How is it possible that it was only a year ago that my second cochlear implant, the one for my right ear, was activated?
I thought life was great after having one cochlear implant, but life with 2…amazing!
I try to not take a single day for granted, but the fact is that I do forget I’m deaf sometimes. That’s because it’s not being pointed out to me constantly now that I didn’t hear something. I’m not constantly asking someone to repeat themselves. I’m not forced to humbly ask someone to sit in on telephone calls to fill in the blanks on the parts I didn’t get because I didn’t understand what was said. I don’t smile and nod, pretending that I understand what someone said to me.
Having someone point out I didn’t hear something was always much harder on me than having to ask someone to repeat themselves. I guess it was a stronger reminder that I had a hearing problem that I didn’t want. Didn’t ask for. It wore me down emotionally, it obliterated my self-confidence in most settings. I need to write these words so I can re-read them over and over again to make sure that the moments I forget I’m deaf don’t lead me to a place where I forget to remember to be grateful for where I’ve climbed up from.
I wrote today in celebration of my “ear”versary on Hearing Journey, an online forum sponsored by Advanced Bionics, that I enjoy stories of kids who, due to having cochlear implants at early ages, have been able to be mainstreamed in school and are able to experience it alongside their peers with minimal accommodations. That’s a good analogy for how I feel. My cochlear implants have eliminated most of my need for accommodation and I’ve been mainstreamed back into life – work, family, friends. I don’t want to mislead anyone, it has taken time and work with rehab and my great team of audiologists, and will continue to require work on my part forever, but it’s truly a small price to pay for all I’ve gained.
I am so grateful, so thankful, so appreciative…and I’m looking forward to celebrating many more “ear” varsaries! 2 every year, to be exact!
Thank you for supporting my journey by walking with me along it through this blog. You’ve helped me maintain my Deaf Defiance!!!