Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15, 2013

My Cochlear Implant is A-OK
Thursday,  August 15, 2013

On Tuesday evening I detected a significant "knot" on my head between the incision for my Cochlear Implant and the spot where the coil's magnet attaches through my scalp to the implanted part of the Cochlear Implant.  I need to explain that about 35 years ago, we were on a vacation and I had gotten out of our motor home at a gas station and bent over for something and came up under a dispenser holding paper towels for cleaning windshields.  I caught my head on the corner of that dispenser and literally "saw stars" from the whack I gave it.  Over time, a knot developed in that spot and eventually had to be surgically removed.  It turned out to be a "fatty tumor".  That is what this lump or knot felt like. 

There was no pain with the knot, but when I would run my fingers over it, it felt like that fatty tumor did to my finger tips.  It had appeared suddenly and  about the same time the behind the ear sound processor was no longer fitting in the same way it had previously.  I showed the place to Ron Tuesday evening and he said there was no redness or any obvious problem so we agreed he would call Dr. Chang's office Wednesday morning to see what they said about it.  If it should be a fatty tumor, I didn't want anyone else removing it and working around the implant.

When Dr. Chang's office called back, they said he would see me today.  So we hurriedly packed and left this morning to go let him look at the spot.  Last night, doing on line research, it occurred to me that it could be part of the implant.  It was about the right size (about 1 1/2" in diameter, and 1/4" high.  If that was what it was, that would be fine except why could I suddenly feel it when I had not noticed it previously?  So we decided we needed to go let him decide if this was something to be concerned about.

We left about 6:00 this morning and by the time we left, I was convinced it was a part of the implant, but still could not decide why I had not felt it before.  Talking to Vickey last night I asked her if she had felt it while washing my hair when she was here and she said no.  I could feel it when I washed my hair today, but had not felt it before.  I did not know if the implant base had shifted or what had happened.  I thought maybe the swelling had finally gone down and maybe that is what why I could feel it.

On the way up to Houston, the weather was beautiful and the humidity was lower than usual, the traffic was light, and we had a very nice drive.  Ron made a detour for me into El Campo to the quilt shop I like there.   They had just recently gotten in a nice variety of Texas fabrics.  Once we got to Houston we stopped by the warehouse of one of our suppliers for our business, and picked up some items and returned an item.  From there we went to have a relaxing lunch at Chick-fil-A.  I checked the weather on my cell phone while at Chick-fil-A and it was 79 degrees in Houston at 2:00 in the afternoon in mid August!  What a treat!

Our appointment with Dr. Chang was set for 4:45 and since we didn't really have anything else to do, we headed on over to his office arriving about 3:00.  I told the receptionist I knew I was very early, but we would just sit and read until time for our appointment.  In about 10 minutes they called us in.  A nurse took basic information and then Dr. Chang came in.  I explained the problem to him and he smiled and said it was the implant.  He looked at it and checked my ears and said that happens.  I said, "So I am not the only patient who panics?"  He laughed and said it happens often, but most frequently with parents whose children receive the implants.

Dr. Chang explained that when the swelling goes down, you can suddenly feel the implant.  He said that normally happens at 2-3 weeks following surgery.  For me it was a little over 2 months.  For two months everything felt smooth and then suddenly one day, there was a big bump.  He was as kind as always and didn't call me crazy or nuts or stupid (to my face).  He said no problem, he was glad to check it and to let him know anytime something seemed out of the ordinary.  He reminded me he would love to see me get a second Cochlear Implant and I reminded him that as soon as Medicare agrees to pay for two, I would be glad to be on the top of his list. 

We did talk to him about the loud noises I sometimes hear in my head and he said those should diminish as my brain gets used to the implant.  He said the brain doesn't like silence and is trying to fill the silence.  The noises have not been bad the last few days.  I hope my brain is starting to like the sounds it hears and will quit making up its own sounds.  It was good to know that all is well with the implant. 

Before we left home, I told Ron I was going to feel foolish if it was "nothing".  He said he would be delighted with "nothing" any day!  He has been so kind through all of this and really through every thing related to the hearing loss since January.  I could not ask for him to be any more helpful or understanding about the situation.  Of course on the way home he did say something about driving 12 hours to talk to the doctor for 12 minutes. 

We were about to be on the road heading home about 3:45, beating most of the Houston 5:00 traffic.  Supper on the way home was at Bill Miller Bar-B-Q in Robstown and then we came on home, arriving at about 10:30.  Ron had called the physical therapy office after we left Dr. Chang's office and they were about to set up my last session for 8:30 tomorrow morning, so I better head to bed!  Thanks to those of you who were praying for a safe trip and for there to be "nothing" wrong.  God answered those prayers.


  1. Truly grateful tears flowing down my face for you!!! So glad all was OK but glad you had it checked out...even if it was only 12 minutes with the dr. You can now sleep 12 hours with no worries...if you can find the time to sleep, that is. Hugs, grateful prayers sent up & hands together for y'all!!

    1. Thanks, Dottie. God is good. Once I decided it was probably the implant that I felt, I wondered if it had moved since I had not felt it before. There were just too many questions and I needed the doctor's reasurance.

  2. Yaaaaaaaaaay! Whoop! Praises! Praises! Praises!