13 days since the operation 
Sunday, June 26, 2005, 04:01 PM

You can still see some light bruising around the scar and back of my ear but the bottom of the scar seems to have disappeared into the creases that were always there. It feels a lot better without all the swelling.



It's looking better every day. The swelling on the back of my head has gone down a lot and I can now feel the small bump where the implant is. My tongue feels almost normal now although sweet things don't taste as they should.

My hair is growing back nicely although it is a bit itchy where it's short.

Today I had the stitches out 
Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 02:31 PM
The stitches came out a week after the operation, it did not hurt to much. Everything is healing quite well . The scar looks much better now and less swollen.



James came up with the idea to do a webpage to show the progress of my ci. I watched him write the webpage for it and the idea was that I could use it to share with the hosptial to give other people who were thinking of going for a ci information.

I thought he was really clever to be able to write a webpage from notebook and told him so. James told me that he would teach me how write my own page and thus my home site was born!

I am very proud if it.

http://www.tomlinuk.com/index.html

First Photo one day after the operation 
Tuesday, June 14, 2005, 03:52 PM

I was a bit shocked about how much hair was shaved off, so far it's not been too painful. I wasn't expecting the scar to be that big!!




At the moment I am not in much pain and I am sleeping well and taking it easy

My operation date - here at last! 
Tuesday, June 14, 2005, 02:30 PM
I was amazed that I finally got here. The shower mind you was not very clean and I asked the cleaner twice if he could clean it. I came out of the shower the first night covered in hair that was not mine *urgh*

I have had so many operations that I am used to it now - so I always
take with me the jiff bathroom wipes, a bottle of dettol disinfectant spray which I spray on loo seats, taps, floor, shower tray etc. Baby wipes, and tissues. I know it sounds a bit over the top but I use them ever time I go to the bathroom or shower. I also use them on my bed frame and the bed side cabinet. I have never had an infection or a problem. I think it pays to be careful. So many ill people using the facilities and they are not taking the time to wash their hands etc as they feel so rotten they just want to make it back to bed.

Problem is thatís how infections start. You should have seen the dust
on my bed frame. I mean thatís human skin etc. eww

Everything seemed to be going really well and the anaesthetist came to speak to me about an hour before the operation was due. I said ďyou do know I have a pacemaker right?Ē and he said no! I couldnít believe it Ė I have made a point of telling EVERYONE since day dot.

The surgeon came to speak to me and let me know all the risks i.e. risk of the facial muscle being paralysed, risk of infection etc he did say itís never happened to him yet!

Then a guy came to speak to me about my heart problems, they did not know anything about it, it was not on any of their records. I told him that I kept telling people about it every time I came to the hospital for one of my appointments. He explained that they know nothing about hearts so did not realise the significance of it.

It looked as though I was going to miss my slot in thereafter, and the operation might have to be cancelled. The guy said when was the last time you had the pacemaker checked, so I said well you have a heart ward here why donít you arrange for them to do a check now?

So that is what they did. A lovely lady called Ros from the pacemaker clinic came down with her computer. I told her what was going on and how important it was for me to get this operation done and she told me not to worry she would not let them cancel. Ten minutes later I was on my way down to the theatre!

http://www.cochlear.co.uk/
It wont be long before I become a cochlear implantee!

When I came round I was in a lot of pain, a post op nurse never left my side and she gave me morphine to get the pain under control Ė it took about an hour or so and by that time I was so spaced out on drugs that I could ignore the pain! It felt like a cork screw in my brain! I slept a lot. My partner came to visit me and took some photos.



The following day I was well enough to have breakfast, get myself dressed and showered and walk to the x-ray department. I had no dizziness or balance problems.

The only thing I did notice was I had lost some sense of taste and sensation on my tongue but I knew this would not last long.

We had a sneaky look at the x-ray photos and it was amazing to see the implant, the wires and the actual swirl of the sensory part in my cochlear! I will have to try and beg a copy of the x-rays when I get a chance and post them on my site with the photoís we will take.


My new operation date is the 13th June 2005 
Friday, June 3, 2005, 02:14 PM
Apparently there has been a cancellation and my new date is on the 13th June (gulp hope thatís not bad luck?) its no longer with Prof Ramsden and its now with Mr Saeed (I am told he is very fast in surgery, not sure if thatís a good thing tho!) I donít know how to feel about it all really. I am to worried to feel excited and scared of being disappointed again.

I am really worried by the fact I have a different surgeon because I keep thinking what if he is not as good as the other one? and so what if his fast - what if he makes a mistake because his rushing?

Stupidly more fears popped into my head each passing day, and I am constantly worrying about every little thing. I canít stop reading up on the various CI websites and sleep is hard to get. The little CI forum in yahoo has been such a support and it helps to speak to others who have been there or are in the same boat as me.


