He says there is now just a little bit left in my ear, but it’s best to leave it there for now, but it is looking good! He also says that in the next 3 weeks or so, my ear will do the open/close thing and it will take a while to stabilize. My ear is very sensitive for low noises now and I gave myself quite a fright when I started my car and heard the engine and exhaust! (Old Nissan Exa Turbo – similar to I think what they call a Nissan Sunny in the USA, but sporty with 2 doors). Anyway, that’s my update for today :)

Andy I’m so glad I’m in sunny SA right now and not freezing my :bouncing: off!

Have a great weekend everybody
N
Wow, wish I would've known about this forum a year ago!!

I had a stapedectomy back in Aug of 2005 I think....Gawd, it's been so long I can't remember. I just saw my doctor last week and will see him again in 6 months.

Obviously, my hearing is much better (left ear). From time to time, it pops OPEN and I can hear sooooo much more out of it. But - it obviously closes up again and I don't even notice. Six months ago it was poppin open & closed a lot. Now - it's not poppin as much but is closed more than its open.

I've recently (within 6 months) been feeling more dizziness than usual. What never used to bother me (like rolling around in bed certain ways & such) suddenly gives me a brief & mild dizzy spell.

But then again, I'm not getting any younger. Told the doctor all that last week and he scheduled another apointment in 6 months.
So - perhaps my body is just super slow at healing, or this is normal.

Wishin you guys the best of recoveries!!
Andy, Carol and Noeli:

I have been reading all of your updates and am glad to see your progress. I believe my healing is steady. My ear does pop- open and close. I am told it does take months for the ear drum to full heal and all the swelling to go down. As it does, the ringing should also go down. My ringing is still there. This coming Friday I will have my first hearing test since surgery on Dec. 18. That will tell me a lot.

Once the hearing has stabilized, I want to work on the tinnitus. I'd like each of you to ask your doctors about reducing the ringing... suggestions, foods to avoid, supplements, etc. One item that seems to surface in reading that I have done is caffeine...

My ringing is still there... it is constant but I really don't think it is as bad as before surgery.

It has been a good full day- 6 hours of driving to celebrate my Mom's 95th birthday. I could hear almost every word spoken to me by my family.

"It really is great to hear what I have been missing."

dwalt
Hi all and Welcome Janster!

Thanks for the report Janster. I did wonder if the opens and closes would continue forever or eventually go away. It was pointed out to me yesterday that even people without hearing issues also have the opens and closes when they have a clogged head, fly or anything that pressurizes the ears. I thought about it and it makes sense. What we all need to remember (or try to anyways) is that some of it should go away, but it will never disappear. All people experience that, not just us.

I had a couple of really neat experiences in hearing the last couple of days. First, remember that people who wear hearing aids don't really get better hearing. The aids simply make everything louder. With them you still cannot tell which direction sound is coming from or hear the frequencies we are missing very well and never, ever have I been able to keep up with more than ONE noise (conversation or otherwise) at the same time.

Well, Thursday at my childs bball practice we are in this large gym with about 60 kids - all bouncing balls. I hear the balls very well. There were two ladies sitting to the right of me about 5 ft. away. I could also hear every word they said very clearly. But the coolest thing was that there were also a group of kids and their coach sitting about 20ft away to my left (the operated ear side). I also heard every word they said without having to "work" at hearing it. OMG..that was neat. Usually all I would hear is whatever is the loudest thing at a time. This also happened at gymnastics. I could hear conversations in the stands and the instructors out on the floor working with the kids.

Andy,
I had the same problem with my knee doc about not being able to ask questions cause he was so busy. I made a list of questions and had them stuck to my knee the last time I saw him. He had no choice but to answer them :)

Ok Dwalt, I'll ask about dietary changes. I'm with Andy though..I'll live with the ringing if it means that I can still have my caffine. If I were to give up caffine, then the reason for the surgery would be a mute point because no one would talk to me anymore!! (I'm not very cheerful without it).

I'm glad the hearing is working better for all of us. It's great to be able to share these results with others.

OH...one more story I have to tell you.......

On Friday one of my old co-workers came to visit us. He was the very first person I saw that day many, many years ago when I left the ear doc after being told (the first time) that there was no surgery available and just to get hearing aids. I cried on his shoulder for a long time because I was so upset that hearing aids were my only choice. Anyways, he came to visit and when I saw him I went straight to him and gave him a huge hug. While I was hugging him, I told him about the surgery and that I could hear now and explained everything. By the time I was done, he was teary eyed too because he remebered the effect that the news I got years ago had on me and he was SOO happy for me. It was quite a moving moment.

Ok..Current stuff:
I still have some ringing but it's not loud, annoying or anything, it's very tolerable. The dizziness is kinda driving me nuts. One day it's slight and others it's awful. I know, I know - patience. My hearing is continuing to get clearer each day.

More later,

-Carol-
Hello Everyone!

I totally agree that founding this message board is the best! Especially since I'm the only one in my immediate circle that's had a stapedectomy. I really enjoy reading all your updates!

Since Friday everything has just changed and I've been driving my husband crazy the whole weekend. I keep on closing my un-operated ear and ask him:"say something,say something, are you talkind louder now or is this loud voice your normal voice?" I can hear him fine! I can understand now why he used to get so upset if he had to repeat everything he says 4 times before I can hear him - :D I've also played a lot with the televison's volume and boy what a difference! I can turn it down from 8(which was way loud according to my husband) to 6 now and still hear. And if I try really hard I can hear noises on 5, but not what they are saying clearly.

About the tinnitus - I've got it quite bad and read up about it. Caffeinne,alcohol, certain medicines has it on their leaflets as a side-effect, one of them is quidine that can also cause it or make it worse. So I've been trying to lay off the coffee. Also bad circulation apparently, so some people suggest exercising. So I've been exercising on my "Orbitrek" (almost like running on a treadmill but it's got a wheel and it's soft on the knees). I had no coffee for a week,:angel: but it made no difference. The last week or so I just NEEEEEEEEDED my coffee, so I had about 2 cups a day and the rest of the time I have "Rooibos Tea" which contains no caffeine.
I asked the docter about it but he did not really answer me, so I read up some more and it seems that there is no real definite cure or medicine for it, except for some herbal remedies I found on the internet. Google TinnaRex, for example.

I'm so glad to hear all of you ar doing well, looks like all us us will be success stories, we must just be patient.

Will chat again
N:wave:
Hi everyone,

First of all, boy am I glad I found this board after days of googling!!! I'm 23 years old and have suffered hearing loss in both ears since I was 19. The loss was so gradual that I finally noticed its impact when I realised I couldn't catch clearly what my lecturer was saying in class. I can no longer hear someone if he/she doesn't face me when speaking and most of friends pointed out that my speaking voice is getting softer. I got really depressed (esp when people look at you funny when you answer their questions wrongly or when you keep asking them to repeat what they're saying) and this started to affect my self-esteem. It was then that my family encouraged me to seek medical advice.

Last month, I visited an ENT specialist and he told me that I have moderate hearing loss equally in both ears and from the pattern of my loss, he confirmed I have ostosclerosis. After crying buckets over this revelation :D , I heeded my doc's strong advice and underwent the stapedectomy procedure last Mon (Jan 29th) on my right ear.

-----

I went through the surgery under general anaesthesia and woke up feeling like crap! I had moderate pain but was extremely dizzy and nausea (esp when I tried to turn my head) and and the right part of my tongue felt numb. For the first three days, I was dizzy from the pain meds and I can't talk well (my jaw feels tight) and I can't chew my food w/o feeling discomfort in my ear. Finally on the fourth day, I woke up in the morning with no ear pain and dizziness. Yay!

However one problem that I have is my constant burping and belching since the op. Each time I burp, I can feel something moving in my ear (no pain) but it feels pretty scary. I'm scared my eardrum or the piston will move!

Today is the 8th day after op. I just had an appointment with my doc today and he told me everything looks fine. Pfft, I didn't get to ask him my burping problem since he was so fast! :-(

So far, I can't really hear much with my operated ear (right ear). If I close my left ear, I can only hear the radio or tv when the volume is turned up really high and it has this weird muffled echo and hollow sound. Yikes! Doc told me the packing would be removed next wk and I really hope my right ear will not worsen!

So that's it. So far I'm only on my sinus medication, braving the crackling, ringing and sometimes the sound of my heartbeat in my operated ear. In the mean time, I'm really glad I've found other people in this board who've had similar experiences as mine. At least I won't drive myself crazy over all this worrying alone. Hehe... Goodday everyone!

Jazz
That's wonderful news Noeli! I'm so happy for you. It's kind of creepy at first, huh? Creepy and Cool all at the same time.

Welcome Jazz. If you read all the posts, you know about all the "bumps" on the road. Patience, patience, patience.

Most of us, if you kept track, seemed to be much happier with the results right around the 2-3 week mark. Before that, some saw improvements but by that time frame all of us were happy.

Keep us posted on your progress and we'll ALL get through this together.

Are you going to get the other ear done too? I will be going through all this again in a few months.

Today it's been 3 weeks since surgery. If anyone had told me I would be able to hear this good, this quick (3 short weeks) - I woulda said they were nuts. The tin can sound is gone, the major vibrating/rattling of my head with "rumbling" type sounds is gone, and the ringing is so quiet that if I don't think about it, I don't hear it. Just like Andy described.

I'm enjoying being able to hear things people are saying that I would previously not have heard and them not realizing or remembering that I can hear now until I say, "I HEARD THAT". That usually happens with my kids or the guys at work. They both say things i'm sure they would have rather me not heard and it's fun busting them.:) (Yes, i'm easily amused these days).

More later,

-Carol-
Hi Carol

I totally agree with you! I even "tested" my "bionic" ear on the docter, just to be sure...which had him smiling to himself when I left his office. I've also had great fun in saying "I heard that" to a few people.

Welcome, Jazz! and hang in there, it does get better, I was also feeling a bit despondent right after the opp, but feel way beter now!

N
Hi Carol and noeli!

I had a terrible sleep last night. I woke up at 4am and my nose felt really itchy from my sinus allergy and I started sneezing for abt 6 times!!!! I made sure to sneeze with my mouth open and I don't really feel any pressure change in my ear but it's still scary!!!! I kept imagining the piston is moving around. :confused:

Other than that I'm feeling ok. Just for a while today, I had this weird echo in my ear when I speak. Reading through the forums, I realised this is normal (hehe..thank God).

Nonetheless, thanks for all your encouragement Carol and noeli, I shall be very, very patient with the results. Who knows, maybe there will be some form of an improvement after my 2 week mark. :)

Jazz
Hi all,

Do you all remember those first couple of days after surgery when the slighest head motion would give you that jarring feeling and send you into that major dizzy phase?

In my mind, I translated that sensation to a huge church bell being dropped on its side with the clapper making a loud clank as it landed on the inside of the bell and caused the loud ringing - except - my ear was the bell, the piston was the clapper, the clank was the jarring motion and the ringing the was the dizziness:dizzy: . (That's the way I described it to people)

At first, I thought the doc messed up when he put mine in and that it was too loose which caused the piston to just slam to the side, causing the major dizziness. Now during normal head movement I don't feel any wierd sensations but when I sneeze, I still feels like i'm still dropping the bell on it's side.

I had a couple of people ask me today at work that read the daily updates exactly "how bad" the dizziness was that we had all talked about and if I could feel the piston moving, so I thought I would try to describe the sensation.

Was that fairly accurate to what you all felt as well?

More later,

-Carol-
Hi Everyone, me again :)

I was also just thinking how lucky we are that something could be done for us. I'm supposed to have my other ear done in June, still thinking about it though, will first see what the docter says when we get to the "hearing test" stage.

Dwalt, I was wondering if you or anyone else, was able to find out anything else about reducing the tinnitus? I'm just so glad I can hear better, I don't want to moan about it too much, but it would be nice if there was something a person could do about it. I've been using TinnaRex tinnitus remedy for the last few days, but it's not makiing any difference yet...

Carol, I must say, that luckily I haven't had any major dizzispells so far. :cool: I hope it stays that way.

Jazz, even if after 2 weeks you don't "hear" an improvement, don't stress, I only started hearing with my opperated ear 3 weeks after the opp.

Noeli
Hi all,

Right after I had the surgery, I didn’t experience any noticeable changes in taste. That was one of the possible short term affects of this procedure. I don’t know if that’s because I had an immediate [U]major[/U] improvement in my hearing that was overwhelming and had lots of dizziness or what.

I’m now 3 weeks post-op and for the last 3 days I have noticed a metallic taste on the front of my tongue on the operated ear side and a very sweet taste on the back part of my tongue. I’ll be sitting here and all the sudden I just get this sweet taste and my mouth produces an extreme amount of saliva then it will switch to the metallic taste and my mouth goes dry. When I’m eating, the food still tastes as it should but all other times the two tastes just keep alternating. It’s a really weird sensation.

Looking back, I think I may have actually not had [U]any taste [/U]on that side of the tongue those 3 weeks and since I was checking for “strange tastes” but food still tasted normal, I didn’t notice the absence of it on that side.

****BUMP**** hehe (this too shall pass)

My hearing is continuing to get clearer every day. I have talked on the phone exclusively with my right ear for the last 20 years or so because I just couldn’t hear anything with the left when trying. Being able to do that is one of the things I have been really looking forward to. I purposely hadn’t even tried until yesterday because I didn’t want to be disappointed. The hearing was still too muffled, distorted, not clear or whatever you want to call it to try. Since the last few days have been awesome with the improvement in clarity, last night I finally decided it was “time” to put the bionic ear to the test. YAAAY:blob_fire It sounded good. Not perfect because there is still a little distortion, but well enough to have a conversation without having to strain to understand. That was a wonderful feeling and I just sat there and talked with this goofy little grin on my face.

More later:wave: ,

-Carol-
Hello to all of you with better hearing:

The good news today... My hearing test in my right ear was in the normal range (much improved) and very close to the hearing in my left ear! The doctor examined the ear said all was going well and dismissed me unless I had further problems. He said that the ear would continue to heal and the hearing should stablilze. Also, the opening and closing should go away.

I asked about the tinnitus and he really didn't have any medical answers. So, we first accept it and then learn to live with it. Also, he gave me no restrictions on flying or getting water in that ear.

Carol... Yes the change in taste! You noticed... I had the same sensation and as recently as the past couple of weeks (now 2 months since surgery) I still have that sweet taste... the metallic taste is now gone, mostly. I must say that salted, buttered popcorn tasted sweet to me... I now like my coffee stronger... The sweet taste is gradually going away...

I used to talk on the phone with my left ear only. Now either ear is fine.

If any of you find any other possible helps in reducing tinnutis, let me know and I will do the same.

On to new battles now- arthiritis in my left knee has me hobbling! The orthopedist is next!

Dwalt
Hi Dwalt! That's wonderfull, congrats on your normal hearing:)

My ear's been feeling "tired" - maybe it's just not used to all the noises it can hear now. It does not pain, it just feels heavy/tired sometimes. I don't know how to describe it really, but I suppose it's part of the healing process. :confused: maybe it's paranoia. Sometimes, if I sneeze, I wait and listen and try and imagine what my new stapes bone is doing inside my ear and if everything is still ok. Other than that everything is A- ok!

Have a great day everyone!
Noeli
Hi all,

The tastes are much stronger now and do interfere with my coffee. It's tastes like it has sugar in it..and I like it black. YUK. My tongue also has gone numb on that side for a couple of minutes twice today. It's very odd, but I know this is just another bump on the road to better hearing.

My hearing still continues to get clearer every day. I have no idea what "perfect" hearing is, I haven't had that in years so I'm not sure how much room there is left for it to improve. I sure wish I could have a hearing test right now just to see where I am, but I have another two weeks to wait before I get one. I know, I know - PATIENCE.

Dwalt - That is wonderful news! I hope you are as successful with the arthritis as you were with the old ear.

Noeli - Are you getting use to being able to hear again yet?

Jazz - Are you still out there? Let us hear from you and how you are doing.

Andy - When do you go for your next hearing test?

More later,

-Carol-
Iam 27 years old. Recently, I have been diagnosed with Ostoclerosis on both ears. I have a loss of 40 DB. I can hear conversation, but its been tough during business meetings, and any private conversation! My doctor recommended a Stapedectomy, or a CIC hearing aid, and I am contemplating between the same. I am currently in the process of changing my job and will have 2 weeks off before I join my new job. I am not sure if I can use this opportunity to get a surgery or stick to hearing aid! I am totally scared and not sure if I need to do the surgery right now!! I just wanted to reach out to you folks and discuss if any of you went through a similar decision making process.

THanks so much!
RV
Hi all! This past wk, I was helping a friend with a webdesign project and was too occupied to think about the ear! *gasp*

Today (15 days post op), the doctor removed my packing and everything suddenly seemed so loud esp the smallest noises. I came out of the doctor's room and realised that the ENT centre was very noisy! I actually cringed from the crackling noise when a guy next to me was flipping through his newspaper.

I haven't had any proper test yet but I snapped my fingers on my operated ear and it was louder than my unoperated one! (thank God, both were the same before op.)

The echo in my ear is more pronounced though but the doctor said that was normal. I confided him about my sneezing and burping. He told me the piston he placed is secure and sneezing with my mouth open shouldn't be a problem. Burping is ok too. So far, he said my ear drum has healed and everything looks good. No lifting heavy objects and no water in the ear yet. Next up is my hearing test in 6 weeks' time.

Thank you so much Carol, Noeli and Andy for all the good wishes and advice ya'll have given me. Tomorrow, I'm signing the contract for my first full time job after graduation. Let's hope all goes well.

Jazz
Carol-

My taste is still off. Yes my popcorn last night, salted and buttered, tasted sweet and that is weird. I can't say that I notice the sweetness all the time, but most of the time. I drink my coffee stronger now to compensate too. Good luck on your hearing test.

Hopefully, our tastes will return to normal soon.

Dwalt
Hi all,

Well, we are obviously all moving right along with the recovery process. YAAY. So far so good for all of us.

Hiya RVRAM,

The only way I attempt to answer your question about if you have "time" to get the surgery done between jobs is...

If you have a blown knee and you have it fixed. You will be back up and around in about a week or so..but not fully healed. You would still need crutches, the swelling still has to go down and then you have to rebuild the muscles and do a little rehab. So, a week off work and then you are able to do some stuff, just a little differently.

The ear surgery is the same way but the healing process after the stapes surgery is a heck of a lot easier then the knee example. The only things you would have to deal with after the first week are actually not bad at all. Dizziness for a couple of weeks, some taste changes, some ringing, getting used to hearing again (very loud at first but as you heal it gets clearer), etc. So I wouldn't really worry about the time frame. It's all very bearable.

As far as actually making the decision, that's a hard one. I hoped and prayed for years for them to be able to fix my hearing. AS soon as I found out they could, I made appts and scheduled it. I was excited.

Others choose to wait until the hearing loss is life aftering. That's totally up to you. You will know when it's time. I was told that if I had waited much longer and it would have been to late because the calcium deposits/growth would have affected the nerve..then it's not fixable. So just keep that in mind. But I was at 90db. You still have a way to go before that.

Hearing aids are ok. I wore them for years and still have one in the right ear (that's the next surgery). They are expensive and only make everything louder..I mean everything. You can only hear ONE thing at a time and it will be whatever is the loudest thing going on at a particular moment. My surgery cost me what one hearing aid cost (i know, peoples insurance varies) - to be fixed for life instead of having to buy a new hearing aid every couple of years like I was. That was also a motivating factor.

Well, those are my comments. Hopefully others will give you some opinions too.

If you have any other specific questions, please ask. Myself or the others here will gladly try to answer them for you.

Good Luck to you in whatever you choose to do and if you haven't already, please read all 13 pages of posts. It might help you make your decision to see the daily progress of all of us.

More later,

-Carol-
Thanks so much for your reply Carol. I am in Chicago area. Does anybody know of a good doctor here? I want to get a second opinion before I make a decision.

Thanks
RV
Jazz...

Just wait until you eat with someone that "smacks". OMG - That sound got in my head just like the paper crackling sound did to you. Whoever thought these things would be so loud, huh? On the same note..it's cool to be able to hear them.

Yes, once the ear drum completely heals, the loudness and distortion will clear up. I'm 4 weeks post opp today and the last week and a half have been incredible in the increase of the clarity of sounds. Remember - up to 6 months for hearing to completely stabilize.

Good luck with your new job and keep us posted on your progress.

More later,

-Carol-
Carol,
My sister came over my place the other day and when she started talking, I asked her, "Why are you talking so loud?". She said, "Damn it, all these years I had to adjust my voice to make it louder so you can hear me. Now that I'm used to it, I have to readjust it all over again!" :-)

Things are louder (it's a pain to take the subway train for now), but still not that clear. I watched the news at volume 26 today. (pre-op was 32) Although I can still hear at volume 23 (my goal!), it's not that clear. A future colleague whispered to me during my work briefing in the lecture hall, I was surprised I could even hear her. It wasn't clear but I could catch what she was saying.

I start work in 4 weeks' time and I really hope for any form of improvement (no matter how small) by then.

Until then, PATIENCE!!! hahahaha...

RV, I was very hesitant to take the operation after an audiologist from a private company discouraged me strongly by stressing on the complications of this operation. He also told me not to believe the doctors when they said the surgery is a simple procedure. Of course he also kept persuading me to buy his hearing aids as well.

I was glad I went to three doctors to gather their opinions. The last doctor who recommended me my surgeon changed my mind. The doctor told me the risk was 1-2% and when he saw my dilemma, he said, "In every operation, there's a risk, even bigger than this one. Life is about taking risks. You are very young and have a promising future. Why are you willing to subject yourself to this disability just because of that 1% risk? Take that 99% chance of success and do yourself a favour." The rest was history.
Hello Everyone,
My name is Lisa and I am 30 years old. I was just diagnosed with Otosclerosis about two weeks ago. I have been living with the hearing loss for about 8 years now but I thought it was from all of my previous ear infections. Since I have so much hearing loss in my right ear, my doctor recommend the surgery I am worried about the price of the surgery. I do have insurance but they only pay 80%. I was wondering how much the surgery cost everyone.
Hi all,

A quick note - My ear opened up 9 days ago and has not closed again!! I forgot to mention it because thats about the same time the strange tastes started. Weee!

Lisa- My insurance (United Health Care) also does the 80% and I have a $500 deductible. So mine cost me, including medicines, $1300. When I get my other ear done in a few months, it will only cost $800. I hope the info. helps. Oh, what is your hearing? 50db or more??


Jazz,

Thats a great story about your sister and the fact that she sounded so loud to you means you can, indeed, hear better. The clairty will come soon enough.

More later,

-Carol-
Carol,
Thank you very much!
I am not sure what my hearing is...the doctor did not give me a number. He asked me if I wanted a copy of my hearing test, but I did not take it. I guess I should have.
Lisa
Hi all,

The ringing is still hardly noticable, the tastes are still there but not as strong now, the tongue going numb is gone, hearing is still great and the dizzy spells are gone!!!

My first post-op hearing test is in 10 days and when I go in, I'm scheduling having the other ear done.

So....things here are A-OK!

And you are very welcome Lisa. Let us know what you decide to do.


More later,

-Carol-
This is an awesome group out here!! Thanks so much for your update... I am going to go for one more consultation and decide. Most likely, I am going to go with the surgery. You guys have offered me an insight on what to expect. Sounds a little bit scary, but I just need to draw inspiration from you all!

Thanks for the information Andy. I need to see if he comes to any hospitals in the NW suburbs.

Thanks
RV
Hello Everyone

Had a few hectic days, both our vehicles broke down, my Dad was in a motorvehicle accident etc. (yes the [B]list[/B] continues). :dizzy:

Anyway things have calmed down so I can give an update. My hearing in my left ear is gettingbetter everyday. Sometimes is closes and then after a while it just pops open again. It does not happen a lot and is open 90% of the time.

I attended my uncle's funeral last week (on Valentines day) and I jumped when my Aunt hugged me and talked into my left ear. It was very clear but it was also like I had a bell inside my ear that was vibrating, you know like a church bell. That was weird.:eek: So just when I think I'm used to it, something new happens.I am now about 5 and a half weeks post - opp.

I am seeing the Docter again round about the 26th. He did not say but I suspect I might have a hearing test, ja ok, I would like to have a hearing test:) I have to know if the better hearing is not my imagination. I am also going to ask for a copy of my first hearing test before the operation.

I agree that the operation is a risk. I even had to sign something that said that and also about all the side efects - I suppose so I can't blame the Doctor if something goes wrong. But if I did not do it, I still would have been hearing only half of what I'm supposed to hear and wondering...and my Doctor said that it would get worse with time as well. So it was scary but I had to!

Carol - It's wonderfull news about your ear that opened and stayed open!

I will update again soon, Good luck and Good hearing to all of us!
Noeli
Hi All,

Well I wrote on the 18th that the dizzy spells were gone. Wrong!

The last 4 days i've been having bad dizzy spell and bad headaches. The only way to feel better is just to go to sleep. I hope this passes soon. The metallic taste is also changing it's pattern. It's not always present like it was before, but when it is..it's stronger. I keep spitting to try to get the taste out of my mouth (real lady-like, i know-oops).

Hearing is still great, I'm just waiting for all the side effects (bumps in the road) to go away for good. Although it seems like it's been forever, its just been 5 weeks and 2 days. I know - PATIENCE!!!

I hope you life has calmed down a bit Noeli. Just remember to ask your doc for a hearing test. Don't wait till he says...hmm, lets check it. You are the "customer". HEHE.

More later,

-Carol-
Hi Carol and all my hearing friends:

Just wanted to report that my hearing has stabalized now, no more swelling but yes the ringing is still there. It has now been about 19 weeks since surgery. Carol, I am still having a taste issue with a sweet, metallic taste still. It really irks me until I think about being able to hear better- it was a worthy trade and I believe it should eventually go away.

Remember, we are all different in age and other health issues and we will all respond differently to this surgery. Some will heal slower or faster than you. Some may not experience all that you do. Bottom line- the surgery can potentially improve your life in many ways.

When my doctor dismissed me I asked if I had any restrictions and he said "no". I'm curious to see what your doctors will tell you about restrictions once you have fully healed. Also, I don't have any more suggestions on preventing the ringing. But I am trying to mix my coffee now to a 50/50 blend of regular and decaf. Reducing sodium in the diet may also help. If you hear any other suggestions why not share them?

dwalt
Hi all,

Dizziness was a little better yesterday and metallic taste still very strong. Only 4 more days till hearing test and packing removal. YAAAY!!

And for those of you following our stories still trying to make a decision whether or not to have the surgery...Dwalts last post says he's 19 weeks post-op, thats a typo. I wanted to point out that because he said his [U]hearing is stabilized. Remember he's just 9 weeks post-op, not 19[/U]. I know the time frame is very important to us all when trying to make that decision.

More later,

-Carol-
(27 days post op)

Hi all,

I'm glad to read that everyone's hearing is well albeit the bumpy roads.

My operated ear drives me crazy at times.. The eardrum keeps popping and sometimes I feel that my ear is full and blocked. Other times, when my eardrum pops open, the pressure feeling disappears and sounds are even louder. Is this what ya'll mean by the ear opening and closing?

My ear is still ringing (esp when I'm lying down) but i'm used to it. Right side of tongue is slowly losing its numbness but recently certain food tastes metallic. :-( Today, still hazy from sleep, I scratched my operated ear. Ouch, I accidentally flicked the healing incision on my outer ear!

My right ear is doing ok except for some instances when there will be a mild pain when I try to sleep on the right (operated) side. I don't know if my hearing is gradually improving since I removed my packing but the right ear now is def much louder than my left ear. I can finally hear the voices on my home phone! When I place the phone on my left ear, I could only hear murmurings but when I switched to my right, it's loud and clear. And here I was, thinking the phone was faulty all along. :-P

How about you guys? At what rate does your hearing continue to improve? Sigh, guess I'll finally know on my hearing test in 3 weeks' time.

PS: I'm still on the no water restriction. How do ya'll wash your hair by yourself? My mom has been washing my hair but I don't want to trouble her any longer.

Cheers,
Jazz
Hello All on this great message board,
I'd like to tell you my experience on 2 Stapedectomies. The 1st one was 7 years ago when I was 34 and was diagnosed with otosclerosis on the left ear. All went well, very dizzy at home for 1 week and it slowly disappeared completely in 1 month. My packing was removed around 1 week to 10 days after surgery. As most of you say, my hearing was gradually picking up and was at first very distorted like a tin can. I guess it stabilized after 3 months. I was able to recover about 90 % of my hearing capacity, not 100% high quality sound but fair above the standard. I never had to switch ears to talk on the phone again. I got back to normal life shortly after 3 months, taking airplanes, swimming and even "scuba diving" (this goes to Andy) 3 years later. The surgery was really worth it and I don't regret it at all. I encourage the candidates to do it provided they get referrals of good doctors and also to stick to the "Do's & Don'ts" List after the surgery (this is what Doctors don't have patience and time to tell us).

Now came the time for my right ear and I am on my 5th day after surgery, still at home, slow dizziness, packing , cottonball and still not hearing at all on my operated ear. No ringing and no metalic taste in the food so far...
I will see the doctor in 2 days for nthe 1st check. Meanwhile I don't even want to return to my office at the 32nd floor of a high-rise. My first surgery doctor recommended me to chew gum while in the elevator, specially on the way down. Also, 30 days restriction to fly by plane (contrary to my existing doctor who said 15 days...). Also, in the first flights, to chew gum while descending and to drop Afrin in the nose to keep the channels clear of any sinus. I hope you all and myself are able to experience the success story of my first ear. I'll keep you posted of my progress and please feel free to share your experiences and doubts with me as well.

best regards

Luciano
[QUOTE=CAB1;2818788]Hi all,

Dizziness was a little better yesterday and metallic taste still very strong. Only 4 more days till hearing test and packing removal. YAAAY!!

And for those of you following our stories still trying to make a decision whether or not to have the surgery...Dwalts last post says he's 19 weeks post-op, thats a typo. I wanted to point out that because he said his [U]hearing is stabilized. Remember he's just 9 weeks post-op, not 19[/U]. I know the time frame is very important to us all when trying to make that decision.

More later,

-Carol-[/QUOTE]
Carol:

Thanks for catching my typo... yes it is 9 weeks since surgery. The metallic taste is still with me- actually mine is more of a sweet taste. No change in the ringing but the hearing is normal.

To those considering the surgery, find a good doctor and have it done!

dwalt
[QUOTE=jazz83;2820151](27 days post op)

Hi all,

I'm glad to read that everyone's hearing is well albeit the bumpy roads.

My operated ear drives me crazy at times.. The eardrum keeps popping and sometimes I feel that my ear is full and blocked. Other times, when my eardrum pops open, the pressure feeling disappears and sounds are even louder. Is this what ya'll mean by the ear opening and closing?

My ear is still ringing (esp when I'm lying down) but i'm used to it. Right side of tongue is slowly losing its numbness but recently certain food tastes metallic. :-( Today, still hazy from sleep, I scratched my operated ear. Ouch, I accidentally flicked the healing incision on my outer ear!

My right ear is doing ok except for some instances when there will be a mild pain when I try to sleep on the right (operated) side. I don't know if my hearing is gradually improving since I removed my packing but the right ear now is def much louder than my left ear. I can finally hear the voices on my home phone! When I place the phone on my left ear, I could only hear murmurings but when I switched to my right, it's loud and clear. And here I was, thinking the phone was faulty all along. :-P

How about you guys? At what rate does your hearing continue to improve? Sigh, guess I'll finally know on my hearing test in 3 weeks' time.

PS: I'm still on the no water restriction. How do ya'll wash your hair by yourself? My mom has been washing my hair but I don't want to trouble her any longer.

Cheers,
Jazz[/QUOTE]
Ye Jazz, that's exactly what I'm talking about when I say my ear opens and closes. Hang in there, it won't last forever.

I'm 6 weeks and hearing is still improving, things get clearer every day.

I use a little cup with a washrag stuffed in it to hold over my ear when washing my hair. It took little coordination actually washing my hair with only one hand because the other holds the cup, but after the first couple of showers, it got a little easier to do. However, my hair is only about 2 inches long, so if you have long hair you might have a much harder time doing it this way.
Hi all,

....and Welcome Luciano,


Luciano,

It's great to hear about your surgery 7 years ago. I know I've read that once you get it done, it lasts forever - except those rare cases of a bad or misplaced prosthesis which have to be redone (less than 1%).

I agree with you, the doc's all seem to have their own opinions different time periods for the "do's and don't" list. Every place I read also has different times, but most of the list is still the same.

Did you have the metallic or sweet taste? If so, how long did it last?

I would really like to know how long before the dizzy completely disappears. I know 2-6 months...grrrr..I know. But, how long did it last for you?

All,

I'm still trying to start using the operated ear for talking on the phone. I'm on it about 4 hours a day. I'm going to get the other ear done hopefully very soon, so I've been trying to force myself to use the "new" ear, but I keep forgetting. I can hear fine now in it, it's just years of habit I have to break. I suppose when I have that cotton ball in and the loud distorted sound, after the next surgery.. that's when I'll remember :rolleyes:

The old taster is still have a blast with my saliva glands. They have no clue from one minute to the next what to do. As bad as it sounds, I'm now pretty used to it. Chewing gum helps to hide the tastes and keeps the mouth wet when the metallic taste hits and my mouth drys up.

