Monday, June 1, 2015

Activation Day of my 2nd implant!

Today was my activation appointment for my second cochlear implant. Surround sound is amazing! I was nervous but excited going into my appointment. I kept reminding myself all morning to go in with no high expectations. I didn't want a repeat of the very first time my first implant was turned on. Oh my goodness, this went so much better than I expected! Having gone through this before and going in with a different mindset made all of the difference in the world. We started slow with listening to the the soft beeps to develop my comfort threshold level. We went through all 22 electrodes before turning it on. I was bracing myself before she turned it on. Keep in mind I had my left implant turned off. She switched my new one on and everything sounded cartoonish. Everything was coming back to me of how it sounded two years ago. But the only difference was I was much more comfortable and relaxed this time! A few minutes went by with my audiologist talking to help me get used to the new sound.  My brain was like, whoa that's a lot of high pitch sounds! The more she was talking, the speech sounds were coming through. Her voice was coming through. I kept looking at Todd because I knew he was experiencing my emotions with me. Once I got comfortable enough, my audiologist said, go ahead and put your other processor on. I can't even begin to describe that moment. That was the pivotal moment of my appointment. It was just AMAZING to hear surround sound! Then the tears started flowing. I was just beyond grateful for this moment. I looked at Todd and he was crying too....which doesn't happen too often! I knew instantly he was happy that my experience was much better this time around. He is my rock and supports me in everything I do. He hurts when I hurt and he has joy when I am happy. I am very blessed to have a husband that is in sync with my emotions. I could not have gotten through all of these experiences of my implants without him. Technology is so amazing and I am thankful for the gift of it happening in my lifetime. I have much work ahead of me with my brain adapting to all of the new sounds on the right side but I am so excited! And I think this will be a much smoother transition than my left side. One thing I'm really excited about is the new phone clip. Since I have the new upgrade processors, it is now wireless. I have a phone clip which is connected to my phone by Bluetooth. Instead of listening through my phone with the handset,  the conversation is streamed through my implants wirelessly! That eliminates the background noise for me so I can hear the conversation better. I couldn't wait to try it. When I came home from my appointment, I talked to my children at home. They were happy to see that I had a better experience. After talking with them,  I couldn't wait to call my son, Matt at UC with my new phone clip. WOW! I could almost understand every word he said without lipreading! And his voice....sounded so like Matt. I was happy nothing changed with the sound of his voice. Very cool! My Mom was in awe listening to me have a phone conversation without too much effort. This phone clip will allow me to have practice listening without lipreading. What a great first day it has been today! I am elated. The best is yet to come and I can't wait to experience the gift of bilateral hearing!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

One week post op.....

Well, it has been one week today since my right ear cochlear implant surgery! Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I really went through with this. The night before my surgery, I had a little bit of anxiety. Actually, a lot. I had many emotions....realizing I was getting rid of my hearing aid forever and the sound/hearing I've known since I was three years old. Even though I knew I was gaining something so much better, it was still hard letting go. I prayed about it before I went to bed and I had a peaceful night of sleep. When I woke up, I was a little nervous but I was ready! The surgery went much better than I expected. Although, the first day was rough with being sick from the antibiotic, I was able to get it changed the next day and felt much better. I am very grateful that I have no dizziness or balance issues. With my last surgery, I had numbness in my tongue and change of taste for several weeks. With this surgery, I had none of that! The implant is also thinner and smaller than my left implant so I have a much smaller bump behind my ear. It's amazing how much technology has advanced in two years. My doctor did an excellent job and I am very thankful. My Mom stayed with me for two days....there's nothing like having your Mom take care of you...I am never too old for that! Even though I was recovering and resting most of the time, I was very grateful for my Mom's presence. It kept me at peace knowing things were taken care of.  It also happened to be Mother's Day weekend. I loved having all four of my kids hang out with me all day Sunday in the TV room while I was on the couch. I think they all wish they could've done more by taking me out but just being with them and talking all day was the best gift. My children are growing up too fast and I cherish my time with them even more so. My one week post op appointment was yesterday. My doctor said it is healing very well and to limit my activity for one more week. My energy level has been very low all week but today was the first day I felt a little bit of my energy returning. So I have hope tomorrow will be even better! It has also been quite an adjustment hearing out of one ear. The last two and half years, my hearing aid balanced things out somewhat even though I didn't get much benefit out of it. Now that I'm just relying on my left implant, I feel like I'm hearing or picking up more sounds. It's been an interesting week. As I continue to heal, I am really looking forward to my activation date in two weeks.....June 1st!! I know I have a lot of work ahead of me but I'm excited to see what life will be like with two miracle ears! Amazing to even think about it....

