Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 1, 2014

A Year Ago
July 1, 2014

Do you have days in your life that are marked by events too important to forget?  Do you say things like, "Five years ago today...", or "It was seven years ago tomorrow that____ happened?"  I am at that point the next few days.  A year ago July 1, Ron and I were headed to Houston to have my Cochlear Implant activated for the first time.  My surgery for the Cochlear Implant had been about 3 weeks earlier and now we were headed to Houston, not knowing what I would hear when the external parts of the device were attached.  The sound processor does exactly what its name says, it processes sound.

In the late 1960s, Ron and I were living in Houston and he had just finished college at the University of Houston and went to work for NASA in Clear Lake, just southeast of Houston.  This was during some of the space missions where men were sent to the moon and Sky Lab orbited the earth of longer periods of time to see how men did in the weightless environment.  He talks about the rooms filled with computers that contained all the data needed to take care of our astronauts.  He has a true appreciation for the ability of the amazing, tiny computer chips in this day and age that do more than a room full (if not a building full) of computers did 45 years ago.

My sound processor does an awesome job of taking "noises" and transmitting signals to the implanted part of the Cochlear Implant to enable me to hear.  Wow!  I hope that the people who developed the Cochlear Implant are in Heaven when I get there because I want to tell them THANK YOU!  I sometimes laughingly question who the first person was who said, "Sure, go ahead and drill a hole in my head and thread a tiny wire into my cochlea and make me hear."  But I am reminded that for that person, as for me, the alternative was deafness.  When I take my sound processor off, I hear nothing.

Ron can walk into a room and stand behind me and talk until he is blue in the face, but if I don't have my sound processor on, I probably won't even know he is in the room.  I have had a few occasions in the last few months where a deep male voice clearly speaking into the ear without the implant, provides me with a tiny bit of sound.  That only works for VERY close contact and a strong, deep male voice.  In the ear that had the surgery, there is no natural hearing at all that remains - that is the price of the surgery.

I have considered a hearing aid for the ear that didn't have surgery, but they are very expensive and I am not sure how much good they could do.  The audiologist who has worked with me on our last two visits to Houston is going to look at my charts and talk to us about that in August when we have our next appointment.  A hearing aid in that ear (the right) could help me tell what direction sound is coming from and might help a little with music.

On my July 2 blog posting, I will look back at what it was like that day they attached the sound processor and I heard sound for the first time in almost 6 months.

No comments:

Post a Comment