My daughter was finally scheduled for her cochlear implant surgery after several months of procedures, tests, and evaluations. I was very nervous going into this surgery because i knew that it would be several hours long. Plus, she was going to have surgery on a very delicate area near her brain. We were having her surgery done at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, VA, which was over 5 hours away from our house. So we planned to stay in the area since her surgery was considered a day surgery. The thought of going home and being 5 hours from someone who could help us in an emergency scared me to death. So we stayed the entire weekend near the hospital and followed up with her doctor before going home.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes and shouldn’t replace appropriate medical advice from a doctor or audiologist regarding your child’s hearing. The information that I provided was based upon my own experience with my daughter’s hearing loss and the process that I went through.
So after arriving to the hospital, I was very nervous and scared for my little girl. I went back with her into the pre-op room, where they were prepping her for surgery. When they were ready to wheel her into surgery, I nervously went back to the waiting room to wait to hear from the doctor or nurses on her progress. They informed me that they would call the waiting room every few hours and give an update on her. I remember that the surgery was at least 5 or 6 hours long. It was a long wait in the waiting room, especially, with a 4 month old baby.
After the surgery was completed, I was finally able to go back and see my daughter. She was alert and was excited to see me. My poor baby’s head was wrapped in a thick layer of gauze. The gauze intended to protect the surgical site from containments and to keep her from her touching it. The doctor showed me pictures of her device that was surgically implanted in her skull.
In fact, they were able to test her new implant while she was in surgery to determine if she had any hearing with the device. The doctor shared great news with me and told me that she was able to hear with her cochlear implant. This made me so happy and at that point I knew that the surgery was worth it. My daughter was given the opportunity to be able to hear thanks to modern medicine and technology.
She was finally discharged from the hospital and allowed to go home. Since, we lived so far away we decided it was best to stay in a hotel for a few days. After, picking up her prescriptions we finally headed back to the hotel to rest. The next few hours were rough, especially, after her pain medication that they gave her in the hospital was wearing off. Once she got another dose of pain medication, she was able to get some rest. it is important to give any pain medications on time and not wait until they are in pain before giving your child another dose. By the end of the weekend, she was slowly getting back to her normal self. I remember that she was wanting to jump around and play at some point. Poor girl just wanted to play and didn’t understand that if she bumped her head accidentally that she might hurt herself.
On Monday, we followed up with the doctor and he said everything was looking good. We were allowed to go back home and allow her to continue to heal. They scheduled an appointment to turn her cochlear implant about 6 weeks later, they wanted to make sure that she was fully healed before placing the external device against her scalp.