I want to let you know, that my surgery went really well. I am so blessed.
We travelled by car from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth; a 7hour drive and arrived safely on Wednesday the 5th of September. We stayed in a beautiful cosy cottage, booked on Airbnb not far from the hospital. My surgery was scheduled at 8am on Thursday morning, the 6th of September.
We checked-in 6am at Life St. Georges hospital and the staff and nurses were absolutely amazing from get go, which helped a lot with the nerves.
Once admitted, everything happened so quickly. I met with the anaesthetists. Dr Butler came to see me, we quickly discussed the placement of the magnet again and we were set, ready to go.
This time I did not take any pre-calming medication. My partner, Pieter were so supportive, he held my hand and he reminded me to breath calmly as I was shipped off to theatre by the port staff.
I walked myself into theatre and climbed on to that theatre bed. Then all of the sudden out of nowhere, my body started shaking beyond control. It’s as if the body knew what was coming and it just wanted to keep you from going forward. (My previous surgeries, called stapedectomies, were hectic. I could not walk or eat for almost two weeks after the surgery).
My team stepped up, Dr Butler took my hand in his, and God directed the orchestra.
My surgery was just over 4 hours and really went well. Dr Butler said there was a great deal of ossification in my cochlea, caused by the otosclerosis, which he had to remove. He managed to place the electrodes successfully!!
I woke up, with no vertigo, another miracle. Pain level round about 8/10, and we managed it well with the medication.
A little more detail on the surgery: The surgeon makes a small incision of about 4cm long behind the ear. He creates a skin flap first to be positioned over the electrode pathway. Then he drills to remove bone out of the skull, where the magnet will be positioned. It’s about the size and depth of a R5 coin, to give you an idea. The magnet is placed approximately 45 degrees above the ear. Then he drills a little hole in the cochlea to insert the electrodes.
After being discharged, we stayed a couple more days in Port Elizabeth and drove back to Cape Town in two sessions.
Today, I am #20days post-op, have rested a well. My movability is getting better day-by-day, patience is key.
Next step is my activation day, scheduled for Monday, 1 October, with my audiologist in Bloemfontein. We will be travelling by car; another 10hour drive from Cape Town. Flying is not allowed yet.
On activation day, I will receive the external part of the device, called the processor (as shown in my previous update). The processor captures the sounds and sends it through the electrodes in the cochlea to the brain. The audiologist creates what they call sound maps for the processor to best fit my hearing loss. Deon is an expert in cochlear mapping. We will start on a very low frequency to allow the brain to process the new sounds and not to overwhelm the brain. Sounds will never sound the same, but the brain learns to adapt and get used to the new sounds.
We have a long way to go, about a year of rehabilitation and sound maps is still ahead.
Thank you for being part of my journey, support and every single donation made. I am truly blessed.
I am also on Instagram, if you would like to follow me there with the hashtag #lisemarieshearingjourney