Ok, the question I get asked regularly is if a cochlear implant is where I get a cochlear transplant from a dead person.
BE-BOW (*game show button noise*) … WRONG!
I simply become a bionic woman via the insertion of electronic electrodes into my inner ear, and I will forever have to wear a magnet on my head, which could get caught on the fridge (perhaps if I was really drunk), or to the car (getting in and out, maybe drunk again).
You also only ever get ONE cochlear implant at a time. Most people wait several years before getting a second, if they get one at all. The majority of people only have one.
To give you the idea of the fear and loathing I had to get over – here are some pictures of what is going on and in my head, as of this month:
Ok, so this bit is the bit that gets put in when I go into surgery. Scary? Yes. They drill a hole here, sand down some bits there, put back the bit that was missing there, and then patch it all up and hope for the best.
You can see why people always harp on about which are the best surgeons.
Well, my surgeon has the nicest teeth.
But seriously, I was going to ask him my big, silly fear – if anyone had died under this operation – but at the last minute, all I could get out was “so…. I guess you’ve done a lot of these before..?” And he was like “Hundreds”. I couldn’t bring myself to query how many of these were alive, but I figured I hadn’t seen him on Australia’s Most Wanted, so I was probably ok.
Ok, and now for the external part:
So, I must admit to being disappointed that the great scientists of the world have still not managed to create a ‘wireless’ Cochlear Implant.
It still just looks like a really crappy hearing aid. Unfortunately, the very worst thing about it is the magnet and the wire. Can you imagine walking around for the rest of your life with a magnet and a wire on your head?
You have to be pretty desperate to want to do this.
But I have to remind myself – at the age of 13, I felt the same way about my new hearing aids – and now I barely notice them. In fact I love them. I haven’t gone so far as to name them, as some people I know do (I kid you not) … but I hope that one day, I too, will learn to love this ugly guy as much as I have come to love my hearing aids.
I will certainly miss my beloved hearing aids. (Though I will get to keep one! But it’s still sad to never to be able to use one in my right ear ever again. Sad and scary.)
Because once you get an implant – you can never ‘turn back’ so to speak. It’s like joining a spooky cult where they brain wash you and get you to sell your soul and drink kool-aid. Ok, am definitely joking now, but have to lighten the mood a little. Because the idea that I can never back out of an implant once I get it is scary. So it’s good bye hearing aid.
Perhaps I’ll have a little funeral for it? Like my work colleagues had for my fish when it died. They kept it in the freezer for me and everything (I was away on annual leave) so that I could have a ceremony when I got back. Our own mini-morgue. And our Brand Manager even made me a match box coffin for it.
So perhaps, this is the therapy I need… A hearing aid funeral … to say goodbye to “H2″…