Karen P. Cochlear Awareness Network Volunteer
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Dear Cochlear Community Members:
Although we are just meeting for the first time via these pages, I want you to know that you have been instrumental in my decision making process regarding a Cochlear Implant for myself.
But first let me tell you ... my hearing loss began in 1995 and in the fall of that year I started wearing one hearing aid. Several years later my other ear required a hearing aid. Cause was (and still remains) unknown. I have the distinction of being the only one in my family with hearing loss and since then have treaded the areas of growing silence on my own. To my good fortune I have a very understanding family, marvelous employer, and a great audiologist team.
For all these years the thought kept going through my brain "I am not that bad" and I really believed it until the day one of our clients ventured to ask my boss if I was suffering from dementia! (I reminded that client of her mother who was beginning to suffer.) You see, when I answered the telephone I had developed a routine of questioning my clients until they gave me enough information that I knew who they were/what they wanted without having to ask them directly for their name (when in the past I recognized them by voice). This was a really big wake up call for me and my team. After exhausting every possible means of helping me with communicating (especially with the telephone) the only answer left was to tender my resignation.
Then this past January my husband and I attended a local seminar "When Hearing Aids Aren't Enough". That was our real beginning of accepting the possibility of cochlear implants. Shortly after that seminar I went into a restaurant by myself and discovered I could not understand what the server was asking me. Thank goodness I am good at pointing out what I wanted! Another wake up moment and I realized that yes, I "really must be that bad".
I had been reading so many of your comments and found them very enlightening and dare I say it - hopeful?
Getting to the bottom line - I had my implant six weeks ago in April. My activation date is set for tomorrow, June 2nd. And, because of all your sharing I will keep that appointment having a good idea of what to expect.
I realize each of us have our own unique experience but you know what? I will always be grateful for the helpful information you have provided and the "security" of knowing that where you have gone, I can follow as well ... which is what I have done and am doing. Again, thank you.
It is my intention to post current blogs following tomorrow's activation. Bear with me as this is also my first attempt coming online...and I am trying to figure out how to get my photo from my camera into the computer and onto this page. Ugh!
June 1, 2009