Monday, June 02, 2008

Cochlear Transplant?

This is just my luck to get sick for the first time in over a year a WEEK before my vacation. Now of all times, my immune system decides to take a break and roll out the red carpet to the little ghosties and beasties to invade my body causing it to wreck havoc. My throat is resonating a teenage boy going through puberty and my nose is working overtime excreting some leftover science experiment that has obviously gone awry. With the clock ticking away, I decided to take care of this issue ASAP. I had to go to the doctor, the primary care person, the one in the white coat, the one that can write out a prescription for powerful drugs to nip my little medical malady in the bud. I decided to stay home today from my sunny little cubicle and make the appointment

I arrive at my doctors building armed with an appointment at 4:45pm EST. I haven’t been here in a while but I still know the procedure like the back of my hand.

  1. Sign the sign in sheet.
  2. Hand receptionist insurance card.
  3. Hand the wrinkled $10 bill for my co-pay.
  4. Sit down and pout.

With my bottom lip sticking out further than normal, I start to daydream about strolling through the middle of a desert in Reno on a Segway in a glittery dress made of shiny nickels and with matching cowboy boots hooked up to an oxygen tank picking Marigolds from the cactuses.

“Abbie?” the receptionist called.

I never said I was sane but I would never even dream of daydreaming in a doctor’s office of all places before my cochlear implant. I was always focused on watching the nurses every step to see if I was the next patient. I hated getting that look. You know that look of, “Yoo-hoo! I just called your name lady, I don’t have all day here!” Now I can daydream about highlighting the Smurfs lovely blue locks with blond streaks all I want!

I relocated myself to the examination room where I was questioned about my symptoms. Before I managed to get out three syllables, it was clear to the nurse why I was there. The sound of my voice caused her brows to furrow. She became uncomfortable and anxious to get out of the room. Hell I would to if I had someone sitting next to that sounded like Kermit croaking. She skedaddled out of the room as soon as she scribbled all three of my symptoms down on a sheet of paper.

I leaned my non-implanted side up against a cabinet and pouted some more. It was a short-lived lean because the man with the white coat came walking into the room. This doctor is part of the practice. He was the same doctor that filled out my medical history papers for my CI surgery. He did not have much knowledge of my history and he was pretty much relying on me. I think he would have written down anything I said to him. I should have seen if he would have written down that I hailed from the Lost City of the Atlantis. He has a gruff Jewish accent which makes it tough to understand him..

He glanced over at my direction; we exchanged optical salutations as he reviewed my extensive list of symptoms. He tells me to jump up on the examination table. I have a silly little fear that I would cause a small earthquake if I jumped up onto anything so I decided to slide right up on it. He takes the little black ear flashlight and shines it down my throat. He nods affirmatively. What was he nodding at? Who knows! I don’t think that hanging ball thing in the back of my throat talked. He moves over to my right ear that houses my hearing aid and I promptly remove it for him. He takes a gander and asks if I ever went through that surgery at Philly. I nodded as much as one could nod with a flashlight in their ear.

“So the cochlear transplant works?” he said.

Ay dio mios! Images flashed through my head where I was laying on an operating table with an open cooler alongside of me revealing a tiny cochlea embedded into an ice cube.

“Implant! I didn’t get a new cochlea from a cadaver down in the morgue, I just got computer put in my head that helps me hear.” I smiled in jest.

“Oh I dont know anything about that stuff.”

No kidding Doc. I decide to educate the man that spent 100,000 dollars on medical school about cochlear implants. He was so not amused by my little show and tell of my cochlear implant system. It was more showing than telling because I lost my voice halfway through my lecture.

Since the doctor ran out of holes to shine his little flashlight in, I hopped off the table and took a seat. I apparently have a sinus infection and laryngitis and his course of action is to zap them with antibiotics!

If this doesn’t work, I’m resorting to doing shots of cod liver oil and orange juice.


Tom Hannon said...

Careful with those massive doses of antibiotics, Abbie! Ya know what they can do/cause?

VBnBama said...

OMG! THis was such good writing. I mean sorry you're sick but lucky for us we got to read such fine work. You crack me up though! A cadaver...oh I'm rollin' on that one.

Laurie said...


You are so funny! I love the way you write!

Sorry to hear that you are not feeling well. Hope you feel better in time to fly to Reno! Jennifer and I don't want to get sick from you! :) I don't like taking antibiotics at all because the side effect make me sick. And I just got done taking a round of them for a spider bite. . .ugh!

I'm also amazed at how many doctors are clueless about "cochlear transplants." I've had to educate several myself! And many have never seen one before. . . we are "pioneers!"

Get lots of rest and drink lots of fluids and take your medicine. . . but you know that already. :)

Hugs, Laurie

Valerie said...

Sorry your feeling so bad! Been a rough week for me here, but we will chat about that later.

The first time I saw my doctor, he wanted to know the cost and how much I paid. Then off course he had to feel up the implant. The men in the white coat needs an education.

Get well powboobot :)

Anonymous said...

Ha good post Abbie.

What college did he go to...may I ask? JK

Have fun in Reno.

Karen Putz said...

I'd say the implant was working quite well if you could hear "transplant" instead! :)

Hope you feel better soon!

Abbie said...


You raise a very good point about ototoxic drugs especially since many people can contribute their hearing loss to that.

With me, it is kind of a moot point but I am taking the generic form of the Z-Pack to get me better. I decided to show up at work today because I so love my job...

