Friday, October 22, 2010

The Waiting Game

This will probably be the hardest of all for me. I wish I had more patience but I'm not asking for that. If I asked for patience, God would TRY my patience to give me more and I certainly don't need that! There are many "waits" in this process. The wait for approval, then the wait for a surgery date. The wait for the surgery and then the wait for activation. Activation is the day the journey begins.

That is the day we start to get answers. Some people start hearing right away (although not normal hearing) while others it takes time to retrain the brain to hearing sounds. It is something that you have to work at and I plan to do all I can to make the most of this device. I wonder how long my wait will be...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What It Looks Like

This is what is implanted inside the head. The nickel is there for comparison size. The string looking thing is what is placed down into the cochlea. The gold part is the "brains" and the other end is the magnet that the disk will stick to that sends info to the processor.

This is the complete set up. The BTE (behind the ear) has no ear mold so I think comfort is going to be better than a hearing aid. Instead there is a T-Mic which just hangs right in the opening of the ear which allows you to put a phone right up to your ear or wear headphones like anyone else. The blue disk will be stuck to the side of my head which connects the "brains" to the processor. I was trying to upload a picture of how it looks on but I am not getting that done! I shall try again another day.

You can watch an actual video of the implant surgery at this link if interested.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Getting Started

Last week was my first appointment with the doctor to decide if I was a candidate for the surgery. I already knew I was which he confirmed and set up an appointment this week with my new audiologist. He gave me a packet of information about AB (Advanced Bionics) implants to look over until I met with the audi. She will answer any and all questions.

As soon as I got home, I read every word. I didn't even know before this point there was more than one implant. I had a lot to learn! The more I read, the more questions I had. Very overwhelming! Among this packet is an online group of CI (cochlear implant) users. The has been my saving grace. I highly recommend anyone going through this at any point take a look there. There is a wealth of experience and information there. The support is incredible because no matter where you are in your journey, they have been in your shoes and KNOW what it is like.

My appointment with my new audi was a success yesterday. She is a wonderful person and had all the time I needed. I was there over an hour asking questions and didn't even realize I was there that long. When I left there, I had more choices to make. This is a once in a lifetime decision and I have to be sure to make the right choices. I have discussed these choices with people from the Hearing Journey and am comfortable with the choices I will make. Their experience is so comforting.

Once I get approval, I will be getting AB Harmony with T-Mic. I will only be doing one ear so I have decided to do the right. I am confident that once implanted, I will be able to use a phone again along with listening to music and hearing my grandchildren's voices! I am so excited! I am going to be a bionic woman! LOL

My Journey To Better Hearing

A little history..
My hearing loss started about 20 years ago. Not bad but simple things like my kids could not talk to me from the next room. It has been a gradual loss but continued. About 10 years ago, I started wearing hearing aids. They helped in amplifying the sounds but never really gave me any clarity. Speech has always been the hardest for me. And now to the present. I am completely deaf in the left ear and have just a little left in the right but not enough for a hearing aid to help. I am currently waiting for approval to get a cochlear implant. This could change my world!

I'd like to say to any blogger's/people who stumble onto this blog that I am not a blogger. I am not a writer. I wish I were because I do love to read but writing is just not in my blood. LOL This will be my own personal journey to hearing again..