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High Fives Received

TJ Smelko- Cochlear Ambassador

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My Story
A special young man with a severe to profound bilateral hearing loss as a definite diagnosis since infancy due to premature birth and/or reactions to antibiotics, I have overcome obstacles with a positive attitude and finally made a courageous decision to get a cochlear implant in the spring of 2010 because I felt the need to function normally in the hearing world. Before I got my cochlear implant, I have suffered several episodes of depression because my hearing aids tend to leave me out of everyday conversations and did not want to feel embarrassed to ask people to repeat what is being said overtime. Understanding speech has been such of a huge blur, which requires of me to depend on constant lip-reading, sign language, and/or written format. It got to me thinking that the Lord has given me special challenges in the hearing world with the best of ability and wants me to find that key to unlock the potential to balance both worlds without failing. With my cochlear implant, I have noticed a dramatic improvement in speech comprehension, the ability to hear sounds that I have never heard before, the clarity of sounds, and the true ability to speak on the phone for the first time since the implant. Today, I am now a bilateral cochlear implant recipient whereas it gave me the freedom to hear in pure digital stereo, localize sounds at ease, and sounds are as rich and clear as a polished prism going through many directions without restrictions. As a proud advocate for this wonderful technology along with personal inspiration, the controversy of cochlear implants are eventually beginning to diminish with eternity. I want to personally give kudos to the Dallas Hearing Foundation Cochlear Implant Support group, the staff at Dallas Ear Institute, my friends, family, Dallas HEAR, my CI buddies and of course the Heavenly Father who helped me lead on to “Choosing the Right”

 

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Blog Entries
Wow!! It has been six months since my last visit to the Cochlear Community. How has everybody been these days?? Well, life is going well with myself and I am...
For nearly three years of bilateral hearing using cochlear implants, I am filled with joy to announce that my two ears has finally held hands with grace and...
Howdy Y'all,  It was a nice and chilly day that Cochlear asked a few of our D/FW Ambasssadors to volunteer at the DAC D/HH Girls Summit. This...
Last Sunday at Church during Priesthood session, I was sitting on the right side of the room and I was surprised that I was hearing something unusual and...
Well--as some of you know that I have always been a cochlear implant candidate almost my entire life. I happened to pull out my old audiology records and...
Over Easter weekend, my family and I went to the new museum in downtown Dallas known as "Perot Science Museum" We all enjoyed every bit of it. They...
A special young man with a severe to profound bilateral hearing loss as a definite diagnosis since infancy due to premature birth and/or...
Hey Friends!!   I use my bilateral accessory quite often and it's apparent that I had some sort of new setting that I haven't tried...
 Hello everyone,  It has been quite a while since I have written a post on the Community and I'm excited to share exciting news with...
Hey Friends,  Lately, both of my CI incisions near the ear flap are starting to itch and increasing in irritation. Is there any ideas I can do to...
My trip to Colorado began on Thursday July 22, 2012 and I had to leave for my flight at 5:30am that very morning while I flew out at 7:30am. My plane landed...
Processor Question
2 Years Ago
Hey!!  I have a question. As you know that I wear all black (coil, processor battery..etc.); I was wondering if Cochlear can allow trading of the...
Hey CI buddies!!  I missed being on the CC and I know it has been quite too long!! How is everyone here? In fact, I'm doing well and I'm...
A Prayer
3 Years Ago
  Hey Everyone, Just want to let each member of the community that I am praying to these that are facing tough times. I pray that He shall...
 Dear Cochlear Americas,  Having bilateral hearing with my bionic ears is just perfect right now because now I can realize how my implants coaxes...
Hey Y'all, Hopefully that each and every one of you is celebrating the holidays with pure joy and eternity. Something interesting happened when...
SkinIts
3 Years Ago
Hey all, I know that each and every one of you are talking excitedly about how the company "SkinIts.com" are able to produce skins for Freedom...
Hey Everyone, Do your sound processors still look dirty even after you really cleaned it? Do you want them to look as new by the time you got them activated?...
Hey Everyone,  I hope that y'all are staying warm by the fireplace since the weather is starting to get colder in fact wearing your slippers and...
A special young man with a severe to profound bilateral hearing loss as a definite diagnosis since infancy due to premature birth...
Hello Friends,  As you may not know that July 14th marks my 1-year anniversary of my first cochlear implant surgery. Approximately at 2:40pm that...
Greetings Texans,  For these whom does not know me, my name is T.J. Smelko and I am your Texas Co-Host. I am proud to be wearing two Nucleus 5...
An awesome day!!
3 Years Ago
Hey Friends, Wow--it nearly has been a month since I wrote a blog on the Community. I have been so busy at the moment on job search, and attending...