I should have listened to the doctor and stayed home a couple extra days.

Abbie said...


I'm glad you like it! Nothing like a muck and guck in my head to get the creative juices flowing :)

Abbie said...


I'm the same way, I hate taking medication unless I am in dire pain but I don't want to get you lovely ladies sick at all!

I am currently resting my head on my desk as I am typing this out. I'm making one of my little grunt workers go get me water in a few hehehe...

So far I'm taking the antibiotics, Vitamin C, a multi vitamin, Fish Oil, Green Tea with honey and lemon and acidophilous. This thing don't stand a chance. :)

I will be victorious!!!

David said...

A great post Abbie! I love to read your writing. You have such a gift. Wit, wisdom and a wonderful story to share always.
Thank you!

Tom Hannon said...

Abbie, it was a little tongue in the cheek, being the smart arse I sometimes am, BUT it can perhaps be a reminder for others! Dr. Tom prescribes massive doses of garlic to help flush the ol' system of the bad guys, but ya may lose friends and family from being around you in the process!

Dianrez said...

transplant?? That would give me the same confidence in the doctor as happened when taking my children to a new pediatrician. On looking at my boy/girl twins, he asked, "are they identical?"

A book on Stupid Doctor Comments should be written. Best of luck with your sinusitis, it can be a beast.

Anonymous said...

Oh Abbie, I'm so sorry to hear you're sick. Sinus infections are the *worst*, aren't they?!

I still do the "uber-alert, perched on the edge of my seat, watching the receptionist" pose in the doctor's office. :-)

One time I presented myself for a blood draw at the lab and caused major confusion because I was NOT the person they called. How embarrassing!

A cochlear transplant...LOL! At first I thought this was some new technology I hadn't heard of yet. :-)

Take care of yourself, Abbie!

~ Wendi

Abbie said...

Valle dear,

Where have you been?! I miss chit chatting with ya :)

I'm glad your doctor took a interest in it. Mine was not interested in having some blonde tell him about my fancy schmacy technology that is in my head.

Talk to you soon dear :)

Abbie said...


I'm afraid to ask if he got his degree by mail order... :)

The Royers said...


Yana said...

Abbie -

I have met so many doctors so far who know zilch about my implant. I have also met nurses who can't spell "cochlear". And laymen who never seem to get the difference between a hearing aid and a cochlear implant, arghhhhh.

The Royers said...

100,000 for med school? must have been on the cheap side, obviously if he can't even get his technology right. oh that reminds me, my primary care doctor was Japanese. when I saw him after the operation for whatever reason, he remarked "oh, you got that thing. it working now? you hear me now?" priceless.

The Royers said...

Good post abigail!

Cyborg Queen said...

feel better...Roy always says to me when I'm sick. "LISTERINE Baby!"

He's right, if you rinse out your mouth with Listerine twice a day, the cold goes away pretty quick because of all the bacteria and stuff swimming around in the back of your throat. :-) Same goes for the other girls that you'll be breathing on. :-)

Feel better!! And have fun visiting Nevada.

Abbie said...


I didn't even think about hearing the difference between implant and transplant but now that you said that, I'm pretty proud of myself. Thank you for the get well wishes too!!!

Abbie said...


I'm laughing at your garlic joke because I buys these huge bags of garlic from costco. I'm a big garlic fan when it comes to cooking! Especially roasted garlic with a little EVOO, yumm-o!!

Anonymous said...

I went through a similar situation a few years ago. I had a sore throat and thus, I went to a doctor. He asked me about my CIs and asked me if the surgeon put the CIs through ear canals! ROFL! It was sure a great moment to educate someone about CIs!

Abbie said...


Oh dear, did you take them to another doctor that has a penchant to ask the not so obvious questions? :)

Kim said...

Great post! Hope you feel better soon, dear. Rest and relaxation is what you need.

Kim :-)

Jennifer said...

Abbie, girl, you made me snort my bottled water out my nose when I read the part about the oxygen tank. I don't know why I haven't yet learned not to drink and read your blog simultaneously!
Then Tom made me snort again with his comment about ototoxic antibiotics. I kinda quit worrying about them some while back.
Between my gross peeling stomach *gag* and your nose...good thing we have another week to go, doesn't it? ;)

Abbie said...


This might make you laugh, when I had no hearing I always felt I had the best posture :) I was like a squirrel at the doctors office, it was nuts :)

Abbie said...


I'm so waiting for the day that I get to scare a doctor with the magnet :)

Abbie said...


Oh boy! At least you can pick up the missing fragments in the english language now :)

Abbie said...

Cyborg Queen,

Tell your boy Roy, that I use listerine twice a day and I still got sick! :) I think he is just telling you that to ensure that HE doesn't get sick... Ulterior motive some men have, i swear!

Abbie said...


Oh geez, through the ear canal?! That is a pretty tight space! I wonder if that doctor ever cracked open a Grey's Anatomy book.

Abbie said...


At this point, I need a vacation :) Thank you for your get well wishes too! HUGS!!

Abbie said...


LOL!! I can totally picture you doing that LOL!!! I'm in the same boat with you, Can you believe by this time tomorrow in one week we will be in RENO!!! :)

Sam said...

Ok...I won't think of some funny or sick reply but if that was my doctor, I'll be wondering about those testerosone pills he prescribed for you.

Unknown said...

Geez, you are on a roll today, Abbie! I love that writing and that sense of humor.

Do you think it was the $10 co-pay that got this "premium" doctor?