Got through the morning traffic of San Francisco and turned in on the parking lot of the Ear Clinic in Palo Alto 5 minutes before my appointment. The traffic is crazy at times, so instead of a 40 min. drive it could easily turn into a 2 hour drive… But I made it 🙂 just a little heads up if you ever need to travel the distance.
Dr. Schendel luckily optimistic and didn’t share my concern, he is convinced that when the swelling goes done the ear placement will even out. He told me to do ‘ear excises’ which means I have to bend the ear outwards back a forth a few times a day, this will help the skin stay flexible once the swelling disappears. After assure ring me that the result will look good we said goodbye and I’ll see him one more time the day I leave. At the meet with dr. Schendel I was fortunate enough to meet with dr. Roberson and his assistant Kinsey. He wanted to check how I was feeling and to hear about my ear placement concerns. He also took a look at my ear canal and thought it looked so good that we agreed he removed more of the packing. All the way down to the packing that protects the ear drum. The most amazing sounds came in to my ear. I couldn’t believe it. Dr. Roberson sat on my right side with me facing forward, he spoke to me and explained something about the ear canal and you know what?! I COULD HEAR AND UNDERSTAND WAHT HE SAID ONLY WITH THE USE OF MY RIGHT EAR!!!!! Sorry for the capitals but that was just one of the most amazing experiences ever… I will see dr. Roberson again in 5 days and until then I should keep the canal open as much as possible for good and quick healing. So the next few days I’ll keep sightseeing and just enjoy all the sound coming through.
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After the most fantastic concert with my all time favorite band Tower of Power I got to meet the guys from the band and have a chat with each of them. It was such a great experience. They are some of the most kind and welcoming people I’ve ever met. I got to sit next to the stage doing the show, it was so awesome! The sound was not to high at the venue but the packing in my new ear canal was vibrating or moving at times and that caused a little distortion to the sound but it was all good and I was so overwhelmed and great full.
I was out pretty much all day just walking the beautiful streets of San Francisco. I enjoy all the new sounds, some a good and some are just bad sounds but right now I’m just trying to process all the sound data that constantly fills my head and constantly need to be taken care of 🙂 it’s amazing. Tomorrow I’m going to meet dr. Schendel and tell him about my worries about the ear placement. I hope he can help me and remove my worries.
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Okay, so today I met with Dr. Roberson and his assistant Kinsey McCartney. He did an exam of the healing progress both on the skin craft aread and to the ear canal. He even removed some of the packing blocking the ear canal and holding the skin in place against the canal walls. He says that everything is looking great and the I’m healing fast. After trimming back the packing I seam to get more sound coming through. Its amazing! After the meeting I went to Palo alto and bought a cap. I think it best to hide the skin craft spot both for my self when I look in the mirror and the people I meet I public and at restaurants ect. I get a little light headed from time to time but its nothing I need to worry about and the pain is almost gone. Regarding the plastic surgery part I had a talk with dr. Schendel’s assistant later on. Im not all satisfied with the placement of the lower ear and the eartip. I want a more symmetric look and that’s not what I’m seeing in the mirror right now. Maby its just the swelling and that’s okay if it is. But I want to be sure and therefore I have asked for a new appointment with Dr. Schendel. If there needs to be done anything I hope it can be done before I go back to Denmark on the 22th January. I miss my Wife and daughter very much, its hard being away for so long, so tonight im going for a treat, and its going to be a special expirence, I managed to get a ticket to see one of my favorite bands Tower of power, in ther home town of Oakland.
Beware, below here comes some photos of my ear and the skin craft spot, I hope its not to unpleasent.
The sun is shining and its about 20 degrees celcius in Palo Alto today. I sat outside and had a cup of coffee before my meeting with the plastic surgeon Dr. Schendel and his assistant Dr. Gupta. They took off my bandages and removed the stitches holding the gaze in place. It was a relief finally to get the headband off as it was starting to be annoyingly itchy, warm and just unpleasant to have on. The doctors where really pleased with the healing process and besides the buffing of the skin they think the result is going to be good, once the swelling is down and the healing completed. After a short visit from Dr. Roberson the doctors decided to leave my ear as is and not put bandages on again. I am to be very carful and use a special compound of antibiotics to put on the ear twice a day. All in all a very exciting day.
