Re Today was a good day 
Monday, June 26, 2006, 02:15 PM
I had an interview today and decided to get the train as I knew it would reduce the stress. At the last stop I heard the speaker tell me what stop it was very clearly. It was interesting to hear this as I was not paying much attention. When I did pay attention I could not work out what it was saying! Typical really - but itís not something I have ever heard in my life!

I heard the town hall bells ringing - they sounded like there were more of them than in my town. I stood there thinking how lovely it is to be able to hear the bells ring so clearly - then a car alarm went off and although I could hear that clearly too - I did not appreciate it half as much.

I went to a cafe because I was early and ordered a coffee I must have missed the girl asking me if I wanted milk coz thatís what I got and I donít drink milk in my coffee!

The interview went really well - I had no trouble understanding him - in fact it went so well that when he had trouble explaining something I was able to explain it back to him in a much better way - and he said yes thatís my point a lot! Maybe we were just on the same wave length but I donít recall interviews being this easy. There was hammering in the background, phones ringing, etc and even then his voice was clear as a bell.

After that I decided to treat my self to brunch and I went to a little cafe next to the station that was really sweet. I ordered an apple; stilton and walnut hot wrap, and went and sat down. I had my back to the lady and I was busy with my phone - when I heard her call out. I got "do you want mumble mumble with that, mumble apple mumble?" I turned round and said excuse me can you say that again please and it was "Do you want real apple with that or apple sauce? Ah! Real apple, please! I was quite smug, because normally they would have assumed I was thick, ignorant, possibly deaf (but then I am too young to be deaf I am told!) or just rude.

I think a lot of people used to think I was either very rude, or stuck up. As I always seemed to get stroppy people and thought that was normal. These days I get happy people who smile at me because I have answered their questions previously so I must be alright. It kind of sets my day off nice. Well nicer than it used to be.

I rang James up to let him know that my interview had gone really well, and I had no trouble hearing him - not even when a big metal cart got pushed by which was loaded with drinks and rattled loudly as it went pass! Every time I try to call someone in public, I have a quick look round, assess that itís safe and quite and boom! Something loud will occur right next to me! Last time I tried to call James I picked a really quite spot with no people what so ever, I dialled - and as it was ringing I watched a guy walk near me, put a case down, open it and by the time James answered the guy was playing Jazz on his saxophone! James shouted why did you ring me when youíre standing next to a guy playing music!???!!! Doh!

I got my train home, and I was just about to ask the lady next to me if I had the correct train when she turned and asked me in said. I heard her fine even though it was really noisy.

I got back and decided I would go for a quick coffee before heading off home, in the cafe I was watching two girls chat - they seemed Italian as they spoke loudly and excitedly and guestured in a big way with their arms. I heard the reserved british couple make comments about them under their breath! I found it very amusing!

RE Listening to the Radio in the Car 
Sunday, June 25, 2006, 04:16 PM
We went for a drive today as I thought we were just going somewhere quick but it turned out James had other plans and he decided to go to two supermarkets on the way too.

I was not dress to go out as I was wearing trackie pants which are covered in grout as I am in the middle of doing the bathroom!

So I decided to say in the car and thought it might be a good idea if I turned the radio on for background sound. I was not expecting to be able to hear any thing really and for the first five minutes all I got was the odd word here and there. Then it started to become clearer and I was following the odd conversation with the odd word missing. Music came on and I could hear much more of the mood of the music in said of just the bass that I used to hear. I could also hear the person singing but I could not understand them. I could tell if they were male or female and I could tell if the song was upbeat and cheerful or sad and moody.

I thought it went quite well and I am now thinking about buying a digital radio to put on while I am getting ready for work and also for when I am sitting in my office at home.

It would be good practice and I quite enjoyed listening to it. It is something that I never thought would happen in my life time. I used to hate the car radio it gave me terrible tinnitus and headaches, it used to sound like very loud static. To think I listened to the radio today and got some benefit from it, is amazing!

The only thing I did find sad about the whole day was the fact that I have a world of possibilities open to me, I could buy any CD I want to listen to and perhaps eventually be able to hear it well. But I will never be able to go back and grab all these times that I missed when I was younger. I canít even buy the music that a partner of mine Andy who has since died, may have listened too. I gave away all his CD's to his sister as at that time it was never going to be any use to me. Now I wish I had kept something of his music. It brings a lump to my throat to think that I never paid much attention to what he used to listen to so I have no clue to what was his favourite music. Some songs I know he particularly enjoyed like Lady in Red, "something stupid", "bat out of hell", "Donít want to miss a thing" I think he liked Queen but then I am not sure. I think he would have been so pleased for me, and it would have been lovely to off hear his Birmingham accent! I used to tell him his lip-pattern was so common!