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Another miracle I am about to receive.....

It's been a whirlwind! I haven't had time to process my thoughts until this week. With my last implant, it seemed like it was a long wait to get insurance approval. Almost six months. This time it only took two weeks for approval! And now, I am scheduled for surgery on May 7th.  At first, I was like, woah.....let's slow down! Last time, I had much more time to process my thoughts while waiting which at times led me to feel more anxious. I feel very much at peace this time around. I've had several discussions with my audiologist and surgeon about going bilateral. I feel very good about my decision. I have complete trust in Dr. Turner and he is an excellent surgeon. I am very happy he is doing my surgery again.  The butterflies in my stomach have started as I realized I am just days away! I am feeling excited about being able to hear out of both ears. Very excited. During my quiet moments when I reflect on my daily thoughts, I am always grateful for the gift of hearing. Words cannot even begin to express my gratitude. I love hearing all of the beautiful sounds in this world and hearing SO MUCH MORE. I am ready to do it again. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me but I feel like I will be better prepared with my second implant. I will know what to expect during the process of training my ear and brain. Plus, I have the best support family! I couldn't have done it without them the first time and I am thankful they are excited to do it with me again.'s almost here! I am so grateful God knows my heart and He is able to do more than I could ever imagine ~Ephesians 3:20

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Beautiful sounds are everywhere!

I am loving my life with my cochlear implant. I can't believe it has been two years already. I never imagined I would be where I am now with the beautiful sounds I hear. It is miraculous! I was reading through my past blog entries and I am just amazed at how far I have come. The beginning was an emotional roller coaster as I struggled with adapting to my new world of sounds. My whole world changed the day my "ear" was turned on.  It was a very trying few months and I can remember there were days when I thought I would go into sensory overload. I was exhausted to no end as my brain soaked up all the energy I had trying to make thousands of neural connections. There were times I wanted to take it off and just retreat back into my quiet comfort zone.  But I never gave up. I remained steadfast in my walk with The Lord and He lifted me through my trying times. I am so grateful for that. Fast forward to two years later....I cannot imagine my life without my "ear".  I cannot stand it when my battery dies so I always keep my spare batteries recharged at all times. Without it, I realize how deaf I really am. I thought I had good hearing with my hearing aids before but having a cochlear implant really blew my aids out of the water! It is amazing when I think about how well I thought I could hear with my aids when now I hear SO MUCH MORE.  In adults, 0-25 DB hL is considered normal hearing. I am now in the normal hearing range with my cochlear! The world is full of beautiful sounds everywhere! Many new sounds I hear now that I didn't hear with my aids are: birds chirping (my favorite), the ocean waves, the crunching of leaves in the fall, my dog licking out of his water bowl, the sizzling sound of food cooking, my refrigerator kicking on, the oven timer from the next room (!), the microwave buzzer, crickets chirping, the crackling sound of the wood in the fireplace, the squeaking sound of wet shoes across the floor, tree frogs, annoying sounds of cicadas, understanding my pastor's sermon, the many instrumental sounds of music, my kids laughing or talking in the other room, the telephone ringing.....the list goes on! I've always been able to hear people's voices but what is most profound to me now is voices are now clear and crisp with speech sounds. I don't have to struggle as hard to understand. I still lipread because that is very natural to me but it is not such a struggle anymore. Two years later, I still continue to learn new
sounds. It is amazing. And now, I cannot imagine going the rest of my life without giving my other ear the same opportunity to hear! I've thought a great deal about this the last several months and I've prayed about it. I would love to be able to have surround sound hearing. Two weeks ago, I decided to consult with my ENT doctor who did my surgery. He said I was a candidate for the other ear and thought I would do well with bilateral hearing. I had a cat scan done this week to make sure my ear has no signs of infection. This week, I have an appointment to meet with my audiologist to go over everything and sign papers to get the process rolling for insurance approval. This is an exciting time as I start a new leg of my journey! Now, the waiting game begins.....but I am trusting in God's plan for me.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Take pride in how FAR you have come and have FAITH in how far you can go......

