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Cochlear Story Archives - HearWell Center

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 11: Adjusting

No Sugarcoating it — Adjusting Is Hard After reading my previous chapter, you might wonder if I ever started to hear speech or anything other than buzzy weird sounds. The answer is yes! And quickly — I’m happy to report that within two weeks of activation I started to recognize big, positive changes in both […]

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 10: To Hell and Back

Where will I go with this map? My first trip was to hell and back. Until I became a cochlear implant user, the term “mapping” was a pretty mysterious word. I understood that it basically meant that the implant was programmed and fine-tuned but I didn’t know how it was done or what was involved. […]

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 9: Activation

A Big Change Twenty-two days after surgery, my cochlear implant was activated. I will be honest: I had some very mixed feelings on activation day. It was all so new to me that I needed time to process from a hearing standpoint and an emotional one. Of greatest importance, the implant did come on; there’s […]

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 8: The Bubble

Not My Imagination Nearly three weeks post-op I had a medical scare that was quickly resolved. The process of healing was going well, and I thought I was pretty prepared for what to expect along the way. Still, I’ve come to realize that with cochlear implants there is much you can’t predict. People’s experiences can […]

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 7: Convalescence

Thankful Homecoming I made it home from surgery safe and happy. I suffered no adverse effects, had no dizziness, and walked fine. My taste remained normal — no metal taste — and there was no facial numbness, tingling, or facial paralysis. I can smile! As per the plan, I spent a week on the couch […]

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 6: Surgery Day

PB&J On Standby The Friday before surgery, I received my pre-op instructions and my scheduled time of arrival. I was to stop eating and drinking at midnight the night before and was instructed to shower with antibacterial soap the night before and the morning of surgery. I was told not to wear jewelry and to […]

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 5: Preparedness and Hope

The date fast approaches. With my surgical date just around the corner, I’m reminded of the need for not only physical preparedness but mental preparedness as well. I went for my second vaccine. As you probably remember, I received the first one eight weeks before. The crazy thing about waiting eight weeks is that I […]

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 4: Choosing the Brand

I started the process of choosing a brand and model of cochlear implant, and I got a bit of a shock — the patient does most of the research on their own. I’ve been trained in implants, how they work, and what’s available on the market, but not about how patients are counseled to decide […]

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 3: Vaccinations

Vaccinations To protect me from meningitis and other serious infections that can result from cochlear implant surgery, I’m getting two vaccinations. The vaccines occur about eight weeks apart. Their names are Prevnar 13® and Pneumovax®. I got my first vaccine yesterday at RiteAid. It wasn’t difficult — I just filled out an intake survey and […]

My Cochlear Implant Journey, Part 2: Surgical Consultation

Surgical Consultation The first step to determining if I can get a cochlear implant was to make an appointment at one of the centers in Pittsburgh with a neuro-otologist and cochlear implant surgeon. My insurance required that I go to Eye and Ear Institute, an old, familiar friend. I did my clinical rotations there as […]

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