Yesterday, was one month since activation of my Cochlear Implant. I was walking down the hall at our church with a friend. Joseph was leaving to grab lunch and he called out my name from the entrance to tell me something. I turned when he did and at the same time my friend touched my arm to let me know he wanted me. She looked at me with wide eyes and excitement and we both laughed because I had heard him and he wasn't within my sight. It's just surreal to experience. She has known me for almost 10 years now and her natural instinct when he said my name was to tap my arm to let me know. Just habits you naturally get into when someone you know has a different need.
What I am hearing now is completely different than those beeps I first heard. We are all adjusting because Joseph and my kiddos naturally do things like my friend did to make sure I have heard. My oldest is engaged and she came home this past weekend to try on wedding dresses. By the way, she said, "Yes to the dress!" and I am so glad for the timing of all of surgery, etc because I was able to hear at this special event and not miss out. It's moments like these that make me truly grateful and feel like I've been given a gift to enjoy the second half of my life. While my oldest was home, she kept talking to me and then pausing when I wasn't looking at her and then I'd say, "Hey, I'm listening. Keep talking. I'm just cooking at the same time." She kept laughing and saying, "I know, Mom, but I'm not used to this! It's so weird that you are hearing without looking at me." Actually all of my kids are doing this often right now. Then again, they don't know what I can and can't hear and what they still need to do or quit doing. It's like our roles have all shifted and changed and no one knows what they need to do or don't need to do anymore.
Last week, I was in the bathroom and my daughter yelled outside to her sister asking her a question. Then I answered her question from inside the bathroom. I walked out she was standing there with her mouth open in awe and she started giggling. It makes me wonder when this will become normal life for us. I will always be deaf until I meet Jesus face to face and will always need to adapt and adjust to compensate. I will still miss hearing certain things and ask people to repeat themselves, but this is still a huge life change that will take time getting used to and finding our new normal.
Joe came home from work and I was getting ready upstairs. He walked in and normally, I jump out of freight because he catches me off guard, but I heard his footsteps and knew he was coming. Crazy to me! Then last weekend, he was on a zoom conference call and I was getting ready for the day. I put in my right hearing aid and heard nothing. I thought they were on a break or something. I put on my CI processor, which is my left ear. When I did, I froze and said, "Oh my goodness!" I could hear the person talking clear as day without seeing his lips! With my hearing aid in my right ear, I heard nothing. Joseph had himself muted and I sat there repeating what the guy was saying. It was like a game for us testing myself to see how much I heard correctly. I honestly feel like I have this new found superpower and ummm...sadly, it's just hearing. You all have it...don't take it for granted...honestly, things like this make me wish I had done this sooner. I'll have my right ear done, but it's going to take some courage because of how sick I got after the last surgery.
Some music is still beeps and some have turned into songs. "The Right Stuff" NKOTB came on and my girls were dancing in the kitchen mouthing the words and I was ticked it was ALL BEEPS. My 6th grade self was kind of offended my brain was processing it as BEEPS. What the heck?!? Joseph just laughed. Large group settings are still really hard. Just a ton of white noise, beeps, and some sounds. It's actually harder for me to lipread now in these settings because I have a hard time concentrating because it's so much noise. I know all of this will come into clarity and will just take time.
More Things I Can Now Hear:
Pitter Patter of my kiddos' feet
Kids' shower running upstairs
Printer from a room over
Noise outside the car when driving
Humming of appliances
We live a in a noisy world for sure...there's so much more, but these stand out the most.
Next activation appointment is February 24. I am currently on level 2 step 4. Next appointment, she will bump it up to level 3, which is the final level.
One Change a Day,