I have been resistant to writing without realizing it until now. I kept telling myself, I will write tomorrow.....tomorrow turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. I want to say that I had writer's block but that wouldn't be very honest of me. More like an emotional block, I would say. Maybe I was resistant to sitting down and confronting my emotions of the last few months. Like many of you, I have a family of my own with real life personal struggles and things are not always as perfect as I would like them to be. That is unrealistic. Being a mom and a wife is most important to me....I am so passionate with every fiber of my being in my role as a mom and wife that I would sacrifice anything for my family. And that includes taking the focus off my training with my "new ear".  Would I do it again? Yes. But maybe differently. As difficult as some of those personal struggles were and the harder I fought, I learned along the way that I had to let go and let God take control. I am so thankful for His grace. Because I also learned how strong my family really is and how we can overcome anything as long as we have each other. Through one of the most difficult trials we've ever had to face, our family came through it stronger than ever. I am so humbled that God's grace is so sufficient.....he lifted our family up with strength that we could not draw on our own alone. How great is that?
With that said, I am also very mindful of my progress and my dream of writing a book about my journey. I've reflected on that the last few days and I've had to really dig deep and reignite the little fire I had in me some time ago. I am going to do this. I am grateful for the many messages and inquiries about how I am means a lot to me to have a great support system among friends and family. I haven't forgotten any of you and I thank you.
It's hard to believe it was one year ago that I found out I was a candidate and six months ago that my ear was "turned on". It surely has been one heck of a rollercoaster ride! There were times I felt like my progress was so slow that I didn't feel like I was making much progress. Those were the times I would get frustrated with myself. I wanted more. I always want more and now. I'm still learning patience. I believe there is a reason for everything. Although others may progress faster than I in some areas, my journey and my progress is meant for me. And I will take that but it pushes me to work harder. One of my goals is to be able to listen without lipreading.....that is what I am shooting for! I know it will happen one day. When I look at the big picture of where I started and where I am now, I realize how FAR I've come and I take pride in that. It gives me FAITH in how much farther I can go. It is possible!
One of the the things I've had to overcome in the last few months is the way certain people are and how they "test" me without realizing that it touches a sensitive nerve in me. Even though I know they are not intentionally hurting me, it brings up certain feelings that I experienced when I was a young girl wearing box hearing aids on my chest. Some would say they are ignorant, but I know it's because they just don't know. I don't want to call them ignorant.....I just want to be able to educate people more in what is involved with a cochlear implant and hearing loss. Some people think once it is turned on, voila, I can hear everything and it all happens in one day. I even thought that myself! Not is a long process that can take months to a year or more. I've had someone stand behind me and clap to see if I would react. I've had someone come up to me and cover their mouth with a piece of paper and talk to me to see if I could understand what they were saying. I've had someone yell at me behind my back to see if I would respond. This all happened in the first two months of being turned on. It was hard. I heard each one of the sounds but because they were new to me, I did not know what they were and where they were coming from. It takes time to learn all of these new sounds, sounds that I have never heard of before. My brain was adapting. I am getting there. I've made tremendous strides in the last three months. I still see my audiologist for adjustments. I was seeing her every two to four weeks but I've used up all of my adjustment visits covered by my insurance.The visits are very costly until I use up my deductible so I've had to spread out my visits every six to eight weeks. If I had my way, I would see her every month so I can progress faster. However, I am working very hard at home and everywhere I go. This is a very noisy world and there are so many new sounds that I learn every week! I am learning to distinguish between different sounds and what they are. My dental office is probably the noisest place of all! I can remember the first weeks and months were extremely difficult and exhausting at my office. I was in sensory overload with all of the high pitches of the instruments and the machines. It's amazing that now I am able to to know what the sound is without looking where it is coming from. I can hear when my boss is running his high speed drill in the next room. I can hear when