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My 1st Cochlear Implant July 30, 2008

Posted by loz121 in Uncategorized.
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For people who dont know what a cochlear implant is: Here is a link that tells you all about cochlear implants and how they help a deaf person.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_implants

I wasn’t born deaf, my hearing gradually deteriorated as I grew up and I had various hearing aids from hospital but they never helped. At Easter 1993 I woke up and found myself profoundly deaf when I was 8 yrs old. My parents found out about a device called a Cochlear Implant and tried to find out more about them. My parents also had to try and convince the local council to give us the money for the operation including a front page spread on the local paper. We eventually got the money from the council and the operation could go ahead!

I had lots of tests before the actual operation like blood tests and all the necessary things that needed to be done to see if I was all set to go, it was all very annoying for an 8 year old child but it needed to be done!I was unaware of all the news going on around me because I was in my silent world and wasn’t following anything. My parents kept me up to date by writing notes for me. I was still at junior school while all this was happening and I had a helper at school called Mrs Porter. She wrote notes and helped me with my schoolwork. It was annoying that i had to take time off school to have the operation and stay at home til i was well again. I knew that I would miss my friends from school but I also knew I would soon be back there!

My operation was all set to take place on 24th Feb 1994 at Bradford Royal Infirmary. I was very scared about the operation but my parents knew it was the best thing for me. I remember all the pre-op tests I had before I had the operation and looking around the ward in the hospital I would be staying at. I was a bit naive and didn’t fully know what was going on, my parents wrote me a note “we are going ahead with the operation” I was half excited at the news I might be able to hear again and half worried that I had to have an operation! All my tests were clear so the operation could proceed! I remember getting up very early and our family friends giving me and mum a lift to the hospital. My brother would be staying with them because id be in hospital for a week and my dad was working at the time so he would be there in the evening. After checking in with the nurses on Ward 16, I had my medical history told to them.I spent a few hours waiting, playing in the hospital play area until a nurse came up and gave me a “magic cream” for my hand! I didn’t know it was numbing cream and carried on playing on the sonic hedgehog game. I then went to my room to change into my hospital gown. After an hour of more playing the hospital bed came to take me to surgery. The hospital porter popped me on the bed and off we went and I saw “theatre” above the room we went to which was v scary and my heart started beating v fast. I had my teddy with me for protection and my mum came into theatre with me to hold my hand. One of the doctors took my hand and wiped off the “magic cream” and put a cannula needle in to put me to sleep. Mr Raine was my surgeon. The operation lasted 5 hours and I woke up very groggy with a tight bandage around my head with my right side a bit sore. It was evening and I saw my dad standing in the doorway. When he saw I had woken up, he went to get mum and she told me “go back to sleep you’ve had a hard day” so I drifted off to sleep again.

Over the next few days I gained strength and had my bandage taken off to reveal the scar of my cochlear implant. I spent 2 more days in hospital to get my stitches taken out it was a bit uncomfortable. Mr Raine gave me one last check up before I went home the next day still in my silent world and for my scar to recover before I received the external part of my cochlear implant.

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