Yorkshire woman with hat problem

puppy with sore jawSometimes, with cochlear implants, there are side effects.  You are warned about them before the operation and they form part of the consent process – “yes, I am aware of the following possible side effects……”  Frankly, I’d have signed anything at that point, so desperate was I to get an implant.  Well, almost anything…….

In my case there have been a few small things.

The area around my ear and my upper jaw were quite bruised after the op, which made chewing on that side of my mouth tricky to begin with and a big, luxurious yawn quite painful. This lasted for a good few weeks, but gradually improved and has now gone. Continue reading

A cochlear implant programming problem

47015865 - opposite adjectives noisy and quiet illustrationMaybe problem is too strong a word.  Hitch maybe?  Glitch perhaps???

In the spirit of full transparency it is time to report on a glitch.

In late March I had a programming problem.  What goes on at programming (or mapping) sessions at the Implant Centre is that an audiologist first tests your range of hearing for each electrode (the quietest sound you can hear at that frequency and the loudest that is comfortable).

Testing for the quietest sound is much like any other hearing test.  You are given a buzzer which you press when you detect the tiniest, tiniest glimmer of a sound, somehow distinguishing it from the tinnitus.  You know the routine….feverish concentration, furrowed brow…….. Continue reading

Taking an implant on holiday

38610735 - isometric security checkpoint machineThe thing that worried me most about going on holiday with a cochlear implant was airport security screening.  I was confident that my improved hearing would stand me in much better stead on the holiday itself, but what if I didn’t HAVE a functioning implant because something had gone wrong at an airport?

Would it set off the security alarms?  Could it be damaged by the security screening?  Should I switch it off on the plane? Too much browsing of the internet had unearthed a series of horror stories, including tales of problems at our departure airport (Manchester).  Someone wrote about having a big argument with the screening staff at Manchester, resulting in security guards being called.  Help!  I just want to go on holiday, not have a run-in with officialdom. Continue reading

This is who I am

28526932 - cartoon people talking happilyA few weeks ago I was walking back to my car in Skipton, after attending a lecture on an aspect of local history.  It was dark.  It was raining.  I was wrapped up in fleece and raincoat.  And I’m telling you this because it’s a little scene burned in my memory.  Suddenly I thought “this is who I am”.  Not the fleece and raincoat particularly (although you more often than not need those in North Yorkshire) but because of that startling and stunning sense that I was recovering the Vera I am used to being, who had been so distressingly missing in 2017.

On holiday in October, with a group of people I didn’t know, I had tried to explain a couple of times how I was feeling.  I’d said I felt like holding up a placard saying “this is not who I am” because the tearful, quiet, uncommunicative person they were seeing didn’t feel like me at all.  I wanted to tell them it WASN’T me.  I wanted to tell them what I was REALLY like. Continue reading

So what’s been happening?

Copyright: jameschipper / 123RF Stock Photo

Long term blog followers will remember me feeling upbeat in February.  I felt sure that my hearing was returning to normal after a bad bout of fluid behind the eardrums.  Things had improved massively since an initial period of almost total silence.  The doctors had all reassured me that the chances of my blocked ears resulting in further permanent hearing damage were slim.  It was just a case of waiting for the fluid to drain.  As the blockage gradually cleared I was full of optimism.  I talked about “this happy ending”.

But then the improvement stopped. Continue reading