Glass half full or half empty?

Last week I received a new processor for my cochlear implant. The processor is the tiny computer that translates sounds in the environment to a code. The electrodes in my implant use this code to send a message to my brain that I have heard the sound. I must admit that I have a difficult time believing I have only had this marvelous invention for three years. It seems like a lifetime and I can hardly remember what life was like before my cochlear implant.

There are still challenges, especially when I can’t read a speaker’s lips, but they are far outweighed by the experiences that now go in my ‘life-half-full’ glass. My new processor includes a special receiver that connects both my hearing aid and implant with the personal FM that I wear in groups to boost the sound. So I am now hearing in stereo! Just two days after receiving this new processor, I attended a special music concert at church. I was amazed at how much better the music was this time, even more than that first time I experienced music with my implant at the Symphony, some eighteen months ago. I could hear very soft sounds distinctly. It’s really quite something.

The percussionist who provided some of these soft sounds sat up very tall in his seat and hid the speaker’s head from the pulpit. I tried to lean across him so that I could see the speaker’s lips, but was almost in my seat mate’s lap! So I missed hearing most of what the speaker said. There was a short video about Advent and an explanation in a child’s voice about the first candle of hope. I was able to get the gist of the message but unable to hear it all. It would have been nice to have had the video captioned so I could read what she said. My local newspaper, like many, has an extensive catalogue of videos on its webpage. But much to my dismay, none of the videos are captioned. I had a good talk with the customer rep and she thinks it’s an idea whose time has come. Hopefully I will be able to hear some of my favorite columnists sometime in the future. We’ll see.

And while my implant has improved my life in immeasurable ways, I still experience trepidation in any waiting room wondering if I will hear my name being called. This is a very common concern for anyone with a hearing loss. Even though we do hear our name above all other sounds, the anxiety of missing is always there, especially when there is more than one door where the person is calling from. I was in such a waiting room just last week. It took me a while to realize that those calling out the names were coming from an entrance behind me. Oh dear – did I miss? I quickly moved so I would be in the line of sight of this door and was able to see the person mouthing my name when I was eventually called. Whew.

So glass half empty or half full? No question – entirely full. A very good friend of mine told me the other day how much she admired how I had dealt with the many challenges of deafness over the years. To me, they aren’t really challenges, just steps along the way, even if they are sometimes one step forward and two steps back. I can now experience so much more. All in all, the challenges are pretty inconsequential when I can hear that beautiful music.

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8 responses to “Glass half full or half empty?

  1. Thanks, Rosemary. Such a good news blog. So happy for your well deserved success.

  2. You definitely deserve your friend’s admiration ! Thank you for allowing your audience to be part of your journey into the world of hearing .

  3. Rosemary, I just loved reading your new “computer” experience. Isn’t modern science wonderful.

  4. Hi Rosemary
    I’m so pleased and excited to reconnect with your blog. I missed the music and this one. So happy to learn of the improvement with the new processor. I hope that you will continue advocating for captions. I’ll join you for a glass of champagne the next time I’m in town.

    Ed note: my other sister who also likes champagne!

  5. Hi Rosemary. Fabulous to get your blog again. So glad the music is getting clearer for you. It was always so important for us, wasn’t it? And yea! Good for you and so like you to advocate regarding more captions. Here’s to you kid with a full glass, and why not full of champagne🍸
    Love Nancy
    XO

    Ed Note: Nancy is my sister and always has very good advice – especially about champagne!

  6. You are an inspiration, Rosemary… a true believer that every day is a gift! Am thankful to know you and travel a little on your incredible journey!

  7. So lovely to hear of another step along the way to your full glass , Rosemary all the way in St Lucia Your description of some of the steps still ahead … Being able to let go of all anxiety in waiting rooms and being able to hear clearly even when speaker is blocked – paint an clear picture to help your fully hearing friends understand a bit more about your journey. Thank you ❤️

  8. Great to hear the progress you are making Rosemary! As to getting the videos and music captioned, there’s a place I found very recently called 3playmedia.

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