Guess thatís just the way life is.

Re I am much more socialble these days 
Saturday, June 24, 2006, 05:41 PM
We went to visit friends of ours today to show them our holiday photos. Its the forth set of friends that I have visited this week and there is still one more to go!

I am much more confident in making friends these days because they are not as hard work as they used to be. Even if I miss a part of what is being said - its very easy these days to pick up the thread of the conversation again. Just like it used to be when I was younger, lipreading seemed such a powerful tool then.

With the implant and lipreading I feel like I am flying on top of the world.

It's a great feeling.

Re A Lovely Day today 
Friday, June 23, 2006, 05:18 PM
Today I went to see the Editor of ReSound, Norah and her Husband Dave. They made lunch for me, and we had a lovely chat about our experiences pre and post cochlear. Some were the same and some were so different. We also got lots of ideas for the next newsletter and I managed to convince them to try MSN Messenger which I am sure they will love.

We talked for so long that time flew and when I looked at the clock it was nearly 5pm. I had been there four hours and we still had not said half of what we wanted to say!

When I got home I went straight on to MSN Messenger to say ello to Norah, and I was very pleased to see that how quickly Norah got the hang of it - she is a very clever lady. It will now be easier to discuss our ideas and exchange files for the ReSound newsletter.

Hopefully we will meet again soon, and I am thinking about going to the Cicada Club BBQ which is in August. Iím sure it will be fun to chat to other people who have had implants.

I think it was really fascinating from my perspective to talk to someone who had the implant put in almost ten years ago. Norah has the 20 channel implant and it took her longer to get speech perception than it did for me. I was also encouraged to hear that Norah still notices improvements with her hearing even now. It goes to show that the brain is always learning and suddenly identifying sounds that it did not understand before.

Norah told me that they have done studies on implanted people and using MRI/ CAT scan it showed that they used parts of their brain that was mean for sight to listen to sounds. I think this shows how well the brain adapts when it has to and it finds other ways round the problem areas!

we both agree that washing up is very noisy! We both hate the sound of chairs scraping and people pulling their knife and fork across the plate. Banging and bashing of cups on hard surfaces, and everyday normal things are no longer a quite thing - its almost impossible to do it quite after 29 years of not being aware that I am a very loud person for someone so deaf!

On the way home I had a flash back from my past. When I was about 15 I did some voluntary work for a charity that provided a seaside hotel to disabled people. They depended on volunteers from all over the world to give their time for bed and board.

While I was there I met many people from France, Italy, the USA, and Japan. There was this guy from Japan, he could only have been 16, and he could not believe it when he saw me working and he told me to stop. I explained that I was volunteering here and I had been for the past week and he said no you canít be and started laughing. I said well if you donít believe me go and ask one of the staff which he did. I lip-read them talking and he said she canít be a volunteer she is not allowed and the nurse said in the UK she can do any thing she wants. He came back and said I canít believe they are letting you work here. I explained that I expected to work full time when I left school and pass my driving test and hopefully go to collage. And he said oh you will never be allowed to drive Ė I said of course I will and he laughed again and I found him very off putting. He did not last very long they send him home because he kept upsetting the guest as he was so blunt and dismissive of them. I just thought it was due to him not having a very nice personality.

But I read in Ivanís blog that Japanese people who are deaf are not allowed to drive. If it was like that in the UK, I would have trouble working, and then I would be dependent on the state to care for me. I understand now why that Japanese guy was the way he was, it was due to his cultural beliefs towards disabled people and as a country they do not seem to be very empowering. I feel so lucky to be born in the UK where the opportunity to have a good life is open to me.

I am looking forward to the weekend!

RE sounds sounds sounds and more sounds! 
Thursday, June 22, 2006, 04:54 PM
The private health care has said I need to get a referral before they can consider the cost of a second implant. So today I rang the doctors to make an appointment so that I can ask for a new referral to the Manchester implant programme.

