I finally got the outer processor for my BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) implant this week. I am not really sure how I feel about it yet.
I am hearing better, which is great. However, it sounds a lot different from a typical hearing aid. I struggle to understand what people are saying, but I guess that will get better as I get used to the device.
The outer processor has a magnet, which attaches to the magnet under my skin, and sends the sound vibrations to the titanium screw in my skull, which then vibrates to send the sound directly to my inner ear. The two parts are working great together and putting on the outer piece is really simple. I just hold it up to my head, so the magnets can pull toward each other, and it pops into place.
The downside of the magnet system is the outer processor can be knocked off my head. It’s a delicate and expensive device, so dropping it is not recommended.
The audiologist did give me a clip with a plastic wire that can attach to the outer processor and then it can be clipped to my shirt. I am not a fan of this device. I feel like a preschooler, whose parents clipped stuff to their shirt to prevent them from losing it.
In about a week or so, I am going to write another blog post about the implant. By then I will be used to it, so some of these problems should be solved.
The bandage is off my head now and the incision is healing nicely.
The BAHA surgery involves drilling into the skull, so it sounds like it would be extremely painful. However, the pain is fairly minimal.
My biggest struggles right now are getting very dizzy whenever I first stand up and everything taste bad. Temporally losing taste is not uncommon whenever surgery is done on your ears, because there are a lot of nerves that run through that area and into the sinus cavity.
This isn’t the first time I have had some nerve damage after an ear surgery and I have never had any long lasting complications. Therefore, I am not worried about losing my ability taste food at the moment.
Overall, things are going well. I am mostly resting and watching an enormous amount of documentaries.
I had to take my laptop to Mac Resource Store, because I accidentally got droplets of glue from a spray can on the keyboard. When I picked up my laptop, I was still wearing my bandages from the surgery.
The employee that helped me checkout is named Eric and he asked about the bandages. That’s how we got to talking about ear surgeries. Turns out, Eric also has hearing loss and he got a BAHA implant a few years ago. We talked a little bit about the surgery and other surgeries. We both had mastoidectomies done and we have even seen some of the same doctors.
I had a great time talking with Eric, because I don’t know anyone who has undergone similar surgeries as me. When I get the outer processor for the BAHA, I am going to visit Eric again, so we can compare thoughts on the device.
It may sound funny, but I am kind of glad I messed up my keyboard. I got to meet a great person that I can relate to in a way I have never done before.
I broke my hearing aid and I don’t think it can be repaired. The insides are popping out of the hearing aid. It looks really bad.
There are some disabilities which are invisible, meaning you can’t tell the person has the disability just by looking at them.
Hearing impairment is an invisible disability and that can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings.
- If someone greets you and you don’t respond, they usually assume you are rude. They may never consider you are hearing impaired.
- Failure at school or difficulties following directions may be viewed as an intellectual problem, if the hearing disability is not addressed properly.
Family and friends will shrug off my failure to respond, my problems with understanding, and even answers that make no sense. They know about my hearing disability and they understand how it causes problems in my daily life.
Strangers or even people that don’t know me very well, may assume I am rude or stupid. They may allow their assumptions to stop them from getting to know me, which I think is sad.
I was born with inner ear deformities, which caused me to suffer hearing loss at a young age. I started wearing hearing aids when I was twelve. I’ve had so many surgeries on my ears that I lost count years ago. The surgeries allowed me to maintain my hearing and help prevent the frequent ear infections I used to develop.
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is a result of my ear problems. Some people with tinnitus hear the noise all the time, but for me it comes and goes. Even as a small child I could hear the ringing and I don’t remember a time that the ringing was not a part of my life.
Most people with tinnitus are annoyed or irritated by the disorder. It affects their ability to sleep and causes disruptions in other areas of their life.
However, tinnitus doesn’t bother me at all. I guess I am just used to it. It is a normal part of my life. In fact when my ears start to ring, I find it easier to sleep or to concentrate. It drowns out the background noise.
Most people hate having to deal with tinnitus, but I actually enjoy it. I know that sounds crazy, but that is my personal perspective.
Have you ever experienced tinnitus? If so, how does it affect your life?