Dennis was in Florida last week. I was able to fly out for the weekend to hang out with him, his brother, and his sister-in-law (and their two cute dogs). I flew to Orlando where I met up with Dennis then we drove 4 hours to Naples for the weekend We also drove up to Fort Lauderdale/Miami.
We were able to spend some time at beaches, participated in a 5K race on the beach, went to a local county fair, went kayaking, saw dolphins (saw a calf!) from about 20-30 feet away, and read books.
I almost forgot I was implanted two years ago until someone recently asked me about it. Then I couldn’t remember the dates of when I was implanted and activated…that’s what blogs are for!
This is your warning that this post is a bit more scattered than usual! 🙂
Today, March 23rd, marks 2 years since my CI was activated. I’m not even sure why I’m bothering with a 2 year update post but am jumping on the bandwagon with everyone else who does it. 🙂
Imagine how overwhelmed you would feel and how much you would have to adjust if you had perfect hearing then suddenly became deaf. Yeah, that’s how I felt for a long time after my implant was activated (going from perfectly deaf to hearing everything).
The longer I have had my CI the more I realize how much I hated my CI at first. I am so much more comfortable with my CI now. Sometimes I forget I have something man-made inside me and other times I still find it weird that I can actually feel the outline of the implant on my head when touching my head.
In some ways I’m still in the same spot I was 2 years ago but in more ways I am not. Bottom line is I’m more than happy with my decision to get a CI and I never regretted my decision (even when I hated it and was grumpy). If nothing else it has made me embrace the fact that being deaf is part of who I am. I am so much more comfortable with who I am as a deaf person.
There are days when I do get frustrated and wish I could understand everything I hear….but I knew from day 1 that I probably wouldn’t. Then there are days when I’m still amazed that certain sounds exist.
There are days when I’m not sure why I even bother wearing my CI and there are days when I don’t know what I would do without my CI.
There are days when my CI batteries go dead and I don’t bother replacing them for a couple of hours. There are days when I make sure I have back-up CI batteries with me all the time because I don’t want to go a minute without wearing my CI.
I have fallen into love with music.
There are days when I want to hear everything that’s going on around me and there are days when all I want is silence. Having that choice is wonderful. I make my own decisions as to if I want to hear.
There are days when sometimes it’s a brutal reminder of how much I miss out on. It hurts to hear people talking around me and not being able to understand them. It’s frustrating to hear music and not hear it in the same way others hear it. It’s annoying to hear laughter and being the only one not laughing because I don’t know what they’re laughing about. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. The if I don’t hear it, it doesn’t exist philosophy. Without the CI, I could look away when people started talking and would forget I was being left out. I didn’t feel hurt or embarrassed because I was the only one not laughing because I didn’t hear others laughing around me. I didn’t have so many questions about music.
Then there are days when lip-reading is much easier, I’m more in tune with my environment, and I can’t go through a whole day without listening to music.
Two years later and I’m still sorting through this huge tangled ball of sounds. It has taught me to be even more inquisitive and motivated. It has helped me get a little taste of what the world is like for my hearing family and friends.
I am a deaf person who is comfortable with being deaf yet I enjoy hearing.
Sometime I do wonder if I should go bilateral and other times I’m not sure I should.
It’s funny how certain sounds, smells, and visual things take me back to surgery day, activation day, and a few weeks after activation. The sound of my turn signal still brings back memories of when I finally recognized my first sound which was the turn signal.
One of my top songs to listen to from time to time is The Hardest Button to Button by The White Stripes. I remember watching the music video a few times after activation (without sound) and thinking that the very end of the video (starting at 3:11) reminded me of how I felt like the room was spinning with sounds attacking me from all directions whenever I had my CI on. I felt trapped…it didn’t matter where I went or what I did…I couldn’t escape that circle of sounds, it was always there….and those sounds were bigger than I was. Two years later and the ending of this video still takes me back to those days.
It is clear I get minimum benefits with my CI compared with the majority of CI users but it works for me. I appreciate what I have and will continue to do so.
I am realizing that it’s true when people say getting a CI is a journey. There may be a starting point but there’s no ending point. It’s a lifelong process of learning and work….
Has it really been almost a month since my last post?! Time flies.
Just thought I would mention a small CI moment. This won’t seem very impressive to most of you but thought it was kinda cool especially since I wasn’t actively listening.
Of course, charity and sherry are 2 entirely different words with different numbers of syllables.
At dinner, Dennis was talking about a dodgeball charity tournament and he was sim-comming (signing and speaking at the same time). I happened to look away for a second and missed that Dennis had signed “charity.” I did catch part of the word via lip-reading and listening.
I asked him “who?” I was confused because I thought I heard “Sherry” which didn’t match up with what we were talking about. Then Dennis repeated that he had said “charity.”
I am always mixing up the “SH” and “CH” sounds. So, to me…sherry sounds similar to charity. This is kind of an example of how sometimes I can identify certain sounds but I don’t always pick them all out. In this case I was able to pick out there was a “SH” or a “CH” sound and figured out there was a “R” in there somewhere. It’s a fill-in-the-blank game for my brain.
This is random….but no one ever told me that you can hear a person brushing their teeth from across the room…and it’s quite noisy.