Today is a big day!

by Rebecca J on 2013-08-21

Today at 1 is my activation appointment with Amy. The girls will be playing happily (I hope) with their friends while William and I are at the appointment. I hope weʼll have a nice record of the day like we did last time. I assume that the appointment will be fairly similar to the activation day for my right ear — lots of fiddling with computer settings and me trying to look like I hear something, anything at all, until I actually do. I hope that the “magic moment” where I realize that the implant works is easier to recognize, since Iʼve already been through this once.

My left ear was implanted last week. Since this is my worse ear, Iʼm told that my progress along the road to hearing has the potential to be slower and more painstaking. Given how little I could hear with my left ear to begin with, any improvement at all will likely be significant. I imagine that it will be strange to recognize somewhere in the weeks and months to come that my ears are working together, each pulling an equal part of the hearing load, for the first time in my life.

The timing of my surgery was just about perfect. Among other reasons, Iʼll have the opportunity to upgrade to a new processor (the external piece that looks like a hearing aid) later this year.1 Exciting! For todayʼs appointment, Iʼll be bringing my extra Nucleus 5 processor that I received last fall — I expect that will serve me well until I can upgrade.

As weʼve been waiting for this day to come, Iʼve been hanging out at home while William has done most of the work with the girls. I wish I could say that Iʼve used my time productively, but really, Iʼve not had much energy to do more than watch two whole seasons of Merlin. Even though Iʼve not succumbed to crippling vertigo this go round (and I am so, so grateful), Iʼve found that pain can be exhausting, too. Thank goodness for hydrocodone. We went out for hamburgers last night, first trip out of the house for me since Wednesday, and that wore me out more than I expected it would. Iʼm not quite ready to start driving again, unfortunately. So, even though Iʼm feeling better overall than I did last October, I still have to remember to take it easy and not expect to bounce back immediately.

Wish us luck today and in the days to come. Learning to hear is not an endeavor for the faint of heart.

1 If you want to watch an inspiring, but completely unrealistic, video about the new processor, go here. I call it completely unrealistic because I expect that my life will look nothing like hers — Ikea furnished house, state-of-the-art electronics, picking up my regular latte at the coffee shop on the corner, shopping at high-end stores for an outfit to wear on a date for drinks with a European boyfriend?? The inspiring part about the video, however, is that the processor appears to adjust automatically for different listening environments, which doesnʼt currently happen very nimbly, and that itʼs suited for a variety of wireless accessories. So, that means that I wonʼt have to fiddle with the remote anytime I step into a noisy restaurant, for example, and I could have my yoga instructors wear a microphone during class. Pretty nice!