Goodbye old life – Hello new life! (?)

Wow… I’m still here!

neuronsMore than 4 long years after the neurons (picture on the left) in my brain formed the thought of getting a Cochlear Implant for the first time, I’m finally here. At the doorstep of a new reality. A new perception of the world of sounds promising improved social interaction and perhaps even music.

Back in 2005 my son had his first day at school, Microsoft’s Windows Vista was still to be officially launched, Pope John Paul II had just died and Pope Benedict XVI became his successor, the superjumbo Airbus A380 had it’s maiden flight from Toulouse, the Kuwaiti women were granted the right to vote (on my birthday), Lance Armstrong wins his 7th (and so far the last) Tour de France and the hurricane Katrina wreaks havoc in the US city of New Orleans and surrounding areas.

Now, in 2009, my son is in 4th grade (!), has a new set of front teeth and has grown almost 50 cm, Windows 7 is just around the corner, Barack Obama is the new US President, Lance Armstrong made a comeback to Tour de France and the world is desperately trying to shake off the effects of the worst global financial recession since 1930.

This time of waiting for CI has been hard and exhausting. I want to direct a very criticizing finger at Norwegian health authorities (forget about party-lines, this goes for all politicians and all policymakers!):

norsk_flagg_stang It is de-motivating, devastating and beyond understanding to have to wait 4 years for a life-improving sense enhancing procedure such as the Cochlear Implant! It is counter effective, both in terms of pure financials for the society and in human capital. Instead of returning quickly to a productive life and continuing as a healthy member of the taxpayers force, individuals such as myself are forced into years of life suspending professional and personal social life hibernation. It is such a place where the personal price is high, and the society’s costs are growing into grotesque proportions!

I have a 3 point petition:

1. Sense improving technology such as the Cochlear Implants is the future, embrace it! Build and strengthen national CI competence right now!

2. Stop being afraid it costs too much! In the end it costs much more to stall, let alone not doing it! It’s plain common sense! It is a CHEAP investment into human capital! Build for the future!

3. Grant all who might benefit from it, bilateral CI! In return I can promise you happier and much more productive deaf citizens of Norway!

I can’t say that the 4 years that has passed since my brain created the first thoughts about putting a Cochlear Implant into my head has been boring, far from it. They have been eventful!

research-sanity-1 Related to my condition; I went through 2 years of psychological therapy, countless visits at the hospital asking about when I could get the operation done (nagging), I said goodbye to my beloved music, I went through many life changing decisions, all in order to survive and maintain a life in order to be able to father my son the best I could and to remain sane, healthy and alive.

Yes, it’s been the fight of my lifetime so far! I had many small and big defeats, such as the day I admitted to myself that I was no longer fit for the A4 working life, or when I had to accept that I had to wait 4 years for that life-changing all-important cochlear implant…

But it’s a lot nicer to count my victories 🙂 I remained on my feet, I did not succumb to self-pity, I have been a somewhat decent father to my beloved son, I actively worked my brain from a medium depression state into a better functioning state with a more realistic view of myself, the world around me and it’s expectations from me. I made my life better, in spite of the borderline progressive deafness and it’s challenges. I lived my life to the maximum of my capabilities. I started my own company (in order for me to be able to work as much as I could/can). I got closer to my family and I found a very promising life-partner! I did not waste my time :-)  Sometimes challenges bring out the best in you.

At last, but not least; this blog has been my salvation, brainchild, hope and joy. I started ci4me2007 in the last weeks of 2006. I had such high hopes for it to become the year that I would finally get my CI. Now, 157 (counting this one) posts later, with 45.000 accumulated views (that means 45.000 opened pages), it’s almost nostalgic to look back. I wonder what will become of this blog now.

doorsA new chapter in my life begins the day after tomorrow. I owe the ones that are next in line for CI, wherever they might be, to be able to access my experiences both good and bad, just as I have been able to read about Michael Chorost (read his book!), Jennifer, Abbie, Sam, Jeff, and many, many others, and more recently; Kate, Movale, CIborg.

It’s time to walk through that door of perception, and shape my new world, and my life along with it. Wish me luck!

See you on the other side! 😀

Pinch me! Slap me! Am i Dreaming?

I just got the long awaited letter from the CI-team at Rikshospitalet! YES! 🙂

Finally!

