Learning to hear with my cochlear implant: the second stage

I saw my family doctor last week – the first time since I had my cochlear implant surgery. She is a partner in a group practice so there are always lots of people around and several examination rooms. I walked in and was met with all kinds of sounds which were VERY VERY LOUD! In fact the conversation at the front desk between two other patients was so loud that I could not understand what the receptionist was saying to me.

While waiting to see my doctor, I heard the clip clop of shoes; the crackling noise as the paper cover was torn off an examining bed next door; the clunk of a door closing; the snap of gloves and the clicking sound that those tiny tubes for blood make when they are jumbled together. I had heard none of these sounds before or if I had they were so faint that they didn’t register. This time they were so loud as to be distracting. I know that our brains sift through all the noise and remove extraneous sounds so we can concentrate on the sounds that matter. My brain hasn’t learned to do this yet. So I hear everything. And it is unfiltered, often unclear, loud and distracting.

I am calling this the second stage of learning to hear with my cochlear implant and expect that it will go on for quite a while. This is progress!

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3 responses to “Learning to hear with my cochlear implant: the second stage

  1. This stage sounds very very challenging!! Unfiltered noise cannot be tolerated for very long. I hope you are being taught how to deal with this.

  2. Just read “Second Stage. . . ”

    Reminded me of the day I got my hearing aids. Near the end of the
    appointment I asked Susan to write out the check (her handwriting is
    so much better than mine) and I turned to talk with the doctor.
    Suddenly I heard this loud ripping noise that made me actually jump.
    Scared the bejesus out of me. I looked to see the source and saw that
    it was the check being ripped out of the check book. That’s all, just
    the check being removed from the checkbook but, thanks to the hearing
    aids, way way louder than I have ever heard it before. Caught me way
    off guard.

    Later when we went to check out and schedule the next appointment with
    the receptionist in the waiting room, I was stunned at the loudness of
    the conversations in the room. Distracting and annoying.

    Mostly, now, those sorts of surprises and confusions are over.
    Sometimes in an unusually noisy restaurant or reception I have trouble
    with “background” noises, but that’s about it.

    It has been an adventure but, nothing compared to yours. Hope all
    continues to go well for you.

  3. After being deaf for many years, my grandfather got hearing aids, but could not cope with the NOISE EVERYWHERE! He was elderly and simply retreated back into smiling and nodding and letting other people fill him in on what was happening.

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