March 3, 2015

In the name of God, the Beneficent the most Merciful.

Tuesday was the “switch on”.

The big day is finally here.

My family and friends met up at my place and we took 3 cars to get to the appointment. It was funny because there were like 10 people with me and we probably took up half of the waiting room at SCIC (Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre) in Gladesville.

It felt like everyone else was more excited than I was. I was just nervously anticipating the switch on, not sure what to expect.

My audiologist Rachel came and had us spilt into 2 rooms. My mum, sisters and aunt with me, while my brother and friends watched live on a massive TV, from the next room.

We spent the first hour experimenting with sounds and programs on the computer before actually switching on the device. First, we had to test if the cochlear implant is working and transmitting sounds to my brain. Rachael, the audiologist had to try and work out, on the computer, the right level of hearing for my cochlear to pick up sounds.

After doing some hearing tests and the audiologist finished adjusting sounds on the computer, Rachel turned on the cochlear for the first time.

My heart was racing.
I held my breath.
I tried to hear.
But nothing happened.
I could hear faint beeps but nothing else.

It’s practice to start really low, and raise the hearing level slowly, so the cochlear implant doesn’t shock the person. So Rachel turned up the volume on the computer and we switched it on for the second time.
This video is my reaction from hearing through the cochlear implant through the second try.


My audiologist asked my family to try and talk to me.
Excited and slightly overdramatic, they tried to test my hearing and get my attention.

But it still wasn’t right. It was difficult to make out the sounds and where it was coming from.

Waiting nervously, Rachel raised the level further and then switched it on for the third time.

It was louder this time.
But overwhelming.
Everyone was trying to talk to me.
It was noisy, but very difficult to make sense where the noises where coming from.
It was like I could hear very loud beeps and if someone said something, it took a while for my brain to process it.
I couldn’t make out sentences or words. “Who was speaking and what were they saying?! Stop! One person at a time! What’s happening?!” These thoughts were racing through my mind.
It was all new and I still could not comprehend it. T

hen Rachel decided to do a little hearing test. She asked everyone to be quiet, while she covered her mouth and instructed me to let her know if I heard the sounds she was making.

As you can see from the video, I was overwhelmed, nervous and trying to make sense of everything.

For once, I used the silence to try and focus; to collect myself.

I simply nodded or gestured to tell her that I heard the sounds she made. I couldn’t speak as I tried to remain calm and try to hear he sounds.

And by God’s blessing, I did.
Somehow, I heard all of them.
Even the last sound.
The last sound was really faint, but I “sort of” heard it.

Then she tells me that these sounds are the ones I had trouble hearing them before.
Very high pitch sounds, I heard them. Sounds like “sss” and “chh”.
The sounds I could never hear before.
I heard them.

That’s when it finally hit me; I heard them!!

I lost it then and started crying.

That’s the moment where it all came together.

All praise belongs to God.