I almost forgot March was when I got my first CI in 2009. Has it really been 3 years already?! I had to check on the exact date and looks like it was March 5th when I had my surgery and March 23rd was activation day.
I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I have been able to pick up so much more than I ever thought I would in terms of environment sounds and music. On the other hand I wonder if I’m holding myself back in terms of utilizing them to understand speech while lip-reading even though they have helped more than I expected….after all I am my own worst critic.
Obviously, I’m one of those CI users who is at the gains-the-least-benefit-from-CIs end of the spectrum due to my hearing loss background. However, there are times when I wonder if I could be gaining more than what I already am. I still have those “whoaaaaa, did I just hear that?!” moments.
I admit between trying to adjust to a new country, a new language, new environment sounds, being bilateral, accents, and feeling guilty for being the only deaf person who has access to hearing aids/CIs that some of my students want so badly….that I haven’t been wearing them as much throughout the day as I should be. Then throw into the mix the fact I’m still waiting for my backup rechargeable batteries for when we lose power which is a few times a week and I have to somehow make my CI batteries last for a few days at a time rather than only one day that they last if I wear them all day long.
There are still moments that surprise me. Moments like when I discovered I could hear a student sweeping the concrete floor of a classroom that I was standing outside of. Who knew sweeping made a noise?!
There are moments that still drive me crazy. Moments like on the weekends when all the girls are in the dorm (metal roof and no ceiling)…the noise drives me bonkers.
I’m just glad I’m past that “stop breathing, the noise is driving me crazy” stage. That was not a fun stage to be in. It was a stage that lasted a few months when I was first activated and was hearing EVERYTHING as annoying high pitch noises but tuning out NOTHING.
Once I get my back-up rechargeable batteries I want to get back to doing some aural rehab and see if I can somehow improve my lip-reading ability or if I truly have hit the ceiling of my maximum potential with my CIs.
It’s funny how it’s hard to believe it’s already been 3 years since I got my first CI yet I feel like I’ve been bilateral forever. Being bilateral has came more naturally than having only one CI.