So everything is set in stone. My Cochlear implant surgery is scheduled for February 19th at the UPenn medical center in Philadelphia. After almost 24 years of wearing hearing aids and discerning for almost a year, I have decided to go forward with getting the Cochlear implant in my right ear. A big part in making this decision is feeling like I have outgrown my hearing aids over the years. I feel like that I am waking up to an iPhone 3 of everyday. While it is a great phone, there are far more progressive technology available. That is what the Cochlear implant holds in store for me. I expect to hear sounds that I’ve never heard before and to have a significantly easier time communicating with others. From reading other blog posts from Cochlear patients, I’m sure I will be surprised with the number of little sounds that I’ve been missing out all this time! The big unknown going into the process is that the Cochlear implant result is different for everyone. No one can analyze ahead of time of how much my hearing will improve, but it is definitely bound to be better. So I’m not too nervous for surgery itself, but for the adjustment after. It’s kind of like learning a new language where everything will sound so different.
While I have worked hard to adjust with the mainstream environment since I was one year old, this crossover to the Cochlear won’t be a complete culture shock to me. This is because I already speak with others orally and rely almost entirely on my hearing. I do a little of lip-reading and have my peers use a Bluetooth microphone to enhance my hearing. I will be able to have a similar microphone system with the Cochlear. The changes I look forward to seeing is the small things. This include understanding the dialogue of movies in theater and hearing the lyrics in songs without looking them up. Also, another thing to keep in mind is that this procedure will not cure my disability, but it will enhance my hearing in ways that my power hearing aids haven’t been able to.
I will use this blog to keep everyone updated on my process. After the surgery, it will be loooong period of adjustment. From what other candidates have said, more and more improvement will add on slowly everyday over the course of a year. So, it won’t just happen overnight, even though I would like that to be the case. So I anticipate that it to be a little frustrating here and there but it will be worth it in the long run. The support of my family and friends will make a big difference in being patient (pun intended) in this process!
I’ll be sure to get another post up before the surgery!