Welcome Message

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!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

CI Moment - 20 years later

I've just celebrated my 20th anniversary of my cochlear implant!  Back when it was all new, fellow CI users would talk about our "CI moments" - events that were notable because we could now hear, but would have been impossible before getting our CIs.

Well, wouldn't you know - yesterday, I had a "CI moment" - an experience that surprised me because I was hearing something that was totally unexpected.  This event would have been totally impossible without my CI, but I suspect wouldn't even have been possible without many years of CI practice.

I was in a large drug store, getting a prescription refilled. I had told them that I would shop in the store while waiting for it to be ready.  I was engrossed in checking out all the various make-up and Halloween displays, when I thought I heard "Arlene to the pharmacy please" over a loudspeaker. It wasn't very loud, and I had never been aware that they would make that kind of announcement, but I went back to the pharmacy and asked if they had paged me.  Yes - indeed they had!   Definitely a CI moment, for sure!

There's more to the story, though.  Recently, I have been listening to recorded books while driving in my car - something I hadn't done in many, many years.  I used to listen to "books on tape" as audiotherapy practice, but had given that up long ago.  Just recently, though, I had gotten very tired of listening to the radio - the news reports were so depressing - so I figured getting some books on CDs would be a good alternative. 

I had just finished the 29-CD recording of the biography Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, that had inspired the Broadway show.  I found it fascinating, and looked forward to driving so I could listen to more.  What I discovered, interestingly, was that I seemed to be hearing "better" in general situations.  It was just an impression, and certainly still not "totally normal" hearing, but definitely relatively "better."  I seemed to be able to get words at greater distances with improved clarity.  And this practice was also forcing my brain to rely only on sound - no captioning or other cues. 

Fast forward to the "Arlene to the pharmacy" announcement, and it fits right in with my recent experience.  Getting better speech discrimination, and awareness.  Just what I had been practicing in my car - and plan to continue doing!

Progress - with practice - after 20 years!

1 comment:

  1. wonderful post and so happy to read. Inspired me to get back at posting