To my new readers,
This is my own personal journey of having a cochlear implant. I have severe-to-profound deafness bilaterally with a 95 decibel hearing-loss and also wear digital hearing-aids. If decibels isn’t a term you are familiar with then one could also say that I have about 5% hearing left in both ears. I struggle mainly with background noise and other people’s speech. As a result, I rely heavily on lip-reading, body language and facial expressions with the support of my hearing-aids to hear sound. I don’t have a speech impediment due to years of speech and language therapy as a child. Very few people can tell that I have a hearing loss and so as a result I constantly remind others. My hearing-aids were my lifeline and now I must embark on a new journey in search for better hearing and a new lifeline.
I’m currently waiting with excitement for the big day. The “switch on” of my cochlear implant in my right ear which is when the device is activated in order for me to hear better sound (more about that later on!). The “switch on” will take place in less than 2 weeks from now and I will then be able to set out on a journey to hear sound in a completely different way. If you would like to hear more, stick on the kettle and make yourself a hot cuppa (as we say back home in Cork)! You will read about the 3 minute conversation that set me on my new path, researching cochlear implants inside and out, the assessment stage, the nitty grittys for the inquisitive, the operation itself, what recovery was like and my thoughts pre-“Switch On”.
To my new deaf readers…
If you are thinking about having a cochlear implant, I want you to know most importantly that my mind-set today was completely different to that of 6 months ago. Deciding to go for this operation was certainly not an overnight decision! It is you that I want to share my experiences with so I hope you will find some comfort and reassurance in following my journey. At first, I was just writing a diary for my own memory of the experience, my short term memory is rubbish and also writing is my way to “off-load” (Humming Bird Bakery’s cupcakes too of course!).
It didn’t occur to me to write about my experience online until the day I shared it with a special deaf friend who is now having her cochlear implant assessment. As we chatted and signed over cake and coffee, I watched how her shoulders began to relax and the worry lines had disappeared from her face as I spoke more about the different stages. I then showed her the little neat scar behind my ear, and with two fingers she was able to feel the small bump on my head above the right ear where the device was implanted. We were both surprised that only a small section of my hair was shaved off for the surgery and joked about it being a trending look everywhere these days! My friend is now as excited and left on a much more confident about the whole process. I knew at the moment, I had to share my experience with others like her and for those who have friends and family like mine with a million and 1 questions! 😀
To my family and friends… (last but not least!)
Follow me on my journey to the wonders of having a bionic ear! I hope this will give you a clearer insight into my own personal world of deafness and why I chose this path to better hearing. Thank you all for your endless support to date! Without your lovely messages and cards, I wouldn’t be embracing the next chapter of my ears with such positivity and excitement. I’m also glad I have a way of sharing with those back home especially, my experience of the “Switch On” while we can all sip good ol’ Barry’s Tea!
“It’s like the turning on of Christmas lights!!” – one of many jokes trending at the moment at home!
Happy reading and stay tuned in ….pun intended! 😉
Slain Go Foill!
(Bye for now)