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Excited/anxious for my upcoming CI Surgery


Jason77
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Hello everyone! My name is Jason and I have my CI surgery scheduled December 28. Obviously because everyone’s journey is a little different I am anxious about the rehab and how well I will actually function. 

My hearing loss journey started in my mid to late 20’s although I didn’t realize I had hearing loss at the time. I have a genetic cookie bite loss and we have since identified a handful of family members that have hearing loss as well. I began wearing hearing aids about 13 years ago and they helped a lot at first but my word recognition continued to deteriorate with each passing year and as a result the hearing aids helped less and less. Now at 44 my right ear has profound loss with essentially zero word recognition. That is the ear that is being implanted. My left ear isn’t great either as it has severe loss and a word recognition in the low 40’s. 

My implant center is a 2 processor center so I will be getting a sonnet 2 and a rondo 3 with the synchrony flex 28 implant. I chose Med el due to the larger cochlea coverage and the chance of appreciating music better. My wife is a classically trained vocalist an does an lot of musical theatre (extended nap times for me right now with my current hearing) Hopefully I will be able to enjoy her shows more in the future. But what I really want is to be more involved with family and my teenage daughter as well as communicate at work. 

What should I expect at surgery and the few days after? Pain? Dizziness? Tinnitus? How difficult is the recovery? My surgeon said I can go back to work in a week. The first few days back to work I scheduled half days. 

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@Jason77

Welcome to HearPeers and wishing you the very best on your CI journey.  These CIs have been life changing for me.  It’s so great to be able to participate in everything again.

I found both recoveries to be quite easy.  There were restrictions on lifting, sneezing, blowing my nose, etc but other than that, very easy recoveries.  I hope you are as fortunate.

Only needed Tylenol for a couple of days.  No dizziness nor vertigo.


I go to New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in NYC.  Which CI center are you using?

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Mary Beth, hopefully I have a recovery much like yours although you just never know. My surgeon is Douglas Chen at AGH in Pittsburgh.

I will have many questions about rehab, tools and tips and how to get the most out of this journey. 

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Hi @Jason77, Dr. Chen was my surgeon and I am in Pittsburgh.  I am bilateral and coming out of both of my surgeries were different.  Staying hydrated and drink lots of water the day before made a huge difference with the second surgery.  I went back to the office a week after the surgery but it was very challenging to get by with one ear in meetings and phone calls.   I relied on Angel Sounds (both computer and ipad version) and one on one listening exercises.  Music took time, male voices came first before female voices.  When I went to my first post-implant concert for the River City Brass band, I was astounded by the full range of sound I didn't have previously.  

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11 minutes ago, ShannonB said:

Hi @Jason77, Dr. Chen was my surgeon and I am in Pittsburgh.  I am bilateral and coming out of both of my surgeries were different.  Staying hydrated and drink lots of water the day before made a huge difference with the second surgery.  I went back to the office a week after the surgery but it was very challenging to get by with one ear in meetings and phone calls.   I relied on Angel Sounds (both computer and ipad version) and one on one listening exercises.  Music took time, male voices came first before female voices.  When I went to my first post-implant concert for the River City Brass band, I was astounded by the full range of sound I didn't have previously.  

Another Yinzer. Haha. My staff at work is very good about helping me out now and they are well aware of how challenging the time until activation is going to be and then even the weeks and months after activation. Most of my time on the phone is via video chats so that should help in the time I have an ear down. Hydration is definitely a good tip the day before surgery. Pretty sure my wife did a concert or two in collaboration with The River City Brass Band several years ago.

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@Jason77 Welcome! You'll like it here. I'm about 6 months into this myself and HearPeers has been an invaluable resource for me. Best of luck on your upcoming surgery.

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I echo every one in wishing you every success with your surgery.

Mine was Mid October. Every person's pain threshold is different so the following comments are personal. I was in hospital for two nights, one preceding surgery and one more. My discomfort from surgery was truly minimal. I had some soreness around the ear incision and I could not lie on that side at all. I was also much more comfortable with my head raised slightly more than usual. I was up and out of bed later in the afternooon post surgery. I'm retired but honestly I felt I could have gone back to work max three days after surgery. Less than ten days after surgery I could lie on that side and slept with  my head back at its usual elevation.

I was also intensley curious to know if I could hear at all in my implanted ear on activation which in my case was approximately four weeks after surgery. I was agreeablyy surprised to learn that cllciks bangs, chimes and other household noises were immediately recognisable inluding some that I do not remember hearing before! Words - that was a different matter entirely. Music forget it!

