Week #1

Well, I have had my CI for about a week now. It’s been a wild ride so far. Just thought I would give a follow-up as to how I’ve been feeling since it’s been almost a month since surgery.

It’s been about 3 and half weeks (will be a month on Thursday). The incision has healed really nicely and I am very pleased with it. The numbness I had in my lip from the breathing tube finally went away a few days ago.

I have a little bump behind my ear that seems to slowly be going away. At this rate it should be gone in a few days. It’s a bit annoying because it bothers me whenever I wear the processor and it rubs against the processor. I’m not quite sure what caused the bump, fluid, maybe? It was just odd because it kept changing in shape, size, and location.

I still have some stiffness that usually just bothers me whenever I try to open my mouth to take a large bite of something. Hopefully that will go away with time.

It’s definitely going to be one long journey. I have my next mapping Tuesday and I’m not quite sure how that will go. I’m already dreading one part of the mapping. Let me explain that my CI is hooked up to a computer and I let the audiologist know whenever I hear something. During this part I cannot hear anything else except the beep/tone/whatever it is (at this point it’s still a sort of sensation). This can take anywhere from half-an-hour to a couple of hours. Then she switches me back to live mode where I can hear everything in the room.

I. Hate. That. Part.

It’s when I’m bombarded with all these sounds that are extremely loud and is very difficult to tolerate. I also really have to fight the urge to just take the CI off and throw it across the room. The first 30 seconds is just the worst feeling. It’s a mental battle with myself to just get through those few initial seconds while not having any physical reactions. It’s hard to explain. It’s almost like my body responses to it as something that’s going “wrong” or is a danger so it goes into defense mode thinking that I need to fight something off (adrenaline rush, “fight-or-flight” response).

It’s amazing how loud that room is. Seriously. I mean, logically, I know it’s extremely quiet because no one’s talking, the door is closed, and my audiologist takes care to be sure there aren’t any unnecessary noise going on at that moment. I do wonder if there’s a sort of constant noise (the AC, fan, ??) because there’s this constant noise even when no one’s talking.

I don’t mean to keep pointing out all the negatives even though that’s all there is right now, lol. It’s just that it seems like people in general want to ignore all the negatives so I’m just trying to be honest here. However, I would think that for someone with my background there would be more negatives at first before things get a bit better. This is different compared with a baby, someone who has progressive hearing loss, or a late-deafened adult going through the CI process. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. I am committed to this and I will figure out a way to utilize the CI in a way that will benefit me.

My brain just needs to rewire itself. How well will my brain rewire itself? No one knows.

6 thoughts on “Week #1

  1. *shudders* You’re not making me very inclined to get a CI myself, y’know. Very disinclined, in fact. But I will continue my scientific observations of you šŸ˜‰

  2. It’s starting to sound like I may have gotten off a bit lucky with my CI compared to you, lol. At least in the sense of timing. I still had to go to these appointments for a long time to get my mapping the way it is now, but I honestly don’t remember experiencing extreme discomfort past the first week or so. If it was as bad as you’re describing it to be, I might have been unreasonable and refused to wear it. I was a 9 years old hyperactive boy…I would’ve hated it and been stubborn about not wearing it. I wonder if being a child might have dulled these effects somewhat…I still had an active lifestyle to distract me while, as an adult, I would’ve been almost completely focused on this CI thing if I were to have gotten it now instead of then.

  3. I have had a life-long progressive hearing loss and like you, I wanted to throw my cochlear implant processor across the room during the mapping sessions and later at home. In fact, I was being filmed by an entertainment news show at the time of my first activation and the episode never aired because I was THAT miserable! Don’t be discouraged, it really takes time and it does get better. Between your brain and the coming maps, and your persistence in continuing to wear the processor, things will shape up.It took me 7 weeks to get my processor to a place where I could hear and understand and wear it comfortably. In fact, that’s when I ran out and bought a cell phone, something I hadn’t been able to use for the previous 3 years!Today, I’m bilateral and am thankful daily for all the great things I can hear. Everyone and everything sounds normal. I shudder at what things sounded like when I was first activated, so don’t despair.Please email me if you have any questions or if I can help you in any way. I’ve been helping people for years over at HearingExchange. šŸ™‚

  4. tara– i know the feeling. these observations make you want to get it. I tell my sister to not consider it yet because I am still frustrated. even though i can make out words pretty well when i’m watching tv and listening to it. and I work! I usually try to wait til 10 am to put on the implant. and it’s been 3 months. Patience has got to become a virtue.

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