An Emotional Journey to Bilateral Implants | Part II

 

 

 

Kate O 2016

Kate recently decided to go ahead with her second Cochlear implant – after putting it off for 6 years. She feels slightly drained, sad and quiet. She didn’t expect this journey to be so emotional… Fast forward to March 6th and she is now sitting with her surgeon. Will she book an appointment?

6 March 2017: So many questions, so little time!!! 

Kate CT scan
Having my CT scan done

So today I took my CT scans to my surgeon.

 

I took my 6 year old son (sick day), and 71-year-old mother, who is considering getting a cochlear implant along for the ride. Mum is experiencing moderate age-related hearing loss and finds her hearing aids are not quite enough, especially in noisy situations. I hear better than her… and I am profoundly deaf!

 

P1240056.jpg
At home with my 6-year-old Arlin

In the appointment, Professor da Cruz was intrigued why I waited so long to get the second ear implanted – I had forgotten I did an assessment for the second ear nearly 6 years ago!

My reasons?  Too busy, not quite ready, thought I was ok with just one ear, fear of surgery.

I asked A LOT of questions, even though I had been through it all before.

  • How long does it the surgery take? Mine would be just over an hour.
  • What about healing? A day in hospital; a week feeling a bit out of it.
  • How many surgeries has he done? He’s done 500 CI surgeries now.
  • He explained his choice of implant and why he’s selected that particular option. He explained CochlearTM implants were easy to insert, and that the technology was incredibly reliable, and that Cochlear’s main point of difference was the accessories and connectivity of the processor.
  • The cause of my deafness? It’s unlikely my hearing loss has been caused by the Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (something I’ve been told could be the issue for the last 20 years), as the vestibulars weren’t enlarged. Still no idea what has caused it.
  • Head looks normal, and cochlea shaped well for the electrode. Tick.
  • He told me I was a rare age in his clinic – most of his patients are between the ages of 12 months -2 years, and 70-90 years old. Apparently the thirties is very rare.
  • Hmmm. When is the appointment? He tried to book me in for next week!!!!
    WHOA NELLY! Too fast!!

I am officially booked in for Wednesday 7th June!

And now I am worried that it’s too far away! Who would have thought?

OK – now I need to focus on sorting out  private health insurance to ensure it’s all covered. I am also getting an NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) planner to assess my situation to see if they can cover Wireless Accessories for me. I am intrigued as to how much will eventually be covered.

I am feeling a lot better about the decision. It helped that the surgeon really understood how I was feeling.
P1230824
And when we got out, my son looked at me and said:

“Mum … does this mean you’ll have two computers in your head?” …

“Hmmm… Kind of, I guess…” , I answered
He just looked at me quietly, nodding.

“Cooooool”, he replied.

 

Stay tuned for Part III …

 

 

Views expressed by Cochlear recipients and hearing health providers are those of the individual. Please seek advice from your medical practitioner or health professional about treatments for hearing loss. They will be able to advice on a suitable solution for the hearing loss condition. Outcomes and results may vary. All products should be used only as directed by your medical practitioner or health professional. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative.

Cochlear, Hear now. And always and elliptical logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Cochlear Limited. D1255107 ISS1 JUL17 Cochlear © 2017 All rights reserved.

5 thoughts on “An Emotional Journey to Bilateral Implants | Part II

  1. I love this and will be following your journey. I will start a similar journey next year. I’m in my early 40s. Had my first one 5 years ago. Can’t wait to read your next piece. x

    • Thank you for your comment Josie, and all the best for next year! We will be posting her next story in a few days… 🙂

    • Thanks Josie, for your lovely comment, and I am so excited for you starting on your own journey yourself!!! You sound like you have a similar background to mine. It is totally worth it, but also difficult at times. I have given my ear a break this afternoon – the new one is off!! But yesterday I made a phone call through the new ear all by itself!! Amazing. I am trying not to be too impatient. Good luck for next year!
      Kind regards,
      Kate

      • Wow so it’s s slow journey just like the first. One would think that because you did it with the first ear the other ear would know what to do! But it isn’t so obviously.

      • That is exactly what I thought too, Josie, but I was surprised that the other ear is so separate… The brain musn’t cross over much, which is fascinating… But it’s definitely moving along more quickly than the first one – I’ve compared my notes from the first one. I think speech is becoming clearer more quickly than the first one.

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