Posted by: T. Boyd | December 7, 2017

Diary of a Cochlear Implant

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Note 1: This diary is becoming long, so I have broken it into pages so you can go to the most recent page first – the page index is at the very bottom of each page. I will try to put the index at the top when I learn how.

Note 2: the details in this diary are probably only of interest to those that may be getting the surgery in the future.  I am writing all of my impressions to help remove any fears that those persons might be experiencing.  I found lots of stories of how well the implants work after the recovery and after all the therapy of learning to hear again, but little about the details of the days right after the surgery.

December 5, 2017, 5:00 A.M. – report to VCU for surgery – kept overnight – huge bandage on head – little sleep through the night.

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 8.32.54 PM

December 6, 2017 – the doctors removed the bandage and said it looked good – the stitches are internal ones that will dissolve – arrived back home mid-morning.

December 7, 2017 – after a good night’s sleep I start my diary.

The cochlear implant surgery was successful, the doctors told me – they actually activated the internal part while I was still unconscious, watching the EEG (?) scan – and said it performed like it should.  Anyway, I have a lopsided right side of my head – the ear is swollen and sticking out in some kind of unsightly salute. And the area around the ear and for a few inches above is also swollen.  That will all go away (so they say!).  😎

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 8.36.33 PM      Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 8.35.56 PM   Photo of the incision (ugly)

But all the surgery was done through a incision behind my ear – no incision up on the side of the head where the inside flat disc is imbedded under the skin. This is a magnetized disc, about 1.25 inches (3 cm) in diameter to which the outside attachment will stick magnetically. The inside and outside units will communicate through electric-magnetic waves.  And also, the electrical energy for the internal unit will be powered from the outside through that method. There are no batteries inside my head to be replaced.  Isn’t physics wonderful?!!

However the external unit will not be “attached” until Jan. 4 – silence in that ear till then. Actually, when the surgery internal fluids drain, I should have some residual hearing, and can wear my hearing aid for that ear and hear a little bit, I hope.  The main consequence right now is that I have absolutely no clue of the direction of sound – an important need for looking at who is speaking to you.

By the way, the tinnitus is undiminished – still loud, and new occasional sounds are being caused because of the internal probe that has been inserted into the spiraling cochlear channel.  The ENT folks predicted that the residual hearing will probably be 20 dB down from my previous level.  (I was already 40-50 dB down from healthy ears in my best frequencies – much worse in the upper frequencies), but even a little bit will help detect direction of the sound.

They kept me overnight, but I got very little sleep both Monday night at home (anticipating the 4:15 a.m. alarm, hoping I would hear it), and Tuesday night at VCU Hospital.  Leslie was also away Sunday and Monday night at St. Mary’s Hospital with an upper GI infection, with awful pains – we called 911 Sunday evening to get her there.  And she got home Tuesday afternoon, and couldn’t sleep that night, probably because she was concerned about me.  She is doing well in recovery. So it’s been a crazy few days here.

The Lord hovered over us, and the saints have rallied and met all our needs, and are bringing food.  We got good sleep last night (Wednesday night) – Leslie is still in bed (9 a.m.). When I wrote the friends that I would drive myself into the VCU hospital at 5 A.M. Tuesday morning, one of them said she would pick me up and take me so I wouldn’t have the complication of parking then trying to get that car home.  I had thought, well she probably gets up that early everyday, but, no, she goes to her job between 8 and 9.

That was such an outpouring of love.  A brother had also volunteered to do it but I had already accepted the sister’s offer.  The Lord fills us with His grace and love with which we can bless others, and that brings praise to our hearts.  Lord, we praise You and bless You – “You are a good, good Father – that’s Who You are;  And we are loved by You, that’s who we are”!  Amen.

It looks like I have started a diary here, so I will keep adding to the narrative as the days go by.  Someone asked me to do that, and maybe it will encourage others to have the operation.

Assuming the ordeal is successful, and my hearing will be so much better (as others have experienced it), I can add to the testimonies that encouraged me to go ahead with it, and be able to ask, as so many others have, “Why didn’t I get it done sooner?”

Go to beginning

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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