Friday, December 31, 2010

Ciao, 2010

It's been nice knowin' ya, 2010. But now, it's time to welcome a new kid to town - Year 2011.

Ah, but 2010, you've served us well...

Not one, but TWO trips to Wisconsin to see famed facial therapist, Jackie Diels, who worked miracles with my face.

After years of saying "one of these day" for years we finally made it to Ireland! The sheep and the Guinness didn't disappoint, but the real highlight of the trip was meeting my acoustic neuroma pal, Lorenzo and his wife, Sheila. That was grand!

2010, you also finally convinced me to bite the bullet (or is it the Bolt?) and take step # 1 in getting a BAHA. Yessiree, I have a big ol' titanium bolt in my head, just itching for a processor... (sorry, 2010, but the processor will be 2011's job)

Willie and I celebrated our tenth anniversary - yep, still crazy in love with that guy. The first 10 were so good, that we are planning to hang in for another 10. This time, however, without any brain tumors.

Lots of visits with family, which we plan to continue in 2011, of course.

So, thanks, 2010 - ya done good.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Acoustic Neuroma Holiday

Another holiday season is upon us (how the hell did that happen??) and I am taking a little time to reflect on life. I am also reflecting on all my wonderful brain tumor friends and the myriad of funny things we share. Who other than you would understand things like…

Hugging -don’t you just hate it when you lean in for a hug and just keep right on going? Sometimes taking the other person down with you…

Bobbing and Weaving -you are walking along, minding your own business, looking around at all the great sites and suddenly find that you have veered into the road or off the trail. This causes a spurt of adrenalin which causes us to try to quickly course-correct which in turns results in stumbling, bobbing and weaving. All very entertaining for onlookers. Although I have noticed some of the mothers grabbing their kids and moving quickly away…

Drooling and Dribbling – and if your facial nerve is still feeling cranky, how about that drooling thing? Yep, always nice to find out that you have a spaghetti noodle hanging off your lip … and that it has been there for the entire meal because the lip/chin is still pretty numb.

Oil Slick – for those of us who have to keep gel in our eyes 24-7, don’t you just love it when you walk by a mirror and see that you have a massive gel-slick on your face? Honestly, don’t you wonder what people think? We should make up a really inventive story … any ideas?

Whirling Dervish – okay, one of my personal favorites. You are in a store and hear your name being called. You start twirling around trying to locate the source of the sound. Doesn’t work, so the person helpfully calls out “over here.” Great. If I had directionality, do you really think I'd be whirling around like a freaking idiot:

What I Think I Heard – ah, so many funny stories on this one. Ever notice how “chocolate” sounds just like “talk a lot?” or how “caller id” sounds just like “celery…” So, for those of you out there who aren’t single side deaf, if I respond to you in some completely inappropriate manner, just smile and continue.

Winking and Blinking – This is actually a great party trick! When I get tired my acoustic neuroma-side eye either stops blinking entirely, or starts blinking out of sync with the other eye. It’s pretty funny and it totally messes up other people who now don’t know what the hell you’re up to.

Nap Attack – Who among us hasn’t experienced that sudden, not-to-be-denied urge to nap. C’mon, fess up. Some of you have been seen napping at the library, at the coffee shop, on a park bench … really just about anywhere you can plant your butt for a spell.

Abutments – this is a whole new realm for me since I only got my BAHA abutment about a month ago. It sticks out ever so slightly from the side of my head – just enough to catch the edge of that nice knit winter scarf… or the neck of the sweater that I tried to yank over my head in a single smooth move. Hm. Do you think anyone will notice when I have an afghan hanging off the side of my head? Maybe I can color coordinate it to go with the spaghetti on my lip…

Gosh, who knew a brain tumor could be so much fun and so very entertaining??

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Under the Category of "I need to get a life..."

So, it's been a month since I got the little rod in my skull and the little snap-like abutment on my head. I am happy to report that healing is moving along right on track. Kind of wish my head wasn't still numb, but I guess I am used to it at this point.

A couple of my baha friends had told me before I had the surgery that once the sight is somewhat heeled, it is lots of fun to brush one's fingers across the top of the abutment and be able to "hear" it. Yep, all true! Now, when I am bored by whatever is going on in my world, I just put my finger over the abutment and let 'er rip! It is freakishly cool. So if you happen to be sitting around with me and see me smiling for no good reason, just take a look and see if I've got a finger pressed to my head.

I also discovered another new noise sensation -- if I snap on the little white plastic "healing cap" it makes a really cool sound as it snaps on the abutment.

Jeez, I really DO need to get a life, don't I?

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Unveiling

This week marked two weeks since my baha surgery, and time to get the dressing off and stitches out. Went into NYC on Wednesday and the surgeon undressed and un-stitched everything and then proclaimed her work to be excellent. Not being able to see around the side of my head, I had to wait until I got home to be able to get a good look at things for myself. Eek. Did you know that I have what appears to be rivet on the side of my head???? Frankly, I am not sure whether to be excited or totally creeped out.

Actually, it isn't as bad as I feared. The abutment is small, maybe as big around as a pencil eraser and sits almost flush with my head. That is reassuring as I would sure hate to get it caught on my brush... The incision is also quite small and eventually won't show at all. At the moment, the little bit of my head that was shaved for the surgery is starting to grow new hair and it itches like crazy. These are the things no one tells you about...

I am trying to get an appointment scheduled for mid-February to see the audiologist who will install the processor and show me how to use it. Seems like a long ways away, but I am sure it will be here in the blink of an eye.

One more step in the acoustic neuroma journey...