Post-Surgery Instructions

The veterinarian told us to be sure to keep the protective cone collar on our dog for two weeks after the operation in order to prevent her from gnawing and picking at the area where the surgery had been done. He said that no matter how eager we might be to take the collar off, we should exercise patience and abide by his instructions to not remove the collar for the full two weeks.

It was hard to keep the cone collar on our dear dog, especially at night when she couldn’t get comfortable. We figured at night she’d mostly be sleeping anyway, so we decided to remove the collar in the hope that she…and we…could get some sleep.

Fast-forward one week, when we were back at the vets so he could treat the infection around the surgical site. He looked at and chastised us for not following his instructions to the letter.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot It January prompt, where the word is “letter.” Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (operation), Ragtag Daily Prompt (gnaw), Word of the Day Challenge (picking), Your Daily Word Prompt (eager), The Daily Spur (patience), and MMA Storytime (fast-forward).

Share Your World — Murphy Says Hello

Share Your WorldMonday is Share Your World day. Today is the first Monday of a new year and a new decade. So let’s see what Melanie, at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, wants us to share.


Is “hello” enough for you these days?

You had me at “hello.”

Do you believe in Murphy? For those who aren’t familiar with Murphy, here’s a wee explanation: Murphy’s Law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

These days I believe that the proverbial Murphy has inhabited the bodies of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and most Republicans in Congress. It’s time for an exorcism!

Does evil come from within? If so, why?

I don’t believe that humans are born evil or that evil is an inherited trait. Evil is learned. I also think the definition of evil is fluid. For example, some people believe abortion is evil. Others believe that denying a woman domain over her own reproductive rights is evil. Some think homosexuality is evil, but others don’t. Seems to me that evil, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Are intelligent people more or less happy than others? What defines intelligence?

There is no correlation between intelligence and happiness. One can be intelligent and happy, intelligent and unhappy, dumb and happy or dumb and unhappy. That said, I did come across at least one article reporting the results of a study, which concluded that, “Those with lower IQ are less happy than those with higher IQ.”

Please feel free to share a quote, photo or thought about gratitude.

I had my first follow-up appointment with my ear surgeon today, and he said that, of all the possible outcomes from the surgery, mine was the second best. And for that, I’m grateful. He was able to remove the entire mass without having to drill into my skull. But the growth had destroyed one of the small middle ear bones, which means my hearing won’t be restored in that ear. But he also said that, after a second surgery to implant a prosthetic bone six months from now, there is a strong possibility that my hearing will be at least partially restored. And I’d be extremely grateful if that’s the case.

I’m Alive!

09D3CE13-6A73-42AC-AF57-19CFD2B11A55.jpegWhen I first opened my eyes, I looked around and saw several women walking around in blue scrubs. Things were a bit blurry because I didn’t have my glasses on. One of the women in blue approach me. I asked her if I was alive. She laughed and told me that I was in the post-operative recovery room. “Oh good,” I said.

I survived my surgery. And the good news is that the surgeon didn’t have to drill a hole in my skull. He was able to remove that nasty mass in my middle ear through my ear canal. Yay!

But the bad news is that it was, indeed, a nasty mass and apparently it feasted upon at least one of the tiny bones in my middle ear, meaning that my hearing in that ear won’t be restored unless I have another operation to insert a prosthetic bone (or bones) in my middle ear, and that can’t happen for at least another six months. That’s disappointing.

Meanwhile my ear canal is filled with cotton and other materials and is all bandaged up. I still can’t hear out of that ear, it still feels congested, an my tinnitus (ringing) in that ear is even louder than it was before the surgery. But hey, I am alive, right?

It will probably take me a few more days before I am fully recovered and can get back into the swing of things with respect to my blog (and my life). But I do want to take a moment to thank you all for your well wishes and, while it’s definitely going to be a quiet and tame New Year’s Eve for me, I hope you will have a very nice night tonight ringing out 2019 and ringing in 2020.

Under the Knife

10A3A3A9-2E71-41EA-81E5-D150CB66CBE4It’s been about two months since I was last able to hear properly out of my left ear. I have some sort of growth, called a cholesteatoma — fortunately noncancerous — in my middle ear and I’m having surgery on Monday to remove the growth, which should, if successful, restore my hearing.

But I have to tell you that I’m having mixed feelings about undergoing the surgery. It’s supposed to be microsurgery, where the surgeon goes in through my ear canal, cuts a flap in my eardrum, and then removes the growth that is behind the eardrum. Two hours, easy peasy, right?

Well, theoretically, yes. But if, for some reason, he can’t get to and remove the growth completely, then he’s going to have to drill into my skull, and get to the growth through my inner ear, which could take hours longer and is a much more complex surgical procedure with significantly higher risks.

I’m fully registered with the surgical center and I’m looking forward to having the surgery done. But, at the same time, I’m worried about the possibility that something might go haywire. I completed my advance directive and have updated my will, just in case the wheels come off the bus.

I will probably be taking a bit of a hiatus from my blog after tomorrow. I have scheduled my FOWC with Fandango one-word prompts through a week from Sunday. But I won’t be able to read and respond to your comments after tomorrow or to read your posts probably until the end of next week.

So I’m about to go on a challenging journey, and I hope that shortly after the first of the new year, I’ll be back here singing the same, old song.

See you when I get back!

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (mixed feelings), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (theoretical), The Daily Spur (register), word of the Day Challenge (hiatus), Your Daily Word Prompt (journey), and Daily Addictions (song).

You Want Me To Do What?

D2F03178-0A8B-414F-8C8B-FD3D38D61648As I prepare to have my head operated on around the end of the month, there are certain steps I’m required to take prior to the surgery. I must have an EKG to ensure, I suppose, that my heart can handle the stress. I have to have a bunch of blood tests, I suppose, to validate that my blood is red, good, and that there are no underlying diseases lingering. And I have to have a pre-operative physical exam from my primary care physician, I suppose, to confirm that I’m of sound mind and body.

I had the physical exam on Thursday and I apparently passed with flying colors. In fact, my doctor said that I’m in great health — for a man my age. I don’t know why she had to add that caveat about a man my age, but whatever.

Then she asked me if I had an advance directive. “A what?” I asked. She gave me a website and suggested I download and complete the advance directive form. “Just to be on the safe side,” she added.

So when I got home I googled “Advance Directive,” and much to my chagrin, this is what I found:

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.

End-of-life care! WTF? My surgery is going to be done in a surgical center on an outpatient basis, not even at a hospital. But my doctor thinks I need to provide legal instructions regarding my medical care “just in case” I am unable to make medical decisions for myself.

Damn. That doesn’t give any warm fuzzies. My doc seems concerned that I might come out of surgery and not be mentally competent to make my own health care decisions. Or maybe even be brain dead!

Up until now, I haven’t been too worried about this surgery. In fact, I’ve been looking forward to it so that my hearing issue will be fixed. But now that my very own doctor has told me to make sure I have a legal document that will give the doctors and my family instructions on what to do in case I come out of surgery in a vegetative state, I’m feeling a bit uneasy.

Thanks a lot, Doc.