Today I drove my dad to the airport, his going back home to Denmark. That means that the next 12 days I’m on my own. So today Im going shopping and maby visit a nice restaurant tonight. Im not feeling so much pain today and the remaining pain is mostly in my jaw up around the ear, my bite is still not back to normal but I can eat bread now, thats nice. The new ear makes some funny noises or sounds at times, as it dos it feels like it’s tickling me. Heres a picture from the porch right outside the apartment, very nice place.
I feeling better and better as the days go by. Im still a bit dissy and have to take a few pain pills doings the day. My skin around the ear is starting to get itchy under the bangages, that’s good, this means that im healing. Monday is the first time for the bandages to come off. Its going to be fantastic to see the doctors and my ear again. Heres a photo from Union Squeare, relaxing in the sun with a good cup of coffee.
I had a good relaxing sleep last night and only had to take one pain pill doing the night, thats great. Im not feeling the dizzyness from the post anesthesia either so all in all I feel much better. I also regained my appetite an had both yoghurt and ortmeal. On my left side my bite isn’t that good yet, it like its a little off, and I was advised not to thew on anything hard for the first two or three days af ter surgery. It hurts a bit when I try to close my teeth, so iI’ll stick to fluid meals today, and hopefully thats getting better tomorrow aswell. I was able to go for a walk in the nice weather here in San Francisco and see some great cites at north beach where the apartment is. The new sounds is at times overwhelming even though my ear is wrapped up pretty tight. Im very excited to the get bandages off on Monday and maby start to hear more naturally.
Got back to the apartment late last night, pretty grumpy and very sleepy. I slept most of the night and had to take some pain medication. The pain is okay and the medication dos the job. I can start to hear a bit more, but the bandages blocks out a lot of sounds. Today im gonna stay inside the apartment and not do anything. Mostly sleep and focus on getting the anesthesia out of my body. It usually takes me two or three days to be feeling ‘normal’ again after a operation. The bandages is going to stay on until monday (5 days from surgery) – nice purple color right? 🙂 ( the color of royalty im told ) – Im not feeling very royal right now but the CEI sure did a great job.
Uh Im getting a bit nervous… I met with the nurses and got all prepared and ready for surgery, they informed me once agian about the procedure and took blood pressure and pulse. I also got a chance to chat a bit with Dr. Roberson before surgery, its really nice when the doctor understands you and is easy to talk to. He is really an amazing person. I felt safe and in good hands. The operation went really well. It turned out that my middle ear bones where better than expected and therefore Dr. Roberson upgraded me from a grade 8 to a grade 9 on the Jahrsdoerfer scale. This means that my chances of having normal hearing is up and about 95-100%. I also needed to have my ear elevated a bit to make it look more like the left one, and that was taken care of by Dr. Schendel. The bandages can’t come off until my next apointment so I cant see any reaults yet, nor can I hear that much on my right ear yet. But I can tell that there are sound coming in from my right side already. Im so excited.
First day of my journey towards hearing on my right ear.
Today I was at The California Ear Institute to have my pre-surgery talk with the doctors. I also needed a new Audiogram this where conducted at the same time. All my tests looks good and I’m ready for surgery tomorrow, Wednesday the 7/1-2015.
Yesterday I arrived at a small but very nice apartment in North Beach, San Francisco about a 40 minutes drive from Palo Alto and the Hospital. I’m here with my dad who will assist me post surgery and keeping me company for the first week. My stay is approximately three week because of the 3-4 post operation appointments and due to the risk of pressure to the new eardrum and ear canal during flying. So Ill be staying in San Francisco for a total of three weeks, 2 weeks by myself. My journey started about 5 years ago when I first started investigating the possibilities of reconstruction. In Denmark the national health system provides help for the outer ear reconstruction but the ear canal they cant do. There are simply no surgeons how can do this kind of surgery. But then the health system provides the option to be treated in another country. And that decision relies on the leading ENT. Unfortunately for me this person didn’t agree that this surgery would be a good idea for me. Although all test shows that my chances of getting normal hearing on my right ear is 80-100 %. I spend 5 years trying to convince the ENT to grant this surgery but at some point I gave up. I talked very much about this subject with my dad and he managed to help me with the economics and now the adventure begins.