Heart of a Fighter

Gwen was born nineteen years ago today.  She was 3 months premature and only weighed 2 pounds 2 ounces.  Gwen spent the first few months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, with all kinds of tubes and IV’s coming out of her little body.

It was a precarious time and her survival was far from guaranteed.  In spite of it all, Gwen managed to thrive and is now a beautiful young woman.

My message for Gwen on her birthday, never forget you have the heart of a fighter.  You proved that by surviving and thriving during those first few months of life.  That strength and spirit will always be within you.  When struggles come your way, remember you have the heart of a fighter and you will prevail.

Pop Goes the Eardrum

It all started last Friday.  I had a headache that just would not get better.  As the days passed, I also started to get body aches.  It felt kind of like having the flu, minus the congestion.

Yesterday, there was a tremendous pressure inside my head.  It felt like there was a monster inside my head that was trying to squeeze me to death.

Then all of sudden, I felt a popping sensation and fluid started to pour out of my left ear.  The pressure had ruptured my eardrum and I felt immediate relief.  The fluid continually poured out of my ear for several hours.

I have antibiotic drops to treat the underlying infection and should be back to normal in just a few days.

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BAHA Update

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I’ve worn the BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) implant for a couple of months now, so I thought I would write an updated review.

On the plus side, I am hearing a lot better with the implant.  The other day, I was listening to crickets.  I thought it was so funny that they sound like birds.  I also find it easier to communicate with people.  A few times, I even understood what someone behind me said.  That was cool.

On the negative side, the outer processor is very delicate.  I can’t wear it when I am engaging in any physical activity.  I also can’t wear a hat with the outer processor.  That has been frustrating for me, since it limits my ability to use the BAHA implant.

I would still recommend the BAHA implant to anyone that needs it.  It is a great device and I enjoy having it.

BAHA Implant Update

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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.

Staggering to the Finish Line

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Saturday night, I participated in the “Light Up The Night 5k” charity race. Even though it was only 3 weeks after my surgery, I thought I would be fine.  I felt good that day and did well during the first mile.

However, I started getting dizzy near the 1 mile mark.  I slowed down my pace, but the dizziness just kept getting worse.

I refused to quit, so I just kept on walking.  At times, I staggered and stumbled on the road.  Moving my head or even my eyes made it worse.  Lights were also difficult and I felt like my head was spinning.

An hour had passed and I still wasn’t at the finished line.  My family was concerned, so Gwen took off in an attempt to find me.  She located me as I was turning to make the final stretch to the finish line.

I told Gwen what was going on and she offered to help.  She grabbed my hand and walked with me for the rest of the race.  I kept my head down and tried to avoid doing anything that would make me feel worse.  At times I would close my eyes and relied on Gwen to keep me from getting hurt.

We crossed the finish line and a doctor approached us.  He started to check my pulse and asked about my breathing.  I told him about my surgery and said I was just dizzy.  The doctor made sure I had a chair and hung around for a while to ensure nothing serious was going on with me.

I felt miserable that night, but I am glad I completed the race with Gwen’s help.

 

Emotional Turmoil – Physical Exhaustion

The past few days were full of emotional turmoil.  I visited Mom, while she was at the hospital.  I saw her with oxygen tubes in her nose.  I saw her struggling to recover.  I worried about the prognosis and the seriousness of her medical conditions.  I knew she was suffering and I couldn’t do anything about it.

The emotional strain left me physically exhausted.  Each night I slept more than the night before, but I still woke up tired.  I tried not to focus on future possibilities and only deal with the daily issues.  However, I found my mind wondering into the unknowns of tomorrow.

My body and my brain seemed to be slowing down.  I would stare mindlessly into space and felt like there was an invisible force pushing against me, which prevented me from accomplishing as much as I should each day.

The emotional turmoil of the past few days caused physical exhaustion.  However, Mom is home now and I am hopeful that she will fully recover.

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