Hey Friends,  Would it be nice to name your right and left implant by a name you would come up with starting with R and L. Even though at times...
Howdy Friends,  It has been almost two weeks since my A-Day of my second CI. As of March 24th, 2011 at 8:15 in the morning I am officially a live...
Hey Friends, I thought I would take a moment to write a blog as short and simple as possible. To start off with when I was a freshman in high school, my mom...
Hello Friends,  I went in to see my CI surgeon for my post-op appt. today. He says that my 2nd ear CI incision site is Healing well. I thank Dr. Peters...
Hey All,  As you know that I really miss wearing baseball caps since I got my first implant last summer and now that I had my second implant surgery...
Hey Friends,  As you know with my struggles with the hearing world with hearing aids along with being raised in that world my whole life, i decide to...
Hey Friends!! Each day, my post-op I worked on my faith to heal myself from surgery and yes--I feel somewhat off balance and I know I'll have to take it...
Hello Friends,  This morning, when I was rubbing my hands together--I thought--my brain is playing tricks on me and so I kept doing it until lunchtime...
Howdy, Yesterday--I recieved paperwork from my local CI clinic about surgery instructions, post-op care, and also including the royal purple document stating...
Hey Friends,  As you know that I'm looking forward to getting my 2nd implant surgery soon and I'm really excited about it. My audi emailed me...
Howdy,  In fact this morning the staff at the cochlear implant clinic contacted me this morning that I am going green for surgery. Surgery is scheduled...
Howdy,  My mother asked me to come in the kitchen and she had a Valentine's Day card from both my mother and father with cookies plus candies. I...
“Finding Connections Without Separation”               Connections can...
Hey Folks,  I thought I would like to share with the members of the community. As you know, I have been deaf and been wearing hearing aids for my whole...
Howdy, It’s been a few days since I wrote a post on the Cochlear Community and I wanted to share updates on my bilateral implant...
Friday 1-14 was a great day to get evaluated for the possibility of getting a second implant for my “right” ear. My audiologist has said that...
 ~Please refer to my personal website and look at the pictures describing the true meaning of Superman~ Fireworks sprang in the glorious skies...
Howdy,  For a few months, I have been working with my former teacher of the Deaf who worked for the Richardson ISD. She then had to move to the...
Wow!! Finally it has been nearly 6 months since I got my left bionic ear activated. My audiologists and therapists has said that I’m progressing very...
Howdy Everyone,  I think I just found out a way to share my DHF Gala photo album from my Facebook. You can go there by clicking on this link. Let...
Howdy,  I do have some pictures on my iPhone from which it is uploaded to my computer. As some of you know, you are wanting to see my pictures from the...
Hey Friends, I sure hope you all are having a great Holiday season filled with togetherness, happiness, and loyalty with friends and family of...
Hey Friends,  I found something via YouTube that y'all might enjoy watching. It's about a young girl who plays with her tea set and...
Here is the deal...Yes I know it sounds strange but funny, also true. I have been hearing tapping sounds of 5 quick clicks and that cycle happens every 5 or...
Spam is an unacceptable type of electronic distribution across many interconnected computer networks. Aren't you tired of getting harmed by cyber threats...
I felt really really insipired by Rachel Chaikof's blog, "Cochlear Implant Online" and in fact she encouraged everyone that is a fan of her...
Wow!! Is it this time or what??!! It's December already and 2011 is almost here??...my goodness, time goes by like a roadrunner doesn't it? LOL!!...
Well, I just announced on my Facebook profile and the Cochlear Community that I am a candidate for the second cochlear implant. This is really exciting for...
Wow! Did the time go by quick or what? In fact, I have been offline for quite a while because work has been keeping me busier in which I am preparing for...
Music and Speech
4 Years Ago
Hey Friends,  Well, it has been 90 days (3 months) since I had my CI surgery and 60 days (2 months) since activation!! I am excited about hearing new...
Wow!  I have great news. As I was conducting listening tests on the computer via the MED-EL website, I scored a 93% on the test consisting of 25...
Bizarre News
4 Years Ago
Hey,  I knew I had comments in my blog post, "Wearing the N5 processor" this morning. But this afternoon, to my shock, all of the...
I love it in black since it really matches my hair-color!!    
When I hear music using my CI, I am not hearing the bass sounds like I used to with my hearing aids. Has anyone had this issue? Do you have any...
The Future
4 Years Ago
Ok....Here's the thing...I was kind of sleepy so I thought I would just sleep for almost an hour. When I woke up realizing I had a good dream I went into...
Hello,  I found a surgical video done on a pediatric patient online via a Google search. Feel free to pass it on to these whom are seeking cochlear...
Y'all,  This is my dog Anna. She is two years old and I call her Annabanana because her fur is the same color as an banana. :=) She is so funny when...
