Thursday, December 11, 2008

CI Moments

Ok just a few things here.
I heard Michael breathing outside in the dark the other night and it freaked me out lol.

I have discovered that the ability to take this thing off is great in shopping malls and around screaming kids :) HA HA take that you damned hearing people.

I can now hear them page me at work which I am still undecided as to it being good or bad.

I can talk on the phone to a point, but not if its really loud and I don't know who I am talking to.

The dishwasher is loud and so is silverware. Very loud.

My cats sound like they are high on helium, which is just funny.

Things I don't like to hear:

Kids screaming

Fire engines

Some lady I work with that sounds like she is drunk lol

Really loud noises scare me and I still have some trouble with directions but I am doing better. I nailed a 94% on word recognition at my last appointment, next time they are doing it in noise which is my worst part UGH. Just a fast update, hope everyone who reads this is ok, and just an FYI I am trying really hard to get the second one done and soon! TTYL

Sunday, November 2, 2008

CI moments

OK I am catching hell for not updating so here we go. Lots has been happening recently at least with my CI. I can make out some stuff really clear and I am listening to my iPod a lot. Music is kinda muddy but I can make out stuff especially old favorites. My ear is sore and I think I am finally going to breakdown and get some moleskin for it, I was hoping it would just toughen up with out it but it doesn't seem to want to. I went back to work on the 20th (BLAH) and its OK. The only thing I worry about is how much I sweat and stuff working so I am hoping to just find a new job. Also I can talk on the phone as long as its in a quiet environment, no car yet or anything but I can hold my own. My only disappointment is that no ones voice sounds distinct yet, they all sound the same just at different pitches. I guess that will come in time too. Michael took me to the Baltimore Symphony the other night and I could actually hear it! I was excited and I could make out the songs and stuff with it in. Sometimes I do better with the volume cranked up all the way other times its better in the middle. The implant seems to be working out really well, and I am waiting patiently to get the other ear implanted. Well I am waiting anyway, as most of you know I have tons of patience for some things and zilch on others, this is under others :). Hope everyone who reads this had a great Samhain (Halloween) and everything is ok.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Days Two and Three

So on Friday I went back for more mapping and tweaking. I asked Andrea (my audiologist) for some more juice, I just didn't think it was loud enough for me. Everything sounded like TTY tones or metallic garble. It was strange. So she upped my power a little bit and did some more tests and calibrations on me and then sent me to the sound proof booth for a little audio gram. Well before my implant I was at the 90 decibel range in both ears. This time I was up in the 30-40 decibel range. WOW what an improvement. I was excited. She did some sentences and things with me and I am able to answer her back even though sometimes I need her to repeat them a few times. I cant tell if I am hearing all the words or just picking up bits and pieces and doing the rest myself. Its still better than before. I am really happy with the CI so far. Its a bit heavy on my ear by the end of the day and dang does it make me tired trying to put all this stuff together. On a plus side I was FINALLY able to listen to Jimi Hendrix yesterday enough to get "All Along the Watchtower" out of my head where its been stuck for about 3 months. I could recognize the guitar part which was sweet. I found some online listening exercises that I am downloading to my brand new fourth generation electric blue iPod (thanks mom). I am dying to try the thing out. It came on my activation day. I also drained my first battery last night on the CI after about 13 hours of listening on the second loudest and loudest programs I have. I don't like the first one, its just too soft. So next Friday I am going to see about juicing it up again. That's about all that is happening here. Still cant do the phone yet, but more and more of it comes back each day and hour I wear the thing. I am glad I had it done. Now I want the other ear.... :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Activation Day

Ok so today was the big day. I was very excited and frankly I was sick of waiting for it. One reason I haven't posted anything is because nothing has really been going on. Its been quiet here. So anyway, I go to the doctors this morning and I am really looking forward to getting the implant turned on. My audiologist told me that she had to run some tests and that I probably wont hear anything while she does it, but when she started, I heard it. It was really weird, it was like way inside my head and it was just a pulsing. So after she runs the diagnostics she turns the implant on and I could hear her typing on the computer!  I wont say it sounded like normal hearing but I could tell what she was doing. I could hear plastic rattle around and all. I was excited. So she started making the sounds like ' ooo ' and  'shhh' and stuff like that and I could nail every one of them and tell her what they were. She read some words off to me and even if I had to get her to say it more than once I was getting it. Now like I said it doesn't sound normal, it has a metallic ring to it and I still feel like I am hearing through some static but damn it I am hearing something! In noise and stuff, still just ok, and I still find myself lip reading a little bit. Oh and when we left Hopkins I heard a helicopter and it scared the hell out of me. I hear little things like my footsteps and water running. Its all pretty cool. I was able to pick out a song on the radio and another on a store sound system. No iPod yet though, the audie told me to wait a few weeks, which is a shame because my brand new Nano came in the mail today! GRRRR I will wait though. That's about it I am heading back tomorrow to get this thing tweaked a little more and all, hopefully have an update again tomorrow. Hope everyone is well!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Not a lot has been going on here recently. Just me moving some stuff around the house and trying to get things settled in. My ear feels much better, no more balance issues, no more pain pills and I am about two weeks away from the activation date. I am attaching a few pictures of what my implant looks like and what the processor (the part on the outside of my head) will look like. I thought that would be a good idea for some of my friends that don't really know what the cochlear consists of. Hope everyone who reads this is having a good day. None of these are my pictures just some I found on the web. My processor BTW is a goldish beige color not the white one I have here.

