Personal, Post-Surgery

Cochlear Implant Surgery: The Actual Procedure + How I’m Recovering

I’m finally feeling with it enough to update my blog. I had my cochlear implant surgery on Monday, November 17th. The procedure went very well but it definitely took a lot out of me that’s for sure. I’m going to try to tell everything as I remember it.

I woke up at around 5:30am on Monday. I was really sleepy because I stayed up late the night before watching the Patriots game and listening to music with Larry. I knew I was going to sleep a lot the next day so getting a good night’s sleep was the least of my concerns. I wanted to look half decent so I took the time to straighten my hair knowing it would be the last time I’d be able to do that for awhile. They kind of butchered my hair through surgery, so that didn’t work out quite the way I was hoping it would but oh well lol. I felt pretty for a few hours in the morning at least….

At around 7am we headed on the road to Jefferson University Hospital in Philly. We got there a few minutes after 8. They were extremely professional and prompt. I didn’t have to wait for anything. I was beyond impressed. It was certainly different from the Jersey hospitals (namely Inspira and Kennedy) that I’m used to.I had to sign in and sign some papers and answer like 50 million of the same medical questions.


I had to take a picture of my bracelet because the minute I got that it was like “Wow, this is really happening!”

I was quickly taken back to room that I think may have been the recovery room? It was on the same floor as the OR I believe. I had several nurses and doctors and people talk to me and ask me medical related questions. I had to change into my gown and take a pregnancy test because like I’ve said before, if you’re a 20-something female no matter what you’re in the hospital for everyone is going to assume you’re pregnant and make you take a pregnancy test. So annoying lol. For the record, no I am not pregnant. Big shock there right? I  mean that would be physically impossible for me to be pregnant…


I was really excited and ready for my surgery!

They had to give me an IV. This should’ve been no problem, right? Wrong. Apparently my veins are really really deep into my skin and they didn’t feel like coming out that morning. The first nurse kept trying to stick me in my right arm but couldn’t get anywhere. It hurt so bad. I just kept clenching my teeth. I still have a mark on that hand. Finally she gave up. My mom and I kinda glared at her and gave her the look of death. She was one of the only nurses I didn’t like. She didn’t get a second chance…we left that up to the anesthesia guy.

A few minutes after the first IV debacle a few anesthesia people came out. They were very nice. They asked me the same questions I’ve been asked all morning about my medical history, allergies, whether I ate or drank anything, blah blah blah.There was one anesthesia guy that stood out the most to me because he was able to work with me and my hearing impairment very well. I’ll get into that more later though. He managed to get the IV in too on left hand. Not easily, but he still managed. They gave me a shot or something to numb me so it wouldn’t hurt so bad. It still hurt but the numbing stuff definitely helped.

Dr. Wilcox, my surgeon came out a few minutes later to talk to us. He just explained more about what they would do and asked if we had any questions.He was very nice and confident which I liked. He said regarding my hearing aids I would take the left one out (that’s the ear they were operating on) and keep the right one in until I fell asleep from the anesthesia and then they’d take it out and give it back to me when the procedure was over. That way I could still hear them when they needed to talk to me in the OR. It was a really good plan.

Dr. Wilcox’s assistant came out shortly after. She was one of my favorite people on my operating team. She was very bubbly, friendly, and confident. She answered more questions especially regarding after care and she said they’d only cut as much hair as absolutely necessary. A few minutes after she came out they began to take me down to the operating room but first she stopped them so my mom could finish her prayer and my parents could give me a quick hug and kiss. I liked that.

Everything after that point happened very quickly. I was taken to the operating room. They raised my bed so it was level to the operating table and then they asked me to slide over onto it. Everyone told me it was going to be cold, but I didn’t notice that at all. Probably because cold doesn’t really bother me as much as it does for most people and also they gave me a lot of warm blankets. They kept sticking weird circle stickers all over my body I believe for my heart monitors and stuff. I had like a million of them. My surgery was two days ago and I’m still finding them on me and pulling them off lol. They had like a million things strapped onto me too. I hated the thing they put on my leg that got real tight. I’m not sure what it was but it felt like a blood pressure machine on my leg. At least they warned me it would get tight — they weren’t kidding about that lol.

I kept getting more and more sleepy especially looking up at the light on the ceiling. I kept wanting to sit up so I could look around and see what everyone was doing  but they kept telling me to lie down. My favorite anesthesia guy would look down at me and talk to me so I could read his lips whenever he needed me to do anything. The last thing I remembered was him putting a mask over my face and then I was asleep. My mom said this wasn’t the anesthesia though just a breathing thing. It smelled really weird — like menthol lol. She said the anesthesia was given to me through my IV.

I’m apparently a lightweight when it comes to the anesthesia, which doesn’t surprise me at all. My mom said that when they took my hearing aid out they didn’t know how to turn it off and get it to stop whistling. They called my mom (which sent her into panic mode since this was like 10 minutes after they took me down lol) and my mom said “Ask Kim, she can show you” but by that point I was already completely knocked out haha.

When you’re under anesthesia you really don’t feel anything at all. It’s just an incredibly deep sleep and probably the greatest sleep you’ll ever have in all of your life. But when you wake up, you’ll be very confused. At least I know I was. I remember right before I fell asleep I looked at the clock and it was a little after 10:30. When I woke up it was a little after 3, but it felt like I had just taken a nap for a few minutes. I had my hearing aid in my right ear and that confused me so much too. I knew they were going to take it out for the procedure and I never felt anyone take it out or put it back in my ear. It made me think my procedure was cancelled or that I didn’t have my surgery for some reason lol. But I felt some pain on the left side of my face which told me something was done and I reached over to touch the left side real gently and felt the cup and then I knew that yes, this did all happen.