(read on below ;-)  )

happy

The long wait is over, and I can now start to look forward to the beginning of the process of becoming a candidate for CI! (sounds like I’m running for the presidency, and in many ways it feels that way too! THIS IS BIG!)

Phase one of the pre-screening, pre-qualification process starts april 28. THIS YEAR! 😛

Then followed by phase 2, which in turn should end up in me being qualified for the procedure AND A NEW CHANCE TO HEAR AGAIN!

I have to tell you, I started crying when I realized what the letter said… It was a good cry!!!  I’m so happy it just happened to be a day when my girlfriend was with me. It was a day to remember, indeed! Thank you, my dear, for being with me and sharing that mammoth moment with me!!!

I love you, my love!

all_you_need_is_love_by 

I needed to share this with the world today!

I want to thank everybody who is reading my blog for all the support, comments, insights and INSPIRATION you provide me! Abby, Jennifer, Jeff, Sam, Roberta, Arnt, and many, many others, you know who you are!

And to everybody close to me in my everyday life, thank you for being patient with me and supporting me throug this!

Since 2006 I’ve known this day would come, but I still can’t quite comprehend it. I’m in a mild state of shock, I guess 🙂

HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYBODY!

Status update IV – early autumn 2008 – epilogue

You people must become fed up with all these “Status update”-posts, no?
After this rather long and 5-way split Status update, I realized there are some other health issues that needed addressing.

It also serves as a reminder to myself that the purpose of this blog is mainly to be like a medical journal (for myself and others who might need the info).

Status of Tinnitus: rather unchanged.

It is still sounding the same as it did when I started being bothered by it, with a rather constant “UUYYUUUUYYYUUUUYYYUUUUUYYYUUUYYYUU….” around 1 to 1,5 KHz. It’s worst on the right ear, and it varies in intensity (or strength/volume) according to how tired I am. I don’t know if that means that the tinnitus is worse because it’s actually louder or if it’s because my tiredness makes my brain more susceptible. It is a matter of perception I think…

General health, back to regular training

I have started training again, after a whole year without any training regime whatsoever. The body seems to respond well to the exercise as opposed to one year ago when any exercise gave me pain and aches in both bones and muscles. My goal is that my little overweight shall become less during this winter instead of becoming more as it usually does during the dark season.
The chronic pain in my knees is fading. This is a little miracle for me, because it was troublesome to just take the stairs at times. I thought the chronic pains was a one-way ticket into some sketchy knee-surgery-history. I’m glad I was wrong 🙂
I have become conscious about the fact that I can not and should not run anymore in order to save the knees from more wear. So my focus has been switched to alternatives like kayaking, biking and swimming. And that is all right by me.

High permanent stress levels leads to immune system deficiency?

I have a theory that the level of stress in me the latter years made my immune system turn on my own body as a warning mechanism (the signal being: slow down!). I don’t know if this makes any sense, but what if the immune system reacted so strong to the state I was in that it actually attacked parts of me it was not supposed to attack? I know, it’s a wild theory, so if anyone has any views on this I would appreciate any comment. I googled on the term “autoimmunity”, but those articles where mainly oriented toward causes for arthritis and diabetes. I didn’t go deep though…

Status update III – part 3 of 3 – Social life and Society

My social life suffers. I decline offers of going out with friends, I withdraw early from family assemblies, isolate myself from communicating with people in such occasions. This depresses me. But I live on the knowledge of that it’s a passing thing, and that one day I will be able to participate as I used to again…

I have placed a lot of hope in the CI-surgery, but must not forget the possibility of that I cannot get the operation due to “factor X”. If that happens, fine, so be it, then I have to learn sign-language and bring my family in on it… No problem with that, it will only take longer… And the rewards lies elsewhere than in being able to hear again, I’m sure.

It is a test of character to wait for Rikshospitalet to get around to operate on me. The last months events has not been much fun, and it drained me of energy and tested my motivation. But I think I have come out on the strong side of it.
I’m nagging and nagging at the best of my abilities. I do not wish to cause a conflict or anything like that. That would only hurt myself. I do what I can do with the situation I have at hand. The rest is up to destiny.

