Thursday, July 31, 2008

CI Pictures!! And More!!

Angel with Onyx:

Me, squinting in sunlight. I had taken off my sunglasses for this pix:

Onyx, lazying in the sun:

Grampa and Hubby on our deck (see the gazebo?) last weekend:

Graduation Day. Gramma M with Flare and Angel:

Graduation Day. Flare's BF, Mom (Me), and Flare:

Onyx, lazying by a flower bed as if to say, "What, it's a comfortable BED!!"

Graduation Day. Flare's BF and Flare:

Long awaited CI pictures:

Before pix: Hair is down

Before picture: See hairline behind the ear.... (so you can see how much or how NOT much was shaved off)

My beautiful head bra. (It's really more of a thick gauzy headband.) I look like a very sick, old fogey. I couldn't muster a smile. My face felt so HOT and I was nauseous from the pain killers, too. I can't believe I am uploading this pix for all to see. Ugh.

After: See hairline, not much shaved off. Can you see the incision behind the ear. I hadn't realized that I baretted some of the hair over the top part of the incision. When my hair is down, you really wouldn't be able to see the incision at all, but I keep my hair off of it anyway.

Me, smiling after I feel more like myself again (I know, the pix is shadowy and you can see I had kept the hair off my incision):

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

De-stitched/One Week CI-versary

Today marks one week since the CI surgery. My baby's a week old already.

Glitter Grapics
Time Flies

It hasn't kept me awake every two hours like it did the first three days. :)

I am feeling more like myself now. I still have some tightness by the implant area, but I am able to move my neck more without turning my back. I am feeling so much better. The tongue still feels like I sucked on a Sucrets sore throat lozenge, I am not worried. I know it's normal and can take a few weeks to a few months for the numbness to go away.

I did three loads of wash yesterday. Since I am not allowed to lift more than 10 lbs for two weeks, I had Flare carry the laundry baskets downstairs to thee basement and when the wash was done, I had her carry the now heavier (because they were wet) loads to the wash line and hang the clothes up for me. No whining was forthcoming. :)

The other day, I had no clue where Angel went. I was getting both worried and irritated with her. She should know better. She was coming in and out of the house and going over to so and so’s place. It was getting late. So, I tried calling my next door neighbor. Since she knew about the surgery, she says, “Good for you. You are talking on the phone.”

Huh? It struck me that she thought that the internal implant would automatically help me hear. I began to wonder how many people thought like that. I guess because I have heard of CIs for a long time, I knew that there were external parts to the CI (magnet and BTE or body-worn processor) that I never thought about the fact that others didn’t know that much about CIs. I did not laugh. I just said that I was using my other ear.

I told her that I was in no condition to go out and look for Angel. It was getting dark and with my night-blindness issue and three-day-old implant, I did not want to injure myself out in the jungle of the neighborhood block.

A remorseful Angel was found and sent home.

Yesterday, I had an appt. to see the ENT. He de-stitched my incision in about four or five snips and told me to keep putting antibiotic ointment on it for two more days. (Um, that appt on Aug 5? My bad. It was a July 29 appt.)

We almost got lost in the labyrinths of the hospital before the appt. I was worried about being late. First, we had to park in the fifth floor of the parking garage, then the elevators said go to Level 2 to enter the hospital. So we did. We needed to be on the 3rd floor. Hubby said to someone about getting on the 3rd floor. We were told to go back into the elevator, so we turned around and got to Level 3. We could see the doors to the parking garage and a stairway door. That was it. Huh? So, again, we turned around and went back into the elevator to get back to Level 2. Once there, we got into another elevator to the 3rd floor.

Hubby forgot his excuse for absence papers for work in the van, so when we were registering, he went back to the van to get his papers. By the time the ENT finished de-stitching me, Hubby was back. “That was quick.” He says, “What did you do, cut one stitch and unravel the rest?” LOL. I don't have to see the ENT for three months.

Other than that, it's home life as usual. We did stop by my sister's on the way home. Angel forgot her toothbrush and toothpaste from her overnight stay the night before my surgery. She had to use a new one. I usually keep extra in the bathroom drawer, ready to replace an old toothbrush. I tell my sister we have to go out for lunch sometimes. This mom needs a life.

That's all for now.


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Monday, July 28, 2008

Operation Magnette Pt. 3: Still Recovering

Glitter Graphics

After I literally let my hair down after the de-gooping shower, I made my Unveiling post. Then, because I really haven’t eaten a lot the last few days, I looked for Hubby.

Hubby was watching TV upstairs. I sit on the bed and didn’t even have to use my feminine wiles (batting my eyes or anything) to convince him to get me what I craved. “Honey,” I say hintingly, “I am hungry for something I haven’t had in a while…”

He looks at me and says without missing a beat, “Taco Bell.”

I pout slightly and nod. Gosh, am I that much of a well-read book?

He folds his lips in a thinking mode and calls out for Angel.

Angel pops her head into our doorway and stands by the bed, “Yeah?”

“Do you want a Happy Meal?”

Her eyes light up and she gets excited. (This is a treat in our house. We don’t get a lot of take-outs since I stopped driving.)

I opted not to ride along. I was still feeling weak. I wasn’t dizzy, but I was a bit off-balance. (Please, no smart "you are off-balance, anyway" commetns. LOL) I walk around like I have a stiff neck. I don’t want to pull my stitches. It feels tight and numb around the implanted side.

