Sunday, July 27, 2014


Hi! Hope everyone had a nice weekend. On Friday evening, Mike and I went to see The Fray in concert downtown Cleveland. One complaint: the speakers were not clear enough and I think out of the entire show, I was able to recognize 4-5 songs. Their concert was my last one to see with only one cochlear implant. That's pretty exciting. 

When I think about it, I've seen so many concerts since I've had it done in 2000. I am feeling nostalgic. So I think I will list who I've seen - and you'll see my big LOVE for music. I just can't live without it.  =) 

- Kenny Chesney 
- Phil Vassar 
- Montgomery Gentry
- Keith Urban
- Garth Brooks
- Trisha Yearwood
- Brad Paisley
- Dierks Bentley
- Tim McGraw
- Sugarland
- Lady Antebellum
- Brooks & Dunn 
- Reba McEntire
- George Strait
- Lonestar
- Diamond Rio
- Sammy Kershaw
- Trent Willmon 
- Jake Owen
- Darius Rucker
- Rascal Flatts
- Gary Allan 
- Luke Bryan
- Uncle Kracker
- Terri Clark
- JoDee Messina
- LeAnn Womack
- Blake Shelton
- Josh Turner
- James Otto 
- Trace Adkins
- Jamey Johnson
- Rhett Akins
-Jerrod Neimann
- Gretchen Wilson
- Big & Rich
- Deana Carter
- Rodney Adkins 
- John Michael Montgomery 
- Canadian Cross Ragweed
- Jimmy Wayne
- Aaron Lines
- Chris Cagle
- Miranda Lambert
- Jason Aldean 
- Backstreet Boys
- Usher
- Christina Aguilera/Destiny's Child
 - The Fray

…. I'm pretty sure I'm missing out a couple more… 

So my next concert with BOTH implants? Dierks Bentley with Chris Young, Jon Pardi, and Chase Rice. I'm really looking forward to that one in September at Blossom Music Center. 

By the way, 4 more days until the Nucleus 6 is turned on. 

Good night!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

7 more days!


It's been a while since I've updated. I haven't really had much that's new to share. So I've included a picture of the progress of how my incision/ear is doing. My hair is growing back pretty quickly so that's good. My steri-strip is still on there, stuck behind my ear - so I think I will have it removed next Thursday by the doctor if it's still there. I am doing very well, back to my normal sleeping schedule - the only thing I would have to say that has not changed is the numbness of the top of my ear.  

7 more days until I have it turned on. I can't wait. I'm really eager to get everything started and start training my right ear. I know it'll make me tired, cranky, stubborn, and so on but it'll be all worth it. I will be patient to go through everything. I just hope that everyone will help me/teach me on what the sounds I'm hearing and be patient with me as well.

That's about it! Just a short update. I promise the next one will be longer and expect it sometime on the 31st! 

Have a good evening.  =) 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just Another

Hello again!

Well it seems like that I have a new challenge. The last couple mornings I've woke up on the wrong side that I shouldn't be sleeping on. The other morning, Mike woke up and saw that I was doing it and rolled me over so I wouldn't wake up in pain. So I have been doing that and I will have discomfort on my right ear, which is numb. It is expected to be numb for 4-6 months so I hope it isn't going to be that long. I like to sleep on my right side than my left. I usually fall asleep on my left then end up on my right. I move around a lot in my sleep. So much for laying still! So I've had discomfort and headaches from that but nothing top bad that I can't handle. 

I can't wait to get back to normal. I have been feeling lazy and laying around often. Who keeps me company? Ryder. He's such a good dog. He will be lazy with me so that's nice! See? :)

Snoozing away...

He wanted to sleep by me while I was catching up on a new episode of "Suits"

And he didn't want me to get up! Always touching me somehow when he sleeps by me... 

That's about it for today! Have a good Thursday. =) 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Week


It's been a week since I have had the surgery. Everything is going well. I'm healing well. Showering is now a easy task so thumbs up. Yesterday was my last day on antibiotics. So I'm done! I admit that I am still sore, especially around the incision. It feels tight also. It seems that it is healing fine. I have Mike check it to see how it's doing daily. The steri-strips are still on, but curling up. I give it a couple more days until they fall off. I was told to keep them on as long as possible to help the incision/stitches so I'll do my best with that. 

