Tuesday, November 9, 2010

CI Hearing -- Via Computer Program

My son, Chris, and I

People think cochlear implant patients have surgery to hear, and voila, we hear like the rest of the world.


We now hear sounds...and most of those sounds have to become deciphered and learned. That takes time. For most of us, it's the beginning of a new life --> we begin to learn to hear.

Learning is identifying the sounds we hear, and making sense of it all...which, in turn, causes us to say, "So THAT'S what the wheels on the bus sound like." "Crickets make THAT much noise? Impossible!"

It never entered my imagination that the cries of a precious newborn baby could be so disturbingly annoying.

If we never had hearing before -- or, if we were profoundly deaf most of our lives -- then sound was imagined by us. 

I was born severely deaf --> I imagined most sounds.

Whenever I'd see a bird, I imagined it having a sweet, high-toned, "Tweet, tweet, tweet," thanks to storybooks, and watching Snow White sing. But when I received hearing, walked out my front door, and heard a black crow, I just about died  was flabbergasted. "God in heaven above...what were you thinking?"

Cochlear Implant hearing is a computer program, through a processor that sits on my ear like an hearing aid. It sends sounds from the outside world --> to the implant inside my head --> to my brain = my brain now thinks I can hear.

My particular implant has the capability of accepting updated and improved programs = updated/improved hearing. But, when my implant's processor is uploaded with new information, my brain has to learn to make sense of those new sounds. 
In short, I have to learn to hear again. 
The good part is it doesn't take as long as it did when first implanted.

Implant hearing may not be the real thing; but, it's better than not hearing at all.