I call them “Lost” and “Found” – they are cochlear implants, and I have two. I had my surgery over the summer. I was very brave. I was nervous but I was still brave.
I Can Hear Really Well
I’d like to tell them that I can hear really, really well. For example, bugs make very soft sounds. If bugs are near me and they start chasing me then my cochlear implants tell me then I run away and lock the door so that they can’t get in. That only happens outside in my yard
The Day of My Surgery
The day of my surgery, I woke up early. I was 7 yrs old at the time. I was very excited. I was joking. In the morning when I woke up my mom talked about it with me. She read me a story about the hospital. Then I got to the hospital, I went to where you get dressed and I cried a little. The surgeon said, “we talked to your parents.” They asked me about Novocain and they asked what kind I wanted to try in the OR [Operating Room]. Then they scoot me to the OR and then in the OR, they put the mask on. I fell asleep really quick. They tell you jokes in the OR. The surgeon held my hand. My mom came in the OR with me. You’re allowed to take one of your parents with you. You’re not allowed to take any other kids with you, just one parent, or you can go to the OR with the doctors, just the doctors. You don’t have to go with a parent. I wanted my parents. And I remember when I went into the recovery. I had my eyes closed because I was just waking up. They said “you’re going to the recovery room. Do you want a drink?” But when you go to your room you don’t want to drink anything.
I Got a Little Nervous, But It Was All Okay
It was five minutes until I was supposed to go in the OR, I got nervous. My mom told me “it is going to be ok” when I was going into the OR. “It is going to be ok. The surgeon is the head of patient safety, and he knows what he’s doing, he went to school” and that was helpful.
“What Are You Scared About?”
I would say to other children who are going to have a cochlear implant, “What are you scared about?” I would tell them how long mine was and that the surgeon was very nice and good. You go to sleep so you don’t feel anything. You’re tired after and it takes you a while to perk up. Then you feel much better. Then you go home.
My Sister’s Surgery
It was kind of scary, but I knew she was fine when she brought the coil home. When I saw the pictures I was a little freaked out. It was kind of frightening because I thought she was going to be unconscious for a few days. I was sort of waiting for her to come back. I was with a babysitter, my mom’s friend. It was kind of scary since I was worrying about her all that day. My mom called me and told me that the surgery went pretty well and she got her coil.
Ryan, 11, talking about his younger sister’s cochlear implant surgery
It’s Totally Different: It’s Louder and Clearer
It is cool. I can hear well. I am still getting used to watching TV with it though. The challenges are: that it is totally different in terms of hearing because it makes everything seem louder and clearer.