Initially I did not catch the first thing the receptionist said and I thought oooh I donít think I am gonna be able to hear her. (I did know it was female) but once I said my name and why I was calling, her voice got clearer and clearer till I had no trouble at all. Stupid appointment is not till the 3rd of July though!

Then I went into town, now I have been able to hear the cars for some time when I'm driving, but today I drove with the window down and it scared me so much that I had to close it.

I could hear cars approaching and they sounded really close, and would make me jump. But when I looked in my mirrors they were in fact about three car widths away! It made me so nervous that I could not drive with the window down. Guess my sound perception is a bit off at the moment.

I was at the traffic lights and I heard some kids on bikes passing me, I actually heard them shouting to each other!

I got into town and had a chat with the lady in the shops, I noticed that these days I can hear them tell me how much things cost.

Pre implant what would happen is I would always have a note handy because I could never hear what they said. As a result I carried around a LOT of change!

I can hear the msn messenger beeping when I have a message these days, although the new upgrade is great as I can hear it nudge and the hear the logo which sounds like knocking on the screen which is really cool.

I noticed that I could hear the big nasty dog that lives in our street barking last night. I was able to identify it as a dog barking with no difficulties.

This evening there was also a dog barking - but this time it was the yappy terrier from next door which sounded small and sharp.

It is getting much easier to identify sounds.

If I scratch or ruffle my hair I can hear the raspy sound. If I hold half of yellow pages and let the rest hang free I can hear the crackle of the pages rustling together.

I can hear when the kettle has finished boiling as it goes "click" I can hear the clock in our kitchen ticking away which takes me by surprise every time I cook!

I love the sizzle of food cooking its such a nice sound. I can hear the popping when I'm heating the pans and the bubbling of water when itís ready for veg. The times when I have dry boiled my food is over!

I can now hear the creaking of my desk chair and sometimes I can hear my hearing aid squeaking!

I can hear myself speaking although I am not always good at knowing how loud I am speaking say if we are in the car and the fan is on.

I hate the car fan - it seems so loud.

RE To much time on my hands 
Thursday, June 22, 2006, 07:50 AM
Itís easy to see when I am between jobs as the blog entries get longer and longer as I have to much time on my hands!

I was doing some research today because I might be working with adults with disabilities. I came across a website for Barking and Dagenham who were very proud to promote the fact that they donít say disabled they say impaired and follow the social model of disability.


hold on a minute, Impaired according to the encyclodictionalacapedia the word impaired means

Diminished, damaged, or weakened: an impaired sense of smell.

Functioning poorly or incompetently: a driver so tired as to be impaired.

Having a physical or mental disability: an impaired child in need of special assistance

According to the word net:-

The adjective impaired has 2 meanings:

Meaning #1: diminished in strength, quality, or utility

Meaning #2: mentally or physically unfit

according to my word Thesaurus impaired means - damaged, weakened, ruined, messed up!

"Dis" Abled - on the other hand means - stopped, prevented, held back,

Here are a few more exsamples to what Barking and Dagenham think are wrong and should be chaged:-

Often the term 'disabled parking bays' is used at supermarkets and shopping centres. This is inappropriate. It should be 'parking for Orange/Blue Badge Holders or 'parking for disabled drivers and passengers'. More and more supermarkets are changing to the former through pressure from disabled people.

People who are deaf or blind or deaf/blind are said to have 'sensory impairment' either 'hearing' or 'sight impaired'. People who are deaf/blind prefer 'dual sensory impairment'.

Often the term 'disabled toilets' is used, but this is inappropriate. The toilet is either 'accessible' or 'inaccessible'.

What on earth is going on! This is a play on words. It has nothing to do with empowering a person to have access to the same things as everyone else.

Barking and Dagenham say under the Social Model, the term 'people with disabilities' is incorrect as we have impairments. We are people who are disabled by the environment, attitudes, stereotypes etc.

erm no I am disabled because of a biological problem that causes my ears not to work and renders me deaf.

Discrimination and ignorance prevents me from accessing the environment, attitudes and stereotypes etc. I admit that this is more disabling than my deafness. Which is why we say Dis -abled apposed to abled. (what are these people on?)

I am not damaged or ruined or weakened because I am deaf I find it quite insulting to be considered impaired because of it.

I wonder what other people think about this? Am I the only one? To think when the social model became known I thought we were in a step in the right direction. Now everyone has interpreted it to suit their own beliefs and it has lost all its power.

Does the impairment/disability discussion really have a place within the social model?

