Tag Archives: Cochlear Implant

Happy Anniversary: Year number 5!

105829  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.

Continue reading Happy Anniversary: Year number 5!

Is communication a skill or tool?

A couple days ago, while catching up with some much needed email, I stumbled upon an interesting email posted on the Nucleus Forum, which is for those who have received a Cochlear Implant – about a Connecticut Mother going on the defense of her 12 year old Son’s “interim swim coach” for having, a total disregard for her Son’s hearing impairment.

This young man’s Mother is furious, that her Son is being denied a fighting chance to communicate with the current interim coach of the swim team. However, previous coaches on the team and fellow teammates have never had a problem with communicating with the young man, who has showed signs of being an accomplished competitive swimmer.

Her Son wears a Cochlear Implant, a device, that is far greater, than today’s hearing aid technology and has to be surgically implanted in the inner ear by a qualified surgeon. I myself have a Cochlear Implant and as does radio talk show personality Rush Limbaugh.

I lost my own hearing at the young and ripe age of three and four perspective in both my left and right ears in 1968-‘69. I have come a long way in understanding, what life has given me in having a disability. I’m not physically disabled, as I can walk, talk, swim, jump, ride a bike and all the daily things a normal life can enjoy – but, hearing the daily rituals of nature and the hearing world is a completely different monster than Freddy Kruger on Elm Street.

Communication has always been the barrier between those with normal hearing and those with a hearing loss. Many folks aren’t really educated about what hearing loss is – but, their conclusions is always the simple thing – “they can’t hear!”

Actually, it’s the opposite, those with a hearing loss can hear and communicate effectively with those who have the misconception of accepting the fact they can become the most important communications tool in a deaf and hard of hearing person’s life, if they learn to educate themselves on how to communicate between the two cultures.

Simple tools of the trade are widely available at one’s dispersal, if they are willing to use it to accommodate the benefits of those with a hearing loss? If they choose not to use them, life becomes a political boiling point where the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) comes into play in accommodating those with such disabilities, as hearing loss and more.

The ADA by the way is a Federal Law that protects those with disabilities and brings in a broader range of rights to those with disabilities.

The simple tools of the trade can be as easy as a pencil, pen and paper or an erase board with erasable ink or taking a class in American Sign Language is importantly easy as learning your ABC’s with finger spelling. In fact, I didn’t learn ASL until I was in junior high school from grades 7 thru 9th grade.

I have always wondered why people with normal hearing have always viewed those with hearing loss or any other kind of disability as a triad of urgency, an unjustified disgrace and a victim of bulling as well. People with disabilities are human, as those with normal hearing. The disgrace and bully tactics of those with such impairments not complicates their lives more, but also frustrates those trying to make their lives as simple as possible without distraction, novelty and fanfare.

In the forty three years, that, I have learned about my hearing impairment, I have come to learn, there are many more with hearing loss around the world. It degrades the fact, that many talented people have been passed on for other’s with similar experiences and traits and better excuses from those in the hearing world. It’s just the opposite – those with a hearing loss can function as well, as those with normal hearing, you would be amazed at how many of these talented people with a hearing loss can achieve such success with their own disabilities.

Think Actress Marlee Matlin, who appeared in the movie the “Children of a Lesser god” with Actor William Hurt, she later went on and had her own network show about a police or attorney specialist with the District Attorney’s Office defending those with a wide range of cases – even her ASL interpreter also starred in the show along side her.

I hope this young man mentioned earlier about having a rift with his interim swim coach can find some dialogue in making life easier for the two foes, rather than beating a dead horse to the ground. The coach needs a learning curve in communication and technology.

He could make life easier for himself, if he came to terms of accepting the young man’s talents and abilities as person and competitive swimmer, life would be much earlier for the two foes and their enemies could be healed to peacetime efforts and forgiveness and misunderstanding.

But it seems to me the recreational board seems to be playing along as the “Scrooge” of Sam’s swimming abilities as a competitive swimmer on a recreational swim team. This young man deserves a fighting chance and a medal of honor for standing up for his right to compete on his team.

I remember a story back in the 1970’s of a young college student named, “RUDY”, his story was based on a true story realizing his dream to play football for Norte Dame, even though he was the shortest of all the players on the team, his fellow teammates rallied behind him and showed support and strong objections of the school’s coach for not letting him play in the four years he had been in college – He finally played and helped his team win the game. Rudy was the ONLY player in the school’s history to be carried off the field for a historic moment as the players and the crowd chanted “Rudy” numerous times until the head coach finally caved in to the crowd, he went in for two plays and the rest was written in history.

Sam’s plight can see the same visions, if he see’s through the same tunnel as Rudy did on that historic day at Norte Dame, he’ll be just as successful in his endeavors as an accomplished swimmer.

Keep the faith and it will heal the wonders of life – it’s that simple with common sense.

An inquiring mind–the public

Last night, I had a chance to sit down in a local restaurant and do some computer work on my laptop. While, I was there, a women walked up to me, as I was having a Yahoo chat with my brother – she started becoming an inquiring mind about my Cochlear Implant.

She told me she had never seen one up close, but and “Live” on a person wearing one.

