Ever had an operation?
Im on my second major operation for the same thing! Ever heard of cholesteatoma…? Didn’t think so. It is a rare skin growth disease which effects the inner ear.
For years and years I would have many ear infections. Really bad painful infections which would effect my entire face! I would have really foul smelling discharge and my ear would fold forward from swelling. Very embarrassing, especially when your in secondary school. It got so bad that my ear would actually bleed. As I grew older the infections started to die off slightly, it was weird because I did not change anything, nor was I taking anything to prevent them from starting.
Perforated ear drum was a common issue I had. And yes it can happen more than once. Very painful! The pain was so bad that I couldn’t sleep for days on end! I would take the strongest pain killers like tramadol, and they wouldn’t do anything. One time the pain got so bad I was admitted to hospital for three days. I was on a drip and they were pumping all sorts of drugs in me, and it was great! I could actually fall asleep.
As you may have read in one of last years posts, I applied and joined the royal navy. Two years I waiting for a start date. During that time I would get myself fit physically and mentally. After just four days of being in I was discharged by the naval medics for having abnormal ear canals which needed immediate specialist attention.
I quickly got an appointment with a consultant in ENT and they advised me that a career in the armed forces was not possible with my condition. He also stated that this should have been picked up a lot sooner and repaired. He also said that the NHS had lost all my notes from when I was younger. I was disappointed, loosing a career and knowing that it could have been solved a lot earlier in my life.
The consultant re assured me that he would do everything to help me. I had regular appointments for him to analyse my ear completely. I had numerous scans and tests. And then he said he needs to open up the ear and get in to have a closer look of what is going on inside. He explained the procedure in depth so that I would understand exactly what was to happen. The procedure was called mastoidectomy. If you have a strong stomach google it. I did, I had to understand and watch exactly what was going to happen to me.
One year after coming out of the navy I was having my 1st major surgery. I was so nervous and I hate the thought of the butterfly in the hand. They wheeled me into the anaesthetic room, placed the rubber band at the top of my arm and asked me to make a fist, to get the veins to come out on my hand. He placed the needle in and I watched as something very strange happened. When he injected the fluid, the top of my wrist bulged up! Like a bubble. The anaesthesist had left the rubber band on my arm so the fluid had got stuck in my wrist! I took one look and passed out. 6 hours later I woke up in recovery.
This operation confirmed that I had cholesteatoma. This could have been picked up a lot earlier in my life, so disappointing.
As you can see in the pictures my whole face swelled up to a ridiculous size. It only took two weeks to recover from this, and considering they were operating so close to my brain, it was pretty quick. I had regular check ups following on from the operation. The consultant wanted to keep a very close eye on it to see how it was healing and to make sure the disease did not re appear. I had the surgery in June 2016.
Unfortunately a year after the operation a cyst had developed in my ear canal. Every time I went back to see the consultant the cyst got bigger and bigger. It was getting so big you could actually see it by just looking into my ear. Again I was sent for more scans as the consultant needed re assurance of what exactly it was. Soon after we had the results, and he informed me that another operation was needed. Exactly the same procedure and they would use the same scar to enter to save having multiple scars. There was also a possibility a skin graft would have to be done. This is because each operation requires drilling into the skull and removing muscle tissue. They informed me that there was a possibility that cartilage may have to be removed from my left ear and placed into the right ear.
So I started 2018 off with major surgery. 3rd of January, great! I was not as nervous this time, as I had been through it before. The only thing was again the anaesthetic butterfly in the hand. This time went so much better! I had a group of four staff, all helping out for a smoother experience. They were great, having a good laugh whilst explaining exactly what they were doing. A woman took my hand, placed the rubber strap on my arm and placed the needle in so gently I hardly felt it. She removed the rubber strap unlike the other guy. This time I also had gas and air! Wow what an experience that was! I tried to hold on for as long as possible. But before I knew it, I was out for the count.
This operation was not as long as the last, but I struggled to come around after the anaesthetic. It took them an hour and a half to get me to wake up. They pumped me with oxygen. And when I came around I had morphine straight into the butterfly. And after a few doses I was on cloud 9 again!
The first operation I must say was much easier to recover from. This one is really making me feel terrible. The pain is so intense and my balance is all over the place. And worst of all, I am stuck in my house. I am so bored.
Maybe I should write more posts. Last year I really got into writing blog posts and gathered a few followers. I do apologise to my current followers for not writing sooner.
What are your experiences of surgery?
Ever heard of my condition?