Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cochlear Updates

Hello Folks-

This will be the LAST update for now until the day of my surgery, which is now scheduled for OCTOBER 23RD, 2009, A Friday Morning.

I met with the surgeon Thursday, August 27th. I got to see my CT Scans, which showed everything was normal, and all the holes that were supposed to be there, were in fact there!

We went over my decision on which ear, I remain to stay with the left side so far, and which company I chose-AB Harmony. Surgically, he had some concerns or rather cautions about operating in my left ear with an AB Harmony magnet. It seems surgically for my surgeon at least it is just a tad bit more difficult to operate and insert the internal piece, the magnet, from AB Harmony than it is with Nuclear Freedom.

However, that did not defer me and I still stood by AB Harmony and after double-checking my options with my Audiologist I confirmed AB Harmony was what I wanted to go with.

So with that we went to the secretary’s office, and got word and confirmation that October 23rd would be the date of surgery. I am very very excited to finally have a date to look forward to. It has been almost a year of checking things out, going through insurance process, getting appointments set up. Quite a whirlwind. Meeting with family and friends to make sure they were in the know, and getting their support, advice and suggestions. I take all of your thoughts and suggestions to heart, and in the end I chose with what was the most comfortable for me and what would further improve my lifestyle as well.

Keep in mind; I am NOT GOING TO BEGIN HEARING IMMEDIATELY OUT OF SURGERY. The surgery is simply the insertion of the magnet, internal piece of the cochlear implant. It will be up to 3 weeks possibly AFTER the surgery before I can put the external implant on, also known as the speech processor, and then be “turned on”. Even then, when they turn my speech processor on, I am not going to start suddenly hearing and understanding everything at once. This is a VERY long process and will take a lot of support and importantly PATIENCE as I work with my family and friends in going through therapy and sessions and meetings and whatnot.

I believe I have to meet twice a week for a month after the surgery then it is a gradual process depending how well I advance and whatnot. So I do NOT want to disappoint you all and you wonder why I am not hearing/understanding anything right after have my surgery. This is not an instant surgery unfortunately. We all would love that to be the case, but alas it is not.

Also, I have been asked by STL if I would be interested in participating in a research program, I would be paid by the hour and reimbursed for mileage and parking expenses. It is an entire year, meeting every 3 months. It should not be conflicting with my work and classes but I think I will try it out and see how it goes. If I see it is conflicting then I will drop out, but certainly something worth checking out for sure!

So I ask for your patience and support as I go through with it, there are going to be times I will be very frustrated, times I may think, I am not going anywhere, it is up to you folks to keep me going too, and remind me it is worth it in the end!

This is pretty much it, and all I will do is wait until day of surgery. If you have any questions or comments please leave them here, you may contact me through face book, text however you have my information. I want you all to be as educated as I am with the process, so you all have an understanding also of what I am going through too.

Thanks everyone!



Kim said...

Congratulations Alex for choosing Advanced Bionics!! Awesome device!!


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