The past week, I've been laying around the house, doing nothing but watch T.V and sleeping a lot. Today I finally feel that I have energy to move around so hopefully I won't nap. I find that if I fall asleep and nap, I end up sleeping between 1 hour to 2 hours. Sometimes 3 hours! Kind of wasting away the day and today's a nice day so I don't want to do that...  

Mike bought a brand new T.V for the bedroom so I can stay comfortable. We used to have a 12 inch which made it difficult to read the closed captions, haha. So that had to go! The only unfortunate thing is that I gained weight while in recovery but I guess I have to let it slide. I've been working pretty hard on trying to get my weight down the past 5-6 months. So I think I'm ready to get back to that now. Try to eat clean & walk daily and cut out most of the carbs. That means less beer and less pizza, well good luck to me! Those two are my worst enemies when it comes to dieting/losing weight. :P 

Anyway, I contacted my audiologist at University Hospital to find out what I will be getting on July 31st. So I am SO excited! I know I've said it before, but I am so glad that I chose to get the second cochlear implant when I did. All that waiting throughout the years to decide if I wanted to go ahead or not made it all worth it so far in this journey. Best decision I've made also! 

I will be getting: two speech processors, three rechargeable batteries, a remote assistant/control, a personal audio cable, a box of microphone protectors, and a accessory in reserve to select later, which will be most likely the bluetooth option. That's a lot to have so I can't wait to see what they all will be like. 

Oh also, I wanted to thank a couple of my family and friends who have sent me a "get well soon" card and that made my day when I got them in the mail! I appreciate it and just wanted to thank everyone who has kept me in their prayers & thoughts. 

I think that's all I'll write for today. Have a great Wednesday. =) 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Doing Well

So yesterday, I woke up feeling good. Took a shower and realized I could wash my hair throughly without having a hard time. That instantly put me in a good mood. That meant I was going to have a good hair day. I could wear my glasses again! AND the best part: my appetite came back! I was able to eat and actually ate a lot - sandwiches, veggies, fruits, and BW3 boneless wings & potato wedges with cheese. Those little things mean a lot! ;)

Drove down to Columbus, Ohio (Mike did, not me) for a friend's bridal shower party. I was thinking about how amazed I am by this recovery. I had surgery on the 8th and was able to go out and about by the 11th and 12th. No pain at all either. So I was happy to be able to do that! It was a nice getaway for a day. It was fun also and I was glad that we could get to see our good friends and visit for a bit. Columbus is one of my favorite places! 

That means no more pain pills! I did take those as required the first couple days and I felt alright, but constantly felt nauseous and dizzy. All it did was to help me sleep but they helped me out. I took it one last time on Friday night because I had a lot of dull pain in my ear and above my ear. Soon after that, I felt very panicky and realized that my body was not doing well to the effects of the pain pill. I told Mike that I couldn't relax and it wasn't fun. Too strong for me! I got nervous and felt like I had to walk around and try to relax myself. I decided that I was 100% done with it after that experience and stick to Advil if I needed to. 

Today I did need to do Advil because now I am experiencing ear aches - but I hope that means it is healing slowly. Although, it's been 5 days since I had surgery - I am doing great, though. :)

I am pretty excited to see what will happen once I have it turned on. My surgeon is looking forward to see how I will benefit from it. July 31st can't get here fast enough. 

Two pictures from yesterday to show you how I am doing 4 days after. You can't tell that I had surgery done. First one is of my friend Michelle and I at her bridal shower. The second is of my friend, Shaun and I at his 30th surprise birthday party. It was great seeing friends again and being out and about. Pretty much 95% back to normal!


Update on the incision: healing well & the steri-strips are starting to curl up. My hair is growing back too. 

Have a good Sunday! =) 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Feeling Alright

So the bandage is off, I feel better. No pressure on my right side anymore. My ear is still numb as well as above the ear where my hair was shaved. I'm slowly getting that feeling back, all that tingling and numbness wearing off. I can't wait for it to feel normal again. It get itchy still. I'm hoping that my hair will grow back quickly. I'm not in any pain today so far. If I feel a little bit of pain coming back, I take a Advil or two and that works well. 

