A couple of months ago, I met a gentleman from Cottage Grove, Oregon, who was in the process of looking into getting a Cochlear Implant for his left ear, which has likely gone dormant and decommissioned, which is not allowing him to hear in that ear any longer – however, his right ear is still remains his best ear with the help of a hearing aid.
When, I got my own Cochlear Implant back in 2006-2007, I joined the Cochlear Awareness Network, which is a volunteer support network group with the Cochlear Corporation. The group helps potential Cochlear Implant Candidates hook up with experienced volunteers, who have had their own implants for quite some time and are well versed into their own Cochlear Implant journey.
Caleb is the one of the first candidates that I’ve written about in a long time in my nine years as a Cochlear Awareness Support Volunteer.
Helping others with their new found journey, is a bold new world – it’s like venturing into where, “where no man, has gone before,” as if you were a Captain of a Federation Starship looking to explore a newly discovered galaxy or planet, but you’ve never ventured to an outside galaxy or planet looking for species of Alien life.
A Cochlear Implant journey is often a brave new world of the unexpected and sometimes – the really unexpected – like it took me thirty-nine years to realize what I was actually forgetting hearing wise, every since, I lost my own hearing in my left ear in the late 1960’s, the following hear my right ear went kaput as well, leaving me with no choice to use “bionic” equipment in order to hear once again – hearing aids.
Everyone has a story to tell, including myself. But, Caleb’s story is all about the love for music – “in fact, music is his entire life.”
The great sounds of the great strings of songs and memories, he once made in the true memories of his musical playing days – his new found journey, if granted, shall once again, find the righteous tunes of life and the musical tunes he once loved played for family and friends and of course for those who shared his love for music.
Understanding his struggles, is like understanding the mechanics of an automobile engine in a vintage 1950’s Roadster completely restored to it’s prestige state – the prime vintage, as if it never left the showroom floor after all these years.
Shortly after I started writing this article about Caleb and his journey, I was informed that he was a candidate for his Cochlear Implant, which could come before or after the holidays, he said via email.
Today, I mark the eighth anniversary of my Cochlear Implant. Life couldn’t have been better than it has been in the last eight years. It’s amazing how well technology has come in less than ten years ago, when a decision was made to go from hearing aids to bionic technology, aka a Cochlear Implant.
Where would I have been today – if I hadn’t chosen to get a Cochlear Implant back in 2007? Just a reminder to all, this anniversary date was for the day I had my surgery in 2007, the actually activation date took place two weeks later around the week of the 20th-22nd.
I’ll likely write-up a more detailed blog on the day my activation took place – even though, I’ve written about it several times through the years, but this time is likely to be more detail – perhaps, I might just make that into a small video on my YouTube Channel? We shall see?
Only God knows that answer, but the cards on the table were turned over on the stakes of gambling with life. A chance I took became an opportunity of life and a gamble that won on the merits of a jackpot of sorts, it seems to feel that way from the beginning, but the truth and honestly lies in the heart and soul.
I couldn’t have been happier today, than, I have been since that fateful day of my own infamy took place – I go under the knife and my whole world changes dramatically, that family and friends all have acknowledged that the transformation I took from the past life of thirty-nine years to heart and soul of eight years into a post era that for changed the lives of those I known my entire life comes to a crying stone and tears streamed into memories of the past as the future wanes forward into the twenty-first century.
It was a good choice and a wise one to begin with.
Rick Dancer and I were having a meeting late yesterday and we talked about “change,” the kind of change that inspires others to seek, investigate and execute to perfections, i.e., to hear, to speak as well as to read.
“Change is something, some folks don’t want to play – it’s not their game, it’s their enemy, their foe and the nightmare that keeps them awake at all hours of the night,” as I often remind myself.
Hearing loss is their world and for some, it’s their only means of life. A world with no sound, a world in complete silence, as they say, it’s the opposite to the world of hearing, where you may need change – can be a scary demon.
I remember the very first day I heard my Mother’s voice, on the day of my activation in February 2007 – our world changed forever. Thirty-nine years of Profound Deafness came to a screeching halt, because, I took an elective decision and set my sights on changing the way, I had been hearing the world – something of an epidemic of sorts, something that tormented my life as it was spiraling downward, it inspired change, an action, an elective state of oversight, that had once eluded me for decades.
Watching those tears stream down my Mother’s cheeks and hearing her voice for the first time, since losing my hearing – was something a changed world would do – not just “our world,” but, that of our entire family, minus several relatives who weren’t around to see the change, the transformation and all since, they passed and returned to heaven.
Today, that change has given me a new lease on life. A new perspective with a whole new dimension of what technology can do and how it can change one’s world from a deaf and hard of hearing perspective to a more success in transformation from epidemic to electrified unity in hearing the world as I once remembered and envisioned in my early years of life until the day of infamy.
It’s the profound mission of those who want to hear the sounds of life, nature and the world has a whole – the walk across the bridge seem to fit the bill as to those indeed seeking change and more.
