I'm doing better today than yesterday, but not great. I'm having a lot more surgical pain than I expected. I can barely turn my neck & use my shoulder. At least I'm not nearly as nauseous today as I was yesterday. That's always the worst feeling. I think that they were debating keeping me in the hospital overnight because I was feeling so rotten & my liver enzyme abnormalities (which cause me to not be able to metabolize most medications well) made it really hard to get my pain & nausea under control. It took 4 shots of dilaudid, one of fentanyl, a steroid, and 2 shots of reglan & zofran for nausea, before they were finally able to get my pain & nausea under control enough that they let me go around 7:30 pm last night (we had a 1 1/2 - 2 hr drive home, so they had to make sure that I could make the car ride). The surgeon did tell me that I should NOT work this week. That's probably a good thing, because at this point I don't even think I could drive because of the surgical pain.
This procedure took about
1 1/2 - 2 hrs, and they used general anesthesia. They replaced the trial electrodes with permanent ones, and then tunneled the wires under my skin behind my ear, down my neck, and into my chest, where they implanted a ~ 2 in long pacemaker ~ 2 in below my collar bone. I have a ~ 5 mm incision on the side of my face, in front of my ear, at the hairline, and another ~ 5 mm incision behind my ear & then what appears to be about
a 2 in incision on my chest (I say "appears," because it is cover with a waterproof dressing, so I can't actually see the suture line).
They did reposition the lower electrode, as I had some questions about
increasing coverage of the eye (the trial stim covered about
2/3 of the eye, but not the whole eye). As it turns out the lower (infraorbital) electrode wasn't positioned as high as the surgeon wanted it during the trial (it was more in my cheek than under my orbit). Now it sits right below the orbit & the other electrode (supraorbital) sit just above my orbit, about
at the top of the eyebrow.
I have not turned on the stimulator yet. The Medtronics reps told me to give it a day or two before I turn it on & I'm perfectly happy with that, as moving around is really painful & I don't know that I'm up for figuring out all the new gadgets (they gave me this huge brief-case thing filled with gadgets - recharger, remote, etc). For now they just put the same programs in the stimulator as I had in the trial, but they will meet me at my next dr's appointment in about
10 days to reprogram the stimulator with more programs & settings. They did a bit of tweaking yesterday, but I was still pretty numb, which made it hard.
I am very excited to finally be able to shower again, although I don't think I'm going to tackle that until tomorrow! This was the worst week possible to not be able to shower (was in the 90's & 100's with high humidity all week).
Again, thank you all for your support throughout this journey. It was so nice to know that you were all here wishing me well.
Post Edited (skeye) : 7/10/2010 5:20:43 PM (GMT-6)