They said the surgery was a success. When I woke up they said they were going to take me to my mom and dad. I’m not sure where I was at that point, I guess the recovery room? Anyway I went back to the room I started in. It was good to see my parents again but I was still a little confused. They told me they texted my boyfriend to tell him I was okay. I wanted him to be there but the hospital would only allow me to have two immediate family members. I talked to him a bit too. I could tell he was worried but then relieved to hear I was okay. He said he would post on his FB too to let his family know I was okay. His family is very nice and caring and has been very supportive with my surgery too.

I asked to use the bathroom but they wouldn’t let me go by myself because I was dizzy. Made sense, but it was definitely very awkward. I was pretty dizzy and had to hold my nurse’s hand. I was also very nauseous which they said was common. They gave me medicine for that and I felt better like instantly though.I had a prescription for nausea medicine but haven’t even needed it.

They gave me a few bottles of water and graham crackers. I had a sore throat from the breathing tubes and was very very very thirsty. The graham crackers sucked. It was like cardboard. I was kinda loopy from the medicine and sort of went off about how much I hated this graham crackers. My mom took a video of me eating them because she said the faces I was making were hilarious. Gee, thanks Mom.

But since I proved I could walk, eat, drink, and wasn’t in completely unbearable pain I was able to go home that night. As I got dressed to go home my mom noticed a bunch of blood pouring from my ear. It freaked her out at first but they said it was normal and the nurse just got some gauze to clean it up with and gave us some to take home. Totally gross, but normal.

When I got home I just kind of slept a lot. I really wanted coffee but was too thirsty for it so I just drank several bottles of water and coke. It took me awhile to rehydrate my body. The pain wasn’t too bad because the painkillers helped. I couldn’t eat solid food because of my sore throat so I had soup for dinner. I didn’t have like any energy for anything.

Yesterday was a bit better. I had a lot more energy but the pain was a bit worst. Luckily my pain medicine works very well. It just sucks when it wears off lol. My throat was still bothering me a bit and I can’t eat solid food because it puts too much pressure on my ear when I try to bite down on things. My dad made me homemade cream of broccoli soup and got me ice cream  though. That definitely helps.

Yesterday was one of the first days I got a good look at the bandages. Right before taking them off…


I sent this picture to my boyfriend. He said I looked like “Ms. Goldilocks” lolololol

The bandages were kind of how I expected them to look but I thought it would be wrapped up a bit more. I’m thankful they weren’t though! This was quite enough lol.

It didn’t really hurt to take the bandage off — it was more like a relief. It felt much more comfortable. I did get lightheaded though. Maybe from a mixture of the normal dizziness and the sight of blood. The bandages and gauze were all completely soaked in blood. It’s normal, but still gross.

I got to really look at my stitches and where they shaved my head too. It’s definitely a different look, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I’d say I have around 15-20 stitches. I’m missing a chunk of hair. When I’m able to style it you probably won’t even notice it though. I think it looks kinda cool though. I look like a real punk rocker now haha.


If you had an appetite, I’m pretty sure it’s gone after seeing this close up of my stitches. You’re welcome.


My friends tell me my hair looks like Rihanna’s now. I’m pretty sure they’re lying to make me feel better though…

My stitches will come out next week. I’m expecting that to hurt at first, but then hopefully offer me some relief. Right now it constantly feels like someone is ripping my hair out…

Other than that I’ve been okay though. Off of work and taking it easy. Doing a lot of reading. My glasses are really annoying though. Since I had to take one arm off of them they are constantly crooked and sliding off of my face. I only wear them when I’m reading or on my computer for now. Otherwise they just totally drive me insane,  but hey, it’s better than nothing right?

I’m feeling a bit better so far today. Pain is slightly better but still there. Still dizzy. I can’t wait to get a bath. I wish I could wash my hair, but hey a bath is better than nothing. Larry is supposed to come over today. I can’t wait to see him. He said he was going to surprise me. He’s been so great with all of this. He’s such a great boyfriend. He doesn’t even mind my butchered hair. He said it looked cool and he still calls me gorgeous. He says I’m always beautiful to him and I have a beautiful heart which is the most important thing. And when he says it you know it’s not a cliche or that he’s just saying it to make me feel better — he really means it all.

I’m going to continue to take it easy today and relax. I’m hoping to go back to work tomorrow  but I’ll see how I feel. I have a doctor’s note saying I should be out until December 2nd, but if you know anything about me at all you know I’m a workaholic and I want to be out as little as possible. Plus I already told my boss I’d be back tomorrow (though I know he’d understand if I had to take more time off).

Well the big thing’s over now — the procedure and I’m doing pretty well with my recovery. Few more weeks until I’m activated and then the fun will really get started! I can’t wait to hear all of the sounds of Christmas this year…some of which I may be hearing for the first time ever! What a blessing!

3 thoughts on “Cochlear Implant Surgery: The Actual Procedure + How I’m Recovering”

    1. Thank you so much! I’m actually always trying to straighten my hair haha. I get keratin treatments and use a flat iron. but the minute it gets wet it all comes undone :-/

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