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.