Alan Soh

I am my own columnist, sharing my own thoughts and recent experiences!

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Cochlear Implant Surgery (Pt 4)

I gained greater insights as in why I actually stand a greater easier advantage with using the cochlear implant device on my right ear, as compared to young kid users. Talked to my private hearing care consultant yesterday when I went to his branch outlet at Bishan to replenish my supply of hearing aid batteries.

I am not born deaf totally. Visually, I am able to associate a certain sound to an action; for example: hands clapping. So thank heavens, I can see with my eyes. In addition, being older, I have had accumulated many “memories” of various sounds in my brain (particularly my left brain hemisphere) since birth, having the inborn ability to differentiate different sounds. Also thanks to years of normal schooling, I can speak, clearly expressing my thoughts/feelings in verbal language just like any able-hearing individual. 🙂

On the other hand, young kids especially the nearly deaf ones have no concepts of sound AT ALL. They are as pure as white paper. As such if these kids are retrofitted with hearing devices, alot of patience and efforts are required, in the aspect of coaching them to distinguish sounds, teaching them communication skills and do speech training as well.


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Cochlear Implant Surgery (Pt 3)

As said previously, the cochlear implant device manufacturer is replacing the faulty internal part with a newer model, free-of-charge. I’m fighting to get TTSH to waive off the hefty surgical cost. This is because this upcoming 2nd-time surgery (slated on 21 Dec) is made essential due to the internal cochlear implant device fault. Not mine.

In other words, it means it is the device manufacturer’s liability, making me go through the whole process again.

Hence why should I be the one to pay for the surgical cost in this bill? 

Communicated this with the staff at Pre-Admission Counselling & Evaluation (PACE) Department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital this morning. Did the usual stuff – blood pressure, body weigh, ECG, blood test and doing a questionnaire.

Shall inform my medical social worker Mr Yeo Chee Wei again, who helped me secured the initial $50k support from hospital medifund for the previous operation on 20th April 2011.


Fixed an appointment with my audiologist, seeing him at the hospital on Tuesday morning (13th December 2011), to mainly discuss the above matter. Let’s see how it goes.

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Cochlear Implant Surgery (Pt 2)

I was at ENT Clinic @ Tan Tock Seng Hospital yesterday, seeing my audiologist.

I saw him twice late last week, due to a fault in my cochlear implant device. “Implant disconnected from coil. Reconnect to resolve”.

Melissa, from the manufacturer company came down to see me, with her equipment to do troubleshooting.

The remote assistant is working. The battery is okay. All components of the processor device is working

Guess what?

I was told yesterday that the internal implant electrode part of the cochlear implant device (inside head) is faulty. It shall be replaced with a brand-new implant model via general surgery again. The replacement is free of charge. As for the surgical cost, it should likely be able to be, again, covered by the $50k medifund support which I’ve gotten.

What a bumpy road to regain hearing. I have to endure another 15 days of hellish pain in my head.

According to my audiologist and ENT specialist doctor, such occurrences are not common but it do happens.

I said it is hellish pain. Why? It is especially so for the first 3/4 days after the surgery. Once the full anesthesic effect wears off, you will know how unbearable the PAIN is in the head (especially the operated side). That is when you will start crying for strength and endurance. Yes, I do get painkiller pills. Mild ones and strong ones.

If I ever have a son or daugher who have to go through what I am going through now, enduring such pain, crying for Papa to relieve his/her pain. Awwww…it will be so heart-breaking. I can now fully feel how parents of cochlear implant kids feel.

I need strength. I am stepping into fire again.

Operation date – Wednesday 21 December. 10.45am.

Is this another test of endurance by Heaven??? 

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cochlear implant surgery (Pt 1)

Wednesday 20 April 2011 was the day I did a cochlear implant surgery on my right dear dead ear. Preparations to do this operation begun sometime in late October 2010. You see, the ear is a dead one since birth. I checked in at the day operating theatre (Tan Tock Seng Hospital) at 8.30am, did the 4-hour surgery at 10.30am and was admitted into the observation ward for a night. For once every 4 hours, I need to do blood pressure test and body temperature reading throughout the entire night.

Thank heavens, there were no complications occurred. No fever. No vomitting. No headache. No giddiness. I was discharged the next morning and was given 15-day medical leave thereafter.

Upon instructions given by my specialist doctor, I consumed the entire course of antibiotics tablets and some painkillers provided (due to post-surgery pain). Post-surgery wound ointment was given, to be applied on the operated area, to help “speed up the healing process and to stop bleeding”. Thanks Mum!

To seek financial assistance, my family and I applied for medifund funding via my assigned medical social worker, Mr Yeo Chee Wei. For an estimated sum of $50, 000. Was surprised and grateful to receive news from Chee Wei on one morning in  late April that I was given full support funding of $50,000 for the surgical cost.

To show gratitude, I think it is time for me to do more good deeds!! 😀

Based on past experiences with similar patients, I was told by my audiologist and specialist doctor that I would need about 6 – 8 months’ time in order to see obvious results.

Will share more about it in my future blog entries.


I quite like this birthday card, which I received 3 weeks ago.

Don’t you agree with the words written on the card? True, isn’t it? 🙂