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Cochlear Implants, hearing loss and more! I carry an interesting perspective: someone who had normal hearing growing up, lost it all slowly as an adult, then regained it with cochlear implants. So I'm deaf, but I can hear - a true miracle. If you'd like to know more about me and my bilateral cochlear implant experiences right away, my two books have a wealth of information - see the links below. Check out the list of upcoming events too - perhaps one day we'll get to meet!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Cochlear Implant Miracle: DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

This season, as usual, I was looking for holiday cards that were "special."  I had barely begun my search when this box of cards tumbled to the floor at my feet.  The box was a bit battered, but the cards were intact.  This was the only  box left, so I bought it.

Here's the front of the card:

And here's the message on the inside of the card:

I knew that "Do You Hear What I Hear" was a Christmas song, but I didn't know much about it, so I looked it up and found this:

It seems that the song was written during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, as a plea for peace.  For those too young to remember those days, the world was on the brink of nuclear war.  I remember my schoolmates thinking that we should protest at the United Nations (I lived in Manhattan at the time), but then realizing that they didn't want to spend what might be their last day on earth protesting. The world situation was that intense. 

The song gained popularity in the years that followed. 
So - the question remains:  Do you hear what I hear?

My hearing with bilateral cochlear implants is incredibly good.  But I don't really think that's what this question is about, not at this time of year.

I am deaf and I can hear the sounds of the world around me, connect with others, enjoy the music of the season, including my own voice chanting blessings. 

I hear the sound of a miracle. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cochlear Implant WOW moments

I had a WOW moment yesterday - and one would think these don't happen after 14 years with a cochlear implant (CI) - and three years of bilateral CI use.  A WOW moment is the realization that you could do something or hear something you never would have been able to do without the miracle of your cochlear implants.  Here's the story:

My husband bid on and won tickets (at a charity silent auction) to a dinner/magic show held at a posh location in Manhattan. It was the kind where they do magic tricks at your dinner table, and then a magic show with a lot of interaction with the audience. I was a little leery - I never like to put myself in a position of potentially not hearing - and this had no assistive listening devices or captioning - so I knew I'd be flying without a net.

When the magician did his magic at our table, I interacted with no repeats - did all the "pick this" "tell me that" instructions and answers instantly.  WOW!  And then the magic show itself - in this small room environment, everyone was in the hot seat - I got called on to "knock on the wall" and "do this, do that" - from 20 feet out.  I got it all - and even the jokes, and laughed along!  They never suspected I was deaf.  WOW!

There was one coin trick the magician did at our table, where I held two coins in my closed fist - and he magically "dropped" a third one into my closed hand - and I HEARD the "clink," and when I opened my hand, I had three coins!

I told my husband immediately (and excitedly) that I heard the "clink."  Turns out that he wasn't going to mention it to me because if I hadn't heard it, he didn't want me to be upset (I think that's why we're married 41 years).  But nope - I heard it - and you better believe that I wasn't expecting to!  So add another WOW there.

This was bilateral WOW - and it's "advanced WOW" - because I put myself in this position - it didn't just happen to me. The confidence to try to do something I never would have done before. That's the WOW part - and my husband, who often knows better how I'm hearing than I do, thought I could. And he was right.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TOUR ARLENE ROMOFF'S WEBSITE www.listeningclosely.com

It's been a while since I've blogged - plenty of good reasons for that - but the big news now is that my new website is ready for your viewing pleasure!  Just click here and you'll be taken to http://www.listeningclosely.com/  or really, MY WORLD.

First you'll notice that it's the same color pink as the cover of my book, Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing .  That sets the tone because that book is all about me and hearing loss, and so is this website. 

The categories to choose from:

HOME - quick links to current reviews, articles, book links, videos - plus my favorite picture, Albert Eistein and me taken at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

VIDEOS - all captioned in English and Spanish -  make sure to watch my TV interview - and also my bilateral cochlear implant presentation.

ABOUT ARLENE - a brief introduction, with lots more info available in my books.

RESOURCES - current articles, information about organizations, captioned movies, captioned theater (in the US, UK and Australia!)

AWARDS - nice to be recognized by some wonderful organizations and agencies that care about advocacy and hearing loss - including the NJ State Legislature and Senator Frank Lautenberg!

TESTIMONIALS - reviews of my books, reviews of my presentations - and some fan mail.  Too much to list it all, but a nice sampling.

CONTACT - easy to reach me at  arlene@listeningclosely.com

That's the quick tour - you'll now have to go see for yourself, so CLICK HERE to begin.  I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions.  You might even want to connect with me on LinkedIn !

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