Getting a cochlear implant is a big decision and, I can’t lie, I personally found the recovery challenging, though mercifully quick. My audiologist, as I have mentioned before, kept my expectations in check, which did make me slightly nervous about whether this procedure was going to be worth it. I have been activated for just about 3 weeks now, and I am very fortunate to be achieving amazing results so far. Whether it is due to not having been deaf for too long in that ear … who knows?
But, if I had any doubts at all about whether I made the right decision about the implant, they were well and truly dispelled yesterday. I and my husband have been virual recluses throughout covid and avoided social gatherings like … well … the plague. Yesterday was my first gathering in 18 months where I had to cope in the midst of several people talking at once - the event was 9 vaccinated family members having a farewell dinner for one of our clan who is moving across the country. I was sitting at the dining table in full conversation with the person next to me, all the while several other conversations and laughter were taking place. I had been mildly aware of the occasional beep in my processor and wondered what it was. Well I soon discovered that it was a warning beep that my rechargeable battery was low. In mid-flow of conversation, my right ear went silent while my hearing aid ear then seemed to turn everything into an unbearable din. Ah yes, pre-covid I had dreaded dinner parties and couldn’t escape them quick enough. Now I was right back there again. No wonder my nerves were shot and I was anti-social!!!
I cannot believe how quickly I have gotten used to clarity of sound from my implanted ear. It may be high pitched, but I can understand speech and make sense of it even when there are competing conversations nearby. It was a bit distressing to me when my processor went silent as I hadn’t thought to bring a back-up battery, but it really was a WOW moment for me to realize how effective my CI is.
(I have been getting about 16 hours or more from my medium rechargeable battery, but I remembered that I had gotten up at 6 am. Then, to kill time until the dinner party, I had been streaming an audiobook then music - probably much more than on a usual day. Lesson learned. Keep a spare battery on hand.)
All this to encourage those who are considering a recommended CI. If your ENT or audiologist think it will help you, go for it if you are able! Don’t delay.