Though I have not intentionally hiding it, I have been tucking it under my hair when ever possible.
When I got done at the gym today, I re did my hair and was getting frustrated with it. I finally put it on top of my hair and continued to get ready. It was not until that moment that I realized that I was indeed “hiding” the fact that I had a CI.
It took me some time to figure out why I would do this. I have never hid my hearing aids or been ashamed of them. At least tell that very moment I didn’t think so.
We all go through life wanting to be liked and accepted. Society has a standard of what is cool and what isn’t. Not once have I seen a model with a CI. Or a commercial with someone who is Deaf. I think maybe because I could get by as hearing before all of this is what is effecting me. Before the big hearing loss of 2015 I could get by as a hearing person. No one knew I had bilateral hearing aids.
Since then it has been more challenging. Now more than ever I have needed help re learning how to hear. This is different. I never meant to hide my CI but deep down I think I did. I dont want people to look at me different. I dont want people to freak out because I have a magnet on my head. You would think that after 32 years you would get over this fear of wanting to be accepted.
My goal for this year was to move forward and face my fears. Today I am facing my fears and showing off my CI. No more hiding in fear. Maybe I can help a young girl who has a CI be more confident, maybe I can help a parent that has a child with a CI know it will be ok, maybe I can spark a conversation with a stranger who is genuinely curious. Hiding prevents opportunities from finding you.
New sound of the week – key pads on doors. Apparently they make a sound when you put in the code. I have never heard this before! As a Real Estate Professional, you can guess this was surprise to me. What else have I been missing?
It has been two weeks since I was activated and I have started to gain some clarity in speech. One of my co workers has a deep voice, so I can “hear” him, but he mumbles. I have never been able to understand him. I spoke with him the other day and I was shocked as to how much I could understand him. I could have more than the “Good Morning how is the weather” conversation. I didnt have to do the “smile and nod I have no idea what you said” face. I could understand him.
A friend of mines mother got a cochlear 20 years ago and she sent me her journals of her journey. (Keep in mind this is a very personal journey so for her to share this with me is a HUGE deal) I am so glad she did. It was so fascinating! Not only to see the difference in technology but know her struggles and what kept her positive. Everyone journey is different. It is based on hearing loss, age, brand, Dr, everything. However, I received a lot of insight through hers.
One of her journals talked a lot about struggle. She is a very smart woman, so when she was struggling she relied on science to help her through. She explained that the sounds in her brain (nerves firing) are reacting the same way an infants nerves do when they first hear sounds. She described that in one point in her journey, her brain is like a one-year olds brain, it can hear mama and dada (repeated sounds) but not mother and father (clarity). She continued to say that it was all about training your brain to work the way it is supposed to, like an infant does as they grow up.
It was fascinating! A completely new perspective on he struggles!
She also talked about how when she would hear a sound she didn’t recognize, she would search for it. (She said it was weird to do in Restaurants but well worth it) I have heard so many things though my CI. New. Old. But I never looked for them. I brushed them off like we all do with background noise. However, since my last Mapping, I have noticed that I don’t have any depth perception for sound. I cannot tell where the sound is coming from. Is it behind me? Across the room? In the cubical next door? After reading her journal on this, I have decided to become more investigative. Maybe it will help train my mind to know where things are depending on how they sound. (?)
All and all it is still a very interesting journey that I a so glad I decided to take.
Today I had my second mapping for my CI and it was amazing. The past week has been exhausting. Every day people sound different and I hear new things. Between robots and chipmunks, I cant help but giggle at my own voice.
Today though. Today was different. The past week I downloaded a audio book. I was told that if you listen to the book and read it at the same time as you listen, you can determine better what sounds you are not hearing or processing correctly. To my surprise, I was not getting “W” sounds. I would read the word “world” but through the audio book it would be something completely different.
I told my audiologist and she said my mid frequencies were too low. Through some minor adjustments in the mid tones and I am a whole new women. It still sounds robotic and or chipmunk like, but I can distinguish so many more sounds. It is mind blowing the difference that made! Then they put me in the sound booth.
If you remember from before Single Word Repetition in my left ear with a hearing aid I could only get 30% of the words correct. Sentence Repetition was 80%. Today we did only sentence repetition with just my CI and I got 98%!!!!!!!! I only missed 3 words out of 135! I am BEAMING!
Now I know that I am very good at using context to put things together but this is still really huge! I am so glad I listed to the advice of my peers (sister especially) for the audio book and all the amazing support they have given me!
This journey is just beginning and I am already so excited for all the future holds! I know all journeys have rough patches but I am so ready to overcome anything that comes my way! Bring on that treasure!