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A first!

Posted Sep 13 2008 11:49pm

This morning I woke up late...entirely too much so, honestly. It's dark and cloudy outside and the weather was just right for sleeping. Usually, that's a bad thing...my morning headache is always worse than usual when I sleep like that. However, this morning I woke up with NO HEADACHE AT ALL...and I was sleeping on my new ear when I opened my eyes!!
The past few nights I've tried sleeping on the new ear but I think that fear more than anything kept me from it. Last night I was laying on my "good" side and was NOT sleeping well...when suddenly I realized that I had just flipped over and was sleeping on the new ear. I panicked a bit at first...and had to think about it for a second...was I in pain? how did it feel? and then realized that it felt fine...no worries...back to sleep!
So it's healing well on the outside, which is a great thing in and of itself. However, the really big thing here is that I wasn't able to sleep on that ear before surgery without pain and headaches! This is huge! I have already told several people that as far as I'm concerned, this surgery is a huge success, because when I touch my ear, it feels like a perfectly normal ear...for the first time in two years. No pain, no pressure, no anything. I was actually really lucky this time in that I had very little swelling (the magnet from my good CI sticks to the magnet site already), no numbness, no facial nerve stuff, no taste disturbances. The newness will wear off in a few days, I'm sure, but I keep touching that ear, expecting, I think, that something will happen and it will be like it was before, but no...this time around, it's different. That was the main reason I went through it all again. The discomfort the first time around drove me absolutely up the wall, and at one point I just wanted it OUT...I didn't care if they replaced it or not...I would have been happy if they had just taken it out. I had a hard time asking for help though, because I thought that most of it was just me. Ever heard the old story of the Princess and the Pea?
Well, I'm one of those people that are sensitive to almost everything, I'm not sure I could feel a pea under twenty mattresses...maybe a couple, though ;). Things bother me that the next person's not even going to notice. I thought that I was just going to have to deal with it until I had my second ear done and they were SO different that I knew the first one could be improved on. And the improvement is amazing...there is no comparison between the way it was before and the way it is now.
I am STILL refusing to get my hopes up that activation will be different than it was before. A couple of people have told me to "think positive" and "be optimistic" but I prefer to be realistic. I didn't have hearing in that ear for years. We know for sure that there was no hearing from the time I was four years old and onward, and the loss might have started even before then. The brain just wires itself differently sometimes over long periods of time. If I do get hearing this time around instead of sensation, believe me, I will be the happiest person on the planet, but I am not setting myself up for that. Instead, I've decided that this time I'm going to try my hardest to push through it. I have a new inspiration...a 14-year old girl named Amanda. Amanda had never had any hearing at all when she was implanted at age 14. When she was first activated, she only had twitching in her eye...no sound at all. That would have been enough to make me throw in the towel the very first day...ugh, I could not have stood that at all...but she managed to stick with that and she is now hearing some sounds with no sensations. Granted, my brain's a lot older than hers is, but she has inspired me to try harder to work with unfavorable circumstances. My attitude is a bit different this time around...my primary motivation was to get the pain out of my head, and that has been accomplished...I am THRILLED with that!!! Anything beyond that will just be icing on the cake!
I will need to really set a plan of action and stick with it...as I've mentioned before, I have a very low tolerance for uncomfortable things...but I want to make this work if there's any way I can do it.
I LOVE my new ear! At one week post-op...I can say that I'm SO GLAD I did it again! It has already been worth it! :)

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