I slept great last night. Slept from 11:30PM to 5AM. No interruptions! I was comfortable and was able to sleep on my left side all night and avoided rolling over to my right side. I'm thinking that the white bandage was what kept me up the first two nights and didn't allow me to sleep much. I am still sleeping upright, though - with 6/7 pillows. 

One thing I am missing is my appetite. I haven't had my stomach growl since Tuesday. I haven't been able to eat a actual meal without feeling sick. The anesthetics, sedatives, and pain killers that I had on Tuesday were in my body for the next 24 hours. So that stuff is gone now since it's been more than 24 hours. But my appetite is just not 100% yet. It seems like I am able to have coffee (at home or from Dunkin Donuts & Starbucks), chocolate milkshakes, toasts with jam, or ice cream. No issues there, I feel fine afterwards. I've been drinking a lot of water and Gatorade.  

Showering is still difficult to do. But today was the second time I showered so I did better. I was able to wash throughly and I am still figuring out how to dry my hair. I managed just fine this morning but my hair looks like a mess, like when you wake up in the morning and your hair is pretty wild. Haha. I also wear glasses, but I haven't been able to because of the steri-strips behind my ear where the incision is. It feels uncomfortable if I try to put it on so I am leaving that alone. When it is better, I will wear my glasses again. :) 

I've been under great care by Mike (who I get to marry in 5 months!) and he's been very supportive with me and made sure I was feeling OK. I can't forget about Ryder. He's been constantly by my side and has been very cuddly since I came home. He's such a great dog. 

I guess taking care of me is too much work! Both of them passed out while I was watching Castle. ;)

Ryder has been extra loving and cuddly and whenever I am in bed, he lays on top of me. Last night, mike tried to get him to get off the bed to go to the bathroom but he refused and stayed on me or he'd fall back onto me and be "boneless" - Such a baby! 

So far, so good! It's pretty amazing how easy this recovery has been...

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bye White Bandage!

Today, I was able to take off my white bandage. It felt so good to remove it. I was starting to get very itchy. Mike's mom came over to help me out to cut off the bandage. 

They did shave a little under my long hair and around the right ear to make a incision. I currently have steri-strips on my stitches to keep them in place. It will fall off soon. I just can't touch it and allow it do that by itself. So that's what you are seeing in the second picture. It's amazing how different they do the surgeries today and how simple they are, compared to my first cochlear implant surgery in 2000.

The trickiest thing I had to do today was to wash my hair in the shower! My right ear is very sensitive. I wasn't so sure on how to properly wash my hair around my right ear without getting it wet! But I think managed okay. I haven't attempted to brush my hair yet. So I am thinking how I can do that. Haha. 

July 31st is the big day to turn on the Nucelus 6! Exciting news! =) 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Hello everyone! 

I am doing well, very little pain and discomfort - Since yesterday and today, I've been taking it easy by laying in bed watching t.v or surfing around on the iPad or iPhone. It's been nice having Mike home yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is back to work on Friday most likely since I think I will be fine by then. It's been a easy recovery so far and it's only been almost two full days. 

Mike has been taking great care of me. He's been making sure I'm doing OK and keeping track of my schedule on when to take the antibiotics and the pain pills when I really needed them to help me out. Although I don't like feeling dizzy/drowsy afterwards.Good thing that doesn't last long. I do take Advil in between if I really needed to. So far, I didn't have to do that today.  I haven't really been able to work up a appetite since yesterday. Hopefully that will change tomorrow! 

My better half, Mike & I! 

My brothers stopped by to say hello and visit for a little bit to see how I was doing. 

There is one thing I am looking forward to tomorrow is getting the white bandage off my head and I will be able to shower. I feel gross for not being able to. I'm ready! I will have to be extra careful after and make sure my stitches will go away on its own, etc. 

Just wanted to post a short one... So far, so good! Til' tomorrow, have a good night! =)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Surgery Day

Hello everyone, 

I had my surgery this morning at 7:50am.  It was supposed to start at 7:15am but things took a little bit longer. 