I am all for being an individual as I have never really believed in the possibility of being able to make my life equal to others - but I donít really want to be seen as an impaired individual.

Maybe I totally misunderstood the social model of disability? I am all for saying its disabling not being able to gain access to a supermarket, or its unfair that there are not captions in a cinema. But to say I want the words in the
disabled bay
to be repained to say
'parking for disabled drivers and passengers'

is totally over the top, it makes us look picky, demanding, a pain in the backside, expensive. Would they also be happy for the other bays to be labled
' warning - parking for nondisabled drivers and passengers only - disabled drivers WILL be clamped

and if not - would that be seen as discrimination against nondisabled people? will a new act come out as a result to protect and promot nondisabled peoples rights? or is that just being over the top.... Yes, my point has been made.

Damit! I did not log in to write about this, I was actually going to write about something completely different!

It is getting to the point where I am thinking about carrying a pen and paper around with me - I seem to get snippets of past information when I am driving in the car. I think oo must put that in my blog and then itís gone forever!

When I was at collage I would go out with my mates and we would go to night clubs in the area. I was told (they could have just been trying to be nice) I danced really well. I had two tricks, one dance to the base (thatís all i could hear) two look around find the best dancer and dance to their rhythm. Both worked quite well.

The hard bit was when a guy would come and dance with me; we were fine as long as he did not speak to me. If he did try I would just shout in his ear itís to loud for me to hear you sorry! we would dance a bit more, and he might mime "you want a drink?" ďno thanks I am fine!Ē I would shout back. If we have a drink then he will shout in my ear again - then what will I do! Not only is it pointless to shout in my ear it tickles like hell! I fond it easier to lip-read as long as we were not under the strobe lights I think they were called.

If I really liked him then I would say ok then but you need to know I am deaf. Now this would produce two reactions the guy would say "oh ok then lets go and get that drink. Or he would turn and walk away with out saying a thing.

Now the first time this happened I was close to tears, the pain crushed my heart like an elephant sitting on it. (I was sixteen ok I was entitled) But a very clever friend (also sixteen where did she get her common since!) said to me "is it not better that you find out within a few minutes what a wanker a guy is, than to waste time and then find out what a wanker he is?" and I thought yep I really donít want to be having a drink with a wanker, and it turned into a really useful tool to find out who wankers were.

Sometimes my mates would even push me into dancing with a guy to find out if he was wanker free before dancing with him themselves. As they said they did not want to dance with a shallow guy. Lucky I never fancied any of em myself so it worked out quite well. I think it was my first lesson in turning something so negative into something really positive. From then on I have always tried to do that and it makes me a lot happier emotionally.

Re I am rather worried about a friend of mine 
Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 02:16 PM
A friend who is waiting for his implant operation has asked if he should take a CD with Cavatina on it when he go for the switch on because he would like to try out some music while his there.

I cannot think of a worst thing to do. If he is really lucky, he may hear his wife's voice. If he is very lucky he might even hear her accent.

Having an implant does not give you the hearing that you have lost.

It provides you with an alternative way to hear, which is better than hearing aids can give you.

But it still will not, ever, sound like how it used to sound when you were hearing. At least not in our life time, and if in our life time, then at least not this year.

Music is the most complex and difficult thing to hear. Environmental things like a car going pass, rain on a window, a clock ticking, is actually easier to hear than speech. Itís all I heard about two weeks into switch on.

I know other people who lost their hearing more recently before having the implant have reported voices sounding squeaky or even like Darth Vader!

There is no way, this early on in a map that the brain would be able to process the sounds of music. Even if it could - it would sound very different to how it once was.

I donít think the fact that he wants to try upsets me so much, its the fact that he wants it to sound as he remembers it that sadness me. As it just wonít ever happen, that moment has been gone for a long time.

Gosh the quote from Blade Runner just jumped into my head!

ďIíve seen things you people wouldnít believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die.Ē

I watched this as a kid I must have been 10 years old and I felt like I was one of the replicants and could totally relate to Rutger Hauer. I was dying too, I did not belong, and I so much wanted too!

This film questions what it is to be human, and why life is so precious. It also for me at least, touched on how difficult it is to be accepted when your different and how important it can be to be accepted. I found it almost painful to watch because it was not the replicants fault that things were the way they were. But they sure were paying the price.

The ultimate price is what it is to be human. I wanted to be a hearing human so badly. But having an implant will never allow me to be a hearing in a natural sense of the word.