the suction is being turned on in his room. I know exactly when my coworker is working on preparing the crowns. It used to drive me crazy when she would blow air on the crown to dry it out. I now know when the instruments are being taken out of the sterilizer because I can hear the clanging of the instruments. My boss's voice is the most pronounced of all. He can be very animated and profound with his voice. My boss doesn't know this but he is a great practice for me. When he comes in my room, he puts his mask on and he talks a mile a minute with our patients. I use that time to practice listening without lipreading. I am now starting to catch a few words here and there! It's difficult to try to piece a conversation together but I tell myself, this is word at a time. My office is a great learning place, although exhausting at times. There are so many new sounds that it's amazing how much I can hear already! At wrestling meets, I could hear the referees blowing their whistles. One day I was standing at the railing waiting for Matt's match to come up and I kept hearing this slap, slap, slap sound behind me. I turned around to see what it was and it was a wrestler jump roping! It was the jump rope slapping the concrete. To me, that was amazing. And my Dad was there to witness that moment. There are so many new sounds that I can hear now that it would take longer than a blog to list. I will name a few for now. Music is starting to sound more instrumental to me rather than just one big noise. American Idol was much more enjoyable for me to watch this year as I was able to distinguish different instrumental sounds and different voices. I can now hear my dog, Bentley licking water out of his dish and the crunching sounds of him eating from the next room. I always know when someone is walking in our back door from the tv room because Todd still hasn't fixed our squeaky door! :)  I love that I can hear when my microwave timer goes off. One day I was driving in the car with Andrew and we were at a red light. I heard music as if it was in our car but I knew it wasn't and I looked at Andrew and said where in the world is that music coming from? Andrew tells me it's the car next to us. I rolled down my window to see and sure enough, the guy next to us had his music blaring with his sub woofers. Wow! One day, I was in the car in a drive thru with Todd but we were waiting in line. The window was still up and all of a sudden I hear this loud blaring noise constantly going off. I asked Todd what it was.....he couldn't believe I could hear a car alarm going off across the parking lot. Voices are becoming more distinguished to me. I love listening to people talk and I love that I don't have to struggle as hard. One day I was walking across the kitchen and Chris asked me a short question and I answered without looking at him. He said, Mom, did you really hear what I just asked you? I couldn't believe it and just realized what I had done without effort. It's amazing to hear so many different sounds....many that most people take for granted. When I'm on my walks, just the cars going by me......I can now hear the tires treading along the streets. One day as I was walking, from a distance I kept hearing what sounded like a ringing noise. It alarmed me at first but as I got closer to the Oak Creek church by my house, I looked up and realized it was the bell tolling. It was a beautiful sound! It brought tears to my eyes because that was the church I grew up in and I never really heard that before. One evening, I was sitting on our patio with Todd....and I kept hearing loud tapping sounds. Todd said it was our neighbor using a hammer! One day last week, as Matt and I were working outside to prepare for his graduation party, we were burning wood and I had to stop and listen. I kept hearing these sounds every once in awhile and I knew they weren't birds. I told Matt to listen and I lifted my finger each time I heard it. And he said, Mom, that is the cracking and popping of the wood burning in the fire! These are just a few new sounds to name and it's just amazing everyday how much more I learn. I will be sure to post more as I go along. I would say my most favorite sound so far is the birds chirping. That was so exciting to hear a bird chirp for the first time!! Now I know exactly what people mean when they say they love the sounds of spring coming. I loved it to be able to witness it the first time going from the dead of the winter to the sounds of spring coming alive. Spring and summer were always my favorite times of the year because of the sun, blue skies and colorful flowers and now, I love hearing the birds to go along with it. I love walking out my door in the morning and hearing the birds chirping like crazy. It brings a smile to my face.
I had my first post op hearing test in a sound booth three months ago to see where my progress was with my cochlear implant. The first picture below shows my hearing test before my surgery with both of my hearing aids. I was in the severely profound range of hearing loss. The second picture shows my hearing test with my left cochlear implant. Huge audiologist said I am now in the mild hearing loss range!