This is the part that is actually inside my head now.

This is the processor which I will wear in order to hear. Its called a Harmony and its from Advanced Bionics.

This is how the processor hooks up. There is a magnet on the round part that connects to the other magnet which is in my implant.

This is a digram showing what they did during my surgery and where everything is located.

Hope this answers some questions any of you had and if it doesn't ask me!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday and Tuesday

Ok so Sunday was uneventful as you read and Monday started out that way. I went to lunch with a friend of mine, waited for Michael to get home and we went to dinner blah blah blah. Then I started getting really dizzy. In the course of all this I decided I would go to Cumberland to see my family on Tuesday for a few days. I took my antibiotic and went to sleep on Monday night. I wake up on Tuesday morning and I have a sour taste in my mouth and my balance is all over the place. I ended up getting sick, cancelled my trip and stayed in bed all day. Michael called the Dr's office and the nurse said TOO MUCH ACTIVITY and put me on house arrest LOL. So apparently I had been doing too much and it caught up to me finally. I am just lounging around a little bit today celebrating my one week anniversary for the implant. I haven't been taking pain meds just OTC stuff and it seems to be working. The doctor also said if my balance isn't better by next week I have to see a rehab specialist about it. So the Cumberland trip is postponed until I feel better (which honestly I do feel a lot better today and my balance is much better than it has been). That's all I got for now. Hope this finds everyone well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day Four after Surgery

Ok not a lot happened yesterday, at least things I can say YAY about. I do terrible in a car, the motion really makes me sick, Michael and I went to Baltimore for Mass yesterday and I thought I would puke the whole time. I also realized how much I was relying on the little bit of residual hearing I had left in my right and left ear. Since the implant I don't have any in the right and the left is bad. Sitting here at home with Michael and almost no background noise I am ok. Out and about with my hearing aid in and a lot of white noise ( its all environmental but it just sounds like static to me) is BAD. I could barely make out what anyone said to me yesterday, and then we went to dinner with three other people and I was lost, totally lost. I don't have a clue what they talked about, I said HUH a lot and smiled. :) Other than that not much happened. My incision is itching a little bit, but I was actually brave enough to try and feel the implant and I washed my own hair which was good. No new pics because it doesn't look any different lol. Hope everyone is well. Look for another update tonight I think.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Day Three and Pics

OK so I stopped taking the pain pills yesterday except when I went to sleep and I feel better. They make me so groggy its gross. I have been on ibuprofen only today and it seems to be working out. I have a lot of pressure in my ear like water or something and its a little sore but nothing like it had been. I also had Michael take some pictures of the wound area fresh from washing my hair. OMG I look like a punk rocker! They took so much hair off me. Its healing up nice though and my hair will grow back *sigh*. Not much going on today I am trying to take it easy, putting the TV up yesterday just about killed me so I think all we are doing is putting some stuff away and maybe riding to the store so I can get some thank you cards and some stuff. Enjoy the pics!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day two Surgery pictures

Its not looking too bad eh?

Day Two After Surgery

OK I know this is early but I thought since I am being very cat-like (aka Lazy) today I would start and just update as the day goes on. The nurse at Dr Niparko's office let me take my bandage off today so I feel much much better. My muscles are still pretty sore but I guess that is trade off for being a scrappy Irish guy huh? Live and learn. I still think my patient charts now have a V for Violent on them or as a user on All Deaf said its like one of those charts at the vets office that has an X on it meaning I bite LOL. I love you guys, you always make me laugh and smile. The one thing I want to do is wash my hair but I haven't been given the go ahead. For those of you that know me, I have grown my hair out again so its big and you know how I get with it when its like that. UGH Shampoo where art thou? :) I am moving around a bit more than yesterday but definitely trying not to over do it, I can picture me doing too much and my ear falling off or the implant busting out of my head like one one of those things in Alien. Nice visuals huh? October 9 will not get here soon enough and yes that is the day I get turned on for my initial start up. It looks like October 20 is my return to work day so I am going to hope to get to Cumberland maybe next week or so and I will keep you all updated we must have lunch or something as I will only be there for a few days so let me know when things are good for everyone.

