A first step – what came after my Deafision
Since I last blogged, I’ve tried wearing one hearing aid with the sound set low just on occasions when I need to moderate my voice or try to hear my granddaughters. This week began with yet another bad reaction to even this tiny input, as did last week. Every time this happens, it leaves me like a limp rag for the next two days – interfering unacceptably with how I want to live.
I wrote in my Deafision blog:
“Cochlear implants are increasingly provided, is this for me? I feel very resistant, are they really more for hearing people as above? Do I value the possibility of increased sound enough to undergo an operation and thereafter have a foreign body inside my head with the other bit stuck on the outside? Remember, I said it’s just my family’s voices I want to hear, few other sounds matter much to me. Not all are successful and I abhor those emotive switch on videos.”
Since then, I’ve realised this does need to be my next step. I’ve listened to good friends who have CIs, I’ve done my research pretty thoroughly, talked to my family and spent many hours turning the issue over in my mind and I know I’m potentially what’s termed “a good candidate” for one. My view has shifted from once being totally anti (for myself – I’ve never judged other people’s choices) to reluctantly conceding it might one day be right for me to now accepting that that day has arrived. I’m not concerned with how anybody else may view my choice; we all have our particular reasons and situations for making our life choices.
For those who think I should “teach my family to sign”, I’d say:
“Be realistic. My family are all hearing, they don’t sign enough to keep it up for my benefit. I did not meet other deaf people or encounter sign language until I was 17, after being brought up completely orally, lipreading and attending mainstream schools. My first language is English, BSL is my second language and however much I love it, however much I prefer to use it and to communicate with my deaf friends and acquaintances, I am a pragmatic person who deals with the world around her as it is, not how I wish it was.”
Yes, I could change my mind, or I may not be accepted for one, but those are next steps. My first step is an CI information group meeting in November.
I feel a mix of trepidation and anticipation. It’s a new adventure for me.