Well, here we are! My day of surgery has arrived. I haven’t eaten anything since last night around 11:30. My arrival time is slated for 11am and surgery is at 1:45pm. I can have nothing but water. Probably a good thing as I’m so nervous/excited that I’m feeling nauseous.
I have to show up at the hospital at 11am. They then check me in and get me set up in a bed. Of course I get to don one of those fabulous hospital gowns. And then we wait. I try to sleep to help the time pass a little faster, calm my nerves and manage to doze a bit. And then, it’s show time. I say good bye to my husband as they wheel me away. The surgery is to last just over 4 hours.
One major downside of being deaf and in the hospital is that everyone wears masks. When you must rely on lipreading, it makes communication impossible. I don’t know how many times I had to tell people that I’m deaf. One nurse finally wrote “Hearing Impaired” on my allergy band. I joked that “deaf” would have been easier to write.
They parked me outside of the operating room, but it was currently occupied so I had to wait some more while they cleaned and prepped the room. I had several people come talk to me about what would happen. First they would hook me up to an IV (I hate needles). Then they’d give me some oxygen and start administering the anesthetic. Once I was out, they would prep me for surgery, and shave off some of my hair over my ear. The surgery involves an incision being made behind the ear and a well being drilled into the skull for the implant to fit into under the scalp and muscle. Then the electrode array gets carefully inserted into the cochlea and everything gets stitched back up and a pressure bandage applied. They take some xrays of my head to check the positioning and then I’m off to recovery. All I can say is, I’m grateful I was out cold for all that!
With the surgery complete, I’m now officially part of the cyborg collective, although I still won’t be activated or hear anything for 4 more weeks. The next stage is the recovery period. I’ll have to take it easy for the next 4-6 weeks.