Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day 6: Getting Out

Well, I really, really, really, REALLY wanted to go to my HLAA meeting today, so all week long I have been shooting for being better by today so I could test things out. When I woke up this morning, my first thought was that there was no way I was going to get to go...I felt miserable. I have had a lot of stomach trouble because of the pain medications I was on (they should be taken with a full glass of water and not on an empty stomach, and especially when you're taking them two at a time, but I didn't know all that) and felt sick this morning. After waffling back and forth for a while I decided that I'd take a shot at the meeting, so I got dressed and off we went. I knew as soon as we hit the road that I might have made a mistake: the little bit of vertigo that I have (and it hasn't been much, honestly) was aggravated on the curvy country roads we were driving on to get to Nashville. It was also the first time that I had attempted to wear the CI on my other ear all week (I've been sleeping most of the week, and didn't feel like bothering with it) and was overwhelmed by the battle between the CI and the tinnitus in my newly implanted ear. I honestly couldn't very much at all...what sound I got from the CI was drowned out by the tinnitus. And lipreading was a huge struggle with the vertigo...so conversational skills were kinda kaput today. I did get a good bit from the meeting, though, once I actually got there...the entire meeting is captioned, and I was able to sit quietly and read it all...and it was SO terrific to see everyone and share the experience with them (the Nashville HLAA group have been some of my strongest supporters!) Today was our "Thanksgiving" meeting, and we have some excellent cooks that put together a great spread...lots of yummy food! To top it off, the speaker today was one of Dr. Haynes' fellows at Vanderbilt, and he was present at my surgery (he took credit for sterilizing my hair so that they wouldn't have to shave it, and of course, I expressed undying gratitude for that). Hubby asked him if there was a good reason why I might be hurting more this time than I was with my previous surgery, and he suggested that perhaps it was because they are making the incision so small now (which I appreciate) that they are having to stretch and pull even more so than before to get things where they oughtta be...that makes sense! I was genuinely curious...with my first CI, I didn't even have to take the pain pills past the first day...this has definitely been different!
He talked about Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL), which is what I was diagnosed with at age 4, and have had to deal with again over the past year. It was an interesting discussion....much is still unknown about what causes SSHL (there are several different probable causes, and in some cases there is NO known cause) or how to treat it. The current standard treatment is steroid shots behind the eardrum (ow!) but the success rate isn't high enough to call it highly successful...it only works a smallish percentage of the time, and it hardly ever restores hearing to what it was before the loss. I knew most of what he was talking about, since I have done a lot of research on it over the last year or so, but it was really interesting hearing him talk about it, as I've hardly ever heard a doctor really share his thoughts on it before :). My surgeon, Dr. Haynes, was supposed to be today's speaker, and I was a little disappointed that he couldn't make it (although he told us on Monday that he wouldn't be there, as he had a scheduling conflict) but the fella he sent as a replacement didn't disappoint :)
We left as soon as the meeting was over and I came back and hit the bed again. My stomach kicked in as soon as I got home...I'm just glad it behaved itself while I was out at the meeting! Ellie came home from her Granny's with a stomach thing, so I'm actually halfway wondering if we have some sort of stomach bug on top of everything else...I suppose I'll find out tomorrow! :)
Think if I'd used a little more common sense it might have been better to stay in another day or so...but I enjoyed my meeting, and I'm glad I went :) I'm getting better...a little at a time :)!
Off to bed...going to rest! Love y'all...

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