Friday, July 18, 2008

Slacker! :)

I've been called a slacker lately...I've neglected both of my blogs! Sorry about that...it has been a bit nutty here. Good news first...yes, it seems that the August 28th surgery date is a go. I still have not heard THE FINAL WORD but I e-mailed them the other day and they said that the date isn't the issue anymore...it's deciding how to bill everything to insurance, etc. and then deciding where to ship the new implant for surgery. Location has still not been determined, apparently...or if it has I haven't yet heard...but I don't really care, as long as it happens :). I was informed that the first implant was apparently still under warranty (I don't know what the warranty time period on internal components are, but it hasn't been two years yet) so replacing it shouldn't be an issue insurance-wise. So...all is great on that front...now we wait for August 28th!
The two teenagers were at church camp last week...and this week Will has been gone to his buddies' house about two hours away. I am driving to pick him up tomorrow...I'm looking forward to it...a couple of hours alone in the car with the CD player blasting and a Diet Cherry Limeade from Sonic in tow. I rarely get time alone and when I do I enjoy it. Of course the return trip will involve three loud teenage boys who will make obnoxious sounds and will not want to listen to my music but will want to play theirs at top volume. Maybe I'll find a new favorite recording artist (ha!).
It's been an interesting past few days...at our last HLAA meeting I was nominated for an officer position (elections next month) and appointed webmaster of the Nashville HLAA website (don't feel like you have to go over there right this very second and check it out...I don't have access to it yet!). In Reno I met some people that work for HLAA that asked if I would be interested in being involved with the convention next year in Nashville...and I was ALL OVER THAT IDEA...I have been wanting to be involved ever since I joined HLAA last year. The organization itself and the people in it have inspired and encouraged me SO MUCH over the past year...and I have wanted so much to be able to give back and to help other people the way it helped me. Well...it looks like that wish is coming true...they have offered me opportunities to be VERY involved in the next year. I'll fill you in here and there as things move along...it promises to be an interesting...and busy...year :).
I keep being amazed at the CI moments I have with my one good ear...it's amazing. Tonight we had a singing at church and before it got started my mother-in-law was talking to a woman in another part of the building. There weren't a lot of people there, but I could hear what she was saying to the lady she was talking to...from probably thirty feet away. Of course, my mother-in-law is not a whisperer by nature...her voice does carry well...but the fact that there was so much distance and that I heard her so well was just amazing. At any other time in my life that would have been just unthinkable. I have also been practicing listening in noise...when there's a lot of background noise I make a concerted effort to listen to one voice here and there to see how much I pick up. Of course, it depends on who's talking, how loud, male or female (I tend to do better with men's voices), how far away, how loud the background noise is. However, I'm always tickled to be able to pick up as much as I do...this is a new skill...after more than 30 years!
OK...I'm off to bed before I bore y'all silly. Nighters all...I'll try not to be such a slacker from now on :)! *hugs*
*Edited for Cynthia: I could hear every word my mother-in-law said. The lady she was talking to, I couldn't hear, although if I watched her I could read her lips and understand what she was saying. No, I didn't get their entire conversation, but if they had all been talking as loudly and clearly I probably would have gotten most of it :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some good news! :)

I may have a surgery date! For now it looks like it will be on Thursday, August 28th....at 1 PM (it is not 100% definite at this point...but I'm being optimistic). I wish it were sooner...but that's OK...July is really a busy month and I have a lot to do to get the kids ready for school (they start August 8th). The way that day falls, hubby will only have to take one day off work...it's the long Labor Day weekend...I should be ready for him to go back to work on that Tuesday after the surgery (I'm being optimistic and hoping that I don't have a repeat of the vertigo I had with this ear last time!) I have issues with the time already...I will be allowed no coffee and nothing to eat and I anticipate being very irritable...but still...I'll gladly take it :)! That will give me plenty of time to sleep until around 9 or so and get to the hospital on time, even if I do accidentally take the scenic detour.
I heard my first negative comment the other day...someone suggested that I might be expecting too much from a revision. I'm going to go through this again...one more time...and be done with it. In terms of hearing, quite frankly, I was not surprised with what I got the first time around. My audiologist was actually against implanting that ear first, because I had been deaf for over 30 years in it and already had a strong vibrotactile response. During the CI evaluations I was required to put a hearing aid in that ear and listen to the tones to establish that I couldn't hear with that ear. When the first tone came on it was all I could do not to yank the hearing aid out of that ear...the vibrations just about blew my head off. Some people do get sensations with their CIs...it's possible my brain may have just rewired itself a bit differently after being deaf for so long. CIs, as near-miraculous as they are, have their limitations...a stubborn brain is hard to work with. And, you know...if that's the case, that's OK...I'll know for sure that that's what it is and can decide if I want to aggressively pursue trying to hear with all that pounding going on. But that's not the main reason why I'm doing this.
The main reason I'm doing this is because something is obviously not right inside my head. When I first had the surgery done I first had to deal with the incision...when that healed up I figured I was good to go. Unfortunately, I always felt a lot of pressure inside that ear, and that hasn't improved...in fact, it's gotten worse. There are a lot of nights that I have a hard time finding a comfortable position to sleep in and then once I do, I often wake up tossing and turning to find a great spot to sleep on. It's on my sleeping side and it's just too hard to deal with. I didn't know for sure that that wasn't normal until my second ear came along and was incredibly different...that ear is a joy...no sensation at all...if I could only learn to sleep on my right side!! I have no idea what's going on....but I am almost positive that taking the implant out and repositioning it will stop that pain and I will be able to SLEEP again! This girl takes her sleep very seriously!
If by some chance repositioning the implant gives me "normal" hearing...I'm not denying that would be awesome. However...frankly, I am not optimistic. There is a chance, though...and we're going to take it. If changing the implant's position even a millimeter or two makes any difference at all in the sensation I feel...it's worth trying :). But as far as expectations go? I have none. I just wanna be able to sleep again...all night...without waking up with a headache! I think I can expect that to get better...THAT is what my expectation is. I know it's a bit odd and all, but hey, people, this is me we're talking about...I am nothing if not a bit off-beat :).
Will let you all know if anything changes...but for now, August 28th it is...I'm ready!