yet more normalcy

The last update on my recovery from SCDS surgery was 8 days ago. Well, the past week has continued the long road to normalcy. Here’s the latest news.

I’m still on medical leave from my job at Oracle, but have been cleared by my surgeon to return to work on Monday, given a few restrictions. His orders are to be on “light duty” – don’t do anything that’ll cause physical strain, don’t lift more than 10 pounds, start off at 4 hour days working up to 8 hour days by December 21, and telecommute whenever possible. I had kinda hoped to start back to work this week so I could get holiday pay for Thanksgiving and the day after, but didn’t feel good enough soon enough.

A few days ago I drove a car for the first time since surgery. Beth drove us to the shopping mall, and I drove around the parking lot at first. Then, since I seemed to be doing OK, I went out on the side streets, and then bigger streets until eventually I proved to both of us that I’m recovered enough to drive safely. I even drove us home on treacherous Highway 36, which is high speed, bumpy, curvy, and under non-stop construction.

Another “every day activity” I was able to do is that I finished editing a skating video that I shot back in the summer. That took several hours of concentration and computer work. I was slower than I’d normally be, mainly because my hearing problems meant I had to get a videographer friend with good hearing to listen to it and tell me what I needed to fix.

Next milestone: We went to see a movie last night in the theater. This was the first time since before surgery. It was “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” which is about 2.5 hours long plus at least 30 minutes of commercials and trailers and other crap at the beginning. The trailers were very loud, and made my one good ear hurt. I was afraid the movie itself was going to be that loud, in which case I probably would’ve had to walk out. But fortunately it wasn’t, so I was able to make it through the whole film. It’s still not the best movie watching experience, since my hearing isn’t so hot right now, but I didn’t get vertigo from watching all the action on the big screen.

Lastly, a “partially normal” milestone: Thanksgiving! I wasn’t up to traveling to have Thanksgiving dinner with either my cousin or my parents, but we wanted to get out and do something. So we invited a couple friends to go to a casual neighborhood restaurant that offered turkey dinner. It was too loud, of course, but I did my best to be part of the conversations, and once we were finished I was able to quickly get back home where it was quiet. The resulting nap was much more appreciated than most.

Each morning before I shower I still have to coat a cotton ball in Vaseline and stick it in my ear to keep water from getting in. And washing my head is kinda slow because the incision is still sensitive. So getting ready in the morning takes longer than normal, but not too bad.

Thanks for reading this far! Should I post a photo of how my incision scar looks now? Most (but not all) of the scab is gone now and I don’t feel like such a freak being in public without a hat to cover up my Frankenstein head.

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3 Responses to yet more normalcy

  1. Cindy C. says:

    Hi Todd,

    It is wonderful that you are recovering your strength and stamina so well, and I hope your symptoms improve with time.

    I saw your comment on the board that based on the replies you think people may not be following your progress, and I wanted to let you know that there are those of us who are not up to posting very much but we read every word. So please continue to post your progress.

    Thanks, and continued good luck to you.

    Cindy C.

    • todd says:

      Thank you! I’m glad to hear you’re reading these and getting something out of it. People still reply every week to a blog article that my wife posted years ago during the recovery period from my first surgery.

  2. Serenity says:

    Hi Todd,

    I am also following you closely, also saw your message. I am thankful for all the detail and am having my second surgery with Dr. G on Dec 12. Thank you for all that you write. I am planning on reading your first surgery closely as I will have a MF approach since my prior ear surgeries do not allow the transmastoid approach.

    Glad you are doing so well.

    Serenity

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