I’m currently waiting for my contribution to the health-debate in Norway’s premier news-paper Aftenposten to be published. I look forward to publish it here on my blog, but will wait until it is published in Aftenposten Aften (the evening issue) first.

I still await answer from the state secretary Roger S. in the Norwegian Treasury Department to my letter about countermeasures that I think should be taken to address the problems I have experienced. I still have a hope he will see himself fit to read and to respond to my short letter…. He is a busy man, I have no doubts.

I am hanging on to myself and my sanity, and thanks to the people I care about the most, I am able to cope. Considering the challenges I face, I feel I’m doing a pretty decent job of it. I pat myself on my back 🙂

I will persist, I am patient and I will persevere. I will be stronger and a better person as an outcome of this trial by fire.

I live on love.

The 3Ps… and friends

Thanks to Sam “Blitzer” for a reminder of the key to endurance: “The 3Ps”.

His post on Michael from Minnesota who has trouble with getting approval of CI served as an inspiration to me today.

The 3Ps:

Persistence

Perseverance 

Patience

I want to use this opportunity to thank everyone around me in my life who helps me keeping my spirits up:

My mother, my dearest girlfriend, my beloved son… Thank you all for being in my life, each one of you is a reason for me to stay tough!!!

Inger Anita – who is a driving force in the CI-community in Norway today – and I’m happy and proud to call my friend 🙂 , everybody at Briskeby, Ragna from Telenor (thank you for great support! It means a lot to me Ragna!), Lene from Coachteam – thank you so much for you, Lene!!!, everybody at HLF (who brought this happy news: a new legislation concerning childrens rights to proper speech and hearing training after a CI-operation is in works at Stortinget.)

And to all my social friends whom I haven’t seen in too long time: sorry for not being there lately, I will make it up to you in the future! You know who you are 😉

Just say yes to sunshine

Today I want to spread some sunshine.

This picture shows the morning sun entering the valley of Lærdal in one of the deepest parts of the worlds longest fiord; the fiord of Sogne (Sognefjorden). The fiord goes almost halfway into Norway.

This is my view from the window as I write, and this is the view I enjoy every day I’m visiting my girlfriend. It’s uplifting, allright 🙂

Lately I realized that I have been indulging myself in self-pity too much for my own taste. It’s time to turn the other cheek and greet the spring and summer with a new fresh, happy spirit. Bad news on the CI-front will eventually have to be replaced with good news again.

So, my dear readers, please enjoy the view of Norwegian mountains with rapidly melting snow on the tops. Today I will walk in the bright sunshine, take pictures like crazy, and if they’re good, possibly share them here with y’all…

Have a nice sunny day!

Quote of the day:
There is no greater impotence in all the world like knowing you are right and that the wave of the world is wrong, yet the wave crashes upon you. – Norman Mailer

The cost of a CI-operation?

Can anyone tell me the cost of a CI-operation? Either for one ear, or simultaneously both ears?

I would like to “hear” (pun intended 😉 ) from everyone who has knowledge about it…

On a personal note…

My writing is a bit slow these days, I hit a mental bump in the road caused by these budget cuts I was interviewed about

I’m sleepless in Oslo again, and thought it would be a nice opportunity for letting the world know I’m still here…. And finally browse through some old photos of mine…. Time to air them 🙂

Easter holiday is just around the corner, and I intend to spend my time at our Swedish farm by the lake to get my inner strength back. I will hopefully complete a restoration of a sturdy American built Mercury outboard-engine that has been broken and lying around for years.
Also I will take up a new hobby; kayaking! And with that another too long ignored interest of mine will be much more interesting: photography…

I imagine a lot of photo-opportunities just waits there for me to capture… Have plans to take it up again… Hope to show some of them off here on my blog in near future! These two were taken last year with my Nokia cell-phone, imagine what I could do with a proper camera….

And good wishes (and a little jealousy  😉   ) goes to these recently CI-activated blogger’s! Pay them a visit and leave a happy Easter note and let them know we’re CI-happy for them! Some of them has posted their activation videos, check it out!

Sam the brave-blade-Runner, Steve the Ruminator, Michael “ReBuilt” Chorost, Abbie “Contradica”, Jennifer “the butterfly” and Jeff “metalhead”.

 

With this last picture I took last year around Easter time I bid thee good night and I wish all my readers a happy Easter holiday!