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.
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?
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.
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.
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
Got through the morning traffic of San Francisco and turned in on the parking lot of the Ear Clinic in Palo Alto 5 minutes before my appointment. The traffic is crazy at times, so instead of a 40 min. drive it could easily turn into a 2 hour drive… But I made it 🙂 just a little heads up if you ever need to travel the distance.
Dr. Schendel luckily optimistic and didn’t share my concern, he is convinced that when the swelling goes done the ear placement will even out. He told me to do ‘ear excises’ which means I have to bend the ear outwards back a forth a few times a day, this will help the skin stay flexible once the swelling disappears. After assure ring me that the result will look good we said goodbye and I’ll see him one more time the day I leave. At the meet with dr. Schendel I was fortunate enough to meet with dr. Roberson and his assistant Kinsey. He wanted to check how I was feeling and to hear about my ear placement concerns. He also took a look at my ear canal and thought it looked so good that we agreed he removed more of the packing. All the way down to the packing that protects the ear drum. The most amazing sounds came in to my ear. I couldn’t believe it. Dr. Roberson sat on my right side with me facing forward, he spoke to me and explained something about the ear canal and you know what?! I COULD HEAR AND UNDERSTAND WAHT HE SAID ONLY WITH THE USE OF MY RIGHT EAR!!!!! Sorry for the capitals but that was just one of the most amazing experiences ever… I will see dr. Roberson again in 5 days and until then I should keep the canal open as much as possible for good and quick healing. So the next few days I’ll keep sightseeing and just enjoy all the sound coming through.
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After the most fantastic concert with my all time favorite band Tower of Power I got to meet the guys from the band and have a chat with each of them. It was such a great experience. They are some of the most kind and welcoming people I’ve ever met. I got to sit next to the stage doing the show, it was so awesome! The sound was not to high at the venue but the packing in my new ear canal was vibrating or moving at times and that caused a little distortion to the sound but it was all good and I was so overwhelmed and great full.
I was out pretty much all day just walking the beautiful streets of San Francisco. I enjoy all the new sounds, some a good and some are just bad sounds but right now I’m just trying to process all the sound data that constantly fills my head and constantly need to be taken care of 🙂 it’s amazing. Tomorrow I’m going to meet dr. Schendel and tell him about my worries about the ear placement. I hope he can help me and remove my worries.
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Okay, so today I met with Dr. Roberson and his assistant Kinsey McCartney. He did an exam of the healing progress both on the skin craft aread and to the ear canal. He even removed some of the packing blocking the ear canal and holding the skin in place against the canal walls. He says that everything is looking great and the I’m healing fast. After trimming back the packing I seam to get more sound coming through. Its amazing! After the meeting I went to Palo alto and bought a cap. I think it best to hide the skin craft spot both for my self when I look in the mirror and the people I meet I public and at restaurants ect. I get a little light headed from time to time but its nothing I need to worry about and the pain is almost gone. Regarding the plastic surgery part I had a talk with dr. Schendel’s assistant later on. Im not all satisfied with the placement of the lower ear and the eartip. I want a more symmetric look and that’s not what I’m seeing in the mirror right now. Maby its just the swelling and that’s okay if it is. But I want to be sure and therefore I have asked for a new appointment with Dr. Schendel. If there needs to be done anything I hope it can be done before I go back to Denmark on the 22th January. I miss my Wife and daughter very much, its hard being away for so long, so tonight im going for a treat, and its going to be a special expirence, I managed to get a ticket to see one of my favorite bands Tower of power, in ther home town of Oakland.
Beware, below here comes some photos of my ear and the skin craft spot, I hope its not to unpleasent.
The sun is shining and its about 20 degrees celcius in Palo Alto today. I sat outside and had a cup of coffee before my meeting with the plastic surgeon Dr. Schendel and his assistant Dr. Gupta. They took off my bandages and removed the stitches holding the gaze in place. It was a relief finally to get the headband off as it was starting to be annoyingly itchy, warm and just unpleasant to have on. The doctors where really pleased with the healing process and besides the buffing of the skin they think the result is going to be good, once the swelling is down and the healing completed. After a short visit from Dr. Roberson the doctors decided to leave my ear as is and not put bandages on again. I am to be very carful and use a special compound of antibiotics to put on the ear twice a day. All in all a very exciting day.
Today I drove my dad to the airport, his going back home to Denmark. That means that the next 12 days I’m on my own. So today Im going shopping and maby visit a nice restaurant tonight. Im not feeling so much pain today and the remaining pain is mostly in my jaw up around the ear, my bite is still not back to normal but I can eat bread now, thats nice. The new ear makes some funny noises or sounds at times, as it dos it feels like it’s tickling me. Heres a picture from the porch right outside the apartment, very nice place.