Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Can You Hear Me?

First day back at college today. Had a good day but i was so nervous in going back - I was more worried if someone bang into me and then ended up hurting me where the implant area is.

Everyone was so glad to see me back - weird alot of them say "can you hear me" I was like, eh, what you on about? Then they all then say, thought you would be able to hear again after the operation.

Here me explaining to them.....I can't hear untill i receive the external device. Some of them was like ahhhh I understand.. some didn't quite get it. Even my own lecture who did the register called my name out ,expecting me to look up at them and say " yes sir!"

So, at dinner time I ended up going to the libaray going on the internet and get a print out of information about cochlear implant. It made it easier for them to read the information off the booklet than me explaining it to them. (finally they understood)

I was quite funny day though, I had some stupid questions, like - If i put this copper towards your head would it stick on your head, would ur head stick to the fridage? Can you put other magnet towards your head too? I was like argh... err.... NO!!!!....

Hopefully they'll all understand even more better when I receive the proper implant itself!

Weird today i have a stactic shock off my treadmill today - didn't hurt or anything but it did half make me jump.

soo.....20 days till switch on ...grrr ... that is a long time!

Switch On Date

finally, woohooo!

This Morning I woked up with 2 letters waiting for me to open! I knew I was waiting for the switch on date which my very first intial tuning is on the 19th May - arghh!! i'm nervous but i'm sooooo excited!

Also this letter showed me the other dates when I have to go back! These appointments are all with audio and of course speech therispt, not sure if hearing therispt included on all of the dates though, i'll soon found out when I get there!

1 day - 19th May
1 week - 28th May
1 Month - 2nd June

Anyway. another letter which I was bloody shocked about - a letter From THE FA (I play for England Deaf Ladies in football - soccer)

I'm actually speechless i got called up again. I didn't think i'll be selected for thoses mathces because I only just got back from a serious Ankle Injury 2 months ago. For those who don't know - I reptured all 3 ligaments in the ankle during a soccer game and had to have a reconstruction surgery which put me in cast for 9

I will be flying out for a friendly game against Germany on the 23rd may for 3 days, then i'm going to play in the World Deaf Cup - which i'll be staying in Greece for 3 weeks from the 25th June.

Told the Implant team - they said i must wear a Scrum hat because my sport is at high standard level (how embarassing)

I'm pleased about what news i received today ... Least i'll be wearing my implant in germany, so hopefully i'll get to hear those planes.

well that is it for me, 2 brilliant news in one day :-D I'm well over the mood!

anyway best to be off now, I'm going back to College today.

c ya x

Sunday, 27 April 2008

5 days after op

it's been 5 days since the operation, already my scar looking good and almost invisable - i'm quite surprised that it only about 3 inches

6 Days After Surgery

it's been 6 days since i've had the operation. finally i got to wash my hair - can't belive how small the scar is, it healing so nicely and it's almost invisable.

Today it's a new week, hopefully i'll be having an activation date letter (i'm nervous and excited).

I'm currently looking out at for the postman right now, he normally comes any time between 11- 12:30pm

Still, i'm unsure weather I should go college tomorrow or not. It will be a week tomorrow since i've had the operation. I do feel alot better not in pain but should I have another week off college or?
here the invisable scar.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Another Waiting Game!

Now the operation done, It's another waiting game for me :-S

I'm now waiting for the "SWITCH ON" date - i'm getting so nervous for that. I keep thinking to myself about what sound am i gonna hear and what people gonna say at college when i wear the device.

Anyway shouldn't be to long now, at least i have found a new hobbie : i'm going on a postman watch lol, I keep looking out for him and every time the post come. I am the first one at the door. just like this morning no post for me... :-( oh well...

4 Days After Surgery!

I feeling alot better now, the pain hasn't been to bad over the last few days. I manage to sleep well without waking up with any pain.

Each day the pain got less and I can now feel my ears as normal now. but still, there is some swelling but not as bad as it was before.

Still having problems eating, got this funny sensation on my tongue and still i'm waiting for it to go back to normal, who know's how long that would be.

I have never stayed in the house more than 3 days in my life, I haven't even step one foot outside yet :S well only the garden watching my lil puppy running around. That's about it.

I have college next week, still unsure weather to have another week off. I'm not over keen on staying in the house for another week, I have founded it way boring! there was hardly anything to do, everyone was working or at college.

Hopefully this weekend not to bad, everyone off and finally I shouldn't be that bored!

so, here's a new picture of the scar today, it's healing up well and still has the dressing on.

Friday, 25 April 2008

The Big Operation!

Since I had no bed the day before my op, my mum phoned in again about 8ish that morning of the operation! Finally They had a bed... phew it's wasn't cancelled after all.

Arrived at the QMC about half 9am .. I was getting very nervous at the time. had this young nurse showing me where my chair was and where to put my over night things etc.

