Remco is hearing impaired, wears hearing aids and is a social worker in daily life. Recently, he is discussing a CI (Cochlear Implant). In this section, Remco writes about his process from hearing aid wearer to CI wearer.
Operation successful, the patient is deaf …
The day I knew that would come, Monday 17 September knocked hard on my door. On that day my operation for a CI was performed at the UMC in Utrecht (Netherlands). The day started early because I had to be in Utrecht at 09:00 hours so we decided to leave early. Despite our precautions we did not manage to get through traffic jams on the way to arrive on time.
Fortunately it didn’t matter much now. The preparations started with answering a number of questions, which I had already sent digitally before. When this was over, I got the most charming hospital outfit of this decade. If you had been there, you would hardly believe how it was like for me. Anyway, after that it was the way to the recovery room, where I underwent some tests and got questions again. Then a start was made with the infusion, the infusion with which I would be down for the duration of the operation. I was asked if this could be done by a co-assistent (I was assured that he could do this, although he had not done it often yet) and for me this was not a problem. What was a problem, finding a suitable vein to insert the infusion. No matter how they pulled and knocked, my veins had disappeared under the radar. At first a vein was found but it was not possible to insert the infusion in it. After a while a second attempt succeeded.
The doctors came to exchange some last details and shortly after that I went down. It all seemed surrealistic, a futuristic environment with operating rooms in a kind of vault. I jumped on the operating table and got a mask on. I looked upstairs and suddenly it became blurred and green in front of my eyes and I was sunk into a deep sleep. About three hours later I woke up at the recovery and got an ice cream for my sore throat. It felt like there had been a steamroller crushing for hours. Gradually I became more and more awake and soon I got to talk again. In this case, I talked for two. I was impatient too and I wanted to see my sweetheart. She had been waiting all this time. And waiting is not really her thing. Eventually the redeeming phone call was made to the ward and I could be picked up.
And there I went, on my way to the ward. My sweetheart was picked up and when she entered the ward, she was radiant as always. I got a sandwich with coffee and then I asked for the same again. The doctor came by to say that the operation had been successful and that as far as he was concerned, I could go home. The last details had to be filled in and then I got the green light from the department to go home. At home I worked quietly on my recovery and let the wound heal. Luckily I had no noteworthy side effects and especially took some rest.
Now the stitches went out last Thursday and last Saturday, after more than two weeks, I could finally wash my hair again. A nice feeling.
On October 12th the CI is connected and rehabilitation starts in the form of adjustments and speech therapy. Until that time it will be: the operation is successful but the patient is deaf …