The marathon CI journey set back is getting back into the race. On Dec 3, I underwent re-implantation CI surgery. Helen Keller once said “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement”. Having this mindset for the CI marathon is essential and I am ready to stay fearless on this way to recovery!
Surgery Day. Going into surgery day, I did feel a little less anxious when comparing to 2 years ago knowing a little more of what to expect. I arrived at the outpatient hospital center at 10:30 AM with my husband Troy. We got all checked in, this time in the full swing of COVID with masks which added another element being in the hospital. Before surgery, Dr. Adunka was able to come by and talk for a while beforehand. He explained about how the procedure would go. He was hoping there would not be much bone growth since the first surgery, which would minimize the drilling that needed to be done (if any). He also shared that he was going to be extra vigilant with insertion to hopefully save as much of my residual hearing as possible. Also signed some paperwork for a study about residual hearing and cochlear implants at Ohio State. I love being a part of how the field can improve outcomes for individuals who are on the CI journey.
This time around, the surgery was pretty quick since there was no extra bone growth. Dr. Adunka called my husband and was happy with the outcome. Smooth insertion and hopeful that he was able to preserve residual hearing. For me, this time coming out of the anesthesia was rough this time around. I was SO nauseous. I ended up in recovery for quite some time getting extra bags of fluid and medication to help with the sickness. When I tried to stand up, I immediately started spinning and the nurses and my husband had to steady me. I was in quite a bit of pain, mostly headache. The 2 ½ hour drive back home was very LONG especially when you do not feel good. Troy had an extra stressful drive knowing I was not really with it. This time around I did not want to stop at Wendy’s for a frosty and French fries; just wanted to be home.
After arriving at home, I was able to start my pain regimen (took one strong pain killer and then alternated the Tylenol and Advil). This really helped keep the pain to a minimum. I still felt unsteady but not as bad as I had felt in the hospital. I slept a lot Friday night and Saturday. Sunday, I am feeling much more like myself. Up and moving around. Pain is minimal. Certainly less side effects this time around. I don’t have the extreme amount of pressure/underwater feeling like I did the first time around (since there was not extra bone growth). Last time I had some serious blurred vision and this time I did not. I do have some whirling sound constantly in my left ear. It sounds like someone is jumping rope next to my ear. Also experiencing popping in my ear, which is a little painful. Medical orders to keep my mouth open when I burp and sneeze and no blowing my nose for the next 4 weeks (I feel like I have permission to be a preschooler all over again!).
With perseverance and GRIT, I am excited to be moving forward on this CI marathon set back to being back up and running. I am grateful for ALL of you! Thanks to my husband Troy and kids, my parents, and my brother and sister in law and nieces for all of their support. Thanks to my family and friends who have reached out uplifting me and the surgery team in prayers. Thanks to my work family for all of their support. Special thanks to the CI surgery team at OSU!
Stay tuned for the next #hearingspanglish blog after re-activation day!! Dec 14 marks the starting line again on this CI journey as I get fitted with new CI processor and new hearing aid for my right ear. I cannot wait to lace up my shoes, train, and set my next Personal Record (PR) for my CI Marathon!