Woke up at 4:30am. Showered and left the house by 5:15am with Mike and my parents met me there before it was time to go to the operating room. So we drove down to University Hospital in Cleveland. After I arrived and checked myself in - I thought it was going to be a slow process but it went by quick! So I was happy for that. The surgery was only one hour long. The people who works there are awesome. I never felt so welcome to be there. 

The surgeon checked my device to make sure that it was working properly. He noticed that while looking at the brainwaves, he saw my nerve fibers reacting to it and you know what that means! I will be able to hear more and get a lot out of it. I will benefit so much so that's amazing. 

So I woke up and felt fine. No dizziness or feeling off balanced! I was pleased with that. Mike and my parents came in and kept me company while I was getting discharged from the hospital. I rode in a wheelchair on my way out. I was so happy to be home. and now recovery starts!

Two pics to share from yesterday. 

(just woke up from surgery!)

Time for me to catch up on ZzzZzz's with my cuddly boy, Ryder! 

Night all! =) 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Here We Go!

Surgery time is 7:15AM. So that's in about 8 hours from now. I'm excited. NERVOUS! Definitely more excited, though. I'm glad that I have the courage to push myself to go through it and to the next step, which is recovery. Nerves are setting in and my stomach is flipping. I wonder if I am going to get a good amount of sleep tonight. I am currently drinking "Sleepytime Tea" as I type this post. I hope it helps and calms me down a bit. Til' then, when I'm able, I will post a update on how everything went. Hope everyone has a nice evening.
Night all! :) 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Nucleus 6

Let's talk about the Nucleus 6. So I can get myself pumped up about it... Two days away

The basics:

There are three types of batteries used with the Nucleus 6: compact rechargeable, standard rechargeable, and disposable batteries. I am offered more to extend longer uses of the batteries with this cochlear implant device. The disposable batteries can last up to 60 hours. The standard batteries can last up to 30 hours while compact batteries can lasts up to 18 hours. To me, that is awesome. I'm pretty excited about that. As you already know, my current cochlear implant device, the Harmony BTE only offers 4-6 hours each but I usually get between 4-5 hours. They are rechargeable also but still. This is a great thing to have! The batteries look like these:

I will also get a remote controller for my device. It looks like this:

I can change volume, sensitivity, bass, treble, and master volume from the remote assistant. I will be able to change between programs. I will be provided up to 4 programs. To figure out the programs that will work for my needs, that will have to wait until I have my cochlear implant turned on in two weeks after I complete surgery. 

Among its new features are the industry's first automated auditory scene classifier, known as "SCAN," which analyzes the soundscape & automatically applies the appropriate filters to optimize hearing performances. For me, I have to constantly mess around with the settings to adapt comfortably when sound environments changed, like at the bar or restaurant, at home around family, or at the coffeeshop with friends while the baristas would grind the coffee or made drinks during conversations. That gets difficult. It drowns out the person's voice! You know it gets pretty loud in there. So that's cool, so I'm looking forward to that new change.

Did I mention it has bluetooth capabilities? I don't know much about that right now but I'm sure I'll find out more about that in a couple weeks. That's awesome too! 

So obviously, the Nucleus 6 has so much to offer for me so I'm looking forward to it. :) 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

April 25, 2000

Hi again!

The last couple days, I haven't been able to sleep well due to anticipation and feeling nervous about the upcoming surgery. I decided to sit down and write down about my experience of going through surgery and getting my first cochlear implant. My surgery date was on April 25, 2000. It happened to be on my brother, Tyler's 10th Birthday. It was spring break so I had the week off to recover. I skipped out going to Florida that year for this opportunity. It was my sophomore year in high school. I was 16 years old. 

