Five years ago this month, I was about to change my life for the second time, in thirty-nine years in 2007. Sometime this year, marks forty-five years of living with a hearing loss and a disability that forever changed my entire course of my life from the beginning.
It all began in 1968, while living on my Grandfather’s farm in rural Douglas County, Oregon. I was just a tad kid at age three, playful and full of everyday life as any three year old would be. Than, all a sudden, one day, the most dramatic event of my life took place, I lost the hearing I was born with in my left ear, than one year later, in my right ear.
Frightening has it can be, my life changed forever. I was never able to regain my normal hearing, until, I started wearing hearing aids at the same age. But, the performance of the technology wasn’t as good as my normal hearing would be, but, it got me by for the next thirty-five to forty years, until around the early 1990’s.
Around that time, all the remaining hearing, I had in my right ear, was no longer able to function as a hearing ear and I was diagnosed as being deaf in my right ear – not even a hearing aid was able to amplify any sound. It was dormant as if the volcano had went to sleep. It was just that.
For the next ten to fifteen years, I only wore one hearing aid in my left ear and it got me by well enough to understand and carry on a conversation, until around 2005, when things started taking another turn for the worst.
My left ear started slipping in residual hearing and I started having trouble hearing and understanding once again – the turn of events, brought back memories of my early childhood, when, I ultimately my hearing many moons earlier in my young life as a child.
Now, it was my turn to find a solution. By, Spring 2006, I started exploring the idea of getting a Cochlear Implant and the evaluation process and how the device worked. I spent the next year investigating and researching the Cochlear Implant technology and the devices that were made for such purposes.
I had vowed as a teenager, that, I would never get such a surgical process done in life. But, something needed to be done, quick and fast, as I was running low on borrowed time and who knows what my life would’ve been like, if, I had stayed behind with just one hearing aid to live with.
“My life would probably be a disaster,” if I had not, chosen to go that route with a Cochlear Implant.
Transformation from hearing aid to Cochlear Implant, was probably one of the best made decisions, I ever made in life.
Had, my late Grandfather, Aunt and Uncle been around to see it in this day and age of life – they probably would have raved, danced and created a flooded rainstorm with a rain dance. I kept thinking all along, “I was Sam Malone” in the owner of Boston’s “CHEERS” bar and where everyone knows your name. I was a lucky “son of a bitch” that went on and made a lifetime decision based on my own ideals and needs.
At least, I got lucky and I was able to hear again. Today, five years later – my life still changed forever.
I had never thought in my entire forty-four years of living with a hearing disability – if, I would ever regain the sights and sounds of my normal hearing? But, with the help of my Cochlear Implant, the journey has been an enormous transformation into the unknown territory of the hearing world of living with a Cochlear Implant.
It clearly restores my respect for life and the wellness of appreciating the challenges of life and beyond.
My Grandfather’s dream of being able to see me hear again, was never seen during his lifetime. But, in my heart, he was there from start to finish as well as my Aunt and Uncle – even though we can’t see them, but, in our hearts and in our spirits they are always there.
Had my relatives been around to see the transformation, they’d probably see singing the rain dance and being flooded with joy and overwhelmed in amazement of such technology.
At least my Grandmother got the chance to see greatest gift of life and was able to see the transformation in how well, I was able to hear – I’m sure she went back and told my Grandfather, Aunt and Uncle, that his dream was fulfilled and it was the merrier joys of life, that took me on the road to a better life.
Heaven knew what it was doing and it worked – “at least, that’s the way, it felt from the beginning.” It was peaceful sentimental moment that forever changed the fritz of life.
“At least, my grandfather was right,” as I thought. It sure seems that to begin with.