One month on from activation and while life is not perfect I can operate more or less entirely without my hearing aid in my other ear. I cannot understand converstaions between two people who are standing close to me but I am starting to hear the occcasional word or sentence. Music is still a problem but is definitely improving. The other day on the TV someone played a piece of Scott Joplin. Rythmn/beat  I have always been able to recognise so to know it was ragtime did not surprise me. Howver to able to tell my wife the name of the piece was a definite and very encouraging moment. I also knew it ws not Joshua Rifkin playing.

We don''t have the luxury of 2 processor sensors here. I have Rondo 3. I love it. It is not on my ear; great. It is not in my ear; greater. I am unaware that I am wearing it. I live in daily fear it will fall off buit I have already dropped two levels of magnet strength. The only issue I have is hats. I live in Switzerland and while we do not have the temperatures of Minneapolis in January it does get cold and putting on fur hats etc with a Rondo is a bit of an issue that I am learning to live with.

I wish you the best of good fortune and hope Covid and Omicron do not play havoc with your schedule.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had my surgery on Tuesday. Everything went smoothly. Did really well on the day of surgery and the following day. Yesterday (post op day 2) woke up exhausted and nauseated. Only took 3 narcotic pain pills and then switched to Tylenol. The tinnitus comes in waves but its mostly at the baseline I had prior to surgery. My biggest issue is getting a good night sleep. Having a difficult time sleeping only on my left side and have been wearing the head gear to bed so its difficult to sleep on my back. If I could sleep I’m sure I would feel almost normal. 

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@Jason77

Hang in there.  Sleeping gets easier.  Any chance you could sleep in a recliner for a few days?

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@Jason77

I slept in a recliner for a few nights after each CI surgery.  Then I moved back to bed but propped up on extra pillows.  It worked for me.  Good luck.  When is your activation?

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For the first few nights after surgery I slept with the bed head set higher. That certainly helped. I'm lucky to have a bed where I can raise the head part without having to add pillows. If you cannot raise that part I prefer putting a rolled up blanket underneath the mattress rather than adding pillows. I find it more comfortable. After the first week everything was back to normal.

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On 12/31/2021 at 3:47 PM, Mary Beth said:

@Jason77

I slept in a recliner for a few nights after each CI surgery.  Then I moved back to bed but propped up on extra pillows.  It worked for me.  Good luck.  When is your activation?

Activation is January 25. Anxious to get this rehab rolling.

Surprisingly I am navigating hearing with just one bad ear much better than anticipated. Guess that tells me just how bad my implanted ear really was. Went back to work yesterday.

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It is really great to hear that your hearing loss journey has been a positive one and that you were able to find help through hearing aids. Hearing aids are among the most common treatments for hearing loss and can be very effective in improving hearing abilities. I'm sorry to hear about the family members with hearing loss, but it sounds like this has been a good motivator in your journey with hearing aids. It's wonderful that you've had such a positive experience.

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Good luck @Jason77I was activated just little over a year ago and as far as the tinnitus mine was actually worse after surgery but as soon as the audiologist put the processor on : it was gone: pure magic. It does start ringing again if I'm not wearing the processor to shower or sleep but for me I'm no longer plagued by tinnitus and it's absolutely allowed me to get back to my life. Let us know how it goes!

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19 minutes ago, Jared Charney said:

Good luck @Jason77I was activated just little over a year ago and as far as the tinnitus mine was actually worse after surgery but as soon as the audiologist put the processor on : it was gone: pure magic. It does start ringing again if I'm not wearing the processor to shower or sleep but for me I'm no longer plagued by tinnitus and it's absolutely allowed me to get back to my life. Let us know how it goes!

I have gotten so used to the tinnitus that it’s doesn’t matter much. It got a little worse for a few days after surgery but is back to its baseline now. If it goes away with the processor on that would be fantastic but if not i can continue to deal with it. My post op appointment is a week later than normal due to my surgeon being away. Everything seems to be healing well though. Cant wait to get activated!

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@Jason77Yeah I was plagued by truly overwhelming tinnitus for the three plus years after I had sudden hearing loss and took over my life. Bec. sound is coming in through the electrodes I don't hear it all and it's really been worth it just for that one aspect alone. Another thing that's a true positive: waking up each day and being grateful for my CI and I no longer pine for my normal hearing before my inner ear viral episode, take care!

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