Rush got a new cochlear implant

By Neal McNamara | April 26, 2014
rush-limbaugh

Where was Rush Limbaugh?

Many people were wondering where your usual 9 a.m. to noon host was as guest host after guest host filled in for him for exactly one week, until this past Thursday.

Was he sick or on vacation or did he call it quits? Nope – he was seeking a cure for his partial deafness.

Thirteen years ago, Rush got a cochlear implant in his left ear to fix hearing he lost after suffering an autoimmune disorder. At that time, doctors told him to leave the right side alone because there might be a cure for partial deafness. Well, 13 years came and went, and no cure. So, last week Rush got a cochlear implant on his right side.

That autoimmune disorder destroyed most of the microscopic hair cells in his ears that detect frequencies. Doctors tried to stop the disorder with chemotherapy drugs, but it didn’t work.

“I don’t have the frequency response to identify melodies, even music that I’ve heard. My memory supplies the melody. I can turn on one of my favorite songs from the seventies, if I didn’t know what the song is, if I don’t have a piece of text or if I don’t have somebody tell me, I will not recognize it,” Limbaugh explained.

“If this had happened to me 10 years before it did, it would have meant the end of my career and there wouldn’t be any of this today,” he continued. “To think of 10 years in the whole timeline, it’s miraculous. So I’m describing this, not complaining at all.”

Rush had the opportunity to witness the surgery before he underwent it.

“So, it’s sculpture of the skull. Eighty percent of this is a high-speed drill, the surgeon using a high-speed drill like a dentist, and just carves out, sculpts a place in the skull for the implant to go. You cannot drill straight down because you don’t want to go to the brain. You got to stay just short of that.

“So I still have all the giant bandages on. That’s why there’s no Dittocam. I look like Claude Rains with the invisible stuff not working is the best way to describe it.”

But, Rush’s implant isn’t switched on yet. He returns to the doctor on May 9 to program the implant.

Read Rush’s full cochlear implant story here.

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