UPDATE: I got to wash my hair, thank the gods for that one. I feel much much better. Today is shaping up to be a good day so far I have a few new pics of the surgery site I will get them posted up later today.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Day One after surgery

Today was pretty uneventful. I woke up took pills slept, its been my schedule most of the day. Michael changed my bandage for me so I do have a few pics of the actual surgery area, not as bad as you think it would be. So those will be posted up at the end of this entry. I am still sore today, and I get headaches from the bandage around my head but I am walking much better today and I don't feel as sick to my stomach as I did yesterday. Still pretty sore though, my arms and back are killing me which I am guessing is from the fight with the OR guys over the tube in my nose and not the actual surgery. :) Hope everyone is doing OK, I cant wait to get this thing turned on so now I know why they say the four weeks it takes to heal is a killer. I am ready NOW:)

Surgery Day

Ok so needless to say I couldn't sleep very well the night before all this was supposed to take place and I contribute that to a few factors. First I couldn't eat after midnight, which most of you know I work overnights so midnight is my lunch time so that was out. Second I couldn't drink anything so of course that means that at 12:01 I get thirsty, and third I couldn't smoke. I know why I shouldn't smoke anyway but still with a surgery coming up the only stress reliever smokers have is to light one up. I couldn't do that. BLAH. So pity poor Michael as he had to drive me thirsty, hungry and smokeless to an appointment. So I get to the hospital at around 11 or so and we go check in and wait. Then Father David shows up to give me a blessing and anointing with oil for a good surgery. I really appreciated that, it was very cool. So right after that they take me back to prep me for surgery and I am told I have to strip all the way naked and put two gowns on and that I cant leave my St Therese medal on which made me mad. SO I go through all this and the nurse comes back and they bring Michael along and we fill out some papers. Then a Dr. Stewart, who works with Dr Niparko, comes back to show me my implant. Honestly it looked like I was at Best Buy getting a new iPod. It was all in a box with bar codes and things on it, it was funny. Dr. Tan then had me sign a form telling me what they were going to do and that they might take pictures and things during my surgery since Hopkins is a teaching hospital. Dr Niparko came back next and talked to me for a little bit told me that it should only last about an hour and a half! I was shocked. I thought it would be much much longer. Just talking to this man you can tell he is very smart I felt so comfortable with him and I felt better knowing he was doing my surgery. I was introduced to the anesthetic team next (more on these poor guys in a minute) and then a few nurses. I had my IV put in, went to the bathroom and was on my way to the OR. Keep in mind they took my glasses from me so I am now effectively Helen Keller since I cant see and I cant hear. They take me back to the OR and I lay down and they start hooking up things on me and they give me the oxygen mask and I am watching them then I drift to sleep. Next thing I know I am waking up and damn it I want up NOW! Two nurses had to hold me down and the best part was later when they told me that I had started breathing funny in the OR and they put a tube in my nose and I wanted no parts of it. It took six people to hold me down in there and I was knocked out! I felt bad, they were all so nice to me. So I am awake and I have to pee which is a good sign but when I try to stand up WHOA, I am so so dizzy and sore. They bring Michael back to me and we wait a little bit then they tell me I can go home. They give me some meds (Oxycontin, an antibiotic and a pill to keep me from puking) and a bag of stuff to take with me and we head to Emilio's house to rest. I am so dizzy at this point and I cant really remember too much I do know I have something on my head and I am sore but other than that I am out of it. So next I find out that my anti nausea pills are actually suppositories which I quickly rename into ass candy. Eh its all good though I guess. I take some pain pills take some ass candy and take a nap. I remember waking up to see Fr David and Michael that is about it until about 9 or 10 when I wake back up and decide to eat. After about an hour or two of being up I go back to sleep and effectively wake up about every two hours to pee and then back to sleep. That was it for Day One. Dr Niparko told Michael the surgery was good, he had it all put in where he wanted it at and that it was a very successful implant.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Hey everyone, this is my first blog entry on my journey to being a CI-Borg, which will be in a day! I am hoping to keep everyone up to date on what is happening, how I am feeling and what happens once I get my cochlear implant.