Two more days till first hearing test and packing comes out and I can take a shower without holding that silly cup!!!

hehe...that's all I know for now.

More later,

-Carol-
Carol:

Getting the packing out brought instant relief to my body. Physically, I was alot better immediately. I believe most of that diziness will go away after it is removed. Getting the packing out has minor discomfort but it is well worth it to hear again with that ear.

As for the metallic taste, gums and mints are good... strong coffee is also good... just watch the salt because I am using too much to compensate for the taste.

To all this is a reality of the phrase "no pain, no gain".

dwalt
Dwalt,

How funny you should use that phrase. "No Pain, No Gain" - That's why I've been telling myself!

It's interesting you mentioned salt too. I buy unsalted everything and don't put salt on anything, but the last 2 weeks I've been craving salt ALOT. So the saltier the fries, the better right now. Guess I should watch that, huh.

More later,

-Carol-
Hi Carol and All,
Today I completed 1 Week after surgery and went for my first return visit with the doctor. The office was packed (as ususal) and I took a 10 Question sheet to ask him right away. The weird thing is that "he did not ask me anything", not even how I did I do the last 7 days...Here's a summary:
- He removed the packing (with the help of a micro-vacuum cleaner, I'm not kidding )
- Ask me if I hear anything. I said I hear very low and ditorted like in a tin can.
- No more need for cottonballs
- release me to shower with no ear protection but no swimming.
- I may take a flight in one week from now.
Unbelievable...very different from my first doctor, much more conservative.

Anyway, today was also my first day back to work. I'm already driving and I confess it's much more comfortable to speak on the phone through my "good ear" rather than personally where you need to be lip reading to make sure you got the meassage. I'm still dizzy and I need to concentrate to walk on a straight line. Did not feel quite OK on my first day back. When I went out to lunch, I felt disoriented with too much noise coming into one ear only. It seemed that everyone was screaming at the restaurant. Not comfortable at all. Then I had to set my mind to have a lot of patience because this will be a gradually slow moving development process. Patience pays and I keep on remembering the evolution of my 1st surgery.

Carol, I never had a different tasting (metallic or sweet). On my 1st surgery I believe my dizziness went out completely after a month or so. What I do remember is that shortly after that, my life got back to normal. So normal that I just forgot for a long time I had that surgery in the past. And that for me is the best sign. If you forget it's because it does not bother you anymore and it's not an issue. No restrictions, swimming , flights, even scuba diving. I'm looking forward to those days again as I'm still entering my 2nd week after surgery and have a long way to go. Meanhwile, I'll have to cope with alll these several discomforts: stuffy ear (even without the packing) , still low and bad quality hearing and dizziness. It seems I have a malfunction and will not be fixed again but this is just a feeling that will go away day by day.

So be strong and have a lot of patience to heal yourself.
regards
Luciano
Hi all,

Quick note - GRRRRRRRRRR!

Been waiting and waiting for today to get the packing out and get my first hearing test.

I was really looking forward to taking a shower in the morning without having to hold a cup over my ear!

Doctors office called, he had an emergency and had to leave. Now I'm rescheduled for Monday (5 more days). :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

More later,

-Carol-
Take it easy Carol.
I know the feeling. It's a relief to take out the packing and your doctor will probably free you to wet your ear and wash your hair. This is the good part. However, it's likely that your doc will not make a hearing test right after removing the packing because the ear is still healing (you will still feel it "stuffed"). The test would not be done under normal conditions, not fair yet. My fisrst test is scheduled for 2 more weeks. I did the same thing you did today and tested my operated ear on the phone at work. Had to put it in max.volume but it worked. Very rerwarding ! But the dizziness is still there, annoying me all day long. How is yours ?
Luciano
I know, I know....but man, I was ready to get the stuff out. I'll live.

The last 3 days dizziness has been a lot better. I'm back to not being dizzy unless I make some real swift head movements. I can now go from a vertical to a horizontal position without dizziness at all. THAT is a major improvement.

I'm 6 weeks post-op now. I wonder why some docs take out packing after 1 week and mine waits 6 weeks to do it. Hmmm. Oh well, guess I'll ask that question Monday too.

I still catch myself starting out with the left ear (new ear) on the phone and midway through the call, I'll switch ears. But, at least I'm remembering to use it more. It's funny really that I do that because to switch ears I have to take out my hearing aid in the other ear to keep it from squealing..... and I still don't realize i'm doing it. Years of habit to break!

Taster is still getting metallic and sweet tastes, but it's calming down quite a buit. The really strong "taste" moments are getting less frequent.

More later,

-Carol-
Awww, Carol that sucks man. Hehe.. don't worry, what's 5 more days after 6 weeks of anticipation! :-P My hearing test is on the afternoon of march 26th but I doubt I could get leave because of classes (I'm a highschool teacher). I might have to reschedule it. :-(

By the way, I went for my medical check up for work. I was so happy when they ticked on the medical report "[i]hearing: normal[/i]" Hehe, I was amazed I could hear the examining doctor's voice clearly. Pre-op, I had a hard time straining to hear doctors as one tend to speak softer during a one-to-one conversation.

Luciano, hope you're recovering well. My dizziness stopped on the 5th day post op. Maybe because I stopped taking the strong painkillers as well then. My doc's like that too. I had to ask him all the restrictions since he didn't elaborate enough. But it's odd though, he kept emphasizing on the no water in the ear for about a month and not to carry heavy things while yours seems flexible. The "no water" is killing me since I have long hair and I need to wash it everyday to prevent dandruff!

Cheers,
Jazz
Hi Carol and Jazz !
How are you all doing this Saturday Morning ?
Hope all are recovering and feeling better day by day. :) :p This is my 11th day pos-op and I feel a lot of improvements. My dizziness has been much better but is still there. I feel it when I'm driving and pass a bump (my brain shakes left and right...). The "stuffed ear" sensation is phasing out gradually every day (still there though...). It means it's healing. And the sound is passing through and I just did a test. I plugged my iPod with low volume and a big band jazz song with all instruments to test how I hear the low , medium and high frequencies of my operated ear relative to my "Good 7 years ago operated ear" . I kept taking off the left and the right earbud to check the differences. The results: the good ear sounds like a High Fidelity Speaker, perfect bass , treble and etc. but the operated ear sounds like a poor radio-clock tuned in a AM station, mono like in the old times... I know this is going to get better but I was curious to test it.
Question: Do you guys also have stitches on your outer ear ? The other thing that bothers me is the constant ringing as Dwait said. It's like a continuous bell buzzing in my ear and I can feel it much more when there is silence or when you go to sleep. This is my update fopr today and hope to hear from you all soon.
best,
Luciano :wave:
Hi all,

hehe..it's funny when you finally realize that something is not happening anymore. My ringing and buzzing are completely gone and I realized that I haven't heard it for about 5 days now. WEEEEEEE!

Dizziness is gone now too, none of that for a couple days now, even with swift head movements. Another...WEEEEEEEEEEE!

Taster is getting better by the day still. Now metallic just pops up a couple times a day and not real strong when it does.

Luciano..No, I don't have any stitches..that I'm aware of.

Wow Jazz..I bet that was cool getting a "hearing: normal" report. I bet you even giggled a bit seeing that! My first reaction would have been "na na nana na...I got a nooor..mal". HEHE. Good for you!

I"m just kicking back and trying to remain patient till Monday. Everyone I know gave me crap about being upset at the doc appt being delayed. They all said same thing as Jazz...it's just 5 more days. I know that...but..ya know.

More later,
-Carol-
Hello all, I am looking for some answers.

I had a right ear stapedectomy on Feb. 7th, 2007. Overall , things went well. I had some post op sickness (4-6 hrs) mostly from the anesthesia, and a small amount of dizziness for about a week after surgery (usually when siting up after lying down). I had some minor drainage from the ear for 2-3 days after surgery. I had very little pain, and did not need to take any pain meds.
My taste was not affected at all. Initially, hearing was improved, although it was like hearing through a tin can. Loud noises were distorted, and some were too loud. I could actually hear noises that I could not hear before surgery, like the snow crunching under my boots, my sons quiet talking, and outside distant noises. It was awsome!!! I actually felt like a new human being. It was an almost life changing experience.
BUT,
When the packing was removed 1 week after surgery, there was NO noticeable hearing improvement. It still sounds like I have an ear plug in that ear. The loud noises have subsided, and so has the distortion, but the ear still seems plugged. Hearing is probably worse right now than before surgery.
I go to the surgeon this week on March 7th. I am very anxious!!!

Is there anyone out there that has had the same experience, that could give me some info as to what to expect in the future. I have read, and read and read about what to expect after surgery, but there is nothing like hearing from someone who has lived it.

thanks dave
Hello all, I am looking for some answers.

I had a right ear stapedectomy on Feb. 7th, 2007. Overall , things went very well. I had some post op sickness (4-6 hrs) mostly from the anesthesia, and a small amount of dizziness for about a week after surgery (usually when siting up after lying down). I had some minor drainage from the ear for 3-4 days after surgery. I had very little pain, and did not need to take any pain meds.
My taste was not affected at all! Initially, hearing was greatly improved, although it was like hearing through a tin can. Any loud noises were distorted, and some were too loud. I could actually hear noises that I could not hear before surgery, like the snow crunching under my boots, my sons quiet talking, and outside distant noises. It was awsome!!! I actually felt like a new human being. It was an almost life changing experience. I was looking forward to talking with my co workers without trying to guess what they were saying.
BUT,
When the packing was removed 1 week after surgery, there was NO noticeable hearing improvement. It still sounds like I have an ear plug in that ear. The loud noises have subsided, and so has the distortion, but the ear still seems plugged. Hearing is probably worse right now than before surgery.
I go to the surgeon for a follow up this week on March 7th. I am very anxious!!!
I have the ringing in my ear also.

Is there anyone out there that could give me some info as to what to expect in the future. I have read, and read and read about what to expect after surgery, but there is nothing like hearing from someone who has lived it.

thanks

dave
I am a 32 year old Male from Saskatchewan, Canada. I had my stapedectomy on Feb 20, 2007. I had to fly out to Victoria, BC for the surgery. Tomorrow will be the start of week 3 since my surgery.

My surgery went amazingly well. I arrived at the hospital at 6 am and was in the OR by 8am. I even had some pre op sleep before we started. I woke up starving and just in time for supper. I sat around the hospital room for another 3 hours to please the nurse and I was out eating supper again by 8 pm. I could have stayed the night if I wanted to but No THANKS!

I really had a strong "tinny" taste in my mouth for the first 2 weeks but it has since gone down. But I do have a slight numbness.

I have 2 preschool children (1 and 3.5 years) that do tend to cry and it is difficult to avoid those loud noises.

I had the packing removed from my ear a week after surgery and that hurt like a bugger. But that packing was so itchy to me that I was really glad to feel that pain.

I was quite concerned about the "broken stereo" symptom that I am experiencing right now but, I now feel more comfortable knowing it is just a phase. My doctor "forgot" to mention this.

On March 23 I go for my hearing test. 4 weeks after my surgery.

I also wanted to let others know that have this surgery, that my experiences flying weren't all that great. I flew home on the Thursday evening, 2 days after. Going over the Rocky mtn's I was in pain. I had a connecting flight, and the second part of the flight over the prairies wasn't as bad. I was prescribed Tylenol 3's JIC and only used them for the first half of the flight.

I am really impressed with this MB Community. You guys are doing a great thing sharing your experiences with everyone.
Hi all,


I know you have all been on the edge of your seats waiting for this report. (Ok, ok. Maybe it was just me on the edge of my seat, but I’ll share the results anyways).

The goal of the surgery is to “close the air-bone gap”, which means trying to get the “air numbers” to match up as close as possible to the “bone numbers”. Mine are a lot better than they were, but there is still room for improvement. The doc said that the hearing would continue to improve the next 3 months.

Normal hearing is anywhere between 0 and 20 decibels.


“Bone” = the best that can be expected by each frequency for ME. Most of my hearing loss is from Otosclerosis but I do also have some loss due to nerve damage and that portion of loss cannot be restored.

“Air Old” = my numbers before surgery.

“Air New” = my numbers today which is 7 weeks post-op.


..............dB..............dB..................dB
Hz.......air (old)......air (new) .........bone (goal)
250........75...............35...................5
500........85...............60..................30
1000......65...............25..................25
2000......75...............40..................40
4000......50...............20..................20

My Speech Recognition Threshold used to be 65dB. Now it's 25dB.

As you can see my 1000-4000 which are the higher frequencies (females, kids, etc) are as good as they will ever be, the "air new" and "bone" match. The 250-500 are the low sounds (male voices, etc) and hopefully it will improve.

**He removed the packing from my ear about 10 minutes before the hearing test.

It hurt like **** . He pulled and poked and pulled and he couldn’t get the stuff out. It felt like he was trying to pull a one inch rock through my ear canal or something equally as painful. He ended up putting some liquid COLACE (stool softener) in my ear to soften up the packing so he could pull it out. :D It’s ok, you can laugh – I have been. I know its funny but it was very effective.

Needless to say the headphones hurt my ear during the hearing test because of that. So, I don’t know if these numbers are really accurate because I was hurting and distracted by it. It’s now 5 hours after he took packing out and my ear canal STILL hurts. Remember my packing was in for seven weeks and it obviously thought it was going to stay.

Doc said I could get water in the ear now and then started to list other things I could resume doing. I stopped him and said, “Instead of telling me all the things it’s ok to do now, just give me the do not do list because hopefully it’s shorter.” He laughed and said that there was nothing I could not do, no restrictions at all.:) :)

Surgery for the right ear is scheduled for April 17th. Yippee, I get to start this all over again..:dizzy:

More later,

-Carol-
Ok Dave and Shaydad, I wasn't ignoring you I just wanted to give my numbers earlier.

Dave - If you read all 20 pages of posts you see that we often said our "ear opened and closed". Your plugged feeling and lack a sound is what we are talking about. The swelling of your inner ear where the doc invaded will eventually go down and the ear will open again. Patience. It's frustrating, we know but just hang in there. It will open and close for weeks and finally one day it will open and stay open.


Shaydad - I'm only four weeks ahead of you so I can't say for sure what the future holds. I have spent countless hours reading up on the surgery and the long term results. I saw very few negative longterm reports from people that had early positive results. Either it worked or it didn't and if it didn't the person knew that within the first month or so. The "broken stereo" sound you have is normal and will last around 4-5 weeks. Once that goes away you will be very pleased because sounds then start getting clearer every day.


To both of you -Welcome and strap on your seatbelt, it's gonna be a bumpy ride but you will get there. Just remember 2-6 months and Patience.

More later,

-Carol-
(36 days post op)

Welcome Dave and Shaydad!

Dave, don't worry. Your eardrum is still healing and it's "opening" and "closing". So there are times where your hearing sounds poorer. It will take time for the ear to heal and stabilise while hearing continues to improve for the next 3-6 months.

Luciano, I do have stitches on my outer ear! My doc made an incision to widen the ear canal.

Carol!! I'm so happy for you. Your results are amazing! I can only hope to achieve such improvements in my upcoming test. *fingers crossed*

I don't know what happened but my operated ear started doing that crackling noise again the past two days during bedtime. I started panicking, thinking something's wrong with the eardrum but I guess maybe it's still healing. I have no problem with dizziness but sometimes there's some fleeting pain that last for a few secs.

My ear pops a lot these past week and opens more. Things aren't as loud anymore and I think it's stabilising (I don't have to cover my ears when I shut the creaky door). One problem I'm experiencing is the direction of sound. In the doctor's office the other day, I heard someone call my name loud and clear but I can't distinguish the direction of the sound. Hmmm...


Cheers,
Jazz
Hi Everyone!

Carol, I am soooo happy for you! Wow! :)

Quick update from my side - saw the Doc last week, he peeked into my ear, then he took those metal/silwer thingies that makes a noise and held it at the back of my ear, at the front and then against my forehead. he always does that and then I must say "where" I hear the sound. It's so funny, Iwant to laugh when he does that, anyway, I just told him, Doc, at the back and front, really no difference, where it used to be loud at the back of my ear. Forehead one - well - I hear it at my forehead. He looked quite pleased with my answer and with himself and said well ok, that's it. He wants to only see me again if there is a complication. No hearing test. So I asked him if I'll then see him round about June or so for the other ear and he said yes. That's it. I suppose he'll test my hearing then and then we'll decide if worth it to do the other ear. maybe I must just phone them and make another appointment for a hearing test specifically -I also want to see my results:D

Anyway, my ears are still ringing, but I've had flu on top of everything else so I think I'll ask the Doc, about the hearing test when that's all cleared up.

Noel
Jazz/Noeli,

It sounds like everything is moving right along for you both. I would ask for a hearing test and copies of all old tests so you can compare them and see for yourself. Until I put mine side by side, I knew I could hear better but had no idea how much better. It was cool.

My ear still crackles every once in a while for about a minute but that is also getting less frequent. The last few days without the packing have been wierd. Remember after surgery during the "busted speaker" period when sounds were so loud they drove you nuts, then your brain learned how to process them and you got to the point where you could hear good? Loud and clear. Well, now with the packing out sounds are back to being really loud and my brain is working on handling it all. Instead of Loud and clear, now things are REALLY REALLY loud and clear. I know that will calm down as I get used to it but...wow.

More later,

-Carol-
Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note: Luciano and Jazz, I also got stitches (2) front of ear. Very small, other people doesn't notice it now that the stitches are out and the little cut is healed. I'm also putting "tissue oil" on to make the little scar less noticeable.

Noeli
Hello Everyone and Welcome Dave and Shayad,
What a coincidence Shayad, I was aldo operated on Feb. 20th so we have exactly the same recovery time. I can tell you that the ear plug feeling even after packing out is normal and the low fidelity hearing as well, including the disorientation on where the sound is coming from. I had my other ear operated 7 years ago and it's perfect. Takes patience for 2 to 3 months for you to even forget you had this surgery. I went back to the doc yesterday and he released me to do all activities (even flying). Dizziness is gone as well as most of the ringing. It's very light now and is phasing out. I will start running again tomorrow after a long wait. The hearing is improving. My only bothering last week was the 32 story elevator I take avery day to work that was clogging my ear but it's geting better now. Carol, I'm happy for you. Congrats on your hearing tests. For you, after all these long years it means a great reward in your life ! And you're very brave to go straight for your second ear surgery ! A Speedy Recovery to everyone !

Luciano
That is great news Lucbob. I have started showering without the cup and without a shower cap. It feels very wierd to leave my ear unexposed like that after 3 weeks but it is all part of the recovery. I don't see my ENT until the 23rd of March so I won't be cleared for much until then. My doctor cleared me for 6 weeks after the surgery before I return to work so I find it hard to believe that you are already back to work Luciano. Probably because I am work in Law Enforcement and the possiblility of being in a physical altercation would be higher than others.

I did take my son to school the other day and the noises that came out of the school hallways and the bell ringing to start classes was so loud I felt like my head was about to explode. I stopped one of my son's teachers and commended her on her job and maintaining her sanity amongst all that noise.

I do notice while talking tomy wife, I have rarely used the words " What was that', "Pardon me?" So I can tell you from what I have experienced so far IT was worth the risk for me!! I can't wait for next year and I will get my other ear done!.
Hi,
Well, nice to know I am Not alone!
I had my operation on March 7th. I figured I could only hear about 20 % on my right side...so, why not? I had no idea about the dizzy feeling or nausea. I thought I'd jump right up after the operation and carry on as usual. (I also though my daughter would be born walking and talking 21 years ago).
Wed. & Thurs. I was so dizzy I just laid down most of the day-carrying a pot with me when I did get up. While laying down I noticed my ceiling fan was going in circles & it was off so my daughter made 4 phone calls trying to locate my doctor, who was off for the day. He returned her call & called in 2 prescriptions...one a cheaper form of Valum and one a suppository to stop vomiting. The nausea is always with me...like a slight friend or sidekick, but the vomiting hasn't been seen/felf in over 12 hours.
Would I do this again...? HELL NO! My other ear I can hear out of great...so why have an operation that can make you feel like garbage, take away some people's taste buds and perhaps parilize your face...
Really, I Can spell...but now my mind is on my headache...I know we can't take asprin, but, can we take Anything?
Hope you all get well...hear well and feel well quick!
I am a 42 year old female. I was diagnosed with otosclerosis in both ears last November. I went to have my hearing checked since it was becoming harder to hear certain voices in conversation.

I had my first stapedectomy yesterday morning on my left ear. Post Op - a lot of spinning and nausea. :dizzy: It subsided as the day went on. 3 prescriptions - one for nausea/dizziness, Tylenol with Codeine for pain and an antibiotic ear drop to start in 10 days. I didn't use the Tylenol w/ codeine since the pain wasn't that severe. Also, I took the nausea meds today as a precaution. A little oozing of the ear overnight, so I replaced the cotton that the doc had placed. Last night I used my cell phone and noticed tones/sounds that it makes during dialing that I had never heard before! That was the best!:D
I feel great today. A little light headed and slight ear oozing. Also, a sore throat from the breathing tube used in surgery and a loss of taste and sensation on the left side of my tongue and my ear feels like its packed. (no outer ear incision as others have had) Ordinary things sound really, really loud! But a small price to pay to be on my way to hearing normally again.
So far, I can't wait to get the right one done!
Hope you are feeling much better. Tomorrow will be a week since my operation. I tried driving today...I forgot you have to turn your head from side to side at intersections to make sure no one is coming & when changing lanes...that made me dizzy. Went grocery shopping tonight & carried all the packages in while my son & boyfriend watched...that also was a strain...last took a shower...put a washcloth in a plastic cup over a piece of cotton that was soaked in vasaline in my ear...the cup dropped wetting the wash cloth so I did without the wash cloth...I don't think I got much water in due to the cotton & I made sure I dried my ear with my blow dryer. Going to work tomorrow, but I have an understanding boss who will let me rest or go home early...whatever I need, and a co-worker is picking me up. Hope all stays great and gets better for you. Sheila
Today is Thursday and my surgery was Monday. Today is good. Much better than expected. No set backs so far. Still have: loss of most taste sensation on left side of tongue, fullness and throbbing sound in operated ear, slight tipsy feeling if I move my head too fast. Not sleeping great since I keep waking up to keep off of the operated ear. That's about it.
I drove today . . . to me, much easier than walking! Keep in mind, I am not taking any prescriptions so I don't have any chemical impairments. My approach to healing has been that I have to get back in the swing of as many normal activities as possible for my body to adjust to the equilibrium issues. I am not in any severe pain, or suffering from any nausea. I take my daily multiple vitamin and an Olive Leaf supplement, maybe an extra strength Tylenol if the throbbing pain gets bad at night.
I do notice that some postings have had horrible nausea and/or pain issues for weeks. I hope things get better for you. I consider myself fortunate. If the taste never returns completely on the left side, I still can't complain. Hearing is a more important sense for me.
Well Sheila I'm glad to hear that things are getting better. Maybe in time you'll enjoy the benefits of hearing so well that you'll consider having the other side done. I'm working from home today and tomorrow, (I have a business systems analyst job and a great manager, so I can work from home if necessary) but it's back to work on the 16th floor on Monday. I wonder what the elevator ride holds!?! Anyway, best to you and keep us posted on your progress. (Perhaps the meds were making you nauseous?)
Hi All.

I'm post-surgery day six. I've had very few problems with nausea or pain. I've been managing on ibuprofen alone because I'm not crazy about anything stronger. The packing comes out in a little over a week and I have to say I can't wait :) I've got a pretty constant ringing in my ear, but nothing that is driving me batty. Slight metallic taste, but it isn't interfering with my love of food and drink, which I was worried about. I was pretty dizzy the first couple of days, especially the first morning after surgery, but I started driving yesterday with no problems. I still have some dizziness, but it is kinda fun now that I'm used to it. If you've been on a cruise and know that very, very slight rolling motion of the ship, you know where I am. My doctor said no lifting anything heavier than a phone book, no bending, straining, coughing, sneezing, nose-blowing, etc. for 7-10 days. And though he hasn't seen me, I'm cleared to fly across the country next week even before the packing comes out. After reading some posters' stories about not being able to fly for three months, I'm a little worried. But I've asked the doctor four times if he's sure it is okay to fly and he says I'll have no problems.

I have a quick question about activity levels for anyone post-surgery, though. I'm a 60-mile-a-week distance runner and I'm anxious to get back to running. The doctor said to walk and/or ride the stationary bike at a sensible pace for the first 7-10 days, which implies I can run after that, right? I started riding yesterday and walking on the treadmill. Anyone have any advice about when I might be safe to start running? My gut says to wait until I see the doctor to get the packing out, but that seems like a lifetime from now.

Thanks so much.
Hi all,

Thank you all for posting your stories. They are all so positive and are giving me lots of hope for my recovery. I am a 28 year old who just had a stapedectomy on my right ear yesterday. I think surgery went really well. When I woke up from the anesthesia I could hear more than I previously could. A few hours later the hearing dropped significantly, i guess from the swelling and fluid. The pain has been minimal and I haven't been very dizzy. The one thing that is bothering me a bit is the ringing in my ears. It seems when I move my head left to right or up and down, the frequency of the ringing changes. I hope this will heal with time. I've also had a slight metallic taste in the left side of my tongue.

My packing will come out at my follow up visit a week from tomorrow. The doctor said that I'll be able to fly 2 weeks after surgery. He also said that lifting shouldn't cause any problems either, as I have a physical job(I work with wine and lift cases at time).

Even though I can't hear too well overall in the operated ear, I have been using it to talk on my cell phone. I have it at medium sound instead of high, which is a 2 level difference. Overall, I'm feeling really positive about what the future holds for my hearing.

Also, I received a video of my operation that I watched this morning. Did any of you receive one of these? It was so neat to be able to see what was done after reading about it so much. I even saw the doctor open my ear lobe and remove the tissue he put into the middle ear by the prosthesis. It was absolutely crazy to see the laser and smoke in my ear, the removal of the stapes, and the attaching of the prostheses.

-Matt
Hi all and Welcome to Sheila, Twila, Marie and Matt!!

I'm glad you all made the decision to join the hearing world again.

Remember..bump...bump..bump!!

My hearing is continuing to improve. My next hearing test is around April 10th. Ringing is almost completely gone. Every couple of days I'll hear it slightly for about an hour or so but that's it! I still have the metallic taste about once a day but it's really slight now. I was going to have the right ear done April 17th, but now I have to reschedule it. My work is pretty hectic right now. Maybe in June I can take the time to have it done.

Physical activity - none for the first couple of weeks, then after that only do what you feel comfortable doing. If it make you feel bad or dizzy, stop. That is what my doc told me. I was practicing for softball season by week 5, I couldn't do it before then because every time I would look up quickly, the dizzy's got me.

Matt, that's cool that you got a video of your surgery. I don't think I could watch my own. I did watch a couple before making my decision to have it done though and it's kinda creepy to watch.

Hang in there Guys and Gals..it only gets better from now on.

More later,

-Carol-

ps. took the kids to Sea World on Spring Break. That place is loud! (hehe)
I had my stapedectomy on my right ear two days ago and am glad I found this forum. The doctor didn't give me the full run down of what to expect post-op, so reading everyone's experiences has been helpful.

I still have the dizzyness if I move my head too quickly, when leaning back in a chair, or looking up. The first day was the worst, though it did get better throughout the day. The popping noises startled me - that was something I did not expect, but seems to be normal according to other's experience. I've also experienced the loud noises. I didn't realize how loud a toilet flushing can be!!

I do have a question for everyone - how are you keeping the ear dry during showers? I took my first shower this morning and it seems I just barely managed to keep water out. I coated a cotton ball with vaseline and taped it up well, with a plastic sleeve over, but still had some water get inside the sleeve. Is there a magic solution?

Thanks!
Monica,

I wore a shower cap that covered my ear while I showered. Then I put a cotton ball with vaseline in my ear and held a cup over my ear while my wife washed my hair after I was done. I don't know if you have anyone around who can help you, but I thought it was relatively easy to do it with another person. I also have pretty short hair. Good Luck!

-Matt
I do have help - my husband says he'll wash my hair for me :) . I wish I had short hair for the time being, which would make it much easier.

I read through all the posts and really do appreciate the time people took to write down their experiences. My own story is not far off - started losing my hearing in my right ear about 6 years ago. I didn't notice it until one day I switched the phone from my right ear to my left - utterly shocked at the difference. I had thought my phones were defective and bought one with volume controls!

At the time, I asked my doctor for a hearing test and they did some basic test and didn't do a thing. It took another year for me to go to an ENT and at the time I still had a decent amount of hearing in the ear. They mentioned surgery, but the hearing loss was more of an inconvenience at the time and surgery seemed to radical (this in hindsight only).

Since then the hearing deteriorated until I was considered deaf in the ear(don't know the db) and surgery finally seemed like the answer. Also, I had never had tinnitus, but late in the fall the ringing started and then the whooshing and heart beat sounds - they continued non-stop until the surgery two days ago and seem to be letting up, though I'm aware I may just be "overhearing" for the sounds and it could be temporary. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the ringing will disappear. I could handle the hearing loss much better than the tinnitus.

So, now two days after surgery - still dizzy, though getting used to walking the boat (as that is how it feels) and no taste issues...yet. I do get the occasional loud and annoying noise, plus a lot of vibrations. Did anyone else feel like their head was vibrating all the time? I had to shut my heater off today because the vibration was driving me crazy.

More later on my progress..

-Monica
Hello All,
I am now 4 days post op. Still got the tipsy feeling when I move my head quickly or when I lay down. I'm getting used to the lack of full taste on the operated side of my tongue. I am a little concerned by the still sore throat and what appears to be a case of acid reflux or indigestion. It feels like there is something stuck at the base of my throat.
Did anyone else experience this? Also a few white spots on the inside of my cheeks. Looks a little like when a newborn has thrush, but not as severe.
(I did call my ENT, if it's not better by Monday, I'll go in for a visit)
Just wondering.
I had the sore throat the first and second day post-op due to the oxygen tube, but it's better today. I was very sore to the touch on my neck, chest, and upper back yesterday, so figured the roughed me up good in the operating room (j/k.. :jester: ). No white spots though. Sorry to hear you have this.
Hello all!

I thought I would give my report, as everyone else's has been very helpful.

I had a stapedectomy on my right ear on 2/28/07, I am now 18 days post-op.

I had a hard time deciding weather or not to do the surgery, because my situation seems different from the norm. I first had "noticed" hearing loss in my ear around age 10. We had hearing tests at school, and they notified my parents about the outcome. I went to the doctor and they said when I was older I could have surgery and we left it at that. Throughout my life the only time it affected me was if someone tried to whisper in that ear, and I could not put the phone to my ear.
In the last several years, it has bothered me more because at work if I had the phone to my left ear, and someone in the office was trying to get my attention, I could not hear them. So, when I went to the doctor, he said that it was unusual to have it that early, but from what he could tell is that it was otosclerosis.

So, I decided to have the surgery. He gave me the option of local or general anethesia. He said he prefered to do local, because I would be able to tell him if I was feeling dizzy or had any nausea. I am the biggest chicken when it comes to all of this, so I made a deal with him. I said I would do local, as long as if I started freaking out, he would put me under! Let me tell you, I am so glad I did local....I did really well.

The surgery actually took longer as my facial nerve was over the bone, so he had to be extra careful, but all went well and I was on my way home within 1/2 hour after surgery! I had no dizziness or nausea. I actually felt really well!

Day 2 and 3 I did have a little dizziness and I tired pretty easy but that was it. I had it done on a Wednesday and went back to work on Monday, but only stayed a couple hours. Then went back full-time on Tuesday.

At my post-op visit, I was so scared, because I read the report about getting the packing out...however, I was fortunate enough to have a Doctor that does a gel antibiotic packing that does not have to be removed!!!

Anyway, here is where I am now. For the last week, I sound like I have a cold because of the fluid. I can hear myself breathe and talk out of my ear, which is annoying, but the Doc says it will go away (at night when I lay down it does go away...now just waiting for the day time.)
It is funny how I have read the other posts and sooo relate. The first time I drove my SUV, I thought there was something wrong as it was so loud and the same with the toilet...again....LOUD!! My boyfriend is adjusting as I am always telling him...Quit talking so LOUD!! Again, the Doc said it just takes time to adjust. Anybody out there have an approximate timeline for when it does ??

Anyway, hope this helps anyone with any questions they may have. I am fortunate enought to only have otosclorsis in 1 ear, but I would definately do it all over again.

Good luck !!
Monica -- I've had no problem using the cottonball/petroleum jelly method. I've got shoulder-length fine, very thick hair to contend with, but I find if I lean my head back, rather than standing directly under the water, I can keep the water out. If it was absolutely crucial that NO water whatsoever get into our ears, we'd have a better suggestion than petroleum jelly on a cottonball :)

Good luck.
Thanks Twillia for the input on avoiding water. I would have to agree the vaseline cotton ball and tape method has worked the best. I have shoulder length, thick-thick hair. My husband washed it one day, but his rinsing abilities were limited, so found it easier to just lean my head to one side in the shower and wash it myself.

