Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Six Days to Surgery!

I've got the jitters back. I'm mostly upbeat and excited, but there's a low-grade anxiety that is manifesting itself in some of my "favorite" coping behaviors, such as consuming chocolate and wasting time reading drivel on the computer or in junk mail magazines and ads. Yeesh!

I think what is throwing me is the realistic expectations about being deaf in that ear until hook up, and then managing the gradual and perhaps slow process of teaching my brain to interpret these mysterious blips as sound. One author said she never really grieved becominging deaf until she got the implant and realized how much she had really been missing all those years of her progressive loss. Another author said he had never appreciated the concept of silence before he had the implant, because he had such incredible tinnitus that he had never experienced silence. He was one of the lucky ones; more fully stimulating the auditory nerve "cured" or at least significantly lessened his tinnitus. I have pretty constant buzzing, bells and whistles, tones, and zings and zaps. It's really unnerving sometimes, when I take out my hearing aids, and that is all I can hear. It's like The Twilight Zone or some other surreal environment. And I will be 100% deaf in my left ear any time the external portion of my device is not connected. (On the other hand, I'm already about 92% deaf in that ear, so, what's the big difference??)

I can tell that my hearing is getting worse. It wouldn't surprise me too much if I end up qualifying for a second implant sometime in the next five or ten years. That's both disconcerting and exciting--that I have the answer already in place should the "worst case scenario" happen.

So....I need to take a deep breath and focus on the fact that I have wonderful people around me that will help me in the whole process. My husband is wonderful, my teens are pretty darn good (for teens, anyway!), my church is supportive, my colleagues are major-city incredibly supportive at work. I need to breathe, counting my blessings on the inhale, and saying many prayers of thanksgiving for the blessings on every exhale.... That will help.


Anonymous Linda Binns said...

Hi Liz, it's Linda Binns (WCL) from the Clarion list. Great blog, I really enjoyed it. Glad you found our list, so that we can encourage and support you as you begin your CI journey. I am keeping you in prayer as you embark, and thanking God for the technology. Know that God will guide the surgeon's hands, as your hearing is restored.

WCL (West Coast Linda)
Linda Binns

7:50 PM  

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