For the record Ridley Scott fully intended Harrison Ford to be a replicant!

Yesterday I went to a friendís house; they have a new born baby. I was really shocked to find that when they put her down after her bottle she talked to her self and made sounds like she was singing or keeping her self busy. I really thought (I feel embarrassed to admit this) that babyís only made a crying sound till at least an age where they started to smile and laugh. I could hear her burping, and then she got hic cups, some of which were quite loud for such a little thing!

Today I went to visit another friend who has a three year old boy, at first he was to shy to speak to me but I won him round eventually and although I could not always hear every word he said. I could hear that he had a very high little voice and I could hear the excitement in his voice and sometimes I could hear the tone he used when he was being serious and the tone when he was puzzled. If he only said one or two words then I could pick up what he was saying quite well. It was when he babbled on something that I did not have a clue what he was on about then it was harder to work out what he was saying. It was a massive change to how it used to be. I could never lip read very young children they donít stay still for long enough and what sounds they might have made I never got anyway.

I am feeling a lot more confident about speaking to people now, we went out for lunch and it was very noisy but I could still hear most of what was being said to me. I did notice once or twice though my voice came out really loud! Itís kinda hard to moderate my voice in busy places.

When I was a hearing aid uses I knew that if I did not watch myself I would end up shouting so I learnt to always keep my voice soft, to a point where some people could not hear me Ė but it was less embarrassing than shouting at them and seeing the look of shock in their eyes.

Itís much harder to keep my voice soft with the implant because the map is not set to give me how loud it really is. Itís set to give me what I feel comfortable with hearing, as a consequences I donít really know how loud things are Ė itís an educated guess. What may sound loud to me, might not to someone else and what might sound loud to everyone else might not to me!

RE Breakfast 
Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 05:38 AM
Ok I donít know if itís because I have spent so much time on my blog and reading up various things about hearing and CI's BUT - Making breakfast today I realised I could hear it as I buttered my toast a lovely crunch scrape sound. I HEARD the water as I poured it into my coffee cup.

Sitting here now making the keys all buttery because I am still eating my toast, I can hear it as I bite in to it. Itís a lovely sound.

I reason I have not noticed before is I donít eat breakfast much normally, but today I felt like it. I wonder what other foods sound nice?

I remember my disappointment when we brought a packet of that sweet which is meant to pop and crackle and turn into gum. James said he could hear it - but I could not hear it at all. Wonder if I would be able to now?

When it was first switched on I noticed every knife scrape across the plate, and every clatter of the fork hitting the plate and every ting of a glass being put down on the table. Someone scraping their chair back was enough to make me look like Roger Rabbit when he hears *whispers* that song.

Itís not as bad as that now but when I go to a restaurant, I can still hear a lot of sounds that I never did before. The only difference is, peoples voices carry over the top, I can hear the sound of someone laughing, or a group deep in conversation. I might not be able to understand what is being said but I can hear the tone which their mood is set in.

Some days you go through life not realising how much you can hear now, its only when you reflect that just how clever it is becomes apparent.

Michael is right this article is good, it had me laughing out loud. ... 01933.html

Does he have radar for this kinda thing? Every single thing he has recommended has been able someone with a fabulous sense of humour.

Not that I am complaining mind you

Josh Swiller had a lot of speech therapy. I can relate to this, I also can relate to the fact that he loved listening to music and would follow the song by obtaining the lyrics. I used to do that for years till I suddenly stopped being able to hear a single thing on the TV, record player etc.

I also love the fact that Joe could follow lyrics if he had them written down except for the likes of mumbling Bob Dylan, who, according to his speech therapist, really should be ashamed of himself! Classic.

I too found friendly women who spoke through their smiles hard to lip-read. With one particular colleague I can remember thinking if only I could hit her, it would be worth it just to take the smile of her face SO I can lip-read her. It was always such a drain on my eyes.

Sunglasses also stopped me from lip-reading easily - I like to see people's eyes and I like to be able to see their full profile. Somehow sunglasses cut the profile in half and I just donít seem to lip-read as well.

Joe said he had 70% hearing when lipreading and hearing aids and when asked:

What's 70 percent like? It's hard work. It's always hearing the laughter but rarely catching the joke.
Ok I have lived in this guys shoes.

