Saturday, February 26, 2011

1 Year Anniversary of the Cochlear-Implant--October 23rd, 2010

Hey Guys-

It's been a long year, but I had my one year anniv in October and November respectively for the surgery and for the activation. I wanted to share them here for those who were interested.

October 23rd, 2010, marks the one-year anniversary of my Cochlear-Implant Surgery. I don’t even know where to begin to talk about the impact it has had on my life. I spent almost a year debating whether to have it done or not, what my friends and families thought, should I go for it? What would the impact be on my life, school, work and relationships with friends and more.

I could start with meeting people who had the implant. I was amazed how well they were doing with it, whether bi-lateral or dual. It blew me away and completely impressed me. I came home to talk to my family and friends about it, and thought I’d like to check this out. I talked to close friends, and family and in time, I decided for once I need to be selfish, and do what I wanted. Truth of the matter was, I wanted to HEAR. Feel like I belonged in this world.

Go back to the night before the surgery, I was terrified. Did I make the right decision? No backing out now, am I really going under again? Never fear, I was amazed at all the support I received from everyone the night of the surgery it was a great thought to have just before going under.

Then it came time to prep for surgery. Get blood done, IV in, it’s time to go to sleep. I don’t remember anything around that time, just being asked to count backwards from ten. Next thing I know, I am awake.

Of course letting people know I made it through the surgery was my first task, and everyone wanted to know the ONE burning question…”What can you hear?!” Me “NOTHING YET!”

It was amusing trying to explain to people the surgery was just to insert the magnet inside the head, and the true part would come barely a month later in November.

Thinking back the previous year, and to think has it really been a year since I had the surgery? It indeed has.

The surgery, and implant, has really strengthen my relationships with my friends no doubt and family too. It certainly brought up awesome conversations, hilarious moments in trying to hear things or recover my surgery.

I also think back to my first flying trips after the implant, when I took my first flight on Southwest Airlines to Boston on their inaugural flight out of STL. It was my inaugural for hearing and theirs for flying! It was so amazing getting to hear the sounds of “flying” that I had not heard before the surgery.

Then I think back to my first concert with Reba McEntire in February, and BOY what a difference it made to listen to country music and hear the twang and what not. Same for Lady Gaga concert, I was also surprised what I could pick up and hear and understand.

Then, trying to see a movie in 3D at the theaters wasn’t exactly a success story either. The glasses would knock off my implant on the head, so I had to decide, be blind, and hear the movie but not see, or be deaf, knock off the implant but be able to see the movie. Talk about having a Helen Keller moment! J

Going on my first international trip period on the implant was awesome for me to experience because I had to figure how to charge my batteries, and keep up with it while overseas. Getting to hear the dialect and language of Japanese folks versus American/English folks was very neat experience for me also.

I could go on and on, and most people won’t read or comment on this and that’s fine. I just want you to know, when you whine and complain, stop and think for a second that you are able to HEAR people whine and complain. For 22 years I was not able to do that. Now I can hear it, and try to be a part of the hearing world. Step by Step, day by day.

I never take anything for granted now, and it truly does give me the gift of life in a way because hearing is so much a part of it. I am very thankful for everything and the opportunity this has presented me. So much has been achieved in just a year, and I have only just begun. We ain’t seen nothing yet!

Once again from the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every single one of you who have been there for me, through likes, comments, messages, wall posts, texts, phone calls, visits, just asking how I am is sooo much appreciated. I am excited to share it all with you, and as long as you keep asking I will keep sharing!

One Year ladies and gentlemen, one year. It’s been an amazing ride.



Anonymous said...

I am glad that you are enjoying your cochlear implants to hear variety of sounds as well as spoken language with other people including your family memebers. It surely does take some time to adapt the cochlear implants to be able to understand the spoken and the sound environment. Once you get the hang of it, you would be very familiar with those sounds.

I laughed hard about the signal blinking in your vehicle. Those are obnoxious sounds. Learning how to listen to music is rewarding is it? Enjoy the CI!


Alex said...

Thanks! I was sooo embarrassed about the turn signal, but it made for an excellent story! :)