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Do you,or I should ask...have made peace with being deaf/hearing impared?


Leila Riley
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For awhile I was extremely angry,there are no words.Needless to say I had to personify my hearing loss as an individual  who deserted me when I needed them the most.By so doing,FORGIVENESS had to come into play....followed by ACCEPTANCE.I am very anxious to hear about the coping mechanisms of you guys,my new extended family!!!!!☺

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@Leila Riley

I would think that our hearing loss history would play a huge role in how we feel about our hearing loss.  Some of us were born with hearing loss.  Some of us were born with typical acoustic hearing and progressively lost our hearing.  Some of us were born with typical acoustic hearing and suddenly lost our hearing.

 

I was born with typical acoustic hearing and started losing my hearing at age 13.  There were many different times in my life when I mourned the loss of hearing and its implications in my day to day life.  I did come to accept my hearing loss and adapted to life as a hard of hearing person.  Then another drop in hearing and the process started all over again.  It was difficult to say the least.  By the time I seeked out cochlear implants my life was beyond frustrating and exhausting.  These CIs have been life changing for me.

 

There have been good things that were brought into my life due to my hearing loss as well.  Becoming fluent in American Sign Language, choosing to become a Teacher of the Deaf, special people who entered my life because of my hearing loss.

 

Everyone’s journey to choosing cochlear implants is so unique and so interesting.

I have met many great people through my CI journey and I am thankful for each of them.

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@Leila Riley

I was a little girl (2-8 years old) when I lost a good chunk of hearing first from chicken pox and then from 2 fistula operations. In a way I think it was easier to accept because I didn’t know better. I didn’t really spend time questioning it or being angry probably because I was so young. I made my peace with it by telling myself that another kid who couldn’t hear anything needed to borrow some of mine so that together - we’d both hear something. Telling myself that at such a young age allowed me to accept myself and my hearing loss. Because of that I never wished for all my hearing because this was MY normal 😁 The CI has given me the best hearing I’ve ever known and I’m thankful for that. It’s been a wild, exciting, fun journey and I’ve met some awesome people!!

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I lost most of my acoustic hearing when I was a baby. Since I grew up with it, I didn't really have a mourning since I didn't really experience hearing beyond hearing aids. Even still, with hearing aids, it was ok but not great. I'm pretty much a deaf person in a hearing world, which means I've been extremely reliant on hearing aids and have relied heavily on sign language interpreters (they're amazing rock stars) in my education.

Life will raise challenges that hearing people do not usually have to contend with. It's the attitude that I take on that will allow me to rise above the challenge. One of the life skills that I've acquired is that when a situation arises, I don't panic, I just go along with the situation until I learn enough to figure out a way to use accommodations, utilize people, or skills to get past it. There will be nay-sayers that will say "oh, no, you can't do that because of your hearing loss." But, that's when I roll up my sleeves and show them that I can do just about anything I set my mind to.

A couple years ago, I started noticing I wasn't hearing as well in my left ear with my hearing aids. I went to audiologists, had new hearing aids, tuned them, etc. It didn't help much. Losing performance in my left ear gave me pause because I started thinking about how much different my life would be with only one ear to do all the listening in meetings, talking with family at reunions, and being out with friends, etc. That's when I realized it was soon coming to an end for the left ear and started to heavily consider cochlear implants. I reached out to different support groups, talked with people (audiologists, CI users, etc). After learning more about CIs, I "told" my left ear that I'm proud of how far it has taken me in life, doing the best it could, but now it's time for it to have help beyond hearing aids.

It's been a year since I've been activated. Hearing people have been easier than before with hearing aids, but I still have a long way to go. I'm still utilizing the life skills I've learned along way and it has helped me so much.

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4 minutes ago, Watersail said:

After learning more about CIs, I "told" my left ear that I'm proud of how far it has taken me in life, doing the best it could, but now it's time for it to have help beyond hearing aids.

@Watersail I love this statement.  I had the same kind of talk with my left ear before getting it implanted!

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@Leila Riley

I completely lost my right side hearing suddenly as an adult of 38 years so it was a big shock and yes I was angry and upset too. I quickly went into my usual pragmatic mode and researched all options and asked the specialists lots of questions. They recommended CI and I told them to put me on the waiting list immediately!

While I was waiting I spent more time reading, including this forum which was ever so helpful as a 'real' resource of lived experiences. Nearly exactly a year after my hearing loss I had my surgery and I've been actively working on my recovery ever since. I found that being a part of the solution makes me feel more accepting, when I feel some control. During the waiting time I also did things like educate my friends and colleagues in advance, send them videos of what to expect and how to explain a CI, (I even watched a video of the actual surgery!) And I bought colourful decals ready to stick on. Again this all helped me come to terms with my situation - feeling prepared, informed, in control, and preparing my support networks.

I still feel sad sometimes about it, it's been an incredibly emotional journey and I freely admit I have shed lots of tears (especially with my choir friends when I didn't know if I would continue to sing). I'm only a year since activation and it's not a 'perfect' sound but really I feel good that I'm doing all I can and I can still live my life. And I'm still singing!!!

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I started going deaf in my 20s and it took me 10 years to accept I was losing my hearing and get my first HA and then when I heard I needed CIs it took me 6 years to finally accept that fact. 

My mourning began the very first time my ENT told me I'm going deaf. I cried for the rest of the appointment straight to when I got home. 

Since I got the CI I often forget I'm deaf. But now that most people are wearing masks I'm reminded that I'm still deaf and now I'm not afraid to tell people up front that I'm deaf. 

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