When they return, Hubby had picked himself a chicken dinner. This surprised me. He doesn’t usually like to stop at three different places for take-outs. He always wanted us to make up our minds which place we wanted to order take-out and would not drive all over town getting us different take-out foods.

I love the Meximelts. I couldn't decide on what I wanted so I wanted the Mexican pizza, too. I couldn’t eat all my food so I saved some for later. I pretty much carbed out. Will have to get back on the diet wagon ASAP.

I was still taking it easy, but got tired. I told Hubby I was going to take a nap. Upstairs. In my own bed.

As I lay down, gingerly, slowly, I can feel the pull of the stitches as my head hit the pillow. I instantly fell asleep. There’s no place like sleeping in your own bed!! Ahhh.

Hubby wakes me up about an hour or so later. “We got company.”

I frown, mentally checking off a list of people who might want to stop by. Hmmm.

Hubby adds, “Dad’s here.”

I look at my clock. It’s about 4 p.m. Today was Hubby’s niece’s graduation party. I knew I wasn’t up for going anywhere. I walk around like a robot, or should I say, like a Cyborg?

Since the light was coming through the dining room, I chose to sit at the table. We sit around and talk. Grampa decided to surprise everyone. He rode his motorcycle all the way here. That’s a long trip!!

Since we were sans-Flare for the weekend, we offer him to stay with us in her room. I ask Hubby to help me change the sheets. All I did is put the pillow cases on. He did the rest. Thank you, Hubby.

We chat for a while. Then Grampa leaves to go to Niece’s graduation party.

I try to go back to bed, but I am wide awake. I walk stiffly around the house and do some dishes. In my bare feet, I can feel the dirt on the floor. Ugh. I could sweep, but I can’t bend to dustpan the dirt. So I leave it until Flare gets home. Maybe I'll just sweep the dirt near the carpet and have the vacuum cleaner pick it up. I decide to catch up on emails instead. I am so behind. I don't really have a lot of energy, even with the carb-pumping Mexican feast I had.

Grampa comes back about 7 p.m. We sit outside. My interpreter friend who lives near by was doing her neighborhood walk. She sees me and walks up the driveway. We chat, talking about the CI surgery. She asks, “How many stitches?”

I don’t know.

She looks at my incision and starts counting. Fourteen. It is along the back of the ear and up the side. Only 14? That’s it?

I think this is the first time Grampa actually saw me talking in sign language.

Not too much happened after that. We watch some TV.

Sunday, Four days after surgery:

I wake up early. Took another shower. I don’t feel like going to church. And I think that today is the last day. After this, the church gets moved to its new location. Sigh.

I check on emails and some blogs. I try to catch up. I skip a lot of my “funnies” emails to wait another time.

Grampa is going to stay with us another day. So I go downstairs to grab something out of the freezer. The freezer door is ajar. Again. Grrr. We have an upright freezer, much like a refrigerator. When it’s ajar, that means someone didn’t shut it right and things will be thawed out. Crap. I haven’t been down there since Tuesday when I did the wash.

I tell Hubby. He’s NOT happy. I actually miss the old freezer. It was bigger and took more room in the basement, but it remained SHUT. This freezer can stay frost-free, but if the door is open, it starts to ice up. And gets worse.

I prepare beef stew in the slowcooker. I still took some naps. I am still weak. I have this thing when I eat something warm. The ole "nose factory" gets overproductive and runny. I grab a Kleenex and automatically blow. I stop, frozen in mid-blow. Crap. I am not supposed to blow my nose. Did I jar something loose? I don’t move for a minute. I think I am okay.

Since the surgery, I have been belching unladylike belches. I try to keep my mouth open and just cover my mouth with my hand. I always feel my eardrum vibrate on the implanted side. I don’t know why I am belching so much. Is it the meds? Is it that my body is still recovering from the trauma it endured?

Even though my sore throat is gone, I feel hoarse and have phlegm build-up in the back of my throat. Is it part of the healing process? Is it the antibiotics at work?

I hope so. Well, this is it for now. Flare returned about 4 p.m. and we pretty much watched TV all night after supper. The guys went outside for a bit, too.

Oh, did I say how goooood it felt to sleep in my own bed? Ahhh.

I am so glad that the worst of the surgery is behind me, too.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Operation Magnette Pt. 2: The Unveiling

Two days after surgery:

I had been sleeping about two hours at a time during the night. The recliner isn’t exactly the most comfortable place to sleep all night with a tight mastoid dressing (head bra). My head felt heavy.

I took a painkiller around 5 a.m. and then took my antibiotic around 7 a.m. My stomach was churning a bit, but I wanted to post an update. Then while typing, my nausea took over.

I went back to the recliner and napped some more. I stopped taking painkillers. I thought that the pain was tolerable. I was more uncomfortable with that tight band around my head. I managed to eat a toast down. Then I ate an Eggo waffle a few hours later. I tried to keep sipping water to stay hydrated. I was working on cutting my carbs, but the toast seemed to stay down. So I'll work on watching the carbs once I feel better.

Hubby didn’t want me to take the head bra off till the next morning.

