Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In Which John Gets An Earful...

For those of you not on Facebook, just wanted to let you know John's ear surgery was a total success, and his recovery has been nothing short of amazing!

Just look at that devilish glint in his eye.  Mrowr.

There was a scary few minutes not too long before I took this photo; John almost passed out while the nurse attempted (and failed) to place an IV in his hand - all while describing what she was doing in excruciating detail. (If you ever get the chance, have John tell you this story; it's hilarious, in a cringe-inducing, horrific kind of way.)

Anyway, John's heart rate dropped down to 30bpm while he was NOT passing out,* so they had to give him adrenaline to kick it back up again. Then they came out to the waiting room and got me.

[*John is very adamant on this point. He did not pass out. He just saw swimming ceiling tiles and sent the entire staff into a tizzy while his vitals tanked.]

John looked like hell frozen over when I got back there, and seeing him in an oxygen mask and hooked up to a zillion machines brought back some awful memories of his near-death illness on our first book tour, but before long his color returned, and we were chatting and laughing again.

More good news: the doc was able to do everything without cutting outside the ear, so there are no clunky bandages to change, *and* he found the problem and was able to fix it.

[For those curious: John had a benign tumor removed from his ear when he was 11, and they had to replace most of his ear guts (technical term!) with plastic and cadaver bones. Over the years that shifted and pressed against his ear drum, causing it to deteriorate. So the doc reset the old fix and replaced the damaged part of the ear drum.]

They sent us home with dire warnings of rampant dizziness, pain, and nausea, but - knock on wood - John hasn't so much as needed a Tylenol until today, and he's been rock steady from the moment I helped him out of the hospital bed. I'm starting to suspect he's not even human.

But the best part? Monday night John came to find me in the office, all excited. "JEN," he said, "I can hear myself breathing in my right ear. I can hear it when I brush my hand against that ear! And everything is SO LOUD."

He was grinning so hard there were tears in his eyes.

So I think I speak for us both when I say: "Worth it." 


(John's surgical packing comes out in another week, and after that we'll know if his hearing is really back to 100%. Hopefully that will also help him feel like he's not shouting all the time, since he can hear himself SUPER well right now with that ear all plugged up. Ha!)

75 comments:

  1. Yay!!! So happy for both of you :)

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  2. Awwww, YAY!!!

    I got all teary-eyed reading this. So happy to know that John can already tell a major difference, even with the packing still in there. That seems very promising! Wooohooo!

    Thanks for the update, Jen! Glad it all went well, despite the over-explainy nurse who *almost* caused the pass-out. (I would pay big bucks to hear John tell the story!)

    Best to both of you,
    KW

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  3. Now I have tears in my eyes. That is so awesome and I am so happy for him :)

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  4. excellent news!! (and i would have had exactly John's reaction to the over-explanatory nurse!!)

    Kath

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  5. I am thrilled beyond words. so happy for you both!

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  6. So glad he's doing so well! Sounds like he might have healing superpowers ;) Continuing to send healing energy your way. Looking forward to hearing how he's doing after the packing comes out. It's really good to see it's been worth it and (hopefully) not as bad a process as you'd feared.

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  7. YAY!! I'm so glad it went well and that John is doing so well after!

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  8. That is so wonderful -- so very, very happy it's turned out so well!

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  9. YEY!!! So exciting! I love good news!
    So happy for both of you. Cheers to you and to amazing doctors (and over-explanatory nurses)! :)

    --Piper P from Washington State

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  10. WOO HOO!!!!!!! (Oh, I forgot, John can hear me now without yelling!)

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  11. I think you guys are adorable, and I am so happy for John, here's hoping everything goes great with recovery, and his hearing will be back to 100%!

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  12. Congrats! My husband had a BAHA implant in his ear (titanium screw with external receiver) just before Christmas. We both teared up when he heard the elevator for the first time and could hear me on his "deaf" side. We also got lots of dire warnings, but everything went super smooth with the healing. Hopefully things continue smooth for you!
    Julie L.

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  13. So glad to hear the great news. Yay, John! We're pulling for you and your apparent superhuman healing powers!

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  14. Glad that the problem seems to have only needed a simple fix for him and that he is recovering rapidly.

    My own IV story - the nurse had problems finding a vein in my arm, so switched to the back of my hand. Where she promptly hit a nerve that not only deadened two fingers but caused excruciating pain that just kept going. After I was able to quit yelling for a minute, she asked me if she should remove it and try somewhere else. Fortunately the only time of many IV insertions that went so bad, but it makes that hand ache just writing this.

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  15. This is all kinds of awesome! How wonderful to have it done so quickly with the one scare, ending up not so scary!

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  16. Fantastic news! Continued good healing thoughts headed to you from Tampa way.

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  17. How terrific! I'm so glad it went well!

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  18. I also got a bit teary-eyed reading this. Glad to hear that his recovery is going well and that the surgery seems to be so successful. Also, I think we need a guest blog post of John telling the story.

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  19. YEA!! I'd guess it's gonna be a little weird for him in the coming weeks as he starts to notice all these weird sounds he's not been used to hearing.

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  20. Fantastic news! So glad things seem to be fixed.

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  21. That is so awesome n.n I have minor hearing damage due to rampant ear infections when i was a teenager (from 10-17 I had 2-4 ear infections a year. I mostly averaged at two the bad years we had up to four). So I know a little of what it is like to not hear quite right. Mostly my ears ring a lot and i can't hear certain pitches like at all. And If there is a lot of noise from different places it all becomes this one big Charlie Brown Teacher womp womp womp and I can't really distinguish between sounds. Mine can't really be fixed except by a hearing aid and i just haven't gotten one because day to day its not a huge deal. (or i have become so accustomed to my level of hearing that I don't realize how bad it is O_O)

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  22. Wonderful news! Here's to quick healing and great hearing!

