Before I start on telling you what I am hearing now, I want to just waffle on about something else for a second!
The best thing about this blog for me…
The very best thing about this blog for me has been the parents from around the world that have either emailed me or left comments on my posts, telling me how this blog has enabled them to understand a bit more what it is like for their own hearing impaired baby or toddler – and maybe allows them to kind of ‘experience’ what it must be like as a kid to have a cochlear implant.
Because you can’t really ask a 9 month old baby, “How does it feel?” or “What exactly are you hearing?”
Baby: “Well Mum? Your voice really sounds sooooo stoopid when you coo to me and talk in ‘mumsy gibberish’. Stop that, I aint a baby! Oh, hang on … I AM a baby. Whatever.”
The comment that really struck me was one from Iman (at the end of my previous post). It really made me feel like awwwww! I mean, imagine being a mum to a baby with an implant – it is, in some ways, kind of heart rending, you know, like as a mother, you just want to be able to know and understand how your child is feeling – so I felt really good that maybe that’s what my blog was doing – giving a tiny little voice to babies out there that have cochlear implants – see Iman’s comment below:
i gave birth to my third child, 19 months ago and he was born hearing impaired, with profound hearing loss. he has had the implant for a year now and he is doing really good but he has difficulty sleeping at night, he will sit in his bed for hours during the night awake and talking to himself and i never understood why. when reading your blog about how you would still hear noises even when the processor was off, it made sense. i would love to know how it gets down the track.
So that was totally mega cool, and really made my day.
As for an update on what I am hearing now, see below:
8 weeks since surgery, 4 weeks since switch on … What can I hear now?
Well, it is amazing – it sounds much more natural now.
On the plane home from Queensland on Sunday night, I plugged myself (using the Cochlear Personal Audio cable) into Ben’s iRiver ipod thing.
He had to show me how to use it – I am so totally web savvy and tech savvy, but when it comes to things that only produce sound, I have never used them!
And I listened to my audio book that Ben had downloaded for me.
I could hear it so clearly, even with the roar of the jet engines in the background. I was truly amazed. I flipped through the book, kept finding the pages I was up to, and then decided it was too easy following along with the book.
And I leant back, and listened to the story with my eyes closed! *sigh*
Conversations without lipreading!
At home last night while cooking dinner, Ben and I had a full conversation without me looking at him. As we were preparing stuff in the kitchen, he was telling me the synopsis of this new series on TV called “The Last Enemy”, and it had some weird futuristic bizarre plot-line involving biotechnological diseases and government espionage – the usual.
The only reason I realised that I was listening to him without looking at him was because Ben stopped talking mid-sentence, and said in his best hurt voice: “Well, if you’re not interested, I’ll stop telling you!”
And I looked up, and said “I AM listening!” And we both realised that because I wasn’t facing him, he thought I couldn’t hear him!!!!!
We both had these huge grins on our faces!
So the rest of the conversation, Ben said to me “You have to say ‘yes? yes?’ after each sentence so I feel like you can hear what I am saying!”
It was hilarious.
Our conversation was tainted by those typical broad Aussie accents where everything ends in a question:
Ben: “So there’s this disease outbreak that was hidden by the Government?”
Ben: “And the brother of the bio-terrorist scientist gets blown up by a land mine?”
Ben: “but then he comes back from the dead, because he didn’t really die, he just faked his death?
It might not sound like it, but to me it was a wonderfully satisfying conversation!
I went to the Cinema!
Oh, and I went to a movie at the cinema for the first time since I was about 24 years old – a movie without subtitles I mean.
So, it’s been 6 years since I have seen a normal movie at the cinema.
I was with my three girlfriends, we were having a girls weekend at the Gold Coast, and were killing time at Pacific Fair before our flight left.
And we decided to see ‘District 9’, (I don’t know WHAT we were thinking – it’s about Aliens and things getting blown up).
I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to hear much, but I was amazed that I managed to get maybe 75 per cent of the movie! There were lots of moments when people shouted something as they were blown up, or mutilated, or maybe there was a voice-over during a shoot-out – these ones I had trouble hearing – but the majority of it I could hear!
When we came out of the cinema, I was so excited, and said to the girls: “Man, I could hear almost everything, I understood it all! This is great! The only thing I didn’t get was – why was the guy smiling when was blowing up the alien’s babies? I must’ve missed something there.”
And they were like: “Ah – we didn’t get that either. No idea!”
So there you go.
This scientific invention, the cochlear implant, is ACTUALLY WORKING!!!!