New audiogram shows improvements

I got the opportunity to get a new audiogram done today. It revealed some improvements but also some areas where the last test where better.

The doctor cleaned my ear and found a little unhealed spot on the eardrum that he treated, which could be some of the cause for the diversity in the audiograms. The doctor and I discussed the situation where I had to pay for the whole operation in USA myself and he agreed that from the initial evaluations (Jharsdofer scale, I’m a grade 9) –  reconstruction of the ear canal was the right treatment for me. But he couldn’t help me with the granting that the Danish helthcare system could pay for treatment abroad. But that fight is far from over, I’m determined to try my case in court, it’s come to my attention that other danes have gotten the treatment paied, so why should’nt I?

Well, Back to the good stuff, my ear canal is totally healed and the spot the doctor found will self heal in a week from now. All is good, my hearing is fantastic and I’m very very happy. Looking forward to see Dr. Roberson this Saturday in Holland!



Nice Audiogram, Doctors check and more…

I’ve been meaning to write an update sooner but I wanted to get the appointment with the ENT done before making this update in order to give you the full picture of what has happened so far. And don’t worry everything is fantastic.


Meeting with local doctor

I started out with a visit to my local doctor the 9th of February. He examined my ear and ear canal and was amazed by the result, the ear canal looked clean and almost fully healed he said. I also needed him to make a pre-appointment with the ENT at Gentofte hospital, who Dr. Roberson had recommended to carry out a more detailed examine of my ear and to clean the ear canal if necessary. But as it would properly take a month or two before this ENT would have time to see me, it was recommended that I would find an independent local ENT.


New mold

In the beginning of March the custom mold that Dr. Roberson did before I went home, wouldn’t fit anymore. The ear canal and outer ear had slightly changes shape altogether. And now the mold did hurt when I put it on. Luckily Dr. Roberson and his staff had thought of everything and in the bag I got to take home from there office I found material to make another mold. I got my wife to help me and after seeing the video on how to make a mold on – we accomplished to make a new mold that fits much better. It was quite hard to make a mold that goes behind the ear, so we went for a mush smaller mold that only takes care for the canal.

Elevation of the ear

The upper ear is well positioned and most of the puffiness and swelling is now gone. But the lower pole just above the ear tip is still tucked into the thick. I did massage the area and lightly bend the ear back and forth doing recovery up until now as the plastic surgeon asked me to do. But it keeps stuck in there… That was not the result I was hoping for and I expect to have a chat with the doctor how did this part for my surgery to hear if he can help me with this last part. As I see it this is the last thing I really need to get right before I can truly say I’m satisfied with the result. On the other hand I’m overall extremely satisfied no dough.

Taking care of the ear canal

Since I got back home I’ve been using some antibacterial drops before putting on the mold at night and I have only experienced small drainage from the canal, there are small spots about 30mm into the canal that still need to heal up fully. I’ve been showering with a cotton ball with Vaseline on it inside the canal to keep it dry up until the 7th of March. Its nice to shower normally again and I just dry out the canal after shower with a clean cotton ball, just to be sure. I’ve been trying different headsets and found that there is really much difference in shapes to fit in the ear canal. And in just a month my ear canal has changes shape so some headphone-buds won’t fit anymore. The ones that fit the best were those with a silicone head that forms easily to the canal shape.


Meeting with local ENT

My local doctor was right the first time slot for the ENT at Gentofte hospital is the 16th of April. Therefor I contacted a local ENT instead just to get a fair check of the ear canal and to be sure everything was okay. He was very impressed and thought the work of Dr. Roberson was amazing. He examined the canal and was very pleased with the shape and how clean it was. He was so amazed that he insisted that we did an audiogram to see the progression.


Early audiogram

First off his conditions for making an audio test/ audiogram was by far optimal. So the test is just an indication and a full and correct audiogram should not be done before the end of April as then it will be about 4 month from my surgery.

The audiogram reviled what I also feel, that my hearing has improved a lot. I went from around 70-80dB to 0-10dB. The ENT was like me very impressed and we agreed that it’s like a miracle… He spoke very highly of the procedure and assured me that I made the right choice by getting the surgery. He even said that I my case the ear canal reconstruction was the only and the right procedure for me from his point of view. It meant the world to me that I finally found a local ENT that approved my decision, simply fantastic experience. I will post a picture of the audiogram as soon as possible.


