Activation (in other words, “turning on”) of my cochlear implant (CI) was Monday, and it was quite an experience. The whole process took four hours with a lot of listening for beeps and deciding if the sound was too soft or too loud. It took a while to get the hang of it, especially considering I had not heard sounds at those high frequencies for many years. When the “map” (programming of the CI) was completed and my audiologist turned it on, I about jumped out of the chair! The world is a lot noisier place then I remember 20 years ago.
Although I can technically “hear” with the implant, the sound is not normal yet. For many sounds like voices (and even typing on my laptop) I hear a high pitched chirp or ringing sound. I tell people it sounds like birds tweeting in my ear a lot (please no comments about being a bird brain!). My brain is trying to figure out what to do with all these sounds, but will adjust over time and things will sound more normal. With a lot of patience and persistence I should get maximum use of the CI in about a year.
I did have what I am referring to as a neat “CI moment” the very first night. My husband was in the kitchen and I was 10 feet away from him in another room with my back to him and I heard this squeaking sound. I asked him what it was, and he said he was wiping the counter—and I actually heard it! I am looking forward to more moments like this one. I want to thank everyone who has been praying and encourage you to keep it up. I’ll continue to share more as I continue on this journey to hear again.