One-on-one you can hear pretty well, but big gatherings -- are just noise falling on top of noise,
Joe said [if we could hear it would be] like ocean waves in a storm. I think it is more akin to being shoved into a washing machine, which has been loaded with plates by mistake, and still being expected to have a conversation were you donít say "I'm sorry could you repeat that again please?"

It is so fascinating to see that similar techniques are developed to get by and pretend you can hear, ie
the smile-and-nod, the thoughtful lip purse,
and the yes-and-nod - which can go wrong if its more appropriate that you had said no. But why do we put ourselves through it? Simple reason I guess, we want to be a part of it all and to do that we have to somehow stay in the game. It too time consuming to ask people to keep repeating things, so we bluff our way through and cross our fingers and hope it works out.

My mother used to say to me ďWill you STOP nodding your head and smiling when you CLEARLY have not understood a word I said. One of these days a seriously dodgy guy is going to say to you ďwant to come back to my placeĒ and you will wonder why things went so wrong.Ē My mother always had a really bleak view on the world but I did admit that she had a point. It took me years to break the habit and stop nodding or saying yes in said of pardon? I did initially try the trick of shaking my head and saying No, but I missed out on so much I stopped doing it!

RE Made another phone call today 
Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 04:48 AM
My email about my split coil has not been answered, as I do not have another email to try. I thought I would give the implant centre a ring.

I found out that Deborah is on holiday - the nice admin lady said she would send me a spare. I asked if I should send it back the broken one and she replied "yes please." I said ok and thanks very much for your help and she said "ok then bye for now"

I did have to turn up the volume on the phone but other than that it was fine!

*jumping for joy* on typetalk it would have took me about 15-20 mins. On the phone it took me less than 4.

What a time saver this is going to be!

These are from Michaelís article

I thought these were amazing. (ta Michael!) I have already asked for a copy of my own x-rays. In mine I could see the implant coil round my own cochlear and both James and I stood there looking at it for what seemed forever. It was so small, so neat, so perfect. It seemed incredible that it would be the very thing that would enable me to hear!

Michael wanted to hear opera with his implant - like he could before he became deaf. He says:

Bol starts simply enough, a single flute accompanied by a snare drum: da-da-da-dum, da-da-da-dum, dum-dum, da-da-da-dum. The same musical clause repeats 17 more times, each cycle adding instruments, growing louder and more insistent, until the entire orchestra roars in an overpowering finale of rhythm and sound.

I really need someone to sit with me and stop the tape/ record and say now that was a flute, press play, stop! Now that was a snare drum, press play and so on. Maybe I need to find a music tutor who is willing to spend a few hours with me going through all the instruments? That could work.......

Michael used the quote from Helen Keller to give an idea to how terrible deafness can be:

Micheal used the qoute from Helen Keller to give an idea to how terrible deafness can be:

Helen Keller famously said that if she had to choose between being deaf and being blind, she'd be blind, because while blindness cut her off from things, deafness cut her off from people

I read her book when I was 13 and it scared the sh*t out of me. The thought of being deaf AND blind was enough to make me very afraid. so much so that one day when I was trying to save the cat (stupid cat) as she had got her jaw caught under her collar, in her panic she clawed my face and got close to my eyes. I went into complete hysterics and could not calm down until my mother shock some sense into me.

Hearing people always seem to fear losing their hearing, whereas for me it was always my eyes. When you have lost both - youíre entitled to choose!

One of the things that a lot of people have said to me over the years is "*gasp* oh I would kill my self if I could not hear my music." Jeeze thanks - so not only am I deaf - you donít think my life is worth living - great. Then they would say "oh no, no, I could not be as strong as you." Yeah right, letís hope you donít lose your hearing when youíre older eh. No no they would say - I just couldnít be as brave as you. There is nothing brave about going deaf, brave is those who put their live in danger in the line of duty, brave is those who sign up to join the arm forces or the Navy like my brother.

Robin has passed his drill by the way - WAY TO GO ROB, we are so proud of you!

Gosh I sound a right bitter old thing - but I am not really.

"The goal is to have the patient live a normal life, not to be deprived of anything."
that sounds good. Someone tell the NHS please? I need two in order to have a normal life and not be so very deprived.

121 virtual channels and he can hear his music again. Just reading his account brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes and I have never heard the music myself.

While my friends' ears will inevitably decline with age, mine will only get better.

I guess my ears will always be young!

I always used to think that at least being deaf meant that in my old age I would be a fluent lip reader. But then thats not much good when your peers are struggling to learn.... humph!

