One year surgical check up

Back to Mass Eye and Ear for a one year surgical check up.  I’m very healthy with no physical issues related to the implant.  In general, they like to take a look once a year in your ears and test your non-implanted ear.  Since the audiologist recently tested my non-CI ear, today the surgeon just checked my ears and the area where the implant is under my skin.

Everything looks great.  She also peeked at my audiograms and said I was doing good.  Right in the middle of where they want me to be.  She said I should be experiencing much more clarity.  My reaction is like a petulant child, “I guess so (smirk)”.  I know I sound like a broken record but I just want more.  I do not want to have any hearing loss.  Sigh… Yeah, it’s nice to want things, eh?

The surgeon who did my surgery last year has relocated so I was seeing this doctor for the first time.  I liked her a lot and she seems very smart and competent.  I am very fortunate to be in Boston I think.  I asked about preserving residual hearing should I pursue a second implant at some point.  She said that my hearing in my right ear is useful and understands my interest in perserving it.  When I was evaluated I asked this question as well and was told Med-El has some track record in this area.  However, I decided to go with Advanced Bionics.  Performance wise I’m glad and still think it was a good decision.  However, I do mourn the loss of my natural hearing in that ear although there wasn’t much (20%).  For now I’m happy with unilateral because when I take off the implant I still have enough hearing to communicate, albeit in a limited way.

Another question I asked about was if MEEI recommends to pediatric patients not to use sign language at all.  She said that they would not want the pediatric patient to exclusively use sign but that it’s fine as another communication tool if it helps.  I was really glad to hear this because my recent exploration of ASL has been so interesting and to be honest, it feels great because it’s a way to communicate where I am not limited in ability, beyond my lack of fluency which I can do something about!  I love the idea of using any and all communication tools that help you.