Day 0 and later

Zoe asked me to write in Eng­lish too. This was unavoid­able I think :-). I am going to post in two lan­guages, though the Eng­lish ver­sions may appear a bit later and may be shorter. Feel free to point out any errors.
Here is a trans­la­tion of my post from Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 17th.

I arrive early, about 7.30 am. I get a card for open­ing the doors and an ID with my name fas­tened to my hand, sim­i­lar to the one they give to the new­born infants. I share the room with W. She is 34 years old, has some use­ful hear­ing in one ear, the other is to be implanted today. The nurse tells us to unpack, change into paja­mas and wait. The rooms looks just like a hotel but for the devices like oxy­gen valves and a rack for IV drips. We are unpack­ing and talk­ing. Sud­denly the nurse enters and tells us to hurry up, wear paja­mas, jew­ellery and glasses off, and go to the oper­a­tion ward right now. *Aaaa!*
For­tu­nately this leaves me only a few min­utes to panic, dur­ing the wait­ing at the entrance to the oper­a­tion ward and then on a table, while they are con­nect­ing me to var­i­ous devices. The anes­the­si­ol­o­gist lets me to go to sleep with my glasses on, for which I am grate­ful because I feel more con­fi­dent. I can’t very well lipread with­out them.

I wake up about 11.40 am from some dream in a room I don’t know, all painted blue, cov­ered in blue sheets with clouds and rain­bows. Check: head ban­daged, some cable fas­tened to my hand — it seems like it is all over. The nurse comes, yes, it is all right. Pain. They give me an injec­tion at once. I get these painkiller injec­tions for the next twenty four hours — quite a nice high, although I don’t know what it was. After fif­teen min­utes they have me walk to my room where I am told to get some sleep. Then I can get up and haunt the cen­tre walk­ing around with my head ban­daged, the mess of hair above and the drainage tube fill­ing slowly with blood.

The sup­per is dif­fi­cult because my jaw aches with every bite and I have to eat a fresh good roll. This pain goes away slowly, I can eat almost nor­mally a few days after the surgery. I have taste dis­tur­bances though — I still feel tastes with the right half of my tongue only. They say this is nor­mal after this oper­a­tion and should pass. I hope so.

W. is afraid. When she woke up from anaes­the­sia, she didn’t hear any­thing with her sec­ond, bet­ter ear for a while and she pan­icked. Now, a day or two after the surgery, she feels that she hears a bit worse than before. Every­one is con­sol­ing her and per­suas­ing that it is impos­si­ble, that noth­ing was done to this ear, invent­ing impromptu the­o­ries why it may be worse at the moment. She gets Encor­ton. I get the antibi­otics only.

On Tues­day, a day after the oper­a­tion, they move us to the so-called hotel part of the cen­tre. Only the but­tons for call­ing the nurse remind us there that this is still a hos­pi­tal. On Wednes­day our drains are removed and on Thurs­day we go home. K., a man of our age, who had a surgery on Mon­day too, has his drain removed on Thurs­day and is to go home on Fri­day. These 4–5 days of stay in the hos­pi­tal are stan­dard here.

W. and I received the Nucleus Free­dom devices of Cochlear, and K. is sup­posed to have Pul­sar of Med-El. I don’t know why this choice has been made — we were not asked — but I think it was good. I like what I read about my implant.

I have a stitch behind my ear which looks like some­one was try­ing to cut it off. I have an area of my head shaved. Seems a lot, but the remain­ing hair cover it quite well.

I go home on Thurs­day. I am to take off my ban­dage and rinse the stitch twice a day with sal­i­cylic spirit. Avoid phys­i­cal strain for 14 days, avoid water in the ear for 30 days (I am going to wash my hair some­how), eat antibi­otics for 5 days. Stitches removal in a week, on Feb­ru­ary 22nd. Then they tell me the switch-on day. It is usu­ally about a month after the surgery.

They were all very pro­fes­sional and nice in the cen­tre. I got the painkillers when I asked.

I sleep well the first night at home, no painkillers. Sat­ur­day, 6th day after the surgery: my veins still ache a bit after an IV drip. I can move my head nor­mally with­out feel­ing pain.

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2 Responses to Day 0 and later

  1. It’s very impor­tant what you are doing with this blog. Peo­ple all around the world can now be deeply informed about this new kind of tech­nol­ogy that seems to be able to change somebody’s life as far as I under­stood and as far as I wish you and every­body. Well done!

  2. cyborg says:

    Thanks, but I am by far not the first one to write about it :-) Every expe­ri­ence is unique, though. My moti­va­tions to start writ­ing this blog were: 1. I wanted to keep track of all what hap­pens and my progress for myself, one for­gets things so quickly; 2. I wanted to write in Pol­ish to share my expe­ri­ences (it is true that there is not so much infor­ma­tion and implantees’ sto­ries in Pol­ish that can be found on the net as there are in Eng­lish); 3. My friends ask me how it is going and this is a place I can direct them to (hence the Eng­lish ver­sion too).

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