The Cochlear Implant Journey: Four Perspectives

Published by Darron Toy on

(upbeat music) – What they call the
activation is when they first turn the implant on, and an
audiologist will do that. And it was like night and day. Literally. I was now hearing sounds
digitally that in the past, through the hearing aid,
I was only barely hearing acoustically through
a typical hearing aid. But not only that, I was able
even at the first activation to hear things such as telephone ring, birds chirping in the
trees in the morning. When you go up to a microwave and you push the little buttons on the microwave, a hearing aid for me did
not reproduce those sounds. The cochlear implant made it crystal clear that those buttons
were being pushed. And it was really an eye opener. – Beause it was so
chaotic, so noisy, so loud. So it was a long road before I really got to the place where I was like okay, this is all coming together. – I was able to find a few
other programs where they were, they kind of guided
things for me in terms of, they said, “Hey, you’ve
mastered this skill. “Now let’s go to this next one. “Hey, you’ve mastered this
skill, let’s go to this next one. “Hey, you’re struggling a little bit, “let’s go back, practice
a little bit more. “Now go up.” – There are days when I wake up, and I am taking on the world. And I feel powerful, and I feel energized. And there are days where I really struggle to make sense of things. In terms of my balance with
good days and bad days, I need to recognize how
many good moments there are. – I think this applies
to everybody and anybody who gets cochlear implants,
who go through the surgery. When you get activated, you want your life back right there and then. (chuckling) Like, you don’t wanna do any work, you don’t wanna put the effort into it. Like with my background as an audiologist, I knew I had to put that effort into it. – I used to hook myself up to the computer and watch Modern Family. That was (chuckling) my
rehabilitation exercises to be able to understand speech. Better. – So one of the biggest
challenges is actually doing it, and finding something to practice on. So, my rehab was a lot of
real world situation things, but that only goes so far. In order for me to have that confidence I needed to do a lot of things at home. – My second year was my strong year. And within three weeks. Actually, probably about a month after I was activated, it’s already hearing at the same
level as my first year. That took four years. Which is amazing.

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