My right side of my head was shaved. Goodbye long hair. Surgery took up to 3-3 1/2 hours. It went smoothly. I had a amazing surgeon. Dr. Rizer of St. Joseph in Warren, Ohio. He was the kindest, compassionate man I've ever met. He always made me feel at ease and relaxed every time I met with him. On my day of the surgery, he spent time with me and make sure I was OK - right before I fell asleep, he asked me what my favorite subject was. I don't remember what I said but after I woke up, he told me that it was MATH. My favorite subject was ART. It made me laugh. So, I remember waking up and going home soon after I was able to get up and walk. Woke up with no pain, at least I didn't feel any. I had a white bandage wrapped around my head and that stayed on for a couple days. I wasn't allowed to shower for about 5 days. I soon discovered that I had no balance. I took one look down on the floor and found myself falling over and I was caught by my mom's friend. Close call! I didn't do that again. When I returned back to the high school, I wore a hat for about a month. :) 

Sleeping was difficult to do. I did not sleep at all my first night. I couldn't lay down on my bed. Every time I did that, my left ear would "scream." Best way I could describe it is like a annoying shrill/high pitched noise/ringing that went on constantly. It did not hurt but just full of discomfort. I couldn't get comfortable so I decided to try the couch. That failed too. So for the second night, I tried out on the recliner and decided to sleep in a upright position. That worked out good. I finally felt comfortable and slept well. I slept in the recliner for a week and half until I felt that I could sleep in my bed again. When I did, it felt great. I missed my bed!

It took a month to fully heal and recover and it was time to turn on the cochlear implant. I was so excited because I was ready to ditch the hearing aids! My parents were with me when I heard for the first time. I heard the audiologist's voice questioning me if I could hear her. My parents spoke next. Then the mapping process started. It is pretty simple. Mapping is the term for programming a cochlear implant to the specifications (volume and sensitivity) and needs of its user. I remember that it took a while to figure out what worked and what did not. All I did was to let the audiologist know if it is too loud or too sensitive for me. I would hear a beep, either too low or too high, until it reached the right area. When it did, I would let her know and she would set it to the program that is on the speech processor/microphone. So after that was completed, I went home. First thing I did was to grab my CD player and put in a CD. I immediately fell in love with music. Especially country music. I loved Garth Brooks! (and I still do.) I started exploring the genres and found myself really liking soft rock/alternative rock/classic rock. I found that I didn't like rap, but more because I couldn't understand any of it. It was all gibberish to me! My first concert with my cochlear implant was at Blossom Music Center two years later. That was in 2002 and it was to see Kenny Chesney, Montgomery Gentry, Phil Vassar, and Deanna Carter. That was a amazing concert. I also was surprised by my parents to have a meet & greet with Kenny Chesney. That was pretty cool. It was also my early 18th Birthday gift too! I guess you could say music is probably my favorite thing to hear. It makes me very happy and I think that I wouldn't know what to do if I couldn't hear music ever again. That I hope I'd never have to encounter. 




Anyways, back to 2000. Hearing for the first time, it sounded so robotic. Not everything sounded PERFECT - in fact, whenever people spoke to me, they sounded like Disney characters, like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, even Chip & Dale. That lasted a while, at least a couple weeks to almost a month. I had to adjust and train my brain to accept what sounds were supposed to be like. It required A LOT of time and patience. When I think about it, I can say that it has been 100% worth it to how I am able to hear so well today. :) 

My first processor was the Platinum Series Processor. It is a body-worn option. My batteries were rechargeable & lasted up to 8 hours each. It was very convenient. I still have it as my backup if I ever need to use it. 

My second processor I currently have is the Harmony BTE (Behind-The-Ear) - which I've had for about two or three years now. My color is tan/beige. Battery life is the only difference. Unfortunately, it does not last 8 hours like my first processor. The Harmony BTE requires so much power for battery life that it gets drained pretty quick. I had 4 small batteries, also rechargeable, but they only lasted 4-6 hours on a good charge. It depends on how well it is charged. I currently have about 9 batteries. I often made sure I did not leave the house without the extra batteries in my purse. If I did not check, I'd end up deaf for rest of the day. I found that annoying because I really enjoy being able to hear! I would find myself feeling frustrated but yet still thankful that I am able to have this to allow me to hear at all. Technology is amazing.

So in my next post, I plan on introducing you to the Nucleus 6 and its options I will have with it. :) 

Also, if you're curious, here is a map of the cochlear implant looks like & how it works: