One year ago today I found out what having a cochlear implant was really all about when my first one was activated (turned on).
It’s so amazing to think about.
As someone who lived years with the reality that I was losing my hearing, having it slip away at an unpredictable pace, I know the struggle people with hearing loss live with. I know in retrospect the sacrifices I made, the limitations I came to accept as being “as good as it could be”.
I don’t think there is one sacrifice or limitation that still exists today (with the exception of the sound of music, which keeps improving). Don’t misunderstand, my hearing isn’t anywhere near “normal”. There are plenty of things I wish were better or different.
What’s different today, a year after my first cochlear implant was activated? The difference is that I now have the kind of hearing assistance technology that just keeps getting better. The difference is that I hear today using the direct electrical stimulation of a nerve that works directly with my brain, both of which are constantly changing and evolving. The difference is that from a year ago today, when I first heard sound transmitted through this amazing technology, without the need for my defective ear to play a role, I could hear. The hope I had lost had been restored and I knew that everything would be different from that point forward.
I have another “ear”versary later this year, and rest assured I’ll be celebrating it too. In the meantime, writing this has reminded me that there are times when I forget how much I’ve gained from having cochlear implants. They have made even my worst days better than before. For that, I am eternally grateful!