So, I'm on day 5 post-op now. My ear has been very plugged up the last two days, but the doctor told me this was normal. My first appt with him is Wednesday, one week after surgery, so curious to see how it's healing and if he removes anything. I'm guessing I have the dissolving packing. My ear drum tore during surgery (apparently I have very thin ear drums) and he mentioned "extra packing", plus he had to do a graft to help it close (he took this from the jaw muscle that runs right behind the ear, so in addition to stuff in my ear I also have 5 stiches running right behind it - lucky me).

Other stuff - dizzyness only during fast moves, but much better. Never had taste issues. Yawning produces more crackling and popping than sneezing, so wonder if I'm yawning too much.

Hope everyone else is doing great and hearing more and more.
Ok, I need to share this and see if anyone else has had the same experience.

For the past day or day and half, the heart beat thumping in my ear/head has been constant and loud. I had it before the surgery for about 5-6 months, but mostly at night or early morning laying in bed. Now it's constantly thumping. :eek: .. it feels like my whole head is pulsating all the time and it's very distracting.

Anyone experience this?

Thanks!
Monica
Monica,

Today is day 6 after surgery for me. About 2 nights ago, when I tried to go to sleep, I had the same thumping of my pulse or heartbeat in my ear. I noticed it during the day yesterday as well, but I think that because I'm so pre-occupied doing other things, it wasn't as bad. But it did make falling asleep hard again last night. I'm hoping it'll subside or my brain will just train itself to ignore it.

Good news is that I believe that I can hear better out of my operated ear for the first time this morning. Even though you know you're not supposed to notice improvement for a while, I still feel it is hard waking up every day not noticing any change. So, I guess I'm feeling really good today and interested to see how I hear after I leave the house this morning.

Keep posting your results everybody! I love to read them!

-Matt
Hi Everyone:

:wave:

My name is Kathy and this is my first time posting. I found this board via an internet search.

I was diagnosed with otosclerosis in both ears about 10 years ago. At the time, I opted for no treatment because I was not done having kids yet and the Dr. had advised that pregnancy can speed up ototsclerosis and it's best to wait. I was also still in a state of denial.

I'm to the point now where I know I NEED to do something. My hearing has gotten so bad in both ears and I find myself struggling with most conversations. I've even been accused of being a snob! Really, it's someone talks to me and I dont respond because I have no idea someone is talking to me! So I'm scheduled to have my right ear done tomorrow.

Can I just say that I'm totally freaking out! I'm not worried about the surgery itself but I've never been under anesthesia before and have this totally irrational fear of never waking up!

Aside from hearing loss, I also have pretty bad tinnitus. I constantly have the rushing/beating sound of my pulse. Some days I have the high pitch ringing..that can keep me up at night. I know that's not going away but I'm hoping that being able to hear again will mask it.

My Dr. has his patients all stay over night and automatically provides medication for nausea.

It's been very comforting reading all of your stories! I'm starting to feel hopeful. Someone posted about hearing hot dogs sizzle and someone else posted about hearing their kids. That actually made me cry. I'm wondering just what I've been missing!

One thing I'm NOT looking forward to is hearing my teenagers sass at me as they walk away. According to my husband they do this frequently. He usually doesn't let them get away with it though. ;)

Anyhow, if you all could send some good vibes that I make it through this I would appreciate it!

Thanks again for taking the time to post your experiences. I'll be sharing this with my husband when he gets home tonight!

~Kathy
Kathy,

I'm sending you lots of good vibes. I'm sure you'll do just fine tomorrow!

I'm six days post op now, same as Matt, and the hardest part is just being patient. I know I'm supposed to take it easy, but the weather is gorgeous (I'm in the DC area) and I just got back from a 1/2 hour walk!

My first follow up is tomorrow and I'm hoping to get the packing out so I can hear all the birds that have been migrating back for spring. My husband is just as excited for me - it's pretty cool to think they can put this titanium/platinum thing in your ear and help you hear again.

The heartbeat thumping has been constant still through today, but there have been the occasional seconds where it stops so I'm hopeful. On a positive note, I "tested" my hearing today briefly w/o the cotton ball in it and could hear my fingers rubbed together next to my ear. I haven't been able to hear that in years!

Let us know how it goes and good luck!

Monica
Good luck Kathy.

I had a stapedectomy in 2000 and while it did help I've noticed this past year that my hearing has gotten REALLY bad again and I've had a few ear infections and drainage, etc... Well, I finally went to an ENT (I was putting it off due to some insurance issues) and my prothesis is sticking through my ear drum (I could see it right there on his screen). Well, no wonder my hearing is awful - it wasn't in place and was therefore doing no good - in fact - it was doing more harm - infections, etc... I have surgery scheduled to pull out the prothesis and repair my damaged eardum in 2 weeks. He said he may or may not be able to put in another prothesis at that time depending on what he sees going on in there (he explained it and it made sense, but hard for me to explain). If not - I'll have to wait 5 or 6 months for the eardrum to heal and then try again. Very frustrating. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't think to ask why this happened (my prothesis came out of place) but I'll talk to him about it more next week when I go for a pre op appointment.

Anyway, my hearing is the pits and I really hope it helps. If so I may have it on the other ear as well (only had one side the first time). I'm a total hospital, needle, surgery phobe so none of this thrills me at all but the not hearing is starting to get me annoyed and depressed.

Anyway - I just found out today that the day after my surgery is my one and only son's kindergarten roundup/registration at his school - where they tell you about the program, you meet the teachers and tour the school. A once in a lifetime thing. I REALLY want to make it - if my surgery is on a Tuesday morning and the roundup is Wed. night - do you guys think I might be able to go?
Melissa,

You'll probably feel a bit out of it and off balance, but if you get someone else to drive you should be able to bear it. I was ok the day after surgery, just quite a bit dizzy when moving. You've been through this before, so you know to take it slow, move your head slowly and don't try to overdo it. Just being there will make it worth it.

Good news on my progress - the heartbeat was gone today! I woke up this morning to a screech in my ear, like someone opening a creaking old door. And after this I noticed there was no more loud heartbeat going on in my ear. All I hear now is a slight wind sound - it's wonderfully quiet in my head!

I also had my one week follow up with doctor. He vacuumed out most of the packing, but left some in to protect the graft he had to do to close my ear drum. There was no pain in removing the packing as some people have mentioned, but the loud vacuum sound did freak me out a bit. I kept imagining it suctioning on to my ear drum and pulling it apart - my own paranoia obviously, since it went smoothly.

I hope your surgery goes smoothly!

Monica
Hi Everyone!

I'm back home from my surgery yesterday and still a bit loopy, so please excuse any typos!

I got there about 9 AM, was prepped and ready by 10 and surgery started about 10:45. They gave me drugs to relax me before putting me out. I have a clear memory of being wheeled into the OR, then asking if people fart when they're under (LMAO!). I remember seeing the guys in front of me giggling and the people behind me laughing. That's all I remember though. I'll have to find out if I really asked that or if it was a dream.

Next I remember a nurse telling me to wake up but to hold still (apparantly I was moving my head from side to side in an attempt to come to). I just wanted to stay asleep! Then I noticed immediately how much my ear hurt! It felt like someone had been jamming an ice pick in it. So they gave me some painkillers and that helped. My ear is no longer hurting (and I'm pretty sure those pain killers are out of my system for now). My throat hurts like I have bronchitis (from the tube) and the outside of my toungue is numb. yesterday I thought it was from the local anesthetic that was used where I have stitches but today, my tongue is till numb. Small price to pay though!

I think this may have worked but only time will tell. While i was laying in my private room (i had to stay overnight) I could hear papers being shuffled and footsteps. I thought they were in my room at the table by my side but when I looked for the sound, it was out in the nurses station! So I think I was hearing! I'm not having that now but I beleive I'm all full of fluid and gunk (the cotton ball on the outside was soaked through with blood and had to be changed), plus the packing and my tinnitus is now out of control. It's pretty loud (keeping me from sleeping). So, time will tell.

One thing I really struggled with was peeing! I just could not pee no matter how bad I had to go. My doctor was wanting me to stay laying down and they were trying with a bed pan. It just wasn't happening that way! I thought it was all in my head but they finally agreed that I could try the toilet but they wheeled my bed to the bathroom and had people on both sides of me walk me in there (not a fun experience for a modest person!). They left the water running, left me alone (but I had to keep my head tilted up) and I stayed there for 20 minutes trying. I prayed, I meditaded, I tried my best to relax. I got a few trickles at best. It was the most bizarre thing, my body wanted to go, I wanted to go but it just wasn't working. So I had that experience a few more times (one again last night and once again this morning) then I was discharged. I just did a quick googl search and apparantly an inability to urinate can be a side affect to general anesthesia. NOT A fun one! I'm getting my other ear done in about 4 more months...I think that time I will insist on a catheter (but not until I'm out).

I haven't experienced any nausea but I was being given medicatin intravenously before I even came to. I have experienced some mild dizziness since I've been home but nothing I can't handle.

I'm on antibiotics, antihistamines (i have bad seasonal allergies), stool softeners, anti nausea meds. I have tylenol here but I haven't taken it. I will take the tylenol pm tonight so that I can sleep through this stinking tinnitus. Hey, were your ears bruised?? They must have really had to ram that equipment in, because aside from the tiny stitches/swelling where they took the graft from, my ear is bruised.

All in all I was pleased with the staff.

My dr. is paranoide about the graft taking and wont let me sit up (i'm breaking the rules right now). Last night I was admonished for sitting up in bed (my back was aching).

Seems like your doctors have been more lenient??!

Even though my tinnitus is louder, I already had it. I can only go up from here, right?? I have a 70 db loss in both ears.
Today is day 9 post op on my right ear. I went to the my doctor today for my follow-up visit. He noticed that the packing looked "stuck" so he put some peroxide in my ear for a few mins before pulling out the packing painlessly. He sucked the peroxide out first with a vacuum. It was kind of loud, but nothing too bad.

I'm feeling great this afternoon. I'm pretty sure my hearing has steadily been getting better on the whole. I'm still missing parts of conversations, but I'm hearing the TV, radio, and my cell phone all on lower settings. Tuesday I started hearing through "pops" like when you're on a plane. I didn't quite realize how uncomfortable the packing was until my dr took it out. I think the healing process should go pretty easy now that there's no obstruction in my ear anymore. It feels nice to have air flowing around in there.
I have my follow up hearing test scheduled for May 1st and I have tentatively scheduled surgery for the left ear on May 16th.

Oh, and my hearing pre-op was about 55db in my right ear. My left is at about 45db. I'll post my results in May when I see what the total difference in hearing in the right ear turns out to be.

I'm so excited to be entering the hearing world again!

Keep posting your stories and questions! I think this has been a really positive, great forum to read throughout my journey and hope we can keep sharing the support!

-Matt
Wow.. and yes, more lenient doesn't quite cover it. I'm glad your surgery went well though and you're already noticing the sounds - that's great!

My surgery started around 9am and I was home by 3pm - would have been home sooner had the ear drum not torn and the doc had to do a graft, plus I think the anesthesiologist over did it with the meds and I was out a bit longer than they expected. I had the same experience as you waking up - I just wanted to sleep too! I was having a good dream (can't remember it now of course) and just wanted to get back to it!! :)

The continued bed rest surprises me too. Maybe you had more potential for complications and your doctor was just being careful. I was told to take it easy and all the usual limitations - no heavy lifting, working out (though I've been doing walks each day), no flying, etc. Mainly it was to just take it easy, which is not an easy prescription to follow for me. But, no requirement to stay laying down. Interesting. What was the reason for your graft?

Also, your meds surprises me. Especially needing stool softener - kind of redundant with the antibiotics, or maybe that was my own reaction to the antibiotics :dizzy: . I had no issues on the urinating front, though I did have lots of burping since then. I noticed someone else wrote about that too. I partly wonder if I always burped a lot and never noticed - notice it now because it pops in my ear each time! I cringe each time I burp even more than sneezing!

Anyway, hope you're able to get up and move around a bit more. I'm currently at 9 days post-op and now leave the cotton ball out during the day. The sounds are very tinny, but it's wild to hear in stereo again! Dizzyness still persists slightly. The loud heartbeat is gone (sounded like the blood was crashing through boxes), but there is still a beat that is more like a soft wind and much more bearable. Gets louder when I move a lot and my heart starts pumping harder. It's my reminder to take it easy I guess.

Good luck to everyone! Keep posting progress reports!
Monica:

The graft is at the bottom of the prosthesis..is that not what all stapendectomies are like? Maybe there are different methods.

If there is a different method, I want the other one next time! because today is day 2 after the surgery and I am so not happy today. The day of and yesterday seemed like a honeymoon period.

My ear feels so full, it's pulsating pain like an ear infection and the tinnitus (the heart beat sound) is louder than I can handle. I constantly feel like I'm leaning sideways. My forhead feels like it's vibrating. My cheek is numb, the side of my tongue is till numb and the outside of my ear is bruised and swollen. I've actually had a few breakdowns today. wondering if I made the right decision. I may as well have hit myself in the head with a hammer!

:confused:

I'm going to try to remain upbeat about this!
Kathy,

Key word here is patience... and it's not easy.

I almost mentioned in my last post that it would probably get worse for you before it gets better - you're just in the down part now. Day 3-5 were probably the worse for me. I also felt like my head was pounding from the vibrations and the very loud and rough sounding heartbeat in my head. It never stopped - day or night. I thought it would drive me crazy.

But, it did get better. I woke up one day and the loud heartbeat had stopped. In reading through the other posts, the vibrations and heartbeat seem to be normal and people are reporting it stopping.. so keep the faith!

As for the graft, I think there are different ways of doing the surgery. My doc told me a few and then the type he would do. It sounds like they removed the foot plate on yours and put a graft on the oval window. They left the foot plate in my ear and drilled holes into it to connect the prosthesis. Maybe your doctor had a reason for removing the foot plate. I'd ask him, just to see - if he does this 100% of the time, I'd personally talk to another doctor about other techniques, just to get the confidence they are doing the best and most current surgery techniques.

Hope today is better for you!

Monica
Hi everyone. I had my stapedectomy a week ago (friday march 16th). Believe it or not, this is my fourth operation. And I have to say, I wish something like this forum had existed when I went through this the first time in 1990 (or even before my recent operation). It's wonderful that this forum exists. I read back to all of the older closed threads on this topic and I want to thank everyone for the work they've done here!!

Unlike many of you, my hearing loss is not related to osteoporosis, but to a bicycle accident I had as a child (it fractured my stapes). So, my hearing loss in my left ear was pretty total (but all conductive). The first operation I had was in 1990, which was before the lasers (I was awake for the operation and as many of you have pointed out, it was just awful). They put in a high tech superglue to adhere the stapes and it worked great. I could hear again. However, something slipped (the glue) and my hearing went from 100% to 80%. The doctor decided to open me up again, but instead of putting in more glue, he took out the stapes !!! Why? oh Why? Jerk, and put in a prosthetic, which didn't hold. This was 1991. I then had a third operation, 1992, with another physician, and he put in another prosthetic and it also blew out -- this time about two weeks after surgery (a bus was going by and it got really loud and then . . . nothing).

I was not looking forward to this operation, assuming, incorrectly, that nothing could be done (I thought maybe the last one broke something). I had the surgery last week and I was put completely under (I prefer this now and will never go back to being awake). It took about an hour and a half. There was some recovery time afterwards and I went home that night a few hours after surgery. I had the same symptoms most of you have had: nausea, tiredness, loud sounds (everything is loud to me because I am used to hearing nothing out of that ear), blood (seems to have slowed in recent days), some of the sound of your heartbeat stuff, but not very much. Mostly I am just taking it easy and have been very low key. I went back to work Tuesday of this week and it has been slow. I am also worried getting groceries and carrying my computer/book bags. I don't want to lift too much. Mostly just taking it easy and slowly coming back. BTW: I did not get most of your extensive post-op instructions (I think my dr. thought I just knew all of this because I had been through it before, but all I got was no water in the ear, no strenuous activity for 2 weeks, return to normal acitivity in 24 hours). I asked and the doctor said the prosthetic from 1992 (the last operation I had) was simply in the wrong place and wasn't helping me. He also said he, my current physician, removed another bone that wasn't helping me. It sounded like there are two prostheses in there now.

I don't go back to the doctor until a week from Monday. Looking forward to hearing what he has to say. Having been through this before, some of it (the experience) is coming back to me in memories, and some of it I am having to get from you guys on here. I am TERRIFIED I will do something and it will break (again) and I won't be able to hear again. There's nothing worse than suddenly being able to hear and then suddenly not being able to hear. But reading all of your reports and such . . . I really want to believe that this is going to work. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it's hard not to.

Well, just wanted to say hi and tell you my story. I'll check back and post updates when I know something. -- Rob
Hi all,

So many new brave people have decided to rejoin the hearing world have joined us in the last couple of weeks! WOW!

I have read all your posts and wish you all well. Just remember..PATIENCE :p

It is interesting to see all the differences is techniques and the post-op instructions and med's. Very odd!

Rob - You have been through a lot and I'm sure the decision to have another op each time has been extrememly hard. Please keep us posted, I'm really interested to know if this last surgery was successful. Giving the choices of not being able to hear or having the surgery - yet again - well, my thought would be a couple of months of all the "bumps" in the road is worth it. I read stories about problems a few years after surgeries and decided before I ever had mine done that even if I had to go through this every 5 years or so, it's still worth it. Hearing is too important not to keep trying.

My update: 10 weeks post op.
No ringing. No buzzing. No "hearbeat - pulse". No pain. No dizziness. No "opens and closes" (popping).

I had one frequency that was still at 60bd (pre-op was 85db)three weeks ago. I think it's getting better but only another hearing test will show for sure. I am still surprised daily at all the new things I hear.

My tongue still goes "stupid" (numb) every once in a while. I'll be mid-sentence and all of the sudden I can't pronounce a couple of words. I just stop and wait about 30 seconds and then it functions properly. Doc said it was just the nerves still coming back. The metallic and then sweet tastes were minimal for a couple of weeks but now seem to be increasing in frequency again. This too shall pass. As funny as it sounds, I'm getting used to it and sometimes it actually tastes pretty good :confused:

Other than that, everything is great!

Left ear is scheduled for April 17th. I'm still not sure if I can take the time off because of my work schedule and may have to postpone it. I'll know for sure by April 5th.

Keep posting everyone. This is a wonderful support group!!

More later,
-Carol-
Monica,

Thank you for mentioning it did get worse for you! That's so reassuring to me. I feel like an utter wimp right now. And can you believe I gave birth to 2 of my 3 children with NO painkillers and was up and around the next day? Reading all these posts, everyone sounds like , hey no problem! But I've had a totally different experience and comparing the two was making me think something may have gone wrong!

I'm doing better today (it's the 3rd day after the surgery), it seems to be ebbing and flowing. I did actually get a fair amount of sleep last night so I think that may have helped my mood a lot. The pulsing is a bit quieter today. The leaning feeling is more pronounced and I've had a few terrible waves of nausea but in between I've had moments of feeling pretty normal!

I ate few peices of popcorn last night. How bizarre..salty on half my tongue sweet on the other!
Hi everyone, thought would chime in and give my story too. :wave:

I too have just had my 2nd stapedectomy. This time to fix my left ear. I had the right one done back in '99. The first operation went very well and restored my hearing quite a bit. I went in on March 19th and Dr. said that everything went well. Surgery took about 90 minutes, but the doctor said it was normal for it to take that long because of my OI (osteogenesis imperfecta). The OI kind of complicates everything because the bones can be incredible thick, brittle, and/or broken. The doctor says he has done over 1000 stapedectomies and 100's with people with OI. So hopefully i will have a good chance at getting most of my hearing back to atleast a somewhat normal range.

I am now on post op day 5, and seem to be feeling the usual effect as most of the people here have mentioned. I can't wait to get the packing out of my ear, because during the first surgery the doctor didn't pack my ear with anything and I noticed the results immediately, when he was scratching the pillow and the sound was driving me nuts!:dizzy: Hopefully at my next appointement 3/27 the packing will come out.

One thing I have noticed, that i didn't see posted in the 20 some odd page i read this morning or i very well could have missed it, is that my own voice seems incredibly loud in my head. Has anyone else experienced this?

This seems to be a great board, just wish i had found it alot sooner.
Hi Mark:

Yes!!! My voice is soooo loud. I feel like I'm yelling and people keep telling me to speak up. My own voice is sometimes sending me to that spinning/vibrating feeling.

Another thing I'm noticing that I dont believe I saw mentioned is that my jaw on the operated side feels a little stiff. Anyone else feeling that?

Mark, I noticed the ability to hear much more a few minutes after I came to, but within about 15 minutes nothing. My doctor did the sratching on the pillow too and I couldn't hear it. I do think it's from the swelling, extra fluid and more importantly the packing. If I just lightly touch the cotton ball i can hear that pretty loudly. I find myself doing that a lot to reassure myself.

It's kind of nervewracking, isn't it?? There are so many internal sounds and I feel every little thing. Every burp, yawn, chew, etc.. It gets me freaked out wondering if I've ruined something.

Last night and yesterday I do believe I was starting to hear. It's kind of coming and going. I was plugging my non operated ear (which also has otosclerosis) and I was hearing my family talking in the the other room through my operated ear. However, it sounded like they were like a mile away and very muffled. I think that's partly because of the packing too.

Mornings are hardest for me. Even as I'm typing this I feel like I'm leaning sideways and my head feels like it's buzzing. It's also very hard to get good sleep. If I lay flat on a pillow, I feel upside down. so I've been laying on my unoperated ear and my neck and back are getting sore from being in that position. Plus, I'm a stomache/side sleeper and I normally sleep on the operated side so it really sucks to not be able to get comfortable. sometimes I just get out of bed and go to a recliner.

My husband is cracking me up. I was laying in bed last night and i felt the slightest movement near my ear (i didn't hear anything) and it was him sneaking up trying to make sounds by my ear to see if I could hear it. then he would wait a while and try whispering to me. Unfortunately I haven't heard him yet but I always notice the 'movement' and turn to see. I think he's really hoping I will start hearing.

OK, so today is day four post op for me. I am feeling pain today (like an ear infection, with each heartbeat feels like my ear drum might burst) so i took some ibuproferen. Feeling more positive than yesterday. I'm really anxious to get going back to normal life but I know that I should not be driving yet as long as I'm dizzy and I'm feeling guilty about that. We have 4 kids still living at home, all in different activities and I just hate asking for help. When I was getting ready for this surgery, I only made sure to have things covered for 3-4 days...I had NO IDEA I would be out of it longer than that. Wishful thinking or denial??

Have a great day everyone.
Hi Kathy,

I think the stiff jaw is ok. Mine was a little stiff/sore also. Seems like I had the worst sore throat on the operated side after surgery, which seemed to subside by the next day.

Driving did seem like a daunting task for me too. But on Friday, the 23rd post op day #4, i had to go pick up my check from work, so i drove the 4 or 5 miles to work, and the hardest part was probably when i got there i was a little uneasy when i got out of my vehicle, but nothing too bad.

I too am very anxious to get back to my normal routine. During my last appointment, before the operation, my doctor said that i would have to take two weeks off of work due to the fact that i drive truck for a paving company. So I'm really hoping that on the 27th he will release me to go back to work on the 2nd.

Post op day #6, still not able to hear out of the operated ear, but hoping it is due to the packing. Overall, seem to be doing a little better than yesterday.:)
Yes, the loudness of my voice is the first thing I noticed after the very first operation. Of course, not being able to hear, I have no idea how loud my voice is (trust me, it is booming loud -- I have a bass voice). I talked to a friend on the phone Friday and she said I sounded quiter and was the calmsest she had ever heard me . . . LOL . . .

I am on day 9 post-op here. Doing really well. Some pain came and went over the weekend, but I haven't been taking any of the tylenol 3 because it wipes me out. I ran out of the ear drops today. Will call tomorrow to find out if I should get more and keep using them until I go back to the doctor in a week. I can still hear--not sure if it is lower (packing, fluid, etc.) or just that I am getting used to it. I did notice, as some of you have commented on, when driving on the freeway Friday how freaking loud it was. Had to roll up the window. Also, box stores (why didn't I buy that LCD TV before this operation) and cafes are impossibly loud. Had a great experience the other day. I am a teacher and a woman on my left (the bad ear) was talking to another student and I heard her. She said, "you heard that?" It was great. I worry about driving though, as there are a lot of potholes in california (the roads are bad here). Freaks me out everytime I go over one.

Ultimately, if I even get a small amount of improvement it will have been worth it to me to do this. Just be patient everyone. This really does take time to recover from.
Hi all - I'm on day 12 post op now and not feeling optimistic. I know I should be patient, but now starting to wonder if something slipped or whatever - I haven't been able to hear much out of my operated ear in the past two days.

Initially, I did hear out it and had all the loud noises, so hoping it's just plugged or closed for now and will open up again. I had most of the packing removed last week, with a little still covering the graft on my eardrum which will be removed this Wednesday.

If any of those who are further along had the same experience, please let me know!

Kathy - I also had the jaw tightness and soreness and still do on occasion. Mine is mainly due to the doctor using tissue from the jaw muscle right behind my ear to graft the ear drum closed.

Other than not hearing :confused:, the dizzyness has finally gone away for the most part. It only took about 10 days! I never had taste issues, though reading everyone else talk about the sweet/salty experience makes me wonder if I missed out!
How's everyone doing today?

Today is day 7 (including op day) or the sixth day after..not sure how to count that!

I'm mentally doing much better. The tinnitius is louder today than it has been.

The packing inside...OMG it's driving me CRAZY! I'm getting so itchy... carol, did you experience the itching??

I was never told to change the cotton ball on the outside but yesterday I did because I wanted to coat one in vaseline so I could wash my hair...oh my gosh what a hilarious thing. I did the cotton ball, then taped plastic wrap over my ear, then used the washcloth in a cup trick. I stood with my head back and to the side while my husband washed my hair. Pretty funny sight...

Anyway I was utterly SHOCKED when I took the cotton ball out. I thought I had like 1-2 stiches...nope, I have at least 6 (hard to count i was holding a mirror behind my ear looking in the mirror). My ear nub is gone! I had no idea they'd be doing that. So now I have a nub on one side and not on the other! I dont know the proper term for it. it's that little piece of cartiliage connected to your cheek but actually is part of your ear??

I did quite a bit yesterday! I cleaned the kitchen twice, dusted, did laundry. I did have to take a few breaks, after walking around that much I kept getting the buzzy dizzy feeling. Dont think I'm ready for driving yet. Until I have a day with no dizziness, I am not getting behind the wheel. My babies are too precious to me to take that risk.

Oh how I wish I could sleep like I want to on my operated side!
Well, post op day 8 for me. Went to the doc to day for post op check-up and everything seems to be going really well. No signs of infection or anything bad, just a little dried blood by the eardrum, but he said that it will come out on its own.:)

I was finally given the ok to take a normal shower:D:blob_fire never been so happy to hear that in my life, and given the ok to go back to work on Monday.:D

As for as changing the cotton on the outside of the ear, I changed it everyday, but doc said i only needed to keep it in for the first 3 or 4 days. As far as sleeping on the operated side, my doc never mentioned anything to me about that after the operation, even though i did try to avoid it because I would wake up in the morning and my ear would be a little sore. But I twist and turn so much when i sleep that it would be almost impossible for me to stay off the ear all night.

I've finally noticed i am slowly gaining my hearing back in the operated ear. Doc did the tuning fork test, and said he was very pleased with it, and said i did regain the conductive part of my hearing back!! Then he said he would want to do a hearing test in 6 weeks and one in a year, but that's all he needed to see me.:D I think he is a GREAT doctor, but the less i have to see him the better.:jester: I would recommend Dr. Kevin McKennan in Sacramento to everyone, he definitely knows his stuff.
Markd...GREAT news you have! oh, I'm so envious...a real shower.

I'll have to keep that name in mind. I've got to do my other ear if I'm willing to in a few months but this experience now is making me wonder. Sac is not to far from me.

which technique did he use?? do you have stitches and a graft?
Yes, Kathy, on this ear (left) i do have stitches, but a different doctor did my other ear (right) and he didn't use the graft method. Other than that so far everything seems about the same.
It's so great to read the reports of other's experiences. It just reminds me how alone I was in 1990, 91, and 92 when I had my first 3 operations (no world wide web).

My first three operations I had bandages on the outside of my ear and had to change the dressing all the the time. This time . . . nothing. No bandages (and he cut a piece of cartlidge in my ear this time--that was new compared to the old operations). A nurse in post-op put a cotton ball in the ear and I pretty much just used that technique for the first week or so (well, as long as I had bleeding). For showers I had left over shower caps from Vegas (the Luxor puts them in these cool little cardboard pyramids, so I grabbed a few of em and brought em home--they work great!!).

I am at 11 days and feeling so much better. the numbness in my taste buds has subsided, but there is still some weird sweet/salt taste (salty foods, I discovered, make it worse). I expect it to subside. However, my doctor told me that few people want to have a fourth operation, as I chose to do, because each time they lose taste sensation (and there is the possibility of the metallic taste never going away or the taste forever being altered).

Well, I hope everyone's operation is a success. I know how hard this is and I also know how hard it is when it doesn't work. I find myself trying hard to be optimistic, but also wanting (emotional) distance and not expecting too much. But, I have to admit, I am getting excited. Oh yeah, today when I was giving a lecture, my ear would pop open while I was talking (so the volume would come and go really fast -- god, how distracting). I can't wait to have my post-op consultation and find out where things are and where I stand.
Carol, I forgot to thank you (I wrote it in a post that didn't post -- sometimes it seems I have to enter my password twice to post on this forum).

Anyway, as I was saying: THANK YOU Carol for your sympathy and, more importantly, for your cheerleading on this forum. You are the new Zip (truly). I read the entire contents of the earlier thread with Zip (which you so kindly posted a link to) and just now had the chance to read through all of the previous posts on this thread (I was so excited--and exhausted--after reading through all of those other posts I didn't have time before now). Your story is wonderful to read. Just remember, you are not alone. I hate to mention age here (it truly is a state of mind and not a number and I live that everyday--and, it truly works for me), but I am 45. The bicycle accident that broke my stapes happened in 1968 (I was 6 years old!!!). I lived all of that time without being able to hear, so I know what you've been going through (and what it means to finally be able to hear). In my case, I only had this (80% or more hearing loss) in one ear and you have had to contend with a loss in both (which I truly cannot imagine).

Kathy: the itching didn't start for me until this week and it drove me nuts too. And I honestly don't know how you did all of those chores so soon. That is a lot to do. FYI: I did drive the day after my surgery (24 hours), and again in three days and every day after that, but usually short distances. But cleaning just seemed like too much activity to me (I put away some dishes and was completely fatigued). Plus, I have been afraid to over do it.

One thing I did this time out was drink tons of water post-op. I had about 2-4 liters a day of water and I think it really helped with my recovery (just in the general sense). It also was important to have on hand at first when my throat would dry up.

Okay, I hope you are all doing well. It is 2 am and I am going to sleep now! Keep posting those updates. I enjoy hearing from you all. -- Rob
Hey folks,

So today is 2 weeks post op for me. I got my packing out on day 9 and my hearing is amazing. I live in Seattle, and for the first time last weekend, I heard the drawbridge on the ship canal when I was near my apartment! I'd heard it go up when I was closer to it, but never from my house. So exciting! I'm finding out that those little water-planes are really loud too!

I'm not having any pain, but I do have a weird ringing in my ear. It's not a solid ringing, but more an in-out, like waving a metal saw. I hope it clears up. If for some reason I don't adjust to it, I may not opt to do surgery on my other ear. I just don't know if I could handle that in both ears.

Keep posting your stories everyone!

-Matt
Today is one week since my surgery or post op day 8.

Rob, you are so NOT an age to worry about! 45 is young! Hee hee, my husband is 49! We have an age difference (i'm 33) so it's always fun to hear what other peoples perspectives are on their own age. Age truly is a state of mind, I'm convinced of that. Aside from music tastes and memories of historical events, one absolutely cannot tell. Actually, I think my husband is about 17 age wise ;-). I will say prayers for each of you tonight that your ears heal and you can hear!! I cant wait to see how mine has done. I've become very withdrawn over the years from social settings. It's almost a lonely feeling. I've been fantasizing lately about going out with my husband and feeling confident and carrying on conversations without saying, "what was that? I'm sorry, I didn't hear that I have hearing loss, can you speak up?" and then when I still can't hear, do the smile and nod and pretend like I heard. LMAO! I can imagine that each of you know that feeling! I've always preferred doing things over the phone rather than in person.

My taste is still off...I notice too that salty things bring out a super sweet taste on the other side of my mouth. It's easy enough to ignore. I've had some weird sounds the last couple of days. There are times when our house becomes pretty loud (we have a 5 year old and three teens...all girls) and I've found some sounds becoming distorted...like my voice sounds like it has an underwater sound to it or a loud voice sounds more like a whistle....

Oh the itching....it's driving me BONKERS! My post op is on friday. I really hope I get the packing taken out then.

Regarding my activity...I paid for it yesterday. Yesterday was probably the worst day I've had with constantly feeling like I'm leaning or falling sideways. :dizzy: So I will now start listening to my body and taking it easy when I need to. Today I dont feel like I'm leaning over and I've only had one episode of buzziness (knocking on wood) so I really hope this is a sign that it's going to subside.