My operation has been cancelled 
Thursday, May 26, 2005, 02:10 PM
James tested me to let me know that my surgery had been cancelled Ė I was surprised by the crushing feeling of disappointment quickly followed by explosive anger. I called the admin staff that informed me the lady I have to speak to, was on holiday and would not be back till Tuesday. It was a depressing weekend waiting for the hours to tick by. An even more frustrating morning when I called the admin staff only to find that they did not know when the new date would be or how long it would be before they did. By Wednesday I was pulling my hair out as I found the surgeon was now on holiday and not due back till the following Monday! I felt so down that I could not even think about going back to work. A part of me felt like screaming forget it! The disappointment was so incredibly overwhelming I could not even begin to describe why it was so devastating to me. I continued to call people one after the other each one more senior than the next finally on Thursday I was informed by email that my operation would now be on Monday 13th June. A sense of relief came over me Ė quickly followed by fear. What if they were wrong? I quickly emailed the last senior manager that I had spoken to, who confirmed that the information was correct and the reason why the surgeon was different was because he had a cancellation and was able to fit me in.

I had my pre-op assessment today 
Wednesday, May 25, 2005, 02:14 PM
I saw James the Audiologist first who did a repeat of all hearing tests with and with out aids. Then I had the video again. My partner reckons I got all the lip-reading (with no sound) correct apart from the odd word. I got most of the lip-reading with sound correct and I got nothing with the just sound video. Even when I thought I heard
clear sounds like word "the" - My partner said it was actually something completely different!

I also had to fill in another three questionnaires - one about how I feel about my tinnitus, one about my expectations of the CI (again) and the other was about what support I have i.e. family/ friends.

I still to this day believe that the guy on the video is not lip- speaking correctly. Or he has some strange accent! Every time I have the test it gives me practice with his lip pattern so Iím sure I am
doing better now!

I spoke to the nurse who asked heaps of normal questions about my general health and if I have ever suffered from things like chest pain, dizziness, etc. She took my weight (them scales are WRONG!) and blood pressure 100/60 (always very low for me although seemed to shock the nurse)

Then I spoke to the consultant who had a few more questions like did I have heart mummer (yes) diabetic (no) stickle cell (thought that only effected black ethnic groups?!)

Then I had blood test (brilliant nurse did not even feel it go in) and finally a E.C.G that I had to take straight back to the consultant who said yep your pacemaker is working fine (I was really surprised she read it so quick!)

Had an opportunity to ask all my questions and got a brochure regarding the freedom CI processor that is very interesting and exciting.

Had some lunch then slept from 2-7pm! I have been too excited to sleep this past week and not been able to get off till 3 am for most of the - so it was defiantly needed!

Only two more days to go!!! It will defiantly be admission on the 27th at 3pm and surgery in the morning on the Saturday.


I recived the operation date 
Wednesday, May 11, 2005, 02:06 PM

Today I received my op date and post op assessment date in the post. It was so exciting, I could tell from the envelope that it was from the cochlear implant programme centre and I was shaking as I opened it. It was a shock when I read the letter as my op will be on Wednesday 27th May 2005. I had to read it several times before it register that it really was the operation date and my mind was not playing tricks on me. I immediately texted James and my best friend Debbie and Russ, and then informed everyone on the CI forum of my news.


Post Implant Test 
Monday, April 25, 2005, 04:10 PM
Pre Implant Test Results are:-

On the BKB Sentences test (with no background noise) I got 9%

On the CUNY Sentence (lip-reading and listening) on my right side I got 87% and on my left side I got 78% and with both hearingaids in I got 100%

Pre op my pure tone audio-gram was

Right ear (decibels) 65, 85, 100, 105, 129, 115, 120
Right ear (hertz) 125, 250, 250, 750, 1000, 2000, 3000

Left ear (decibels) 70, 65, 95, 120, 120, 115, 120
Left ear (hertz) 125, 125, 250, 750, 1000, 2000, 3000,


Feeling quite depressed about this!

I am so excited 
Wednesday, April 20, 2005, 02:07 PM
I am feeling VERY VERY VERY emotional!!!!!


When I talk to people at work - and its not even CI related I have a quiver in my voice like I am going to cry - my eyes filled up a few times too ( I feel like crying but cant for the life of me say why!)

I am really scared too. I called Debora Mowman today to ask what CI implant and processor I was getting. She said the freedom implant - I donít know if I am thrilled or scared to death! It only came out in April 2005 what if it gets recalled like the Advance Bionic? what if itís not as good? what if there are problems with it!!


ooo I'm so nervous! Not of the surgery - but of whatís to come Ė what if my brain wont adapt. what if I hate it. what if I think I've made a mistake. what if I actually have more hearing than I thought and now its gone!

My mind also has gone into over drive :- I want a radio, I want an ipod, I want a new mobile!!!!

I cant sleep because my brain (not me) keeps wondering what its going to sound like, how much I am going to hear, and how I cant wait!!!!!

Tomorrow is my last day as Wednesday I have two appointments at Manchester CI Centre one is for post op check up and I am not sure what the other is for.

When I first got asked which implant I preferred I was actually thrilled. The reason being is I read everything I could get my hands on asked heaps of questions on this forum and the American forum and also spoke a lot to the consultant.

What I did hate and it haunts me to this day - is the surgeon asked what side I wanted it in. Apparently there is so little difference in either side that it does not matter....

I am scared that I am going to think ohhhh I should of had it in the
right hand side not the left! (I am right handed so Iím sure Iíve made a mistake)



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