Tag Archives: Cochlear Implant

For the love of music

freelanceblogwriterA 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.

Eight years and counting! Amazing.

February 2007
February 2007

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.

amtraktrip-1.jpgWhere 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.

Christmas Magic – Finally?

Every since, I wrote my last blog article – something out of the Christmas blue took a 360 degree turnaround for a the better, rather than the ugly world of – “see, I told you sooo,” mentality! Now, just how the hell that happen? I dunno? But, I’d never expected it to happen in the first place – even though, when I went up for last mapping on my refurbished speech processor for Cochlear Implant last week in Portland, it didn’t seem like it was going to happen from the start, as Me and my Audiologist both thought, “this was a done deal – ain’t gonna happen bro!”

So back to “Trackcity, USA,” I go…

Nucleus 6 Sound Processor
Nucleus 6 Sound Processor

Well, guess it happened – literally! Another mission from “heaven”. That’s what likely threw me on the curve for the last week and half, thinking I was under the “George Bailey curse” of thoughtful thinking?

So here’s the news folks – I’m getting the Nucleus 6 Processor upgrade after all – “hooha!!”

Somehow, I still want to know how the game plan all changed with all these strange turn of events, that had me plagued with some doubting suspense right from the start and more?

Ultimately, I was ambushed! Not, by warfare, hacking or the silliness of some YouTube dogchow named, Greg Benson! Gotta love Greg’s YouTube channel Medicore Films – but, that’s not why I was ambushed to being with – I’m well, literally “ambushed, ambushed, ambushed!” Ok, not time to call in the cavalry or General George Custer to the rescue – not, just yet.

What’s really weird about this entire ordeal is that it’s nearly Christmas and it’s, “the most wonderful time of the year,” as they say – ironically, it’s still a long walk back to “Bedford Falls,” the home of ole George Bailey and I think I’ve found my way back in the snow drifts that seem to keep popping up outta nowhere!

Now, that I’ve gotten the good news, that I’m actually getting my hands and feet wet on a spanking brand new Nucleus 6 Processor and an assortment of goodies along with it, “Chapter 2” of my Cochlear Implant journey is about to begin before the start of the New Year – now, how good is that for a Christmas Present from the Heavens!

As should say – “let the games begin! and bring on the Christmas magic of the season!”

Thanksgiving brings out the masses in Cochlear Implants

freedom processor  Thanksgiving has a lot of interesting “thanksgiving’s” in a whole lot of ways. During the Thanksgiving holiday, there was an interesting series of events that took place. While my parents and I decide to furlough the pains and liberty of baking and cooking a full course Thanksgiving meal, we decided to head out to our favorite eatery – HomeTown Buffet.

Deliciously cooked and good as if it were cooked at home, My appetite was happy toward the end. But, an interesting series of events took place, even before we left the restaurant and headed home. I encountered a sighting (not Bigfoot, UFO or Alien), but, that of a young boy, no more than three or four years old and he amazed me at his young age with bilateral Cochlear Implants. I myself wear a CI as well, but, this young boy brought smiles to both Me and my Mother’s faces as we ate our dinner.

Flashbacks of my own childhood struggling with hearing loss once again reminded me of the hardships of growing up for more than, forty-four years, thirty-nine at the time of my CI surgery in 2007. But, this little guy had story – a story, I hadn’t had forty years earlier, a Cochlear Implant. Amazingly, how technology has advanced over the years, since, I wore my first hearing aids bilaterally in both ears.

When, I decided to get up and make another round for the dinner plate, I approached his father and asked him about his hearing loss and his bilateral CI’s. I had learned he had been implanted at age six months. I had seen children implanted shortly after birth, but, not at the age of my own childhood, years earlier.

The advancement of technology has advanced so much, that Cochlear Implants are getting smaller and smaller each year as technology becomes more advanced, that one day, you won’t even see a person with a CI externally, but, internally with the possibility of a remote control to power the implant off and on and to change programs in one’s hearing capacity, has I do now with my CI alone.

But – check this out, this young boy’s entire family had a history of hearing loss, as well! – several of them wearing CI’s and hearing aids. Just before, we were to call it a night, the boy’s “grandfather” came up to me and asked my about my own Cochlear Implant and asked me all sorts of questions and more. Since, I work and volunteer as a Cochlear Awareness Support Volunteer with the Cochlear Awareness Network and Cochlear Corporation – it suddenly became a “Cochlear Awareness Network Thanksgiving,” at the end.

My friends are always telling me, the Cochlear Implant is a “girl magnet!” I’m not too sure about that one, but, it does become a “public relations magnet” of it’s own from time to time. Believe me, one of my high school buddies, still can’t believe it, either and he’s still amazed at the advancement of technology himself. Go figures, “Crash Newton” has struck again with the Vegas bookies, I tell him from time to time from Maui, Hawaii.

If it wasn’t for my hearing loss, life would’ve been a different perspective to being with – but, as life is given to me from above in the heavens, it has brought wonderful memories of life in general. I couldn’t have been happier in life, than, I was nearly forty-five years ago in the late 1960’s, when my life story took on a whole new chapter in life. Perhaps this is “Chapter Two?” – not the movie with James Caan and Marcia Mason.

But, Chapter Two itself – but, one can never know, until they get to heaven and asking the heavenly saints of life in a universe full of amazing people that has passed on for generations.

It’s interesting though, because people have a different lifestyles with different chapters to being with. It’s only a perspective, a serious perspective. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more, than, writing about it. “It’s a whole new experience still and a whole new life,” as I tell others about having a Cochlear Implant, today, tomorrow and the next few months and more. My grandfather was always right, it was his dream to see me hear again, but, he never lived to see it or did my Aunt and Uncle, but, My grandmother did, before she passed away in 2010.

Heavenly, as I keep thinking, God and the universe keeps doing amazing with life and for that matter, it’s my only cue with a story to tell, an amazing story and for that matter – “that’s a wrap folks.”