Pre and post left cochlear operation report
I am a big fan of the medical community since having spent three years managing a program as a contractor for Health and Human Services, Emergency System for Advanced Registration of Healthcare Professionals. Since 50 states and various territories in the USA did not have a standard for credentialing doctors, nurses, and behavioral health professionals, when they volunteered to support disasters outside their state, their credentials didn’t travel with them, and that caused all sorts of problems. So, the George W. Bush administration sought to develop a solution by working with the medical community to produce standards upon which all could agree and use.
Since completing that effort, I have had more than my share of trips to the hospital and interactions with various medical specialists. I have become somewhat of a professional patient and medical groupie.
You may recall that I lost my hearing in June. I had only one good ear as the Army destroyed the other. Then, suddenly, I lost my good ear and I was out. I visited the emergency room which led to being prescribed prednisone which led to an ENT and prednisone shots in the ear for several weeks. We all had hoped that this might work, and there was some initial improvement, but that faded.
So, the next stop was a referral to the Johns Hopkins Otolaryngology specialists to be evaluated as a candidate for a cochlear implant. The cochlear implant, in my case, would be for the left side that involved implanting a cable directly into the cochlear and fastening to a device placed under the skin of my skull. A control system attaches to what I call a hot shoe and hearing is restored in a new way, bypassing the normal route through the eardrum. It is a highly technical solution to severe hearing problems like mine.
Here is the fun part. I enjoy the pre-operation process that includes the counseling by the surgeon describing the details of the operation. I also enjoy the nurses and administrative people asking me the same set of questions in different ways to ensure they don’t miss anything or to reveal contradictions. Anesthesiologists enjoy their work because every patient is unique and their concoctions are prepared customized for you.
So, attached to this story is a picture of me in pre-op followed by my recovery. This is no picnic as it will take several days before I remove “massive head wound Harry” from the side of head, and before I can shower.