It’s been an interesting week since surgery last Wednesday.
Although better, my jaw is still sore to touch. I’ve learned that it’s not uncommon to need to move the muscles in the jaw area to perform the surgery. I’ve been eating soft foods and foods easy to chew and I’m certain the soreness will go away with just a little more time.
The right side of my tongue is numb, my mouth is dry and I have an unpleasant taste in my mouth. None of this is unexpected and is associated with nerves in the general area of the surgery. All are irritating, though.
The incision from surgery is healing great. I can get it wet now in the shower and just have to clean it and keep triple antibiotic ointment on it as it heals. The area around the implant is tender, but that’s also expected and will go away.
The dizziness I’ve had this time around has been my greatest challenge. I didn’t have much dizziness with the last surgery and now I realize how fortunate I was. For a day or two I could sit still and things around me seemed to be moving. When I would get up to walk to another room I had to walk slowly and carefully to maintain my balance. Now it’s much better, but not gone. I’ll keep the motion sickness patch (scopolamine) behind my ear for as long as I need to.
I can tell that some of the residual hearing I had before surgery has been lost, but I don’t think it all is. We’ll test it next week to know for sure. A lot of research and attention is being given to find ways to preserve as much residual hearing as possible. Without having the processor on for my left ear, the world is nearly silent right now. That’s different. Before surgery I could hear a few noises – nothing meaningful really. Water running in the shower. Something hitting the floor if it was dropped.
The occasional loud roaring noise in my right ear is gone, but there is constant ringing (tinnitus) still. It seems louder than what I hear in my left ear. When I have the cochlear implant in my on, though, I don’t hear it, which is great.
I go back to Nashville next Thursday for activation of the implant. I expect the process to be similar as before – hearing booth testing for residual hearing and word recognition, turning the processor on and testing what the softest and loudest tones I can hear for each electrode, and fining the comfortable point for sound for the first week. I anticipate not wearing the left cochlear implant as much as possible so I can allow the right implant to work as much as it can on its own.
This technology amazes me every day!
More to come…