I’m recovering from microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery


Get The Whole Story: Please check the Microvascular Decompression tag page to hear all the updates about my MVD surgery.

S3 E15 Notes

So they were like, “Something is weird. We got to put the EKG on him.” But I’m like a hairy individual, you know? So they got out the trimmers, they’re like, “What?” They’re just like, “What do we do?” … she says to me, she’s like, “Don’t worry. After we’re done, I’ll shave the rest.” I’m like, “Hell no you won’t shave the rest of my chest. Are you kidding?” I think of my chest hair a little bit like Samson, you know what I mean? Stay away from that. Come on, give me a break.

Begin Transcript

Welcome to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast Season 3, Episode 15. I’m recovering from microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery.

Thank you for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast. My name is John, I’m 40 years old, husband, father of two. Small business owner, radio DJ, podcaster, and I have Multiple Sclerosis. I made this podcast to share what I’m going through. I’m not a medical professional. Don’t take this for medical advice. And if you need medical advice, ask your health care provider.

Recap, last episode, I went to Amy’s wedding

I got interrogated by cousin Tommy, the cop. And I had major Uhthoff’s effect. And people were, all kinds of people telling me like they were like, “Put this on your neck. Put this ice water on your wrist.” If you ever have a medical emergency, and you’re surrounded by your whole family, that’s what it was like.

What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast Season three, episode 15. I’m recovering from MVD surgery, microvascular decompression surgery.

I had it about 10 days ago. And it was in the morning, I was the first surgery for the day in the morning. And so I got there really early. I got checked in in the waiting room, and then I went into the OR. I remember being in there for like a second, but then the anesthesiologist knocked me out.

I woke up with 25 staples behind my right ear. But I wasn’t having trigeminal neuralgia pain in my face, in my jaw. It was a little bit numb, like I’d been to the dentist earlier that day, and I was getting ready to go to bed. You know how you can feel it? It’s not quite tingling, it’s not quite like fat lip the way you have, but it just felt weird.

And it’s continued to feel a little bit weird. The side of my tongue tingles a little bit.

And so those staples, they hurt. The back behind my ear kind of hurt. But I wasn’t in trigeminal neuralgia pain. And the thing is that pain is so intense that I was like, “I feel all right. I just had a craniotomy. But I feel okay. Because I’m not in pain like I’m going to die.”

Trigeminal neuralgia pain was the worst. And I can talk about it in the past tense, because the operation was a success.

So I got to give a shout out. Tremendous, great support from my family, and all my friends. And I’m here today. I’m down… Today I’m down to 12 from 15 pain pills I was taking before surgery. I’m taking three less pills. I feel more alive, brighter, I’m surer on my feet, everything. I’m a little low energy. I’m still getting my stamina back. Because for most of the last 10 days I’ve been laying in bed unable really to do anything, kind of woozy when I got up. Because I was on all kinds of medication, and I was on more pain pills because of the surgery.

But now I’m down to 12 pills and I’m on no surgery pain medication. I’m just trying to get off all that pain medication I was on before the surgery. And I can’t… I would just kick it all to the curb, except I have to manage… I can’t go into a withdrawal again. I have to take it down slowly. That’s what they call titration. I have to take one… Right now I’m taking one less pill every three days.

So my wife told me sometime around the beginning of November I’ll be off everything, something like that. I’m excited. And you know me. I kiss my wife on the lips, man. Kiss her right on the smacker. No pain. It was good. Don’t listen kids. Sorry about that. (They think kissing is gross.)

Recovery in the hospital, it wasn’t that awesome.

I stayed there the day and night after my surgery. I was drugged, catheterized, kind of stuck in bed. Had to stay in bed the whole time. I went stir crazy. It was hot. They had these anti-blood clot things on my leg. They were like polyester shin guards or something. And they made me sweat, and I had like a total sweating fit in the middle of the night. It was kind of awful.

