On Thursday I’ll be giving the barns a good cleaning. I’ll muck out the goats’ stall, sweep cobwebs and scrub waterers. I’ll scrape chicken manure from a ledge under the big barn’s roost, and put down clean shavings. I’ll give the goats a good brushing and rub coconut oil into Candy’s dry ears. On Friday I’m having surgery and I won’t be allowed in the barns for a couple of weeks.
I’m getting a cochlear implant. I’ve been slowly going deaf for years (no one knows why.) I’ve worn hearing aids since my twenties, but as my hearing has worsened, they no longer help, and so it’s time. Hearing loss is an invisible disability. It’s stressful, exhausting and limiting. The CI offers hope that I’ll be able to once again engage in conversations around the dinner table, and hear simple exchanges like “credit or debit?” at the supermarket. But, it’s a long process. First, there’s the surgery, then a month of healing, then the CI is turned on, and there’s learning to hear again. I’m told that at first everyone will sound like Donald Duck (one of my least favorite cartoon characters – I’m dreading this) until my brain makes sense of the new inputs. There’s no telling how successful the CI will be – it’s not like a new pair of glasses, where the results are known and immediate. I’ll be doing auditory rehab for months. My surgeon and audiologist are optimistic that my hearing will improve dramatically. I sure hope so.
I’ll spare you the details on the surgery, but suffice it to say that one part of it entails drilling a hole through the skull to access the inner ear. I can’t risk dust and germs getting into that incision, so I won’t be allowed in the barn. Many of you have written to tell me that Little Pond Farm is your “happy place” and your “island of sanity.” It is for me, too. I’ll be watching the HenCam along with you.
It’s outpatient surgery and I’ll be home Friday night, but I’ll be on potent pain-killing drugs, so I’m not sure when I’ll be lucid enough to blog. But don’t worry, I should be fine. I’ve got homemade soup in the freezer, a husband at my side, and friends willing to close up the barns at dusk if he can’t. My oldest son knows how to do the laundry (well, I wouldn’t have him fold it, but it’ll get clean…) Any suggestions for movies to watch while I’m holed up? I like movies with happy endings.