Hearing and experiences

Overall improved hearing, its so amazing that my hearing keeps improving, nuances in music and speech gets more clear, especially higher notes definition has improved a lot. I have also had a sense of bass frequencies but they are also much clearer now than before. My sense of direction in noise ha improved almost to perfection. I keep putting myself in situations on purpose that I before my surgery was unable to handle. Now I can sit in any chair at a meeting and still hear everybody even while turning my head away an only having to use my right ear. It’s such a joy and I often catch myself smiling because it makes me so happy. Also in bigger crowds with lost of talking I would have been lost before, but now I manage much better, it’s still on of the few situations where my head gets really tired, but I can go longer an longer in noisier environments now than the first weeks after surgery.

My self-esteem has gotten a boost, I’m not constantly thinking of how to stand in a crowd to be able to hear everyone and not having to turn around if someone where to speak to me from the right. I’m quite amazed how much energy I did spend on this earlier… my quality of life has improved tremendously and that was one of the goals when I started off with my journey of Atresia Repair, was to boost med self confidence and my quality of life and it truly has.


Music in Stereo !

Listening and playing music is still a big joy to me. It’s so fantastic to hear music in true stereo. The nuances in audio are amazing and I hear new things in musical pieces that I have known to a long time. I had some very great headphone that’s become my new best friend, they are so great at serving fantastic sound to my two ears.

Playing music is still a bit hard, my guitar sound has changed for me, and I’m still trying to figure out if its for the better or if I need to changes it to make it more like I was before… It’s a great challenge and I’m looing forward spending a lot of hours tuning in my new perception of how my own sound is and should sound in my own stereo world.


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Day 17 – Last check with the doctors

I met with dr. Roberson and he did a check of my ear and cleaned out what’s been leftover from the healing, that opened op the hearing some more, fantastic and joyful. He then made the mold that I need to wear every night for 4 month. It’s made from a two component rubber kind of material that when mixed together it gets hard and stays in shape after 3-5 minutes. It’s also capable of taking care of the ears position as it goes in and around the ear, almost covering it. dr. Roberson told me that the healing is at about 80-90% at this point, so everything is great and as it should.

We agreed to keep in touch over the next months and I will send him both pictures and Audiogram when I get that done. It has been a fantastic experience being here and get treated by such a fantastic person as dr. Roberson I can’t explain how great full I am for what his done for me. Also his amazing staff, they where all so welcoming and helpful. It has truly been an amazing incredible fantastic journey and it’s just at its beginning.

Lastly I met with dr. Schendel how feels comfortable with the healing and position of the ear and thinks that in time the ear will get into the right position and look good, I really hope he is right. Overall I’m happy with the result of the plastic surgery but I would have been fully happy if the position of the lower part of the ear had been more out by now. But the hearing part outshines all the bad.

Now I’ll go catch my flight back to Denmark. Thank you for reading along. I’ll keep writing when time allows it. Because the hearing journey of mine has just begun and there are so many sound situation I need to explore.






Day 16 – Last day in SF

So today was my last whole day in San Francisco, the weather has been fantastic all day with a nice blue sky. I decided to visit the Colt Tower on telegraph hill. It’s actually only a few 100 meters from the apartment, BUT it was up hill, very up hill. It was super nice walk even though a little hard at times. At the tower you can pay $8 and then take an elevator up to the top. There’s a fantastic view from up there, with great clear skies and perfect weather for some skyline photos. After the tower I went to Lombard Street and walked the crocked steps up to the top. From there I went to Russian hill and found a nice little park where some musicians also hangs out. They had a great jam going on and it was just nice sitting there in the sun.

My hearing is okay, not as good as the other days I think or maybe its because I’m starting to get used to the sound level and just wants more sound… I know I just have to be patient and that the hearing will gradually improve over the next 3-4 month. I haven’t felt any pain from the ear in some time now, that’s great and it makes me forget that I was in surgery.

I’m excited about what will happen tomorrow when I go to see Dr. Roberson and Dr. Schendel for the last time tomorrow. And I’m really looking forward to get home. My plane leaves tomorrow night so I have some hours in Palo Alto before I head up to the airport for check-in.

