Monday, November 18, 2013
The pain during the following three days was so severe,that it would wake me in the night 30 minutes before I could even take another pain killer. (I can honestly say that I now have a bit of an idea as to what its like to have a migraine)
When I went back to the specialist, he did his little tests with a cotton ball...made me smile and grimace,etc.. He then sat back in his chair and said, "I have to be honest with you Laura...I'm not happy with what I'm seeing. The paralysis hasn't gotten any worse,but it hasn't improved in the slightest bit either."
He proceeded to inform me that if we weren't able to relieve the pressure on the facial nerve,a lot of the damage already done would be permanent because the nerves wouldn't be able to repair themselves.
He then suctioned again,but this time he wasn't able to get a lot of fluid out.
He told me that because he had never operated on a pregnant woman before and wasn't sure of the risks involved,we had two options.
1. - Continue to suction the ear out every couple-three days and hope and pray that we get the paralysis eased,then operate once the baby is born.
2. - Strap me down and do the major surgery under local anesthetic with me awake.
After he sent me home a second time,I couldn't cope anymore....I went in about 2 days later and told him, "Do it, I don't care if it hurts like CRAZY and I'm awake...Just get this thing outta me!"
The doctor just nodded his head and said, "okay."
That night,around dinner time...I received a phone call from my specialist.
"Laura, we can put you under!!" He said excitedly. "I've consulted with several of my colleagues and all of them agree, there is a specific time during a woman's pregnancy where general anesthesia can be used with little to no risk to you or the baby."
After I got off the phone,I couldn't help but cry a little.
The next day it took a LONG time for them to be able to squeeze me in for surgery,but they did get me in.
Shortly before I went under,the doctor said it would take no more than an hour and a half.
I'll never forget as I was waking up I heard the doctor say to me..."Laura, we got it ALL." I then proceeded to give him a thumbs up!
( I later found out that the surgery had taken almost 4 hours to complete,not the estimated hour and a half....he also told me that the cyst had been one of the largest he had ever removed...the diameter of a softball...I lost 5 lbs. during my 4 days in hospital)
Because there had been so much infection in my middle ear,they had to remove part of my ear canal,one bone had to be placed inside the surface of my skull (to harvest later),and yet another tiny bone had to be removed because it had been completely eaten away by the infection.
One year later,after being completely deaf on my right side, they went in again and replaced the destroyed bone with a prosthetic one and put the other one that had been in my skull back to where it was supposed to be.
I now have only about 40% of my hearing in that ear but hey,I can hear!!
From that point on I have had to deal with constant,recurring infections because the ear drum will more than likely never heal but I am SO thankful for my otherwise good health and that my daughter was born a healthy 9lbs. and is one of the smartest 5 year olds you will ever meet.
Trust God,he will bring you thru ANYTHING.
Oh! And within 5 hours after the surgery,the facial paralysis was totally gone!!
Only the one half of my tongue was permanently affected.
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Friday, November 15, 2013
Now, I've had ear infections and what-not in that ear since I was 14 and after being in pain so often,you kind of get used to it.
BUT, during this particular infection I was almost three months pregnant with my third daughter so there was little that the doctor could prescribe for me other than Tylenol 3's with Codeine for the pain.
I figured that this would be like all the other ear infections of the past and would eventually run its course and be over with,so I proceeded with my plans of heading down south for two weeks. (Little did I know,but there was something seriously wrong with me)
As I and my twin daughters made our way to my cousin's house that night, (yes,I go on several road trips alone with my beautifuls) I drove from about 7am until 2:30am the next morning.
Because I was driving,I saved my T-3's for sleeping at night so it wouldn't affect my driving at all....But the pain was still there.
I started to notice that what I thought was just a scalded tongue,wasn't healing/working right....I drank a lot of hot chocolate while I was pregnant,so I didn't think anything of it at first.
Towards the end of our two weeks holidays, the girls and I visited with my grandparents in Louisiana.
While there, I started to feel odd.
A bit later as I went to sip some decaf from a mug,I realized that I couldn't get my lips to curve properly so that I could drink.
Later that night as I was brushing my teeth, when I tried to swish water,a bunch of it just dribbled out the right side of my mouth....I wasn't able to fully close my lips together.
Now I KNEW something was wrong.
At that point,I did NOT do the smartest thing...I didn't tell my grandparents what was going on.
I just packed the girls and I up,said our goodbyes and headed north to home.
I drove straight thru the day/night,only stopping to sleep for a couple hours. I just knew I had to get back home to Canada.
We arrived home exactly 14 days after starting our trip,and two days later I went in for my regular pre-natal appointment.
When the doc did a couple little tests to see where the paralysis was,he made a call immediately to an ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) specialist,setting up an appointment the next morning.
When I went to the ENT's office,he informed me that he thought I had what is called a cholesteatoma,or a cyst growing within my sinus cavity and that it was putting pressure on my facial nerve therefore causing the paralysis. He then decided that he would lance it,suction whatever he could to relieve the pressure,then wait until I had the baby to perform surgery.
However, because I was pregnant we were unable to get a CAT scan done to see just exactly where/how big this thing really was.
To Be Continued.......
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