Confessions of a Chataholic

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Archive for the ‘Cochlear Implant’ Category

What Kind of Kool-Aid did You Say would Come Out of My Ears?

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I haven’t really said a whole lot about my 2nd cochlear implant procedure.  I’m excited I was able to get one, grateful I had the time to take off work, and looking forward to ‘A-Day’.  But, it also hurts a little more than the last time.  Dr. Berryhill told me afterwards that it took a little longer and would hurt a little more because he had to use hand tools instead of the electronic tools he used the first time.  Apparently, the electronic tools would mess up the first implant.  The surgery itself took about 3 hours and I wasn’t ready to go home for almost an hour and a half afterwards.  The anesthesia was very hard to recover from. 

I’m doing a lot better today.  My right ear still feels like someone took a metal rod and shoved it into my ear canal.  I can feel the fluid moving around in there.  When I was discharged, the nurse wrote that I might have some “Kool-Aid colored discharge” from my ear in the first few days.  I wasn’t able to ask what flavor of Kool-Aid was going to be coming out of my ear though.   

The papers also said to “sneeze through my mouth”.

Ohhhh Kaaaay…

I haven’t learned how to do that yet. I usually sneeze through my nose.  And last, to try not to cough. Excuse me, but you gave me 3 hours of anesthesia.  I’ve got a little phlegm building up in there and need to get this loogie out NOW before I choke on it.

(Hack, spit)

However, I’ve managed to get through today without using the narcotic painkillers despite feeling like an elephant is sitting on my ear.

Charlie bought me a new pillow made from the memory foam and it feels incredible. He also got me a new heating pad, which I have yet to use thanks to COCOA, who keeps hogging it up.  I had lunch with my friend, Jennifer, from MNTC.  I got my hair trimmed by the incredibly talented, Ashley, at Ihloff Salon.

And I watched American Idol.  You have NO idea how exciting it is to be able to actually hear the difference in the bad and good singers now that I have at least 1 implant in place.  I can’t wait to hear with both implants activated!


Written by ChattyCathy867

February 17, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Do you have the time…to listen to me whine?

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Last week, I had to file a complaint on my captionist for unprofessional behavior, because I had 3 incidents with him IN ONE WEEK that pushed me over the edge.

First, he was told to use a specific plug and he decided he wanted to use the one under my desk, which my boss had said NOT to use. I told him this and he blew me off. And yes, I tattled on him. Damn skippy I did. I wasn’t about to have my boss fire ME because he wasn’t following the rules.

Two days later, he answers a question asked by the trainer that was directed to the class not to him. Are you kidding me? That’s one of the big no-no’s of not just interpreting, but he wouldn’t have dared to do that in a courtroom. What makes him think its ok for him to do that in my classroom?

And finally, he actually yelled at me. I was busy working and he started typing, but it wasn’t for the classroom. It was him telling me he talked to my supervisors about needing more frequent breaks. “That’s fine,” I tell him. “That’s between you and the supervisors.” He snaps at me, “Would you at least let me finish?”

Really? You’re going to yell at me when I need to be working not having conversations with you? You’re going to yell at the person who is the only reason you even have this job? And you’re a freelance who has to take what he can get? Plus you’re new in town and need to develop a good reputation, not piss off the few people that actually request CART services.

And come to find out, he’s not doing the CART correctly either. He wouldn’t put any hard returns in the narrative for easier reading. The new captionist does this plus she adds things like “speaker” and “question” so I know who is talking.


Unbelievably, this guy also had a hearing loss and used a hearing aid. He couldn’t hear the questions from the other trainees and would get extremely agitated. He finally started asking the trainers to repeat the questions, but he would be very aggressive and demanding. Even the guy across from me could tell he was getting mad when he couldn’t hear. And get this…he actually started typing to me during a lecture that the supervisors didn’t care or understand that he couldn’t hear the questions.

I’m sorry, but hearing is a necessity for court reporting, transcribing, and CART services. And I’m sure you don’t yell at the judge to REPEAT THE QUESTION during court.


I swear, I must be some kind of magnet for overly sensitive men. In addition to the captionist, I’ve managed to piss off someone I dated in high school. He kept saying something about an “ear dude” fixing me on my FaceBook status. My response was, “I’ll be sure to tell my female audiologist you called her a dude.” He deleted me as a friend after telling me I wasn’t very nice. Who the hell says “dude” anyway? Besides Michelle Tanner on Full House, that is.