 If you look closely, you can see where I am just below the solid line. The solid line is normal hearing range. How amazing is that?? I am so close. Several people close to me have told me that my voice is changing. I think it is because I am more aware of speech sounds and I am getting more confident each day.  I am still learning everyday and it will only get better as I progress further. My brain is adapting and my cochlear implant has awoken so many of my nerves that were so dormant since I was born. That's the way I look at far I have come as my hearing senses are coming alive. So much farther than I could ever imagine in this short amount of time and that gives me pride. It gives me so much faith in how far I am going to go. This is my first birthday with my new cochlear implant and I am loving it. It has given me a whole new lease on life and I am just in awe of what I am experiencing each day. What a great gift God has given me and I am so humbled and thankful!

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest....

I have been away from my blog entries for quite some time.....a month to be exact. I couldn't bring myself to write until now. The purpose of sharing my journey from the beginning was to help others understand better the process involved in getting a cochlear implant, to share my feelings, my milestones and so much more. I am a private person but I knew at the beginning of this I had to step out of my comfort zone to share my journey. I had become an open book, so to speak. This last month was the one of the most difficult for me. I wasn't ready to share it with the whole world. I felt very vulnerable and it's still hard for me now because that means I am exposing my weaknesses. I like to be strong and I like to show that I am strong but I understand now that experiencing these weak moments are leading me up to the now and making me stronger for the future. I came across a quote, "Your journey has molded you for the greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time." I realized then it was okay to have these moments and to try to embrace them the best way I can. Every situation and trial that I battle, every milestone that I triumph is exactly how it's supposed to happen. God is in control. I need to trust Him always.  Every stepping stone, every stick thrown in front of me and hurdling over every one of them is testing my will in ways I never thought possible. I've had a lot of sticks thrown at me this last month and it was a very trying month. There were times I wanted to give up. My emotions were stripped so raw. My mind was in overload.....sensory overload. I was mentally exhausted. I fell into an almost  depressed like state for two weeks. I was trying to deal with a new life of sounds. It was a much quieter world the last 44 years. Then.....I was thrust upon this very noisy world. High pitch noises I have never heard in my entire life that many with hearing are used to were apparent everywhere. I had adjustments almost every week. There were some setbacks. There were some changes. There were some improvements. As my longtime teacher once told me, it is like a wedding dress fitting. There will be many alterations and fittings until I find the "right fit". The last month was spent trying to get used to the high pitches. Then bringing in the lows a little bit at a time. The metallic taste in my mouth came back when the low pitches were brought in. I would get the metallic taste in my mouth when deeper voices were more prominent. My audiologist called Cochlear Americas to ask about this. She was told it is normal and should go away over the course of the next few weeks or months. It just means one or more of the electrodes are close to my nerve endings. She tweaked it around a little bit. She turned off three electrodes and moved things over to the other electrodes. She also adjusted the high pitches to where it wasn't so overpowering. Things were looking up. I struggled through those two weeks of feeling really down. I thought a lot about how it would've helped to be more prepared and more informed before the surgery. I think it would have helped more if I had a mentor before the surgery and support along the way. I believe that it is a service that should be provided along with the surgery and adjustment appointments. Only someone with a cochlear implant can truly understand what I am going through. They may not have the same experience but they will understand. I hope that I can provide that support to someone in the future. As hard as a hearing person will try to understand, they cannot. Until they walk in my shoes. My family has truly been my rock. They hold me up. They push me. They give me much needed emotional support. I don't have any regrets and I know that my reward will be greater in the long run. One day I happened to walk in my daughter's room to talk with her. I was immediately drawn to her mirror where she had quotes written all over with a colored dry erase marker. Two quotes spoke to me, "You've got what it takes but it will take everything you've got." and " You were given this life because you're strong enough to live it." It really struck a chord in my heart and tears sprang to my eyes. I knew then that I needed to pull my bootstraps ups and snap out of this. Time to get to work. The first thing I did was look for a support group online on Facebook. I found one called Cochlear Implant Experiences and it was a closed group. I joined and it was exactly what I needed. I