Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jeff Implant Activation

YEP! That is me hearing sounds for the first time in two years.  My cochlear implant surgery was November 1, 2013.  The surgery was a big success with really no issues at all.  I had to wait for three weeks to get activated, which is when the audiologist turned on the electrode inside my head.  Here is a quick video to explain:

I had high expectations of hearing something on November 22 when my cochlear implant was activated.  Everyone told me, "Keep your expectations low but hope for the best."  I knew that many people don't hear anything DAY 1.  The brain needs to learn sounds that one might not have heard at all or for some time.  I am lucky that I have only been without sound for two years, but never did I expect to hear words and sound so quickly. 

DAY 4 - My hearing of sounds was tested at normal hearing person level.  People still sound like robots and monotone but I know that will improve over time and with practice. 

I am so thankful for Edie Gibson who referred me to an amazing doctor in South Carolina.  It's funny, you don't need to go to the number one place to have surgery. Just find a doctor who takes you seriously and has done a lot of successful implants.  I want to give thanks to Dr. Erin at the Auditory-Verbal Center in Atlanta, GA, who has worked patiently with me answering all my questions;  and to my mom, who travelled from Arizona to Atlanta to take care of me during recovery so my wife could continue to work.  My mom didn't have too difficult a time since I slept a lot.  Finally, thank you Advanced Bionics for having the technology available.  I can't imagine going with another brand, having experienced all the support I have received just days after activation. 

I hope to be an inspiration to others who have reached the point of considering an implant.  I am still deaf because I can take off my device and the world is silence, but now I can choose to enter the world of sound.
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