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!