Date: January 18, 2015
“How do you feel about the cochlear implant?”
The specialist asks me. He was looking down at my report full of preliminary questions he has asked me when we came in, and my results after conducting a standard hearing test (where I wear a thick headphone over my ears, and press a button every time I hear a sound or beep).
I just scoffed and shrugged my shoulders. Then I kindly tried to explain how this is a question I’ve been asked too many times, hence why I get annoyed.
Bemused by my response, the specialist looked up at me and leaned forward to put his arms on his knees.
His reply shocked me a little bit. “You’re going to get it for sure in your life” he tells me, in absolute confidence. “It’s just a matter of WHEN”.
I’ve never thought about it like that.
I always assumed it’s a choice, and it is, and it wasn’t something I thought I necessarily needed.
And here, the specialist is telling my that it’s a certainty for me.
He told me how it will help improve, not just my hearing, but my life.
He was pleasantly surprised at how well I could speak and understand him without any visual aid, and was very pleased with the fact that I was at university.
But I couldn’t deny when he asked if it gets too stressful sometimes. Too hard. Like not being able to hear on the phone or communicate in large social gatherings.
He explained how the cochlear implant will definitely help and then went on to assure me that he doesn’t expect an answer now; which was a relief.
But he strongly encouraged me to look into it and to keep an open mind.
I agreed to meet with an audiologist to discuss exactly “what” the cochlear implant entails and at least find out more information.
“Remember no one is forcing you to make a decision now” he reassures me; as my friend and I thanked him for his service and left his office.
My friend and I found a small cafe and ordered some food. Buzzing from the conversation with the specialist, we discussed what went down.
“I never knew that I HAVE to get it. And that it’s a matter of when. ” I blurt out to my friend.
“I think you should look into it” my friend tells me excitedly. “What do you have to lose?”
I nod as I start eating and was really comforted by the fact that the specialist didn’t pressure me for an answer.
I’m the type of person who really hates being put on the spot. But the freedom to at least look into it if I wanted to, or just leave it, really relaxed my stance about the the whole cochlear implant question.
That day, for the first time ever, I didn’t say “no”.
But I agreed to at least start researching about it.
Faten was right, what really did I have to lose?