Six weeks on
It’s been about 6 weeks now since I got switched on and it feels much longer. I’ve adjusted really well, in fact sometimes I forget I only have a cochlear implant in one ear!
It’s improving all the time. I can hear music playing when I go to the shopping centre, I can hear the self service tills speaking to me, I can hear parts of a conversation taking place behind me, I can even hear a voice at the other end of the phone that someone else is using! Excited much??
I learned an important lesson at my BSL class though. I arrived straight from work. The battery on my speech processor had died. I had forgotten to keep a spare in my bag and had no time to go home to get one, before going to college. I thought “oh it doesn’t matter, its sign language, I don’t need to hear”.
When I arrived, I saw my tutor at the reception. She is deaf and she flagged me down. She asked me to interpret for her. She knows I am deaf but I am a better speaker and lip reader than she is, plus she likely thought that with my ‘new hearing’ I’d be able to help her.
I felt so bad. Of all days to ask me to help her, it was the day my battery had died! I didn’t tell her though as I was embarrassed and did not want her to struggle. Fortunately we managed to have a conversation with the receptionist using lip reading and my basic sign language.
In the class, I actually found that week harder than other weeks, despite not being allowed to use our voices. It seems even with other deaf people and in a ‘no sound’ environment, hearing is still important.
So I learned to always have a spare battery with me, and not to make assumptions about deaf communication!!
At the end of this month, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People are visiting my workplace as I have changed offices and they want to check the environment the dog will be working in. I’ll blog a bit about that as I’m sure lots of readers would like to know more about this charity!