Post-Surgery to Activation

The 6” incision behind and above my ear looks pink and kind of ugly, it is easy to care for now. Turns out my taste buds were affected by the surgery – it’s so weird to taste familiar things and experience some other taste entirely than what I expect. Also the mouth-feel of food is off. Things feel silky, even crunchy things are silky! The balance issues went away. Pain is still bothersome, intermittent almost stabbing pains along with some low-grade itchy pain around the surgery site. Healing.

Soon, I go for incision check and we’ll set an appointment for activation of the processor. Activation. Gosh, wonder how my brain will interpret the electrical signals along the cochlea.

I was interested to learn that in the cochlea there are over 3,000 nerves that react to the stimulation of sound. Mine were damaged severely, who knows how many were functioning before the implant. The implant will stimulate 24, such a small number compared to natural hearing. I can’t imagine how that stimulation will allow me to understand speech.

Jan 25. I’m driving, running errands, picking up materials, doing yard work (trying not to lift over 10-20#), cooking and trying to hold up my piece of the sky! 

We are in the midst of preparing our house for sale and packing up our things. Remodeling the kitchen, getting new flooring installed, de-weeding the yard etc. Today, I realized that having the surgery and expecting to recover quickly enough to get on with the work I need to do is CRAZY! Yipes. There are four weeks left until we “go live” with the house on the market – crossing my fingers.

I’m still in pain. My surgeon says it’s likely because they have to use ‘packing’ in there and use a gel that absorbs back into the body – and because it is major surgery, tiny surgery but still significant. The pain feels like a terrible case of swimmers ear with someone intermittently poking that area with an ice pick. I do not like it. Pain meds knock it back though though I resist taking them.

I realize I may have somewhat unrealistic expectations for post-surgery recovery. I’ve had two kidney transplants, a parathyroidectomy and an upper eyelid/forehead lift (to correct and give me back my peripheral vision). I was off pain meds within the first 4 days with all of them. Counting the days until pain goes away. 

Did I already mention that my taste buds are affected? Apparently those nerves are close to the facial nerve. My surgeon prefers to lean over toward taste buds and away from that facial nerve. Thank you, Dr. Blythe! My taste buds will grow back and I’ll be okay again. That’s one thing I don’t need to worry about!

A good thing is that when I put my right HA into my ear, looks like I have some some residual hearing there, I heard the start-up beeps! That will help with aural rehab. 

We met with my audiologist on the 23rd. and got a lot of reassurance. Looks like we will activate early. My audiologist wants to start with the smaller processor, the Kanso. She’ll activate that one and then the OTE processor. I am so excited. Since I’ve been disappointed about post-surgery recovery, I am hoping madly that I won’t be disappointed when we activate. 

I’m working to get MyCochlear account going so that I’ll have individualized attention from Cochlear should the need arise. I’ll have access to the Cochlear Rehab site. Likely, I’ll use the Advance Bionics and Med-El rehab sites and Angel Sounds. Anything that will advance rehab. I want so badly to be able to understand my family, especially my four grandchildren.