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Cochlear Implants: Elly's Story

  • My biggest hope is that I will be more social because I will hear more things, especially in a crowd, going out to dinner or something, that is very difficult to hear the sounds.

    I hope not to have the ringing in my ear.

    I just hope to be able to hear again like normal. You don’t know what it’s like until you’ve lost it.

    I woke up on, I remember it was Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2012 and I couldn’t hear out of my left ear and I just figured it was like allergies or something because the time of the year.

    I went to an ear, nose, and throat doctor and he said that I had lost the hearing and it was sudden hearing loss and that there wasn’t any hope for probably getting it back.

    All my sound came from the right and it was really hard getting used to. I’ve actually stepped in front of a school bus one time, because I thought it was on my right and it was obviously on my left.

    I know I miss a lot of conversation. Background noise is horrible. I have a terrible ringing in my ear and I know I hear words differently sometimes. They’re not really the words that I think I’m hearing and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve picked up the phone and no one’s there and I’ve hung it up but I just didn’t have the phone at the right ear.

    I just thought, well I’ll get through this and I just hope my hearing doesn’t go in my right ear.

    It is kind of scary but I know none of it is going to hurt. It’s not going to be a painful experience but I’m excited.

    I want to get it over with and this is really when they kind of critique me and make sure that I’m a good candidate for the cochlear. I’m just hoping that the results are good and going to be a candidate as I expect to be.

    I am so excited. I just can’t wait. I can’t even imagine it actually right now to get back to normal because my normal is so different.

    I was a little afraid you know. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I have to say, the surgery was a piece of cake. I never had any pain. It was so easy. In fact, the next night we entertained guests here.

    When I first heard a sound, it was pretty overwhelming and they were just sounds, they weren’t words. I never ever thought I’d hear a sound again, so it was pretty overwhelming.

    I keep getting more and more words and better hearing all the time. I go back and get it adjusted, in fact it’s overwhelming sometimes, I just kind of like listen with that ear because it is something that I never expected.

    I think the good thing too is I always just thought that children got them, you know and I never dreamed that adults and now I’m seeing more and more older people like myself. I’m in my seventies, so being able to hear and it is overwhelming. I’m really glad I did it.

    Dr. Kang told me it’s like your brain is learning a new language and truly it is. I think that is a great way to explain it and little by little these sounds that you hear and they are different pitches and sounds and pretty soon they do become words, but it did take a while. Mine took longer because I do have a good ear.

    I hear things that I never really heard like the birds. I can hear them so much better now and I know where they are at and where to look for them. When my car dings when the keys are in it, I heard a sound but now I know the sound and little things like that.

    It has been a process.

    I’d say the first six months probably I was still just getting sounds and then it develops into words and the last few months have really been pretty overwhelming.

    My daily life has changed. The quality of life is really better and I know now when I cook, I don’t have to set two alarms or timers. I can hear the over go off first time.

    I no longer have to watch closed captioning TV. I can pick up just almost everything. Every once in a while there’s a couple words that I don’t get.

    We go out more in a setting with larger groups because before, background noise just destroyed any hearing I had. It was really really bad to hear. So we do more and I’m not afraid to get out and be around people and so it has really been a blessing.

    I think the people at Boys Town have been just phenomenal. Not only Dr. Kang that did the surgery, but all the people I’ve met with after that. They really care about you and Boys Town really takes an interest. They’ve called me to make sure that I’m doing well, to make sure that I have appointments set up. Just the aftercare, I couldn’t have asked for a better place to have surgery. They’re phenomenal.

    As we age, our hearing goes, but there is no reason I see now that you have to now live in a silent world. Had I known how great it was going to be, I would have done it five years ago. I really really recommend it.

Cochlear Implants;Patient Story;Hearing Hearing and Balance