Kate S. has been on a new hearing journey, recently getting the CochlearTM HybridTM Implant System* with the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor and has been chronicling her journey from before her surgery through her cochlear implant activation and beyond (be sure to follow our Facebook page for her video journals)! Read on to see Kate’s top 10 tips for cochlear implant surgery:
- Prep your recovery space. I had my pillows, blankets, TV remotes ready on the couch and a fridge stocked with ginger ale, waters and soft foods.
- Prep your go-home car if you have a longer drive. Make sure to have a pillow and blanket!
- Get a U-shaped travel pillow. In addition to wearing it around my neck for additional support when sitting up, it can be great if you want to lay down on your implanted side. You can put your ear in the hole in the middle and lay comfortably on that side.
- Talk to current cochlear implant users. Talking to other users online prepped me for both common and uncommon side effects of surgery, so nothing caught me off guard.
- Establish a contact person for the surgery day. With a huge family like mine, that meant a ton of people wanting updates the day of and after surgery. My husband was the point of contact, so I did not have to stress about responding to everyone.
- Get a comfortable button-up shirt. A button-up shirt is important as you can take the shirt on and off without having to pull anything over your head. I wore button up pajamas to the hospital and was happy to be super comfortable for going home.
- Limit what you take to the hospital. My husband carried my insurance card and ID to the hospital, and I did not bring anything else so I would not have to worry about losing anything.
- Bring your support system with you to the hospital. I had family members there at the hospital with me, and visiting with them before surgery made the time fly by! Before I knew it, it was go time!
- Take care of yourself before surgery. I wanted to be as ready as possible, mentally and physically. For me, that meant spending the day before surgery doing something I loved and thinking about my gratitude for having the option to get a cochlear implant. I spent the day at the aquarium meditating and journaling, and that helped me feel very calm and ready to go into my big day.
- Eat right. I tried to eat extra healthy for the week before, so that I felt as healthy and energized as possible.