Here I was again back in the Nuffield ear nose and throat hospital to reapply for the cochlear implant, because by the time I had come again it had been over a year I was told I would have to go through all the testing again. The first one was lip reading without sound and the second test was lip reading with sound and both my hearing aids on. I also did the words list test where the audiologist team would say words without me looking at them and I would have to repeat the words back followed by full sentences with different words that sounded the same but were in fact different. I again scored quite high on the lip reading but low on all the other tests, therefore I was told we could speak with the consultant and see what the next plan of action would be.
Once in the room with the consultant and his team I was told that based on all the results of the tests I was still just on the border line to be eligible but not quite there. The infections were too frequent and therefore the operation could not be done until the infections were under control. I remember going back to the place where I was staying and thinking, why?? How am I not deaf enough yet? how am I just on the border line? Why are these infections not clearing when I am doing everything possible to both prevent them and look after myself when I have them. you see, I know I spent months at a time with the infections and I did everything possible. I made sure to take my hearing aids off plenty to let the ears ventilate, I did not wear them when I was with infection and I constantly cleaned them. I just couldn’t understand that I was struggling so much and having all sorts of difficulties and yet they thought I still was not ready for this operation. I just wanted a bit of normality back, a bit of life quality. work was so hard, especially once the pandemic hit. I just couldn’t communicate effectively with my co-workers, I was leaving every single shift with throbbing migraines and in tears once I got home. It was affecting my eyes as well because I was trying to concentrate extra hard all the time, but with masks that was impossible, I just could not communicate with them half the time. I felt very isolated during this period and even though I love my job, I got a massive depression and anxiety during this period. So much so that in October 2020 I had to go off sick with said depression and anxiety. I had to go on medication and sought out help from professionals as the me I knew was not there. I would cry over anything and everything and I was scared to death of going out.
November 2020 came and I received another appointment to visit the Cochlear Implant team in the UK, so again off I went to Nuffield hospital where I saw the consultants registrar, we sat down and discussed how things had been and if the infections had slowed down, which by now they had. Once I told him that yes they had calmed down slightly and he checked my ears, did some CT’S and MRI’S on the ear and saw how everything was. He decided to give me the news that I had so eagerly been awaiting, YESSSS to the implant surgery!!!. Finally I was eligible enough to have the surgery. I sat there crying at his words and was so excited to finally get this ball rolling. He told me he was happy with all the tests he had performed and that he would be in touch with me once back home in Gibraltar to arrange dates for the surgery and to send me 3 different types of cochlear implant devices so i could look at them and decide which one I wanted to go with. A few weeks later I got the phone call that the surgery had been arranged for January of 2021. and to ask if I had chosen a device so it could be ordered. I had chosen the Kanso 2, the Kanso 2 fitted into what I wanted from the device and to be honest it was also the smallest and closest in colour to my hair, plus I knew I didn’t want the behind the ears device as i knew the struggles id had with the hearing aids and the pain and uncomfortableness that came with it. I had 3 choices listen below :
But the journey was not yet to be and just before Christmas 2020 they cancelled my surgery due to COVID-19, they rescheduled to February but again this was cancelled. finally they called me to again book the surgery for APRIL 2020 and here the real journey begins…….