Matt that's wonderful news!!! Even with this packing in, I'm catching myself hearing things I haven't heard before. I heard our heater come on yesterday. I've never heard that. I was hearing a chirpy sound in the back yard and searched everywhere until I saw a humming bird pirched on one of our sprinklers...it was chirping. I had NO IDEA humming birds made any sound! LOL... (i was amazed also at just seeing one sitting still!). I think I will miss sleeping like a baby though. That is one of the benefits of hearing loss. :-)

The jury is still out on wether or not I'll do my other ear in a few months also. I hope that I get this great hearing and all of this will be worth it and I'll forget how crappy it feels to be off balance. My unoperated ear has a 65db loss and the gap is huge...I'm actually capable of hearing in that ear below the decibles of normal hearing. I opted to do my other ear first because the tinnitus is so loud and I'm hoping that sound will mask it.

Have a great day everyone. Would love to hear how the rest of you are doing. Carol... I'll second the grattitude. This string has really encouraged me and helped me not feel so alone and anxious (those hearing people have NO idea!).
Matt: that is such great news!! Did you have your surgery done at UWMC? That is where I had my first 3 operations. Great facility there. Very high tech and a nice newer/modern hospital. In fact, I used to work for them years ago at Harborview (which is part of the UW system).

Kathy: I hear you about over doing it. I got my butt kicked today. Not sure why but the dizziness and nausea came back with a vengeance today. I had a hard day and it was my long day, teaching until 9 PM. I was lecturing in an auditorium of 100 students and completely sick, dizzy, and unable to concentrate (I sucked but my assistant said I was fine, so who knows). Worse, when I got home I was so out of it when I was parking (between two other driveways, making sure not to block either one of them) I had to get in and out of my truck and getting back in I hit my head on the door jamb. Nothing bad has happened yet, but I didn't need that. See, you over do it and then you pay for it. I may call in sick tomorrow, as it is not worth it to me to go through that again or take that kind of risk. And re: age: I actually keep up with music and culture (it's part of my job). I hate it when people I don't know say this, but in my case it is really true: I look easily 10 years younger than my age if not more. Of course, my mother said this to me once when she was in her 60's and my response was . . . well, 10 years from 65 is 55, I mean, at a certain point you are splitting hairs. I am afraid I am reaching that point in my life. I used to be the cool, hip, young prof. and here I am . . . but being around young people is wonderful (and a privilege) and helps keep me young. Now, if only I can hear them better (which I can now).

I second everyone on saying how loud public places are. I am gonna be a hermit for awhile. Good excuse to write and get work done.
OK, note to self:

On your first public outing when you get your next ear done - DO NOT MAKE IT a trip to COSTCO!!!!

:nono:

I don't know what I was thinking! By the time we had gotten to the last three aisles I was in full buzzing/pressure/leaning mode. I felt like I was fading fast and about to enter my own little world. :dizzy:

awe Rob, I hope you have a better day next time.
[B]Day 18 and 1st Post-Op Doctor's Appointment[/B]

The doctor used the vacuum to clean out the ear yesterday (man, it hurt and I bled a little afterwards out of the ear). He said he was happy with the surgery. My only restrictions were: no water in the ear for two more weeks (wants me to continue using the ear drops) and no head trauma/head contact sports for 3 months. He said he sees no reason why it would not stay in there this time. I won't have a hearing test for 3 months. He did the tuning fork and I heard it just fine from the ear.

I've been excited since yesterday. This is the first time in all of this that I am letting myself feel like it is going to work. However, I did have a question for anyone who might know: last night I noticed that loud sounds were causing a vibration feeling in my ear. It happened with my voice and even when one of my roommates talked loudly. I am a little worried because this is what I remember from the very last operation when the prosthetic went "out" or suddenly silent: there was a loud sound, a bus driving by on University Ave in Seattle in an area with concrete, so it echoed, and the vibrating in the ear, and then all of a sudden . . . nothing . . . This was within days (or a day or two) of the doctor removing the packing material and vacuuming it out. So, this is why I am worried a little.

An earlier post mentioned vibrating (someone said it sounded like they had a bell vibrating in their ear), so I am curious if others have felt this vibrating.

I can't hear as well out of the operated ear as the regular one . . . yet. However, I can hear well enough to clearly hear sounds (words, etc.) and even had the stereo on in the truck and, with the window down, could still hear traffic outside my vehicle in that ear. I tried the cell phone and could make do with it, but the sound isn't quite as full as my non-operated ear.

How's everyone else doing?
Hi There!

I do get a vibrating feelig around loud noises (and I still have packing!)..I would characterize it more in my forehead...not really in my ear. Maybe I'm just weird!

I bet you'll be fine!

Here's my update. (today is post op 13 for me).

On friday (post op day 9) I went for my post op appt. He tried to remove the packing but it's really stuck in there (man that vaccuum is LOUD!). He was only able to get about half out and didn't want to force it and risk damaging the ear drum. So he left it in and sent me home with some ear drops to use for a week. I got back this friday (which will be post op 16) and he'll try to remove the rest.

He did the tuning fork and I was hearing everything that he did with the tuning fork on my operated ear but couldn't hear it in my unoperated ear ( i have a 65db loss in my unoperated ear still so I'll be getting surgery in that one as well). I took that as a great sign! I even still have packing in! :blob_fire

I can sort of hear out of my operated ear but it's muffled. I attribute that to the packing. I have been able to use it to use the phone though but I just have to focus on hearing, it doesn't come as easily as if I use my unoperated ear. I am back to normal activity now. driving, back to my old self (which is sooooo great!). My husband is thankful too...he's learned to appreciate all I do...he he.

I have no more dizziness/buzziness or leaning feelings. My tongue is still being funky. Feels almost numb most of the time but when I eat something salty, it tastes super sweet on that side. I did have one night where my teeth on that side felt/tasted extremely metalic and I was having an overabundance of saliva. that actually kept me from a good night's sleep. Hasn't happened since though.

As far as my ear goes, other than everything sounding muffled, it's popping a lot. The heartbeat tinnitus is there but very quiet (quieter than pre op). I have to think about it to hear it. I do still have the high pitch sound but I think once the packing is out I'll notice that less too.

Saturday was one of my daughter's birthday. I have a large family so there were about 20 people here (in addition to our 7). I was utterly exhausted after about an hour. Mentally exhausted. It's almost like I'm not used to hearing so much sound (albeit muffled) and my brain gets tired...anyone else experience that?

So that's all for me for now. I'll post again after my appt on friday.
Hi All - Tomorrow will make it 3 weeks post op for me. The bad feelings I had almost two weeks ago that I wasn't hearing anymore out of my operated ear have pretty much gone.

My problem is that my unoperated ear still has good hearing and my operated ear was very plugged up at that point. It's hard to notice a difference sometimes unless I plug my good ear up. Trying the phone also is reassuring as I couldn't hear a thing before. I'd say the hearing is about 1/2 that of my good ear now. I'll be patient and wait out the 3-4 months it takes to really improve.

My restrictions continue for the first month - still no water in the ear, no heavy lifting or strenuous workouts. I've taken to lots of walking to try to keep in shape!

I also had the vibrations and still do on occasion. It seems to happen more with higher pitch sounds. For the past week I've also been experiencing what I call a second radio sound. Out of the good ear I hear the normal sound, but it's the same thing but at a different pitch and volume in my operated ear. It's hard to explain - it's like two radios playing at the same time, but one is tuned differently, yet it's really one radio or one sound I'm hearing. Ok, enough of trying to explain this one!

I'm curious to know everyone's restrictions in terms of airplanes? I want to be able to take a trip in the next month, but can't if I still can't fly. I go back to the doctor next week (had same issue with some packing still stuck in the ear as Kathy - using drops too) and will ask him, but it seems everyone has been given different instructions on this.

Hope everyone is recovering well and hearing all kinds of new things!

-Monica
[I]"I also had the vibrations and still do on occasion. It seems to happen more with higher pitch sounds. For the past week I've also been experiencing what I call a second radio sound. Out of the good ear I hear the normal sound, but it's the same thing but at a different pitch and volume in my operated ear. It's hard to explain - it's like two radios playing at the same time, but one is tuned differently, yet it's really one radio or one sound I'm hearing. Ok, enough of trying to explain this one! "[/I]

Monica...Me too! totally. I haven't even been able to describe it. You did a better job!
Tomorrow will be 3 weeks for me as well. I'm having ringing in my ears, but I can still hear so much more than I used to. I have no restrictions any more, and I'll be taking my first ride on a plane since the operation this Saturday. I'm curious to see how it is...

As for the stuck packing like some of you seem to be having, at my follow up visit, my Dr. put some peroxide in the ear for a few minutes to loosen it where it was stuck. He then vacuumed out the peroxide and used a utensil for getting out the packing. No pain at all.

-Matt
Matt - let me know how that flight goes!

Kathy - good to know I'm not the only one having the dueling sounds!

The ringing is pretty much all gone for me. I still get it for a short period after being around loud noises - driving, hair dryer, etc. I'm thrilled that it's pretty much gone though :bouncing: - it had become almost unbearable for a few months before surgery.

The heartbeat is very faint now, so that I really only hear it at night when it's quiet. I'm hoping that goes away completely, since it's still a bit distracting when I wake up.

The biggest restriction I can't wait to be lifted - taking a normal shower!! Maybe next week...keeping my fingers crossed!

Take care everyone!
Monica
Day 25 Post-Op

Good news! For the past two days, all tinnitus has disappeared! I no longer hear the heartbeat even faintly. For the first time, I could actually hear the fan in our bedroom while laying on my unoperated ear! So, yes, that's a plus and minus - great to hear it, but gone now is the ability to block out all sound at night. Oh well... I'd rather hear any day!

I've also had some noticable increases in my hearing over the last couple days. I guess for me the big leaps really started just before week 3, so anyone getting discouraged in the first couple weeks, take notice and be patient!

Take care y'all and post your updates!

-Monica
I am 52 and had my stapedectomy on February 28th (about 5 weeks ago); at this point the hearing in my operated ear is fluctuating (from low volume to high volume). Has anyone else experienced this so long after the surgery and if so, did it finally stablize?

[QUOTE=dwalt;2743471]Andy and Cab:

I am 56 and had a stapedectomy done in my right ear on December 18th. I am now 4 weeks removed from the surgery. My hearing is improving although I had and still have tinnnitus. I am still using an antibiotic ear drop. My hearing test is Feb. 7th at Emory Hospital in Atlanta where I had the surgery.

Not eating or drinking the day of surgery was a problem since my surgery did not actually take place until almost 3 pm! After recovery, drinking a sprite and eating a few bites of a sandwich, I went home about 8:00 pm the evening of surgery. The ear was packed for about 10 days. It sure was great getting that packing out and starting to hear, even though it sounded like I was listening thru a tin can. Some sounds were uncomfortably loud. That has improved.

Sound is getting better. Hearing discrimination in my right ear is not good yet. Sounds such as amplified singing with instrumental background in a large auditorium seem "clangy" and to lack fidelity. I hope this improves.

Healing is still taking place but there is only slight discomfort/pain in that ear. The metallic taste lasted about 3 weeks. Unfortunately, I kept eating to find something that tasted right so I probably gained some weight. I found sugar free breath mints tasted ok and relived that weird taste.

I am glad that I had the procedure and look forward to the hearing test and seeing where I stand.[/QUOTE]
Forgive me, I am new at "message boards" and learning as I go.

I am a 52 year old male and had a stapedectomy on my left ear approximately 5 weeks ago. Aside from minor discomfort for the first few days following the surgery (I only needed Tylenol to manage the pain), all has gone fairy well. The bubbling and crackling noised I experienced took a little while to get used to and have now subsided. I had previously had severe ringing (a high-pitched frequency) in that ear prior to surgery and I do have considerable relief from that though it is still present.

So five weeks after surgery the hearing in my left ear is fluctuating (sometimes it seems to coincide with my pulse; other times it may stablize for a few minutes to a few hours, then it starts fluctuating again). Has anyone else experienced this fluctuation so long after their surgery; and if so, how long did it take to finally stablize. The worst part of this is sometimes it seems to get to a point where it is "in between" (meaning in between low volume and high volume) and at those times everything I hear sounds distorted (buzzing like a broken speaker). These episodes are not too often, and I have noticed that when my hearing does momentarily stablize (stops fluctuating) it is always at the "high" volume side (which sounds pretty good to me).

Anyone who has experienced this fluctuation of hearing, please respond. This is driving me nuts (I find it to be worse than the ringing that I experienced for almost 25 years).
Hi all.........I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

Its been a busy couple of weeks for me.

Its great that there are so many new people posting here. I've read all the posts since the last one I did. It sounds like everyone is doing well and those that are still concerned need to remember the "bumps".

Those who thanked me for being the cheerleader...I would like to say a big "You're welcome". I know how much encouragement helps us all through the scarey times.

I'm now 12 weeks post op. I went for a hearing test today for the pre-op info on my right ear. Left is still changing a bit, numbers were different than 4 weeks ago and now i'm preparing to get the right one done. IT's scheduled for May 12.

oops, gotta run. more shortly.

Remember...patience and bump, bump, bump!

Carol
Hello to all:

I have been away for 6-8 weeks now but just wanted to give you all a couple of updates. My surgery was Dec. 18th so I am now about 4 months removed from surgery. I am a 56 year old male. My operated ear, right, had definite hearing loss but my left ear is fine. Before surgery, I had tinnitus in my right ear along with the hearing loss.

Surgery went well and I went thru many of the same things each of you experienced. Packing was removed at about 9 days and that was such a great feeling. Hearing has continued to improve... tinnitus is still with me, but not as bad as before.

I definitely had the sweet taste starting about 3-5 weeks after surgery. At this point, it is almost gone. (How yucky to be eating salty popcorn and get a sweet taste as a reward!)...

I recently had a very bad sinus infection and took amox as an antibiotic. I believe my ear had alot of fluid in it at that time. The infection is all gone now but I still have times when my ear opens and closes.

My doctor told me that the healing process would take up to 6 months. At this point I am about 2/3 of the way there. My right ear hears very nicely most of the time now but still with some opening and closing.

I am not sure if this brief account helps any of you to see that there are better hearing days ahead for you. I hope so. I'll post again since so many of you are walking the same path I am now on.

Dwalt
Hey all... well last friday (post op day 16 i think) I had most of the packing removed. there was still about 10% in there but I was sent home to use the drops twice a day to dissolve the rest.

On the way to that appointment I heard a bunch of rapid snapping and popping and immediately after I could hear everything, despite the packing. It was very exciting! At the appointment when he was vaccuuming out the packing that loud sound pretty much made it so I couldn't hear again. And my, was I DIZZY :dizzy: after the packing came out. Dizziest I've been. The Dr. said that was normal due to the suction effect on the ear drum. I did pretty well with the tuning fork. I heard almost every sound, every pitch in my operated ear but not in my unoperated ear. I was a little concerned when he put it on my forehead and I could only hear on my unoperated ear but he explained that's a good thing. Since my unoperated ear still has otosclerosis, the bones are fixed and that's why I'm hearing it on the unoperated side more.

Today is day 23 post op for me. For about a week I completely felt normal and back to myself. but I've had a wicked cold and the buzziness feeling is back. But I'm congested everywhere (even my sinuses) and that's probably what's throwing me off. I'm pretty sure I got all the packing out as the last few days the drops just run clear and there's nothing in my ear in the morning any more. I still have two stitches that haven't dissolved and they're driving me batty. I keep forgetting they're there and accidentally scratch them. My tongue continues to play tricks on me. feels like an absense of taste unless I eat something salty, then it's a sweet taste. The metalic taste has come a few times but not often. I've told my husband I'm not going to have my other ear done until this is resolved, I think it would drive me nuts to have it all over my mouth.

Hearing wise, I know i'm hearing more though I do know there's still room for improvement. However, I dont know how much of that is my unoperated ear. The TV volume is down much more now. I hear the heater every morning (i never heard that before ) and my alarm clock now wakes me up. I'm not saying "what?" as much anymore and my kids have been surprised a few times saying, "you heard that?" when I respond to something they're saying from the other room.

Aside from a few things, I haven't really had too many "wow that's loud" experiences. However, the movie theater is LOUD! I do have the opening and closing but it's very subtle for me. There are times when I hear things loud and crystal clear and other times where I notice it's quieter and not as much clarity. My heart beat tinnitus is gone more than it's here which is nice. Before surgery it was always present and loud. I have a new sound in my ear, it's not loud so I can tune it out but it sounds almost like a piece of paper attached to a fan that's blowing.

I'm looking forward to hearing more and more!

I go back in 3 weeks and will post again then.

Oh and one more thing, I get so irritated when sitting in the car and someone gets in after me. The door slamming seriously bugs me...its not the sound though, more like the pressure ...anyone else experience that?
zorbatar...I hope you recovery goes well! For me, days 1 and 2 were like a honeymoon and starting on day 3 I went down hill....

If you experience that, check back here often! Read again what we went through. For me, that helped a lot. Helped keep my anxiety in check.
Everything is still going surprisingly well! :blob_fire Just a little light headed from time-to-time. The tinnitus in both of ears is really bothering me when I go to sleep. It's more pronounced in my operated ear than the other, but it was like this before anyway. I just ignore it, as I always have have, and go to sleep.

The soreness in my throat is completely gone. The only discomfort I have in my ear is a very slight earache type of feeling. If it bothers me too much, I just pop some tylenol into mouth and it's gone. :)

The packing in the ear can cause you to get a little stir crazy. But if it cures the hearing in that ear, it'll be well worth all of this crazyness.:)

I'm still keeping fingers crossed that everything goes according to plan. Five more days to get this packing removed and have the ear examed. I can't wait!!!!:D
Wahoooo!!! The packing is out! :blob_fire

Had the packing removed from my ear this morning. What a relief to have that stuff taken out! The doctor first tested my hearing with a turning fork held to the front of my forehead. I could actually hear it in both ears this time. :) Previously, I could only hear it well in my left ear, while it was muffled in my right.

She removed the packing, which was a lot less of an event than I had expected. Piece by piece it was removed. The last of the packing came out with a weird suction sound. Everything sounds like it's being filtered through a tin can. Which is just about what everyone else has experienced on this thread too. When she held the tuning fork up to the back of my skull behind my ear, I could hear it the same as it was before. However, when she held it directly in front of my ear, WHOA! What a difference!!! It was clear as a bell.

She explained that my hearing will continue to be rather weak until the dried blood eventually falls out and the swelling is reduced as the ear heals. I had some dark (old) blood come out from ear as I drove home from the hospital, which is to be expected. Little by little, my hearing will return as the healing process progresses over the next several weeks. I go back to my doctor for a follow up on May 11.

I've read many posts on this thread about the surgery we've all shared. Unfortunately, every one is different in their own way when it comes to this procedure. Some have had a rough road while others have seen less problems occur with this surgery. I'm very happy to say that I am one of the folks who had a very smooth recovery throughout this whole process. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it continues. I hope my experience can be of some comfort to those who are reading this thread and will help them to decide on having this procedure performed on them as well.

If you happen to be located in the Pittsburgh area, I highly recommened Dr. Michele St. Martin for this surgery. She is a resident at the Ear, Nose and Throat hospital of the UPMC health complex. She not only is a great surgeon, but she also takes the time to listen to your questions and concerns.

Hopefully my next post after my follow up will be just as encouraging! :)
Hello everyone. Zorbatar - great to hear everything has gone so well for you with the surgery! I also liked the words of encouragement you gave for anyone considering the surgery. I would do it again in a heartbeat! :)

It's been (adding up here...) 5 weeks post-op for me now. About a week and half ago the doctor finally scraped the last of the packing out, and yes, I mean scraped. He had me do the drops for a week to soften it up as it had dried hard and this was right over where he had to do a graft to close my ear drum, so he was understandably reluctant to pull it off before. Still, he had to scrape and my ear felt a bit tender afterwards though he says it's all healing nicely.

I had my first hearing test then too. I didn't get the tuning fork like everyone else, but according to the tests I was hearing around 35db, where I was almost 70 before. Quite an increase, though still a lot of room to improve. Doc says my eardrum is still pretty thick from the surgery and graft and my hearing will improve more as it heals more. I'm just happy to be able to put a phone to my ear and hear the person on the other end!

I still get dizzy when I move around too much and hope this will eventually go away. Does anyone else still get this a month or more after surgery?

Other news for me is that I moved in the last two weeks from DC to Dallas. I will still fly back to DC for my next ENT appt in a couple weeks (I seem to go to the doctor a lot more than most on this board!), but ultimately need to find another ENT here in Dallas. Not looking forward to that as I had a good team of doctors in DC.

Keep on posting everyone! I know we have a lot of readers who may not post or at least don't post often, but if they're like me they're reading everything and getting encouragement! This is a good thing...

Monica
Hello all. My first stapedecotomy is in two days. Just wanted to say how helpful all of your posts have been in letting me know what to expect. This thread will probably cut down on the number of post-surgery panicked phone calls I otherwise would have placed to my doctor. ;) I'll be sure to report in after surgery. Laura
Hello all. My first stapedecotomy is in two days. Just wanted to say how helpful all of your posts have been in letting me know what to expect. This thread will probably cut down on the number of post-surgery panicked phone calls I otherwise would have placed to my doctor. ;) I'll be sure to report in after surgery. Laura
Good luck Laura! It's quite an experience you're about to go on... :)
Hi All...

I'm just under 27 days post op (i think, i need to check a calendar).

So far, I'm still not sure that my hearing is that great of an improvement from before I started. I had a few "wow" moments the day most of the packing was taken out but since then, nothing to write home about. When I started I had otosclerosis in both ears and my hearing loss was just about the same in both ears (between 65-70db loss). When I snap or rub my fingers together and compare ears, it's louder in my unoperated ear! That is so disconcerting to me. I REALLY hope it's possible that I'm still experiencing swelling or fluid or something at this point. I'm thankful that I can still hear (not deaf) but I just wonder if I went through that for NOTHING?! I suspect I've only gained hearing at a few tones. I can hear my heater running now but that's really one of the only sounds that seems to be new to me. I still go around saying "what?" to everyone.

I have my next appt this friday..I'll post back then!
Update from my appt (4 weeks post op):

Well, I went yesterday, I told the ent that I'm feeling like I DID have a dramatic improvement in hearing 3 weeks ago and that since then, it's gone away. So he cleaned out my ear and gave me a hearing test. The office was so busy that I had to reschedule to come back to talk about the results (my daughter had a soccer game starting). I got a message on my voice mail after. He looked over the results and wants me to have an x-ray to see if the prosthesis has slipped. :confused:

I'm releived to hear that in a weird way, because it confirms what I've been experiencing...that my great hearing has gone away and I'm not crazy. But it saddens me as well. I'm guessing if that's the case, I'll need to have the surgery again, right?? Has anyone experienced this?

I knew the risks going into this and decided to take them. Guess I wasn't part of the 90% success rate. I'm just thankful I'm not completey deaf! If I had to go through the rest of my life with my hearing the way it is, I'm OK with that.

I do hope this can be corrected though! If this ear can't be fixed, i just cant take the risk with my other ear (both had about equal hearing loss due to otosclerosis..right now my unoperated ear is hearing BETTER than my operated ear).

Please send prayers, good vibes and good wishes!

I'll update you all once I have new info.
Hi all,

My first stapedectomy was four days ago. My hearing was not as bad as many on this board - 20 db in each ear; when I was diagnosed last year it was 15 db. My father had significant hearing loss from otoschlerosis. It was getting more difficult for me to participate in meetings at work, and hearing aids are surprisingly expensive and not covered by insurance, so I figured why wait to have the surgery.

The surgery was done under general anaesthesia and took twice as long as expected because my ear was "snug." The doctor told my friend that I would likely be sicker than most and might have to stay the night in the hospital. Luckily, despite the initial nausea when I was first coming out from under the anaesthesia, I didn't feel too bad. While in the recovery room I was a bit woozy and there was some pressure in my ear. I occassionally felt and heard loud thumping in the operated ear, and a lot of ringing. The doctor said this was normal. He tested my ear with a tuning fork, and I was able to hear it. The surgery started about 10 AM, and I was released at 4 PM.

For the first three days there was a decent amount of pressure in my operated ear, possibly from the packing, and I had a couple of headaches. Occassionally I would get (and still do) a sharp pain in my ear, but it doesn't last. Before surgery I didn't realize how much we unknowingly burp during the day, because my ear hurts when I do. I am finally learning to burp without allowing the pressure in my ear to build. (Open mouth wide.) Elevators are an issue. I can't go more than 7 floors without stopping because of the pressure buildup. Also, with only one ear working right now, I'm finding it to be more of a challenge to locate sounds, such as my cell phone ringing. Also, I am being extra carefully crossing streets in traffic.

Today, the fourth day, I woke up feeling less pressure in my ear, so I assume the swelling has gone down a bit. The packing in and stitches behind my ear are sometimes a bit itchy, but not too bad. I get occassional dizziness, especially when I close my eyes, bend over, turn my head quickly, or exert myself too much. The dizziness is not constant, and it feels only like I'm on a boat. There is an incredible amount of ringing in my operated ear. I had ringing before surgery, but it is worse now. Hopefully this will change. I can't hear anything out of the operated ear at this point. I do feel a bit nervous about this, but hopefully it is normal and possibly a result of the packing, which gets removed on day 10.

Laura
I'm having a stapedectomy done this upcoming Monday. I'm 33 years old - hopefully it will do what it's supposed to. My hearing is horrible. Especially when it comes to soft spoken people.

I was reading that scuba diving after this procedure is a no no. I'm not an avid diver, but I'd sure like to know that I can do it in the future.
Topshotta...good luck to you! i'm sure you'll do great!


For me: 5 weeks post op

I dont really have much of an update. I talked to my ent a few days ago, I'm getting a CT scan on the temporal bones. He suspects the prosthesis slipped so this will confirm it. He says if that's the case, it's fixable, but I'd need to go through the surgery again. What a PITA!

I've been freaking myself searching the web to find causes of declining hearing right after stapedectomy. I've decided to stop doing that! LOL. One can find some scary stuff doing that!

On a brighter note, I did get a call this morning from his office...I get to take REAL showers now....wahoo! I'm sooooo excited, I can't wait to just let water run all over my face and head!
Hi everyone,

Just recovering from a stapedectomy which was done yesterday morning. Was expecting to be kept in overnight, but got out last night as I was doing ok and not too dizzy. Not too painful so far either, a bit like the pressure you get when flying but slightly more painful, but manageable with painkillers.

Not sure if hearing has improved because of the packing but I'm positive everything sounds louder than normal. I've been reading reports about metallic, or sweet taste but I seem to have a salty taste and I've also got slight numbness at the back of my tongue on right side.

If this is successful I'll be wishing I'd got it done two years ago, when I was first offered it, but I was so worried about losing what little hearing I had left in my right ear. When I reaslised my left ear was going the same way, I had to go for it.
Does anyone know how soon you can fly after this op as I stupidly forgot to ask and I'm hoping to go on holiday in 9 weeks.

Lorraine
Lorraine - I'm just past 7 weeks post op and took my first flight yesterday. My ENT told me at my 4 week follow up that flying on a commercial airplane was ok, due to the pressurized cabins.

My ears popped a lot, but no more than they would normally. It was amazing actually - it seemed like I could hear even better than before, but that was mostly just the illusion of the opening and closing as we ascended and descended. I would suggest chewing gum during those times to help you pop your ears. I forgot, but drank water to swallow often.
Hey everyone! I go for my stapedectomy on Wednesday. I am really scared because I have never had any surgery before, even oral surgery.

Here's my story. I am 27 years old. I started noticing my hearing loss about three years ago. Like all other problems I have I just sucked it up and dealth with it, all the while complaining about it. I first noticed the hearing loss when I was on the phone. I switched from my right ear (referred to now as my "good ear") to my left ear and the volume decreased significantly. I asked whoever I was talking to if they did something with the phone and they hadn't. Then I started to notice while watching TV, or talking on the phone. My boyfriend (now my husband) would get so mad at me when I asked him to repeat things because I didn't hear them. He would say things like, "If you have a hearing problem, do something about it or adjust."

So about a year ago I did something about it. I made an appointment at a hearing clinic and the result was that there was definitely hearing loss, but she could not tell why. She referred me to an ENT doctor, who redid some of the tests and confirmed that he was pretty sure that it was otosclerosis. But he was about 90 years old and no longer does the surgery, so I was referred to ANOTHER doctor where they went through the options and drawbacks with me. They wanted to make sure I was choosing the surgery for reasons other than financial (they are covered by provincial government here, hearing aids are not), but once they were sure, they told me I would be contacted in a few months about a surgery date.

And so here I am. Scared whitless! After reading all that you have posted about side effects, I am really worried. I am a substitute teacher and was really hoping that I would only be off for a week, as I don't get paid if I am not working. No benefits for a sub!

I will keep you posted on my side effects, but I have some questions for everyone out there.

First, were you able to do things that first day, like read or watch movies or anything? I am not the type to sit in bed all day.

Also, I am really concerned about the dizziness. How long for each of you to recover from that?

Has anyone had to have their surgery redone?
Hi Bran80...

Good luck! Try not to be too worried! I'm sure you'll do fine. It's a 90% success right? Well, I account for the 10% that aren't so lucky, so CHANCES are you'll be fine...I got the 10% covered on this board LOL!

To answer your questions:

[I]First, were you able to do things that first day, like read or watch movies or anything? I am not the type to sit in bed all day.[/I]

THe day of surgery, I would say no, pretty much just stayed in bed. However, my dr. was very conservative and didn't want me even sitting up. After being under the general though, I was pretty much sleepy anyway. each day after that I was up and about more and more each day. Took me about a week to really be almost normal but I did know it if I over did it because I'd be dizzy (though dizzy has never been a good description for what I felt!). I felt more like a pressure/buzzing in my head and felt like I was leaning sideways.

[I]Also, I am really concerned about the dizziness. How long for each of you to recover from that?[/I]

It gradually waned for me...I'd say it took about 2.5 to 3 weeks to completely go away.
[I]
Has anyone had to have their surgery redone?[/I]

I'll get back to you on that...I have a CT scan coming up to determine why my hearing deteriorated rapidly after I noticed a dramatic improvment on hearing. I do believe there are at least 2 posters on her who have had them redone for different reasons.

You'll be fine... good luck!
Hi Bran80...

Good luck! Try not to be too worried! I'm sure you'll do fine. It's a 90% success right? Well, I account for the 10% that aren't so lucky, so CHANCES are you'll be fine...I got the 10% covered on this board LOL!

To answer your questions:

[I]First, were you able to do things that first day, like read or watch movies or anything? I am not the type to sit in bed all day.[/I]

THe day of surgery, I would say no, pretty much just stayed in bed. However, my dr. was very conservative and didn't want me even sitting up. After being under the general though, I was pretty much sleepy anyway. each day after that I was up and about more and more each day. Took me about a week to really be almost normal but I did know it if I over did it because I'd be dizzy (though dizzy has never been a good description for what I felt!). I felt more like a pressure/buzzing in my head and felt like I was leaning sideways.

[I]Also, I am really concerned about the dizziness. How long for each of you to recover from that?[/I]

It gradually waned for me...I'd say it took about 2.5 to 3 weeks to completely go away.
[I]
Has anyone had to have their surgery redone?[/I]

I'll get back to you on that...I have a CT scan coming up to determine why my hearing deteriorated rapidly after I noticed a dramatic improvment on hearing. I do believe there are at least 2 posters on her who have had them redone for different reasons.

You'll be fine... good luck!
I am so excited after reading all of the posts on this board! I can't tell you how many times I say, "I'm sorry?" or "You are going to have to repeat that one more time to me." to my family, friends and students. My three year old niece once said something to me and I said, "I'm sorry?" which confused her five year old brother. He responded, "What are you sorry for?" LOL! Kids are funny.

The one thing I am most looking forward to is when I lie on my "good" ear in bed and can actually hear what my husband is saying to me. I am also excited that I don't live in an apartment anymore because lying on my good ear was the only way to block out my neighbors ridiculously loud alarm clock in the mornings.

Anyway, I am deeply encouraged, but still scared about side effects. Quick poll, how long did you all have to wait to go back to work?
Bran - My own experience and answers to your questions:

[B][U]Day of surgery[/U][/B] - I'll back up what Kathy said. Don't plan on doing anything and don't think you'll be bored - you'll be coming off the affects of the anesthesia and too tired to think about it. I did watch tv in the evening, but I slept all day until then. Walking around that day was slow going and I held on to walls, furniture, etc. I had a lot of popping in the ear the first day and it was very startling, but apparently very normal.


[B][U]Dizzyness[/U][/B] - First 3-4 days were the worse and feels like you've been drinking and can't get off the rocking boat at the same time! It gets much better after the first week. I drove after the first week and even though I was still a little dizzy walking, it didn't affect me in the car.

That said - I'm still experiencing the occasional off balance feeling and it's been almost 8 weeks. The feeling is no where near as bad as it was the first week and I think some of it is due to sinus congestion related to spring allergies.

[B][U]Going back to work[/U][/B] - I was fortunate to be able to work from home the first week and then was back in the office after that. I think you'll be fine after the first week going back, but just don't push yourself.

Good luck on Wednesday and don't worry!
Hi all,

Hope everyone is doing well.

