Days Seven to Eight of Todd’s Trip for SCDS Surgery: Sunday and Monday at Hilton Homewood Suites in Covington, LA

SCDS is superior canal dehiscence syndrome, a condition of the inner ear. Typical symptoms are autophony (hearing your own voice in your head) , dizziness, and balance problems.

After Todd spent Saturday afternoon and night catching up on the sleep he didn’t get in the hospital, he began feeling much better. He was able to sit in the living room for a little while on Sunday, and he’s been eating more.

Todd's bandageThe big event Sunday was cutting off the turban and letting his incision get a little air. Was I prepared? Of course not. I don’t mean prepared for the sight of the wound; I mean I didn’t have a pair of scissors handy. I considered my options: the kind of pointed nail snippers that manicurists use on your cuticles (too slow) or a paring knife (too dangerous) or scissors from the front desk. I ended up snipping the threads of the turban a few at a time with the scissors from Todd’s sewing kit, which are shorter than my thumb and not very sharp. I was terribly afraid I would hurt him, but I didn’t.

The entire turban was made of gauze, all padded together to ensure that any impact on the ear would be cushioned. I thought there might be some kind of cup in there to keep pressure on the wound site, but no. I’ve never seen anything quite like the incision, with all its staples, but it looks very carefully done and seems to be healing nicely.

Next I helped him shower in the handicapped tub. Even though he’d had a couple of sponge baths, he hadn’t been able to scrub off all the sweat caused by his reaction to the steroids. He felt a lot better once he was cleaned up and dressed in a fresh set of clothes. He was able to put on his own socks, but I have to put on his shoes and tie them for him, because he can’t bend over for a few weeks.

The worst part, for me, was trying to get a T-shirt over that incision. I was so tempted to cut the neckline of the shirt to make it easier, but then I remembered (1) I had no scissors and (2) Todd doesn’t really like V-necks.Todd's incision

My reward for all this was going to the grocery store. That may not sound exciting to most of you, but keep in mind I’ve spent most of the past week in a doctor’s office or a hospital. Plus, the store I discovered was really cool: Rouse’s, a Louisiana-owned grocery store. Not only did it have an extensive selection of wine (and beer and liquor, though I didn’t pay any attention to that), but cases of cheeses, locally made butter, Boulder ice cream, and some organic and natural products.

The King Soopers where I shop probably stocks more natural and organic products, but this store had a much nicer layout, especially of its specialty items like cheeses. The wine aisles blew me away, though. I spent far too long at the store, and when I got to the checkout, I said to the clerk, “This is the first time I’ve ever bought wine at a grocery store in my life.”

When I got back, Todd told me he thought I’d been gone too long. He was fine, though, so I didn’t bother feeling guilty. And once I fed him some of the Mexican chocolate ice cream, he was completely reconciled to the entire affair.

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Goodies from Rouse'sOn Monday Todd and I ventured into the lobby for breakfast and for dinner. He didn’t have much trouble with the elevator, but every so often he has to stop and lean against the wall because he gets dizzy.

We spent some time talking about how his right ear feels: he can’t hear out of it properly. When a noise does get through, it doesn’t sound right. I asked him if that scared him, and he said it didn’t really. I think he’s glad that he doesn’t hear his pulse in his head so much anymore. I assume Dr. Gianoli will give us more information about his prognosis on Thursday, when Todd has his one-week checkup.

I took a little walk around the hotel and found a flock of 30 chipping sparrows, a couple of killdeer, and a black vulture in the distance. A dirt road off behind the hotel tempted me, but it looked pretty muddy. And I kept wondering: Where exactly do alligators live? Could there be one hiding back in there somewhere? Probably not, but still I’m chicken.

Now that Todd’s waking up and beginning to enjoy life after surgery, he’s also starting to think of all the things he wants to eat, like a huge burger from Applebee’s. He tried to convince me to get him one for lunch. What was he going to do when he had a bite of that burger in his mouth (bread and meat and onions and tomato…), I wanted him to tell me, since he’s not supposed to eat chewy food.

He had to settle for Chef Boyardee. At one point in my life, I really liked that stuff; I think it must have been about 40 years ago.

But he ate it all and thanked me for “making” it. He is a sweet person.