Re Waiting for the postman 
Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 04:20 AM
I had to get up today to wait for the postman. He is bringing a large parcel that requires me to answer the door. Now back in the day, I would have sat in the front room and from time to time looked out the window - anxious that I had missed him.

These days I can be anywhere in the house and I will hear the knock or door bell go. It has made my life stress free in so many small and big areas that I feel more relaxed and much more confident as time goes on.

I am just waiting for the day that some bright spark invents a total water proof implant that I can wear in the shower. I had to get up at crack of dawn in order to be able to shower and dress before the postman gets here.

A processor that could be somehow attached to the head without the need to be looped round the ear - that stays on while I sleep and does not move would be nice too. I could throw awake the shake away alarm clock that scares me to death every morning and almost gives me a heart attack when it goes off. We could get rid of the blue flashing alarm that likes to play tricks like going off unexpectedly with it gets dusty.

Then my life would be 100% perfect. But I will settle for 98% for now.

Ah! the postman has just been. The door bell as a two tone ding ding. It still does not sound as sharp as I would like, but the more I hear it the more clear it will sound. (no please don't all come round ringing my door bell!)

I had to text James to let him know because he is so excited by the fact that his new keyboard is arriving today *bless* its the type were the keys light up in blue. As I am sending the text from my office where it is fairly quite - I noticed I could hear the tiny beep beep beep as I selected a letter on my phone. I did not even know it made a sound! It also goes blurp when its send a text. How cute - a burpy mobile.

Damn that Michael Chorost!

It looks like I am going to have to buy the book called sperm are from men, eggs are from women - the real reason men and women are different by Joe Quirk.

I have really enjoyed reading Michaelís blog - chapter one of the books was really interesting, from a point of view of becoming deaf so suddenly.

I have always regarded myself as lucky, even though it was painful to lose my hearing so slowly - it gave me plenty of opportunity to learn new ways of coping, new lip-reading skills ie the best way to lip-read a guy with a beard is to ask him to always keep it trimmed above the lip line. You try it - its amazing how just being able to see the lip line can make it easier to lip-read an otherwise very difficult person (men!)

I have always believed that the way I think and see the world is different to the way hearing people think and see the world.

I am sure being deaf has altered my perception of things in some way.

I can play back to myself the lip pattern of what a person has just said, if I do not get it the first time.

I can see the pattern in my mind like a recording - I canít do this with the sound I get from my processor. Even though I have tried to, what I donít get is the part of the sound I have missed.

Thus I have to hear ALL of the sound, to understand each word or I am lost.

There has been lots of comparison to what having an implant is like to being hearing.

I guess when you have lost something it will never be as good as the real thing. Michael compares this to "repairing a spider's web with a ball of string"

Someone else compares to ďlike being given the choice of only seeing in blue or only seeing in grey, itís not the same as being able to see perfect, but IT is a choice.Ē

I have never been hearing so I cannot compare the experience of being able to hear with an implant, to being able to hear perfectly well.

For me the experience is like stepping off one world were I never knew where I stood and was full of loud sounds which merged into one single sound which was like a loud train with a deep throb, and a crackle of static, combined with ringing of of bells, and pops and squeals that I was never sure were real or not.

Into a world were the ground is firm, and each sound is crystal clear and holds its own, neither dominating another sound or being dominated. Where the only thing you hear is when there is something to be head.

When a person speaks, you hear the richness in their voice, their accent, you can even hear the excitement, or sadness, or the hope.

After years of trying to read how someone felt by looking into their eyes, it never ceases to amaze me how expressive a voice can be.

I understand now how someone can captivate a whole nation just by speaking; I understand now how Martin Luther King made himself heard when it was a time where people did not want to hear.

I have never underestimated the power of speech, as I had to work very hard to be able to speak as well as I do. What I did underestimate was the power that speech can have over the written word.

When I have my processor on, I can sit in my office and ďallĒ I can hear is the gentle hum of my computer, the occasional kid outside screaming to their friends, the odd car alarm, the tapping of my keyboard keys. The post drop through our letter box with a soft ďplopĒ.

If I sit quietly, I can even hear the sound of my breathing (which took a little getting used to.)

This might not sound much to others but to me itís a big deal because these are sounds that I have never heard before. I still get excited over opening a bottle of coke just to hear the frizz and I donít drink the stuff!

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