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Year in review

This will probably be my last blog post of the year so I wanted to do a short year in review.

photo of cochlear implant audiogram results sheetFirst I wanted to show you my latest audiogram results, which more or less sums up how far I’ve come in just over 3 months since switch on. On this, you can see where I was back in May when I underwent all the assessments for a cochlear implant. You can also see where I am now. A big improvement, don’t you think?

I reckon this is proof more than anything that I made the right decision to have a cochlear implant and I hope it offers others considering an implant some reassurance that it is indeed worthwhile. I can hear so much now – fire alarms, telephones ringing, music playing (and identify the song), pedestrian crossings, school bells, keyboards, conversations without looking at the person all the time and more.

Another significant change has been to my confidence. Several people have commented on how I am much more ‘chirpy’ since the operation. I feel so much more included both at work and in social situations, I feel less isolated and more likely to ‘go out there’ and do things.

My social life has improved a bit – I’m really enjoying my sign language course and I would not have signed up for it if I had not felt I would be able to cope better in a college environment with the implant. I’m also exercising more – again I’d avoid exercise classes because of the fear I wouldn’t understand the instructions and go the wrong way or something!

Being able to do things I could not do before, and enjoy things I haven’t been able to do for a while, has made such a huge difference to me. It may sound strange but I can feel the ‘old me’ coming back and I don’t think I’ve felt this happy in a long time.

I am due back at the hospital to reintroduce my hearing aid into my right (non implanted) ear. I’m a bit unsure about this as my surgeon told me many implantees find they do not like wearing a hearing aid in their ‘other’ ear as the sounds are conflicting and confusing.

Then again, some implantees do fine with a hearing aid and a cochlear implant together. I’m not sure how I will feel but I am very conscious of the lack of sound coming into that ear so I’m keen to try it and see how I get on. I’ll hopefully be able to report back on that in the new year.

I wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New ‘Ear.