Today I went to the audiologist for a special balance test, to make sure a second cochlear implant would not be detrimental. I am pleased to report that I passed my electronystagmogram with flying colors (well, actually just the one… a red dot). Also referred to as an ENG, it measures your eye movements, while you wear some pretty gnarly goggles and follow a moving red light with your eyes. But that’s not the best part. The best part is when they lay you back and blow hot and cold air, alternatively, into your ears. Meanwhile, all that is required of you is to keep your eyes open. And since you are not permitted to consume caffeine 48 hours prior to the test, this proved rather difficult for me. Thankfully the audiologist let me keep my current implant on, so I could hear her instructions. And her constant reminders to keep my eyes open.
After the test they brought me to an exam room to get my blood pressure and talk to the surgeon. The nurse asked how the test went, and I told her it went pretty well, though it was a challenge keeping my eyes open, not having been allowed to have caffeine. She didn’t realize that was a requirement for the test, and sympathized with me immediately. In fact, she was helpful enough to tell me of the coffee shop down the hall. This turned out to be extremely helpful news, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a cup of coffee so delicious. But maybe it was just that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Either way, I was extremely thankful for it.
So the conclusion of the day is that the surgeon and audiologist have both given their approval, and we are just waiting for insurance to offer theirs as well. Two out of three so far, and hopefully soon we’ll be scheduled surgery. I will say I am still a smidge nervous about getting a second implant, but am confident that this will be a good thing. I’ve heard from many other bilateral CI recipients and all of them have wonderful things to say about it. It only gets better from here!