Kathy, I read alot about a prothesis slipping. If it did, they can fix it and you will be ok. Hang in there!!

I am now 15 weeks post op. Here's my update.

No dizziness. It was extrememly bad the first 5 days, the next 3 weeks it was off and on, then it went away except when I was really tired during the next 3 weeks. So the last 8 weeks, no dizziness at all.

I still have the metallic taste at times, but not anywhere near as strong as it was.

No off balance feeling at all.

I went back to work after 9 days, the first weeks was a little tough adjusting and dealing with the dizziness. I got used to it and all was good.

Hearing - I posted my results. Hearing is much better than before surgery. SRT is now 25db instead of the 60+db that it was.

I started playing softball again after 4 weeks. Running, looking up while running, etc..and I was fine.

Bran......I was up the day after surgery. I could sit up and watch tv, mess with laptop, etc. 3 days after surgery, I could walk around (veering to the left) without wanting to puke but my mom and bf still walked beside me to make sure I didn't fall because i was really dizzy. At 5 days, I was much better. 8 days I was driving and on day 9, I went back to work. I have found nothing in the way of physical restrictions as a result of this surgery. I run, mow, swim, sneeze (hehe) etc, all without being scared now. At first I was a little apprehensive, but now...life is as usual (at least for the next 9 days).

I'm having my other ear (right one) done next week on the 17th. I'm still a lil scared but nothing like I was before the first one.

Good Luck to you Bran, and everyone else. Keep posting, we are helping so many other people make decisions and feel comfortable about knowing what to expect and when not to be scared.

More Later,

-Carol_
Hello everyone!

I had my left ear done 6 months ago and it was the best decision I ever made.

For those of you having the surgery or trying to decide, just do it. You have a few days of misery and a lifetime of good hearing.

The first day you will NOT be able to do much. Even if you are a busy body, your body will not let you. Go ahead and pop in a movie or watch a good talk show but believe me you won't even make it through the whole thing without falling asleep. Sleep will be your savior for getting you through the dizziness.

Make sure you have someone around to help you get around. You will walk a little sideways at first.

Stick to liquids!!! Even though I tried to have tomato soup for dinner (5-6 hrs after surgery), it still came back up. Water and juice stayed down fine. The next day I could eat normal.

You will experience popping/crackling in your ear. It is a weird sensation and kind of startling but very normal. It feels like your ear is FULL of water.

Don't try to move your head quickly or sit up fast, this is an invitation for dizziness. Though you will be dizzy no matter what, I found that just closing my eyes and taking a deep breath seemed to help.

If you are one of the lucky ones to have improved hearing right away just note that some sounds will be very magnified and most everything will be muffled. Even your own voice will sound loud in your head. I couldn't talk on the phone for a few days because my own voice was too loud. I had to whisper. Other sounds that I found VERY loud and quite annoying was the lawnmower, my husband would mow and I would tell him to hurry because it was too loud. Wind, yes I said WIND! Actually hearing it was such a treat but when it would blow in my ear it would be so loud I had to move away from it. Having the car window down a little was a big no-no. The dog barking, I yelled at my dog so many times to stop barking. Normal sounds like voices and the tv were fine. Just being able to hear the tv was WONDERFUL!!! Before the surgery when I would be home alone I would sneak and put on the closed captioning. I didn't want anyone to know I was doing this because I was embarrassed about it.

By the 3rd or 4th day my dizziness was gone. By the fifth day I was well enough to stay at a cabin for the weekend with my family (this is where I heard the wind for the first time). I still took it easy but I was no longer dizzy.

The loud noises lasted about 2 weeks. Now my hearing is normal

I had the metallic taste in my mouth for a couple weeks and some foods had a weird taste/sensation to them. The left side of my tongue would feel kind of buttery (that's the best I can explain it). Like I had to much butter or cream on my tongue. Some foods tasted weird, like spaghetti, milk, ketchup. I've lost sensation to sour things on that side only. Now all foods taste normal, except sour stuff I think that may be gone for good....but oh well. I don't have the buttery feeling anymore either. One thing that has lasted is when I touch my ear it makes my tonge tingle......weird I know.

I put surgery off for many years. I am so happy I decided to do it. After about 2-3weeks you're normal again with full hearing. I no longer have to be embarrassed, avoid conversation with friends and co-workers, I missed so many good stories and jokes, I no longer have to fake laugh pretending like I heard the joke, I was so sick of saying "what" that I just started saying yes, ok, nod my head like I heard the person. People have ask my friends why I was ignoring them. I'm done with that!!!! People don't expect a 27 yr old to start losing her hearing so a lot of people just didn't get it. Even when I told them I couldn't hear them they still didn't understand. I REALLY could not hear them it wasn't just a figure of speech. This was the best thing i've ever done.

JUST GET THE SURGERY! You'll thank yourself!
Thanks for this Monica. I never even thought about the effects of flying until I started reading all the reports. It's great to hear about other people's experiences as I didn't know anyone who had had this op until I started reading these noticeboards. I just wish I'd discovered this website sooner.
Lorraine
I am having a stapedectomy on my left ear Friday. I am curious how long others have been instructed to wait to resume exercise (specifically running). I'm also not sure if there is any clear way to understand the results of SRT/Discrimination Levels and tympanometry? Pure tone average?!?

Thanks so much in advance.
I had my 8 week (short by two days) and final follow up yesterday :bouncing: (the closest I could come to the happy dance).

My hearing is around 25db now, an improvement over just four weeks ago when I was at 35db, and significantly over where it started at 60-70db. I'm thrilled with the results and so is the doctor. He says it may or may not improve more, but it's just below normal and I can now hear which direction sound is coming from - something I'm sure everyone on this board can appreciate!

I now have all restrictions lifted!! :D I still had to be careful about water in the ear the entire 8 weeks, though I know some on here were able to take "normal" showers much earlier. The only restriction is still no scuba diving, but that's never been a top priority for me anyway. It's just not worth it to risk my new hearing anyway.

Good luck to everyone getting the surgery or recovering.. and good luck Carol on the other ear!

-Monica
Kat - on exercise, my doctor didn't want me doing anything strenuous, including running, the first month. I'd check with your doctor. When I did start running/jogging again I was a little apprehensive about jiggling the prosthesis and took it easy. It's really only in the past week that I've been comfortable with it. I just did a lot of walking to get my exercise!
Okay, so just over twelve hours to go. Thank goodness my hubby has an exam for work tomorrow morning because he is a verbal studier, which means he needs me to help him and that is keeping my mind off things. My bedroom is set up for tomorrow and the next few days, with water and instant soup and a kettle and LOTS of movies. Unfortunately, no one can take time off to stay with me on Thursday or Friday, so I need everything close by!

It is good to hear that my age is normal for this problem. My doctor seemed a little bit surprised that I was there so young. However, I have ANOTHER question. You are all going to be sick of me. Anyone know if pregnancy in my future will affect the prosthesis? My husband and I are a little ways away from that (well he is anyway, I could start on it tomorrow if he gave me the word ;) ).

Anyway, congrats to all of you with successes, and good luck also to Carol. Really, your posts have been an inspiration! I hope my hearing improves as much as yours.

Oh, one more question for those who only had otosclerosis in one ear, did you notice prior to surgery that your other ear overcompensated for the lack of hearing in the other? I notice that I often feel "overstimulated" by the television or radio.
ooooh...but maybe I can ride my stationary bike! ;) Thanks for the input.
Congratulations Monica! I'm really glad everything has worked out so well for you! I hope I can say the same when my eight weeks rolls around. I'm going in for my one month check up this Friday. So far things seem to be progressing as expected.

You're posting should be a great influence to others who are thinking of having this procedure performed on themselves. Continued success with your hearing!

Maybe you could become the new spokesperson for Verizon.

"Can you hear me now?"

In your case it great big "YES!!!!!"
RE: the pregnancy question... I was dx'd in my early twenties and knew I was going to have another baby and my doc told me to hold off on the stapedectomy... the hormone surge in pregnancy can speed up ototsclerosis.

But, the doctor i have now said it's not like something grows on the bone...visually, stapes with otosclerosis dont look much different, they just dont move.

So based on what my current doctor is saying, i wouldn't think pregnancy can have an effect on the stapes. But my former doctor had a different opionion. So ?? Ask your doctor and let us know what he/she says!
So, I just returned home from my surgery. My doctor just sedated me and used a local. I was told by EVERYONE that I would not remember anything from the surgery, but I remember quite a bit. I kept asking the doctor what he was doing now. It was really interesting! My doctor was asking me to repeat number words to him as well and he said, "Excellent!" when he was done. I heard him! Yeah!

Afterwards, I felt dizzy and nauseous, then I threw up a bit. After that I fell asleep for quite a while. They were worried because my blood pressure was quite low compared to when I was admitted, but it stayed stable so they let me go home.

I have no dizziness or nausea now and I even ate at McDonalds. I have a bit of pain, but nothing life shattering and a bit of a headache. It still feels like I have an ear full of water, but I expect that has more to do wtih the packing. My doctor said that dissolves on its own in a week or two.

So now I will sit back, relax and possibly sleep while my mom watches television downstairs until my wonderful hubby gets home. For the first time in my life, my mom is telling me I am speaking too quietly! LOL!

Thanks for all the support guys!
Wow just a local and some drugs!! That's great. I wondered if it was ever done that way. Great to hear your feeling good.

Happy healing and hearing!
Ok, Day 2.

Still feeling well, but a little more dizzy and a bit of a headache. I sort of overdid it yesterday and today though. I made dinner yesterday, loaded the dishwasher today and did a lot of walking around. I slep ALL afternoon today (five hours). Guess I will have to take it easy tomorrow. I definitely would not have been able to substitute teach today, so I am glad I booked off this week at least. We will have to take it one day at a time for next week.

Anyway, thanks to everyone. I am one of those people who always assume the worst will happen, but so far, so good.
Bran - I'm glad you're doing so well and the surgery went well. I did the same thing you did and overdid it a bit when I felt good - it's easy to think you should be able to do all this. I was extra dizzy after overdoing it too. It's almost like a reminder from your body that you're healing still.

So, take it easy and relax more. Don't lift anything heavy and don't do anything that will strain the ear while it's still healing!

Take care and keep reporting on your progress!
Bran,

It's great to hear you are doing well!!

Same advice for you - take it easy if you want to go back to work within a week.

How's the hearing? Have you noticed any difference yet?

Keep us posted.

More later,

-Carol-
Okay, so Day 3 is hitting me like a tonne (sorry different spelling here) of bricks. I am so dizzy I have to hold on to the wall to get to the bathroom and I have only been able to eat lipton chicken noodle soup today (although it did taste salty, not sweet :) ). My ear hurts like a bugger, and I have taken two Tylenol 3s and 2 Advil. My sweet hubby is trying to leave work early, though there is not a lot he can do for me anyway.

I have been trying to stay still and watch some movies (The Emperor's New Groove because it makes me laugh), but I am too much of a busy body to lie down all day long.

Any advice on the darn itching?

Oh, and I don't have to have my packing removed as it disolves on its own. It should be gone by the time I get to see my doctor again on the 22nd. However, I was given specific instructions to NOT wash my hair AT ALL until I have seen him again. How am I supposed to try to teach a bunch of unruly high school kids with greasy hair?

Thanks for the encouragement and hints as to what lies ahead. I was expecting this little bump. As for the better hearing, I don't know if I am imagining it because I still have cotton and packing in there, but I am sure that sounds are not as muffled as they were. I guess I will find out over the next couple of weeks as the packing dissolves.

Brandi
Okay...so I went for my one month from the surgery check up. My doctor looked at me ear and removed some wax dried blood. She sad there is still a small amount of blood on the ear drum, She didn't want to remove it because of how fragile that part of the ear is. I was told it will eventually dissolve, which it will do so.

My doctor was very pleased with how the ear has healed. :D In fact she did a hearing test on me today, which is usually done a few weeks later. I was originally hearing at 54db. After the hearing test, I am now at 47db. A slight improvement, but not what I was hoping for. I know it'll take a little longer for the final healing process and the prostetic device to reach it's full potential, but I was still expecting better results. Although I must say I do hear a lot more detail better in what I now hear. However the volume needs to improve a fair amount.

I was finally able to take a shower and wash my hair today. :blob_fire Never thought I could go a full month with washing my hair only in the sink. The things we take for granted!

I need to go back in six months for another follow up. However, my wonderful doctor is moving to Florida permanently! What a bummer.:mad: Although her counterpart is a very well known doctor throughout the city. So I guess it's not all bad.

I still have the ringing and buzzing in my ear (tinnitus), which I had before the surgery. I was hoping the surgery would correct this problem, but I was being realistic and didn't expect it to be gone. Hey...if the hearing improves, I'll still be very happy.

For those of you who were a little dissapointed with your hearing at your one month follow up, please let me know if your hearing did eventually improve over time. I know every one is different, so I'll just have to wait and see what develops.

Good luck to everyone who is considering this procedure. Even though my hearing has improved only slightly so far, it was well worth the surgery to get my hearing improved to this point. Good luck to all!!!
It's interesting to hear how different the follow up is with each doctor. I had a 1-week, 2-week, 4-week, and then 8-week follow up appointments. Hearing tests were only done at the 4 and 8 week. I have no more follow ups, other than regular hearing tests and measure the oto progress in my other ear (it's still in normal range)

Zorbatar - I'm sure if I had my test done at 3 weeks it would not have been good as I was very discouraged at that point and not hearing very well. But, at my 4 week, my hearing test showed a substantial increase from around 60db to 35db. My 8-week test showed it closer to 25db. So, hopefully your hearing will gradually improve too.

My doctor said there was packing on both sides of the drum and the drum was fairly thick while healing, which would keep me from hearing as well as I could in the beginning - so maybe your ear is still healing.

Bran - I forgot about the itching... that drove me crazy! Only thing I could do was move the cotton ball around gently and massage around the ear in hopes it would go away. It does get better. Are you hearing the heartbeat sounds now?
Bran - One more thing... ever hear of the dry shampoos? No where near as good as taking a shower, but maybe they'll help you to not have greasy hair with unruly kids to control! ;). You can probably find it a places that sell camping stuff or do an internet search on "dry shampoo".
Yeah, I am hearing the heartbeat now, but it doesnt bother me. I was freaked out by somethings yesterday though. First, I was going stir-crazy. I am not the kind of person to just sit around filling my time up watching television and reading. I HAD to get out of the house. My hubby and I went to Dairy Queen. BAD IDEA! THe sound of the blizzard machines were over-stimulating.

The second weird thing was when I was watching CSI Miami and they were doing a hearing test on someone to prove they were near a gunshot. They played a very low frequency sound and it sounded like it was inside my head. I freaked out and my husband had to calm me down.

The final thing was that I was watching Kelly Clarkson perform on some late night show. She started off singing in a very, very low key and again, it sounded like it was in my head. Don't know what all of this means, but I hope it means things are going well.

Also, I woke up this morning sleeping on my operated ear and there was blood on my cotton ball. Do you think this could have caused any problems?

Thanks for the advice on dry shampoos Monica. I will have to look those up!

By the way, other than a little bit of pain this morning, I am feeling great again. I think I may actually go out with my husband today to watch the Ottawa-Buffalo hockey game with our friends! Go Sens Go!
Bran - I also had the blood on the cotton ball too for the first five days or so. I was told this is normal, so I wouldn't get too stressed over it. The day I had my packing removed, during my drive home from the hosiptal I felt some blood flowing out of my operated ear. It was dark in color, which signified old blood. It was like that for only a few hours. And it was about the amount of only a few drops. So if this happens, don't get too worried about it. It's just what was in your ear all the time the packing was in your ear canal.
Bran - I had the same feeling with low sounds - like they are in your head. It felt as if my head was vibrating all the time. The heater humming (it was March at the time..) in the house drove me so crazy I had to turn it off!

It does go away...
Well, I'm 2 months post-op and I go in tomorrow to get my other ear done. I'm not nervous like I was the last time, but I'm still not excited for the recovery. I'm hearing great with my operated ear and am optimistic about this second operation. I haven't had many side-effects, just ringing in the operated ear.
Good luck Matt!
Is it possible to have no packing? The only visible stuff in my ear canal is a bit of scabby/dried blood gunk (that I would LOVE to rip out of my oh so itchy canal). I'm assuming maybe "packing" is just a wee bit of stuff way back? Surgery was 5/11 and having all the reverb super amplified hearing creepysaurus stuff. Post-op on Friday.

thanks everyone who has responded previously!
Kat - you probably do have the packing. It's not something you can see - or someone else looking in your ear w/o the same instruments the doctor uses. My husband looked in my ear after surgery and only saw the dried blood gunk in there.

I have absolutely no idea what the packing looks like, but my doctor made a comment that it's kind of like little globules... if that makes any sense. He said it was on both sides of the ear drum and would dissolve on it's own on the inside.

Hope that helps! :)
When you saw your surgeon for the post-op did he/she clean out the ear gunk? It feels like there is a disproportionate wad of stuff in there! A bit (a lot) maddening. Almost total loss of taste/numb tongue. I'm a bit more curious about this viscous paste in my mouth. I have to carry a water bottle w/ me or it gets too thick to speak. I thought it was from the anaesthesia or maybe the nausea patch or other meds but I am off everything and still the tongue paste continues.
Ohm!
Thanks so much for your responses ~
Yes, he cleaned out some of it at the 1 week and most at the 2 week post-op. There was still some of the packing stuck with dried blood where he had to do the graft on my ear drum, so he left that until the next visit. He had me put ear drops in to loosen it up.

The cleaning was a little freaky too - it's vacuumed out and it's loud! Not painful, just weird.
Monica ~

Thanks. I can't even imagine a vacuum a;kdfja.
I appreciate your insight.
Okay so Day 8 is here. I have also started having the creepy reverb thing happening and it is seriously driving me CRAZY! It only started on Tuesday a little bit, but then yesterday it was full blown. Every sound I hear has a high pitched echo to it. My husband was highly amused by this and was making any weird voices he could. Jerk!

Other than that, I have been finding myself waking up on the operated ear because that was the side I slept on mostly before, but there is no blood or pain, so I assume it is okay. There is little pain left (it is intense for a few seconds then gone) so I am not taking any T3s any more, just Advil. There are the odd moments of dizziness when I move too fast or spin around to get something. I am driving no problem. It just seems that this reverb thing is going to be the death of me. I just want to shoot myself to make it stop at times! Just kidding! I am glad I have not yet gone back to subbing because the noise in the mall made me crazy yesterday.

Thanks for all the support everyone. Now if I ever need to get my left ear done, I won't be worried at all.

Oh yeah and all I can see is the dried blood pieces too and I REALLY want to rip it out too. I kept the cotton ball in there until yesterday, because I a compulsive picker and I thought that at least the cotton ball would prevent some of it.
HI ALL............


I had my right ear done yesterday...

Had to be there at 9:00am. Did all the pre-op stuff..blood, chest xray and EKG. Then went to waiting area for about 2 hours.

Went to pre-op room, got iv, talked to doc, they marked which ear to be done and then they gave me something in my IV to "Relax" me.

That's the last thing I remember until I was in recovery room with the nurse shaking me trying to wake me up. Last time, I was awake in the OR for about 20 minutes before they knocked me out, so not remembering even going in OR room was kinda of wierd.

Anyway, about 2 hours in recovery she said you have to eat something, drink something and go potty, then you can go home. Within 15 minutes, I did all 3 and left.

No dizzy at all, nothing like last time when I couldn't move my head an inch without wanting to puke. No pain at all either. Car ride home was pleasant cause I wasn't hugging a trash can this time.

Came home, went to sleep and slept for 4 hours. Got up, ate, went back to sleep.

About 4am, the pain hit and woke me up. I got outta bed to grab pain pills and discovered that the big dizzy's had hit too.

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

So, took drugs and promptly went back to sleep.

Right now I can't hear anything out of that ear that is in a normal tone. Can't hear snapping or anything except really Loud noises - they are getting through - rumbling and echoing and rattling the old head.

Last surgery I heard conversation immediately, distorted but I could hear. Can't hear chit this time yet. BUT...last time I had basically no hearing in that ear pre-op so it was a super dramatic improvement.

This ear (right one) was my "good" ear since it wasn't near as bad as the left so the doc said any change would not be apparent until swelling goes down. I understood that, but wasn't ready to not be able to hear anything!.

Oh well......BUMP. The first of many as you all know.

ok...Ima go back to sleep.

More Later..

-Carol-

ps. Hope everyone else is doing ok.
Hi all. I just had my first surgery on my right ear may 15th. No complications to report. Wish i had known about this forum months leading to surgery, but sure am glad to have found it! I had pain during 4 hour post op recovery, but as soon as i got my hydrocodone i was fine. Dizziness was the biggest setback. I had no nassea and a big appetite. I found myself eating more just out of boredom! The posts here make me feel so good about my decision(really the only one to make!!) I was getting a little worried, but realize it takes time for the healing process.

I've been dealing with hearing loss for about 6 years now. Finally decided to do something about it and received best news possible. Cheers to the Stapedectomy!! First post and it won't be my last. Healing prayers to all, Tony:angel:
Hi all,
Day 4 post-op. Still can't hear a thing. :(

Major dizzies everyonce in a while. Pain off and on. Ear still draining a little too.

Trying to keep a positive attitude but it's really hard to right now.

I know, I know - patience. But its driving me nuts.

Need some cheerleaders to pick me up!


More Later,

-Carol-
Going through the open-close phase. Got a good heart beat going too. Still get dizzy here and there. Can't imagine being on my feet for 9 hours at a time. Work's gonna suck!:dizzy: :confused: 6th day post-op
Carol - Don't despair (as you know)!! Not hearing for a while is something the doctors say can happen. We've all be lucky on this forum to hear fairly early, though after a couple days I remember not hearing very well at all. I'm sure you hearing will start to improve!

Deftone - I can't imagine having to stand for 9 hours without the surgery, let alone with it!! I'm pretty much dizzy-free, though there are still days that I feel it... and I'm now 9 weeks post op. It affects me more when I'm tired, so I try not to be tired :dizzy:... not always easy to do.

Bran - hopefully the reverb feeling has subsided for you! I had a hard time with that phase. That and the loud heartbeat... I even told my husband to put his ear next to mine - I was sure he had to be able hear it since it was SOOO loud. He didn't. Oh well.

Good luck everyone!
My surgery was on the 11th and I'm just just just entering times where I do not think of my messed up hearing. (rah rah ~ pom poms!) We went to the ocean today and I thought privately (and nervously) how horrific and loud and stormy the sea sounded. Not once did I connect it to my overly weird ear. I guess that's progress ;).

There was some mix up with my prescriptions when I left the hospital in that I was never given an Rx for eardrops. When (if you've had them prescribed) were they to begin? 48 hrs. post-surgical or later? Thanks for any input.

(and I must add how super freaky it is to hear things and think they're right behind you only they're quite far away)

Also thanks to the previous individuals who replied to my questions!
Hi all,

Day 4 (late at night) post-op.

No pain, dizzy spells everyonce in a while. Still can't hear anything except.....for the old heartbeat/pulse sound. It's LOUD.

Other than waiting to be able to hear...things are going well. My naps are even getting shorter.

Kat - I didn't get ear drops prescribed with either surgery. Just pain med, dizzy pill and antiobiotic.

More later,

-Carol-
Kat - I wasn't prescribed ear drops after surgery until two weeks later and only to loosen up the packing/dried blood so the doctor could clean it out. If it wasn't so hard against the drum, I wouldn't have had drops either. I don't think it's the norm.
7th day post-op. Got out of the house yesterday to feed a freinds dog and pick someone up from the airport. Wow, did i get dizzy! Probably wan't a good idea, but i managed. I go see the doctor tomorrow. Everything seems to be going as planned. This site really puts the worrying to rest.

Thanks all, Tony:cool:
Hi All,

5 Days post-op.

There is no pain to speak of. I only have the dizzies if I look up quickly or flop over in bed fast. My ear is still draining a little bit.

Had my first shower yesterday instead of a bath - boy was that interesting. I forgot how much fun it is to try to wash your hair with one hand (cause the other is holding the cup over the ear).

As far as the hearing....

Yesterday my ear was making "gurgling or bubbling" sounds for a while. Then I had the "heart beat/pulse" sound for a bit. Late afternoon some conversation started getting through. It was very light, but was getting through. I was a weee bit excited.

I, of course, then did the cover one ear and listen...cover the other ear, etc. With the TV on 19, I could hear bits and pieces of words in the operated ear. So....I guess the swelling is doing down a little.

I hope everyone is doing well.

More Later,

-Carol-
Hi everyone! it's one week after my surgery and just had my return doctor's visit. Dr. Fucci removed packing and cleaned ear. Now i can hear unbelievably well!:D Everything is multiplied in stereo!:eek: Had to get home as quick as possible to get to a quiet place. Wow the small things that i could here again. Wind, birds, music background. I'm in total shock. really just wearing me out. :yawn: had to share this with y'all. Anybody in Arizona that needs this surgery should look up Dr. Fucci. Gilbert Az

I'll keep you all updated. ;) Hope everyone's doing fine.:angel:

Tony:wave:
That's great news Tony!
Okay, so Day 15 has come and gone. The reverb is finally subsided. I went to Mount Rushmore over the weekend (it was a long weekend in Canada to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday, really). I did not have any trouble with the elevation changes. My husband made a comment that my ear must be driving me mad because his were and I guess because it was the same sensation I had had for two weeks, I didn't even notice.

My feeling in my tongue is back and I had my first appt with the Dr. He said that some doctors cut the nerve that leads to the metallic taste or numbness and when they do that it takes up to six months to recover! I thanked him for not cutting it completely because I really dont want my chips to taste creamy and that is what the effect of the numbess was for me.

Anyway, most of the packing is disolved and there is still a bit of old blood in there. I started back at work yesterday, and despite having a great bunch of students who all wanted to know about my surgery (it was all biology classes) I was exhausted by the end. But it might have been the driving 45 min each way more than the students. I had three business classes this morning and was thakning God that I only had a half day of subbing today, because they were horrible and I had to send a student to the office for the first time (I sub at this school often). I slept from 2 until 4 after that.

I am happy that life is now back to normal. I pick up my neices and nephew and drive everywhere. I am teaching tomorrow afternoon (these kids are CRAZY though) and all day Monday, so I am really back into the swing. I start my job (again) at Payless on Monday so we will see how exhausted I am then.

The weird thing is, all my doctor prescribed to me after the surgery was pain meds. There were no antibiotics or drops. Huh?

Carol - you know better than the rest of us that things are going to get better. It was because of you that all of my "problems" after the surgery were seen as just par for the course. I had a really bad day on day three, so I understand, but really that was it. You will get through this and just remember how well you hear out of your other ear now. In a few months that will be your newly operated ear and your hearing will be almost perfect. Rest lots and take care of yourself.
Hi all,

Bran & Tony - I'm so glad to hear things are going well for both of you.:)

Its day 7 now.

Yesterday was good. No dizzy, no pain and sounds were coming through
(mostly just low tones though) no gurgling or heart beat/pulse sounds.

I felt great. I went to my softball game to watch my team and ended up playing ball because some people didn't show up. I did ok. I hit well and ran without any problem. While playing the field I warned my team that if the ball was Hi up in the air..I couldn't/wouldn't even look up for it. I would let it fall, then retrieve it. Looking up fast is still my problem. Major dizzies if I do that. Anyway, it felt good to play.

Today I went to my daughters award ceremony at school.

BAD BAD BAD IDEA.

It was in the gym, the band was playing, thousands of people talking - I lasted like 5 minutes before I had a panic attack. I really didn't expect that to happen but was soooo loud in there everything just echoed. My head felt like it was gonna explode. I sat in the car almost an hour trying to calm down and waiting for the pounding to stop before I could drive.

I finally got home and took some pain killers to relieve the headache. It didn't help much. Its now 10 hours later and it's still pounding but not near as bad.

My oldest daughter graduates tomorrow night. Big places with lots of people/noise/conversation - I dunno:dizzy: We'll see how it goes.

My ear hasn't done the "open/close" thing yet. Its just been closed.

Thanks for the encouragement guys/gals. I was really bummed for about 4 days. I went back and read everything from Andy's first post till now to help remind me of all the bumps I would go through. (It's kind of odd that I forgot about a few of them since I was the one that posted certain bumps for the first time). That helped a lot because it made me realize I was almost the only person that could hear immediately after surgery. Most people had to wait a week or so before they started hearing. I WAS JUST SPOILED.

The recovery this time is more in line with what others experience.


More later,

-Carol-
So it is now three weeks since my surgery. I have been back substitute teaching for a week and the last few days the dizziness is back when I belch or yawn, and there has also been some pain. I can't take the T3s though because it takes me forty five minutes of highway driving to get to and from the school I have been at.

Anyway, I am a little discouraged because of that, and also because I am still not hearing as well as I would have expected. If someone is speaking on my right side it is loud, but sounds still get muddled up if there are background noises and I am still asking people to repeat themselves. I hope this improves soon. Feeling really down about it.
Hi all,

Today is day 14.

Back on day 7, my ear opened up right after I posted. Since then, it's been crazy.

It opened most of the time now. I can hear good, but it's still a little distorted. I am now noticing some taste issues but it's not bad and the left side hadn't ever stopped with the metallic taste, so now the right side of my mouth matches. :dizzy:

I have had no dizziness since day 4. I have been back at work for 3 days and have had no problems at all.

Here's the things I've heard that I never knew about.

Birds - Did you know different birds make different sounds? I have heard up to 4 different kinds of birds at once making different sounds. It was odd at first, now it's really cool.

Footsteps - did you know you can hear your own footsteps? I was walking through the kitchen on day 7 and I thought there was someone behind me. It really scared me because I knew I was home alone with the doors locked. Turned out, it was MY FOOTSTEPS. Of course, then I kept walking back and forth, giggling that I could hear em. Was too funny.

Refrigerator - It hums!! I opened it up and stood there trying to figure out where the hum was coming from, then I realized it was the motor. That was really wierd.

I have heard lots and lots of new things but these were the memoriable moments this last week.

Oh - and I can hear my BF whisper in my ear :) :) :) :) :)

BTW I did go to my childs graduation on Day 8 (the day after the panic attack). I talked the security people into letting me in the VIP room (glassed in room so I could see but not hear all the echoing).

I went to the doc yesterday (day 13) and he took the packing out, did the tuning fork thingy and said.."YUP, it worked." He cleared me to sneeze, blow my nose and get water in the ears. YAAAAY:blob_fire Last time it was week 7 before I got to do those things. I go back on August 15th for my first hearing test on the right ear and my 2nd test on the left ear.

Bran, the same thing happened to me when I had the first ear done. At about 3 weeks, I started having some pain and the hearing kinda slipped backwards. It was that way for about a week, then the pain went away and the hearing stabilized. REMEMBER...........3-6 MONTHS for everything to stabilize.

Hang in there! .....BUMP.........BUMP.........


TONY - WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I'm very very happy for you. Now your brain will just have to learn what sounds to keep and which ones to throw away. (Your own footsteps, the hum of the fridge, etc....hehe). It will be a little overwhelming at first but it does get better. Watch those really loud echoy places for another week or two. All those little sounds will sneak up on you, build in your head and well.....I've had a couple of panic attack from it. It's like every sound in the world in closing in on you. The good thing is - you hear EVERYTHING.

More later,

-Carol-
Hi all,

Today is day 20 post-op.

My hearing is not distorted anymore. (The blown speaker effect is gone).

I can hear the TV on volume 4 (and sometimes it's too loud).
I can hear the car stereo on volume 1 if I'm sitting still. With the road noise, it has to be on 3 (better than 15).

So, YAAAAAY! I can hear all sorts of stuff now pretty clearly.

Metallic taste is still there but I'm used to it and it's not annoying.

Still no pain, no dizzies since day 4.


*****************

Where is everyone else? Why are you not posting? We need updates, I'm curious and I know everyone else is as to how you guys/gals are doing.

More later:wave:

-Carol-
I have been reading this forum for the past several weeks.After seeing the encouragement people have been posting , I have decided to go in for a surgery next month. I would keep this forum updated about the progress.
I had my right ear "fixed" about 15 years ago. At that time the prosthesis used was of a ferrous material which means I cannot have an MRI. As is normally the case, the worst ear was the first in line for surgery. I was evaluated two years later for the same surgery on the left ear. My ENT said I had too much neurosensory loss in what HAD been my "good ear" to warrant the surgery. I have been funtional w/o hearing aids since, but functioning below normal and with volume up to an uncomfortable level for my family. As I approached 65 I decided it was time to be reevaluated. I had the left ear operated on May 30. I had my first post-op visit today. The surgery was "successful" and the healing is progressing nicely. That said, I cannot and do not expect the same level of hearing as in the right ear. Also, I had to have the ear canal "siphoned" gently to remove some "ichy" stuff that had accumulated. Mildly worried about infection, the doctor ordered ear drops to be used twice daily and an oral antibiotic. There are risks in having the surgery. Weigh them carefully. I not only had it done, I had it done twice....years apart. The methods used today are different. The new prosthesis is of non-ferrous metal. I had three small stitches to close a small incision above my ear this time. No incision last time. Taste is messed up but I can still identify the foods that I am eating. Imagine how your tongue feels after eating very cold ice cream. That is kind of what it is like. In addition, my mouth is dry. I had a bit of light headedness yesterday but not enough to make me nauseated. I have only vomited twice, the first day and the second day. The most difficult part of recovery is just taking it easy. I want to work in my garden, pick up my grandkids, etc. I don't mind that the vacuum cleaner is too heavy for me to pick up!
Okay, so I am involved in a great event this weekend, called the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, in which thousands of people walk for two days to raise money for Cancer Care Manitoba. Anyway, since I will be there on Saturday, which would be my one month aniversary, I will post tonight.

