July 28, 2015

This was my first Eid with the cochlear implant.

It didn’t hit me until I went to the annual Eid festival.
Usually there’s lots of stalls, food, fairy floss and plenty of activities and rides.
I always look forward going there with my friends and family.

But this time I didn’t enjoy it as I thought I would.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the noise!
Oh the noise!

Coming from the endless machinery from the food stalls and carnival activities.
The overwhelming feeling from the chatter of the crowd and children’s laughter.
I felt so overwhelmed and tired and had the biggest headache.
I wasn’t prepared for it.

What was worse was I decided to go to another Eid festival on the same day! (Don’t ask lol)

This time it was at night and while the noise was overwhelming like before, the lights were a killer.
You know the flashing lights on the carnival rides, the stalls and so on.
They change colours and what’s even worse they change motions!

They were so annoying!

The sequence of flashing rainbow lights was enough to blind me and give me headaches.

Yes I understand that they contribute to the feel and atmosphere of the festival.
But for someone who is hearing-impaired and needs good lighting and vision, it takes so much out of you to concentrate.

Your eyes, ears and body work together to make sense of the world around you. It’s all part of the balance system. If one, eg your ears or eyes are limited in their ability to pick up sounds or sight, the other parts of your body works harder to compensate for the loss. So because I can’t hear well, my eyes and body work harder.

Alhumdillah I have good eyesight and is an excellent lipreader. I rely a lot on vision and reading facial expressions to communicate.

But it means I get tired and fatigued from having to concentrate so much.

So imagine when there’s poor lighting, it’s really noisy, crowded and feel so overwhelmed!

It was like an out of body experience and sometimes I feel like I wanted to pass out from the sounds and the lights.

The point I’m trying to make is that we take so much for granted.

And yes the cochlear implant is improving my hearing and life, but there are still some things I am not used to.

I keep thinking it should have been better now, I should have adjusted, my hearing was worse before, why couldn’t I handle it??

Then I realised my hearing may have been worse before, but I was stronger and was used to it. My body knew how to accommodate and adjust to my hearing loss, no matter how tired I would get.

And now it hasn’t even been 6 months since I got the cochlear implant. It doesn’t mean I’m not strong like before, but my body has not adjusted to it.

My body is not used to all the sounds coming in. The new sounds that I am not familiar with. So I can’t adjust to noisy environments yet.

People with normal hearing loss can adapt to their environments and they can push background noises and focus on specific sounds such as their friend speaking.
Your body can adapt to any situation easily.

I can’t do that yet.

I’m hearing everything,
at once.

I just need time.

Alhumdillah for everything.