Cochlear Implant Information Day at Kings Cross ENT (October 2016)
I was reluctant to attend the information group session about cochlear implants. I remember the day so clearly. I distanced myself on purpose from the rest of the group so I could avoid any conversation and questions. It was out of very character of me, generally I’m chatty and with being Irish I would literally talk to the wall! Any of my friends would have pointed this out straight away. Clearly my heart wasn’t in this like the 20 or so others in the room. I wanted to just absorb into the background to observe only and not get sucked into the cochlear implant world. A bit like the small child testing the cold sea water while the tide is out and runs away when it rolls back in again.
Looking back, I suppose at the time I was curious but not enough to have the operation. I didn’t know how the implant would benefit people with my degree of hearing loss but then again I never spoke to anyone like me had hearing-aids from a young age. Most of the stories I read or heard about were of people who had been profoundly deaf and were implanted as a child or much later on in adult life. How do I relate to them?
When the group session ended, I shared a lift with 5 others CI (cochlear implant)potentials. I deliberately looked away to avoid any eye contact. One lady managed to hack into my shell and to my surprise I relaxed eventually and we talked for a little while. She even remarked at how quiet I was and asked if I was nervous. Truth be told, I was terrified. We swapped numbers and decided to keep in touch. It’s interesting that 6 months later, my outlook on the matter had changed so much.