After waiting half an hour, the nurse came back with a wristband with my name and date of birth on. I was getting more nervous as she put it on. .... few minutes later she had to fill these forms in asking me loads of question about if i'm allergic to anythin etc

About half 12 my surgeon came to me with these operation cloting on. It freaked me out as i thought it was time to go down for the operation. He only came to ask me a few question and again explain the risk of the op and to draw on my face with an arrow pointing to the ear that was going to be implanted. Well.... he only drawed it on because i was worried if i woke up with the implant in the wrong ear! He then told me to get in the clothes what they have given me... the operation was suppose to start at half one...

1:15pm the nurse walked me down to therate room. ... I was really nervous so my mum came with me. Waited on this bed in this room that was full of kiddies things too ( I'm in disney world) This guy called Dominic then checked my name etc to prove it was me.... it's me alright... lol

he got these sticky round things on my chest and my arm and this heart monitor thing on my finger.... now it was time for them to knock me out asleep... here comes the laughing gas "that what they said it was" that was it out out..... ZZZZZZZZZ

about 4 ish I remenber waking up and the nurse asking if i was ok, if i was in any pain at all.... can't remenber what i said back i think i must of fell back to sleep. Not long afterwards i woked up again she asked me to "smile" so i smiled... think she was checking my facial movement.

about 5ish i arrive on the ward, I was feeling so horrible it was like a hang over! I felt like someone has hit me on ma head that made me so dizzy and every time I sat up I was feeling so sick!
4 hours later I then had something to eat, couldn't really eat anything my tongue had this funny sensation and my jaw was in pain so only had a little bit of yoghurt and fell back to sleep. My mum and Richard went home about 8ish to let me get some more sleep. Since they were gone i was sleeping on and off and couldn't sleep properly because the lights were one. About half 11 .. Finally the lights were off and i manage to get some better sleep.

Half 6 in the morning, someone switched the light on ARGH it was so bright took me ages to open my eyes again. That morning didn't feel dizzy at all and manage to walk to the toilet by myself without any help. Still then, I couldn't eat my Ready Breck that they made me for breakfast so I just drank my orange juice. It didn't taste like orange juice to me :-(

2 hours later, my surgeon came to see me and took my head band thing off, he checked the scar he said it look fine and healing well. My head felt extra lighter after he took that off.

not long afterwards my mum arrived to see me. she could tell i was feeling alot better than i was yesterday. So i got changed into my own clothes and had a wash before I walked down for an xray.

went to the xray, it took forever..... they were trying to get a good picture for some reason, so i was on and off the xray bed... that made me dizzy a bit.

went back to the ward... had some dinner, it was fish cake, potatoes and carrots. It was horrible - didn't eat it.. only had one fish cake that was about it.

half way through my dinner while i were trying to eat it. The nurse came up to me to say that i need to go to ENT to see my surgoen again, obvouisly that was about the xray.

arrived at the ENT, which only took about 2 mins .... saw my surgeon again, he was happy and impress with my operation and said that they gotta a better result than they expected... they manage to fit 14 electros in as they thought they only could fit in 8.. so that was good new and he sent me a copy of the xray which looked cool.... (here the picture) sorry it not clear will upload a new one when he send me another one....

so that was it :-D i went home, I was so glad i did it and it wasn't to bad after all :-D

Monday, 21 April 2008

I haven't got a bed! is the operation still going ahead?

I got up at half 7 this morning because couldn't sleep that much as I was to busy thinking about the surgery etc

About 10 past 8 not long after i woke up my mum had a phone call saying that QMC phoned her, the ward I suppose to be on are 5 bed shorts, here me thinking it going to be cancelled.

They said they were short and I'm unable to come in, so my mum asked if the op still going ahead tomorrow morning. Since they looked on the timetable on who having the op - my surgery is set for the afternoon. So the ladies who phone said she will ring back in a few hours.

about half 11 she rang again she said I will have to come in for a pre-op then go back home after, we was ok with that as we only live about 40 minutes away! so going for a pre-op at half 3pm today.

but still then, they ain't sure if there a bed free tomorrow, which making me thinking negitive that it is going to be cancelled (I really hope if doesn't) So now i gotta wait and my mum will have to ring them at 7 in the morning.

to be continued.......

*fingers cross there is a bed!*

Sunday, 20 April 2008

1 day before going in Hospital (Packing)

Right, here I am packing small things ready for tomorrow. it looks like i'm taking the kitchen sink here, I'm so fussy on what to bring. I keep putting things in my bag then I decided I don't need that. What am I like eh!

So, all packed here! Today I'm off to see all my football team mates before I set off to Nottingham tomorrow! since i won't be seening them for a short while. Gonna miss playing matches and training with them!

