As I recover…

I am eagerly anticipating my post-op appointment where the surgery site will be checked out – doing VERY well now.  I’m also looking forward to activation day – April 1st!!!

Right now, I’m still in the recovery phase.  I’m glad to be moving around more now.  But the whole team in the hospital was wonderful and very nice.  I am very lucky to have received such a high level of care.  But I’m getting anxious for the future of course!

My ear feels numb and there are tingly feelings at times.

Today, I’ve been very paranoid about low frequency hearing preservation.  The outcome varies in this regard – even if I lose residual low frequency hearing, the implant can fully compensate for those sounds electronically as it would already for the high frequencies.  I am on a high dose of steroids to preserve the low frequencies as the hybrid is designed to optimize.  There is no guarantee.  Either way, I will be fine.

As for the day the implant is first turned on, I am expecting a bunch of mechanical sounds and beeping.  That day and quite a while after that, the sound often sounds mechanical while the brain makes sense of the new sound.  It’ll be very important for me to follow a rigorous retraining program – formal auditory-verbal therapy (AVT) as well as informal training (books on tape, for example, where I would follow the text in the book and listen to the audio simultaneously).

I am thrilled I have given myself time for this process, as the beginning, especially, is essential to the best possible outcome.  The best outcome is different for everyone and nothing can be known for sure.

I do feel confident things will be better – but how much better remains in the air.  But I’m okay with that as I am glad I did this surgery no matter what!

If I hadn’t done the surgery, I’d be thinking “what if?”

There may be an activation video or there might be one after the activation.  The doctor doesn’t encourage such videos because they can promote unrealistic expectations when it is still the very beginning of the process.  I feel I have a good grasp of expectations: my knowledge that it won’t sound normal yet.  But I will want to do what feels best for everyone.  That may mean I keep the day low-key and write about it afterwards.

Hospital photo!

This photo was taken by my sister in the hospital the day after surgery.  I’ve since taken the gauze off and am very pleased at how discrete the doctor was with my incision!


Back from surgery!


Thank you so much for all of your wonderful notes.

I wanted to make a quick note to everyone that I returned home from the hospital after an incredibly successful surgery and spending the night afterwards there.  I will be recovering quite extensively for the next week and then will be activated in a little more than a week (processor programmed for the first time to internal implant).

Then begins a slow process of auditory retraining of the brain.


Taking Things for Granted

Last week, there was a guy in the doctor’s office who two weeks ago had been jogging and suddenly he was wheelchair-bound and couldn’t respond to people in certain ways – he wasn’t able to shake the hand of the doctor. This reminds me how anything can happen and it’s important to enjoy today and accept things as they are and realize the future is uncertain.  The doctors had no clue as to his condition.  How terrible would it be to have that happen :-(.

If we could become more accepting of people despite perceived limitations, we could be happier with ourselves. It’s extremely difficult to accept ourselves as we are, but when we do, I believe we become more accepting of others as well.  I say “perceived limitations” for a reason, because they don’t have to be labeled as such, but rather just accepted.  There is no perfect human being and that is OK.  Striving for perfection is not realistic.  However, enjoying the uniqueness of each individual is.  We are all individuals, capable of being independent of the labels subscribed to us by society.  I have a partial hearing loss and am hoping for improvement with this new device developed for my type of hearing loss.  Whatever the outcome, it will be acceptable.  I am Patrick Davey Tully and no one can take that away from me.  I welcome supportive and relational people who share their own visions.  Those who only wish to interact with a mannequin won’t find it in me.  I can’t be anything but authentic in my expression.  I cannot be censored for being myself.


The last two days have been filled with pre-op appointments and I must say that it’s quite easy to get worried with surgery; especially an extreme one of this type.

The potential reality that no benefit from the surgery may be achieved has been discussed with me countless times over the last few days.  Even though I’m a candidate, the fact that I haven’t heard certain high frequency sounds makes it impossible to know how my brain will react.  The discussions did lead to my losing it today.  Thankfully, I had the support of my mother during this period and I feel so much better right now.

The retraining process after the surgery will be essential in hopefully making sure my brain doesn’t reject new sounds and instead uses them and distinguishes them.

I also need to be careful how I move for at least a week, as the preservation of low frequency hearing is the point of the hybrid device and certain movements that create pressure in the head can cause the low frequencies to be damaged.  So I need to be careful in so many ways.

I can’t lie and say this is not overwhelming for me.  It is tough.  But I truly believe the surgery will go really well and eventually the risk will be worth the benefits.  It will likely take a lot of formal retraining sessions and time, but I look forward to the journey.