Monday, April 20, 2009

Waiting for Switch-On

My third Cochlear Implant operation finally happened 3 weeks ago on the 30th March.

Just a quick recap - I was originally implanted in March 1993, and switched on in April 1993. I had 15 years of near normal hearing with this implant (Cochlear Corp N22). This failed in June 2007. In March 2008 I was reimplanted with the new Freedom implant and switched on in April 2008. All went well for a few months, then disaster struck and my implant electrodes migrated out of the ear. A very rare occurance. I was reimplanted for the 3rd time on 30th March 2009 - and switch on is scheduled for 22 April 2009.

Funny how all my implants have happened in the month of March.

30th March has been and gone and I'm now the proud owner of another lovely scar. Once again the original 1993 incision was used - the big old fashioned C.

This was taken on my phone so the quality might not be the best!! I can't help think my surgeon should change jobs and apply for the a Hairstylist Position in Vogue!!!

Because of the same scar tissue that dogged the March 2008 implant, only 17 electrodes were able to be inserted, but that was the same as 2008, so I have high hopes that, providing the electrodes do not migrate, that I will hear very well indeed with those 17.

Unfortunately I don't know much more than this as once again I reacted to the operation and woke up with my terrible vertigo. I stayed 2 nights in the private clinic, then was sent home. 4 hours later I hadn't moved off my couch, couldn't eat, drink, and was pretty sick, so my daughter and my mother called an ambulance and had me carted off to North Shore Hospital. I was admitted and only got out on Friday. Spent most of the time with my eyes shut as the vertigo was pretty bad. Which meant communication was difficult as to 'lipread' I need to open my eyes, but when I did the world spun. A pretty miserable state.

The vertigo finally subsided and I got home on Friday, nearly 3 weeks after my operation. It's nice to be home, but I'm very weak - flat on your back in hospital does nothing for your fitness!

Since the operation, my tinnitus has been going like the energiser bunny with those Duracell batteries - going and going and going. It's been driving me nuts. I have percussion in my dead non implantable ear, and a full orchestra in my implanted ear. Trumpets, fanfares, piano, strings, voices. I go from classical, to rock, to spanish, to latin music. I have no control over it. I cannot change the pitch, or rhythm, or even the tune. Lucy in the Sky of diamonds was with me for 6 hours yesterday. Most of the time I have never heard the music before, and I can't help but feel I should be notating it for some future concert!

Today it has suddenly become quieter. Maybe it knows that once I'm switched on in 35.5 hours (not that I'm counting or anything), it will be banished forever.

Switch-on can't come fast enough now. Total silence for the last 4 months has been a trial. My lipreading has improved dramatically, but it's still tiring, and I long for my usual energy levels.

Bring on the Chipmunks - I want to be wired for sound once again!