June 5, 2015

So whenever someone meets me, I get asked the general questions like how are you? How’s the appointments going? How do you feel now?

But every now and then, someone asks me specific questions like what sounds different? Was there anything that is different then you expected? I can’t imagine you must feel after now living in silence.

I welcome and enjoy these questions because it makes me reflect and it shows me their perception and trying to understand.

One of the reasons for this page is to raise awareness and understanding of what it’s like to be hearing-impaired and getting the cochlear implant. And there is a lot of misconceptions and generalizations that I aim to break.

The most important thing for everyone to understand, is that everyone is different. Every person has different levels, and even circumstances, of hearing.

For me personally, I am not completey deaf. Before the cochlear implant, I could hear low pitch sounds at a normal level, but then for high pitch sounds it slopes to a profound to severe hearing loss. In other words, I could hear deep, sounds but not high pitch sounds like “sh”, “s”, “c” etc.

Imagine a piano. I can hear the deep sounds, but as you run your fingers across keys, my hearing starts to fade and I couldn’t hear the high keys at the end.

Wearing hearing aids are good, but all they do is raise the volume but not fix the problem. It’s like you have a radio and it’s not tuned right. Even if you raise the volume, you can still hear the static and annoying background noises. And it gets really overwhelming at times, because my brain isn’t picking up all the sounds.

For many with hearing loss, its not about loudness. It’s about clarity.

Sometimes it was even like listening to another language. If someone was talking to me I can hear them but I couldn’t understand them. It was because my brain couldn’t pick up all the sounds clearly to make out what they were saying. I would only pick up on a few words in the sentences and others sounds would be mumbled.

After the cochlear implant, it was not like I was hearing for the first time. I was hearing sounds I couldn’t hear before. It’s like the radio is now fixed and I can hear ALL the keys of the piano.
With the cochlear implant, I can hear clearer, not just louder.

But having said that, I need time to distinguish each key and comprehend them. Understand them. And that takes time. And that is where the journey lies. And I’m so blessed to be experiencing this journey.

I hope I cleared up some misconceptions and please feel free to ask me any questions!!