Author Topic: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me  (Read 3633 times)

Tracy Lynn

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I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« on: November 05, 2010, 06:46:43 pm »
Oh wait.. thats Kansas, not Nebraska. wrong state.

So 9 weeks ago, I received my abutment.  I've been in the Philippines for 8 weeks. Two weeks from today I will be home, 2 days later, I'll go in to have my abutment checked to see if I can wear my processor home. I can't hardly wait.

I've had interesting experiences here in the Philippines. One relates to my abutment. Due to a non-related issue, I visited the emergency room. I had X-rays taken of my head/neck/shoulders. This is the first time I've seen my head since Jean-Claude was evicted. The doctors are all in a tizzy. I have no less than 5 doctors asking me questions.

I explain my BAHA abutment. Jenny, the co-worker who drove me told me she had seen it previously and thought it was a piercing.

The X-ray tech comes out and asks if I am wearing a hair clip. I explain my BAHA once again. They ask me to take out my post. I explain its a permanent implant. The X-ray tech and the nurse make all kinds of sounds and speak in Tagalog a bit more. They snap 8 or so more X-rays.

When the film comes up, the first thing I think is "Oh my God, what is that?". The X-ray looks a bit of a warzone. This is the first X-ray I've had since my original  Translab surgery. There is a 2' by 3 ' metal chainmail-looking rectangle behind my right ear. I can count the 3 screws originally placed in my skull. I can also see my BAHA post clear as day. It too looks like a metal screw in my skull, albeit a larger one.

I realize that the doctor is explaining the X-ray and I've been gawping at my hardware, I had no idea what she's said.

My site has healed nicely,and I no longer look like I have such a pronounced dent in my head. Occasionally when the weather is nasty here, I get the wonky-head. If I don't get enough sleep, I swear my head still swells. I've had multiple people ask me about my "nozzle".

I can't wait to go home.
Right ear, 3.5 cm  Diagnosed 3-23-10 pre-op symptoms: 90% loss of hearing, headaches, Tinnitus.
Translab surgery 5-18-10
Post-op symptoms: SSD, Tinnitus, wonky-head
BAHA implant: 9-2-10

*Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, its not the end.*

ksiwek

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 07:44:39 pm »
Tracy Lynn!

Funny post!  I got my abutment 4 weeks ago.  Yes, most people look very confused when they see the post or when I try to explain what a BAHA is...most people say, "Ohhhh you got a cochlear implant."  I try to explain the difference, but this usually leads to some confusion as well!

I just had my 6 month post op MRI this week.  The tech was nervous about my post and asked me several times if I was sure that it wasn't motorized...I promised her it was titanium and there is nothing electronic!  Believe me, I wouldn't go near the MRI machine if that wasn't the case...OUCH!

Anway, great to hear from you and safe travels back to the states!  Good luck with your appt!

Kris
Translab 6/4/10 for 4+ cm left AN.  Drs Friedman and Schwartz at HEI saved my life!
BAHA surgery on 10/7/10 with Dr Battista of Chicago Ear Institute (Oticon Ponto Pro)

wendysig

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 09:59:59 pm »
Tracy Lynn,

A very funny post -- I can just imagine the initial reaction the technician had to all of your hardware.  I haven't been active on this board and so I don't know why you needed the x-rays, but hope all is well now.  I had my BAHA surgery almost two years ago and was and still am very happy I had it.  I hope your BAHA gotcha day is as thrilling to you as mine was for me.

Wendy
1.3 cm at time of diagnosis -  April 9, 2008
2 cm at time of surgery
SSD right side translabyrinthine July 25, 2008
Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, NY
Extremely grateful for the wonderful Dr. Choe & Dr. Chen
BAHA surgery 1/5/09
Doing great!

jaylogs

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 11:04:06 pm »
Tracy, I still chuckle at the name you gave your AN...Jean Claude....I never did name mine, cuz I knew it was gonna die soon anyways! :)  I'd like to see x-rays of my head and what the titanium mesh they put over my hole looks like.  Thanks for sharing!!
Jay
8.1mm x 7.8mm x 8.2mm AN, Left Ear, Middle Fossa surgery performed on 12/9/09 at House by Drs. Brackmann/Schwartz. Some hearing left, but got BAHA 2/25/11 (Ponto Pro) To see how I did through my Middle Fossa surgery, click here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jaylogston

Tracy Lynn

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 02:36:32 am »
Its kind of weird and embarassing to "live" in a hotel while recovering from the BAHA abutment surgery.

The pillowcases and towels with stains from drainage, the extra toothbrushes, etc. I think the people at this hotel think I have some weird medical malformity.

I did have a new employee I was training at work reach over and touch my abutment while I was talking to someone else. That was incredibly odd because I "heard" it more than felt it. She was incredibly embarassed and shocked. I had to laugh. She kept calling it a "button". She tried to whisper to me to me in my bad ear see if it worked after she pushed it. I laughed so hard I thought I split something.

