Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cochlear Implant - Surgery Day
Part I
Monday, June 10, 2013
Surgery for my Cochlear Implant had been on the calender for almost two months and it was hard to believe the day had finally arrived.  We had arrived in Houston about 5:00 Sunday afternoon and our youngest son Stephen and his precious girlfriend Kristina arrived about 6:00.  After a late supper at Chili's with our dear friend Linda Reed, we all got a good night's sleep.  Of course the rule for me was, "Nothing to eat or drink after midnight."
We were up at 6:00 and Ron washed my hair and helped me with a sponge bath.  Then he dressed me.  Notice the buttoning of the shirt.  His only excuse: he says he has more practice undressing me than dressing me. 
Once everyone: Ron, Kristina, Stephen, and I were all ready, we headed to Memorial Hospital - Medical Center.  For Day Surgery patients, they have a great system with valet parking that gets you right to the admitting entrance.  I was preregistered so we went straight to the 2nd floor for Day Surgery. 
We were there well ahead of my 8:00 appointment.  The waiting room was well stocked with what Ron said was surprisingly good coffee, so along with his Kindle, he was set. 
We were shown to the day surgery waiting room and selected our spot. Ron had been given a number for my case and he would be able to follow my progress by that number, on a lighted board similar to the arrival/departure boards at the airport.
Shortly after 8:00 I was taken to PreOp, Room 10, where preparations began for my 10:00 appointment in surgery. 

My surgery wardrobe was laid out on the bed, and if Ron thought he had it hard buttoning my shirt, it was nothing compared to putting the surgical stockings on me.  We won't include that photo.


I was soon in my stylish outfit for the day and a long  line of friendly, happy, outstanding medical professionals began making their way through one, two, or three at a time.  First, there was gregarious, flamboyant Tonya with her bouncy red hair.  Tonya took my vital signs and went over many questions to be sure all medical history was correct.  She also alerted me to the fact that those questions would be asked over and over all day.  She was right.


Tonya was soon followed by Rolandalin, whose name I loved as much as the sweet person bearing that unique name.  When I asked her to pronounce her name, it was lovely.  I couldn't hear well, but I  loved the lilt in her voice as she pronounced her musical name for me.  By the end of the day I told her that if I ever write a book, she will be a character in it.  (In fact she might be the leading lady.)   She started my IV and took care of assorted procedures to keep progressing me toward a future of hearing. 


The true star of my story for that day though, would have to be my surgeon, Dr. C. Y. Joseph Chang.  One could not ask for a more pleasant, friendly, and skilled surgeon.  He has never made us feel rushed, and has always put us at ease.  He is a kind, gifted man. 
Dr. Chang went over a list of Postoperative Care Instructions and asked if we had additional questions. 
Dr. Chang opened a sterile package and got out a marker to mark the correct ear for surgery.  Hospitals are finding ways to be sure the proper area gets the surgery.  The previous week for my elbow surgery, the surgeon had to "initial" me before surgery.
During all this time, Ron and Stephen had been with me.  David arrived from San Antonio and it was good to get to see him before surgery.  He had been hung up in a Houston traffic jam and I was not sure he would arrive before surgery.

Following Dr. Chang was Elton, a young man from Dr. Chang's office who had taken my medical history on my first visit to see my surgeon.   He remembered me when I told him I am the lady who hears music in her head.  I think I freaked him out the first time I told him about it.  He went over additional questions. 

Here, David (our third son), looks on as two of the three people from the anesthesia department made their appearances.  They had many questions, and I think were glad that I had proved the previous Monday that I could tolerate anesthesia with no problems.  Prior to surgery a week earlier on the elbow, it had been over twenty years since I'd had any surgery.  I explained to them about a ridge in the top of my mouth that was badly scraped in the surgery 20+ years ago and slightly scraped in surgery the previous week.  They didn't scrape it!  Good job, guys! 

I wish I had a photo of the surgery suite.  What an array of high technology equipment!  It would also be great if I could tell you what all happened in there, but, I slept through it, thanks to the anesthesia team. 

At this point, I am going to stop and soon with Part II, I will pick up following the surgery.  As you can tell, I had excellent care at each step of the way.  God is good!


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