Friday, May 13, 2005

2nd Appointment

Yesterday was an interesting day. I could not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before, couldn't wear any lotions or makeup or perfume, or take any medications. My skin was so dry without my lotions and I felt naked without my makeup! Steve took me to Dr. Merwin's office on his way to his office in Oak Ridge and dropped me off. I was scheduled to be there all day and was told to find someone to take me home. My two Bible Study friends planned to meet me for lunch and were planning to take me home after I met with the Dr. at 1 p.m. My best friend, Dawn, was going to pick me up at the Dr.'s office at 11:30 a.m. and was going to take me to meet my friends for lunch and join us. Those plans got changed! I'll explain in a minute. . .

The ENG test was an experience and something I had never seen or done before. The audiologist was very good about explaining things to me. I had to take my glasses off so that she could attach the electrodes around my face near my eyes. I am almost blind without my glasses and it was hard to read her lips in a darkened room during the tests! I also had to take my hearing aids off several times. I cannot see or hear without my "eyes" or "ears"! But, she was good about it and was very understanding and clear with her instructions. The purpose of the electrodes around my face was to track my eye movements. Apparently, our eye movements are related to the balance mechanism in our inner ears. Everything that my eyes did were tracked on a computer. I had to follow and/or watch a red dot on the wall that moved in different directions and patterns, close my eyes at certain intervals and count in twos, threes, fours, backwards, forwards, etc. I kept messing up but it was important to be concentrating on something during the tests while my eye movements were being tracked. (Steve says I need to work on my math skills. Ha!) Another time the audiologist told me to relax, close my eyes, and let her do the work. She "threw" me down on one side, told me to count, picked me back up and repeated to the other side. Strange exercises but they mean something!

Then, I had to lie down on the table for at least thirty minutes. This last part of the test involved having cold and warm air injected in my ears. I experienced some very strange sensations. I felt like the room was spinning at one time and another time I felt like I was rising off the table and floating in the air! What a trip! I didn't have too much trouble with dizziness afterwards but had a MASSIVE headache. It took a long time for it to go away even after I took Tylenol when I got home.

When I finished the ENG test, Dr. Merwin's nurse came in and told me that the CT scan technician that was supposed to do my CT scan had called in sick. She said that they were trying to set up a CT scan for me at Baptist West Hospital and asked if I knew where it was. I did but I didn't have a vehicle because they gave me specific instructions not to drive! Luckily, Dawn had a God moment that morning and called the Dr.'s office to find out when I would be done with my tests. They told her to be there at 10 a.m. She walked in just as the nurse was telling me all this! The receptionist came in the room and told us that Dawn was here! So, we quickly made arrangements for me to get my CT scan at the hospital. Since we had a change in plans, I had Dawn call Tina (my Bible Study friend who was planning to meet me for lunch and take me home) to tell her what was going on. We agreed to meet for lunch another time and Dawn said that she would bring me home. So, we spent another 1 1/2 hours at the hospital for the CT scan and then wenet to lunch at McAllister's. I was so hungry! I had a baked potato, 1/2 chicken salad croissant and a fruit cup. I had Dawn take me over to Starbucks so that I could get my Chai Tea Latte that I was craving. Then we went back to the Dr.'s office for my 1:00 p.m. meeting with Dr. Merwin.

Dr. Merwin says that everything looks normal and that we are ready to proceed with the cochlear implant. The Dr. says that I can choose which ear to do since both of them are the same. I'm still struggling with which ear to do. I keep going back and forth from my left and right ear since I wear aids in both. I prefer to wear my aid in my right ear and would like to save it as a back up. I won't miss the residual hearing in my left. I'm right handed but it doesn't bother me to use either hand to adjust controls, etc. on my aids. The Dr. says it doesn't matter which ear to do because the brain is cross-wired and takes care of everything. I find that incredible and hard to believe. Maybe this decision is hard for me to make because I've never had real hearing and cannot comprehend like a normal hearing person how the ear and brain work together.

Dawn took me home after I finished my appointment and we had a short visit before she needed to head back to Knoxville. What a dear and precious friend she is. We originally met in Ohio fifteen years ago, lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same church, and our kids grew up together. She and Bill moved to Tennessee several years after we did and it is so nice to reconnect with them again. God has truly blessed me with the friends that I have and I thank Him every day for them.

I stayed quiet after I got home and knitted and watched TV. I took Riga and Twen-Jah (the dog that Brad is dogsitting for) for a 10 minute walk around the circle. I didn't feel like doing anything else and my headache didn't go away until after I went to bed. I knew all I needed was a good night's sleep. I felt better when I woke up this a.m. Took the day off work today so that we could go to Jason's graduation. He is graduating from Auburn University this weekend with his Master's degree in Applied Math. We are so proud of him! Must run and get some things ready. But, I wanted to let everyone know what happened yesterday. Thank you for all your love, prayers, and friendship. You are a blessing to me!

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