To Take or Not To Take

I’m going on a camping trip in a few weeks with some friends. I keep mentioning to them that I’m not taking my laptop, sidekick, iPod, etc. I just want to be free from those sort of things for a week (except my camera which doesn’t count). I then wondered about my CI.

One thing I like about vacations is that it gives you a chance to be free from everything. There have been times where I have felt the need to wear my hearing aids and other times where I decide I want to be free from them. It’s a bit different with the CI now that I’m hearing a more with it.

Do I take my CI or not? Do I want to worry about losing it? Worry about water damage? We’re going to be camping and doing physical activities….I really don’t want to mess with something that costs so much especially when I have a talent for losing things on trips.

While I never went more than 2 days without wearing hearing aids in NY…I would occasionally take a day or an afternoon off. I liked the idea of just being free and seeing the world in a different way…a way that was “normal” to me (no sounds). I also liked the idea of knowing that I could function without relying on my hearing aids.

This topic came up a few days ago with another friend, Dennis, who also has a CI and will be on this trip. He is planning on not taking his CI. That made me feel better knowing someone else would consider not taking their CI because I’m not too sure too many people would fully understand why I would even consider NOT taking it.

I thought about it a bit more and was trying to figure out why I was having a hard time deciding. There are 4 of us who will be going…3 of us are deaf and one is hearing. One person seems to benefit from his CI really well, another one doesn’t use CI/HAs, one is hearing, and then you have me…..the person who has a CI but doesn’t rely on it for lipreading yet….the CI newbie…the CI user who doesn’t really fit into a category. I realized that if it was a group of all hearing people that I would definitely take my CI whereas if it was all deaf people I definitely wouldn’t. However, it’s a mix.

It’s not so much about hearing things per sec. It’s more about me wanting to be able to experience the world from the same pov that everyone else in the group does. While I can’t fully experience it in the same ways, I can get an idea of what it’s like. I then realized that I actually have the capacity (to a certain degree) to experience things on this trip in 3 different ways with 3 different people (CI user, hearing, and deaf)…which is kind of cool. Then again this is a camping trip and I associate camping with nature and freedom….which I associate with being deaf because that’s who I am naturally.

Now I know why I kept putting this post off. It’s hard to explain my train of thought on this.

As of right now I am NOT going to take my CI with me on this trip. I do not want to be distracted by random sounds, I do not want to waste time trying to figure out what I’m hearing, and I do not want to worry about it getting damaged/lost. I’ve always missed out on more things visually when I use HAs/CIs. We’re going to Colorado and I want to be able to take in everything I’m seeing rather than missing out on some of the fine details because I’m hearing things.

There’s also something refreshing when I know I can do just fine without relying on technology. I need that reminder every once in a while.

The only downside to not taking it is that it’s going to be brutal for me to get used to “hearing” again after a whole week of complete silence. Even at this point I still flinch a bit when I put it on in the mornings after going all night without hearing anything….let alone a whole week……

It will probably take me less than a day to readjust to not “hearing” on this trip whereas it could take several days to readjust to “hearing” afterwards.

Ok, I better get going. I’m heading to Oklahoma for the weekend!

5 thoughts on “To Take or Not To Take

  1. Kel, are you still wearing your hearing aids in conjunction with your CI?Admittedly, I'm not truly locked in on "NOT" taking my CI. But my reasons are different from yours.It's not the adjusting after not hearing for a week that gets me. It's, frankly, the idea of not listening to music the whole time. Crankin' it up in the car (putting the whole deafening our hearing buddy issue aside πŸ˜‰ ) wouldn't do much for me. And sometimes I do like to just listen in bed while getting ready to slumber.Now, since certain songs are stuck in my head, this may no longer be an issue. πŸ˜‰ :-pDo you listen to your iPod while you drive? I.e. between here and OK?

  2. Actually, after the drive to OK I am reconsidering taking the CI with me to Colorado, lol.I COULD take the HA with me and I did consider that but if I were to do that then I might as well as take the CI. I prefer the CI over the HA and I think the CI is more tough/durable than my HA anyways.Dennis–there's no way for you to use non-rechargable batteries? Didn't you say that was one of your concerns?In the mean time…let's keep listening to the Ting Tings!

  3. Hypothetically…. if it were *me*…. I'd take both but would likely tune out for socializing. Everytime I am amplified in a deaf social situation I get distracted, and when I turn the suckers down I finally feel like I'm fully involved with what's going on in front of me. However, being so new to the CI, I would hate to give it for a week and lose time regressing. I'd also want to try the CI out in nature by myself to see what I can hear. My audiologist suggested trying the super sensitive music program if I'm ever in a quieter outside setting free of people sounds, so I can tune in to the sounds of nature. Remember one CI is fully replacable under warranty, but the possibility of losing it would be small anyway, and you have a back up processor at home. When you are alone or resting an Ipod would be good to practice the auditory skills for a bit since you will most likely be sans amplification most of the time. I am going to be with a deaf friend and deaf ed teachers for a girls night out in a couple weeks…. probably swimming… I get the whole comfort level of being with peers that get it and not having to worry about putting anything on around water! Have fun on your trip.

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