Two days into having a new captionist, I’m in heaven. Her equipment isn’t new and fancy like his, but I can read her screen better and can keep up and take notes much easier. I take notes while reading along because it helps me retain the information and then I have it right there for the quizzes we usually have almost immediately after the lectures.

I get along with everyone but that captionist, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me.

Written by ChattyCathy867

November 9, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Cochlear Implant, Deafness, Work

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Weekly Update for Oct 24th

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I got a tattoo Friday. It’s my first tattoo and probably my last because it hurt like a SOB. I don’t like pain. PERIOD. But to show my support for Breast Cancer awareness, the pain was worth every minute. My daughter and I both got the Breast Cancer awareness pink ribbon in honor of my Grandma Marcella (who passed away in 1981) and my Aunt Rita (who is now in remission).


I was finally hired by the Disability Determination Division of Social Security and started Oct 1. Work provided me with CART (Computer Assisted Real-time Transcription) for training and it’s helping me so much. Many times, the speakers tend to wander away from the front of the room or need to demonstrate something on the computer and I can’t see them anymore. It’s a complicated situation because we have computers in front of us and until they find a place to put us in the building, we’ll be doing our actual work in the training room.

Disclaimer: NO I cannot look up your case on my work computer! We are only allowed to look up the cases we are assigned. And yes, they do keep tabs on where we’ve been in the computer system.

Cochlear Implant

As part of my new job, I recently learned that Cochlear Implant recipients are considered disabled by Social Security for a period of one year following the implantation just like any other organ transplant. I had NO idea and this is a fairly new change. It was effective Aug. 2, 2010.

I tried using an ALD (Assistive Listening Device) during training, but the processor doesn’t seem compatible with the ALD. I used one when I had a hearing aid and thought it would help to use it in training, but the ticking noise was overwhelming and I can’t use it. I’m going to be looking into this over the next few weeks and have my audiologist recommend some products.


Now that I’m working full-time, Charlie is taking a more active role in meal preparation. At least he’s making sure the kitchen is clean and helping me choose what to cook. We discovered McCormick’s Recipe Inspirations recently. I absolutely love the Sage Porkchops and Apples and the Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes. Each one has a reusable recipe card so all I have to do is stock up on the spices in the future. This week we’re going to try the Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas and the Spanish Chicken Skillet.

Advanced TV

Cox finally upgraded OKC to Advanced TV and I love it! I’ve been able to catch up on my shows and even watch a few shows I’d never seen before. We can only record 2 shows at a time. Plus now we can search by typing in the name of the show instead of having to SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL through the listings.

Written by ChattyCathy867

October 24, 2010 at 8:49 pm

A New Mapping

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Today, I had another mapping. Kela (Miller, my audiologist at HELP) had to try a completely different program than the one she set last week because I was nauseous all the time, almost like morning sickness. (If you’ve ever had a baby, you’ll understand my misery.) Fortunately, she was able to eliminate more of the background noises, so the Emergency Broadcast System isn’t constantly playing in my head.

I almost didn’t leave the house this morning because I was busy putting my head between my legs trying to overcome the nausea. But when I got home a couple of hours later, the nausea was gone. On the way home, we stopped by Walgreens and I walked over to the cosmetics area where two salespeople were talking and turned off my hearing aid. From 10 feet away, I was able to pick up their voices.

No, the sounds don’t sound right yet. Speech doesn’t sound like speech. It still sounds like “bells and whistles”. But the important thing is that I’m actually hearing the sounds. Kela told me it was more important to find a comfort zone right now than to try to understand the sounds. I can tell the difference between male and female voices. The sounds aren’t as loud as they were with my hearing aid, but if the processor is set any louder than now, I get sick to my stomach.

And because of these minor issues, I don’t feel like I’m ready to go back to work. Charlie and I both think the best thing I can do is take the summer off and try for admission to OU Graduate School next January.

Another doctor visit this afternoon, this time to make sure my incision is healing properly. I bought a new tube of Aloe Vera that doesn’t contain lidocaine or menthol. My incision feels very dry, almost like stitches are popping out of it.

