Revisiting old demons (emotions) part II

1594255-1-angels-and-demons-or-angel-of-light These demons used to be much bigger for me before I had sessions with an psychologist for two years prior to my CI-surgery. The reason I want to write about them now, and share them with you all, is that it is my belief that the social handicap a dysfunctional hearing represents also makes these emotions (and others as well) grow bigger and more difficult to handle, unless focused on and talked about. (Be advised: I do not know what is “normal”, and I do not have any formal education in the field of psychology, only my own life experiences including two years in psychology therapy for a moderate depression. I’m not an expert.)

If left unattended and with unfortunate social climate (lack of compassionate, patient and understanding people around you), these emotions represents ultimately bigger issues than the hearing dysfunction in itself!

11FA89-apologetic In the aftermath, where I said my apologies (there has been many of them in my life…) the flashback feelings appears. And they are not nice. I thought I buried them a while back (in the context were talking about here), but evidently not. I guess I had hopes that I too would feel like a “normal” person in the aftermath of the CI-surgery (just to inform you all, I have not been activated yet). I think that these thoughts have been part of my what-I-hope-the-surgery-will-fix-thoughts. Anyway, a reminder to myself, that despite I’m now actually a cyborg, and I have prospects of hearing better than I have ever done in my life, my old demons will still be there, lurking and waiting for another episode where I loose my temper.

Why, I ask myself, do I succumb for the anger again and again? I have felt humiliated due to misunderstandings a million times, and every time it’s followed by all these other bad feelings.

covering-shame-for-blog I feel ashamed of myself, most often I have wrongly insisted on being right at the expense of someone else.

I am embarassed and feel guilty because I was wrong. I feel like I did something bad. I don’t like being wrong. I see myself as an informed and knowledgeable individual, but that doesn’t help one bit in a social context where I have to rely on my hearing and ability to lip-read and interprate situations and bodylanguage etc. And take guesses!

I feel sadness, because the misunderstanding and process of clearing things up first kills any good moods and happy conversation for everyone present. Secondly I feel sadness because I think it is bloddy unfair to both myself and anyone involved. It doesn’t have to be like that? OR?

I feel humiliated because I am, despite my intentions not to be so, has been mistaken about something, and it is public knowledge that I screwed up and made an ass of myself.

pity20partyweb800x6001 I feel sorrow (selfpity) because these kinds of situations are always hard reminders that I am not like “everybody else”. I’m a deaf person. An outcast.

Lastly I have regrets, because I feel personally responsible for getting wrongfully angry or righteous in the first place, and that I hurt someone and feel bad about that. Secondly i have regrets because I’m a stubborn person and in the heat of an argument, I’m pretty strongheaded and easily dismiss others arguments even before they have been completed. I’m sorry about repeating that mistake over and over again.

I had a thought about dwelving further in these matters, kind of debate with myself, but right now my head feels like mashed potato, så I will leave it hanging, and perhaps pick it up again later.

(Note to self, when I’ve been wrong so many times, I can begin to automatically take blame and say I did wrong?)

In the meantime, a little poem about regret:

A Farewell to Regret

This is my farewell to Regret,
Who served to teach me lessons
I shall not forget-
For now I have been acquitted
From the mistakes and the wrongs
I have committed
This marks the end of self-loathing
I’ve shed my tattered pieces
Of blame-stained clothing
Instead, I shall wear your pardon
Like sunlight falls upon a
Victory garden

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Revisiting old demons (emotions) part I

emotions01

Post-surgery day 7. A good day. Dizzyness has significantly decreased.

Today I want to dive into a very heavy subject: psychology. Or to be more precise: the psychological impact of hearing dysfunction in the social context.

I might begin to generalize, and if someone reading this should feel I’m plainly wrong, please feel free to leave a comment. I’m always open for arguments, and I might even edit my post if need be.

I had a very strange day yesterday. I feel my physical shape is improving rapidly and started yesterday with daily chores like the dishwashing (we have no dishwashing machine yet) and laundry for the first time post-op. Of course, I got tired really quickly, and the dizzyness didn’t make it easier to do things. First part of day was good and up-beat.

The latter part was more downbeat, and in an attempt to analyze myself I will tell you about an episode that gave me much to think about (yes, this is the therapeutical part of my blog ;-)  )

settlers We sat down for a game of “Settlers of Catan” in the evening, and things weren’t going my way, gamewise, so I became a little grumpy (I don’t like to loose…  “shocker” :-)  ) and I felt my opponents were conspiring against me. Then, during the game, I caught my opponents talking about what I had done in my last operations (in order to figure out what kind of cards I might have on my hand). I confronted them with this, did I hear correctly? And I got an immediate confirmation. That fired me up immediately. I got angry, and asked them not to do that, and that it was deeply unfair, since I could not follow their conversation properly. They tried to tell me somethin more, but in my I-was-right-about-my-suspicions offended game-rage, I brushed them off. What I failed to learn at that time, was that the conversation that had actually taken place, was a mock-conversation. One was thinking out loud, and the other made mock comments.

After the game I made some obviously unwelcome comments (still being angry, and feeling victimized by a unfair conspiracy that I believed at that time to have been acknowledged and apologized for) about the game strategies of my opponents. The result was that I hurt some feelings and we had to work our way through my misunderstandings. (I react strongly on unfairness, and therefore also have great compassion for others when I’m being unfair to them)

circle4 After understanding and acknowledging the REAL situation, and that I had been somewhat mistaken, I had the visit of what I call my old demons; the emotions called: SHAME, EMBARASSMENT, GUILT, SADNESS, HUMILIATION, SORROW and REGRET.

(this post got too long, the next part will be published tomorrow.)

Day 5 – From dull to sharp – in many ways

Day 4 and 5 post surgery has been real “improvement” days. The worst pain from the incision has given way to more itching. It feels good in the way that I can feel it healing up nicely 🙂

ouchThe first pains was kind of all-over-pains, now they’re sharper and more precise and local.

The nights are a bit restless, since I wake up several times because of the pain both from the wound itself, as well as pain from the inside of my ear and discomfort from lying in unfamiliar postitions (more pillows etc). BUT, I sleep thorougly well, and even quite long into the morning. Usually I wake up when my girlfriend gets up or her son (4 years with ants in his pants) comes into our bed (very early!). Not so these days. I guess I sleep quite heavily. That is so nice, it’s been years since 🙂 On a sidenote; usually I sleep with a mouthpiece in order to prevent sleepapnea and common snoring (gives me sore throat). That has proven too painful these post surgery-nights, since one of the muscles attached to the skull and jaw-bone has been cut in 3 places (parallell to the muscle fibres as I understood it, in order to make room for the receiver underneath the muscle). It has been no problem using it for chewing, but the muscle has been swollen and therefore shorter than it usually is, thus resulting in too hard a bite and too much strain while using the mouthpiece. I slept just fine without it, no problem there 🙂

37018 Yesterday (and the days before) I found some strenght to do a little “chores” on my new over-the-top-bought-for-the-occasion-laptop (Norwegian link here), getting up to speed on both the Tour the France (watching live camera transmission of the last stages on the internet) things near and dear to me (Facebook etc) as well as catching up on e-mail and such. I planned before the surgery that I could be staying in bed for quite some time (up to weeks all depending!) and needed a decent tool for getting back into work while being bound to bed. (it is also very nice to watch movies on :-)  ) It was a smart decision on my part. I’m feeling I have purpose even though I’m “chained” to bed. I do as much as I can. And I can do much more with this tool than I otherwise could have… It’s kind of what makes us human; the ability to foresee and plan something  :-)  (feeling very clever now hehe)

young-couple-walking-in-the-park-thumb253841 First decent walk outside was yesterday in the evening, but a 100 meters and then sitting on a chair for an hour or so playing a boardgame was too much. I had headache (like normal headache) and throbbing pains on the side of my head when I went to bed. It took a considerable amount of time and a couple of painkillers before I drifted off to sleep… I didn’t take a walk today. Last nights experience scared me a little.

It dawns on me that I have really undergone major surgery, even though I suspect the eminent professor Claude Laurent who operated on me has used a new incision technique which is less intrusive and traumatizing method of inserting the implant (than the previous C or S-shaped incisions).

sagittal_CI The incision is straight and goes right behind my ear. The magnetic receiver underneath my skin has been placed almost directly above my ear. I expected it to be placed further back, but after pondering the “new” location I have come to the conclusion that it is probably better than having it further back. Real-life experiences will tell in time :-) 

(the image to the right has been taken from otosurgery.org and shows an implant that is located slightly further to the back of the head than it is in me (I believe))

These days I feel as if the reciver part of the implant (the biggest piece) is pressing my skull (above my ear) to the extent of being uncomfortable. I have no doubt, however, that this sensation will disappear given time.

Right now I have a rather sharp pain inside my ear. This pain emerged on day 3/4 when the pain from the fleshwound (incision) subsided slowly. I guess it’s two-sided pain; one part from the hole inside my inner ear (the surgery and the insertion of the electrode) and the other part from internal pressure due to swollen tissue, clotted blood etc. (I was snotting blood the first two days)

Tinnitus is back to “normal volume” (which I’m kind of used to) after having rather load fits on rather frequent occasions the first days. The only thing tiring now is that I have to lsiten to the tinnitus all the time. Look forward to activation! (waiting for letter from hospital about date for that one!)

Unstable-Walk-1-1024x768 Dizzyness is unchanged, I can’t turn my head much in any direction before everything “swims”. Just changing the weigth on my two legs is enough movement of my head and the vestibule in my inner ear for things to become “fluid” for me. A nasty feeling. I guess I have a slightly better understanding of what sufferers from Ménière’s disease have to endure… It’s as if I’m severly drunk without the effects of alcohol… Kind of…

Right now, the dizzyness is the biggest issue for me, hindering me in everyday chores.

I was off the painkillers from day 2, but have taken them as needed, not much anyway.

Feeling beaten up…

Day 3

After a long and good nights sleep, I woke up feeling like crap. The wound is aching no matter what kind of position I try to lie in.
eye-crazy-thumbThe dizzyness is worse today, and I also feel pretty nauseous. Took a couple of pills, hope they help. The tinnitus seems to be back to more normal levels and it is also more constant, which makes it easier to ignore.

Being cuddled with and cared for by girlfriend is also good medicine 🙂

Any tips on coping or dealing with the dizzyness will be received with great interest.

Another day with lying still in bed and watching b-movies…

Sucessful surgery!

Arrived hospital at 06.45 with my girlfriend with me as company, was given a bed and a very sexy hospital shirt at 07.15 along with 3 painkillers and a valium. 15 minutes later my memory has a blank until post-op.

Surgery lasted 4 hours and went very well 🙂

Staying the night at the hospital hotel and released tomorrow after checking the wound and changing the dressing on the wound.

My tastebuds and facial expressions are intact. A little dizzy and tinnitus roaring in protest.

Had a funny experience with sound hallucinations while dozing: sound like radio noise. Never heard before with hearing aids off.

Also had a nasty experience while equalizing pressure in my middle ear, it crackled, much like radio noise that too, but even more clear sound. And my girlfriend could hear it too! Will talk to doctor about this first thing tomorrow…

Have to thank everybody who has sent me thoughts and prayers and crossed fingers for me!!!