Ok, now for the big drum roll.

I had a speech perception test with Monica on Monday this week.

I did really, really well.

Now, to remind you what a speech perception test is – this is where I sit in front of a set of speakers in a quiet audio booth, and try to repeat back both single words, and full sentences to the audiologist, and she works out how many things I hear of each word and sentence, and then gives it a score.

I will compare them to the last one I had before I had the surgery for the implant.

These results are truly amazing to me, and confirm that I have SO MADE THE RIGHT DECISION in getting the cochlear implant.

Ok, so:

Before the implant:

  • Sentences with the hearing aid in the left ear: 80%
  • Sentences with hearing aid in the right ear: 13%
  • Single words with the hearing aid in the left ear: 24%
  • Single words with hearing aid in the right ear: 0%
  • Sentences with both hearing aids together: 88%

After the implant:

  • Sentences with the hearing aid in the left ear: 92% (what the?? my hearing aid ear has gotten better?)
  • Sentences with implant in the right ear: 97% (WOOOOOO HOOOOO!)
  • Single words with the hearing aid in the left ear: 8% (what the?? my hearing aid ear has gotten worse? HAHA)
  • Single words with implant in the right ear: 48% (apparently the average is around 30% after 1 year of wearing implant)
  • Sentences with both hearing aid and cochlear implant together in noise: 54% (still a bit hard to hear in noisy situations!)
  • With both hearing aid and cochlear implant together for sentences:  … ….   100%

Yes, you read right.

100% correct with both my hearing aid and cochlear implant together.

97% correct just listening with the implanted ear.

So….

how about that!?

It has been a success.

Best thing is it has started to sound really normal.

People are still robots, but it just sounds … normal … and fine!

Inside I am sighing with relief, no, mentally squealing with joy …  and amazed at my journey to this point.

Last night I went out to dinner with my mum and my little brother Hayden. The thing that stood out for me most was in the car driving to and from the restaurant, I sat looking out the window while mum and Hayden talked (Hayden driving, mum in the back seat! [sorry mum!]).

(Whenever we drive together, my family always lets me sit up the front, so I can be more included in the conversation, as it’s easier to turn around to lip-read someone in the front seat than to do that from the back seat. I have a wonderful, wonderful family.)

And do you know what?

I didn’t look at either of them – I was gazing out the window – … and I heard every single thing they said

Wow.

The interesting thing is – sometimes when this happens, I don’t feel this huge web of joy like I did in the first couple of weeks… sometimes I feel a bit sad or melancholy that life seemed so much harder before I got the implant. It’s like I just look back and think, wow, life actually was quite difficult.

I realise now that people with normal hearing just lead such relaxing, easy lives.

And then I also think about the people that might not have such a good outcome as me with their own cochlear implant, or people who don’t qualify for a cochlear implant.

And I feel quite sad. Just because it doesn’t seem fair that I might have such a good outcome, and other people might not.

I guess the only way to get around this feeling for me will be to promise myself that no matter how good my hearing gets, to never stop my personal fight for the things that make life easier and more equal for deaf people: captioning, hearing aids, affordable hearing services, Auslan taught in schools, teaching support in schools, understanding of communication needs, mentoring and support, the list just goes on and on.

I guess it will be a never-ending fight.

But hooray for 100 per cent speech perception test results! Feel like I should have been presented with an award or something.

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