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Day 15 – check in with dr. Roberson

I met with the Dr. Roberson and hos staff today and he took out the last part of the packing that was protecting the healing ear drum. It really opened up the sound impressions. When I put a finger in my left ear my right ear sounds just lower in level(dB) than the left. A flat damping I would say. Then we talked about what to do and expect when I get home. From my first meeting with Dr Roberson his description of what to expect and how it feels matches 100% it’s almost as if he tried it himself. He is really amazing. Next I have to find a ENT at home how’s willing to check and clean my ear when needed. And I also need a new audiogram done in about 2-3 month from now, that’s going to be really exciting. And I need to get a custom mold for music made in about a month from now. Until then I need to where full size ear protection when playing music or going to concerts. Lots of things but it’s al good and I come to think of my hearing as one of the finest gifts I have. I experience Great sounds all over the place, I still need my head and brain to adapt better. The vibration from louder noise of voices tend to tickle a lot and making me smile but I guess that’s a good think, right?

Day 14 – Pacific Ocean and a big steak

I went to the Pacific ocean at Fort Funston and Baker Beach today, it was so wonderful even though the weather was a little cloudy at first it was a fantastic experience and the sounds of the ocean is amazing in stereo, I tell you. Afterwards I went to a dinner with lots of people, a very noisy and lively place. I thought for a second to leave because of the noise, but the place looked amazing and I decided to challenge myself. I sat at the bar and normally that would mean that I couldn’t hear anything going on to my right, resulting in missunderstadings and me placeing myself in a corner so I wouldn’t miss out on anything, but today I sat in the middle of it all. It was hard a times, to keep up with the talk and the noise but I think that’s something you people with normal hearing is facing to. I felt more comfortable and confident than ever in a situation like this.

I guess I wasn’t aware about the degree of mental impact this would have on me. What I prior saw as and obstacle and felt handicapped about in most noisy and crowded occasions I now felt more normal and relaxed about than ever before. And finaly I found a place with a great big steak on the menu! simply fantastic.


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Day 12 – 13 Weekend

Weekends is all about relaxing and having fun, so thats what I’m going to do. And when being in San Francisco you got to see the city and so I did – while trying to relax too. I went for a ride with the Cable cars from the Piers to Marked Street and Union Square, great experience. Then I went shopping in the neighborhood streets and China Town, nice areas with a lot of great and fun shops especially in China Town. I ended up at a nice restaurant in north beach having spicy chicken wings. -very spicy but also very good. After that I ran into a club with musicians from Berkey playing al kinds of great tunes. Very nice people very nice music and my ears where happy too.

Hearing on my right side is okay but it changes from day to day I think. It’s properly just how it is and I’m not worried at all. I keep putting my self in situations where I need to use my right ear for understanding or navigation and I think that works out pretty great. The direction/ radar sense has already improved a lot and is a big help when in trafic or noisy places. I get tired quite quickly these days, but I’m happy and playfully about these new experiences.

It so great.

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Day 11 – harbor tour and shopping 

The weather is cloudy and it’s raining a bit, so I went for a short (3 hours) walk by the piers, I really like that area, and the sounds of the sea and all. I got to do a little shopping of gifts for my girls at home. I’m really starting to miss home.

My jaw is still swollen and tender in the morning, but it evens out in a hour after I get up so thats easy to handle. There are less to no pain from the ear or the canal, it’s all good up there. Being in noisy restaurants is a little challenging, all the talking, I can actually hear the words all around now and that’s taking up brain-capacity. My brain really need to automatically know when to let it pass and when to process new sound impressions, and that takes time, I’m told. Per dr. Roberson it could easily take a year before my brain learns to adapt. Until then I just gotta go with the flow 🙂

I think I’ll take a minute to talk a little about the parking in San Francisco. There only few things to day actually: it’s hard, it’s extremely expensive and it’s extremely frustrating… I run to a parking meter or a parking lot every 4-6 hours… I even was so unlucky early this week that I got the car towed once… So crazy! Anyway “If your going to San Francisco”… Well, don’t bring your car! Unless you bring a lot of cash and a lot of spare time to run around feeding the machines or finding a new Parking spot… Okay enough about parking, sorry for that!

I hope I get to see Alcatraz before I leave, but if the weather keeps being cloudy and rainy I don’t think it’s worth it… Maby see/ hear some more great music instead.

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Sea lions at Pier39