Confessions of a Chataholic

To confess a fault freely is the next thing to being innocent of it.

Posts Tagged ‘cochlear implant

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

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

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


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I’ve been thinking about the comments from people who don’t support my decision to receive a cochlear implant.  I’m sorry they don’t support my decision, but I don’t want to be deaf.  Why would I? I still remember being able to hear as a child.  I used to sing along with “Bye Bye Miss America Pie” when it played on the radio.  I was only 5 years old when my parents noticed I had a hearing loss, but I by then I had developed a large vocabulary, I was able to read on a higher level than most of my peers, and I loved music passionately.

I understand why someone who grew up Deaf wouldn’t want a cochlear implant (CI).  Asking Deaf to become hearing is like asking a leopard to change its spots.  Or like Michael Jackson becoming white.  It’s the core of their identity.  So, I get it.  I do.  I still have some bitterness regarding hearing people in my life insisting I become “healed” and no longer be “deaf”.  It made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for them.

But I want to be able to have verbal conversations with people in my life.  I’m tired of being left out of the conversation because I can’t speech-read that much or that fast or I can’t see the person talking.  I’m determined to learn to hear without so many visual cues.

Written by ChattyCathy867

June 9, 2010 at 3:45 am

Road to Recovery – Cochlear Implant Day 12

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My incision about 12 days post-surgery

I feel like such a hypochondriac.  My incision seems to be healing fine, but now I have another issue to deal with; swollen glands on the left side of my neck.  We called the doctor’s office today, because I want to know whether or not this is normal.  And it is, of course.  The person my husband spoke with on the phone says it could last a couple of months. 

I want to go back to being ME.  I’m so tired all the time.  I hope this is all worth it in the long run. 

Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon, I have appointments with the audiologists at HELP. 

And now I have to figure out what to do about my student loans now that I’m not in school.  Hopefully, I can get a deferment for my disability.

On a plus side, Charlie and I had fun on our anniversary yesterday sitting around catching up on Desperate Housewives thanks to Lifetime TV (the Victim Network as I call it).

Written by ChattyCathy867

June 7, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Painting your Tongue with Chloraseptic

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Today was my doctor appointment at Dr. Berryhill’s office.  For the first time, the office was almost completely empty and no one was in front of me!  I was early and sat out in the waiting room for all of five minutes.  Dr. Fredrick the PA saw me today and said everything looks good.  I have blood behind the eardrum, which is the fluid I’ve been feeling and this is normal and expected.  The incision is slightly swollen but this is also normal a week post-surgery.  I have stitches on the inside that will not need removal and surgical glue on the outside of the incision that will fall off on its own.  He suggested I use aloe vera on the incision when it feels dry and itchy and warm compresses instead of ice packs.  My follow up appointment with Dr. Berryhill is July 12.

My appointments with the audiologist are June 9 and June 10 at HELP at Integris Baptist.  I will not know the name of the audiologist until I get there or Charlie calls in advance.  Is there even a guarantee I’ll see the same person each time I go in? 

The taste issues are completely normal and can last anywhere from 3 – 6 months.  In simplest terms, there is a nerve that connects the tongue and the ear and when the implant was inserted, it affected this nerve.  I am going to lose SO much weight because food taste like SHIT (excuse my French).  Why is it that the ONLY things that taste good are cheese and candy?  (Picture this:  Cartoon character having her tongue pulled out and painted with chloraseptic instead of paint.  That’s how my tongue feels.)

This week’s major challenges will be:

  • Find foods that taste good
  • Stay awake for more than 2 hours at a time
  • Try to get on a more “normal” schedule.

Thank goodness I do not have to work right now!  I can get started on my volunteer work for OAD next week.  And once I’ve been activated and comfortable with the implant, I will find volunteer work outside the home.  I’m going to focus on libraries but find one that will allow me to do shelving or something “behind the scenes” for now.  I’m not ready to face the general public yet.  Maybe the state library for the disabled will have something for me or one of the public schools.  And after activiation, I will make an appointment to speak with the OU Grad School about going there next year. 

One thing I want everyone to know about getting a cochlear implant is that no one has the same experience, because every individual is unique.  The basic process is the same for each recipient, but how the process affects us is different.

Written by ChattyCathy867

June 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Road to Recovery – Cochlear Implant Day 5

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Today, I…

  • Slept
  • Ate Chinese Food that tasted “funny” because of my sense of taste has been affected
  • Watched Alice in Wonderland completely stoned on Percocet
  • Ate a half a bag of Spree
  • Slept some more
  • Watched Alice in Wonderland again, well, started to watch it then saw the “Eat Me” cake and sent the kid to the store for Little Debbies. And then we finished watching the movie for the 2nd time.
  • Read some blogs about the Real Housewives.  Danielle is a complete psychopath btw
  • Harvested my crops on Farmville
  • And then, I tried not to get pissy about some comments made on my recovery blog. 

I’m blogging for the benefit of my hearing friends who want to know about the cochlear implant and as a diary for myself.  Yes, the doctor has done everything he’s supposed to do.  Just because I don’t remember everything doesn’t mean the doctor did anything wrong.  It means I’m getting old, my memory isn’t what it should be, and right now I’m on painkillers and not even sure what day it is half the time.  I’m lucky to remember my name right now.

I woke up this evening thinking I was late for my doctor’s appointment because it was almost 8:00.  It was 8:00 PM on Tuesday.  My doctor appointment isn’t until 1:15 PM Thursday.  I’m loopy.  My blogs are reflecting my state of mind right now.  My daughter’s boyfriend is laughing his arse off at me.  The last thing in the world I need right  now is some stranger commenting on my recovery blog that I’m doing something wrong or insinuating that my doctor did something wrong.

My head hurts.  I feel like I’m wearing a cheap-ass head band and its digging into the left side of my head behind my ear.  Advil isn’t helping.  I gave up and took a Perc.  I don’t want to take the Percs because I’m afraid of addiction.  Ice packs help a little bit. 

No one took me to Walmart this evening.  Charlie doesn’t want to go at all, because he’s enjoying hermitting himself.  I’m tired of being stuck in the house.  But after a few minutes of being out today, I started hurting and feeling nauseous.  I don’t think that was all to do with the surgery. It’s hot here right now and the sun is more than I can handle.  I keep telling Charlie I want to move to Oregon or Washington.  He keeps saying I wouldn’t like it because of all the rain.  Hell, I don’t have a problem with the rain.  It’s the sun I can’t stand anymore.  I’ll move to Oregon or Washington before I move to Phoenix!

Just call me the “Mad Blogger”.

Written by ChattyCathy867

June 2, 2010 at 1:11 am