So here’s my second post before going into surgery. My wonderful wife Roxanne commented that I didn’t share any of my feelings about the upcoming cochlear implant surgery in my initial post. She went on to say that people want to know how I feel about this-and-that. Well, she was right, I didn’t write about how I was feeling and I said to her in so many words that, “I was just setting the stage for what the blog will be about,” knowing all along that she knows me better than I know myself sometimes. And that is pretty damn scary. The truth is, it is harder to write about feelings than facts; not sure why, guess it has to do with it being a personal thing.
Here’s how I’m feeling about the surgery: a little nervous about all the extremely unlikely risks and disadvantages that websites feel compelled to publish. Here’s a couple of overview websites about cochlear implants if you’re interested in what cochlear implants are all about:
I’m also a little nervous about this surgery being an outpatient procedure. I figured if I’m going to have a receiver and stimulator secured in the bone beneath my skin and have a hole drilled into my head whereby 22 electrodes are inserted into my cochlea which then sends impulses to the brain… I figured I would be in the hospital one night!
What else am I feeling? I am excited about the prospect of hearing again (huge understatement!) but daunted by the potentially long “re-learning” process. Every individual is different in terms of how long it will take for them to “hear” again. Here’s an excellent analogy by Professor Jennie Brand-Miller as she described the every day learning required to hear with an implant:
Think of your auditory pathways as like a gravel road at the moment … cars can’t go fast on them, electrical signals can’t whizz up them.
But everyday, the workmen are laying down the foundations of a super highway, smooth and capable of cars going 250 kms an hour. It takes time to do this … weeks, months and even a couple of years … but you’ll notice the difference … week by week, there’ll be a detectable difference. You’ll enjoy the journey, no matter what the speed.
This excellent analogy, taken from a blog written by Kate in Australia back in 2010, has really helped set my expectations. Although I’ve read a number of blogs in recent weeks, Kate’s blog inspired me to start my own blog.
This whole “blogosphere” community is really interesting… Here I’ve been working in the technology world for most of my adult life and have somehow avoided being personally or directly involved in the very things that drive technologies in the first place – people, connecting, sharing stories, learning and building community. Hey wait a minute, I’m not taking time off of work after all… hhhhmmmmm. 🙂