Saturday, February 26, 2011

1 Year of the Cochlear-Implant-Activation November 11th, 2011


"I didn't hear you?"

"What's that noise?"

"Did you hear that?"

Those are sentences I would have said a year ago. Now, One year later, I hardly, if ever, rarely say those words as a result of my being Deaf.

On the first day I was "turned on" and by that I mean by the machine, yes a machine turned me on, imagine that! All I heard was a fizzle, and beeps of sounds. Very confusing to me at first but, the more important thing was I was HEARING those sounds naturally. The first few days would be confusing, mumbled sounds, and nothing really clear.

Everything was just too loud to me! This was quite funny as I was always the guy who asked to have things turned up. Now after the activation I did a 180 and would ask for things to be turned down. It always sounded like people were yelling at me and it hurt my ears and head. I wondered how hearing people survived this?!

Then I remember one moment driving home from the hospital after one of my numerous check ups, I heard this clicking sound in the car. I never heard this before and it alarmed me. I was convinced something was wrong with the car. That's it I decided, I was pulling over to figure this sound. The sound happened once again as I turned off the road and pulled over, but would stop when I was going straight. This had me absolutely dumbfounded. I proceeded to call my mother with the mind I was going to have to call a tow-truck. Imagine this, standing outside on the highway off the hospital 2 hrs away from home not knowing what the hell was making this clicking sound. I explained everything I was doing to my mother, and I heard a short laugh, and then a brief of sympathy going "Oh, Honey, thats the turn signal!" Me "the turn signal makes a sound?" I proceeded to turn on the turn signal and sure as hell, *click* *click* *click* I'll be damned! My mother proceeded to add "this is going to be a long month for us isn't it?!"

I also remember random moments of sound, the first time I heard a raccoon, but most people won't care that I heard a raccoon, but this is the amazing thing. The raccoon was nowhere near me. I was hearing it from SO far away. I now discovered not only could I hear things naturally I could PICK UP sound from far away. This truly was remarkable for me.

Some noises that became irritating for me but I got over it was the crackling of paper, jingling of keys, and the worst part was in my computer class. 26 people clacking away on the computer actually gave me a headache, Hearing every beep, chime, ping, clack, and click. Oh how did you guys do it?!

Then the big thing for me, FLYING! Oh, how I longed to hear the sound of the engines naturally, the wind whistling by, the announcements, the chime and pings. I could hear some of them on the hearing aid, but not as loud and clear as I would on the implant. I took my first inaugural flight with Southwest Airlines of course to Boston, and sat back and truly enjoyed everything I was hearing. Soon after 70 plus flights I have taken I am very good at recognizing just about every sound made on the aircraft, am able to follow along most announcements, that is if the flight attendant or pilot is actually speaking real clear...I really enjoyed it.

Music has also changed quite a bit for me. I have shyed away from country music and gotten more into pop, RB and just my rage of music has really changed. I like it, yes I still play Britney Spears so get over it people hahaha.

It has been a remarkable year for me, hearing things for the first time or hearing things in a more clear-er way. Family's voices, friends voices, I have enjoyed every moment of it, and look forward to the next year and developing and fine tuning my ears! Who knows, perhaps I will get my 2nd implant done!


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