February 15, 2013

Me In A Turban, Or "Hurtie Ears"

It is rather unseemly to complain about pain that one inflicts upon oneself. It's probably not reasonable to expect sympathy when one has undergone a purely elective procedure for something as minor as an ear.

But I am not complaining about my pain, nor am I asking for sympathy. I am simply outlining, for those of you interested, what it feels like to become a character from Star Wars.

As many of you know, I underwent surgery on Monday to correct my one-and-a-half sticky-out ears. (Obviously, I have two ears, and both were operated on, but only one was very sticky-out. The other was moderately sticky-out, but it's easier to achieve symmetry if they do both.)

I suffered from an affliction known colloquially as 'bat ear', or, in medical terms, as 'bat ear'. (Yep, sometimes Latin just doesn't cut it.). The ridge of my ear was lacking a crease, causing it to stick out at a 90 degree angle instead of lying flat against my head.

The operation, known as 'otoplasty', involved creating a crease. The surgeon made an incision in the back of each ear, scored the ridge of each ear with a special instrument (as opposed to, say, a spoon), inserted permanent stiches to hold the ears in place, and then dissolving stiches to re-connect the skin.

He then slapped a massive piece of gauze on each ear, wrapped a bandage the size of a turban around my head, fastened it with approximately twelve metres of surgical tape, and sent me on my way.

In the long term, the result will be two beautiful flat ears.

In the short term, the result is two hurtie ears, a new taste for pain medication, and a rather startling resemblance to Princess Leia.

I have never before noticed the similarity

The surgeon reassured me that the pain wouldn't be too bad, and that I could probably make do with just paracetamol. And I totally could, provided that I washed it down with a couple of Digesics, a nice strong sleeping pill, and a slug or two of gin.

The sensations themselves have varied from day to day. The first night it felt as though my earlobes had been sliced off, and two red-hot pokers inserted in my earholes. The second day my entire ears ached, and it pained me to open my mouth. The third day, the pain localised to the site of the incision, and the bandage began to feel very heavy. The fourth day, the ache began to subside, bar the occasional shooting pain in various locations throughout my aural region. Today, day five, I am frantically itchy, and quite desperate to remove the massive turban.

Last night I felt a mild panic attack arise, as the claustrophobia of the bandage began to overwhelm me. I had wild fantasies of attacking the turban with a pair of (safety) scissors, ripping it off dramatically, and scratching my new ears. Perhaps, I began wondering in fear, there weren't even ears under there at all, but two transplanted fingers attached to each side of my head. Perhaps the surgeon had removed my ears and put them back on backwards, as a joke. Or perhaps he'd tattooed them with purple spots and bejazzled them with sequins, just to lift my spirits.

I still don't know. The bandages come off on Monday and all will be revealed. Until then, I am trying desperately not to scratch, and to breathe through the crazed desire to return from planet Star Wars.

Thank you all for your support, and my ears and I will see you soon. Or at least hear you soon.

From a much flatter distance.



  1. Dear Princess Leia., hope you feel better soon and the reveal on Monday brings a smile to your face and an end to the pain and itching,

    xo Chris R @deansmum

  2. Oh Kerri! You never fail to crack me up. Good luck with the unveiling, and if your ears get too itchy, just think about nits, much more satisfying to scratch somewhere accessible. X

  3. I had this surgery done at ten in the olden days and spent a week in hospital and had the bandages on for the whole of summer. Be grateful you didn't have it done in the 70's?

  4. Cannot wait to see the result! I have a family member who wants the same surgery so I have sent her/him (don't want them to be found out due to embarrassment) all your posts about it. Will also be sending your gorgeous after photo. I know it will be gorgeous. Drink some gin for me.

  5. Look at the bright side....at least you don't look like Chewbacca :)

  6. I think you are very brave. Has been a very long time since I've required any kind of surgery or bandages. Bet you can't wait for Monday. xo

  7. Just three more sleeps and you will be p-ear-fect for life. Not much longer hon!

  8. Those bloody doctors... I suspect you got the same ones that we did after my 11 yo son had to have a circumcision for medical reasons. They mentioned they had had to scrape his foreskin off his glans with a scalpel, it had been so tightly adhered*, but said post-op pain relief could be managed with "occasional Panadol". Now, I don't have a glans, but I do know that they're *meant* to have lots of nerve endings, and suffice to say that by the evening of the day my son was discharged from hopsital I was on the phone to the Royal Children's Hospital getting a script for Endone (which can put horses to sleep, essentially. The big ones you used to see on the Carlton Draught ads).

    I'm getting off topic, but I do sympathise with doctors views of pain relief vs. those of the person WHO ACTUALLY GOT CUT INTO. But bright side- you'll soon be able to show your ears off. My son has to keep his remodelling in his pants. xx

    *apologies to anyone who was eating.

  9. Ouch - what made u do it finally Kerri? I have one buck tooth and at age 40 something am considering braces for a few months to reign it in, but I can't bring myself to do it. I hope the results are worth it for u. I'm sure you will love them very soon.

  10. for now Kylie it is in his pants ... I envisage your son will be showing off his remodelling in the not too distant future ;)

  11. I've been wondering how you've been sleeping. It must be hard to lie down with a great bandage on your head, not being able to lie on your side or even turn your head a little on the pillow.

  12. I am feeling your pain with you, while still laughing, sorry xxxxxx hope you feel better soon.

  13. It's reasuring to know that others also include gin in their standard medicine and treatment kit!

  14. I am sure that it will all be worth it in the end - can't wait to see if (a) he has put them on backwards (stranger things have happened) or (b) got them tattooed with purple spots and sequins. I'm thinking if he did tattoo them, he has probably limited your wardrobe immensely by using purplr - he probably should have gone with a colour that you could mix and match more !!
    Have the best day !

  15. Go Leia-bunned, fetchingly turbaned Kerri! She, who makes bandaged heads look a bit cool and desirable :) Only two sleeps to go...

  16. What_Sarah_Did_NextFebruary 17, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    It will all be worth it, of that I am sure, after the ear 'unveiling' on Monday. And for a bit of fun this weekend, why not swan about in a leather bikini, ala Princess Leia in her Jabba days? If you're channelling Leia, do it all the way! xx

  17. Big hugs, hun. Sounds terribly unpleasant. Let's hope that the result is everything you'd hoped for. And don't forget those pics!

  18. Your blog need a redesign. You have grown up and your blog need some branding.


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