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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!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cochlear Implant Adventures Part VI: Smiling, Shining, Confident

Now to report on my last day in California - the end of an exciting week that had begun with a visit to Advanced Bionics and a spectacular sunrise.
The view from our downtown Los Angeles hotel on this last day of our trip wasn't quite the illuminating spectacle I was treated to a week ago, but it was still worth photographing - the big sky, the mountain backdrop, the glow from the east.  Here's the view from my hotel window - and if you look closely, you can see the LA Opera building on the right, alongside a partial view of silvery Disney Hall.

Sunrise in downtown Los Angeles

We only had a few hours left to sightsee before heading to the airport, so the pick for the day was Rodeo Drive, that fabled street of luxury stores.  I had always heard so much about it, and it seemed like the ideal place to spend our last few hours in Los Angeles - just park the car, walk up and down the boulevard until we ran out the clock on our week in California.

The experience was as "bling" as I had expected - no disappointments here!  We stopped at every store window, dropped into a few shops to browse, spoke with some salespeople.  No hearing revelations - just a perfect way to see this legendary location in person.  Shoes, jewelry, fashions:

Gucci shoes
Fashion displays

We meandered up the charming Rodeo North side street, with its Tiffany and Versace stores:

Tiffany and Versace shops on Rodeo Drive North

It was right there, as I was window shopping in front of Tiffany's, that my husband suddenly told me to STOP.  He had to take my picture at that moment - the sun was casting its illuminating glow on me!  After viewing the photo, I thought immediately of the excerpt from my book, Listening Closely, that I had read to the Advanced Bionics staff just one week ago, about creating a masterpiece with my cochlear implants.  Considering the hearing adventures of the past week that I've written about in these blog episodes - the music, the casual conversations, the greater ease of socializing - my masterpiece description was coming to life here on Rodeo Drive:

"In essence, the masterpiece I am creating this time is more like an impressionist painting - a Renoir portrait, perhaps?  The shades are subtle, they blend, you can't really see the image clearly unless you step back, and it takes a while to appreciate what you're looking at.  The image that is emerging is someone who can hear even better than before - smiling, shining, confident - and hearing impaired continues to recede farther into the background."

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