I wanted to talk about why I started this blog, and why I think it’s important.
My sister-in-law Karen has been reading it, and said to me tonight:
“The weird thing about a blog (if you don’t post comments) is that it can make you feel really close to the person writing it, whereas they don’t even know you’ve been reading it!”
I agree that blogs are weird in that way – they can take you deep into a person’s view of the world, in a way that is different to having a conversation … but this is a good thing, and this has been my main aim with the blog.
I felt it was really, vitally important that the people close to me had a view of what it was like to get a cochlear implant and to be deaf, because I think while there are perceptions that an implant will immediately change a life for the better, it can be so isolating, so personal, so huge, and often people have no idea what an impact it can have on a life.
And so many people think of a cochlear implant as being a one off ‘cure’, when it is nothing of the sort. It’s hard to explain when I haven’t even experienced it, so that is why this blog is important – I hope that it will show the truth, all the good bits and the bad.
Because newspaper articles and stories can focus on the positives a bit too much. One of the first things I picked up about cochlear implants when I started to research them was that none of the real life experiences I came across quite matched the newspaper articles and media I had read about. Or rather, the media glossed over the difficulties you face in rehabilitation and surgery.
After struggling on my own through my deafness in early 20s, not telling anyone what I was experiencing, I learnt that the difficulties we face are much harder when not shared.
So, I’ve decided that though it might be hard at first, or maybe I might embarrass myself, or people will think I am sharing too much, or being silly/overreacting – honesty and openess are important. There’s not enough of it in the world today. Everyone wants to gloss things over, let everyone think their lives are perfect. But sharing a difficulty, a fear, a reality, is worth it – especially in this case, when other deaf people might be considering getting an implant, and need to see it like it is.