We just posted episode 6 of the podcast. It was one of the hardest episodes to record because, as you can imagine, things get emotional in the days leading up to surgery. There’s no need to regurgitate the “life changing” hyperbole. It’s background noise, but it creeps up. Expectation management is important when we haven’t even had surgery yet.
The call came today at 4:23pm. The caller identified herself as the admissions department from the Royal Alexandra Hospital, and could she please speak with Caroline. I identified myself as Caroline’s telephone ears and we were promptly given the “what time to be where” drill. Caroline has packed her bag. It’s a single night stay overnight. Just a precaution for observation. In a lot of places cochlear implant surgery is day surgery. Caroline is very happy for the extra care. For one, it’s peace of mind. Second, she sleeps like a rock so where she is may as well be a hospital for a night.
Always calm and collected, my chicken scratch took a bit of a desperate turn, and I even scheduled Caroline’s surgery 12 hours after her arrival in hospital. Erg.
A well-timed and welcome surprise arrived in the mailbox today. It was was more step in the “this is getting real” marathon leading to tomorrow. It was Caroline’s new MedicAlert bracelet.
For the initiated, MedicAlert provides a critical information service. Caroline has a bracelet with her condition (right side cochlear implant (tomorrow), and left side hearing aid). There’s a phone number that first responders and hospitals can call to deal with specific information, history, medical contacts, family contacts, and so on. In the case of a cochlear implant, there are specific rules about whether or not you can get an MRI with your magnet (which keeps the processor in place). Certain strength MRI machines require the magent out, which means a very simple procedure to take it out and then put it back in after the surgery (but there’s even a cleaning protocol before you put it back in).
Cochlear implants, like other medical conditions, are complicated. MedicAlert is just common sense. And the bracelet is so light. Yeah yeah, I kind of go on about it in episode 6 but seriously, that titanium is light like cheap costume jewelery, but strong like…titanium. Caroline’s implant also contains titanium, so that’s fun.
Final word goes to Caroline: “To my family and friends and new online friends and followers: Thank you for you support and encouragement! I’ve had some amazing opportunities and adventures in my life. Nothing compares to this. Nothing. Not even close. Tomorrow is the first of a few milestones. I have to be (a) patient through recovery. Then it’s going to be time to get down to the work of re-learning to hear. I’m so ready for this, thanks to you. And thank you to the people of Alberta for the gift of a cochlear implant. And thank God for all of you.”