Just gonna be weird not to do Sports for the next 2 week or so (gonna miss that, i'm so active and love doing things)

anyway, getting so nervous here! Bit scared about the needles, thats the main fear but i'm looking forward to comming home on wednesday :-D

*keep checking for new update on how the operation went*

Friday, 18 April 2008

About Katie-Louise's

First of all, welcome to my blog.

I'm Katie-Louise,

I come from Derby - East Midlands (United Kingdom)

I was born profoundly Deaf in both ears, for that reason my dad Deaf and we have a strong genetic that is passed around the family, so that's why I become Deaf.

I was brought up using my voice and using British Sign Language. I wore hearing aids most of my entire life which helped me with my lip-reading and envouirement sounds.

I went to a mainstream school which had a Deaf Unit, so I was then brought up in both hearing and Deaf community. Throughout my school life I had to wear those Transmitters and had a communication support workers or a teacher of the Deaf which help me understood the lecture and kept up with the others.

However, when I was 7 I eventually lost all my hearing in my "left" ear, which I then have to cope with only one hearing aids. I didn't have much problems communicating with others with only one hearing aids as I was able to lip-read quite well and picked up most of the words that people were saying to me.

Over the years things started to get worst’s, when I moved to College studying sports and the time I were there I started to involved in working with more and more people as in groups and of course my football talents got bigger and ended up meeting loads of people and going to even more places.
Eventually I decided to have a talk with my Teacher of the Deaf who worked with me at school. Asking about if there anything I could do as I started to find things hard. He then talked to me about Cochlear Implant. Which I didn't think much of it first, until I decided to look up on the internet on what it does and how it help. Once I did a little research about the implant he then helped out writing a letter to my GP.
My GP then referred me to the Nottingham Cochlear Implant Team which only took about a month to get my first assessment date: June 21st 2007 at Ropewalk.

*Assessment stories to be continued on a new blog*

My Assessement's Timeline

On 21st June 2007, I went to visit the Nottingham Cochlear Implant Team at Ropewalk Centre for my very first Cochlear Implant assessement.

I went along to the Implant place with my mother and of course Richard (an Implant user himself) as I didn't feel comfortable on going on my own just incase there were anything I didn't understand.

As we arrived to the recepetion at ropewalk. I then sat down in the waiting room feeling quite nervous becuase I didn't know what to expect.

After 20 minutes of waiting. An Audioligist women Called Kezia came in the waiting room and looked at me and said are you katie in sign language as she saw me and Richard signing away in the waiting room. When I first saw her I didn't expect anyone there would be able to do any sign at all.

As I walked in the room where she going to talk to be about the implant etc, the first thing she said " I can only do basic sign's, I'm still learning are you ok with lip-reading me" After she said that. I felt alot better because she understood the Deafness. (not all audioligist had that awareness)

so, Kezia then started to ask a few question about my history of deafness and life such as :

How long have I been Deaf? How did you cope with others? what language you prefer to use?. What do you do? What would you like to do in the future? Why have you decide to come and find out more about the Cochlear implant?

After all those question that she asked. She then talked about the implant process and how long was the assessment will be and how many test are there before you know that you are the candidate for a cochlear implant.

After we had that long chat, Kezia then decided to do a few tests on me.

The first test we did was an Hearing test with headphones and Kezia work on the computer to make the sound. Every time I hear a sounds I had to press the button to show that I heard it. (this test was done without my hearing aids)

The 2nd test was in this small room which had these special sounds proof walls around I had sit on a chair about 2 metres away from a speaker this time I used my hearing aids, same again press the button every time I heard a sound.

The 3rd test was all done on a touch screen tv which had 100 of question which I had to click yes or no to a question which some question ask something like : If you were in a group of people do you sometimes feel so isolated because you don't understand what the group is talking about?

The 4th Test was an envouriement sounds where you have to guess what the sounds is, some of these were noises of poeple laughing, car horns etc

Finally after all theses test were done it took 4 and half hours. (I was worned out) That was it for me I was told to go home and they'll send a letter out for the next appointment which will be with the Hearing Therispt (counselling)

3 weeks later ..... (2 new appointment on the same day)

3rd July, My first appointment at ropewalk again was with the "Hearing Therispt. This time I went with Richard and we had an interpreter booked as the last appointement worn me out quick after so much lip-reading,

I spent about 2 hours with the Hearing therispt, Heather asked me loads of question about what equipment do I have at home and college etc, such as vibrating alarm clocks, flashing lights doorbell etc.

Also ask me other question like do I listen to the radio, music, and I hear on a phone etc.

After we spoke about that we did some test again

1st test was a lip-reading test which Heather then talk to me with her voice off and I had to repeat what she said. altogether there must be about 50 lines she said to me. I was actually please with that test I thought I were good at that.

The 2nd test which I didn't like much I found it pretty tough, Heather then used this round cardboard thing to cover her mouth and she had to talk to me and say all the lines of story and same again I had to repeat what says.