I'm doing tons and tons of research and homework about patients who have bilateral CIs and I have to say that my Dad works for TI which is indeed Texas...
For all of you that are coffee lovers who love drinking a cup or two at Starbucks, you should check this out. Because, once a month, they have what they call...
If I need to reply to a comment that the user writes on my blog post directly to them who wrote it, how do I do that? I have seen some people do that when I...
Music
4 Years Ago
Well, in fact I wanted to ask for any music suggestions that I would enjoy listening to. My music collection which is quite small is kind of old for me to...
Wow! It sure is a glorious morning here in Dallas, TX. My mom took me  to Medical City Outpatient Clinic for my sixth mapping on the way to work since...
Hey Y'all,  I have a question concerning bilateral implantation and in fact I just have one implant in the left ear. We all know that the...
Hello CI Folks:  Back on Tuesday, I had my therapy session with Linda Daniels and we did work on listening strategies this week. She figured that I...
Hey y'all, Now that I have been thinking futuristic about the cochlear implant technology and many owners are getting solar panels installed in...
Awesome News!!!
4 Years Ago
Hey Friends,  I sent an email to my supervisors at work to ask for permission that I can go to Cochlear Celebration 2011. Guess what....THEY CAN LET ME...
Hey CI buddies:  If you are indeed having internet problems while your modem is online on your computer, please message me because I'm the...
Sign Language Use
4 Years Ago
When, I posted a comment on Carrie's blog post concerning sign language courses, I did want to add something to it. As always, the ASLpro site is a great...
A New Milestone!!
4 Years Ago
My Friends,  I have an amazing announcement to make. Well, I was at work and the power went out around 5:15 pm. Pretty soon, my mom called me on my...
Hey!!  I just got my new Snugfits!! I definitely love the design and it much more comfortable to wear than the older version which I got with my...
A Word of Wisdom: Always think that enabling things in a positive way to prevent bad things happening is key to successTJ's Recipe for Happiness: 1....
Well: I am starting to learn how to use the phone independently without the means of using a video-relay based service via a ASL sign interpreter. What I...
Hey!! I just had my 5th mapping appointment with my audiologist on Tuesday. She did the usual testing....electrode sweeping, sound comfort level...
Hey y'all:  I know this isn't about cochlear implants but I do want to discuss exciting news to my friends on the Cochlear Community. Well,...
   Happiness   Eagerness   Accepted   Live/Laugh/Learn   Togetherness  &...
This is too cool to watch!!   
Hey Friends, I just went to the audiology clinic at Medical City Dallas this morning and I had my electrodes retested as usual but this time my...
Well, this weekend in fact, I compiled a sentence list of 50 in Microsoft Word. The reason I did this is because I want to practice listening to speech...
Like my audi said, "CIs always can pair and marry together" We laughed at that quote because its cute. . I am not actually bilateral yet...
Hey!  So, I don't know if you heard of "Words with Friends". It's a app that you can download on your iPhone for free and we could...
Hey Friends, I just went to a restaurant for dinner for the very first time since wearing my Nucleus 5. So, the problem is I just got activated just a...
My website
4 Years Ago
Hey!  Well, first of all..I'm working on a section on my the website where visitors can read different CI users like you. So, I need your...
Hey Friends, I just had my second MAPping with my audiologist this morning and I was the first patients to come. Anyways, she started off by remeasuring...
Hey Friends,  I have excellent news!! My new website is up now. It is called "The World of Bionic Ears" This website is just in the beginning...
New Issue
4 Years Ago
Hey Friends,  Okay, heres the thing...my tinnitus went away like 24 hours after activation but tonight before bed after after taking off my...
Hey,  Today, I am on program 8 and I am thrilled to let y'all know that I am starting to pick up more speech but it does sound squeaky. It will...
Activation Day!
4 Years Ago
Hello Everyone, Today at 9:00, I went to see Leslie and she had my left implant turned on. At first, I started with Program 1 and then couple hours...
On Monday morning 8/9, my CI will be activated for the first time. Leslie Lianos, my audiologist informed me that at first I will not be hearing very much...
Last Tuesday, I went back to Medical City for a post operative evaluation and Dr. Peters checked my incision to make sure everything looks fine. It looks...
Hey Everyone, I went to Medical City Hospital to have my cochlear implant surgery yesterday and it went so well as planned. That day, I was excited and...
Hello, I found this study from CNET.com and it is interesting to know that a company from Tel-Aviv, Israel is making a software called ClearCall to be...
I have been informed by my doctor that my surgery has been set for July the 14th. This is an exciting step for me and as for the color of the Nucleus 5...
Hey Y'all, I'm really am excited I'm here because I am a possible candidate for a cochlear implant for my left ear because I have been deaf since...
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