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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!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Another Cochlear Implant WOW Moment: Are you listening?

Let me describe what happened, then we can discuss it.  Here's the situation:

I was in the living room, sitting at my desk facing the wall, working at my computer, with my back towards the room.  My husband was also in the living room, 15 feet away (I just measured it), talking with my two cousins. I thought I was engrossed in my reading and writing at the computer, yet my husband asked me a question - as if I had been a part of their conversation all along - and I turned around and answered him!  Without a moment's hesitation or skipping a beat!  Way to go, brain!

I was so shocked at doing this - and also because my cousins didn't realize anything extraordinary had just happened - that I had to inform them of the amazing hearing trick they had just witnessed - unannounced and unrehearsed - and never before performed, ever!

Now comes the commentary.  How did my husband know:
a) that I was even listening to the conversation from 15 feet away with my back turned when I didn't even know I was doing that
b) that I could follow this conversation from 15 feet away with my back turned
c) that I could answer his question without asking for a repeat or risk being embarrassed
d) that I could do all of the above when I had never done this before.

The short answer is that my bilateral hearing is still getting "better," but it's not only impacting my behavior, it's also impacting the behavior of those around me.  My husband already knows that I will turn to my name if he calls me.  We've been doing that for three years now (I started turning to his voice three months after going bilateral), so although we still don't take that for granted, it's become routine and reliable that I will turn if he calls.  It's not a leap of imagination to figure out that if I can do that, I am probably attuned to more than just my name by now - casually taking in conversations in range without consciously trying to.  And so it was!

It is also another example of what I consider one of the key sentences in my book, Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing:
"People treat you differently when they know you can hear them."

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