One of my co-workers and friends is here with me in the Philippines. Her husband has SSD on his left side. She's very supportive and since she's dealt with SSD before, she's much more aware of where she stands when she speaks to me. It's been great. She even swapped seats with me on the airplane so my window seat was on my SSD side.

I was so nervous about going through customs and flying. I had the cochlear business cards with the explaination of the implant on hand. They weren't necessary thank goodness.

After the site healed, I tend to completely forget it's there until I accidently rake my comb over it.
Right ear, 3.5 cm  Diagnosed 3-23-10 pre-op symptoms: 90% loss of hearing, headaches, Tinnitus.
Translab surgery 5-18-10
Post-op symptoms: SSD, Tinnitus, wonky-head
BAHA implant: 9-2-10

*Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, its not the end.*

Lizard

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2010, 11:30:07 am »
Tracy,
seems like you are having an interesting experience to say the least.  Thanks for sharing I needed a chuckle today  :)
Hopefully the next two weeks fly by and your gotcha day goes off without a hitch!
Liz
Left AN 2.5CM,retrosigmoid 11/2008, second surgery to repair CSF leak. 
Headaches began immediately.  Dr. Ducic occipital nerve resection, December 2011!!!!!

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on"
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

leapyrtwins

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2010, 11:40:15 am »
Tracy Lynn -

your post put a huge smile on my face  ;D

You have definitely been through a very strange experience and kept your sense of humor.

I'd love to see the hardware in my head, but since my AN surgery I've only had MRIs and they don't show the titanium or the fat from my abdomenal graft  :(

Hope your re-entry to the States is uneventful and that you're thrilled with your processor on Gotcha Day!

Keep us posted,

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

Kencutus

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2010, 01:30:22 pm »
Tracey,

Your post puts a smile and giggle on me.  I like when the people freaked out when they see your abutment.  "Can you please remove it?" Yeah right................NOT!  LOL!  ;)
"Hearing Resistance is Futile!"
Treacher Collin's Syndrome
First surgery left side 12-08, Baha Intenso 3-09
Abbutment came loose on 5-09
Bilateral Baha surgery 6-09 Baha refitted 9-09
Richard & Mark Wiet MD from Ear Institute of Chicago.

lori67

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2010, 02:11:11 pm »
Tracey -

Thanks for the hearty laugh!  I can just see a bunch of "experts" trying to decide what the heck is wrong with you!  All those weird piercings and buttons!

So nice to see people who have a good sense of humor about the whole thing.  I think I might have really gotten them going and pretended I had no idea there was metal in my head!!   :D

And at least the stains are on hotel pillowcases and not your own!

Lori
Right 3cm AN diagnosed 1/2007.  Translab resection 2/20/07 by Dr. David Kaylie and Dr. Karl Hampf at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  R side deafness, facial nerve paralysis.  Tarsorraphy and tear duct cauterization 5/2007.  BAHA implant 11/8/07. 7-12 nerve jump 9/26/08.

Jim Scott

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2010, 02:39:16 pm »
Tracey ~

Thanks for the humorous account of your experiences with Philippine doctors, X-rays and the fascination of a BAHA implant to those who are unfamiliar with the device (98% of the global population).  You seem to have handled it all with élan.  Your posts have definitely increased the grin factor around here and we appreciate the diversion because you're posting about issues we can all relate to, one way or another.  Thanks - and hurry back home.  :)

Jim
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

Tracy Lynn

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2010, 03:16:57 pm »
Thanks everyone :) Its easier to have a sense of humor about it when you don't feel like your head is constantly pounding and you look like head-wound Harry.

I originally joked about the abutment my "antenae" either being bug-like or alien-like. Last week I got my Visa approved (to work over 60 days here), and I now have a alien certificate of registration card. I am a registered alien. Fantastic!

I've already decided that I don't quite think the medical facilities here are quite the same.
So nice to see people who have a good sense of humor about the whole thing.  I think I might have really gotten them going and pretended I had no idea there was metal in my head!!   :D
I may remember that for next time, although I'd be concerned that they may try to remove it.


And at least the stains are on hotel pillowcases and not your own!
This is true!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 03:27:59 pm by Tracy Lynn »
Right ear, 3.5 cm  Diagnosed 3-23-10 pre-op symptoms: 90% loss of hearing, headaches, Tinnitus.
Translab surgery 5-18-10
Post-op symptoms: SSD, Tinnitus, wonky-head
BAHA implant: 9-2-10

*Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, its not the end.*

keithk

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Re: I can almost hear Auntie Em calling me
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2010, 03:20:08 pm »
My surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday the 17th. My wife and I went to see the play Young Frankenstein. I bought a hat that says "Abby Normal" on the front. I plan to wear it after surgery. After I get my BAHA, when I am asked what that is on my head I plan to tell them I am  Borg.
AN surgery 8/19/10, 9.5 hrs
8mm x 5mm left side
Retrosigmoid, Drs Reichert & Harvey
Severe hearing loss in the left ear before surgery. SSD after surgery. Balance issues. Tinnitus (mild). Buzzing in left ear.
BAHA implant surgery 11/17/10
BAHA activation 2/1/11

 


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