Long overdue update. One year ago, we were in a car accident. We had brand new vehicle...the nicest car I've ever owned in my life with top safety ratings that became a totaled vehicle, but God used that nice shiny van to protect my younger three from a different ending and a different story. I still close my eyes and can see their tiny faces enveloped by the interior sides of the van as turned around after the impact to be sure they were all ok. I can still hear my youngest daughter having a panic attack because she couldn't piece together what had just happened. She now says she is pretty sure she was having a heart attack. I am sure it felt like that to a 9 year old. Things can be replaced, but people cannot. For His protection over them, I am forever grateful. The pictures from that day popped up in my memories on Facebook this morning and it's amazing what happens in a year. That accident changed the direction of my year. It humbled me; yet, it gave me courage. It made me brave. It changed my life. It made me share my story.
On February 24, 2021, I had my final activation appointment for my Cochlear Implant. In my left ear, I went from hearing 0% words and 0% sentences and I was sitting at a 110 dbl in testing pre-surgery (30 dbl is normal hearing, 120 dbl is no hearing) to 52% words to 82% sentences and 30-35dbl after my 3 CI activation appointments and 2 months post surgery. Since then I have been living life, started working, and continuing to try new things like listening to books and podcast on audible, which I have NEVER been able to do bc I had to see lips. Insane to me that this is even possible now.
On May 24, 2021. I had a follow up appointment and they adjusted the processor once again because my brain had gotten used to the noise and mastered the sounds. I am now hearing within the range the drs predicted of where I would be post surgery and it will continue to improve up to a year post surgery. After testing in May, I am now hearing 88% of words and 82% of sentences and 25-35dbl range. I still tear up everyday when I hear something new or when I realize how much easier life is now. I am no longer dizzy and only feel off balance when I am in a room where the acoustics are echoing or sometimes when I workout. You mess with the inner ear, you mess with balance. A gamble you take.
In June, we went to Colorado to visit my older brother, whom is two years older than me, and his family. As we were hiking a mountain, I was walking up ahead and he was behind me talking to me and we could have a conversation. This seems so trivial and so small, but it is a huge life change because I used to always have to walk side by side and look at whomever I was talking to in order to read lips. During the week, he kept saying, "This is crazy. You can hear me. I keep forgetting and want to stand in front of you so you can see me so you can hear me. It's weird not having to do that."
Now when I take off the processor and only have my right aid in I realize how deaf I actually am and my right ear was my "good ear" of the two...go figure. It makes Joe laugh every time I bring this up. You don't know what you know until you know, right? One big unexpected change is that for years I have not woken up rested at all. I actually went to the doctor several times about it because I thought there was an underlying issue causing it because it didn't add up no matter how much sleep I got I was still exhausted. It was brushed off each time to having 6 kids. Now post surgery and hearing and not lip reading 24/7, I honestly believe I was completely drained from focusing and working so dang hard to hear each day. I was completely depleted. I honestly felt like part of me had died over the years. My personality. My energy. My drive. Several friends have asked me what it is like now...I actually feel ALIVE again.
I have a follow up with my surgeon at the end of July. We will set the date to have my right ear done most likely in November after my oldest gets married in October. I am so nervous to walk this road again mainly due to my recovery experience. Would you start praying now over this? I keep almost talking myself out of it. I know it will be worth it to hear in both ears the second half of my life, which I can't even fathom. God has brought me this far and I know His timing is perfect...it's just taking that leap of faith again...
One Change a Day,