All of the distortion is now gone completely, even when the brats are being brats at the school I am subbing at. Mostly, they are really good. I still find that there is the odd pain, but not as intense. I am still really discouraged that I am not hearing better, and it is just one thing in a list of things that I am finding discouraging in life in general right now, so last night I was bawling about my ear. I guess my expectations were just too high.

I still have bits of dizziness still at odd times when I belch or yawn, but it is no longer constant. I can't remember if I posted that the numbness in my tongue is gone, but it is. And the opening/closing of my ear is still happening, with it being closed most of the time. I keep tilting my head to that side because it almost is the same feeling as when you get lots of water in your ear, and tilting your head relieves it. My husband thinks I am crazy.

I guess the big thing I am feeling right now is that I am not "better" yet. And the logical part of me says to give it time, that there is still a lot of time for healing and hearing, but the impatient part of me wants to hear everything RIGHT NOW!

Anyway, I am going to go finish my decorations for the car I will be using to pick up injured walkers this weekend. I am glad that most of you are having such a good go with your surgeries.
Hi Cab1 - In a previous post you mentioned you work in a computer room & that it was quite noisy.

Have they done tests of the decibel level in that computer room?
Hi all,

Everything is still going great! I'm getting used to the new sounds and my brain has learned some of what sounds to "throw away". It's getting better daily.

No Careh, we haven't had the noise level measured. There are two high speed production printers in there that are the loudest and then probably 100 or more other pieces of equipment, all of which have fans in them running. We don't spend much time in there because we have offices and can remote into every piece of equipment. We only go in when we need but the noise all those fans make is quite loud. Add to that the "blown speaker" effect for the first 3 or 4 weeks after surgery and it's just annoying.

More later,

-Carol-
Hello again...

It has now been 6 months since my surgery- right ear only... left is fine. Here is a quick overview...

The metallic/sweet taste is now gone entirely! There is hope for those of you still dealing with taste deprivation... Taste will return to normal and you will once again enjoy those tastes that are special to you.

My hearing is good now in my right ear- normal according to my hearing test 2months following surgery. However, my ear still opens up and closes a good bit. That part is not yet stable compared to my other ear. I find myself yawning or swallowing hard to get the ear to open up.

I still have ringing in that ear and probably will always have it. However, I do believe it is better than pre-surgery.

Finally, I noticed that the operated ear is not producing much ear wax and wondered if those of you who are now 4-6 months post-op have had that same experience. Is that normal?

Blessings on the journey ahead. The surgery was definitely worth it.

Dwalt
Greetings to all:

I'm new to this site, and this is my first post. I sure am glad I found this forum and have read almost all 48 pages. I can relate to a lot of everyone's circumstances, and hope I can pass mine along as well. So here goes:

I had my stapes surgery done on my right ear 3 weeks ago. I was quite nervous before the surgery, but all went well, they tested my hearing before putting in the packing (I could hear), and then they turned my head up straight to leave the operating room. That's when the whole world started spinning! They put me in post-op for 4 hours, and then I was suppose to be able to leave. Didn't happen. I was still so dizzy, and nauseated I couldn't get up. I had to spend the night. Went home the next day, but had a really rough time the next 7-10 days. Very imbalanced, nauseous, dizzy, and a lot of head pressure. I tried to work on day 8 but had an emotional meltdown and had to come home. After packing was removed (whew!) I've been able to enjoy the benefits of my new hearing, but have still struggled since then till now (3-wks out) with my balance and a lot of head pressure. I have tinnitus in my operated ear which I didn't have before, but my doctor said that may go away over time. He said everything went well with my operation, and that my eardrum has sealed up nicely. I have no restrictions on water, activities etc. However, I have just felt really bad, tired out with my head pressure, instability and swimmy-headed woozy feeling. I've had 3 follow-up visits with my doctor, and he keeps telling me to give it more time, which he is probably right. It has just been kinda scary, frustrating, and worrisome. I've really been trying to stay positive, pray about it, and be patient. And thanks to this site, I realize that it may take 2 to 3 months or more before all this goes away.

So, on the positive, my new hearing is good, (oh yes, very loud) but good, and I am enjoying that. Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories, and I will keep you posted on mine as I continue my recovery.

God Bless,
Tim
Hi all and welcome Tim!

(and I hope that MAC does come here and read this).

I'm now 4 weeks post-op.

I hear extremely well and some things are still actually too loud. Go figure!

It's mostly the loud rumbly sounds like wind noise, big trucks, airplaines, etc. that sound like that are "inside" my head. Everything else is great.

Oh, the a/c in my house, when it comes on, wakes me up/keeps me awake during the night and has been for the last two weeks. It's one of those loud rumbly noises

I still hear the tv on volume 3 or 4 and sometimes it's too loud. I still giggle about that now. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I could hear something that low.

The metallic taste is almost gone from both sides of the tongue. I have to think about it to actually taste it.

My left ear was my worst ear before the surgeries. I can sure tell the difference between the newly operated on left and right ears. The right hears much more than the left does. Don't take that wrong, I can hear lots out of the left - but the right is super duper bionic now. HEHE.



Tim...I have 3 words for you:

[COLOR="Red"][SIZE="5"]BUMP....BUMP....BUMP[/SIZE][/COLOR]

I had the dizzies all the way to 5 weeks with the left ear surgery and no dizzies at all past day 4 with the right ear. So...no two people OR surgeries on the same person are the same as far as the recovery time. Just be patient!

I did find that when I was physically tired, the dizzies were worse. Also if there was dizzies, there was usually a little pain. I took ibuprofen with the right ear surgery every 8 hours to help reduce the swelling. I didn't do that with the left ear...Maybe that was the difference. No swelling, no dizzies, no pain. hmmmm. Something to think about.

More Later,

-Carol-
Hi to all again:

Carol, thanks for the words of encouragement, and most importantly the "P" word. Patience, patience patience..........., you are so right.
I am a very patient person with situations and other people, but I guess I'm not with myself. I have always been very healthy and active, (I'm a triathlete, avid outdoorsman, snow skier, and participate in every other activity you can think of.) So this imbalance and disequilibrium and sickness feeling I've had for 3 weeks now has really been hard to bear. But, I've finally begun to get it all in perspective now. And thanks to this site, I've learned that maybe my post-op recovery is really not that unusual at all. If somebody had told me before the operation that it might take 1,2,3 months or so to get totally back to normal, I would have never worried so much.

So, here's my latest update-
-Today was a much better day,(23 days post-op) with only mild imbalance and tightness in the forehead. Hoping it stays that way. I think I had done to much before on some days, and paid the price the next day.

-Tinnutus is still there, but I've gotten more used to it, and I guess it's like living next to the railroad tracks, after a while you don't hear the train.

-Still feel like I need to yawn, wiggle jaw etc. all the time to relieve pressure.
I've "popped" my ears about once a day or so, which feels good, but gives me a dizzy rush when I do.

-Still learning to adjust to the hearing and loudness. I keep thinking my passenger door is open when I'm driving (on my right operated ear side) because I hear this rush of air sound. But yes, I DO NOT have to have the radio so loud anymore when I'm driving.

-Loud noise situations are bothersome, (ie. church fellowship hall with lots of people talking, or church singing in the choir) I guess time will adjust the volume.

-As I feel better I'm enjoying my new hearing more and more, and feeling better about having done the surgery.

I hope everyone is doing well, and I will keep you posted.
Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's!

Tim
I had a bit of a breakthrough this weekend everyone! I am feeling much better about the whole thing.

My best friend was married on Saturday and I was the matron of honour. While we were at the hair dressers getting our hair done, I kept responding to things that my friend (seated to the right of me, the operated side) was saying to her hair dresser. She was speaking quite quietly and my hair dresser kept saying, "What are you talking about?" until my friend would respond. None of them could believe I was hearing what she was saying. They were all joking about my superhearing and bionic ear. It was great!

Again Carol, thanks for the encouragement and being our cheerleader!

Brandi
Hi all,

Bran..Tim..
I'm glad things are now going better for both of you. I know how scarey the first few weeks are (and you all saw how lil old confident me was shaken by the second surgery). Patience is not an easy thing to learn, much less display. There is always a chance things that can go wrong no matter how routine a procedure is but you chose to try to better the quality of life for yourself and your families. You were both brave to decide to have the surgery, we all were.

Along with your badge of courage, you now get a Cheerleading badge:blob_fire

Please continue to help others through the scarey times. Never stretch the truth, just tell of your own personal experiences and always remind people about the bumps in the road and patience.

(OK. dabbing moisture from the eyes now).


Isn't it COOL when you first realize you can hear things you know you normally wouldn't?

Do you now go to bed at night NOT scared that you might miss hearing something that you should hear?

Now do this for yourself. Take an hour each day and just listen. To everything. Birds, kids, clocks, insects, etc. I love to do that now. It's like a whole new world out there that I'm seeing for the first time.

Then, share what you now hear with people. Most importantly if you know of anyone that has hearing issues, tell them your story. There are so many people out there that do not know that hearing can be corrected.

And then...go throw some hotdogs on the grill..

....and LISTEN to them sizzle.


More later,

-Carol-
I am almost 3 weeks out from my second stapedectomy. Before the surgery, I had to set my phone down & put it on speaker to take notes when talking on the phone. A friend even bought me a handsfree phone so I wouldn't have to use speakerphone when we talked. She said it sounded like I was in a barrel. The stereo headphones were, of course, useless on my left ear. Last week I tried using the phone at my left ear. The speech sounded as if I were listening to a chipmunk. I could hear with effort by the sound was sans bass & very tinny. Yesterday, I carried on a complete conversation using my left ear. This week my ear canal has been itching and I feel like I need to stuff something in there and scratch. I don't. There are certain situations when I can hear my own breathing really loud. I still have a lot of popping and cracking when I chew or swallow. But that never completely went away with my first surgery. Taste is still "off". No dizziness at all but I still have to be careful with my balance.
Hi all:

Thanks again Carol for continued words of encouragement and keeping it all in perspective.
Shirley, (I think it was you) I can relate to the itching in the ear and wanting to scratch it. I have had the same thing the last week or so. Tomorrow will be 5 weeks since my surgery, and the dizzy/vertigo/balance stuff is "finally" starting to subside. I have had a hard time especially when laying down in bed, and rolling over to my bad (operated) side. Vertigo kicks in real hard when I do that. I self diagnosed myself with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo as a result of the surgery, and have started doing some at home therapy exercises to treat it. It's working!! I'm suppose to keep it up for 2-3 weeks. It's called the Brandt-Daroff exercises.

Otherwise, I continue to really enjoy my new hearing now that I'm not feeling so sea-sick, and it does seem "bionic" at times. I've heard people across a parking lot or somewhere, and think, WOW, did I just hear that, from someone just speaking way over there! And talking on the phone, and working in the office, and hearing the alarm clock, and yes, sitting on the front porch and just listening to the birds, and everything.

So, yes, If there are others out there that are thinking of having the surgery, it can be well worth it. Just keep it all in perspective, and remeber to be patient during recovery.

Peace,
Tim
Thanks for your advice (and that of other board members) to my "recovery rate" post.......reading others' stories does help me see that, in this as with so many things in life, Patience is a virtue.

2 weeks now and no metallic tongue, dizziness or pain.........still marginal hearing improvement and the occassional feeling of my ear canal being plugged up, but other than that all is good.

What is the forum consencus on timeframe for:

a - mild exercise (golf)
b - real exercise (mountain biking, hiking 180 heart rate stuff)
c - swimming or general ear submersion

Thanks in advance.
Hi Mac,

A - Go for it, if you feel up to it.
B - 2 months
C - 3 weeks

More shortly,

-Carol-
Get your doctor's advice on the swimming piece. Carol probably was a fast healer to get 3 weeks, but I had an issue with my ear drum and wasn't allowed to get water in the ear for almost two months. Better safe than sorry..
a - mild exercise (golf)
[B]My doctor said I could walk right away for exercise. Three weeks for "working out"[/B]
b - real exercise (mountain biking, hiking 180 heart rate stuff)
[B]For me never! But for you, when you feel like it & have adequate balance, etc.[/B]
c - swimming or general ear submersion
[B]Again, submersion after 1 month BUT NOT WITH PRESSURE (LIKE DIVING) BTW, you can have ear molds made to exclude water completely. They even make them pretty or "cool"[/B]
Hey Monica,

I just realized you are in Dallas TX too.

Dr. Robert (Bob) Owens did both of mine. Dr. Roland is the other leading surgeon for stapedectomy's in Dallas.

Who did your surgery?
Hi Carol -

I just moved to the area from Northern VA / DC area about two month's ago - one month after surgery (I drove!). I flew back for my post-op visits.

I do need to find a good ENT locally though... would you recommend either of them? I'm sure I'll be going for another Stapedectomy down the road - though hoping it's far down the road!

My unoperated ear is fairly normal still, but has started showing some Oto in the last year. It took about 5 years for my "bad" ear to reach a point of not hearing much. I don't plan on going that long next time around.... I enjoy hearing too much. :)

-Monica
Monica,

Absolutely. I recommend both. The reason I went with Owens is because Roland is at UT Southwestern and I really didn't want someone "teaching" while operating on me. I wanted the focus to be on me and my inner ear.

Owens bedside manner leaves a little to be desired. He's very short and to the point. He's not rude, just busy. If you have questions, write them down and be ready to put the paper in front of him. He will answer.

He did both of my ears and I'm completely happy. He does nothing but ear surgeries on Tuesday and Thursdays all day...so he knows what he's doing.

To find him, look up Owens Ear Center on Gaston (Baylor Hospital) Dallas. Fred Owens is the dad who is retiring and Robert (Bob) is the son.

More later,
-Carol-
Thanks Carol !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi all,

I'm now 6 weeks post-op on the right ear.

*Metallic taste is completely gone.
*Ear still opens/closes a couple times a day but only stays closed for about 10 minutes.
*Hearing is getting clearer.
*Loud rumbly noises don't rattle my head so much anymore.
*Still no dizzies or pain since day 5.

So, everything is going well here. I get the first hearing test on right ear in 6 more weeks and the 2nd on the left ear. I can't wait to see the results.

I don't turn on the captioning on the tv at all anymore. I did for the first few weeks after this surgery just out of habit.

I hope everyone is doing well.

More later,

-Carol-
Hello! I haven't actually given an update in a while and felt there was one thing important to share particular to my healing..

It's been 3 1/2 months since surgery. Everyone else seems to have gotten over the dizzyness within weeks, but I was off balance for about 3 months.

This "off balance" feeling wasn't anything like it was for the first two weeks where I had to hold on to the walls to move, but there were times throughout the day when I'd be out and had to sit down to regain my balance.

Triggers were moving my head in a store scanning items or doing a side bend when stretching - I don't know if it was related to the surgery, but I didn't have it before so I believe in the coincidence. It has improved greatly, though I may just be managing it.

Anyway, it's not life altering and I'd opt to do the surgery again without a second thought. Definitely don't want to deter anyone, but wanted to share in case someone else was experiencing the same thing!

On other fronts, I never had issues with taste and my hearing is pretty darn good now. I love being able to tell the direction of a sound!!

I also really enjoy reading everyone's stories and knowing how much I can relate! We've all been there and we chose to have something better!

Keep sharing everyone.

-Monica
Hi all,

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July holiday!

I enjoyed hearing all the different crackles, sizzles, pops, whistles, etc that the different types of fireworks make. I never knew they crackled and sizzled. All i've ever heard was the loud pops.

I also went to a large family get-together on Saturday (30 ppl). It was cool being able to listen to multiple conversations at once and actually keep track of what was being said. It was a little overwhelming at times but for the most part - really cool. The neatest thing was when a kid said "moooooooom"...I could tell if it was one of my kids or not just by the sound of their voice.

My ears/hearing are doing great!

I would love to have an update from all of you. I've been wondering how you all are doing. (Thanks Monica for your update).

Have a Great Day All!

More Later,

-Carol-
Howdy Folks,

I haven't added an update in a while, but I just went for hearing tests on both my ears yesterday and thought I'd share. 4 months ago, I had a stapedectomy on my right ear. The hearing has improved, but it is still not optimal. I went from hearing at 55 db to now hearing at 30db. 2 months ago I had a stapedectomy on the left ear. My hearing is near optimal in the left ear now. I was hearing at 43 db pre-surgery and am now hearing at 18 db!

I have slight tinnitus in my right ear, which has been pretty consistent since I first had surgery, but it has definitely gotten more manageable and easy to ignore. I hear all sorts of sounds I could never hear before. I don't have trouble with conversations anymore and RARELY ever have to ask people to repeat themselves. Loud noises are REALLY LOUD! I never realized just how loud a passing train blowing its horn really is, and emergency vehicles make me have to plug my ears .

My doctor says there is a chance that my right ear will continue to improve for up to 1 year. He's going to test me again in Nov and said that there is a possibility that he could go in again to try and see why I'm not hearing to my full capacity, but I have a feeling that I'll just be suffice with the fact that I'm hearing a combined 50 db more than I was before any of the surgeries.

I really encourage anyone who's reading this forum and is thinking about getting the procedure done to go ahead and do it. I really can't explain how immensely being able to hear has been impacting my life for the positive. You don't feel so alone and isolated. You don't have to smile and nod during conversations when, even after you explain to people that you're hard of hearing and that they need to speak up, they don't and you can't understand what they're saying. My relationship with my wife has improved. I no longer subject everyone to having to listen to the radio and tv at ridiculous volume levels.

If anyone wants to know more about my experience, you can look through this thread, and please, feel free to contact me directly.

-Matt
Hello,

Thanks for the posting and encouragement.It is this forum which gave me the courage to go in for this operation. Went to the hospital at 6:00 AM today. And the prep took an hr and was taken to the operation theater around 8:00. I was under an general and didn't feel anything. Woke up around 10:45. I didn't have any balance problems, just my taste seems numb.Other than that didn't have any other symptoms.

Now comes the hard part to wait till the doctor takes the packing out and for my audiology test.

Thanks
Senthil
Hi. My husband just had a stapedectomy 3 days ago on July 19. He's not much for computers and I happened upon this site and thought I could find some encouragement for him. He's 53 and has had hearing loss in his right ear for 7 or 8 years. We thought it was caused from a loud blast from a machine that went off in his ear but after the surgery the dr seems to think it was something he was born with. He is very discouraged today. Right after he came out of recovery his ear 'popped' and he said "I can hear" ......even with all the packing. He said he could hear himself talk and even hear the sliding of the bow of his glasses when he put his glasses on. He was so excited and so was I. However in the last day or so he's back to not hearing anything and the 'crickets' as he calls them or the tinnitus is back to the same where it had lessened some at first. I've read in the post op 'what to expect' after surgery to him and it says to not be concerned about your hearing for 6-8 weeks. And I know from what the dr said and from what many of you have shared on this site that it's really a waiting game. I don't think he would be so discouraged and down if he hadn't heard sounds right at first and now he doesn't. I know there is swelling and the packing too. But can any of you share anything to help ? I will call the dr tomorrow and see if they need to see him. I feel helpless ......we knew the risks going in and I feel, I hope this is all 'normal'.....
It is amazing how many there are of you that have had this surgery. I pray for all of you.
Hi all,

WOW, several new brave people this week!

Viki, Senthill and Suzie's Hubby - don't do too much too soon. Take it as easy as you can for a couple weeks and anytime you get discouraged, reread this board. Then say to yourself "Patience, Patience, Patience and Bump, Bump, Bump" ;)

The reason you can't hear anything at all, even the tiniest sound like you could before surgery is....before there was no swelling and what little "wiggle" function your stapes bone had left would allow you to at least hear SOMETHING, not much, but something.

The doc has now cut away that bone and replaced it with a prosthesis. That prosthesis has to move to produce sound. The inner ear is very swollen from the trauma in the ear from the surgery....The prosthesis can't move because everything is swollen so there is no room for it to "wiggle" to help produce sound.

The point here is that....

***It's the swelling that is keeping you from hearing right now - not a failed surgery****
...just so you know!

Take an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen, etc) every 4-6 hours. It will help reduce the swelling quicker and get you to the "hearing" stage of recovery faster. Until then, be patient and don't panic.

Suzie - remind your hubby that when you bust your knee falling down, it continues to swell for a day or so after the initial trauma. The same goes with the ear. If he could hear right after surgery and couldn't a few hours later...NORMAL..because the swelling continues from the trauma for a day or so before it starts to very slowly subside. Thats why he could hear for a lil bit then couldn't anymore. I hope you can help him understand that and calm his anxiety.

I'm glad this board helped you out in your decision and will also help you during your recoveries. Please keep us posted on your progress. Don't forget to post your "the first time i've heard this or that" stories, those are the BEST. I get all teary eyed when I read those because I can soooo relate to them.

My update:

I'm now 6 month post-op on the left ear and 9 weeks post-op on the right ear.

My left ear is great and has no lingering issues. My right ear can hear everything but still does the opens and closes every once in a while. I still have the metallic taste about once a week but it's not too strong. Other than thoses two little things, it's all good.

My hearing test was rescheduled to August 22nd. I'm excited and am having to exercise "patience" waiting for that day to arrive.

Good Luck to you all.

More Later,

-Carol-
I had a stapedectomy on my left ear nearly 3 months ago.

Overall things went well - my air/bone conduction gap (the difference in hearing between listening with headphones and hearing with bone conduction) has been pretty much closed in the operated ear. I have a mixed loss – the otosclerosis (hardening/fusing of the bones) seems to have been cured but the sensaurial loss is, as expected, still there.

My hearing is much better in the operated ear. My loss has gone down from around 50db to about 20-30db. I can now get by without a hearing aid in the operated ear – which was my main hope. I can also get by without a hearing aid in either ear which is really useful in those situations where I may not be wearing a hearing aid e.g. by the pool or in bed.

I have moderate tinnitus and that has not been changed by the operation.

One thing that strikes me reading this forum is the range of experiences that people have of this operation. I wonder how much of this is down to the different procedures used by different doctors around the world. (I am in England.) I also wonder how much the experience of the doctor makes – the surgeon that did my op had done around 250 stapedectomy ops but not all surgeons are going that experienced. Some will have done many more than that.

For me the operation was done under general anaesthetic using a laser to remove the affected bones.

The prosthesis that replaced the bones in the ear was made out of titanium. I had heard that some surgeons still use stainless steel! Putting anything that is sensitive to magnets in your head seems like a very bad idea to me e.g. you could then not have an MRI scan.

I stayed in the hospital one night after the operation and then went home the following morning. Generally I felt OK but tired for a few days after the operation. I did not feel any pain so I took no painkillers. I was not given any antibiotic drops.

In the hospital I went to they also have surgeons doing the operation under a local anaesthetic. The idea of using a local anesthetic is so they can test the hearing of the operated ear while the operation is in progress so that they can check it is working before closing up!

I had no dizziness after the op and according to my surgeon I should not have expected any. (This seems to contrast with some peoples experience on these boards.) When I asked about avoiding any pressure changes, e.g. flying, sneezing, he said that the operated was just as strong as a normal ear so I didn’t need to worry about these.

About 5 days after the op I started to get really dizzy and started to feel motion sick. I went and saw the surgeon and he took the packing out of my ear. This was a few days earlier than would normally be the case. He suggested that the pressure of the packing as it swelled with blood and pressed up against the eardrum was the cause of the dizziness. The dizziness subsided within a few hours of the packing being removed but it took about 2 weeks for my balance to return to anything near normal.

Even now, nearly 3 months later my balance hasn’t entirely returned to normal. Generally it is OK but sometimes I get a distinct feeling that the world is moving even when I can see that it is not. Also if my ear pops it can feel like the world suddenly tilts and then goes back to normal. My general feeling though is that my balance is continuing to get better but it is a slow process. My tightrope walking dreams will probably have to be put on hold :-)

Once the packing was removed everything sounded incredibly loud (traffic/trains were painfully loud) and also very flat. Over the next couple of weeks I adjusted to my new hearing. The world started to sound less overpoweringly loud and much more normal, i.e. less flat. Now I can get by without a hearing aid but because of my high frequency loss I sometime use my hearing aid when watching TV. (I had my hearing aid reprogrammed once I had had my hearing test after the op.)

Good luck to everyone else who has had or is considering this operation,

Gary
Thank you for the replies to my post! My husband is 8 days post op now. And I shared your posts with him and they have helped. Thank you Gary and Carol! Maybe I can get him to type himself one day.

We did go back to the dr on Monday and he did a quick hearing test. Although Bob was not experiencing improvement at the moment, by the tests there was some improvement already. And the dr reassured my husband that he had done nothing to 'screw' things up as he was worried about like getting water in his ear in the shower.
He said 'nothing like dangling a carrot in front of you' referring to him being able to hear right after surgery. But all was progressing 'normal'.....but as was mentioned on this board each one of you is having his own experience within all the 'normal' range.
Since then the pain has lessened and he is no longer using pain meds. Last night he sat up in bed and said "My crickets are gone!"......He's had this awful tinnitus or 'crickets' as he calls them for years. Sometimes maddening. But last night they were gone........although replaced by a low humming and a hissing noise as if air was escaping an air hose. But instead of worrying we are hopeful that this is just step in the right direction . The other day he was in his van and playing the radio and he noticed he could 'hear' only the bass tones....he actually had to turn the bass knob down........he was excited and called me........another baby step.

He also has a 4mm titanium steel prosthesis to replace the stape bone. Amazing what they can do.

Thanks and good luck.
Suzie
Suzie (and Hubby),

That is great news about the "crickets" being gone. The air/hissing is just another phase. Soon he will get to the blood rushing/roaring sound - that one is annoying and very loud but only lasts a little while. But, the good news is after that (at least after both surgeries for ME) the good, cool stuff starts. The overly loud hearing starts. Again - overly loud. (Flushing the toilet, starting the vehicle, road noise, motorcycles, airplanes, etc will actually scare him at first). Its reassuring because you can hear everything, but your head will be rattling. Slowly, about a two weeks, after that the hearing starts getting clearer. During those weeks the ear will be doing the "open and close" bit. Thats a little scarey too because one minute you can hear and the next it closes and you can't. NORMAL...so be prepared for it and don't freak out.
By week 4 or 5, he will be a happy camper. Please make sure you share with us all the "new" things he does differently (tv on xx instead of 99, etc) and the "new" stuff he hears.

How's his dizzies? Gone or just sporatic?



Gary - I'm glad the surgery worked well for you. Do you have your before and after numbers (srt) that you can share with us?

My update - metallic taste is now completely gone!! Sinus issues so my ear is opening and closing a lot this week, but when it's closed I can still hear just not as loud as when it's open.

I messed up my shoulder and have to get an MRI next week. The MRI scheduler asked if I had any "metals" in my body. I laughed and said...umm...yup. I had my ACL rebuilt in 8-05 and have metal clips and screws in my right leg/knee. I also have the two prosthesis from both stapedectomys. I called the knee doc and he sent me info on what he put in my leg. Then I called the ear doc's office to find out exactly what size and type of prosthesis he put in both ears. I know it's titanium, but I want the exact type. In reading about MRI after stapes surgeries, it says that if you have a 1.5 Tesla or 3.0 Tesla MRI, there are no issues. It said 4.7 Tesla is not recommended. I, of course, have no idea what that means so I'm waiting for doc to call me back. I think it has to do with "strength" of the equipment. I'll keep you all posted.

More later,

-Carol-
I am pretty much back to the normal self again. The ear seems to hurt when I laugh and when I swallow.I am also scared that my laughing or swallowing might cause some damage. Yesterday I was able to hear people talking on the right side and it seemed too loud and also had those bouts of road noises when driving.Yep the toilet seems so loud.


The opening and closing seems to be a constant happening with me.I tried closing my good ear and hearing with the operated ear, sometimes I feel that I hear better and sometimes not.

Just have to wait till Tuesday to get my packing our and the doctor to do my test.
An Happy update.

Today morning I seemed to hear everything that was said in our morning meeting. I just used to nod my head without hearing clearly most of what was being said.

But it keeps switching from hearing good to not so good again.
:)
Hi all,

That's great news DS. The back and forth between good and not so good hearing will taper off and become good more and more. One day you will say "wow, I haven't had a not so good hearing day in a while".

For those interested, I did have my MRI yesterday on my shoulder. No issues, no pain, etc. due to the prosthesis in both ears. My doc had said it was fine to have one but like the rest of you I was a little worried.

My hearing is still great with no other issues. The metallic taste is finally completely gone.

Suzie - How is the hubby doing?


More later,

-Carol-
Hi everybody! It's been 3 and half months since my OP. Hearing is great. I still have problems with background noise, but improving. I'll have my other ear done in Nov. I want to have it done now, but realize i must wait. I still get dizzy from time to time, but it is mild. I wish you all the best! :angel: This experience has been a blessing. Like you all i'm sure, I went through this hearing loss for 7 years, when i could have done something about it earlier. Then again I wouldn't have been fortunate to have Dr. Fucci be the one to operate on me. I definitely idolize this man!:)
oops! 2 and 1/2 months:D
Another update. its 10 days since I had my surgery and I had a doctors visit to take out the packing. Wow everything suddenly sounds sooo loud. I can clearly hear what everybody is talking. I still have problems with the background noise.

We are all so fortunate to have this option and I also saw a person wearing a hearing aid in our temple and I was thinking maybe I should talk to him about this option.

I would be having a audiology test in 3 mths.
Morning. Suzie here......my hubby will be 2 weeks tomorrow after his surgery. Not a whole lot going on right now. Still the hissing noise going on that replaced his 'crickets' . I asked if he had to choose which one is less irritating......he said both are pretty annoying. Many of you talk about the packing being removed one week after but his dr said his would dissolve pretty much on it's own and he had drops to put in one week prior to his appt on Aug 17. I'm guessing the drops will help dissolve that? I forgot to ask. I can see the dissappointment in his eyes and face when people ask how he's doing. He's wanting so much right now. I keep sharing with him all your posts and hopefully that helps....it helps me help him and encourage him....and I didn't even have the surgery. Except for the day in his van and the bass tones on the radio were more pronounced, he really hasn't had any 'first time ah ha's'............yet..........right?
Glad to hear your MRI went well Carol.......and thanks for asking about my hubby.
Take care all of you.
Paula
Suzie,

When I was hearing through the packing it was really different, so maybe there is stuff in your husbands ear which needs to dissolve before he can hear better.
I just wanted to keep this topic going


Teresea
Hi all,

Yup, I want to keep it going also....but I have nothing new to report yet. My hearing test is August 22.

Paula (suzie1)...How is hubby doing?

DS...has your hearing calmed down yet or is it all still loud and distorted?

More later,

-Carol-
[QUOTE=kadida1;3143351]I just wanted to keep this topic going


Teresea[/QUOTE]

[SIZE="3"][FONT="Lucida Console"]It is good to keep the topic going. I too like to read what other patients are experiencing. My second surgery was 5/30 of this year. My packing was completely gone/dissolved by the time I went for my 2nd post op. My binaural hearing is much better not only because the hearing in my left ear is better, but also because I can hear from both sides of my head. This gives me the ability to discern direction sounds come from but also allows me to hear more natural sounds since my left and right ears don't have the same frequency hearing range. When I sing, my tone seems more normal. Taste has not returned to normal but it is not awful. I love food and beverages with lots of flavor. I am hoping to return to being able to fully enjoy them again. Note: losing a little in the taste department is an acceptable trade off if it never returns to normal. I wish that all types of hearing loss could be restored by surgery like this and empathize with those who would not benefit or who chose the surgery and found it less successful[/FONT][/SIZE]
Hi all. I too appreciate keeping this going. I pass all of it on to my hubby. and I am encouraged myself by all of you.
Today starts the day for Bob of ear drop 2 times a day for a week until he goes for his first 'scheduled post op' appt on the 17th.
They are an antibiotic drop..........and I'm not sure if the dr said they would help dissolve the packing......he is 3 weeks out now from his surgery and not reporting much. There is still no hearing on that ear. But we are hopeful since he heard so well immediately after surgery.
Just trying to encourage him that waiting is hard and we are praying that what he heard after surgery is what we are hopeful for in the future.
Last night he played his bass guitar at praise team practice for the first time since surgery and he did say he felt pressure on that ear. but no significant sounds.
I hope I'm not a discouragement to anyone with Bob's progress..........like I said, I am encouraged by your comments and know that we have to wait and that everyone's experience is the same in many ways and also different in many. He still has his metallic taste however and like many of you, he likes the more spicey things....He is dealing with it.

We'll keep you posted......thanks everyone.
Suzie
Cab1, Suzie,


Thanks for checking up on me. I am really on cloud nine. I can hear things much better. In fact my operated ear seems to hear more than my other ear. The only
problem is that sometimes I seem to have a slow cracking noise like thunder far away and I am not sure what to do with it.Has anybody had this symptom?.


