Let me start by saying this journey is surreal! There is no way I could have fathomed all that it has involved physically and emotionally. First, you go through the surgery aspect and you’re recovering from a major surgery (outpatient, but still major – you’re getting your skull drilled!). My energy level was low for a good 3 weeks, my body was healing. All I wanted to do was sleep and hope to wake up with eyeballs aligned. Then there is the activation phase and your acclimating to a new way of hearing and all the energy involved with rehab, which takes a lot of work to get out of (in my case) the robotic hearing stage , which I’m hearing less of every day. I was also hearing a lot of strange sounds coming from my implanted, supposedly ‘deaf ear’ the first week I was activated…..hard to describe, but I swear I heard a full band playing in my head one night! I found myself checking my ear to make sure the processor was off my head because I was hearing like it was still on – pretty freaky! Both surgery and activation have their own emotional aspects to deal with too, BUT……Here are some pretty cool ‘hearing observations’ that have happened since activation three weeks ago:
- Sitting in a noisy restaurant with my processor on and not getting blown away like I did with hearing aids
- Hearing a helicopter before I see it
- Hearing my dog’s nails scrape against the pavement
- Hearing my husband walk in the front door and yelling, Hello! before even seeing him
- Listening to my “old school” station and naming the tunes
- Hearing a co-worker talk outside my office door (I thought they were talking to me, so I responded) – They popped their head in shocked because I heard it.
(these are just a few off the top of my head)
So……today is six weeks post op. I’m on my second day of driving to work and slowly getting my ‘mojo’ back. I am not pushing the process and trying to force tomorrow, rather I’m enjoying a new normal of hearing and looking back at what is becoming a faint memory of eyeballs rolling like slot machines. I realize this struggle is part of my story, the story I am now able to share with you!