Friday, September 30, 2011

A Cochlear Implant in a Hurry!

A person may plan his own journey, but the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Here I am at the computer, three days after receiving a cochlear implant surgery. It wasn't supposed to happen so fast, but God has a way of working things out in a way that stretches you a little bit.

Earlier this year, I had another hearing check-up. Things were as expected. No hearing in the left ear and a profound hearing loss in the right ear. My audiologist asked me again if I had considered a cochlear implant. I began to list my reasons for not really considering it.

  1. I still hear well enough to function with a strong hearing aid in my right ear.
  2. I don't want to destroy the hearing that I still have.
  3. I am not sure I want to trade natural hearing for synthetic hearing.
  4. The longer I wait the better the technology will be.

Finally she said. “Look, a cochlear implant can help you with your speech recognition and communication. We can implant it in your deaf ear, not your hearing one. Your supposed natural hearing really isn't natural, you are so greatly aided. The technology has really come along. But here is why you should really, really consider it. As a legal resident of Brazil you qualify for the implant through SUS (the Brazilian one health system). It would be free. Free surgery. Free rehab. Free processor.”

Now, it is pretty hard to turn down an argument like that one. My wife Loaise and I began to talk it over. We reasoned that if it didn't work, life would go on as usual. I just wouldn't use the implant, and I would have another nice battle scar.

Fast forward 6 months and here I am with a MED-EL Sonata TI 100 implanted in my left cochlea. It actually happened so fast that we weren't ready for it all. Now I am looking forward to activation. I will write all about the experience on this blog.