I had completely underestimated how exciting it would be to hear things that are NOT speech. As my hearing gradually got worse over the years many environmental sounds disappeared, but losing them didn’t make me feel particularly sad. There were work-arounds for the loss of some sounds; others I just forgot about.
So for example, when I couldn’t hear the office fire alarm anymore I made sure I didn’t work there on my own. When I was working away from home I’d tell the hotel to alert me if their alarm went off in the night. Continue reading →
Neither of us slept much the night before. I was busy imagining every possible catastrophe. Nigel had a strange dream in which he got so confused he had to be admitted to the village care home. His friend Greg came to visit him, but Nigel thought Greg was Gandhi. Because Gandhi is dead Nigel became convinced that HE was dead……..you know how nightmares go….
It was a relief for both of us when it was 6.30 and we could get up and get on with the day; off to Bradford for switch on. Continue reading →
The Limping Chicken (the world’s most popular deaf blog) published another of my bits of writing yesterday. Thought you might like to see it (link below). If you are a non-British reader mystified by the content, Google “things Brits say sorry for” and you will find several elucidating and hilarious lists. Or, for a great piece by a British apologiser living in France, read Emily’s post on the subject, on her blog Lost in Lyon.
(Some of you know that yesterday was also the great cochlear implant switch-on day. I’m doing fine, with everything squeaking away as expected. Blog post in the offing…..)
Hope. That’s the thing. Having this operation has given me hope. It’s given Nigel hope. (There are two of us in this).
Both of us have said that when the answer was “yes” to an implant our posture changed. Instead of trudging along despondently looking at our feet our heads came up. Our shoulders relaxed. Continue reading →
Long term blog followers will remember me feeling upbeat in February. I felt sure that my hearing was returning to normal after a bad bout of fluid behind the eardrums. Things had improved massively since an initial period of almost total silence. The doctors had all reassured me that the chances of my blocked ears resulting in further permanent hearing damage were slim. It was just a case of waiting for the fluid to drain. As the blockage gradually cleared I was full of optimism. I talked about “this happy ending”.
Huge news. I have a cochlear implant. I went into hospital Thursday morning, operation in the afternoon, stayed in overnight, X-rays Friday morning to check that all looks OK in there, discharged early afternoon. “Switch on” is planned for three weeks’ time. I have a slightly sore right side of the face (nothing serious) and I’m a bit unsteady on my legs still, but otherwise OK. The best bit was when the consultant checked the X-rays, declared them fine, and called me over to see a tiny, tiny implant (like a plastic thread, with electrode dots on it) curled up nicely in my cochlea.
The plan is to blog throughout the process of the coming months, whilst I learn to hear again. Interspersed with that will be some retrospectives about what’s been happening over the summer. It’s hard to know where to begin on that. Suffice it to say, for the moment, that things never did fully recover after my blocked ears saga. It felt like they were heading that way, but I never got back the level of hearing I’d had before that virus in January.
In her comment on The Last Post Joy suggested finding some means to enable followers of the blog to keep in touch; for mutual support and camaraderie or, as she later put it in an email, “for sharing the difficult moments but also the hilarious ones”. Sound like a good idea? I thought so. Indeed, a great idea. As a result, I’ve set up a Facebook group for followers of morethanabitdeaf.
I’ve set it up as a closed group, which means that only members can see the posts. Hope you might think about joining. So far the four of us who have started it off share the statistically unlikely characteristic of all having black dogs (the canine sort, not depression) so you could join us just to even up the demographic profile.
If you have a Facebook account you can find the group by following the link https//www.facebook.com/groups/morethanabitdeaf/?ref=group_cover
If you don’t currently use Facebook – I didn’t until comparatively recently – it’s easy to join and you can use your membership just to join groups you are interested in. You don’t need to post to your own page (I don’t) but I joined UK Hearing Loss Community and Hearing Loss Worldwide, both of which are very much worth a look. Once you have a Facebook account (it’s free) you can ask to join the morethanabitdeaf group and I will add you. Simple.