the visit

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Very early on Thursday morning I headed off to Toronto on the greyhound bus. I got there early to make sure I got a seat, and boy was it cold. I’m glad I don’t routinely have to stand around waiting for buses when its minus 10C.

I had planned to get off at Union Station so I could get straight onto the subway. I only know Union Station in Toronto so it seemed sensible. It was snowing, with low clouds so I couldnt see the CN tower which is the only TO landmark that I know. When the bus pulled into a station I got off, hah, wrong station, this was the bus station and not Union. Well never mind, I can cope. A map arrow said “you are here” but it lied. It was clearly wrong, the map didn’t correspond to what I could see around me, it should have said “you are not here”, that would have been more accurate. Hah, but I worked it out and headed off east towards Dundas subway station and found the Eaton Centre. Not that it was lost, it would be hard to lose something that big, but I found it. I bought new shoes, I was wearing normal shoes on that slipped on the sidewalks and needed new shoes. Sensible shoes. So the Eaton Centre was found, and found to be good.

The subway station is in the centre too, all good. Toronto subway trains are like NYC subway trains, so there’s a touch of the “as seen in the movies” about travelling in them.

A friend had told me what to expect and what tickets etc to buy so the journey was stress free, subway to Lawrence then bus to Sunnybrook.

The CT scan was fine, uneventful. It’s good to be on the receiving end of these things every now and then. I hadnt realised how much the table top movement throws you about, it’s pretty fast compared with olden days. So 5 minutes in and out. No contrast injection. They saw me early too so I was finished before my appointment time.

The same friend offered us a bed for the night. He met me after my CT scan and we went off for a mexican lunch. Guacamole cures all ills. In the evening we met MLM from the GO train, and then we all went out for a meal. There was more guacamole. It was so good to be able to stay with friends, we would have had a dull and tense night in a hotel otherwise. Instead we had excellent company and gracious hosts. They even gave us a ride back to the hospital in the morning. Thank you!

The next day I had the balance tests. That’s a whole load of fun. Really it is, if you ignore the motion sickness aspect. The tech is great, she explains everything. MLM came in the exam room too so he could enjoy the show.

First of all you sit in a chair, you have some electrodes taped around your eye, a small box strapped to your arm and a clamp on your head to help you keep still. The starting tests are following a red dot on a screen with your eyes, but keeping your head still, hence the head clamp. You feel a little like a cat chasing a laser light, except that you can’t wiggle your bum and catch it.

The next test in the chair was with a blindfold on, and the lights out, complete blackout. The chair rotates in one direction at differing speeds and then the other, and stops and starts etc. It gave me a horrible motion sickness feeling but it didnt last long. The last part of the test where the chair seemed to rock you slowly was rather soothing. The tech said that I could talk to myself when it was happening, so I did, babbling on about nothing but it helped to get through it. Oh I am glad I am not blind.

Ok, second test is lying on a strecher looking at dots on the ceiling, eyes moving up and down, and right to left. Then you have to stick your arm out in front of you with you thumb sticking up. The tech moves your thumb around and you follow it with your eyes while keeping your head still. The grand finale is filling each ear in turn with hot water. You have your eyes closed and you have to talk at the same time. This gave me a lovely floaty sensation to start with, then giddy and yucky. Then it all went away. Phew. The most fun I have ever had as patient!

The appointment with the surgeon was next, and again we were seen early. Lovely man, all lovely people. He went over a few things, showed my my CT scan, said yes we can give you an implant and will try to preserve the low frequency hearing that I still have. I cried, seems pretty much everyone does! I saw the audiologist to pick the colour of the processor – red- and that’s it.

We took the GO train home, a lovely sunny day when all is well with the world.

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4 responses »

  1. A very eventful trip to the city indeed. All in all a most useful time with the good news you were hoping for. Hooray!

  2. What a wonderful post. I am very happy you will be able to be a cyborg, even if you can’t look like the photo. I enjoy your blog so much.
    Daryl in Maine

  3. Hi Mog,
    I love guacamole too! Thanks for sharing your experience with the testing. It was very informative.
    All the best,
    Sarah

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