Saturday, January 21, 2012

From Hard of Hearing to Deaf

When I had my cochlear implant surgery last year, it wasn’t a pressing need, but it was needed. My hearing, was good enough that I didn’t need the implant for communication, yet. But the progressive and repeating nature of my hearing loss, meant that one day I would need to rely on a cochlear implant.

The hearing loss has up until now, come in ten year intervals. I expected to be in my early forties when it happened again. The cochlear implant, by then would be functioning well and my quality of life would not diminish at the onset of my deafness.

As it happens I’ve lost my hearing again, and I am only in my third month of learning to hear with a cochlear implant. The CI now provides the only sounds I hear, other than tinnitus. I had been working my hearing rehab so that the cochlear implant would assist my hearing. Now it is my hearing.

I will have several observations here soon. But here are a few things going through my mind.

  1. My hearing in my non-implanted ear will likely come back. It has before.
  2. That hearing won’t be as strong as it was before.
  3. Because of my reliance on my CI for sound information, things will probably happen a little faster.
  4. Even though I can not understand speech and most things sound like noisy whistles and clanging cymbals, it is better than no sound input.
  5. I will have to quit giving English lessons, at least for a while.
  6. I will not have to quit training people to do participatory Bible studies or Bible storying, nor will I need to quit any other ministries of being a missionary.
  7. I now have a good excuse to not talk on the phone. Smile
  8. CI Program 4 is definitely the best one I have. Forget 1 through 3.
  9. I am having melodic tinnitus. I am hearing short random melodies, like the sound a cell phone makes to warn that the battery is low. Another one sounds like coffee brewing. (Maybe it’s my cochlea draining?)
  10. I am glad to have this blog as a place to talk about all this.
  11. I expect this current hardship to be temporary.

May good will and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be yours! – Steve

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