This day is one of my days of infamy. Prior to using the CI, my hearing was REALLY bad. I didn’t go anywhere anymore; it was so hard.
But lets talk about the fun stuff. The day they turned on the Cochlear implant is a day that’s right up there with the day I married Brian and the 2 days I spent home birthing those kids.
The cochlear surgery was a month before. They wait so that you are healed. I’m glad I didn’t know beforehand that I was going to have a hole drilled in my skull! AND, another fun thing is that they bolted a magnet to the outside of my skull under the skin. The magnet on my processor bonds with the magnet on my skull. GREAT!
But, the day they turned my Cochlear processor on (everybody sing now) was a ball! At first the emotions really rang high. Then, I couldn’t stop giggling.
I sat across from the audiologist. She put the processor in place and turned it on. All at once I felt like I was in a tornado with sounds swirling around me. I was looking everywhere in the room. You see, my brain hadn’t heard most sounds for many years. My brain had stopped processing them and they were swirling, unanchored in my mind.
Somewhere in the swirling, I heard someone talking. As each second went by, the voice in the swirl became stronger and when I finally looked in front of me at Maria, the audiologist, I realized it was her voice trying to penetrate the confusion. Finally, I focused on her voice although I still strained to understand what she was saying. The sound was very new, sharp and crisp.
Her words got clearer as the minutes went by and she continued talking. There was a box of tissues next to my seat. I didn’t cry; yet. I cried when she went into the next room and called me on the telephone. I heard the ring; I answered the phone which was next to the tissue box. Then I stared balling! I could hear her! I hadn’t used the phone in SO long! Cell phones were just starting to be the norm and “I didn’t have one.” That day, I felt like a grown-up again!
Her words continued to get clearer, but the fun part was when I stood up to leave. Every sound I made getting up, picking up my purse, opening the door, shutting the door made me feel like I was in a cartoon! Remember the Jetsons and all the funny modernistic sounds in their house? That’s what I heard! Silly sounds everywhere. And I kept laughing; what a ball. I was actually sorry to hear my little friends go. After a few days they also anchored as my brain started to remember them. And the sound of flushing the toilet once again sounded like “flushing the toilet.” (The flushing sounds were REALLY crazy)
That evening, at the end of that day, my husband was in the next room talking on the phone. I could hear every word! I Jumped up and down (many times) and yelled "I can hear you!"
Yup, I got a cell phone. I could track the kids. I could have conversations in the car without having to turn on the lights and and reading their lips. It really made EVERYBODY’S life a LOT easier.
Think of what it did for Brian. He had been through a VERY long, extensive course in something called patience.
Please check out my website for music and stories at NanetteFlorian.com