Take a look at this video as Rick’s eyes swelled when he spoke about the change and transformation among the students he recently seen, while at South Eugene High School during a school assembly at the high school earlier last week.
Change isn’t just about hearing loss and deafness, it’s about the people, the one’s we see everyday, the one’s that are seeking change are the one’s who dwell on the magic and transformations and the lives they change on a daily basis – Change can be your best friend.
Perhaps, this is what change is all about? The perspectives with a positive light which brings the harmony in all and gives them far greater perspectives in seeing through the light where the tunnel shines, there’s magic to be seen.
Where and when? Well, the Oakshire Brewing Company will be donating a $1 for every pint sold on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 at their tap house in Downtown Eugene at 207 Madison Street from 11AM – 10PM to show their support and admiring gesture of support to the Eugene Hearing and Speech Center’s Mission and their cause of helping folks with Hearing Loss, Speech therapy and more – It all starts with showing your support for EHSC and Oakshire Brewing on January 14th.
Be sure to check out the YouTube video at the end of this post about the event on January 14th.
Author’s support for EHSC
For many years, I’ve had nothing but good vibes and experiences with the EHSC through the years, since losing my own hearing at the ages of three and four prospectively since the late 1960’s.
It wasn’t until the early late 1990’s and 2000’s that my hearing started to decline once again. In 2005-’06, I made a major jump from one bandwagon to another and certainly had it’s merits of going “bionically,” as some folks in my generation would recall in the 1970’s, two television shows that made technological advances into the world of television, actually made it’s way into modern day lifestyles of prosthetic’s and the advancement of one’s hearing into the world of Cochlear Implants.
Eugene Hearing and Speech Center was responsible for the decision making process that took place back 2005-2007 years – the decision was rough, but it paid off handsomely eight years later, when I finally upgrade to the next generation process of my Cochlear Implant journey – the Nucleus 6.
In the fall of 2006, I was granted permission by my medical insurance to allow me to get an expensive and much needed Cochlear Implant surgery, that would help restore my hearing to the lengths and strengths, I had not seen or heard since, the late 1960’s when I lost my hearing in the years of 1968-’69.
The flourishing of technology and the advancement was far greater than I had ever experienced with my hearing in the waning days leading up to my Cochlear Implant surgery in 2007.
On February 7th of that very same year, my world changed, entirely.
My life not changed, so did that of my Mother, who was with me at the time of my activation, our lives have never been tabbed to a more magical moment in more than thirty-nine years at the time of the day of infamy. When I heard her first natural words, “Jeffery can you hear me,” has she said, while sitting across from me at the time – it was the first time in memory, I had ever seen my mother cry a river of joy, since losing my hearing in 1968.
My life would’ve been doomed from the start, if the implant didn’t work – but, it did happen in way, a way I had dreamed many times before that infamous day in 2007 – naturally, it was the happiest time of my life.
Eight years later in 2015
Things have changed enormously, since day one! Seriously, the naysayers whom are against having a Cochlear Implant have no understanding how my life has changed in those eight years – eight years to be exact. The infamous scare, that technology will never be the same or will ruin their lives with a bad decision from the’ll regret from the start.
It actually gave me the confidence and an enormous technological advancement in my quest and mission to hear and to that of my family and friends to see that our lives have been effected by the change of events to an elegant price – it all paid off handsomely! Since the death of my grandfather, it was his dream to see me hear and for me to hear the world, he wanted the best of the best – the “Top Guns” of hearing! He passed away in early 1990 without ever seeing that dream. But, in my heart, I know he has because every time I tell that story, the tears swell up in my eyes and his shadow leans over my shoulder knowing that he has seen the transformation from a far has heaven can see with us here.
At least my Grandmother was able to see the merits and the benefits of hearing before she passed away in 2010, just three days shy of Christmas – she witnessed the dream of that my grandfather once had during his lifetime on earth. But, it stop me from venturing my quest to hear the world as I do today – there are still times when I discover sounds I’ve not heard in many years or ages or even decades as I once heard them with my natural hearing alone.
It was the closet gift from heaven – one that spared me the anguish, but one that gave me the gift of happiness ever after.
To make the cause and the gift of hearing
Has I said before, I couldn’t have been more happier with the way the folks at the EHSC have provided me with service and helpful insights for more than forty years of my life – a $1 a pint for a cause that Oakshire will donate for each pint sold on January 14th 11am to 10pm is worth the cause and the gift of hearing and for those who seek to share their own stories of their own journey’s. This story is a stark reminder, there is always something for those who could benefit from the services and more of the Eugene Hearing and Speech Center. I know I did just that through out the forty-plus years of my life.
So, come out and join the cast and crew of Rick Dancer TV and the folks of EHSC help you help a cause, not that I believe in, but that we all believe in! I know it’s well worth the time and the efforts of those who work with the EHSC for every pint sold during the fundraising event, that $1 donation goes a long way in helping those who use the services of EHSC and a whole lot more.