Heather’s Cochlear Implant Journey: Log 2.5.2018

This is me on the way home from the hospital with my fetching mummy-inspired up-do and my post-anesthesia zombie gaze. Hubby said it was a particularly good look.

I have been thinking of you guys during my surgery recovery and thought you might want to learn about the Top 4 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About CI Surgery!

1) You must burp like an inebriated football fan.

Seriously.  No more delicate little stifled burps.  If you try to be polite, your ear will KILL you!  The only way to deal with a burp without feeling like your head will explode is to let ‘er rip with your mouth wide open.  The mom in me was cringing heavily! What kind of example am I setting for my kids?!? But I got over that fast and ditched my sense of decorum because I am a wuss pain-wise.

2) The nurses are in on the joke.

I am not kidding, every single nurse who talked to me before and after my surgery had an impossible to lip-read heavy accent.  I felt like all the doctors and nurses were in a back room giggling, “Hee, hee hee! Let’s make all our CI patients really want this surgery by making it impossible for them to understand anyone in the hospital!”  And then they were rolling around laughing and secretly filming me on their phones as I turned to my husband and shrieked, “I can’t get this surgery soon enough!!”

3) A pathway to schizophrenia.

Doctor Luxford warned that I might have some post-operative ringing in my ears.  And the truth is, I did have some ringing – if you call the noise you hear while standing on the launch pad during blast off at Cape Canaveral “ringing.” And, get this, that loud noise was inside my head and no one else could hear it.  So when I startled every time the roaring began, my kids thought it was hilarious. I mean, not only was Mom burping like a frat boy, now she was randomly ducking and covering her head like that homeless guy on Raymond Avenue. Ha ha! Mom is nuts!

4) Make no social plans.

When they told me I would not be able to wash my hair for 3 days, I figured no big deal.  Right? So it will be a little wonky, but I can tease it up and make it look okay.  But when I took off my massive head bandage, there was all this goop in my hair around the surgical site. It was super stiff and made my hair stick straight out.  I looked like a lopsided porcupine.  So if lopsided-porcupine is your go-to date-night look, then by all means make plans to go out after surgery.  Me, I hid in my room eating a bag of NutterButters and binge-watched Black Mirror.  But that’s just me.

4 thoughts on “Heather’s Cochlear Implant Journey: Log 2.5.2018

    1. Heather Lehr Post author

      Hi Sue! Thanks so much for your support. I don’t know yet, because they cannot turn on the device until the swelling goes down. I have my first programming appointment on February 22nd. Then I wait a month while my brain gets used to the new type of input (electrical vs neuronal). I will have to live with beeps and hisses and static for that first month. Then there is another programming to work out the kinks. It will take about 4 months and 5 programming sessions to really know how well the device will work. I really do need to find some patience somewhere!!


  1. Kay Lehr

    Heather I marvel as your attitude- and you hun
    Morons writing. This ought to be a book. I have witnessed many suceesful CI patients and thus I feel you will be another big success. Thnking is you all the time!



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