Personal, Pre-Surgery

Pre-Cochlear Implant Testing: MRI And CAT Scan Day


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Today was one of the last of what I like to call the “stupid waste of time pre-cochlear implant testing”. I had to get an MRI with and without contrast and  CAT Scan. I was a little excited for these tests initially because I think they are kind of fun. I’m deaf so naturally the noise doesn’t bother me. I kind of like the way the machine vibrates and I like going through the tunnel. It reminds me of going on a ride at an amusement park or something. I’m weird, I know.

I was originally a little bit worried about the contrast. My dad has a reaction to contrast when he gets it. It makes him feel a little bit sick so I was nervous I’d react to that, too. Also, no one told me that getting contrast = getting a needle until like 10 minutes before my appointment today so I panicked a little bit. I don’t really mind needles, but of course I don’t like them. I mean, who does like it?

The tests both went pretty well though. I wore my Frightland hoodie to to my testing. I love this hoodie because it reminds me of my boyfriend and makes me feel like he is with me. We went to Frightland together and have matching hoodies, by the way. The hoodie is very comforting to me. I was sad when they made me take it off. :(.

The girl who did the MRI was pretty good. I had to remove my hearing aids so naturally I had a hard time hearing. She was very good with working with me and pointing things out/using hand signals to communicate with me (for those who don’t know I never learned sign language, but I definitely rely on my sight to “hear” things…). My mom kept saying “This is the last MRI you’ll ever have” which was a kind of weird thing to think. An exciting kind of weird though. Due to the magnet that they implant insight you, you can’t get an MRI with a cochlear implant. I mean I guess technically you can…but it would require surgery to have the magnet removed. So it’s definitely not advisable.

The testing was a  little long but it didn’t bother me. I closed my eyes a few times and I almost fell asleep. The test made me kinda tired and I was already tired from working all day. They put this thing over my face too that was like a mask. Whereas that would probably bother most people it kind of amused me way more than it probably should have. It reminded me of the transformers. Thinking about the transformers reminded me of this Halloween video I saw the other day where a kid has a costume that is a combination of a truck and a transformer. And that made me think of my boyfriend, Larry, since I sent it to him since I knew he’d like it being a truck driver and everything. And that made me smile because I love Larry.

I started to get a little bit bored with some of the testing. Apparently it takes a really long time for them to take pictures of your brain and ears in case you were wondering. I  wrote an entire freelance article in my head. It definitely made it easier for when I went home and actually sat down to write the article that I already wrote in my head. I’m so weird. I mean who else gets an MRI done and thinks “Now would be a good time to write a freelance article in my head?” lol only me.

The CAT Scan was much much much quicker than the MRI. Seriously took them like 10 minutes or less. But it was also much, much, much more annoying. Not the test itself but the part leading up to the test. I had a different technician (or is it nurse? Whatever you call those people that do the tests…) and she wasn’t quite as good at communicating with me as the other one was. She had to verify my date of birth and confirm that I’m definitely not pregnant. These two questions would take any one else two seconds to answer…but…I had to have my hearing aids out for the test. So she had to ask me like ten million times before I could actually figure out what she was asking me. Then I was annoyed. Because I already answered these questions on my paper work. And they asked me like a zillion times if I was or thought I may be pregnant. I hate how if you’re a woman between the ages of 18-30 they think there must be a chance that you could be pregnant. I understand why they have to ask and that it’s their job and blah blah blah but do they have to ask me that like 100 times? If I said no the first time I’m pretty sure I didn’t go and get pregnant in the 10 minutes that went by since you first asked lol but seriously…

Overall the testing went well though and once it was over I had three main thoughts:

  1. I will never get this done again (unless I have surgery to remove a magnet from my head first.
  2. Soon I’ll be able to hear doctors and nurses and receptionists when I need a medical procedure done and it won’t be so awkward.
  3. I’m one step closer to getting my surgery! How exciting!

I don’t seem to have any reaction to the contrast or anything which is good. I’ve just been very sleepy. I don’t think I have ever wanted coffee more in my entire life than I did when I got home. I think I was legitimately ready to kill for coffee. I was a bit crazy lol.

At dinner tonight with my parents we talked more about my anticipated surgery and I talked about some things I can’t wait to do post-surgery. I’m thinking in terms of the things I haven’t been able to do due to my hearing. Seeing a movie at the drive-in with my boyfriend is definitely at the top of my list. I also really want to hear a flute. I struggle to hear it now because a lot of my hearing loss is specifically for high-frequency sounds such as the flute. When I can actually hear it it doesn’t sound the way it’s supposed to. It’s kind of annoying and hurts my ears. I’m excited to see how that will change post-surgery. I’d also love to see a ballet. The music played in ballets now is a bit too soft and high-pitched for me to hear. I probably wouldn’t be able to hear a majority of it if I were to see one now. When I mentioned I wanted to see a ballet my mom had to keep correcting me because I kept saying “bellet” instead of “ballet”. I know in my head that it’s wrong but it’s hard for me to pronounce that word right because “bellet” and “ballet” sound so similar to me — almost as if they were the same word with different spellings. But bell and ball sound very different. Is it supposed to be ball – et? I always thought it was more of bell-ay. Or maybe it’s ball but with a higher pitched a in it. That must be it and that must be why I struggle to say it — I can’t hear the high-pitched/high frequency a the right way. Either way I’m excited to hear this word the way it’s supposed to be pronounced after my surgery lol.

My next appointment is with my surgeon on Wednesday, November 5th. It’s all coming up so fast and is so exciting! I can’t wait for the next round of testing and to see what Dr. Wilcox says and hopefully schedule my actual surgery!

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