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The pain I mentioned yesterday subsided considerably during the course of the day: clearly all the chihuahuas and Yorkies have gone to Crufts, where all the toy breeds were being judged yesterday. So long as they don’t come back to chew my ear when the show is over . . . I identified the winner of the group, a cracking little Maltese with oodles of personality. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins overall.

Having had a bit of a think about the levels of pain I’ve had since implantation 9 days ago, I have to say that it hasn’t hurt all that much. It was pretty sore when I came round from the surgery within the ear and at the skull implant site. They kept me dosed up with paracetamol and codeine: paracetamol doesn’t work particularly well for me pain-wise (it never has: I tend to have aspirin rather than paracetamol) but the codeine was an improvement. In the scheme of things, the pain I would say was far less than that of a migraine, which invades not only your head, but your entire being, until you are a huddled ball of pain and nausea trying to find some relief in sleeeeeeeeep. Toothache and earache are also far worse than the pain I’ve been experiencing, apart from the horrid little dog chewing my ear, of course.

I was conscious of four different sites of pain, in my upper right jaw, inside my ear, at the base of the neck, and behind the ear. It still hurts to open the jaw too wide, so things need cutting up quite small, and it is especially bad first thing in the morning, as it has stiffened up overnight. Inside my ear the pain only lasted a couple of days, and it really hurt to burp. Not that I’m so unladylike as to burp a lot, but the burping was a side effect of the constant bubbling nausea I had and the pressure in the ear as I burped was pretty excruciating. Once I stopped feeling queasy, the burping passed off. Where the skull meets the neck it was very stiff and sore, and for about a week I was turning my whole body rather than my head, but that’s passed off now. Behind the ear it felt somewhat raw at first, but that passed off after a few days. The stitches have felt a little bit sore since then, and occasionally irritate, but that’s to be expected as they, and what’s underneath, heal up and draw together. Bear has examined the site and considers it to be neat, clean, and healing well.

It all seemed to be more noticeable when I was tired, and so I have taken codeine just before bed on some nights – but not every night – and I haven’t had any daytime painkillers at all, so I hope that, barring any infections, it will be OK. My dad predicted – he has never had an operation himself in all his 87 years – it wouldn’t be any worse than having a wisdom tooth out. Only very slightly worse Dad!

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