Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sammie's CI Surgery a Success!

Yesterday morning we checked in bright and early at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield for Sammie's surgery to replace the broken cochlear implant on her left side.  After an hour of prep and paperwork, she was taken into the operating room for a two-hour procedure. (That's 7,200 seconds in case you were wondering.)  They were able to successfully remove the faulty device and replace it with a new one.  Because they are able to test the device in the operating room, we know that all 22 electrodes are functioning, which is excellent news and exactly what you hope for.

Sammie was such a trooper!  Not one single complaint.  She was positive and pleasant, calm and composed.  She walked right into that hospital without expressing a single worry.  She just smiled sweetly at everyone, made polite conversation, and thanked them for their help. The staff commented that she was more mature than most adults they saw.  In fact, she was so relaxed, the anesthesiologist needed to tell her to take deeper breaths so the nitrous oxide could take effect.  I just stared at her and wondered where this child came from, considering I was a nervous wreck on the inside and was contemplating asking if I could have my own prescription of Vicodin.  She, however, was extraordinary.

The only thing that disturbed Sammie at all was when Dr. Valerie, her audiologist, told her that once the laughing gas started to take effect, she commented about how the operating room was turning into a giggle factory.  But she was a little embarrassed about that, so I probably shouldn't mention it ;)

After the procedure, Sammie spent one hour in supervised recovery and one hour in outpatient recovery.  Then they sent us on our way!  We were home around lunch time.  How's that for crazy?  I have phone conversations and hair appointments that take longer than that. But she really did appreciate being able to come home to her own bed and she slept most of the day and night away - at least until 3:30 a.m.  (insert yawning).

Her initial activation is scheduled for June 24, just two and a half weeks away.  At that point Sammie will start auditory training to learn to use her new device.  It will take time and work, but we have no doubt she's up to the challenge.