Monday, September 27, 2010

Goonies never say die!


It was a beautiful day to drill a hole in my skull! Mara and I got into the city at 9:30 and took our time getting to the NYU Medical Center. Check in time was at 11am, so we went to McDonald's for breakfast. She had her big breakfast platter while I salivated over the buttered biscuit and shiny-looking eggs on her plate. Was I hungry? Maybe a little. :-)

Ready for a mid-day nap!
We got to NYU a little bit before 11, but they took us into the pre-op room almost immediately. I changed into my gown. A long succession of nurses came into the room one after the other asking me the same questions again and again.

Are you allergic to medication?
Have you ever had surgery before?
Which ear will we be doing?
Your name? Date of birth?
Are you really that hairy?

The doc marking his territory
Dr. Roland, the surgeon, came in at 12:30 to say hello and to mark my ear. 20 minutes later, a nurse escorted me into the operating room. She was hot. I even noticed the male doctors and nurses staring at her as we were walking by. Made me think of Grey's Anatomy, wondering which of them she actually slept with. The room was freezing cold, but they kept me warm with heating blankets. They hooked up my IV and leg warmers. I was ridiculously cozy. I remember thinking, "I don't need anasthesia. I am so freakin' comfortable, I could fall asleep ri--"... then I was out.

That was the easy part.


The first image coming out of consciousness was of my wife and father talking with the nurse. I couldn't move, I couldn't hear. I was so groggy. I passed out again, and when I woke up, they were all standing/sitting around my bed, looking so sullen. Did someone die?, I thought.

Out cold
The bandage was wrapped really tight around my head. It definitely decreased the blood flow up there! It took me 3 hours to finally muster enough energy to get out of the bed and into the chair. I threw up immediately, of course. There was talk about possibly staying the night, but I refused. I was so uncomfortable, I just wanted my bed. Just give me my meds and my pillow, and I'll be fine.

I was wheeled out of the hospital to the street. The picture below is an apt description of how I felt at that time. I'm such a baby. Who knew it would take so long to get out of this groggy state?
 The 90 min car ride was fine, despite the terrible rain storm we drove through. The walk from the car to the house made me dizzy and I threw up again. Parker, our excitable puggle, was so damned thrilled to see me, he almost knocked me right down into the toilet. Despite my general discomfort, I slept through the night, surprisingly enough.

Waiting for the car
The following 4 full days of recovery were on-again off-again. Sometimes I felt pretty good, and other times I just felt crummy. The incision was the least of my problems. The meds were working and it was healing fine. The swelling was uncomfortable, but got better each day. What plagued me most was the dull generalized heachaches near my temples. I also had slight vertigo/dizziness, as well as a very irregular digestive system. (Prune juice = gross). All were considered to be normal. Some symptoms will come and go for a good 7 to 10 days. So even if I'm feeling a little better one day, the next day may not necessarily be the same.

My wife has been awesome throughout the entire experience. She made sure I got all of the rest I needed. She may have muttered at some point about men never surviving the childbirth process, but I probably tuned her out. Remember, I only have one functioning ear. I can only hear certain things now.

The deepest cut
Today - Day 5 of Recovery - the general headache still persists, along with some light-headedness. On top of that, I think I might be getting a cold as I'm feeling a bit hazy, got a little sore throat. It didn't help that it was windy and rainy during the walk to my office this morning. Yuck!

So what have we learned from this so far?
In a nutshell, I'm a big baby. That's all there is to it.

Oh, and what's the meaning of my post title, you ask? Well, Mara and I noticed after the bandage came off on Thursday morning that I resembled a popular character from the great 80's film The Goonies.

Yup, you guessed it.

The swelling has since gone down, though.


Kieron said...

LOL Dave, it's kind of painful to be laughing about this since I'm still tender but you've got a great attitude. And that photo of Sloth is kind of how I felt the first night.

Dave said...

Thanks Kieron! I couldn't help but crave Baby Ruth for days afterwards.

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery!

Pandaundercover said...


I had my surgery on Sept 16th and experienced similar side effects like you. Except I wasn't given any drugs at all, ibuprofin and tylenol didn't work, and I ended up severely dehydrated and stuck in bed for 2 days straight before I had to hydrate myself or go to the ER. It was pretty sucky, but after about 9 days, I'd say I was pretty much back to normal. It's been 2 weeks now and I still can't muster the courage to sleep on the surgery ear yet, but I can feel I'll be able to any day now. So, I assume you are better now? When will you be activated? I'm following your blog. :-)

Dave said...

Hi! Thanks for reading. It seems we are on a similar path. I am feeling a bit more normal now, I'm definitely coming out of the "funk" of surgical side effects. Not ready to sleep on that ear either! I'm activated on the 13th. You?

Pandaundercover said...

15th! :-)