shared my experiences and wondered if they were normal. I had many responses immediately from all over the country. Many experienced what I was experiencing and gave me much encouragement. They all said things will sound normal on the average of 4 to 6 months time. Some experience it earlier but that seemed to be the average. This gave me hope! I checked in almost daily to read others' experiences and to ask questions. I seemed to be right on track. It helped me tremendously. I was able to move forward much quicker having that kind of support. I got to work. I got on a website that was suggested to me by a gentleman I consider a mentor that my Mom introduced me to after I had my surgery. This website,  is used for learning English but is very useful for learning to listen to sounds of words. I try to practice 15 minutes at a time because that's about all I can start with. There will be two words side by side that almost sound alike. For example, bus and boss, cut and caught, etc. I click on each word to listen to the sound of the word. Then below those words is a quiz. After I practice I will click on quiz and try to listen to which word is being said. I got a lot wrong at first but I am starting to get some right. It takes practice! I feel like I am in elementary school all over again and that is hard for me at times but I keep reminding myself I did this before and I can do it again. I will get there. I also turn my hearing aid off for a few minutes throughout the day and just listen with the cochlear. I try to do that and just learn the different sounds. I am starting to differentiate the sounds and pitches. I also told myself that I need to pace myself at work since I work in a very noisy dental office. I now wear it half a day while I am there until I get more acclimated to the high pitch dental sounds. My Mom started sending me recordings every few days to practice listening to her voice. We downloaded the Smart Recorder Lite app on our Iphones. She records a sentence or two and sends the recording to me along with a text of what is said. I listen to it over and over. She would say simple things like, "Good morning Lisa. The sun is out. I hope you have a great day. I love you." Keeping it short and simple is what works for me now. I actually had tears in my eyes last week as I listened to one of her recordings because I felt like her voice is starting to come through more to me. I felt like it was another small turning point. Voices still sound mechanical but it is starting to change. High pitch sounds are becoming more tolerable now. It is not entirely comfortable yet. I'm working on it. I am learning where each high pitch sound is coming from. I now know when my microwave timer is going off. I can hear the two beeps when the timer goes off. The other day, I was cooking dinner over the stove and all of a sudden two beeps went off and I looked over and sure enough, the timer went off. It took weeks of practice but this week I didn't have to guess where that came from. That was another small turning point. Some noises are annoying. I now know when someone is coming in the back door. My screen door squeaks so loudly when closing. So annoying and I've been getting on Todd to oil that back door! I have finally figured out Andrew's whistle. He loves to whistle all the time. His whistle is so profound and loud. At times I have to stop Andrew and say "shhhh". The other day while doing laundry I kept hearing this clanging high pitch when I was in the other room. I walked towards the source and sure enough, it was one of Hannah's jacket. It was the zipper clanging inside the dryer. I took the jacket out to air dry. It's nice to know I have some control! One wow moment I had this past weekend which I felt was huge to me was the music at Hannah's cheer competition in Waynesville. The car radio still bothers me at times so I wasn't sure how I was going to do with all the girls screaming their cheers along with the music. I was prepared to take it off at some point. Wow, the DJ music was so loud and just radiated throughout the gym. I was there for five hours. I listened. As time passed, I actually enjoyed it! What was amazing to me was that I was hearing other instruments other than the drums. Before with my hearing aids, I would only hear the drums and the beats. I looked at Todd and asked him what I was hearing other than the drums. He said it was the keyboards and guitars. It was crazy! I was starting to make it out the longer I listened. It wasn't annoying. I could tell the difference in different songs. Alot of them were fast songs. Then at the end of the competition were two hip hop groups that performed. The first hip hop group really touched me. I loved the hip hop music! I listened and I was able to hear some soft melodies and then some strong beats along with it. It was just a different kind of music and I liked it! Who would have thought.....a 44 year old liking hip hop music? It was a huge day for me. To actually sit there for five hours without being uncomfortable, enjoying the music and feeling it in my body was a monumental day for me. I caught myself swaying my body to the music at times. I was ready to dance! So, I feel like I am turning around the corner. All these small turning points are leading up to bigger milestones. I am getting stronger each day. As I end this blog entry, I am reminded of Matt's favorite scripture which is also one of my favorites.....Phillippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".

