Monday, July 23, 2012

Ran into a Deaf Friend

Yesterday as my wife and son and I were walking down Rio Branco Avenue, here in Juiz de Fora, I saw a young girl smile at me. I kept thinking, where do I know her, then I remembered. I called my wife to stop walking and we all turned around. The girl and her family turned around too.

We had met several years back. She was unable to hear much and her speech was extremely limited with a strong deaf accent. She was about 8 years old at the time.

Now, she is fourteen. She looked at me and saw my cochlear implant. Then I saw hers. She smiled and spoke in a very clear perfect sounding Portuguese. Her hearing seem effortless. (My hearing comes with great concentration, frustration and repetition). After our families caught up, I asked her how long she had been wearing a CI. Turns out it’s been 2 years since her activation.

She said the first year was a big struggle, but now she hears very well and dominates nearly every social situation. Wow. I am so pleased for her.

I am still in the first year. I’ve made amazing advances, but I also have a long way to go. I do hope to be hearing as well as she is soon.

Both of us have MED-EL Opus 2 processors and were operated by the same doctor. Neat.

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