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Had laby with BAHA on Thursday; Home on Sunday

Discussion in 'Your Living Room' started by Clare, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. nicmger

    nicmger Member

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    June basically it looks like the headband they use during hearing tests. It wraps around the back of your head. You could do a search for the videos/pics. It looks easy to use. Might be pricey.
     
  2. June-

    June- Active Member

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    Thanks. I have adjusted to one sided hearing. I turn my head a lot, lol.
     
  3. Clare

    Clare Member

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    When I met with the audiologists about BAHA, they gave me two headband-style trial versions. One was fitted with the Oticon Pronto processor, and the other with the BAHA 5 by Cochlear. I walked around with them for several hours. Anyone who is interested in a BAHA device should be able to do this type of trial to get an idea of its benefits.

    Like June, I had gotten used to one-sided hearing. It wasn't until I did the BAHA trial that I realized the usefulness of being able to pick up sound (even without geo-locating) from my deaf side. Meniere's has insidiously caused me to isolate more over the years, and anything I can do to reduce the social barriers imposed by this disease is a step to reclaiming my life.

    With the BAHA 5 there is a choice of one accessory. On the advice of the audiologist, I chose the remote microphone in order to assist hearing in noisy situations such as a restaurant. The mic can be placed on a table or even clipped to a lecturer in a class. This is another positive step toward socializing in a way I've been unable to do for many years.
     
  4. Clare

    Clare Member

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    Day 21. Recovery has continued to go well, and walking is getting straighter every day. I still get nervous crossing streets, though, as looking both ways affects balance. In the last week I've moved from showering while seated to standing with caution. I need to steady myself with the wall if closing my eyes for even a second.

    I recall PleaseNoDizzy describing some vision disturbance during her recovery, and I've been having that too. There is oscillopsia that makes the world look like it's bobbing up and down as I walk (like the old movies before camera stabilization became a thing). There's also spontaneous nystagmus which makes fixating on an object difficult or impossible if I'm moving. Both of these have improved over the past week but have a way to go yet.

    Stitches for both laby and implant incisions have mostly dissolved, and I've been wearing my glasses with both side pieces for about a week. I barely notice discomfort from the laby, but there is still some pain radiating from the implant wound. Sometimes I take Tylenol, and sometimes just don't bother because it's not a big deal.

    Yesterday I was finally able to see my vestibular therapist, who was impressed with progress so far. She's prescribed gaze fixation exercises (staring at an "x" while moving head as if nodding yes or shaking no) as well as some balancing on one leg. I'll see her weekly as she makes the exercises more challenging. In the past she has helped me recover from bad vertigo phases, and I have high expectations for regaining full functional balance under her guidance. She thinks I may be able to drive, at first on surface streets, after being checked out with another driver. Head turning affects my balance when standing, but isn't making me dizzy.

    I originally found this vestibular therapist through the provider listing on the VeDA website, https://vestibular.org/finding-help-support/provider-directory. Luckily, she is just a 15-minute bus ride from my house.

    Stairs still feel dangerous, particularly going down. I wouldn't use them without a handrail, and carrying things from one floor to another is limited. I walk normally inside the house, though touch walls/furniture along the way when lights are turned off.

    My mood is confident and optimistic -- I had almost forgotten what that feels like. Sometimes I forget that my balance is impaired, then get annoyed when reminded by a sway. I'm hosting a birthday party for my brother on Saturday; something I wouldn't have been comfortable doing a month ago. Socializing will be even better once the BAHA is activated and I can hear conversation all around me.

    Thanks to all of you for the encouragement and for sharing your experiences. Be well!
     
  5. nicmger

    nicmger Member

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    Clare - you seem to be doing very well! I am so happy and excited for you as you go back to really LIVING.
     
  6. PleaseNoDizzy

    PleaseNoDizzy Member

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    Ditto^^!!! We seem to be having a very similar recovery experience.
     
  7. Clare

    Clare Member

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    7+ weeks post-laby, and all is going well. It feels like my skull is still healing from the BAHA implant -- not painful but occasionally a little radiated tenderness up to the top of my head. The top of my ear is slightly numb if I notice it at all.

    There's still a little visual bouncing when I walk, but lessens every week. I'm balancing well enough to do most things, but it seems risky to carry an armful of laundry downstairs, for example. Going upstairs is no problem, and I think going down is more unsettling partly because of wearing progressive lenses in my glasses. The two other activities that feel a bit unsafe are showering in a tub-shower when closing my eyes, and crossing intersections where I look both ways and sometimes stumble from the head movement. I just have to slow down a bit. That's hard, because I'm feeling so close to normal 95% of the time that I forget to pause.

    I started driving again at week 6 with no problems. About the same time I increased gardening activities to include spreading mulch, pruning, and other things that involve big head movements. At first they made me a little nauseous, but it's better now as more and more brain synapses connect. Some days my balance seems more 'off' than other days; not sure what causes that.

    Mostly I am delighted to be able to reliably make plans with friends and family, to have a sense of confidence that was hidden for more than a decade, and to be thinking more clearly unencumbered by the fog of anxiety and stress.

    I've been seeing a vestibular therapist, and up until this last crazy week doing the exercises regularly. She has me standing on a foam pad while focusing on an X on the wall and shaking or nodding my head. There's also single-leg standing and practicing to consciously stop at intersections when walking before looking both ways. I'm also seeing a physical therapist to regain muscle function that eroded during the past year of disabling vertigo. I feel like Humpty Dumpty being reassembled, though with greater success than in the nursery rhyme.

    No regrets at all about having the labyrinthectomy. In retrospect I wish I'd done it sooner, but I had to reach my level of desperation to think that drilling a hole in the head is a good idea. Recovery is a long process, but life has been better throughout.
     
  8. Pupper

    Pupper Member

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    It's good to hear you have no regrets and you wish you'd had a Laby sooner. In a way that says it all.
     
  9. Clare

    Clare Member

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    Pupper, are you considering another surgery? As I recall, you had an incomplete VNS, gent injections didn't work for you, and you were still dealing with miserable symptoms. I hope you're finding a light at the end of the tunnel.
     
  10. Marta

    Marta Member

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    Jan 26, 2016
    Clare I am so happy you are doing so well!
     

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