The 3rd Test was done on a touch screen computer again. This time it was all about your expectation of a cochlear implant: You have to imagen that have a Cochlear implant on right now and you have a question like do you think you can understand that person without lip-reading. Same again you have to click Yes, maybe or no.

After I finish with the Hearing therispt I then had to wait half an hour meet the Speech Therispt. So Richard and I went to the cafe and had a small break before we started the next appointment.

Finally, I met the Speech Therispt called Dyan. During this appointment we had to use our voice. which she will then asscess your speech. So she have me a book with a few lines to read and check what my speech was like saying things that have EE, SHH, CH,SK, S at the beginning and end of words. Also to see how quite and loud you can talk. (Dyan video my appointment and so she called help with the feeback on improvement in the future if i was the candidate for a cochlear implant)

Also talked about what we will be doing together after I had my cochlear implant done. Which we will be doing things without lipreading and working on my loudness of my speech as I do have a quite voice but very clear.

finally after almost 4 hours at ropewalk, it was time to go home to wait for the next appointment

2 weeks later....... (new appointment)

24th July, I had a ERA Test (Evoked Response Auditory) at the Queen Medical Centre. This test took about 3 hours. They had to stick these wires on my head that the wires were connected to the machine and had to wear head phones.

The first test I was just sit there and listen. I didn't need to press any buttons or anything because the wires that connected to your head could read your brain system to see if you responding to the sounds. This test took forever because i wasn't allowed to move or talk to anyone and were only allowed to listen.

The 2nd test where i had to Lie down on a bed and i could go to sleep if i wanted to, same again weaing headphones and listen. At the end I got the result which it showed the same result as my noramal hearing test I did by pressing the button. This appointment finish and same again i had to wait for more appointment to come.

1 month later.....

27th Augest, CT Scan at Queen Medical Centre again. This where I had to go in this machine that looked like i was stuck in a washing machine. Will i was in the C.T machine it took about 20 minutes which wasn't to long but all i could feel was banging and alot of vibration.

2 weeks Later.....

10 th Sept, Appointment with audiogist again. This time she talked about the device. There were two different type of device that the Nottingham Implant Team do: Nuscular Freedom and Advance Bionic. She explained the different about the device.

I was then had to make a hard decsision on which device I want to go for. I decided to go for Advance Bionic because i like the colours that they do and of course the t-hook looks good. Weren't over keen on the freedom the colours were boring and they looked bigger to me too.

After choosing them i had to fill a form in and then she talked about the operation: How long it will take, what risk they are etc

After that i did the final test with the Audiogist. I was to listen to this old man on screen which he was a very boring old man with no facial expression and his lip pattern weren't very clear. It was a hard test.

One month later......

16th Oct, This appointment was took place at Queen Medical Centre, This time i had a MRI scan which only took about 5 minutes. Same again it was in a machine which was quite simular as the other scan (C.T)

4 weeks later.......

16th Nov. I went to the Ear Foundation to meet about 4 experience implant users and 10 non-implant users which are at the same both as me in the their assessement part.

This appointment was to talk to others implant users about their experince so they would tell us stories and we would asked them question about them or anything that is about the Cochlear Implant. This meeting helped me alot. It answered all the question Iwanted to ask and it was very useful.

2 weeks later......

4th Dec, Had to go to my own GP and have a pneumococcal vaccine to prevent me from having any infection or meningitis. (didn't hurt, just a little pinch)

4 weeks later......

8th Jan, Meeting with the surgeon, Audiogist, Hearing Therispt and speech theripst. This meeting was to say weather I were a candidate for a implant or not. In this meeting I was told that I were a candidate and I can have a Cochlear Implant.

Since I know that i can have the Cochlear Implant, I was now have choose what ear I would like to be implanted in. Which that day I couldn't make the Desision. I needed more time to think about it.

so, I went home and had a thought about which ear and meet up with kezia again 2 weeks later to discuss which ear she would prefer etc. And for me to answer the question and try the implant on each ear to see what it feels like.

3 weeks later...

5th Feb. Same meeting as before at Ropewalk with the same people that attended the last meeting. I had to make a desision. I then decided to go ahead with the opearation and I chosen my Left ear (no residual ear) and keep my right ear as a back up with my hearing aids. Which they were happy with that desision. Also they had the funding for the operation. All I was to do now is to wait for an opeartion date.

About 5 weeks later...

which was 17th April an unexpected phone call to my parent from the Implant team. They have an opeartion date which was the 22nd of april which a week later. I was shocked it was short notice. I had to go ahead, I didn't want to wait any longer as i have alot of plans over the next few month also I don't wanna spend to much time off on my first year of university.

So the assessment stage is "over" the waiting game is almost over with only 9 trip to the implant places in the past 7 months.

*check out my operation blogs* - Comming soon!