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.
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.
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.
Mom is still in the hospital and the doctor diagnosed her with congestive heart failure. I am not sure when Mom will be able to come home, it depends on how well she responds to the new treatment regimen.
Unfortunately, Mom will not be coming home today. The doctor wants to monitor her oxygen levels and medications for another day.
This morning, I woke up with crusty junk caked on my left eyelid and my eye was itching like crazy. Unfortunitly, I have conjunctivitis (aka: pink eye).
Conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so my family and friends immediately started to distance themselves from me. Basically, they would prefer to have no contact with me while I am infectious.
I don’t really blame them. After all, I am a walking biohazard at the moment.
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.