Another blogger, Sara, who was also recently implanted mentioned that we very rarely hear/read the not so pretty side of life with a cochlear implant. She asked for honesty in what has been difficult with the cochlear implant experience since many people mostly just blog about the "kittens and rainbows" version and not the nitty gritty details. http://www.sarasera.com/2009/05/the-good-and-the-bad-will-you-share/ She didn't get too many overly negative replies, but that's not to say there isn't a downside to this experience on occasion. She comes across as an analytical person who likes to get all of her facts, so after some thought I decided to take a shot at the good, the bad, and the ugly.
THE GOOD (as in the very latest)... Well, tonight I heard crickets outside, at least until the air conditioning unit drowned them out. They were really loud. My husband said they were very high pitched, so I came in and looked it up. According to one site the cricket sound is around the 6000 Hz range. I'm pretty sure I've never heard crickets in my life. That was really cool. I mean seriously... a cricket??? (I remember my brother making jokes about a cricket they were listening to one evening when we were spending the night with our cousins at our grandparents' house. I remember thinking... "Cricket... what cricket??? There's a cricket here???" and I'm so much more deaf now than I was then.)
I'm also understanding my son more easily each day and the little quirks in his voice, but he only speaks one or two words at a time. Check back in six months to see how good this skill really is!
Using the phone is awesome, but after my last post about chatting away with my husband on the phone, I was unable to follow a conversation with him today for long. Oh well, you win a few; you lose a few. I'm glad that I have access to an interpreter at any time for phone calls at home. If I can make a successful call on my own, that's just bonus. If it's an off day, I don't miss a beat.
Birds singing.... I still can't hear them enough. Hearing my son and the birds.... if I heard nothing else, I would do this all over again.
Dinner with the in-laws last night.... Father-in-law with over-sized mustache and Texan drawl?... picked out a few random sentences throughout the evening?....check (and I'm almost always lost trying to understand anything he says if it isn't short and sweet.) Chatty brother-in-law who talks at the speed of lightening?....I picked out a few sentences with him here and there too.... got a little dizzy trying to keep up (or I just have a short hearing attention span?) Conversation in general at dinner table?? It took some concentrating, but there was a tremendous difference between what I could understand last night compared to the last time we had a family dinner. Usually I'm pretty quiet and will talk to only those right beside me, but last night I held my own with anyone I talked to when I focused. It doesn't come naturally, but the fact I'm even getting any of this information in that noisy environment is huge.
THE BAD.... Sometimes hearing every little last thing is a recipe for anxiety. Sometimes strange unlocated sounds may come across as annoying buzzing static. Sometimes I think everything is magnified tenfold, and I find myself shushing my husband for practically breathing out loud when my son goes to bed for fear he will wake up.
Really petty? I hate trying to put my sunglasses on my head. It's my little fashion statement to wear my super big glasses on top, but it knocks my magnet off, so I end up adjusting them at an odd angle. It's not just a fashion statement... it's also a bad hair day cover-up to throw glasses on top and pull the rest of it back in a ponytail. *sigh*
AND THE UGLY.... I'm *thisclose* to going kung-fu on some grown man in my neighborhood that insists on riding his motorcycle by our house vroom vrooming by as loudly as possible at ALL hours of the day... baby's nap time...check.... dinner time....check..... after dark....check..... midnight... of course...check check. I can not describe this accurately enough. My heart literally stops when I hear this motorcycle. The sound terrifies me, and it's like he's going to drive right through my window. Our house is at a four way stop, and when he slams on the brakes and then gasses up full power my heart darn near leaps out of my chest pounding. Got Xanax?
I honestly have so much respect for hearing people who HAVE to hear 24/7 now. Even when it is quiet, there is still sound. Aidan and I have the book Goodnight Moon on loan from the library, and the last line amuses me. It says "Good night noises everywhere." God bless the poor hearing people. :-D Is it any wonder the white noise CDs and machines along with all the mediation music and nature sound CDs make a gazillion dollars? I only wish I could bottle up the sound of silence because I could sell it off by truck loads to the weary non-sleeping masses. I'd call it "Back to the Womb" or "Go to your Womb!"
Good night everyone! I'm signing off and tuning out. Ahhh.