Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Silence

It would be 2 weeks and 5 days of silence from the day of surgery to the day of activation.  At first, I thought GREAT - peace and quiet for a change.  It's late spring and maybe I can enjoy some time outside.  But I would find that peace and quiet would turn into isolation and the weather turned out to be pretty cold and wet.  Not that I found myself depressed, I just had to work harder at keeping my spirits up.  It helped that I knew there were a lot of people rooting for me.  I can't wait for this to get better so that I can be more involved with everyone.

The first few days were spent recovering from the surgery.  I was groggy and nauseous for several days.  I found myself sleeping a lot.  I wasn't in severe pain so I didn't need any strong pain killers, but it did hurt a little and occasionally I would get a sharp jab of pain, so I took some Tylenol or Advil to keep the pain at bay.  At first, I just needed it 2 or 3 times a day, after 3 or 4 days I only needed it at night.  After a week, I didn't need anything anymore.

My mother stopped by with some delicious wild rice soup the day after I got home.  I love hanging out with my mom, so it was a nice visit.  We chatted and visited for a little while and she happened to be here when I received a beautiful flower delivery from my sister Heidi.  She will be going through her own cochlear implant journey next month.  The lilacs were in full bloom at this time, so Dave cut off a large branch and brought them in.  I sure love the smell of lilacs, it's a shame that they only bloom for such a short time.   Our lilacs are very fragrant, so they smelled wonderful!

Dave would help me with the surgery incision, we had to keep it clean and sterile.  I didn't have the energy or focus to do much of anything during those days.  I would try to read but I couldn't stick with it, the same happened to my hardanger embroidery.  I found that I could work on my crocheting project though.  I had started one several months ago, but had to put it away because there was so many other things going on.  It was nice to be able to pick it up and continue with it.  I actually accomplished a lot in those few weeks.

I wasn't on any special diet, but I found that I had no appetite for anything with strong flavors.  I stuck with oatmeal, toast with jelly, chicken noodle soup, pudding and stuff like that.  TV was the only thing I could find myself doing which surprised me because I originally thought that it wouldn't appeal to me without sound.  With close captioning, it was easy to be engaged with the show and it didn't require any serious effort to follow, just passively watch a story unfold within a short period of time.  For some reason, I found myself watching Food Network TV.  I'm a foodie without an appetite for food.  Strange isn't it?

Dave went back to work the following week, so I was home alone most of the time.  I kept myself busy working on my needlework, reading and writing.  Friends and family reached out and wrote to me.  A few stopped by.  I enjoyed getting cards & notes and staying in touch with people through facebook or email.  My cousin Ronda's kids, Emma and Tommy sent some cute notes to me that I hung on the refrigerator.  It makes me smile every time I look at them.  My cousin Rana kept in touch with me and offered to pick things up for me or take me places.  That was real sweet.

The quiet can be very isolating.  It doesn't matter whether I am alone or among others.  I'm just more painfully aware of how isolated I am when there are others around me.  I could lip read really, really well to those who were talking to me.  But I couldn't follow along with other conversations at all, especially when they get lively.  This is temporary and I know that down the road, I will be a bigger participant in things.

When I finally had an appetite to eat some decent food, I told Dave that I was in the mood for Famous Dave's and he went and picked up some take out.  I think the craving hit when I noticed that Famous Dave was competing on a Food Network show.  My husband likes to pick up a platter which gives us enough food for several days of leftovers.  I LOVE Famous Dave's baked beans, so we usually get an extra container.  That was delicious!  Calories don't count during recovery.  I had also hinted that I was craving some amaretto fudge and Dave stayed up late one night making a batch for me as a surprise.  That was a treat I treasured for some time.

We went to my folk's place to celebrate my brother Andy's birthday.  I think that was the first time I left the house since we came home from the Mayo.  I love being with my family.  I didn't mind that I couldn't hear anything, there's just something comforting being with those you love.  That night my mom and I agreed to "meet" on facebook and chat at a specified time.  This worked out pretty good, I looked forward to that time.

After awhile, I began to think that I didn't care what the new sounds sounded like as long as I could hear something!  Maybe that's the point! I am so ready for the activation.

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