I ate a skinless, boneless chicken breast for supper. Amazingly, the nausea was gone. The heat I felt in my face was gone. I am blaming the painkillers for causing the heat flash in my face and the nausea.

Flare had to go over to her dad’s for the weekend. I asked her if he could wait till morning to pick her up, but she shook her head. I asked, “He didn’t want to? Or did you just want to get out of the house?” I couldn’t blame her. A lot of responsibility fell on her young 13-year-old shoulders playing nursemaid to her mom. She slept almost all day herself. She was tired because of all the nausea attacks I had and the bathroom trips I took and getting my meds.

During the evening, I realized that my sore throat was gone. Yay. There was a cut inside my mouth from the tube that they put in my mouth. It's healing, too.

My tongue is still numb-like on the implanted side.

Angel catered to me for a while, getting me a popsicle and fresh water when I needed it.

She camped out on the loveseat for the third night in a row.

Hubby watched TV all night. I dozed off and on fitfully.

Three days after surgery:

At five in the morning (Yes, he ws up all night unless he fell asleep with the TV on), he cut off the head bra. Oh, that felt so goooood. I have a huge zit in the middle of my forehead from it. I jumped into the shower and tried to wash off all that goop in my hair. It was yucky. I holler for Hubby to check if I got all that stuff out of my hair. He nods.

I look awful and swollen yet. I put my hair up so that my hair wouldn’t touch the incision. I didn’t bother trying to blowdry my hair and let it air dry. I look like a frump.

I got brave and looked at my incision. I did not get as much hair shaved off as I thought I would. Thank you, doctor!!

I am walking around better. I wasn't really dizzy at all except for the first time I got up in the hospital. I lost five pounds in the last three days. Most of it is probably water. I still feel weak. I am not feeling any pain. I do feel something by my ear, but it’s okay. It's numb and probably will be for a while.

I have an appt to get stitches taken out on Aug. 5.

My activation/hookup date is Aug. 25.
Two week follow-up map is Sept 9
One month map Sept. 23.

There will also be a 3, 6, and a year MAPping appts, too. (Mappings are adjustments that are cutsum-made to a CIer's hearing ablity and comfort level.) These appts reminds me of well-baby check-ups. Right now, my CI is a sleeping baby.

I am already trying to come up with a snappy name for my new baby. A fellow blogger named hers Thing 1 and Thing 2 (bilaterals). Cute.

I did have some pictures taken with Flare’s camera, but I have a hard time uploading anything from her Easy Share file. I don’t know why that is. I do have pictures taken with my camera, but will have to use up the roll of film first and get it developed. It’s not going to be looking my best, I can guarantee you that. But if I can figure out how to upload Flare’s Easy Share files, that’ll save time. I haven’t taken a picture of my stitches yet. Maybe someone out there can give me some tips about Easy Share?

Well, that’s it for now.



Friday, July 25, 2008

Operation Magnette

Summing up the last two days in one word…OWIE.

WARNING: Long post...

Day before surgery:

I got a call from Froedtert (pronounced Frayed-ert, I think.)

Hubby called out to me, saying that the doctor from Froedtert wanted to talk to me.

I opened my eyes wide, “He got fired?”

Hubby smiled and shooked his head, “No. From Froedtert.”

It was the anesthesiologist. He wanted to know if I had any false teeth or chipped teeth and gave me a few statistics. (Oh, I needed to hear that. One in 20,000 people die from anesthesia. One in ½ million to a million die from something else…I forgot what it was.) He asked about any allergies to medications and told me that I would be knocked out and pain-free.

(I thought he said I would be painting.)

I would be painting? Oh, you said pain-free.

(More examples of my misunderstandings.)

After that I hung up.

A few hours later, a nurse called. She wanted my weight and height. She wanted to give us the best directions to the facility. She said that I might have to stay overnight. (As long as you are in the hospital less than 24 hours-even 23 hours and 59 minutes, you are considered outpatient.) Hubby was disappointed about that. That would mean two trips out there for him.

(Isn’t it odd that they call deaf/severely hard-of-hearing people at home? How many live alone and can’t hear on the phone?)

We then went over to my sister’s to drop the girls off. We visited for about an hour. The girls took a dip in the lake as soon as we got there. I wasn’t surprised. They love swimming.

We made arrangements for our next door neighbor to watch Onyx for us. We gave them the key to the house so they could let her outside a few times during the day.

I went to bed about 10:30 p.m. and set my Sonic Boom alarm clock to 3:45 a.m. I woke up at about 2:45 and couldn’t go back to sleep. I tossed and turned a bit. Hubby drummed his fingers across my back a few times.

Day of surgery, Wednesday, July 23, 2008:

I was still awake when the alarm went off. I plodded downstairs to take my shower.

I had enough time to check some emails and was happy to see that Wendi’s (Sudden Silence blogger) surgery went quickly. I was so surprised to see that it only took 2 ½ hours!! For both ears. Wow.

Now it’s my turn.

Then we were off.

When we got to the registration area at the designated time, 6:30 a.m., there was a sign language interpreter waiting for me. I had forgotten about it. I got an email from someone from the facility asking me if I would like to be provided with one. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be wearing my HA in my good ear, so I said yes.

I was glad I did. I got confused. I was nervous, too.

I was given a gown and booties. Hubby had to put all my clothes into a plastic bag that was provided. I didn’t like the idea of being completely naked under my gown, so I had Hubby tie the back really good so that my backside wouldn’t be exposed.

Every nurse and doctor who talked to me verified my name, birthdate, and the reason why I was there. (Good protocol.) I wouldn’t want to find out that I got the wrong surgery.

A nurse took my vital signs My blood pressure went up to 129/something. It was at 106/something the week before. I guess my heart had a lot of reasons to be pumped up. When the nurse wanted to take my temperature, she just swiped something over my forehead and tapped it behind my earlobe. Viola! (Cool! A new thermometer.) Temperature was 99.5. Do I feel feverish? Not really. Pumped? Yes.

They needed a urinalysis. I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for a good 12 hours. I didn’t think I had anything left in my bladder. Just a few drops is all they needed. Okay. I mananged to do more than that and put the cup on the table.

I met my ENT surgeon once again. He says that it’s been a long time. (My CI evaluation was January 29. Insurance denied my CI because it was not proven safe and effective and because it wasn’t a treatment for Usher syndrome, though hearing loss was a part of the syndrome. I had it appealed and the insurance company finally approved my CI.) He wrote “yes” on my left ear. We didn’t want the wrong ear done now, did we?

My ears got checked to see if they were healthy and I was asked questions about allergies again.

Hubby had to leave at this point. He gives me a soft kiss on the lips and leaves with all my clothes in the bag. He was tired and wanted to nap in the van. I didn’t mind. Three hours is a long time in a waiting room. Might as well spend it sleeping.

For some reason, the height was marked down as 4’ 11?. Huh? (I am 5’9”.) I was just saying that the cox I was lying in was not long enough. My heels hung over the edge. I propped myself up a little bit higher. Some kind of blood pressure thingy was wrapped around both of my calves. I guess blood pressure can be checked on the shins, too.

I was asked if I was cold. Yes. They had cozy warm sheets put over me. It was like taking a clean, freshly dried sweatshirt out of the dryer and putting it on. Mmmm, nice and toasty.

I was introduced to more staff. Again, my name, birthdate, and reason I was there was asked. (I know how important it is to be accurate in the medical setting. All paperwork has to be complete. If it wasn’t documented, it didn’t happen.) One person, who was a student, stopped in to see me. He wanted to meet me while I was conscious. It was then I realized that I was going to be some kind of a subject for pre-meds or interns. It was a teaching hospital, after all.

I was prepped and given more warm sheets. A girl could get used to that.

By this time, I wasn’t too nervous.

The anesthesiologist numbed my wrist to insert an IV.

My interpreter told me she had to go now, but will be back when I was done.

I opened my eyes and saw some spots. (They didn’t bark, though. See Spot. Okay. I know, I have a weird sense of humor…)

Next thing I saw was my interpreter. I was in the recovery room with a tight head bra wrapped around my head. The surgery took about 3 hours. I was telling her about a friend who had bilateral surgery and she was done in 2 ½ hours. The nurse said that it wasn’t a teaching hospital. The doctors explain every step during the surgery.

I said that my implanted ear was ringing.

The nurse said that was common.

(Was it ringing off the hook, waiting for hook-up/activation day?) ;)

I felt like coughing. My throat was raw from the tube they put into my lungs. My tongue is numb, like I sucked on a Sucrets lozenge for a sore throat.

Suddenly I had tears coming out of my eyes. I was emotional.

The nurse told me that was common, too. My hormones were out of whack from the drugs. She said that some patients wake up from surgery telling her that they loved her. That made me smile.

I had a bout with nausea, but they were dry heaves. I hadn’t had anything to eat for 18 hours. About half an hour later, I had another nausea attack.
My interpreter had another assignment so she had to leave. I nodded and thanked her.

Then I was bed-wheeled to a different room. I shut my eyes and felt a finger rubbing gently across my arm. It was Hubby. I smile at him tiredly. I handed him my hearing aid. (I did have to take it out before surgery. They put it in a container and when I was woken up after the surgery, a nurse gave it back to me to put on.)

Hubby rubbed my thumb gently as I gave it to him.

He is not a touchy-feely kind of guy, so it felt nice.

I rested for a while. I was given some pain meds and an antibiotic. I needed to go to the bathroom. Upon getting up, I was dizzy.

Hubby made a crack about me being more dizzy than usual. I wanted to whack him but I smile at him anyway.

I was concerned about the tightness of my head bra. Was it too tight? I knew I needed to have some pressure on the ear, but it just felt tight around the back of my head.

The nurse didn’t seem concerned about it.

I was discharged at 3:30 p.m. Hubby helped me get dressed and called for the nurse.

Once I saw the wheelchair, I say, “There’s my ride.” Door to bedside service.

I rested all the way back to town. We stopped to pick up our wet rats at my sister’s. Flare, my oldest, took one look at me and said, “Mom, you look…interesting.” I retort with, “Yeah, it’s a new fashion fad. Don’t you like it?” She rolls her eyes at me.

When we finally got home, the phone was ringing. It was a nurse. Our pastor was going to visit me, but he just missed us. (I am always amazed at the timing when we go somewhere or just get home and the phone rings.)

The dog was soooo happy to see us. Poor thing. We did not neglect her.

I took up residence on the recliner. Flare played nursemaid and got me my Crystal Light popsicles I had the foresight to prepare the night before. It was soothing for my sore throat. Both girls camped out downstairs with me during the night. Flare had excellent recliner-side manners.

Hubby took off to fill my prescriptions and pick up a pizza he ordered. I only had one slice, but lost my dinner five hours later, at 1:30 in the morning.

Angel liked helping me by getting me more popsicles when I wanted one or leading me to the bathroom. I would have managed it, but both girls wanted to help, so I let them.

Day after surgery:

My face was warm all day. The rest of me was not hot, though.

Hubby called to check on his patient at every breaktime at work. I told him I felt warm. I took my temperature and it was 97.5. I kept cooling my face with a wet dishtowel.

I took a tepid bath and that seemed to cool my face down for a whle, then it came back.

A nurse called to check on me. Any concerns? I mentioned my warm face and she said that it was never reported before, so if I still had it the next day, call the office.

Hubby came home with chocolate….pudding cups for me.

I took another tepid bath and that seemed to do the trick. My face was cool all night. I thought maybe it was from the tightness of the head bra, but it might also be a reaction from the meds I had to take.

This morning I had another nausea attack as I was typing this, so I am going to stop and get some more rest.

Stay tuned for Part 2.



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hey dudes and dudettes! Mommy's home!!!

Hey people!!!!!

FYI, this is Flare posting for Mom. CI surgery went smoothly, no complications or problems. Yay! So’s now’s the recovery.

Mom says thanks for all your support and will be back online when she can.

Bye people!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cuts Like a Knife


Last Saturday we went to Wal*Mart to get some stuff I might need, such as antibiotic cream, along with some groceries (quick-fix-it meals).

I saw one of the interpreters from the college and told her about the upcoming CI surgery. She was shopping with her daughter. (Hi, waving at her when she reads this.)

I saw my hearing sister and her husband there. They were talking to someone, but I didn’t want to walk by without looking like a snob, so I waved. And waved. And waved. Finally, they saw me and waved back. I continued on, looking for a kitchen item and bumped into them again. And once more when I was going to look at some eggs. I heard a voice that made me jump. I turn to see them laughing. In retrospect, kind of like an instant replay, I realized he said “broke” like the eggs were broken or I broke the eggs. They seemed to be in a hurry so we didn’t really say much.

After putting all our stuff away, Hubby says that we are all going to the lake to see my mom. My mom lives with my other sister who also has Usher syndrome and her husband. They live on a lake. In fact, they live on what used to be my grandparents’ land. They tore down the old house and Grampa's workshop/garage and had their custom-built ranch put in. It’s right next to my childhood home. Every time I go visit my sister, it kind of hurts to see my old home, the house I grew up in, because the siding has been changed and everything. My mom had to sell the house about five years ago. It’s almost like a dream that I once lived in the house. At least I have my memories. I don’t know why I’m so sentimental about it. People move and buy houses all the time. It was not my place to tell her not to sell it. I couldn’t be that selfish knowing that the house was too expensive for her to upkeep and that there was no way I could help, too.

Anyway, the girls got to go swimming. We brought Onyx with us and she was in and out of the water. She met my sister’s yellow Lab. My hearing sister’s (the one I bumped into at Wal*Mart earlier) two girls were spending a few days at the lake. Our family does not get together very often. We are lucky to see each other two or three times a year. I guess we have our own lives. Add in the fact that half of us have Usher syndrome, so we can’t go around visiting anytime we want.

My brother (also with Usher) and niece were also there. Talk about a mini-family reunion!! My brother was out there for a swim, too. When I first saw him, I thought for a moment that he was my oldest brother. They look so much alike.

I was starting to think that it must have been some kind of harbinger, because I was seeing half of my family in one day. Was something serious going to happen to me during the CI surgery? Is this why I was seeing them? I shake that thought out of my head. It didn’t mean anything. I’m not going to die on the operating table. The risk is very small, if at all.

We joke around a bit and then my brother’s wife stopped by to pick them up. She dropped them off earlier.

It was good to see them. All my nieces are growing. They all seem pretty tall for their age, too. The girls were glad to see their cousins, especially Flare, because they are much closer in age, one being a year ahead of her and the other being a year behind her. They attend different schools, though.

I am going to be away from the computer for the next few days. I say this, but I honestly don’t know when I’ll be up to blogging. I guess I will have to play it by ear, literally.
I will try to catch up on my blog rounds when I can. Some people who had CI surgery had made a blog post the same day as their surgeries, but I am not going to push it. I just want to get it over with and recuperate and speed up my recovery time if I can. And speed up the regrowth of the shaved area of my head behind my ear. I am hoping that my hair is thick enough to cover that spot. Of course, the shaved area is the least of my worries. Itchiness of the incision and infection are my main concerns. Antibiotic cream (a.k.a. generic Neosporin) to the rescue. :)

Thanks again for all your good vibes, thoughts, and prayers.

I hope Wendi and Karen will have a successful and speedy recovery, too. I was thinking of them all day, especially this morning while they were in surgery. I am excited for them, too. (Lucky them, winks, they'll be recovering the next day when it's MY turn under the knife.) May the Lord guide the surgeon's hands for all of us.
BTW, the girls will spend the night (or two) with Gramma at my sister's. Hubby will drop them off there today. I am not sure if they will be back tomorrow night or the day after. I guess I should milk it during my recovery and get spoiled. ;)
P.S. We have to be at the hospital tomorrow by 6:30 a.m. and the surgery's scheduled for 8:30 a.m. On average, surgery takes about three hours. For a moment there, tiny butterflies fluttered in my stomach at the thought. It's gone now, but I am sure they'll be back in the morning.



Sunday, July 20, 2008

He is Here, Isn't He?


Glitter Graphics

I have been known to talk to a person on the phone thinking it was someone else, so I like to make sure that I am talking to the right person.

In the past, when Hubby called me from work to inquire about the contents of his mail, I’d rattle off the names on the return address of the mail only to find out it wasn’t him. When a caller calls around the time he usually makes his call, that’s when it goes haywire. For this reason, I’ve made a habit of double-checking.

Here is a recent conversation:

Me: Hello?

Hubby: This is Hubby.

Me, thinking that it sounded like Hubby, but assumed that the caller said “Is Hubby there?”: He’s not here right now.

Hubby: This IS Hubby.

Me: Is this Hubby?

Hubby: Yes. I had to go find myself but I don’t need to find myself anymore.

Me, heart dropping: You don't?...You were looking for yourself? I didn’t know you were looking for yourself.

Hubby: Nooo. I know where I am at. I don’t need to find myself.

Me, heart pounding faster now: You don't need to find yourself?

Hubby: I know where I am at.

Me, slowly realizng that he meant that he didn’t have to go find himself. He is Hubby so he didn’t have to go and GET himself on the phone. Oooohhh, duh. Then I said: I thought you were trying to tell me you had a mid-life crisis or something.

Hubby: No, no. I know where I am at.

Me: Okay

Hubby: Just calling to say that I am working overtime till _____.

Me: You are working overtime till _____.

Hubby: Yes.

I have fun with words. It’s fun to take the word out of context and play with it. There can be many ways to interpret them. I guess this time, words had fun with me. Or I have created a word-playing monster (Hubby) because I play that on him all the time. Pay back. Good one. I’ll get you back.

I have lots of funny converstations on the phone. What do you do? Laugh at yourself and move on. In my better ear, with HAs, I hear about 50 decibels, but it could be a little less now. Compare that to about 95 decibel loss without the HA on. So it's amazing sometimes how much I do pick up and screw up, too.

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Friday, July 18, 2008


No innuendo meant by the graphic's phrase "Have you ever played doctor?" It was meant as it would be in a child's innocent eyes.

Well, I took the muggy 30 minute walk to the clinic for the pre-op stuff.

Stepped into a puddle of water halfway to the clinic. Make that a nice foot-sogged walk to the clinic.

I saw the nice splothes on my socks from aforementioned mishap into a puddle. Hmm, no time to do a psychology test of what I see in those splotches. Nice dirty splotches by the toe area. I see splotches on a sock, silly. After all, splotches are splotches. Only difference is the size and shape. Show me a cloud. Now we're talkin'. I'm more imaginative with that. Why not use that to check my mental capabilities?

Got blood drawn (nice of you, vein, to show up for the lab tech) for bleeding time (to see if I am not a bleeder and how fast my blood clots or scabs over, I call it thrombo-time.), a CBC (complete blood count), and another one for my kidney function (didn't hear exactly what it was). No EKG, though. The doctor didn't think that I needed one. I also had my blood pressure checked and it is normal. (Guess that's the only thing "normal" about me, LOL)

She checked my ears. Yep, still there.

I did a pretty good imitation of "ahhh" for her as she looked down my throat. I wonder if she saw butterflies down there? Okay, I wasn't nervous at all. So I don't think she saw anything.

I am CALM. Heart's beating normally. Breathing is normal. . I know all the risks. But look what I can gain-better hearing, along with a nice big fat juicy hospital bill.

I am thinking (Oh oh, look out), can I make my head bra (you know, the gauze that gets wrapped snugly around the head to keep pressure on the ear) look sporty or fashionable? Stylish? Wouldn't that be fun? Let's find a really cool bandanna. (Does gauze come in different colors? Well, a girl's gotta look nice.)

To be honest with you all, I am calm. Amazingly calm. (I was like this when I had to take tests or for my weddings-married twice. Also for presentations. Until the first few hours before an event, I usually don't break a sweat (now why do they phrase it that way? How can a sweat be broken? It's wet. Duh.)

As far am my calmness goes, it's the calm before the storm. Ask me on the very day of my surgery. For sure I will have very strong energetic grasshoppers bouncing around in my stomach. Dare I back out at the last minute? NOT.

Don't get me wrong, I do get panic attacks here and there, but brush it aside. In the meantime, still staying busy....

Thanks for your your good vibes, thoughts, and prayers. Much appreciated.



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What If?

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Who am I kidding? I’m TOTALLY freaking out.



Nope. That didn’t work.

What if the ENT accidently pokes my brain as he inserts the internal part of the cochlear implant? Instant brain damage. Or drills too far into the mastoid bone? Oops.

What if I can never taste food again? Or have a facial tic for the rest of my life on the implanted side? I’ll have to pretend I’m winking all the time. (Two nerves, the facial nerve and the taste nerve can be a concern and the ENT says that in some cases he’s had to cut a nerve to get a clear path to the oh-so-tiny cochlea. )

What if, upon activation and subsequent MAPpings, I get a dud? The implant is a DUD? (They do test it once it’s inserted to see if it’s working.)
Or it malfunctions and doesn’t work? More surgery?

What if?



Nope. Not working.

It wasn't this bad when I was pregnant for the first time and wondering what labor was like.

Women have babies all the time.

More and more d/Deaf or severely hard-of-hearing people are getting cochlear implants. They are up and around. I have read about other bloggers' experiences with CIs.

Fear of the unknown.

Pep talks are not working. The ENT will be shaving my hair around the ear. Postive thing? I have thick hair.

My thoughts are erratic.



Is that clock still ticking?

Tick tock, tick tock....

Getting closer...


Yes, just TRYING to keep my mind off of it. Not easy, is it? All I am doing now is trying to keep myself busy. It's exciting and scarey at the same time, like being a first-time mom. Can you believe how many times I've wiped the countertops? LOL. And Hubby didn't like that I touched his stuff. But at least, to me, it's a neater stack, not a lumpy pile in the middle of the counter. I moved it to the corner...hoping he'd find a new home for them. Didn't work. Anyway, as far as getting foods done ahead of time, I just have a lot of frozen foods (pizza, chicken nuggets, and other kind of stuff-yeah, really healthy for my family). If I canot move around too much the first few days post-op (think VERTIGO), I know that Flare can hold the fort (and I will be too, HOLDING the fort with the expected vertigo..._) and I am sure she knows how to turn on the oven. Winks. I know I will get a whack on my arm for that one from Flare.



Monday, July 14, 2008


Nothing much happened during the weekend. Hubs went fishing and got a few walleyes. One was bigger than the one he mounted two years ago. He's waiting for a specific size and that wasn't big enough. LOL.

Since Flare had her weekend with her dad, we didn't have a babysitter for Angel. So we took her along with us for Hubby's birthday. We had fish. I was surprised because he wanted prime rib. (I don't even know what part of the cow that is!! (I know. It says "rib" tht should be a good hint.) You don't see them labeled like that in the grocery store. Porterhouse, sirloin, T-bone, rump roast,....but not prime rib. Go figure!!)

It's been cooler here. The central air has been turned off and windows were opened to let in the cool breeze. Hubby had the fan blowing in our room with the window open to circulate air. For some reason, I detest sleeping with windows and/or fans blowing when I am sleeping. I just feel "cold" and wake up stuffy. Good thing for me that Hubby stays up late so I don't have to feel the fan blowing at me ALL night. :)

Hubby took Onyx to the place where they train dogs for hunting. Sort of a dog hunting camp. Anyway, they had her go into the water and stuff. She just didn't have much interest in getting anyting out of the water. She isn't aggressive enough for hunting.

The trainer also noted that she wasn't a purebred black Lab. (I was wondering about that, but the adoption papers only listed "black Lab"). She has "brown boots," so we were thinking that she was mixed with the chocolate Lab. The trainer thought that she was part rottweiler, then he heard her bark. To him, it was a hound bark. But I don't care. She's our dog. I'm a mutt, too. Part Irish-Scottish, Danish-Dutch, and German. I'm still an American. She's an American dog. 'Nuff said.

So Hubby's just going to try it on his own once the hunting season opens for ducks.

As soon as Flare got dropped off last night, our house was like honey to a bee. A major attraction. Kids seemed to come out of the woodwork. One girl was showing off her new skill: Biking no-handed. Another was riding her bike with a smaller child standing on the middle part of the tire that sticks out. I was worried about that and said something, but I'm not their mom, so they just moved on to another area of the street. Kids. No helmet!! Acck.

Angel always complains that the kids make fun of her when she wears her helmet. I say, "I don't care. If I were their mom, they'd be wearing them, too."

I did a presentation for a college class several years ago on bike helmet safety. Just falling two feet (at a gravitational pull of 25 miles per hour) is enough to cause a concussion and possible permanent brain damage. However, once you fall from your bike with a helmet on, a new helmet must replace it because the foam inside the helmet is crushed and won't protect you when you fall again (Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, 2007).

So that's my stand on bike helmets. I've made them wear bike helmets from the get-go. After my research on it for my presentation, I have more ammunition for arguments. :)

The soreness in my arm went away in about three days. For tetanus shots, I remember, my arm would be sore for a week. Speaking of which, I will need another one soon. Here we go again. :)

I know that I am blogging so irregularly. Sorry. What can I say? It's SUMMER!!! :)

I'll talk more about the CI surgery. Right now I just want to keep my mind OFF of it. Or I will start freaking out. LOL



Friday, July 11, 2008


When I returned home from my mini-vacation, I guess I needed a vacation to recover from my vacation. Hee. That's one long road trip.

The girls had fun. Jetskiing. Motorcycling. Hubby brought along the game he bought at the "Man's Store" that's gaining popularity called "Lasso Golf." It's a backyard-type game that looks like a vertical ladder with three rungs and a two-ended golfball-like balls are held together by a rope. I say, why not whip the things in the air like you do when lassoing and then throw it? But you just throw it like you are pitching a softball. It's fun and anyone can play.

Since I am left-handed, I am always discovering things I can do with my right hand. Why? I don't know. I write and eat with my left hand. I used to play tennis with my left hand. But everything else, it's my right hand. I throw darts, toss balls, and bowl with my right hand and can't do it with my left. Go figure.

You know that saying that goes something like, "If the right side of the brain is controlled by the left side, then left-handed people are in their right minds?" Well, I think I'm screwed. LOL.

Here's some pictures of Flare and Angel on Grampa's big toy. The girls are going to turn into biker chicks.

and here's one with Angel on a jetski:

(Thank you, C., for sending me these pixs.)

After returning home from our trip, I got that vaccine I needed to take. I think that any "under the weather thing" I was feeling was all in my head. (Believe me, I've got enough up there besides air.) I am fine now. I am still a bit stuffed-up, but then I am always that way when I wake up. It clears up in a couple of hours.

When I called, (yes, with my better ear I can do okay on the phone, again, it depends on the voice and on the topic. I HAVE to know what the speaker is talking about in order to understand anything on the phone. I can pretty much predict what will be asked for a clinical visit to get a shot.)

I told the receptionist that I needed to get the vaccine two weeks before the surgery. It's to prevent meningitis. I needed the Pneumovox 23 shot.

So the girls and I headed out to the hospital. The nurse was going to give me the meningitis shot. I had my prescription with me. It said Pneumovax 23. She says, "This is not the meningitis shot you said you wanted."

Oh. BLOND MOMENT. "Does it have something to do with meningitis?"

The nurse frowned at me and placed a call to the facility where I was going to get the surgery done. "Yep, it's only the P 23. "

Okay. (It does get confusing when you know that meningitis is a concern with CI-cochlear implant patients.)

Well, at least I know it's the right one. I still have soreness in the area of the shot, but otherwise I'm good. This shot is a lifetime shot. No more shots are needed. Yay. I hate shots with a passion. Of course, I would rather get a shot than to take a pill. Go figure.

Well, that's it for now.


P.S. Happy Birthday, Hubby. Love ya.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


The girls and I were done shopping at a store that sold religious-related things and had to cross a boulevard to get the mall. Once we stepped outside, it was sprinkling lightly. I started walking faster and said, “Let’s walk faster so we don’t get wet.”

Angel says wryly, “Mo-om, we ARE getting wet.” I had to laugh at that.

“Yes, but if we hurry, we won’t get as wet as we would have walking slower. “


While at Payless Shoes, the retail clerk says, “Buy one, get one half off of any shoe in the store.”

I say, “Which half? Right or left shoe?” Hee.


Got my Pneumovox 23 shot as a precautionary pre-op thing for the CI surgery. Arm is stiff and sore. I swear I am going to come down with something because of that vaccine.

Oh, well. Hope not.


Onyx: Hubby thought she didn’t like the water too much. Never really went swimming. She stuck to the shore and got out. This time, he scooped water over her back and coaxed her into the deeper water. Once her paws didn’t touch bottom, she instinctively swam. After that, she was hooked.

When we were ready to leave, she DID NOT want to leave. LOL. She never really disobeyed Hubby before. She loves the water now. Like a kid who doesn't want to leave an amusement park, she seemed to say, "I want to stay here. This is fun."

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Surgery Date!!!!

Okay, some of you have been anxiously waiting for my CI (cochlear implant) surgery date.

I need it like I need another hole in my head.

Wait. I AM getting another hole in my head when they drill a hole through my skull to insert the electrodes.

Soon I will be joining the ranks of other CI users (a.k.a cyborgs or bionic women).

Okay, hang on to your hats and stay on the edge of your seats.

Envelope please....

Oops. Dropped it...

Surgery date is

July 2....3!! JULY 23. (I was going to put down July 22 + 1, hee).

I guess the hospital only wanted to schedule it on Wednesdays. I was given a choice of August 6 or July 23. I just want it over with.

Yes, I am a little nervous and probably will be even more nervous as each day gets closer to the surgery date. (No, I don't want to think about it.)

Talk to you later. OXOX


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Adventure by the Lake

I posted this last year, but I wanted to share this again. Independence Day is coming.

"A crab pinched her!!" My youngest, Angel, was standing to a little to my left, waving her hand at me.

We were at my sister's for the Fourth of July celebrations. A lot of kids were swimming in the lake.

Angel, my explorer, liked to collect clam shells and snail shells. As usual, she was wading in the shallow water.

"Mom, a crab pinched her!!" She repeated.

She didn't have the look of alarm on her face.

Did I hear that right?

"A crab pinched her!!" I exlcaimed, immediately scanning the water for Flare, but she was swimming in the deeper part of the water, playing and laughing with her cousins.

My eyes traveled back towards Angel.

Again, she repeated. "A crab pinched her!!"

I looked for another girl who may have been pinched by a crab.

I remember trying to catch crayfish when I was little. I would step in the area in front of it, and then put a bucket behind it. It would swim backwards into the bucket. They really don't go around attacking. At least I didn't think so. Maybe a kid provoked it??

Now she was waving her hand at me some more.

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I was almost afraid to look at her hand. What if there was a crayfish hanging off of it? It didn't make sense to me, because it there was one there, she'd be crying or someone else would have noticed something.

In her hand was a severed water-decomposed crayfish pincher.