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  23. Awesome news! Been praying for a speedy recovery!
    -Jo

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  24. That's awesome, congrats, John!

    What's with the pawprint on the shirt? He didn't get this done by your vet, did he? ;)

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    Replies
    1. There's a funny story to that, too: the smock is by a company called "Bare Paws," I think it is, and it comes with a heating tube that snakes from the wall to underneath the patient's blanket/smock. (The pre-op room was freezing cold, so I can understand the need.)

      Anyway, the upshot was, when John turned on the heat with his little hand remote, HIS CROTCH INFLATED. Aaaaand hilarity ensued. And then deflated. And then ensued again.

      Because we are both 12, that's why.

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  25. Wonderful news! I'm so happy for John!

    I'm with those who teared up, but I'm also unable to see/read about anyone who has difficulty hearing suddenly gain their hearing. It just always seems like a miracle to hear and everyone is overjoyed with excited surprise at being able to hear something that most of us don't even listen to anymore (the elevator noises, buzzing, how loud everything can be). It just pulls at the heart in a wonderful way.

    May it be a speedy recovery and thanks for sharing as always!

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  26. I am so happy all went well! I hope John has a quick and speedy recovery! So happy for him! Yay!!

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  27. Yay! Congrats, John! Except for the scary *almost* passing out part.

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  28. Awesome news! Glad John is doing well.

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  29. Woohoo! That is fantastic! I can only imagine what a difference this will be for him. Go John!

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  30. Wonderful news! All happy for John!

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  31. Oh that's wonderful! I'm so happy for the both of you!!!

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  32. I'm so glad to hear all this! It makes me happy to know that you John's doing well. I thank God everything went well and that he's feeling so great post-surgery. =)

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  33. Yay! Glad it worked and that he can hear.

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  34. So glad John is recovering well! Sending lots of good juju for continued healing!!

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  35. Best wishes to you both! Happy to read the good news. Cheers!

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  36. This news is too good to not warrant a "huzzah" from the quiet corner over here.

    HUZZAH! :-)

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  37. Makes my nursey heart happy to hear how well this turned out, but ashamed a member of my profession would be so cruel! Looking forward to more updates!

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  38. Yay! Congrats and here's to a speedy recovery! As for the IV, I'm a big believer in, do what you want/need to do, just don't let me know what's going on! lol

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  39. The glint in John's eye is great...but it's that raised eyebrow that totally makes it!

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  40. Yay! Glad everything went well!

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  41. so glad everything is going so well, continued prayers for a super easy and speedy recovery

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  42. Gah, also tearing up here! So happy for him!

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  43. Yay! I'm so glad it went well! You know, John, we all heart you, too 😘

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  44. Really awesome news!! I'm so happy it went well. Much love to you and John and a continuing speedy recovery! 😊

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  45. I am so happy for you and John!!!!!! <3

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  46. I'm so happy for John and you! And I'm not on facebook, so I'm very glad you thought of us here.

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  47. Isn't technology wonderful?? I'm so happy for you and John (thoj)!!!!! Thanks for sharing, Jen.
    Maureen S

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  48. Awesome news! But, did he have the procedure done at a vet clinic (I see his gown has a paw print on it), and was that the wisest choice? But hey, sounds like the vet did a fab job, so who am I to judge? ;)

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  49. So glad to hear he's doing well! Best wishes for when the packing comes out!

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  50. So happy for him! And you. Wonderful news!

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  51. Great news! Thanks for the update!

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  52. That's great! Glad he came through it so well!

    I have to admit, when you said "and cadaver bones" I went Zoommmbbbbieee Eeeeaaaar" because I'm a dork.

    IVs are such a pain. I have really hard-to-find veins, apparently, and when I had my wisdom teeth out, because they were running really late getting started on my surgery I had 2 techs on each side of me trying to find veins. Imagine 4 people somewhat frantically smacking your arms and pulling tourniquets and talking about how they've never had so much trouble finding a vein and then suddenly, you wake up and it's 2 hours later. Unnerving!

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  53. That's amazing, Jen! And all of us here have always known that John (thoj) is super-human (you, too, Jen. How else could you guys consistently come up with such awesome projects, and be so wonderful for each other?). Congrats on the great news, and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

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  54. Mrowr indeed! Good luck wishes for the ear healing up and being perfect, John!

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  55. I had to have my eardrum replaced when I was about 11. Readers Digest version on why: something went wrong with a tube they put in. It was not a fun experience and they DID have to cut the outside of my ear. It was...unpleasant. I am sort of jealous that they didn't have to cut to ear up! But really, best of luck to you both, it is really amazing being able to hear after years of being in the 'fog!'

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  56. So happy for the good surgery and outcome! I hope he's home very soon and enjoying all the noises he's been missing out on all these years! :-)

    My sister had cholesteatoma when she was young, and she only has about 10% hearing in her right ear. Is this what John had, because if she can get her hearing back that'd be awesome!

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  57. Glad to hear he's doing well. As someone who also had surgery recently (deviated septum fixed), I can attest that it can take some getting used to. In my case, it was being able to breathe through both nostrils at once. (You have no idea how weird that felt at first.) Until he gets used to it, expect some ordinary things (like hearing when he breathes) to amaze him. It'll eventually settle down to a new normal. (Breathing "new normally" for 6 months now.)

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  58. Thanks for sharing on Epbot. Not everyone is on Facebook.

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  59. Awesomeness on every level!!!! *happydance*

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  60. But does he feel.... holey?

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