Whilst clearing out files and paperwork during my day job office move, I came across my 2014 diary and decided to reread the (traumatic) years events.
I had detailed every single GP/Audiology/Therapy/A&E appointments and assessments that I attended throughout 2014 and thought I would share with you the journey I went through to get to this point today.
My reason for sharing this information with you all is partly to highlight how quick Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) really is and also to give those of you contemplating a Cochlear Implant, currently going through the process or having initially being rejected for an implant some hope; sometimes things work out for the best.
17/02/2014; Onset of SSHL symptoms.
18/02/2014; GP appointment – glue ear diagnosed.
22/02/2014; SSHL symptoms worsen, visit to A&E department of local hospital – perforated eardrum diagnosed.
24/02/2014; Audiology Appt with existing consultant – hearing tests performed – SSHL diagnosis. Hyper intensive course of steroids prescribed for 12-day period.
25/02/2014; GP appt – signed off work for one month.
13/03/2014; Audiology appt – new hearing aids provided for both ears (previously left ear unaided).
24/03/2014; returned to work
31/03/2014; Audiology appt – hearing levels retested, no change. MRI scan taken and referral made to St Georges Hospital Cochlear Implant Department.
08/04/2014; First appointment with consultant at St Georges Hospital
25/04/2014; Initial pre-assessment at St Georges Hospital
28/04/2014; Information session at St Georges Hospital
29/04/2014; New hearing aids provided by St Georges Hospital
16/05/2014; first assessment at St Georges Hospital – general hearing tests
23/05/2014; Speech perception assessments at St Georges Hospital – left ear aided = 6% speech perception, left and right ear aided = 12% perception and right ear aided = 0% perception.
02/06/2014; CAT scan at St Georges Hospital
04/06/2014; First hearing therapy appointment at St Georges Hospital
11/06/2014; MRI scan at St Georges Hospital
23/06/2014; Hearing therapy appt at St Georges Hospital
02/07/2014; Decision meeting at St Georges Hospital (referred to by the hospital as “family meeting”) – rejected for Cochlear Implant on basis that left ear hearing levels slightly out of NICE criteria range.
15/07/2014; Audiology appt to discuss rejection from St Georges Cochlear Implant team – referral made to Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital (RNTNE).
18/08/2014; information session at RNTNE
09/09/2014; hearing therapy session at St Georges Hospital – asked to be referred back to current ENT dept.
03/10/2014; speech perception assessment at RNTNE – left ear declined since previous assessment.
06/10 – 09/10/2014; attended Hearing Link’s Intensive Rehabilitation Programme
20/10/2014; first hearing therapy appt at current hospital
05/11/2014; Decision meeting at RNTNE – accepted onto Cochlear Implant programme for right-sided implant
19/11/2014; GP appt for meningitis jab in preparation for surgery
27/11/2014; device choice meeting at RNTNE
04/12/2014; Cochlear Implant surgery!!
18/12/2014; medical check-up following surgery
14/01/2015; Switch on!!
Whilst 10/11 months might not sound a long time to most people, when you cannot hear, interact or go about your daily life as usual it seems an incredibly long time.
As I had gone through all of the assessments with St Georges Hospital, I didn’t need to go through the entire process again as all my records were sent directly to RNTNE so the only assessments I did there were the speech perception and MRI scans.
I am actually very thankful that St Georges Hospital rejected me for an implant following the first set of assessments as the waiting list was quite long and I actually got reassessed, implanted and switched on two months earlier than I would have if they had accepted me – as my Nan says “everything happens for a reason”.
If you are interested in reading about the surgery, warts and all, have a read here.
I also chronicled my switch on process here.
For information on how to spot the signs of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, read this handy guide.