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Decision To Get a Cochlear Implant...

This is a vulnerable post ahead. I rarely share my story regarding my hearing loss unless someone asks me point blank. I never want to major in something that is one small aspect of who I am and I never wanted to let it be an obstacle or an excuse to living life to the fullest. Prefacing this long post with…I’ve decided to get a Cochlear Implant, so I wanted to share the backstory beforehand…

When I was a year old, my parents noticed I was not hearing them. It took them until I was 4 to get a diagnosis of a severe/profound, but fluctuating loss ranging from 70-110 dBl. At four, I was fitted with bilateral hearing aids. That day is forever etched into my mind running from room to room amazed I could hear my mom. I had no idea what I had been missing. At five, I was supposed to go to the Ohio School for the Deaf, but my parents fought the state for me to be mainstreamed in the public school, which I am forever thankful for. My parents believed I needed to be equipped to live in a hearing world, so they taught me to speak instead of to sign. I’ve always read lips, which is a blessing and curse. Sometimes I catch my self eavesdropping on someone else’s conversations esp if Joe and I are on a date 😬😅 and sometimes I have lip read information I wish I hadn’t. I have had the privilege of living a “normal” life in a hearing world. For that, I am beyond grateful. I went to the public school, played sports, went to college, got married, and have 6 amazing kiddos.

When I was little, I remember asking my mom if anyone would want to marry me bc I was deaf. I still remember her answering so confidently that she was already praying for my husband and that he would love exactly that about me. Then when I was 16 years old, God gave me this amazing guy who loves me for me. He has seen me at my best and he has still loved me in my worst. In the last year, my hearing has gradually dropped even more. He has sat with me through tears and frustration these past few months. In July, I started losing clarity and directional sound out of the blue. I recently had an MRI and CSCAN to which they discovered the true cause of my deafness. 38 years of questions and prayers answered in one appt. How crazy is that! Years, of questions and things not adding up, answered in one single appt. As I get older, I’ve realized there are some things in life we may never know and we may not have an answer on this side of heaven, but when I said Yes to Jesus in my life, I choose a life of surrender. I exchanged my comfort, my desires, my plans for something so much bigger. I know His plans for me is so much bigger than this. My prayer is I play the cards I’ve been dealt well and that my life points back to how good is God in the midst of it all.

I have EVA, which can be seen in an MRI and any trauma to the head or a hard landing can cause the hearing to drop even more. Sadly, the hitting my head in the car accident in July caused the significant loss these past few months. A bummer, but grateful for the timing. The doctor who is doing my surgery is world renown and is credentials are endless. He moved here in June 2020. Accident happened July 2020. He is still accepting patients. Sometimes prayers are answered immediately. Sometimes they take 38 years. Timing is everything.

All this to say, I have decided to get a Cochlear Implant in my left ear. I have always been a candidate, but have never wanted to do it until now. I wanted it to be a last resort. They told me my hearing would be gone by the time I was 30 and here we are 12 years later. Honestly, I also was too vain and never wanted anything on the outside of my head drawing more attention to me, but now I could care less. With maturity, your perspective changes. I much rather live the second half of my life not missing out. I am so nervous and yet, so excited. The beauty of living near CC and UH is we have the best of the best doctors at our fingertips. My surgery date is December 17. Please pray it goes well and is a complete success. No complications. No infection. No leakage. It is not an instant fix. The process for it to work happens over time. Thanks so much especially to my friends who have journeyed with me these past few months and who have gone above and beyond making sure I have heard and received all needed information esp during this masked pandemic. Love you all and thanks so much!

One Change a Day...

~Aime Beth


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