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One Week until Surgery

Posted Jul 12 2012 2:01pm

As excited as I am about getting the Cochlear Implant (CI) next week, I’m nervous too.  I realized this yesterday.  I had appointments scheduled for this week and a dinner with friends scheduled for Sunday, and I told Stuart I just couldn’t do it.  I simply feel like there is too much stress on me right now.  With all the stress, I was making myself sick.

So what am I nervous about?  You would think I’d be nervous about the surgery, but I’m not.  I am nervous about the nurses finding a vein for the IV before the surgery, that is always an ordeal with me.   However, mostly I’m worried that the surgery will be postponed.  There have been so many delays, I’m having a hard time believing it’s going to happen.  I am expecting something to happen…I’ll get sick, my doctor will get sick or have to postpone for some reason….anything.

Now that I realize what has been bothering me so much, I’m dealing with it much better.  I know the surgery will happen.  If some unforeseen circumstance causes the surgery to be delayed , I’ll deal with it.  I know it will happen, if not next week as scheduled then as soon as possible afterward.  I still don’t want to be stressed out more by going to the dentist, having a mammogram, and having a dinner party.  These things will just have to wait.

Now, let’s talk a little about the surgery.  I’m pretty lucky really, about 90% of the surgery has already been done to me.   Since I had the Endolymphatic Sac Surgery, they don’t have to drill a hole in my head.  It’s already there.  All that has to be done is thread the wire from the CI into the cochlea, and place the implant.

There were 3 companies for me to choose my CI from, each had positives and negatives but really they were all pretty close.  I chose Advanced Bionics.  This is a very personal decision for each person who gets a Cochlear Implant, I felt that the Advanced Bionics CI would fit best in my life style.

This is what will be going in my head:

Cochlear Implant from Advanced Bionics.

I’m so happy that Duke is a two processor facility.  The processor is the part that you see on the outside.  Since Advance Bionics offers more than one processor, I was given the choice of getting 2 the same or one of each.  I chose to get one of each.  One processor is called the Harmony, it is a Behind The Ear type.  I liked this model because the T-mic (microphone) is located at the opening of your ear, so it will be easier to talk on the phone, and my ear will act as a natural buffer for noises, like your ear normally does.

Here’s a photo of the Harmony Processor:

Harmony Processor – photo from Advanced Bionics website.

The Harmony comes in a variety of colors.  I think I was allowed to choose 5, but it’s been so long now, I don’t remember what colors I chose.  We’ll have to wait and see after I get hooked up.  You can use regular hearing aid batteries, or rechargeable batteries, I’m sure you know which ones I’ll be using.  I was able to chose different types of rechargeable batteries, small and large.  The small battery doesn’t last as long as the larger one.  I ordered both.

The other processor I chose was the Neptune.  The Neptune is capable of being Water Proof, it’s the only CI that is Water Proof, so I can swim in it!  The Processor is not behind the ear (BTE) it can be clipped to different things: an arm band, your shirt, a lanyard, your hair…ect.  The microphone is on the part that fits to the head.

Here’s a photo of the Neptune:

Neptune Processor – photo from Advanced Bionics

I realize the photo above doesn’t give you a good idea of what the Neptune really looks like.  So here’s a few that will give you a better idea:

This photo shows the Neptune Processor. The thinner profile is not water proof, you must add a different piece to the processor to make it water proof, that is shown on the thicker profile. (photo from AdvancedBionics website)


This shows the Neptune on a child while swimming. The processor is hooked to the arm band. (photo from Advanced Bionics)

This shows the processor clipped in a pocket, and in a girl’s hair. (my hair is long, I could completely cover the CI in my hair if I wanted.)
(photo from Advanced Bionics)

With the Neptune I was also given the opportunity of picking all kinds of colors.  I know I picked a brown, and the lime green seen above, but I don’t remember the rest.  We’ll all be surprised when I get hooked up.

The CI will be turned on 2 weeks after surgery.  That will be the beginning of August, hopefully the 2nd or 3rd.

Anybody want to know anything else?

I know this is a LONG post, but it’s full of information, right?

We can make it, one day at a time. : )

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