June 23, 2016 – the date the cochlear implant in my right ear was activated. Happy “ear”versary to me!!
Advanced Bionics often asks questions on social media seeking responses. One post recently asked, “what does having Advanced Bionics cochlear implants mean to you”? My response was used this week by Advanced Bionics on their social media sites – Life Without Restrictions!
I didn’t realize how many restrictions my hearing loss placed on my life, how many things I chose not to do, how much I missed out on. It became my normal, unfortunately, and I couldn’t fully appreciate the impact it was having on my life. I think about it, though, when I meet someone who is contemplating cochlear implant surgery. I wonder how much they have adjusted their life due to their hearing loss, possibly unnecessarily so.
There’s a meme that get’s posted every once in a while that says something like the the cruelest thing you can say to a person with hearing loss is “never mind”. I’d agree with that. It’s still said to me on occasion, because my hearing isn’t perfect and I miss things that people say, sometimes more than once. I wonder, though, if there’s a more cruel inner dialogue for those of us who are deaf or have hearing loss when we tell ourselves we are doing “ok” with our current hearing situation. That was my inner dialogue for years, often reinforced by my hearing health professionals who were helping me the best they could.
There are people who refuse to get their hearing checked, perhaps because they don’t want to find out they need hearing aids. Those who wear hearing aids but like me, have declining understanding of what’s being said to them. Those with cochlear implants who struggle to have the clarity and understanding they desire or who think the clarity and understanding are declining. The inner voice saying you’re doing “ok” is often louder than the inner voice that moves us to take action. Sometimes due to fear that there won’t be anything that can be done.
I’d like to use my “ear”versary post to ask everyone who reads this and knows someone who you think may not be doing “ok” with their current hearing. Point them to my blog, give them my contact information, show them some love and suggest that they consider having their hearing checked or their hearing aids checked or even their cochlear implants checked. Let’s all work toward having Life Without Restrictions when it comes to our hearing!!
Happy “Ear”versary to me!!