Anne’s cochlear implant story

25 06 2008

Amidst all my partying (my social life has gone stratospheric recently) I bumped into Anne, it was a couple of weeks before she was to go in for her cochlear implant operation. I asked her to update me on her progress.

At the beginning of June, Anne went into Southmead Hospital, Bristol, for the operation and stayed for two days. The staff was very good to me and helpful except that she could not get a full night’s sleep! She recuperated with both sisters in their own homes before going to Taunton a week later. A couple of days later, she reported to her surgery to check the wound – all was well. Her hair was hardly shaved around the wound; in fact, very little. She was very pleased and impressed.

The operation itself started at 9am and only took 1 ½ hours. When she woke up in the recovery room, she knew immediately that it had been a success. Obviously, she had painkillers to keep off the aches and pains and was able to talk to anyone if she wanted to (and believe me, she did!). All she wanted to do was to sleep it off as much as she could.

She is very well and is looking forward to 1st and 2nd July when she returns to Bristol’s Audiology department for the ‘switch-on’. She will be fitted with a speech processor, (by Med-El, an Austrian company) similar to a hearing aid, to the magnet (implant) inside the head. From that, she will pick up sounds, some new and some very familiar, in order to improve her communication. She feels this operation has come at a very good time for her as she finds the hearing aid is useless. She still wears an aid in the other ear, which helps her with her balance. The implant is a Sonata 100. You can find out more on the internet under ‘Med-El’. Med-El is a manufacturer of cochlear implants, founded in 1989, although development of the Med-El cochlear implant had begun in 1975.

Anne says some of you might be worried but there is no need. It is perfectly natural to feel apprehensive beforehand, she was and is glad that she did it. She is happy to answer any questions about the operation – just leave a comment here.

Anne will report again after the switch-on but this will take time. It is not an overnight switch-on, she has to learn to recognise sounds and understand the art of listening as everything will be new to her. It will not be the same as before. A programme will be set up for her to practise different tests and sounds. I still relies on lip-reading but may not be too pressurised to use it later.

Join me in wishing Anne luck!

(Thanks to Anne for her contribution)

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7 responses

26 06 2008
macian

Good luck with the switch on Anne, be sure to let us know how it goes, I am waiting on the date for a CI opertaion, so any information good or bad is welcomed, best wishes, mac

28 06 2008
Lette

wow good luck Anne, apparantly Ihave the wrong type of hearing loss for a CI, but good luck wither way, if it works, even only a small bit ot will be worth it 🙂

28 07 2008
Viv Green

Well done Anne, I hope all is going well, I was the first cochlear implant patient at Southmead back in 1996, I have just had the implant re-imbedded due to my scar tissue. I have now had 12 years of hearing with the implant and use a mobile phone every day. My life was one of balance and tinitus problems until i met Dr Robinson. Due to my meeting with Mr Robinson I now have a life I am proud of and I love riding my triumph motorbike. So anyone wishing to go for an implant must not look at the negatives but at the positives as I was totally deaf for 6 years, my son was only 8 yrs old when i went deaf and now he is nearly 26 and has a career in the Army none of this would of happened with out my implant. So Anne enjoy your time ahead as it can only get better and better and again thanks to The West of England Implant team who are worth their weight in gold. Viv

5 08 2008
macian

has anyone heard how anne’s switch on went?

I’m off for the CI on thursday, operation will be friday.

Can anyone tell me how long they needed to stay off work? I thought I would be able to return quite soon but after spending a late night reading blogs I’m now not sure about that, any info would be welcome.

7 08 2008
to Macian from Anne

Hi Macian Good luck with the operation! Mine was very successful, I stayed for 2 nights and then the switch-on was on 1st July. Strange at first but now after one month’s assessment tests last week, things are improving each day. So much better! The whole training may take several months. I would think 2 weeks would be the norm from work. I am retired.

9 08 2008
macian

Hi Anne,

I am just home from having the operation yesterday, went well, was back on my feet in a few hours after op, balance is shot though but mainly when I stand up, once i start walking I’m fine, they gave me painkillers and a sleeping tablet last night, since then I havent needed anymore, it’s more discomfort rather than pain, its weird though as I have tinnitus in that ear so doesnt feel totally deaf, although it obviously is, but I’m told that will subisde, I have always had bad tinnitus and it’s no worse than that so it isn’t bothering me, glad you switch on went well, I still have the long wait till then.
I can’t take 2 weeks off, I’m going back on weds, not to work but to run my assistant around as he hasn’t got a licence, assumming my balance is back anyway if not I will get another driver.

9 08 2008
funnyoldlife

I’m really pleased all’s going well for you, Macian! Best of luck with the switch on.
🙂

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