It was an astounding moment cold blooded in and out of the spurn moment to inquire about the “bionic technology”, also known as a Cochlear Implant or “CI”.

Who ever said, “it’s the girl magnet?”. I often wonder how that little magical bastard works it’s magical strength!

My late Grandfather would probably have a fit at his old spanky age, if he were here today, thinking a $100K dollar surgery was the scam of a lifetime!

Holy cow Batman, the “Boy Wonder” of technology has won again! I clutch my teeth, make a frown face and shrug my shoulders upward, thinking – holy Toledo and thinking I’ve won the jackpot in the Oregon Lottery!

Well, it certainly isn’t Ohio, but, your right, we’re in Oregon and I can’t put the blame game on Charlie and his tuna fish. So, what can I say?

The impromptu girl magnet is working its magical wonders of the world. And, it’s a priceless decision on my part from four years earlier when I decided this was the chance of a lifetime.

I was probably right too, right?

I get so intrigued by those spur of the moment visits from the public these days, I’d would be a total stranger to the universe, than wearing, the “Superman or Batman” costume around town.

Makes sense huh? I thought so, indeed. I would be glad if some of you readers agree than watching a complete marathon run of Fox-TV’s “COPS”.

I was grateful that she took the time to stop by my table once again before she left and asked a few more questions. I’m always open to talking publically to those whom are a complete stranger and it becomes an conversation start to begin with.

As a writer and blogger, this is something that gets people to talk about at the coffee table, with family and friends and also complete strangers sitting next to you and more.

It’s not easy being an almost “public figure” to the “John Q” public, but its good public relations on educating the public about the Cochlear technology and one’s life story from start to finish with one’s life with a hearing loss.

Perhaps, this it the time of my life (no, not the song) where life really begins with a bang at be the public figure in your own way. Just how does Cochlear do it?

Like, I said, earlier in this post – “it’s the silly ol’ bastards way of getting the girl magnet” to work its charm!.

Now that’s the wrap with technology – go figures!

Fours years later and still going strong!

It’s been four years since, I had my Cochlear Implant, implanted in my right ear. Life has been a changing world – every since. The sounds of nature have been heard as, if, I never lost sight of its natural sounds and calling as a young child, who became profoundly deaf at age three.

Life has become a shadow of the past as the future spins forward and onward into the greater reins of the hearing world. I only wonder what my life would’ve been, if I hadn’t made that decision to have a life altering decision to restore my own hearing in 2007.

The past was getting old in a way, but, it wasn’t gaining as much momentum as it did, when I was younger. It became challenging – more challenging, than I had envisioned in my own dreams. My own faith was my given trust in my own decision making process. But, it was a bold enough decision, that has become my living history.

Four years ago, I had shed thirty nine years of profound deafness for a merrier encounter with the mechanics of a bionic ear. It reminded me of the days of my child, when the television show, “The Six Million Dollar Man,” was the most popular show on TV in the 70’s – it became my life own version of the series, when my activation was enabled two weeks later, after my surgery took place.

The rest is history as life continues into the 21st Century. It would be interesting, to see where it leads me now as I reach into my upper 40’s and into my 50’s. I had only wished there was one miracle and visionary accomplishment that would’ve made my life complete in a way – I would have never forgotten.

Those relatives that have passed on, would’ve been amazed at how technology today, makes one’s life more merrier than it was from the beginning.

It was my grandfather’s dream. A reality he was never able to see after he passed away. But, I’m sure he stood proud enough to see me make a tough decision without him. I was capable of handling one of my own.

It was priceless.

A taste of middle age

Middle aged crazy? What’s a guy like me with a Cochlear Implant, ok, a bionic ear have to do with being middle aged?

Crazy enough to challenge the souls of life as I see it today, compared to what life was like 44 years ago in my past.

The future today, isn’t what I had dreamed it would be today, compared in a lifetime.

“Wait a minute?”, your starting to sound like a one of those crazy sleazy Dave Berry types! Shall, I conquer?  – Not a chance.

I wonder why life has become such a melodrama of its own without the serial reruns? Perhaps, Dave Berry would’ve agreed? Probably not, after fetching sexual jokes about David Letterman and Sara Palin’s 14 year old daughter. Life would never be the same on Television – in fact, the mad cappin beef may have been the hurdle turtle on Dave’s overture to take over the “Tonight Show”  from Jay Leno.

“Ding”, the sounds of the bell ring to start the fight for late night ratings.

Speaking of late night – the late Johhny Carson was an icon of his own time and demeanor, but he was human, just like you and me, middle aged, always a crackpot of first class jokes, always brought in the rich and famous.  Maybe that’s why Jack Parr was so famous at the same time in the 1950’s, before Carson came around?

“Ding”, round two.

Whatever one’s middle age? Life, is always the same and the story is different than one can tell, depending on whom you ask. Maybe that’s why, I celebrate my 44th birthday today, as life is always full of stories to tell, especially to the kids as they grow up.

“Ding, round three!” – say, this a fight or what?

“Uh no, you must be in a post Twitter world, right?”, well…..

Like I said, life has its drama – perhaps the 40’s seem better than the 50’s? Perhaps this is the taste of one’s middle age drama, minus Dave Berry.