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Cochlear Implant Activation...

I hesitated posting the first part of this video bc I actually start to cry in it when the audiologist asked how I was doing upon activation. Not tears of disappointment, but tears of being completely overwhelmed by this whole process and just thankful the implant is working even though I am hearing BEEPS. I sat there and accepted it was going to take time to hear sounds; yet, those BEEPS were my glimpse of hope! I went in 3 weeks post surgery for my first activation appointment with realistic expectations because I previously connected with someone who has a similar story as mine and all she heard for several months were beeps. A beep for every sound, which eventually turned to words and sounds. Thank God we connected; otherwise, I'd be completely devastated I was hearing beeps.

So beeps is what I am hearing. A beep for every sound. This is completely normal especially given I've had a severe/profound loss my entire life. The sound quality is completely different. It is the most clear, concise beep sounds I've ever heard. The beeps fluctuate with the pitches of the sound and they are rhythmic to the flow or beat of the sound. If that makes any sense? What is happening is my brain will eventually turn these beeps into distinct words and sounds. I have already noticed it is beeping for sounds I have never heard before like toilet paper! What!!! Toilet paper makes a sound apparently!!! I actually text my husband at work to be sure the implant was not broken and just making a beep for no reason. Then my daughter assured me TP does indeed make a sound. Then my hair brushing/rubbing against a pillow when I was moving my head makes a sound. Who knew!!! I sat there trying to figure out why in the world it was beeping bc I was the only one in the room. Then Elana again told me that makes a sound, too. So it is picking up on things I've never heard.

After activation, throughout the day, my balance improved having sound in my left ear. Anytime you mess with the inner ear, you mess with your balance. Joseph had an evening meeting. Someone brought us dinner. I fed the kids, read outloud with Danny, played Exploding Kittens with him, and put the kids to bed all while hearing nonstop BEEPS. Joe came home and I almost took it off because my head hurt so bad and I was emotionally and physically drained. He convinced me to leave it on while it was just he and I downstairs.

Then I thought I heard a rumble sound, which was actually the washing machine, but I literally thought it was all in my head. Then at 10:56 I heard his VOICE!!!!!! It took him a second to register what was happening, but he quickly grabbed his phone and got that first moment. Adrenaline though the roof!!!! My excitement woke the kids up and they came running downstairs. We Face Timed and woke up my parents and my oldest at college. I tried to Face Time by brother in Colorado because I figured he'd be awake, but he didn't answer. We played music on Alexia and we put in a movie to see what voices I could hear. The sound of the voices are quiet bc the implant processor is set on the lowest, quietest setting so my brain can slowly adjust to all the new input. I have four settings to work through within that lowest setting in the next two weeks. Then when I go on the 27th for the next appt, my audiologist will bump it up to the next level. It is so different! So clear! So precise! I can't imagine that it gets better than this!

It's already so much more input than I've ever had. Kind of overwhelming. I've already cried once (so not me) and already have a headache, but I know it's all part of the process. I see more naps in my future until I get used to this. So I'm just gonna pull up my bootstraps and do this. Over the next two weeks before my next activation appt, I will need to be reading out loud. That's my homework. The more I see the words and hear the words, my brain will recognize and turn the beeps to sounds. The brain is so incredibly fascinating...

I was so excited that I only slept for 3 hours. So right now I still hear lots and lots of beeps and now very quiet voices, but I feel like I have been given a whole new life! God is so good! You all are invited to my pajama party in the video above!

And this guy next to me...the BEST. I had a rough recovery. Not the norm at all, but I was down 3 weeks with vertigo. I'll post more about my recovery in another post, but he deserves a trophy for these last few weeks. I'll choose him over and over. Girls, look for a guy who will pull your hair back while you are throwing up nonstop and your body is starting to go into shock, will love you and care for you at your worst and do whatever it takes to make it better, who will take care of the kids and the house never once complain...not once, who will laugh with you and not at you when you can't hear a dang thing, who will chop an entire tree up that fell smack dab in the middle of your yard while you recover from surgery. Yes, a huge tree fell in our yard in the midst of all this, too. I think God knocked it down on purpose bc He knew that was a great outlet of stress for him to get out in the yard and work for a bit in the midst of all this:)

One Change a Day...

~Aime Beth


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