Written by ChattyCathy867

June 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Cochlear Implant

Pity Party

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I’m not in a good place right now. Mostly because I’m having some side effects as a result of taking Bactrim and to top it off, the noises from the implant are making me nauseous.  I need to get out but I’m not supposed to be in the sun while on Bactrim, so going for a walk or to the park during the day isn’t really an option.  Neither is playing in the garden and I need to plant the sweet potatoes I bought last week. 

My sweet potato plants

I’ve never planted sweet potatoes before.  Someone suggested I use sweet potato vines as a ground cover in an area where the dogs have ruined the yard.  I think the vines would be a good idea, especially if I get some fresh sweet potatoes at the end of the summer. Unfortunately, mice like them too.  UGH.  We always get mice but we also have 4 cats to keep them under control.

Miss Kitty

Speaking of cats…Lil Miss Bitchy Kitty found herself stuck outside in the thunderstorm last night.  When Charlie opened the front door to watch the storm, Miss Kitty was meowing pitifully begging to come in the house.  I guess she didn’t want to go all the way around to the side of the house to use the dog door.  As hard as that rain was coming down, I probably would have sat on the porch and cried my eyes out too.

I want to cry now because the implant is working as well as I’d hoped.  But, both the doctor and the audiologist told me I need to give it time. Like six months to a year for it to work.  I also need to start auditory therapy soon, but we aren’t sure if the insurance will cover the service.  One thing my audiologist suggested was reading out loud.  I also have a computer program I can use.  I need either a new FM loop because mine has disappeared or the audio cord that fits directly into the processor so the sound will go directly into my processor and eliminate the background noise.  I looked it up online and the Nucleus cord costs $150 for mono $200 for stereo. 

HOLY CRAP!  We’re not rich people you know.  We’re living off of Charlie’s disability right now, which is more than enough, but we also need to save for a “rainy day” in case we need major house repairs.  What am I talking about? We DO need some major home repairs.  And the contractor that remodeled the kitchen for Charlie’s ex-wife was a complete idiot.  The kitchen needs to be remodeled to fix what the remodeler messed up.  Does that make sense? 

I do have some good news, so this blog is not just another bitchfest.  Meagan finally found a summer job, working at a tanning salon nearby.  I’m so happy I could BURST!  Now she will stay busy, earn her own money, and get some experience so she can get a decent work history.

Now, if only I could find a position, even an unpaid internship…

Written by ChattyCathy867

June 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Wordless Wednesday

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Click My Pic to find out why I'm smiling!

Written by ChattyCathy867

June 10, 2010 at 12:14 am

A-DAY Here at Last!

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Lookiing good and feeling fine for A-DAY!

Today was the first day since my surgery that I put on makeup and fixed my hair.  Today was a special day.  I had my processor activiated for the first time (or as the cochlear community calls it, “A-Day”).

My audiologist at HELP is Kela Miller, who is also a cochlear implant recipient.  As expected, I didn’t have the “miracle cure” when the processor was mapped and turned on. Kela played some tones of varying degrees and I told her I wasn’t sure if I was hearing the tones or if my tinnitus was acting up. But, from the way I responded, she said I was hearing high frequency tones I haven’t heard in 35 years.

 I’ve been wearing the processor most of the day and for awhile I wasn’t feeling so hot. We had to run to the mall for a minute to pick up a piece of pottery. We weren’t even there 15 minutes and I was ready to puke. I can feel the implant stimulating the nerve and I think the mall was so loud, my body couldn’t handle it!

 It doesn’t sound like my hearing aid. I’m not really recognizing any sounds at all, but I did respond to my husband talking. I had no idea he was saying something and turned around because I heard a kind of deep humming noise. Kela said I was hearing his voice.

 While I was in Kela’s office, she noticed something wasn’t quite right with my incision and suggested we call Dr. Berryhill’s ofice.  We did and the PA kind of drained the incision and removed the remaining surgical glue.  Dr. Berryhill wrote me a script for an antibiotic cream to help with the healing.  

The processor is exhausting right now.  And the draining process hurt a little bit, so I took the last percocet and crawled in bed to watch Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” for the 3rd time.

I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I look forward to it. I don’t mind hard work if being able to hear better is the end result. Next step: find out whether the insurance company is going to cover “auditory therapy”.

Written by ChattyCathy867

June 9, 2010 at 11:51 pm