Category Archives: October 25, 2013

So the waiting game. . .

Roxanne here.  .  .thought I might add a quick post to “keep the conversation going” while Chris is in surgery.

I’m just passing time in the waiting room here at Women’s and Children’s (and occasionally men apparently) Hospital.  I have to say, the hospital so far has been phenomenal in finding a way to keep us informed about our loved ones.  They give you this card with a patient number (in red) and then on big screens they post what’s happening – Preparing for Surgery, In OR, Out of OR etc. and little messages like – Everything is going well or in Chris’ case, right now it says “in OR and Making progress” . . ..hmmmm I would feel better if it was the “Everything is going well”  message.

Waiting room companions are hit or miss like airplane seat mates.   Some just like to sit by themselves (like me) and others like to talk.  Then there those who go overboard and talk nonstop.  What’s different in a waiting room is the person can walk around and find new people to talk to.  We have one in this waiting room.  She’s roaming from area to area here and talking to whomever will listen.  I’ve heard her story 3 times now.  (Once directed at me and twice with other people.)  Ohhhh new twist to story.  .  .she just lifted her shirt and showed her scars from her surgery last week!  Ok, Ok, I shouldn’t be so snarky. . .maybe she needs to talk to keep her mind off what’s happening with her husband who is currently the patient.  Come to think of it, I’M DOING THE SAME THING!  Just virtually and all at once!

So enough for now.  Thanks all who are following Chris’ blog.  The next few weeks while he has no hearing will be tough but we’ll get through!  We’ll keep you posted!

Roxanne

So how am I feeling…?

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:

Cochlear implant – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cochlear Implants – National Institute on Deafness and Other 

Cochlear Implants – Food and Drug Administration

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!

speech12

(http://www.speechbuddy.com/blog/hearing-loss/is-a-cochlear-implant-right-for-your-child/)

P_cochlear-noConsole

http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/eyes/cochlear.html

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. 🙂