In the meetings in my office I can hear very well and don't have to nod my head as if heard what they said :D
Hi all,

DS - Sometimes I'm just sitting there and all the sudden i get "static" as if I'm changing radio stations (right ear). It only lasts for a few seconds then quits. I have never even thought about mentioning it because it happens so rarely.

It happened with my left ear too but after 13 weeks post-op, it never did it again.

Right now I have a sinus infection. My head is clogged completely. My right ear (the most recently operated ear) has a low humming noise and I can't hear a thing. If I tilt my head to the left, the pitch of the hum changes. Its not loud, it's just there. Right after I get out of the shower and my head is not clogged up for a few minutes, the hum disappears and I hear perfectly.

I'm taking major sinus drugs and hopefully my head will clear up in a couple days. The right ear is now 11 weeks post-op. I've said what and huh? about a million times in the last 3 days after not having said it at all for the last 9 weeks. It made me realize or refresh my memory of how bad my hearing was before the surgery and that the surgery really did perform miracles.

Suzie - 7 more days and Bob gets the packing out. Will he get a hearing test at that appointment or is it scheduled for later? I'm sorry he's not hearing anything yet, I know how frustrating that is. Please keep us posted on what the doc has to say.

Shirley - I'm glad to know your hearing is doing well. Have you had your hearing test yet? If so, do you know what your SRT (speech recognition threshold) was before and after?

I had to change my appointment from the 22nd to the 29th, so I won't get my hearing test until then.

More later,

-Carol-
Shirley here....
No hearing test until October 4. He will give me the before & after then, but unscientifically here is my estimate based on what I can hear/do. When I am outdoors I can hear the mockingbirds but I can also here the quieter doves and the hummingbirds. I can talk on the phone without special equipment, hear the doorbell, phone, outdoor noises (when I am indoors) like thunder, fighter jets, motorcycles, lawnmowers, chain saws, sirens. When I am indoors at my computer, I can hear my husband yelling for me from somewhere else in the house, (unfortunately).
Hi All!!

I am new to posting here, but I have been reading this forum for a week. I do have some questions for the veterans.

Background first: I starting losing hearing in my left ear around 12 years ago. About 7 years ago I went to an ENT and I was told nothing could be done. I went to an ENT, again, about 6 weeks ago. At that time they told me I had maximum conductive hearing loss in the left ear and I needed a CT scan to see what was causing it. The result of my scan showed Otosclerosis, bilaterally, although my hearing in the right ear is near normal. I had a Stapedectomy on July 31st. I am on the 14th day post-op. I never really had any vertigo after the day of the surgery, but my tongue has been numb since, but it sounds like taste should come back but it will be awhile.

I can hear from the operated ear, but it is not as loud as the un-operated ear. Load sounds are painful, but that seems to be getting better. But I am still missing some sounds my other ear can hear quite clearly. Is this normal? As the weeks progress, did anyone’s hearing become better, more sensitive? I have read a lot about the popping and hearing stabilizing, but not much on sound getting louder.


Thanks. I hope everyone is doing well.

Mos
[QUOTE=mos123;3153111]Hi All!!

I am new to posting here, but I have been reading this forum for a week. I do have some questions for the veterans.

Background first: I starting losing hearing in my left ear around 12 years ago. About 7 years ago I went to an ENT and I was told nothing could be done. I went to an ENT, again, about 6 weeks ago. At that time they told me I had maximum conductive hearing loss in the left ear and I needed a CT scan to see what was causing it. The result of my scan showed Otosclerosis, bilaterally, although my hearing in the right ear is near normal. I had a Stapedectomy on July 31st. I am on the 14th day post-op. I never really had any vertigo after the day of the surgery, but my tongue has been numb since, but it sounds like taste should come back but it will be awhile.

I can hear from the operated ear, but it is not as loud as the un-operated ear. Load sounds are painful, but that seems to be getting better. But I am still missing some sounds my other ear can hear quite clearly. Is this normal? As the weeks progress, did anyone’s hearing become better, more sensitive? I have read a lot about the popping and hearing stabilizing, but not much on sound getting louder.


Thanks. I hope everyone is doing well.

Mos[/QUOTE]

Mos,

There probably is packing in your year which would stop you from hearing very low frequency sounds.I had packing in for around 10 days and after the doctor took it off I could hear sounds in more detail.
Thanks for responding.

I saw my Doc on Day 8 post-op. He removed a clot on my eardrum and hearing did improve a at that time, but I don't see him for 9 more weeks. At that time I am scheduled for my hearing test.

I have to assume that nothing more will be taken out.

I know I need to be patient, but I am still worried.
Mos,

The hearing in my operated ear was noticeable right after surgery, but at about the two week point I felt like it wasn't going well - I also noticed I couldn't hear certain sounds as well as I could in my unoperated ear (which is at normal hearing still).

The good news is that my hearing did get better and the hearing tests I had showed it. Trying to remember now.... the surgery was mid-March, but I believe my first test was at one month and then another at two months. There was a significant increase in hearing at one month, but then another jump at the two month mark.

I think the main reason is swelling in the ear that just takes time to heal. As long as you are noticing a difference and it sounds like you are, it all sounds normal. I'm sure you'll continue to improve.

Keep up the posts! I enjoy reading all the successes.

-Monica
HI all,

Hang in there MOS.

The painfully loud sounds will calm down and start sounding "normal" soon.
The clairty of sound will happen when the ear drum that they cut open and flipped back to gain access to the inner..completely heals. Like Monica said...2 month mark is when things really start to clear up.

Keep us posted.

Update on me..my right ear (most recently operate ear) has only opened for about a total of 5 hours in the last 6 days. This sinus issue is killing me and head is completely clogged up. The fact that it does still open when I yawn or manage to clear my head for a few minutes,,,keeps me from thinking bad things. But man, I sure got spoiled being able to hear so well. I got new medicine today so hopefully I can kick this sinus infection and that will allow the ear to open and stay open. There have been a few times over the past few days when I blow my nose that it hurts the right ear briefly.

Still awaiting the 29th for hearing test and I'm hoping this sinus crap is gone by then so I don't have to reschedule the hearing test but having it with my head being clogged up would not get us accurate information.

more later,

-Carol-
Hi All,

Thanks for your support and feedback. I am feeling better, but you know how it goes. The ups and downs can really impact you. I will work on being patient.

Update for today:

My hearing does seem to be getting more sensitive. Anything close up sounds really good, but if it is distant or not very loud, my operated ear is not picking it up yet. I am sure it will get better as the swelling goes down. One thing I have noticed is that as I begin to hear new frequencies, they are very loud for a couple of days, and then they begin to become normal after 2 or 3 days (not so loud that it hurts). I guess as long as this is happening, it means that the hearing is becoming more sensitive and stabilizing.

No pain anymore and no dizziness. I am light headed once in awhile but nothing bad. I have had constant tinnitus for the last 7 years. I am hoping some of it goes away. I still have it, but sometimes I think it is not as loud.

Hope everyone is doing well. I will keep posting.

Mos
Shirley here...Did your doctor tell you to blow your nose & sneeze with your mouth open? Try it. It should help.
Suzie here. Had hubby's appt at the ear dr. Very discouraging. It was all I could do to not start bawling. I did tear up but sucked it up. The dr is puzzled. Bob's hearing was real good right after surgery but the day after faded away. Then we saw him 4 days later and even tho his hearing wasn't as good as right after surgery, the test showed improvement.
But now he has no hearing at all. So his hearing has gotten worse. Some static maybe. Very bothersome. There is no sound just a static vibration. So what little hearing he had in his ear before the surgery is gone..........and he's had some spinning and dizziness the last 2 weeks and lightheadedness which means there something with the inner ear. There are no 'do overs' with the surgery. The bone replacement he did is most likely fine. There has been an inner ear problem developed.
So he gave Bob a shot in his ear drum .......a steroid......and he has a script for 11 days of heavey steroids to take. Maybe there is swelling in the inner ear..........We are hoping and praying that this is what it is. Otherwise Bob has to be the 1% that this surgery doesn't work for.
I told the dr we would keep praying and he said, "I will too."..........
I just feel so discouraged and hurt for him............But we still have hope.......
We did stop today and picked up his new glasses.......so we both joked, "Well, now at least you can see!".................
Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts, Keep 'em up, please.........we go back on the 31st. I hesitated to even send this. I don't want to be a discouragement to any of you. We still believe in the surgery. We knew the risks ahead of time......but like I said we are not giving up.
Praying for all of you. Thanks for everything!
Suzie
Suzie...

Sorry to hear the news.

There was one other person who posted on this board that had the same problem. Doc did a MRI at 2 or 3 months, I forget which one and said the prothesis had slipped (wasn't clipped on good). There is a do over in this case but the chances of hearing recovery go from 98% on the first surgery to70%...but if this is what happened to Bob.....70% chance of the do-over fixing it versus not being able to hear at all?

Anyways...I'm not a doctor...but I would ask him about that. It's happened to several people that I've read about on the 'net...so it might be worth a try.

I'm just saying.....Don't give up hope.

I will keep you/him in my prayers.

MOS - That's great news. Every day should be better than the day before. What TV volume do you use now versus before?

My update:

Sinus infection gone, I can hear now. I got spoiled being able to hear so well and having the ear "shut" on made me realize how lucky I was that the surgery worked and exactly how much it helped me hear.

No other lingering issues. YAAAY!

Hearing test still scheduled for 29th.


More later,

-Carol-
Hang in there Suzie… I am thinking about you and your husband.

Cab,

Glad to hear (hehe) you’re over the sinus infection. I have an audio system hooked up to my TV that measures volume in dbs, so the higher the number the lower the volume. I used to have to watch with the volume on 45, and I had to strain to hear spoken words, this despite having one good ear. Now we watch with the volume on 61 and I can hear everything that is said. I also listen to music when I workout. I went back to the gym today to do light cardio (with Dr’s blessing). I normally have to listen on about 18 (out of 20). Today I could only stand it at 10. So things are looking up. I only wish this tinnitus would go away. It is making me crazy.

The tinnitus has been really loud lately. It is bothering me more than anything. For those that did have tinnitus and it went away, how long was it before it was gone?

I am now at 3 weeks post-op. The hearing is getting better daily, but is still not as good as the un-operated ear, especially higher frequencies and softer sounds. This is most likely due to a thick ear drum. I also think I may have some blood still in the ear canal and on the drum. When he removed the clot on day 8, it bled again. I also had a scab come out of the ear this weekend. So that may be affecting it as well.

Other than that everything else is fine. No dizziness or light head. The too loud sounds continue to come and go. Again, I really think it is the ear hearing new sounds or continuing to become more sensitive that causes this. Hopefully, I have to deal with this for a few months. ;) I have tickets to a concert the beginning of October. I hope I am able to go, and able to deal with the volume. I got the tickets before all of this went down. I will most likely take ear plugs with me. No sense in taking any chances.

I hope everyone else is well… Keep on posting. There will always be people that will find this thread and will need to comfort and reassurance it provides.

Mos
One more note for Suzie....

You said you hesitated posting the poor results for Bob. Please do not hesitate and I don't know of anyone on here that would NOT appreciate hearing the true story.

I/we keep stressing giving realistic answers. If someone experiences poor results, I'd rather hear about it and so everyone knows. While most people get great results....the 1% of the bad results that the doctors warn about is in fact a true statement.

Facts...the good, the bad and the ugly. Don't sugarcoat anything.

That's why I wrote about my sinus infection and my ear closing up on me...11 weeks post op for an entire week. I wanted everyone to know that it does indeed happen.

MOS - I had no tinnitus issues before or after so I can't help you there. The heartbeat or blood rushing sound is all I had and it was only for a day.

More later,

-Carol-
HI all,

My ear opened back up yesterday and has stayed open. I can breathe again too.

Hearing test in 2 days. YAAAY.

More later,

-Carol-
Hi all. Thank you for your encouragement. It's not been a fun couple weeks. Bob's been on a heavy dose of steroids for the past 11 days. Just took his last pill today. They did not make him feel 'happy'....nasty stuff. He goes back to ear dr on Friday. At this point he'd be happy just to have what little hearing he had and the cricket sound before the surgery. He still has no hearing at all and the horrible 'dentist drill' sound as he calls it is constant and is even lounder when someone talks. We went out to eat on Sat and the background noise was almost unbearable. It was uncomfortable before surgery but not like this. If this doesn't improve he won't even be a candidate for a hearing aide as he was before surgery. We read all the literature and read the 1% risk but I have to say this stinks.
He is a bass guitar player in the praise band at our church and he is so afraid playing the guitar will be taken away. He does have hearing in his other ear, thank God for that, but with the horrible noise from the surgery ear, it really distorts things/music.
I continue to pray........not sure of why he was privileged to hear so well immediately after surgery.......the whole 'dangling carrot thing';..........and then to have it all taken away. We are weary......but not without hope. I trust God even through all the questioning.......
Mos, I am so happy things are going well for you and thank you for your kind words.
Carol, Yayyyy for the hearing test and the open ear again........you go girl!
We'll see what the dr has to say on Friday.
Have a great day.
Suzie
Hi all,

OK …here are the results of the latest hearing test.

The goal of the surgery is to “close the air-bone gap”, which means trying to get the “air numbers” to match up as close as possible to the “bone numbers”. Mine are a lot better than they were, but there is still room for improvement. The doc said that the hearing would continue to improve the next 3 months.

Normal hearing is anywhere between 0 and 20 decibels.


“Bone” = the best that can be expected by each frequency for ME. Most of my hearing loss is from Otosclerosis but I do also have some loss due to nerve damage and that portion of loss cannot be restored.


Hearing Test August 29th, 2007, - [B]Left ear- 6 months post op[/B]
..............dB..............dB........ ..........dB
Hz....air (Oct 2006)......air (today) .....bone
250........75...............40.......... ........15
500........85...............65.......... ........15
1000......65...............25........... .......20
2000......75...............40........... .......10
4000......50...............20........... .......15

[COLOR="Red"][B]SRT – 30 is now instead of 65[/B][/COLOR]


Hearing Test August 29th, 2007- [B]Right ear – 3 months post op[/B]
..............dB..............dB........ ..........dB
Hz....air (Oct 2006)......air (today).......bone
250........50...............20.......... .........5
500........54...............15........... ........25
1000......54...............30............ .......25
2000......40...............20….......... .......35
4000......35...............35............ .......15
[B][COLOR="red"]SRT – 20 is now instead of 45[/COLOR][/B]

SRT = Speech Recognition Threshold

Long story short - I CAN HEAR!

More later,

-Carol-
That is great news Cab!

My report:

I am 6 weeks post-op. I still have good days and bad days with my level of hearing. Some days my hearing is muted and my ear feels "full", other days it feels clear and I can hear really well. On these days, I almost think sound is louder in the operated ear than in my "good" ear. I saw my PCP yesterday. He looked in the ear just to check it out. I guess I have a lot of scabbing left in the canal from the incision. Waiting for that to come out. I bled a lot after surgery.

All in all, things are going well. I see my ENT on 10/15 for a checkup and the hearing test. The only thing I miss hearing are crickets. LOL I can hear them with my good ear, but not with the operated one. Maybe with time…

I can say this has changed me profoundly after just 6 weeks. I used to listen to music all the time when I was younger. Once the hearing started to go bad, I lost the enjoyment I once had, mostly due to the lack of stereo and listening to music also made my bad ear feel tired. I guess this was due to the ear drum moving, but the stapes being completed fixed in place. Over the last 2 weeks, I think I have listened to more music, than I had in the last 2 years. My ear still feels a little tired, but I am sure that has more to do with the trauma of surgery than anything else. The fidelity is almost the same as my good ear. And OMG, to hear in stereo again is amazing!

That’s all for now. I hope everyone is doing well.

Mos
Hi Everyone,

It has been very helpful and comforting to read these messages the last week or so. I had my surgery on Sept 6 and today is day 9. I was lucky, I had no dizziness, balance problems or nausea. My ear feels packed and also a bit numb.

I also have some ringing (which I did not have before) and can't wait to get the packing out. Yikes…my doctors appt is not until Oct 3rd and I don't know if I can handle it that long.

My ear popped today when we were driving downhill. I could all of a sudden hear a bit better and wonder if it will stay open or close back up.

My ear feels as though I have a big seashell held up to it. Almost a humming sound. I wonder if anyone else knows what I mean by that sound. The side of my face and ear also feel a bit numb and was wondering if that means I will now have a slight permanent loss of feeling due to the surgery. I also still have jaw pain when I eat or open my mouth too wide. As for the infrequent sharp ear pain, that has almost completing gone away.

I also wonder why some people hear right away and others hear after the packing is removed. My doctor never even told me I had packing in my ear. I found out reading this message board. The doctor sure made it sound like I would be back to normal in no time but I only just started feeling better yesterday. I am glad I still have another week off before having to go back to work.

It is scary waiting to find out if your surgery was a success or not.

Good luck to everyone!

Catherine
Hi all,

Good Luck Cat, you should start hearing everything very soon.

Update on me...

Well, I had a lovely morning.

I’ve been having major allergy/sinus trouble for about 2 years but the last 3 months, my head has been clogged and nothing helped.

so, I went and had the complete allergy test series done. I was ready for the grid on the back scratch test with 40 scratches. It wasn’t what they did. I got 39 shots/injections right under the skin in each arm.

I Passed out once and almost did a second time. Cause you know I love needles so much. A one hours test took 2.5 hours because I kept having to make them stop till I could continue.

I’m allergic to pretty much everything!

Here they are in order…


#1 Cats - i have one that sleeps with me

#2 Orrois Root – anything that is “scented” is made from this – perfumes, detergents, deodorants, makeup, candles, potpourri, etc.

#3 Dogs - I have 2.

#4 Feathers

#5 Trees – every one of them

#6 Weeds – again, all of em

#7 Grass – yup, all of em

#8 Yeast – every food in the world contains yeast

#9 Dust/Mites

#10 Fungus

#11 Mold

At least it explains why I’ve been so darn sick.


Long story short – 2 shots – 2 times a week for 5 weeks to get from 1st dose up to “maintenance” dose of the drugs.

Then 2 shots once a week for life. (They said I can give these to myself – HEHE, YA RIGHT!)


Hopefully I’ll rejoin the living/breathing world again. And I won’t be so clogged up anymore. That way my new right ear, which hears perfect when it’s not clogged up, will work all the time.

More later,

-Carol-
Hi Carol and everyone else,

I'm on day 3, post-stapedotomy and wish I'd found this forum before the surgery. Knowing that other people have experienced the same things (the fear, the despair as your hearing gets worse, not knowing if the surgery worked) would have helped. But I'm grateful I finally found you.

So far I've had no pain or dizziness. Just minor numbness in my face and tongue, which is a bit worse today (I know, just one of those "bumps"). I'm very worried about dislodging the prosthesis though. I was ridiculously active yesterday (day 2). I even went shopping for several hours and drove without any problems. Then it hit me and I slept for 12 hrs and now feel like I've been hit by a truck. Serves me right [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/images/smilies/nono.gif[/url]
:nono:. Will take it slower from now on.

So far, I have no hearing in my ear at all (I had slight hearing before the surgery). I've had tinnitus for years and still have it, so that doesn't really bother me. I'm hopeful that it will lessen over the weeks.

I had a difficult time keeping my ear dry in the shower. I'll try the [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Vaseline plus cotton wad plus shower cap plus cup over the ear[/FONT] technique next time.

My doctor has performed this procedure dozens of times with success and told me he'd only had one patient wreck her prosthesis: she slammed her car door without opening the window first to neutralize the pressure. It's so easy to forget to do this, so beware!

Carol, I'm really grateful that you've stuck with this forum over the months, and I really appreciate reading about your progress. I'm also very sorry to hear about your allergies. I wonder if those injections are the only solution. Have you tried consulting a Naturopath? (Sorry, everyone has advice, eh?).

Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to share their experiences. It helps so much. Especially the advice about having PATIENCE (something I lack!)

I'll keep posting my progress.

Marmot
Hey,
My name is Justine and I'm 18 years old. I just recently had a Stapedectomy on the 19th of September which makes it day 5.

This operation was my second one in the same ear as the new bone had fallen out. Since it was the second time around I knew what I was in for and surprisingly so when I woke up I didn't feel that dizzy. I had more pain than before since they had to re-open the wound but it wasn't that bad. I've been hearing my heart beat through my ear and that sizzling sound in my ear. One thing I'm a bit worried is that I've been hiccuping a bit which make my ear feel weird for a second.

Right now, I'm feeling much better but whenever I talk my voice sounds hallow which I find extremely weird! I can't really hear that well yet but it's pretty much hallow.

I have my first Post-Op appointment on Thursday (27th) to get the packing removed.

I pray to god that the healing process is going to plan, I really don't want to go through the whole operation failed once again. So this time around I'm really calm and not stressing overly like I did the first time and I've been extremely careful.

I really hate the fact that I can't doing much jogging or contact sports since I just started an exercise program. My doctor said I should steer clear for three months, I really can't wait that long!

P.S
I'm glad I found this forum!
Hi all:

I hope everyone is doing well. I see that it has been 3 months since I last posted here, so I thought I would give my latest update.

It has now been 4 mo. since my surgery. I've been doing quite well, even though I still continue to struggle with dizziness/vertigo/lightheadness as a result of the surgery. It happens when I look up at times, or tilt my head to the right or when I lay down at night on my right side.(surgery was on the right ear.) I'm dealing with it though, and not letting it get the best of me. I have returned to my full Triathlon exercise program (swimming, biking, running), and have run in some 5k & 10k runs. Although I didn't compete this season in Triathlon, I did complete a race of "my own" this past Sat. and it went very well. My hearing has continued to be very good, and the only other side effect I've had recently was some "buzzing" vibration as a response to sound. My ear would crackle like a bad speaker, but I could stick my finger in my ear, wiggle it around and it would go away. It was really weird. This has happened 2 or 3 times in the last month or so, lasted for 2 or 3 days and then stopped. Otherwise, I have continued to enjoy my good hearing from the surgery. I play piano, guitar and sing at church for Praise Band and solos. I played piano and sang a solo a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing! To hear my voice in full "stereo" was incredible. I really feel blessed. So, from the struggle I had the first 3-4 weeks post-op with terrible vertigo/dizziness to where I am now has been a long road, but worth it now in hindsight. I still ponder back 'n forth at times with whether I should have done the surgery, but my answer is always, "yes" and I celebrate each and every one here that had the courage to do the same.

Peace,
Tim
Report for Day 6:
My hearing returned last night, Day 5. Very weird, and amazing too. Suddenly I realized I was hearing in stereo. Today, as others have reported, the ear was very sensitive and everything was LOUD: the clicking of my keyboard, the ruffling of papers, the flushing of the toilet! But tonight it was wonderful to hear the subtle notes of birdsong and to talk on the phone using my left ear -- something I've been unable to do for 2 years!

Later this afternoon, my hearing acuity diminished somewhat. It was a bit disconcerting but I'd read in this forum to expect that, so I'm just going with the flow and thankful for what I do have.

My first appointment with my surgeon was today. He explained that I had a condition he'd not seen in more than 10 years of surgery. The middle bone, the incus, was severely atrophied and was the cause of my hearing loss; the stapes was fine. He removed the stapes and the diseased incus, and connected a prosthesis directly to the malleus and footplate. It'll be touch and go as to how well this works in the long run. It's possible I will lose some of the hearing I've regained. But, for the time being, I'm thrilled, and can also return to my usual level of exercise (except still no water in the ear for 3-4 wks).

I echo Tim's comment that it takes courage to go through with this procedure; it definitely does, and yes, it's worth it.

Best to all,

Marmot
Hi, all!

I learned about the possibility of a stapedectomy about a month ago and I have been excited about it. I went to my first consultation appointment yesterday. I think I will actually have the stapedotomy instead -- the stapes isn't actually removed, just bypassed. I have yet to make the appointment for the surgery. I am still trying to decide. Like others have said, the thought of intubation makes me apprehensive. For such a short surgery, it is a good trade off I guess.

Carol -- I'd love to know what doctor you went to. There can't be too many in Dallas!

The literature that I was given does point out that there are risks to the surgery. Like 1 in 150 may not have an improvement or may even lose hearing. Is that common information for everyone? I have also noticed cautions in the thread about flying and such, but I haven't gotten to that point of the consultation yet. I guess.

The thing I like most about this thread is reading the common experiences. Like being able to sleep on my good ear -- right ear -- when I want to sleep and my husband wants to watch TV. That will be an odd adjustment.

A little about me. I can remember being in first grade and failing my hearing test. My parents were simply told to watch it. I investigated a hearing aid about 5 years ago, but the doctor said my conductive hearing loss wouldn't really improve with a hearing aid, so I didn't do anything about it.

About two months ago, my allergies really started to act up and the congestion settled in my good inner ear. I went for a few days relying on the hearing in my bad left ear and it really frightened me. I couldn't hear a blooming thing!! So I called the ENT. She wasn't even bothered by the congestion, but the whole office got really excited about my hearing test results. They encouraged me to find out more about the surgery. And told me to take over the counter decongestants. (By the way, saline spray in each nostril really gets rid of the congestion without any meds for me.)

I am in my late 30s and my paternal grandmother has otosclerosis.

I'll keep you posted on my journey. I'm glad I found this thread!
HI all,

I don't have much time right now...but I wanted to post quickly and give pressed my doc's name.

It's Owens Ear Center...Baylor Dallas. They have an office in Southlake too.

There's doc Fred Owens...and Robert (Bob) Owens. Fred is retiring...son Bob did my surgery and he's great. (I'll let the results I posted speak for his ability).

His bedside manner is what a lot of people complained about...but he's a lot like me. Here's the facts...no sugar coating, etc. Lots people want him to talk to them forever. He's a busy guy. Write down your questions and he will answer them. Research the surgery, procedures, recovery process...and then you can have an intelligent conversation with him about it.

If you go, tell him his female patient that he wants to write to the state board about her last 24 years of not being able to hear because no audiologist in the last 24 years told her about he surgery...recommended you.

He'll know who you mean. hehe.

I'll do a long post tomorrow...and answer all the questions I see out there that are new.

Good Luck all you new brave people!!!

GOOOOOOOOOOO...US!

More later,

-Carol-
Thanks, Carol. Dr. Bob Owens is the doctor I saw at his Baylor office. It is comforting to get your recommendation. I'll consider it a little more and write again soon.

Thanks!
New phenomenon...
I was out in a peddle boat. There was an irrigation pump running on shore. I have a "new" left prosthetic stapes and an old one in my right ear. The first one is made of a ferrous material and the second is non-ferrous. Whenever I had both ears in line with the pump, I heard a different sound to the motor. If I turned my head with neither ear directly aimed toward the pump, everything sounded normal. It was only when my ears were in a straight line with the motor that it sounded different. I have no idea why unless the sound was being directed through one prosthesis then through my head and picked up by the second one too. It only happened when my "new" ear was farthest from the pump. Has anyone else experienced anything similar?

PS: Surgery was the last of May '07. Taste is still not normal.
Hi everyone! Hope your all doing great! Getting ready to have my other ear done and very excited about it. I am a little worried that I still get spins from time to time. I'm 4 and 1/2 months post-op. Can anyone relate?
Hi Deftone - I can relate! I'm almost 7 months post op now and no longer have the spins, but I did up until the 5th month or so. I had a lot of fullness in my good ear too and kept thinking I had other issues. It all cleared up eventually though. I hope it does for you too!

Good luck with the next ear!

-Monica
Hey guys, just have a bit of a worry. Yesterday I had a feeling that my operated ear was wet because I had washed my hair and tried everything possible to keep it dry. When I softly try to feel my ear it feels dry, so I'm a bit confused. It could be from the ear drops but I have a distinct feeling that it's wet.

Hmm... Other then that my ear is feeling fine, I can hear much better which I'm glad! I have a bit of distortion but it's not so bad anymore.

On the 11th I go back to see my doctor. :)
Hi Everyone,

I had my stapedectomy on 10/4/07. Today is the 10th...so guess that would be day 6. After surgery, got very sick..vomiting...the spinning was really bad..I had to stay overnight in the hosp and even the next morning everything was still spinning. Never had any ear pain at all...just feels muffled from the packing. Mouth and tougue were somewhat numb..but thats pretty much gone now. I've heard some sounds...and popping in the operative ear. It was draining quite a bit the first day but, now that has stopped. The dizziness,vertigo is still my main problem. I can't drive or do much of anything else without losing my balance. My Dr. says its just going to take time..just not sure how long. My husband has been staying home with me but he's gotta go back to work today.:( I'm going to have to enlist the help of some friends to get my daughter back and forth to school...and take of my three dogs...so I am really feeling horrible and useless. I hope this passes sooner than later so I can get back to work too...MY post op appt isn't until the 18th...
Thanks for having this forum...I have read all of the threads and its helped to know others have similiar issues.

Sincerely,
Jeanne
Hi Everyone,

I had my surgery on 10/01. I had a little dizziness for a few days but overall, the dizziness has been managable.

My ear is still packed and the doctor said to let it dissolve on it's own. I have an appt on 11/12 for the doctor to see if it dissolved. I sure hope so because this clogged ear feeling is driving me crazy.

My main complaint is the metallic taste in my mouth. It is constant and it makes me nauseas. I also have very little taste.

Does this get better with time? How much time? I have no hearing in my ear but I did notice some crackles today.

Thanks in advance for your responses.
Richie:confused:
Richie849181-- I also still have the packing ..My dr. gave me ear drops to put in four times a day..supposed to dissolve the packing..I'm not hearing much from my operative ear either...alot of popping and cracking and also some ringing from time to time. I had some numbed feelings but did not lose my taste or get the metallic sensation that your were speaking of but, I noticed from reading all the other replys that it seems pretty common. Has your dr. prescribed something for the upset tummy...mine gave me a patch to put behind my other ear so I wouldn't get so much nausea. Hopefully it will subside quickly for you. :)
Me...I'm STILL fighting the dizzies which I hope go away soon too!!:dizzy:

Jeanne
Hi Jemi,

My doctor gave me ear drops but he said not to use them until 5 days before my next appt on 11/12. I do have some meds for the upset tummy and they are helping.

I am so glad you didn't get this metallic taste issue. It is awful. I am happy to say that it doesn't seem as intense today so maybe I am heading in the right direction.

My doctor also said I can fly after one month. I am a little worried because everyone else seems to think it should be more than that.

Thanks for sharing your experience with me.

Richie:cool:
Hi Richie,,, So glad to hear your taste is getting better...that has to be just awful. I guess all dr's are different when it comes to the drops thing. Mine said to start them one week from my surgery date...which was yesterday. Not seeing any difference in hearing yet just the cracking and popping sounds and still fighting the dizzies, although, they are slightly better today.
Take care and thanks for the reply.
Jeanne:)
Hi everyone, thanks for posting your experiences with this surgery. I was diagnosed with otosclerosis this summer, but the probelem that led me to the audiologist was the tinitus in my left ear. My hearing loss is about 70% in the low frequencies and 25% in the high frequencies, and the doctor says the tinitus may be linked.

Has anyone who has had this procedure reduced their tinitus through it? That ear, my left ear, also always feels "full" and often "itchy" if that makes any sense. Has anyone else had this problem?

I'm 27 years old, and thinking about getting the surgery. Cheers.
Hi everyone!

It has been awhile, but I thought I would check in.

Arlanthe,

I had the procedure done 10 weeks ago, and it has reduced the ringing in my ears a little. It is hard to say if it will do the same for you. For the most part, Dr.s’ hesitate to say that it will help. Sometimes it will and sometimes it won’t. I have read that some people’s ringing went away after the surgery. I think that is a coin toss.

From the amount of loss you are experiencing, you might consider the procedure seriously. Again that is a personal choice, and depends on how the loss is affecting you day to day. My hearing loss was affecting my work. It was too hard for me to hear people speak in client business meetings and I was missing key points. I need to do something.

Good luck with whatever decision you make!

My update:

As I said I am 10 weeks out from my surgery. Things are going well. The ear still opens and closes, but it is getting better. I still have times when sounds are too loud. I had my initial post-op hearing test today. The operation was a complete success. The air-bone gap is completely closed across all frequencies.

For me, having the procedure was a no brainer. I had maximum conductive loss in my left ear, so the tiny risk of a failed procedure wouldn’t set me back too far. It now hears as well as my un-operated ear. This has truly been amazing. I can again hear in stereo and can tell where sound is coming from. Music is once again a joy and I can hear my children (still torn on this one). Just kidding…;)

The Dr. wants to see me once a year to monitor my right ear. I have evidence of otosclerosis in that ear. I will drop in and see how folks are doing.

Good luck everyone!!!

I really do believe this surgery is a miracle. It has helped so many people. I want to thank Cab for starting this thread. It has helped so many people through uncertain times. I know it helped me, and if I ever need to have the other ear done I will again rely on the encouragement if offers. I will continue to post on the progress of my current procedure, until I can no longer tell I had anything done.

Cheers!

Mos
Hello everyone,

It has been 12 weeks since my surgery. I can hear everything in the operated ear, sometimes it does have a torn speaker effect.Before the operation I would miss things that were said in our meetings and also miss out on conversations.
I used to sometimes just nod my head even if I didn't hear what they said.
Maybe some of us can relate to that feeling.

