Re How being hearing in one ear is changing who I am 
Sunday, July 8, 2007, 11:23 AM - General
I never gave it much thought before because I just accepted that I could not change the way I was.

In order to keep up with what was going on in the world I would read and read and read. Any newspaper I could get my hands on I read. Not being able to hear the radio or watch things that were not subtitled was a major disadvantage. My peer group picked things up around them just by listening to others. I tended to be a few facts behind. This affected my school grades, collage, spelling(!) and university. I struggled to keep up, and it was draining at the best of times.

Since the implant I can be typing away and I find peopleís conversations drop into my head and I catch useful information. I am at the top of my game in my career mainly because of research (thank gwald for Google) but these days I am also learning though listening.

Itís a bit like lip-reading with my eyes closed.... sounds odd but true. I find I donít hear as well unless I concentrate on what I am hearing. Sometimes I can convince myself that I have heard something correct when in fact I've heard it wrong!! The sounds do not turn into words until I have worked my brain to translate the sounds into words. Itís still tiring just the same as lip-reading, but itís a richer language and far more dynamic than lip-reading ever could give me.

Being able to hear voices has been the greatest gift that I could ever be given, and for that I am eternally grateful to all the professionals that have worked hard to make it possible.

The benefit of the implant is all down to me. The more itís used the better and richer the sounds become. Even after two years of using it. Itís not surprising I guess after a life time of being left in the dark, that sometimes it takes time to fully appreciate the benefit of hearing.

I can now hear myself when I am speaking on the landline much better. It is getting easier to hear names and places.

I can take myself to a fairly quite place (sometimes) and answer my mobile. But if its busy I have answer and say I will call back when I have found the ideal spot!

Still, life is good, and I would not have it any other way

:ahh:

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Re I never knew people were so friendly 
Wednesday, July 4, 2007, 03:49 PM - General
:kiss: I never knew people were so friendly. I never realised how isolating being deaf made me.

I have this terrible habit of reading a paper while sitting in cafes and normally when I look up my food is there as if by magic before me, and nobody else around.

Now, I dont always hear the first time, but I do hear a person ask me a question or try and get my attention. I tend to say "oh sorry I did not hear you, I am deaf"

I think they go back to the kitchen and let everyone else know, because they make allowances and ensure eye contact. I now get offers of water, salt, and anything else I may want.

People tend to ask more questions and appear intrested in what I am doing. They smile more and are friendly.

I think of all the times when I have thought the person was cold or sharp or just not very nice, and I think it was because they thought I was rude, stuck up or ignorant because I had not answered them - or that I was the one being unfriendly because I was so anti sociable.

Everywhere I go I find people are friendly, I respond to their questions easier now, and they smile and engage in conversation. I speak to people more these days, even a laugh and a joke with strangers over a suitable water proof coat can make my day seem less bleak.

Who would have thought that deafness could have such an impact on mood, personality, socialiseation, a sense of happyness.

:ahh:

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