I will in near future speak to a group of people with special interest in CI. This group will consist of both professionals and other fellow cyborgs. In regards to this speech, I was approached by a fellow speaker at the same conference, and she asked about what I would talk about. As I wrote the response I thought this was good material for this blog as well.
Here’s what I wrote:
On the top of my head I think I was in an impossible and very difficult situation prior to the (CI) operation. I felt it was the last straw. It was unthinkable for me to become utterly deaf. There was only one option.
The process leading up to the operation was of course heavily influenced by the very long and exhausting waiting-time (more than 4 years). I spent my time as best I could; wrote on this blog, went to shrink, got rid of debts, had more time together with my son, found and lost one girlfriend, then found (and kept) another wonderful girlfriend :-), “worked on” my social network and family. Among many other things…
In the weeks before and after the surgery I wasn’t really worried, had great confidence it would work out. this confidence came from the vast knowledge I had acquired on the (CI) subject in the years prior to the surgery. I was aware there were pitfalls, but knew that if anything went wrong, they would quickly operate the other ear.
The surgery was relatively successful, apart from some problems with balance and sporadic tinnitus attacks. The problems with balance slowly dissipated, with a grand finale of a short hospitalization due to a complete failure to stand on my two feet one morning (3 days later I was good to go again).
Post-surgery the hardest part for me has been the tinnitus. In some periods my energy has reappeared in short glimpses, which delighted me greatly. But most of the time has been a struggle up-hill in regards tot he quality of the sounds which are still very much out of whack.
Tolerance for sound has been the greatest personal victory. The struggle isn’t completely over, but mostly I am able to keep the CI on all the time.
Tinnitus remains the big bad wolf. But with tinnitus-mastering course (type stress management course), a strong psyche and as a (very lucky in a global perspective) recipient of benefits from the Norwegian state I have reached all my goals. [more text after image!]
I have built a good relationship with my girlfriend, made a good relationship with a new extra son, moved in with girlfriend and totally renovated the new apartment. It has been exhausting, but with the right delegation of my resources and focus, and the newly learnt ability to say “no”, I managed to pull through.
It is with great expectation and with great belief in the future I now look forward to becoming a bilateral cyborg later this year.
These things just takes time…