The operated ear also hears much better than my other ear, Maybe I have to get the other ear done in a year or so.

This thread and surgery has changed my life. The surgery has put me back on my career track.

Thanks for posting and keep this thread going on.

Senthil
HI all,

It's so good to see everyone's stories. Recoveries are widely varied which doesn't surprise me too much.....

Pops, sizzles, dizzies, ringing, heart beat/blood rushing sounds, ear opens and closes, metallic taste, numbness, zero hearing for first few weeks, different meds different rules from docs, etc. (did I leave anything out?)

**** 6 months guys and gals*****

Some of you will get lucky and it will all go away immediately. Some of you will have one or two symptoms drag on forever (at least it seems like forever at the time).

The only thing I can say to you all is "Patience"....although I'm not the best person to be giving that advice right now.

Update on me:
Left ear - 9 months today post-op. All is GREAT!

Right ear - 5 months tomorrow post-op. The only issue i'm still dealing with is the opens and closes. When the ear is open I can hear great, when it's closed or "partially" closed I obviously can't hear very much. It will be open for a few hours and right when I really need to be able to hear (walk into a meeting, phone rings, etc) it slams shut. I'm extremely frustrated with it and it puts me in a very bad mood when it happens.

I had lots and lots of allergy/sinus issues which kept me clogged up for 3 months. We thought that was the reason why the ear kept closing. So, I went through the million needle allergy test and they said I was allergic to pretty much everything. (see previous posts). The day before I was to start the allergy shots, I decided to get a 2nd opinion. I really really hate needles so that was a big decision for me to voluntarily go for a second round of the million needle test. I'm glad I did. 2nd test showed allergies to trees, weeds and cats on a minimal level. That's it. So, no 2 shots a week for life for me, just some nasal spray. While I was going through all the tests, my head finally cleared up and has been clear for 2 weeks.

It was great news that I have no major allergy issues and no shots needed - but I was really hoping in a way that THAT was the reason that was causing my ear to keep closing. The last 2 weeks it's still been doing it even when my head was clear.

Again folks - when my right ear is open I hear great so the surgery worked very well - I just can't seem to keep it open for more than a few hours a day.

I'm tired of doctors, needles, surgeries, and medical bills. I'm going to just deal with it for a couple more months and get these bills paid off (and pass the magical 6 month post-op mark). If it's still keeps closing on me, I'll search for more answers or possible solutions. I'm just tired right now.

So, there you have it folks. The Good and the Bad.

More later,

-Carol-
Scheduled for Stapedectomy this Monday. Check in at 12:00, surgery at 2:00p.m. Following day back to the Dr's office to have packing removed. Dr. has managed my expectations well. I'II post later in the week on initial experience.
Carol:

It's good to hear that you are recovering so nicely. Surgery on the right ear was 10 months ago. As of today, my hearing in that ear is normal. I still experience tinnitus (for 20 years in that ear) and the opening/closing still occurs. Not sure if that will clear up or not. When the ear opens, the sound is awesome! I find myself swallowing hard to try to open the ear.

Let me know if your doctor has any insight into why this continues to happen. Perhaps it is a normal part of the process.

Dwalt
Hello Everyone

It is 2 days after laser stapedectomy and I feel fine. I did not experience any nausea or dizzyness post surgery but I do have that metallic taste sensation people have spoken of. My left ear (operated) is currently muffled and my own voice sounds to me like a bass speaker ready to blow. Sounds are definitely louder (doors, fawcets etc.) Given the previous posts I will have to wait for the ear to "open' as the ear feels clogged right now.

Many thanks to everyone who has posted their experience here as these posts were crucial in my decision to have the procedure done.

Hopefully, the ear will open and I can celebrate with you.

Again Thank You.

dk
Hi Dwalt...so good to hear from you!

..and dk........hope all turns out well for you.

My right ear is still opening and closing. It also [U]always[/U] feels "clogged or full", even when it's open and I can hear.

If i yawn really hard the ear will open while my mouth is open and I can hear good. When I close my mouth, like half way during the yawn, ear closes half way and I can half hear. When I close it completely, ear closes completely and I can't hear a thing. Unfortunantly I can't force myself to yawn and walk around with my mouth wide open 24 x 7. :( I might look kinda funny.

I'm just kickin back and waiting.

Keep us posted on your progress dk.

More later,

-Carol-
Hi Carol

My ear is "clogged and full" as you described and I can hear out of it but the sound is distant as in an echo or in a cave. Nonetheless, on day 3 post op I was eager to try out the new ear in challenging circumstances.

I went to the local video store with the them song for the "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" playing in my mind for an ultimate showdown with a clerk who I am convinced is in a conspiracy to talk so softly as to drive me mad :)
(How anyone can hear and understand this guy without cue cards is beyond me. A modern day Miracle really.) Anyway, I chose my videos and confidently walked up to the cash and looked him right in the eye. He said "mghmsmph??" and I replied "What?" (and leaning over to provide the non verbal "please speak up"). "Did you find everything you wanted?" he asked with a smile. Too early from surgery I thought to myself. "Yes, thank you" I murmured.

So, I will go back again when the "clogged and full" feeling subsides. I'II be ready then.

Carol, hope that off switch thing gets resolved.

David
Hi
I am new to the boards, I had my first stapectomy done 10 years ago. My ABG gap is still less than 5db and my hearing is in normal range. I am scheduled for stapedectomy of my second ear in 3 days. I will keep posted. [url]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/frown.gif[/url]
:(
Hi all,


Well, I have some good news.

I am on a new allergy/decongestant medicine. It appears that my head was so completely clogged that normal med's were never gonna be able to clear it.

I took the 1st pill and within 30 minutes my nose was a faucet. 30 minutes of blowing, etc.....I could hear and didn't have the "fullness" feeling anymore. This is the first time since the surgery that I didn't have that feeling. Its a 12 hour pill. At about 11 hours, I start clogging back up.

There are quite a few side effects that i'm dealing with but I'll take them to be able to hear. I stay on these for a week then taper off. If I clog back up, then I will have to stay on em.

Anyways, I thought I would let you all know that I'm not bummed anymore.

More later,

-Carol-
Hello Everyone

I went for a hearing test today so that is 10 days post op. Test results showed that my hearing has increased by 30 dB across all measurements. I am not sure how to interpret dB other than to say my hearing has greatly improved. The Dr. described it as "awesome".

I can hear conversations all over the place now though I think the ear will need time to learn how to interpret speech. I can hear the sounds but not necessarily "interpret" the speech. I noticed when doing hearing tests over the years that I could immediately identify the word spoken into the right ear but with the left there was a "translation" or "interpretation" which resulted in a slight delay in my response. I'm not sure if that is a left/right brain thing or just me. Sound is still speaker like but I think that will improve with time as I "learn" to hear again.

My taste still needs some time but I can say it is improving.

All in all outstanding results and I am very grateful to the Dr and excellent health care I received through the whole process.

I don't know what the treatment will be in 25 years for this sort of thing but if the futurist Ray Kurzweil has his way we will probably have nanobots implanted. The 21st Century promises to be quite a ride. I would fasten your seatbelts.

Thanks again to everyone for these posts. Keep them coming as they are a huge benefit for those deciding whether surgery is right for them.

David
Hi everyone,

I just want to say that all your post have made me feel so much better about my stapedectomy. I was suppose to have my surgery December of 2006 but cancelled it because of insurance reasons and mostly I was really freaked out about not being able to hear after and all the other side effects and complications. I have since re-married have great insurance (it's paying 100%) and thanks to all your posts I am looking forward to my surgery on Nov 12. I'm still kind of nervous but I am so sick of making people repeat themselves. and I don't ever want to use the words "what" or "huh" again. For the most part my family and friends have been very understanding but I know they can't wait for me to have the surgery.

Carol, one of the first things you wrote was how you had to say "huh?" the first time your boyfriend whispered "I love you" Luckily for me the first time my bf (now husband) said it to me he was on my good side(right side) but there have been many other times when I didn't hear him and he had to say "did you hear me?" It takes a lot of the romance out of things. He is counting down the days to my surgery. I hope your alergies are doing better we've had some great weather here in the dfw area lately. Has the weather affected your allergies?

David I understand what you mean about the "translation" that happens to me know. Sometimes it's like I can hear the noise pretty clear of someone talking but my brain can't translate it into a real word.

I am just so tired of not hearing conversations. I usually don't even try to enter into a conversation with people because it is just to frustrating. I am the kind of person that needs to know what is going on and I can't hear it so I just don't try and wait for my friend to tell me later.

I'm not looing forward to the dizziness after surgery but my doctor is keeping me overnight. He says he wants me in the hospital when I am expected to hve the most problems the dizziness so I don't fall and dislodge everything he did. I hope that will help.

Any tips? let me know. As excited as I am I'm still a little freaked out. You guys must have been sent from heaven :angel: thanks for everything

Vickie:wave:
Hi everyone
I had my stapedectomy done on 10/31. Discharged home 2 hrs after procedure.
Immediately after the procedure my hearing improved, my hearing decreased on 2nd post op day (probably due to fluid in the ear). Today is 3rd post op day my hearing is improving again I am having slight dizziness which is improving. I had some pain which controlled by tylenol hydrocodeine. tinnitus improved from 2nd to 3rd post op day.
I will keep posted
Hi Vicky

How exciting! I am sure you will be fine. I resonate completely with your frustration and not joining certain conversations. Too exhausting. I can join them now.

I have no idea whether my post op strategy helped the results or were mere fantasy on my part and had no effect on the outcome at all but here is what I did.

Instructions were not to sleep on the operated ear for 24 hrs. I did not sleep on it for at least 5 days.

I did not get water in the ear. I still have not got water in the ear. I asked the Dr. and he said give it another week - Nov 8. I think I read some instructions on a hand out by the hospital for about 5 days so there is some contradictory info here as Nov 8 would be 17 days. But on the 8th it will be back to normal for me. I also need a haircut so the ear is getting wet on that day for sure. Still not sure what the recommended duration is so I would ask around while you are in the hospital.

I made sure I took the twice daily oral antibotics prescribed until completed and also twice daily antibiotic eardrops for a full 7 days as prescribed.

I tried to take it easy as possible for the first 5 days. Hardly lifted a finger.

Food was MUSH after the surgery so soups and liquids may be better than any solid food for the first little while.

I think it's great that you are staying overnight. Less movement the better in my eyes but again this is merely conjecture on my part. I got in a car and drove for an hour after mine. Then I had to get up at 6:00 am the next morning and drive an 1hr there and back again to have the packing removed which took about 3 seconds flat. I would have preferred to lie quietly until the next day.

Wishing you all the best with the surgery and looking forward to hearing how it went.

LAXMI60 looking forward to hearing more about the results of your surgery.

David
Morning. It's so good to read so many of your good news. I don't think I've posted since maybe Aug or Sept. Not really sure if I should but I have been reading all the posts. My husband had the surgery in July and was able to hear right after surgery. But unfortunately things just went steadily downhill from there. It has been a very frustrating and depressing time for him the most but for me also. The dr we had was said to be the 'guru' in the area with this surgery........he does not know what has happened. Something in Bob's inner ear I guess. What's really bad besides not hearing is he still has the side affects......still gets spinning and light headedness, the metallic taste has turned to super sweet and distorts every bite of food. and now the only relief he gets is to constantly wear an ear plug in the affected ear. He doesn't hear words in that ear but has horrible distortions from outside noise and from his own voice. The first hearing test he had was only days after the surgery because of our concerns and it did show minimal improvement but the last test he had in Sept he has no hearing now. He cannot even wear a hearing aide whereas before the surgery that would have been an option. He knew the risks going in and thought the risk was worth it. It's just real frustrating to be the 1% group.
We still wait.......for miracle? The dr said he could go back in and remove the prosthesis but he's not sure that will even take care of the vibration distortion. The ear plug does give some relief from the horrible noise and he is able to play his guitar.........but it has caused some really hard days for him.
I pray for all of you and wish you great results and quick healing. It is a wonderful surgery.......maybe our miracle will come.
I had my first hearing test after my surgery on july 20 2007. The numbers were really amazing. The right ear went from 40 to 60 in all ranges to between 10 to 20. Also my srt went from 45 to 15.

I have no words to describe the effect of this surgery on my life. I would probably have to do the other ear sometime next year.

Once again I want to thank the people on this board who gave me the courage to go for this surgery.

Thanks
Senthil
I have scheduled my surgery for December 13. I am looking forward to the possibility of hearing again. But I am still apprehensive. I have never had surgery before, mush less been in a hospital as a patient, so it is all very unfamiliar. I am approaching it with patient optimism

I am really glad I found this forum. I'll post again after the surgery.
Hello,

I was diagnosed with Otosclerosis about 5 years ago and I have been using a hearing aid since then.

I would really be interested in hearing from people who have undergone the operation here in the UK.

Cheers
Hi all
I am post op day 9 today, still having some dizziness(light headedness rather than spinning) and high pitched tinnitus :( :mad: , my low frequency sounds have returned after initial deterioration, since last night I am able to hear some high frequency sounds :o. Not able to sleep well due to all these changes. I went shnucks yesterday back ground noise was very loud I noticed increased tinnitus (high pitched) in the store and car. As I able to hear high pitched sounds now I hoping that my tinnitus will improve. I am able to hear TV at 7 instead of 9 (my other ear hearing is normal). I need to get adjusted to these sounds psychologically. I have self absorbing pack in ear. Ear fullness is improving.
I am not going to work for another 3-4 days since it is high stress and demanding job in noisy environment.
I did have some meltdowns but now I realize this just a bump on the road :(.
I am glad I found this message board.
Laxmi60
Hi all,

Good Luck to all of you who have surgeries scheduled soon!!!

Pressed - is Owens doing yours?

I'm glad to hear that everyone is progressing well that had surgery in the last month or two. As many people have mentioned, this surgery is indeed life changing if you were as bad off as I was.

Update on me - The new medicine the doc gave me worked great for a day or two, head drained, ear opened, no fullness feeling, etc...but that was it.
The whole sinus issue is not allowing my ear to stay open and it's really wearing me down. I can hear great....when it's open, but otherwise....nada.

Allergy Doctor today at noon. We'll see what he says. Then I'm going back to Owens to discuss maybe putting a tube in the right ear so all that junk can drain.

Will keep you posted.

More later,

-Carol-
ok...just got back from doc.

**got steroid shot (ouchy)
**antiobiotic pack "triple dose 1st day, double dose next 4 days"
**deconsal II - daily
**zyrtec - daily
**asthamanex - daily
**veramist - daily
**nasal "wash" kit - daily
**ibuprofen - daily

If not better in 10 days (ear opens, sinus stuff gone) go see ENT.

All of this to get the ear to stay open (eustachian tube is blocked) so I can hear out of the newly operated, bionic ear.


.......update in 10 days.

-Carol-
Carol -- Yes, Dr. Owens is doing the surgery. I got my pre-op papers today and I am reading through them tonight.

The nasal wash will do wonders for your clogged ears. Just keep it up. Good luck!

Elke
HI
I am still lightheaded no spins after 12 days of surgery, did any one have similar problems for such a long time:( . thank you for the response. I am on a low dose of valium which is suppose to help.
Thank you
I experienced the occasional light-headedness / dizzyness for about three months after surgery. They eventually became more and more random until they finally just stopped. Hopefully yours will go away as well!
Thank you Monica
I felt better for few hours today, tinnitus and lightheaded sensation are slightly better today. My hearing is much better today, may be it is related to that. I started hearing high frequency sounds much better today. My hearing in low frequency sounds may be near normal now.
I don't remember the post op course of my first stapedectomy 10 years ago, my mom said it took 2 weeks to be back to normal.

laxmi
Hello all.

I just had my surgery on Monday. I have felt pretty good compared to other reactions I have been reading on this board. I have not had any nausea since I stopped taking the pain medication, but I do have that taste in my mouth and a little numbness on my tongue. I have the ringing/buzzing that gets louder and sometimes quieter. So, all of that seems pretty normal and to be expected.

Has anyone else had trouble with their jaw hurting? Also, I haven't read about anyone else having to wear this "headgear" kind of contraption until their packing was taken out. I am wondering if the headgear is rubbing on my jaw and that is the cause of my discomfort or if anyone else has experienced this.
Well I too had my surgery on Monday and I woke up in recovery with the dry heaves. then no more nausea. The doctor kept me overnight in the hospital and I was real dizzy at first but never got out of bed. When It was time to go home tuesday about noon the nausea started :( everytime I got up I would throw-up. This lasted all day Tue. Everything tasted like metal. It was very sad because I love to eat.. and nothing tasted good. This is a great diet plan. My tongue and my ear are numb like when you get a shot of novacain at the dentist. Every day it gets better I am not getting as dizzy. It's more like a head rush like when you stand up to fast. kind of woozy... As far as my hearing I hear less in that ear than before but I know the packing is in there so I don't worry to much about it.. It keeps popping and cracking and when I yawn things kind of sound like they are coming thru a pipe. kind of hollow... Doc says my first hearing test will be about 5-6 weeks. He did the tuning fork on the bridge of my nose and I could hear it on the left side.(side of surgery) He said that was good so I'm good with that. Haven't had much pain at all.

Annie- What kind of headgear did your doc put you in. I've never heard of that. did he tell you what it was for?
My sons were wrestlers, and the best way I can describe it was that it looked like half of their headgear. It was a strap with a velcro closure that went through this big ear cup that was packed with guaze. It did protect my ear and kept me from doing anything to it but it was making my neck and jaw sore. I finally took it off after three days, (with the doctor's permission) and just have the packing and a cotton ball in my ear. Much better!

I haven't had near the nausea you have, but I did wear the motion sickness wrist bands when I went back to work today. It seemed to help, although I am tired! I also have no sense of taste, but I'm thinking that might be good as we near the holidays!:)

Hope you are feeling better soon! It will be interesting to compare our recovery since we had our surgery on the same day.

Annie
Hello all,


This is my very first post and I'm not the most computer illiterate so I hope I don't screw this up! :confused:I had a stapendectomy done on my left ear for Otosclerosis on 10/19/07. I go Monday (11/19) for my first pos-op visit. About 2 1/2 weeks post op there was a few days where my hearing felt perfect in my operated ear and I was so excited. But that went sort of downhill in week 3 and still currently is downhill. My doctor said that there's probably still fluid in my middle ear and that there still could be some of the packing and ointment he puts in the ear. Although it's supposed to dissolve on it's own, I would think there's dried up blood and some remaining packing. I hear from my operated ear, but not as loud as my un-operated ear and thing in my operated ear sound different, like tinny and the broken speaker I've read on this thread.

Sorry so long, I'm just looking for re-assurance that it's too soon to expect to hear completely normal from my operated ear. :(

Thanks!!!!!!
I already screwed up! I shoud've said I'm not the most computer LITERATE, not illiterate!!! :D
I also want to say I'm very GRATEFUL and THANKFUL I found this board. I had never heard of Otosclerosis and have been having what I thought were sinus problems since I was 25 (I'm now 37). I found out just 2 months ago it's Otosclerosis and since I'd like to have another baby (I have a 3 1/2 year daughter), I opted to have the surgery now. I'm just worried (it's in my nature to worry and be impatient ;) ) that the surgery didn't work. But from reading all these posts, the one thing I have to have is patience. Thanks again, this post has helped me greatly! :)
Hi everyone
I am post op day 16 now had minimal ligheadedness in morning after 24 hour shift, but doing well now. My hearing improved a lot, I am less sensitive to loud noises now, I am able to hear everyone well (especially men and soft spoken women). I am able to use phone on my newly operated ear.
I had stapedectomy done in both the ears. My stapedectomy was done at shea ear clinic, they invented this procedure in 1956.
Take your doctor's advise regarding the use of asprin and ibuprofen (motrin and advil) in immediate preop and postperiod as they prolong bleeding time.
I will keep posted
Laxmi
Wow, Laxmi! Day 16 and you seem to be doing really well. I'm glad to hear that! You said you have had both ears done - how long did you wait between having them done?

Any other tips on recovering quickly? I am at day 5 and can't wait to get the packing out next week. I still have a lot of ringing and buzzing, and from time to time my ear will throb. How long was it before your doctor removed the packing? Did you notice an immediate difference when the packing was removed?

Thanks!
Annie
Annie,
I had my first stapedectomy in 1998, I had surgery within one year of diagnosis on my left side. My hearing on left side is still within normal range across all frequencies . Used hearing aid at that time for about a year but got tired of it.
I had my second surgery about 17 days ago. I had moderate hearing loss. I walk 4-5 miles almost daily. My only problem is mild lightheadedness when I walk about half a mile. It is getting better day by day. I have self absorbing antibiotic ointment gel placed in the ear, had some ear fullness which is much improved now, my first appointment is in mid december. I noticed improvement immediately after surgery, but it got worse on day 3, 4 and 5 due to fluid in middle ear and liquefaction of the ointment. I did have ringing, and severe fullness which are much improved now. It does get better when they remove the pack as you will be able to hear some. Initially you notice improvement in low frequencies later in high frequencies . I still have have tinnitus but It does not bother me.
Since hearing on my left side is normal small improvement has made lot of difference.
The doctor who did my surgery has done thousands of them, he did not give me an option of hearing aid.
LAXMI
Hi Laxmi! I'm new here---It's been so uplifting to hear of so many people who are going through this especially since up until 2 months ago, I'd never heard of this! :) How did it feel getting the packing removed???? I go tomorrow and I"m so excited to get the rest of the packing out (I also have self-absorbing antibiotic gel) and see how much better I can hear!! :bouncing:
Juliep,
When I called my physician on 7th post op day regarding packing he said it would dissolve and get absorbed, but it can take two months (it is variable among different individuals). I think he has to look into your ear canal and do an audiogram and tuning fork test before he can say anything about hearing. You may only notice very small improvement till then.
When I had surgery done for the first time in1998 probably my hearing loss was mild before surgery (I could not hear phone well) I did not notice much difference for many months, but my hearing did not deteriorate, now I can use phone on that side and the audiogram is normal on that side.
Laxmi
Hi Laxmi!

Thanks for your response!!! :) I just got back from the doctor and he removed the dried up packing/ointment. I still have some ringing but I was told that I could have fluid behind the ear drum that can take more than a month to absorb. BUT, I do hear better than I did before the packing was removed. Like you said, it will be 2 more months before I notice some real changes!!!! I go back in February for an audiogram! :bouncing: Today he did the tuning fork and when placed in the middle of my forehead, I heard it in the middle of my forehead rather than my "bad" ear!!!!!!!!! He said "good!" and that my ear looked great!!! So, I think I'm on the road to better and hopefully "normal" hearing!!

Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow, Julie! I'm jealous - I don't go until tomorrow to get the packing out, and I am so ready! I don't think anyone can imagine how annoying it is until they have something stuck in their ear for a week or more. The ear drops just add to the "tickling".

I am happy for you that your hearing is noticeably better! That's awesome. Hope the rest of your recovery goes just as smoothly.

Annie
Well today was 1 week since my stapedectomy. It's funny how all doctors seem to do things different. My doc kept me in the hospital overnight and before I went home last tues he took out my packing. I also had a couple of stitches that I have never heard anyone say anything about. They were on the little nub at the front of my ear. He used some of that cartalidge (sp) for the window that the stapes attaches to that goes into the inner ear. For the first couple of days I couldn't hear anything out of that ear. I was affraid the operation didn't work but as the week went on I started hearing more and more. This morning was my first day back at work and I couldn't believe the things I heard. I learned that there are many things in my office that make a lot of noise. I don't work in the quite little office I always thought I did. It was amazing. I felt like a kid on christmas morning and all my gifts were the sounds of this beautiful world. My doctor is my Santa Clause. Dr Railsback is the best in the world. Well at least in Fort Worth, TX.

I went today for my 1 week check up. everything looked good and he gave me the drops to disolve the packing behind the ear drum and any dried blood left over. I go back in 3 weeks. Not sure what will happen in 3 weeks because he told me in the hospital I wouldn't have a hearing test for 5-6 weeks. Oh and I forgot "NO MORE DIZZINESS" so cool.....

Annie how are you feeling & hearing?

I hope everyone is doing great out there. If there is anyone like me who is sitting out there reading all these posts and still afraid to have this operation. Just do it. It is soooo worth taking the chance... you can't hear now.... what do you have to loose.... NOTHING..... it can only get better.... man is it better.

I will talk to all of you later

Vickie
Hey---- Carole

I haven't heard anything from you in a while. How are the sinuses? last you wrote you said if you weren't better in 10 days you had to go to ENT. Well if you have to you should contact Dr. Charles Railsback in Bedford.... If you are in Dallas it's probably of bit of a drive but it is worth it. He is unbelievable. When I would tell someone who my Doc was doing the surgery the new him if they had ever needed an ENT 9 times out of 10 they had gone to him or new someone that had.....

Hope you are doing better and don't need an ENT but just wanted to let you know in case.....


Vickie
I just got back from the doctor and had the packing removed. All I can say is "WOW!!" I have been trying to describe to my husband what it feels like to hear out of that ear again after so long, and I find myself at a loss for words. I feel like Superman with super-hearing! I really didn't think the surgery had done much because with the packing in I didn't notice much difference. Vicki, I think you said it best: it is like being a kid at Christmas and the gifts are the sounds of the world. (I dropped my keys in the parking lot of the doctor's office and it sounded so loud I couldn't believe other people didn't stop to see what made such a ruckus.:)

Thanks to everyone who has posted on this - by sharing your experiences, you gave all of us confidence and hope! I hope everyone has a truly blessed Thanksgiving!!

Annie
Hi Annie!

WOW is right! I am so happy to "hear" that you can hear so well!! :bouncing:

I am starting to worry. My hearing seemed pretty good when I got home from the doctor, but yesterday and today it seems like I can't hear as good out of my operated ear----sort of how it was pre-surgery, but not as bad. I talked to the nurse yesterday and she said there could still be fluid behind the drum that takes longer for some people's bodies to absorb and also my eardrum can be thickened--whatever that means??? I do still have ringing and I hope as time goes on, it goes away or lessens. She said this is all the reasons they wait 3 more months to do an audiogram. So, from reading many of these posts, it seems that I won't hear as good for another few months while my body gets used to the prosthesis.

The doctor said the surgery was a success and the tuning fork supported that. I am just impatient and want to have NORMAL hearing in my operated ear sooner than later!!

Have you known anyone who experienced not the best hearing post-op, but over time it all of sudden got better?????
Hi, Julie.

I think what you are experiencing is normal, at least from what I have read here and heard from my doctor. He said it takes a while for the brain and ear to learn how to communicate, and that some days everything will seem loud, and other days too soft. Eventually, it is just right. If anyone has experienced the ups and downs, we'd love to hear from you.

Annie
Hey Julie,

I have read too that your hearing can go back and forth. Every morning I wake up and worry about wether I will still be able to hear as well as the day before. My house is very quite (kids are grown and gone) I have to wait till I get into the car to really tell anything. I did wake up today and my sinuses where a little stuffed up and that affected how much I could hear. I wouldn't worry about it. I too still have some ringing not as bad as the first few days. before the surgery I had tinitus pretty bad but now it's mostly gone and whatever is still there doesn't seem to bother me because I can hear..:D

And Annie I know what you mean about the rukus the keys made when you dropped them....

I will keep you all posted and look forward to hearing about your progress. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.... I am going to go bake a pie and listen for the timer in the kitchen to go off (from the living room)....

Vickie
12 days post-op

Hi All. This is my first post, and I have enjoyed reading all 72 pages since my operation, I am grateful to whomever started this topic, as it has been comforting to see like symptoms, milestones, and especially the various time periods therefor. I must say though, OMG, some of you do go on and on :)

I had mine done by a local surgeon who does over half of the stapedectomies performed each year in Canada. He is approaching the 3,000 mark! He is the one to whom most ENTs here refer. He's all over the web, and I gather people watch him from around the world. My hearing, pre-op, was not too bad in my operated ear, but I was getting sick of the hearing aid (4 years), which, despite it costing over $2,500.00 to purchase 4 years ago (plus plus plus), was doing less and less for me recently, and so thought: "what the heck!". Anyway, I have to say, I was as sick and dizzy as a dog immediately post-op. Was under a general for the usual 45 mins, then dragged home by my good (patient?) wife 4 horrific hours later. Bless her for waiting with me that long in the recovery room, I guess. Operation was on a Friday, waited on hand and foot by wifey and three daughters, then back to work on Monday (a bit begrudgingly, and probably too soon). I am still vertigo-ish, but each day marginally better than previous. Saw doc at the 6 day post-op mark, where he tried to clean out some packing and stuff, but he said it was scabbed, and would have to dissolve on its own. The packing is a self-dissolving polimer, glucose type of stuff. The prothesis is made of Teflon, a material which is a very hard plastic (haven't heard any of you with that one yet). As others say, the ear feels "heavy", "plugged", and has very little hearing in it so far. Recently, some very squeaky tones. As others say aslo, I am very impatient, and this thread has been very helpful in that regard, indeed! I have only just started driving today (12th day post op), as I felt like I wasn't safe till now, and we do live in a city of about 3 mill. Will keep you all posted of my Canadian experience.
PS...Sorry, I see I too did go "on and on" a bit.
Hi, all.

I am on Day 10 and feeling great. I do want to pass on a piece of advice that may or may not work for those of you still experiencing dizziness. I often suffer from motion sickness, so I have some of those elastic wristbands that you wear for going on a boat or riding long distances in a car. I have worn those from the minute I left the hospital until today. I tried not wearing them on Day 6 and couldn't figure out why I wasn't feeling too well. After I put them on, I felt fine. I went back to work on Day 4 and, although tired, managed pretty well. (I'm an elementary teacher,so I'm not used to sitting around.) I do believe that the wrist bands helped me get past the dizziness/vertigo that many of you talk about. I decided to try without them today and have done fine.

As I said, they may or may not work for you. My husband used to make fun of me wearing them until we took a trip where he got sick and used them. Now he has his own pair....

Best wishes!
Annie
Hello all. I agree, we should put at the top how many days post-op we are. :)

I am 34 days post-op. That's why I'm starting to worry the surgery didn't work as my ringing is still there and it's pretty much the same and I hear about the same (maybe a bit better) from my operated ear as I did pre-op! I know I must be patient as Laxmi, Annie and Vickie have stated. I'm sooooo not a patient person---:D

The nurse of my surgeon said that fluid in the middle ear can take longer for some people than others to re-absorb. I'm hoping not too much longer. But I keep seeing on this thread that it takes almost 4 months to notice a remarkable improvement so I have 3 more months to go!!! :)
13 days post op

Hi Gang. No change from my (first) post last evening. Thanks Annie, I will try anything to get rid of the vertigo, which occurs esp when I walk. I will pick up those wrist bands at the pharmacy, as I stagger on the way home from work today. (I must look drunk to passers by). One saving grace for which I should be thankfull, is I have never experienced any pain whatsoever as a result of the operation, so no need for those Tylenol 3s he prescribed for me just in case when I left the hopital. (I'll keep them in my war chest for a rainy day though, just in case). I'll let you know how the wrist bands work. To all others...I'm very eager to "hear" of any other remedies for the vertigo!

Happy Thanksgiving to our American posters! (ours is always about a month earlier, oddly enough).
Hi, all.

I'm at Day 14. Looks like noone has posted in a few days. I'm going to take that as the great news that everyone is doing really well and just enjoying hearing everything!

I went to the mall for the big sales and found it a little overwhelming. I had to leave a store that had too much going on - talking, music, general noise. Anyone else get this overwhelmed (for lack of a better word) feeling? Mind you, I'm NOT complaining!;)

Best wishes,
Annie
Hello all,

Day 13 post-op.... I feel great.:bouncing: I have been on the drops for a week tmrw and I feel great... my ear doesn't pop much anymore and I have virtualy no tinittus in the operated ear. I still get the ringing and what I call cricket noise and the sound of blood rushing in my other ear so I am very anxious to get the other ear done... I think my doctor said about 6 months. I haven't had any dizziness or light headedness since the first week.

My husband says I am like a reformed smoker but with my hearing... I walk thru the house and ask "Do you think the TV is loud enough" I just can't stand listening to it as loud as I used to have to have it... My poor husband who has very good hearing is so use to it being loud he is having a hard time hearing it at the level I put it at now. My Son and Daughter-in-law came over today and couldn't believe how low the volume on the TV was..

I will talk to you all later.... I hope all of you had a great holiday....

Vickie:wave:
Hi all,

6 months post op....

and Canada boy.....BTW....your ears and sinus are all connected. If you get a sinus infection or have sinus issues........it can mess up your hearing and that is what this board is all about. Post op situations and experiences having to do with and affecting your hearing. .....Because you can't blow your nose -hard- for a while after surgery and this is what happens as a result when you can't get all the crap outta your head.

Maybe when you get your first cold/sinus problem and wonder why you can't hear again and how to fix it...and what works and what doesn't....you might be interested.

THAT is why its posted. If you don't wanna read about it, there is the X on the top right hand corner of the web page.

I'm glad everyone else is doing ok.

I haven't heard a peep in about 3 or 4 weeks now out of the right ear. I go to ear doc today to see about getting a tube put in the right ear so it will open and I can hear again. It's been a really stressful few months.

More later....maybe...:mad:

-Carol-





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