They started interrogating me like about whether… how much I drink. And I was like, “Dude, I had a margarita like two weeks ago and I loved it. It was awesome. Why are you bothering me?” And it’s because I was sweating a lot, and all that sweating was making me agitated. It was raising my heart rate. So they were like, “What’s going on? Is this guy having withdrawal from alcohol.”

And I’m like, “Dude, come on, just take these polyester things off…” And they took them off my legs, and I could feel the water on my legs in the wind. I was sweating so much, it was awful.

So I don’t know what that was about. But then they gave me a sedative. It was just crazy. They shaved my chest in the middle of the night, just the parts to give me the EKG (electrocardiogram). And they gave me a drug to slow my heart rate. It was crazy. It was scary. It was the middle of the night. No one was there. But I made it through somehow. In the morning I had a cup of Cheerios with milk, a cup of coffee. It wasn’t that bad. As soon as I could walk, I got out of there that day.

Then I started recovery at home.

My wife worked from home, so she was there all week. She was great for me. The kids were there the next day. I came home from the hospital and then the next day they came home and it was great. My kids are like battery pack, energizer for me. They’re insane. They got their own battery pack.

They have enough energy that they can give me a little energy. I love it. Mom picked them up every morning and took them to school, and that was great. And I think she brought them home actually. So she was doing double duty as usual, mom is doing the thing. And so I got through the week. It was kind of, well let’s see… I really binge watched a lot of… I watched Queer Eye. I thought that good. I watched this other one, The Wrong Mans.

Man, these things are like total trash. You can’t remember them anyway. Queer Eye. I’ve binge watched it so much I got addicted. Like just saying it right now, I’m like, “Maybe I should stop recording this and go watch Queer Eye.” It’s good. It’s empowering. I like to watch it with my wife. We’re like, “That is good.” Gives me ideas about how to dress. So I’m like, “I should dress my age. I shouldn’t wear a T-shirt and shorts every day.” It’s cool.

I’m still on some of the pain meds related to trigeminal neuralgia. But it’s just like a whole new life. So, steps going forward, it’s a new life without pain in my face. It rules. I can touch my face on the microphone… (rubs face on the microphone) get all up in the microphone right there. I can wear a headphones. I’m wearing headphones again right now. I love it. And that means I’m going to get on the air at KFJC again.

So bottom line, I survived surgery. And I’ll be on KFJC. Queer Eye is pretty good.

They shaved part of my chest.

So they were like, “Something is weird. We got to put the EKG on him.” But I’m like a hairy individual, you know? So they got out the trimmers, they’re like, “What?” They’re just like, “What do we do?”

She’s laughing with the other nurse. She’s like, “He’s like Arjun” or whatever. Some guys… It sound like kind of an Indian name. And I’m like, “Yeah, Indian dude has a hairy chest. I have a hairy chest, stop bothering us.” You know? But she was like shaving my chest. I was like, “Yeah, great.” And she was just shaving (some of it)… I’m like, “Just shave the parts where you have to put the EKG on.”

They did that and she says to me, she’s like, “Don’t worry. After we’re done, I’ll shave the rest.” I’m like, “Hell no you won’t shave the rest of my chest. Are you kidding?” I think of my chest hair a little bit like Samson, you know what I mean? Stay away from that. Come on, give me a break. I’ll shave the rest.

All right. Thanks for listening. Nobody going to shave my chest.

You know how it is? You’d need a straight up lawn mower. You can’t do that with just a tiny trimmer. Forget about it. We’d be there for another week. Just shaving my chest. Call up the shaving chest specialist, and he’s going to take one look and say, “We ought to invent another EKG machine before we try and shave that dude’s chest.” Middle of the night. Giggle at my hairy chest. Come on, get off of me.

Got to give a shout out to the universal, worldwide, global, cosmic sponsor, Hoppin Hot Sauce.

(singing Hoppin Hot Sauce jingle)

All right, thanks for tuning into the, What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast. You can get past episodes at whatsthematterwithme.org, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you download a podcast, What’s The Matter With Me? is there. Look in the corner. Look on the floor.

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