Saturday, 19 August 2017

Happy 15 years!

Today marks the 15th anniversary of my partnership with a certain piece of technology - my cochlear implant! I am very thankful to have this wonderful partnership as it has been of huge benefit to me, despite a rocky start with it.

With Cindy Gustin, my audiologist on my switch on day. (Can you tell I looked like an impressed 17 year old?)
I was activated 15 years ago for the first time. After taking a month to heal. My 17 year old self was smart enough at the time to keep a journal of my initial journey. On this day in 2002, I wrote:

Today is my switch on day. I am quite nervous, and trying not to show it. This morning I visited Dr. Westerberg to make sure my incision was safe to be switched on.

When Cindy switched me on. I couldn't hear anything - all I could feel were waves. It took me a while to realize those waves were really sounds. I must admit, I felt a little disappointed - because in a way I was kinda hoping to be able to hear some sounds. Aside from that, I decided to give it a little bit more time. I never knew it would be so difficult! Perhaps I expected too much of myself which could be the reason why.

It wasn't until three weeks later that I wrote my next entry... most likely due to the disappointing nature of being switched on.

It has been 3 weeks that I have been switched. The reason why I didn't write was because I was quite disappointed. But, determined to make this thing work. There were a few epiosdes where I bawled like a baby - out of confusion and frustration.

Just a few days ago - I heard my voice for the first time! The words listed below are the sounds I've recognized after 3 weeks:

-Crinkling of candy wrapper
-A sneeze
-Baby's cry
-Door/locker slam
-Plastic Bag
-Pews falling to the ground
-Creaking of wood
-Pee pee
-Toilet Flushing

... and more than I can count.

Waves still remain my favorite sound to this day. (Photo from Google)

It took me about 6 months to really love the CI as for me, it was essentially re-learning all the sounds all over again. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Looking forward to getting my 2nd implant when funding is covered by the government.

Today, I would totally inconsolable if I lost my CI. It's my partner in crime (pretty much at the same level as my husband!), and I've also learned how to fine-tune my explanations to strangers who ask me "what's that?" to "you really have a piece of metal in your head?!"

For those that don't have a hearing loss. I'd like this post to remind all of us to be grateful for all the sounds we are able to hear. Yes - same goes for me when my two daughters are driving me crazy with their "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" a billion times a day.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Monique! You look so sad in the pic at switch on... can't imagine you without you CI now! Love you, Mom