Thursday, 9 September 2010

Phone and Music with CI nearly 2years on

Well, its have been a while since I have written any post about my cochlear implant experience.

This year, 2010, have been like a rollercoaster but where do I start my story?
Some of you know about my problem with my implant a year ago which could be the fact that I have fried my brain that I was no longer hearing the low frequencies and had to relearn them again. Its took me at least 4 months to get it back. I have heard other bionic users had similar problem and they have to relearn the sound all over again in a different way. Listening to music again, getting the confidence back to use the mobile phone again and to hold a conversation without lipreading was all too much in one go. So this was why its took me 4 months to get it all back. If this happen to you, you may be lucky to get it back in few weeks or few months. There are some people never get it back. Its sound scary but then we are not a bionic for nothing.

My advise is to keep training yourself but not all at once!

January 2010, I received a call from me mam. The sound of her voice was breaking as she sobs away. I could hear her struggling to get a word out to tell me what was the matter. But I knew what it was. A sadness hit me. I was feeling all such emotions through a phone call. This had never happened to me before. I was still learning to use the phone to understand words and context to enable me to understand the conversation. At this point, I was understanding the way people say the words to express their feeling. This was all new to me. As I listened to me mam, telling me what had happened to Gran and the plan to set up a funeral. Yes, she died.
I found myself crying and struggled to speak. I had to control my emotion so I could concentrate. It was hard but I realised that I was helping mam to comfort her. She had told me that she wanted to let me know the bad news but a txt or an email is never a good way to break the news. A written word can not express the feeling on it own. That's what I had learned.

A sad start but an interesting way for me to learn.

My confidence grew and I am on the phone nearly everyday. I am still nervous around group of people but thats kinda normal for most people who are quite shy. Trouble is I don't come across shy anymore as I used to be. I think its because of my experience of not able to follow what was being say so it may be easier to appear "shy". My implant have change my life in a big way. In a group, I am no longer afraid to ask what I had missed, or if I misunderstood something. There were some moments where I may not be following the conversation and this could be because the topics was boring and I do not wanted to be part of it, or I had something on my mind or simply wanted to switch off for a moment. I am allowed to do this. Just because I have implant, it doesn't mean I have to follow everything all the time. Hearing people do this too. I am a human being.

Recently, I have been clubbing with my friends. This was my first time going clubbing with my implant. I was worried that I would not be able to follow the music because the club are loud and in stereo. I have one implant so therefore hear in mono. I have been listening to lots of music at home, ipod and radio. I had hearing friends who threw me some songs for me to learn. I can't thank them enough coz I am really enjoy learning new songs and finding out what I was missing out. (please keep them coming. Indie rock pop will do me)

So I said that I have been clubbing in Indie rock n roll place. We went there, grab few shots and spirit then head down to the dance floor. I wasn't ready to go on the dancefloor. I need few drinks to get me going. I watched people dancing. I realised these people were students. They looked so young. I soon found out while I was in the loo, chatting to a young girl about the club. I asked out her out of the blue on what she thought my age was. She said that I look about 20. 20! Could you believe that? That made my day! "You just took ten years off me" I told her. Her face was classic. She was shocked. So I went back to the dancefloor with a huge smile and listen to music.

"OOhh Jackson 5 is playing" I said to my mates. They were amazed that I got it right. Few more songs that I recognized was playing. Florance and the machine, Blur, Muse, The killers and many more. I was over the moon. I was finally able to join in with others. Dancing and singing along to the songs.

All that training I did was paying off.

I have my 9th month tuning coming up. 9th month you said? Yep. I did lost 4 months of hearing, didn't I? Well I'm going back to be tuned up. Its not easy being a bionic! :P

1 comment:

Kim said...

Very cool Manda!! Practice does pay off!