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DeafChef
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Hello Everyone,

I've finally been able to join this forum. I've been implanted in 2019 December, and activated in 2020 January, shortly after my birthday. I have to say, this is by far the most enjoyable time of my life since. Music has been just as I remembered it. Conversations and being active socially with my friends and family has never been better. 

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am Chef De Cuisine at a Hotel Casino and Resort called L'Auberge, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I've been born fully hearing, but started to lose my hearing gradually since I was in 3rd grade. After being diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome at the age of 8, I've gradually started losing my hearing since, until finally 2012, my right ear just gave up. It took a span of 24 hours for my hearing in that ear to go from the hearing I had at the time, to 50%, to 0%. Complete deafness. I was given steroid tablets a few weeks too late. In 2019 March, the same happened to my left ear. This time, I was ready and went to the doctor as soon as possible. During this time, I was hearing with hearing aids with a word recognition of 18%. After 24 hours, total deafness in both ears. That was the beginning of my journey to cochlear implants. 

Fast forward to the time of my activation to now (August 23, 2021), I feel like I have perfect hearing. Music is amazing. Conversations are the best I've ever had. Last time I had a word recognition test was 3 months post-activation(and 2 remaps later) with a score of 89%. My audiologist was amazed. So was I. 

If anyone wanted an idea how I got this far, it was nonstop rehab and dedication. Music, podcasts, Ted Talks, Social conversations, Netflix, YouTube Videos. 20 hours a day. While I am working, doing any day activities, or even sleeping(I sleep with a travel neck pillow so I don't roll over my impants!), I wrote notes on every syllable and vowel and pitch and tone possible during my first 2 months after activation as well as communicating with my audiologist about everything I wrote down, Dr. Claire of Ochsner New Orleans, in order to achieve the hearing that I have today with the Sonnet 2. I am a very tech geeky kind of person, so I can get down into the details and complex terminology when talking about sounds, which ultimately helped me translate what I am hearing to my audiologist.  I went from hearing the highest pitches possible, full of electronic beeps at the beginning of activation, to Tweety Bird voices, to Mickey Mouse Voices, and Bugs Bunny Voices, all in that order before I had perfectly normal human voices, three months later.  Being a part of all stages of hearing (Full hearing, single side deafness, Full deafness) to being a patient of Bilateral Implants, my experience was full of ups and downs, but at the same time, an amazing journey that very few have experienced. 

Lastly, I wanted to say that it is very nice to meet you all. I hope to be able to be a part of your circle starting today. I am very active on the Cochlear Implant Experiences group on FaceBook hoping to inspire anyone and be able to share my experience on my journey to where I am today. I hope to also be able to share my experiences here as well as learn from others. 

Cheers!

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Welcome @DeafChef!

I also lived all the hearing experiences…. Full acoustic hearing for my first 13 years, progressive bilateral hearing loss, complete loss of hearing in my right ear which then processed no sound at all for 24 years before being implanted, bilateral deafness and bilateral CIs.  Quite a ride.

 

Aural rehab helped me tremendously!  Although I do not sleep with y implants as I want to give my skin flaps time off from the magnetic push.

 

I am glad you are loving your CIs.  

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Hi deafchef! Thanks for your story. My loss of hearing was gradual also, you have given much encouragement! I am to be implanted this week and activated next month also on my birthday!

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