Friday, October 12, 2012

Medical Alert.....

Two weeks ago I made a medical decision regarding my safety. It was not one I took lightly. I was told by my ENT doctor and audiologist I needed to have a medical alert bracelet or necklace. My implant device has a magnet internally so that I can attach my outer sound processor to it. In the picture below is my sound processor next to my hearing aid that I wear in my right ear. The round part of my sound processor is the magnet that attaches to the implant in my skull area above my ear. The behind the ear processor is what houses the computer chip and microphone. It sends all of the sounds and signals through the magnet to the electrodes in my cochlea and to my brain. Note that I have no ear mold going into my ear like my other hearing aid.

My hearing aid and my sound processor

Two weeks ago, out of the blue I told Todd, "I think I want to get a tattoo today." Todd says, "What??" He really did not believe me at first because I have no tattoos and I can be a prude when it comes to that stuff. We had talked about it before but it was just casual in conversations we had and nothing came of it. As time went on, the urgency of having a medical alert bracelet was pressing on my mind. I cannot have an MRI because of the magnets. If I would have an MRI, it would literally rip the implant through my skull. I would never be able to have an implant again in that ear. That was not a pleasant thought after all I went through to get to this point. It would be devastating. For those that know me, I am not a jewelry person. All I wear is my wedding band and earrings. I will occasionally wear a nice necklace or bracelet on special occasions but it's very rare. I really didn't like the thought of wearing a medical alert bracelet every day. Or a necklace. I would have to make to sure I remember to put it on daily. Todd and I talked about the pros and cons and all the scenarios. If I would get in a car accident, the necklace or bracelet could possibly come off and fly under the seat and they would never know I have an implant. I know that's worse case scenario but I think about it. This is my life we're talking about. Or if I would be out running and I happen to pass out for some reason......and I forget to put my bracelet on no one would know I have an implant. Those are just some of the scenarios Todd and I thought of. I decided having a medical alert tattoo would be the best option for me. It would be where they would check for my pulse. It would alert them that I am not to have an MRI and that I have a cochlear implant. Knowing that I would never have to worry about forgetting to put a bracelet on or losing my bracelet in an accident gave me much greater sense of security and peace. So I made my decision right then and there two weeks ago when I woke up on a Saturday morning. My kids were like, "No way"......they never thought their Mom would get a tattoo. Of course, Chris and Matt said, "Do only live once". :)  So......Todd and I went to Glenn Scott's in Kettering. I told them to make it as small as they could. I was nervous. And it hurt like heck  since it was on a sensitive spot on my wrist. It felt like dull razor blades with fire especially on the outlining. It only took about 20 minutes. I was very pleased with the outcome. I left with a great weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I don't have to worry about all the scenarios with a bracelet. It's permanent. I love it and I am really happy with my decision.
My medical alert tattoo