Sharing Stories

I belong to a Facebook group for cochlear implant users like me. I don’t check it that often as many of the entries relate to issues with children and their implants or equipment that is different from mine. This week was different. A woman from Ontario mentioned that she was considering cochlear implant surgery and wanted to hear from others about their experiences. The page exploded with hundreds of stories, all overwhelmingly positive.

I think the main reason for the wealth of responses was that we all love to share stories, especially those that have meaning for us, individually and collectively.

This sharing of stories was something I experienced in a very special way just last week when I attended a production of “Come From Away”, a play about Gander, Newfoundland’s response to the travelers that appeared, literally, on its doorstep after 9/11. For those of you unfamiliar with this story, after the planes hit NYC, the US closed all air space over the continental United States. That left many flights hanging that were already on route. Calls went out to the Canadian government. Would we be willing to take some of these planes? We would. Over the next several hours, planes from all over the world landed on the west coast, in central Canada and, most especially on the east coast and in Newfoundland. Within a short period of time, Gander almost doubled its population. For those of you who don’t know Newfoundlanders, they are without doubt, the most hospitable people anywhere.

“Come From Away” is the story about the experiences of the citizens of Gander and the ‘plane people’ over a period of five days after 9/11. It is a wonderful rendition of this time and the play is filled with stories.

I had not been to a live play in many years but I really wanted to see this one. Normally, even with extra microphone and infrared systems, I still need to augment my hearing with lip reading, so I try to sit close to the speaker. Not this time. My new cochlear implant processor was fitted with a program that would be able to pick up the sounds generated through the infrared system at the theatre. My hearing aid was already tuned into this system so I was able to hear in both my ears.

I love the experience of live theatre. The dialogue is fast paced and it is always more challenging to get the words when they are being sung rather than spoken. But I heard so much more than I can recall during earlier visits. And this time, I could hear the actors’ emotions, something that had been missing before.

Imagine being able to hear and relate to emotions. And there were many – poignancy, sadness, joy; layers upon layers of emotions, which made for a very rich experience.

One more step on my implant journey and one more story to share with all of you.

11 responses to “Sharing Stories

  1. I have enjoyed reading your article. Great Work!

  2. My 94 year old Mother recently had a cochlear implant. She claims she hears two men talking in the back ground. No one seems to mention such an experience . Every person she hears talking sounds like a male…even woman talking to her. Has anyone had these experiences and for how long?

    • Hi Mary. I also heard all voices as a low sound for a few months. I wrote about this in one of my early posts in the Cochlear Implant section of my blog – the fall of 2012 if you wanted to check. It is normal to hear voices as ‘male’ but they eventually sound more normal. My voices sounded like Darth Vadar!

  3. Thanks Rosemary. Would love to experience live theatre again fully in future. I’m on the wait list for a cochlear implant. I need to find out more about the infrared you mentioned. Thanks for sharing this. Please keep me on your blog list. Best of the season to you.

  4. Dear Rosemary, love your stories. Merry Christmas. Edna and Jim

    Sent from my iPad

  5. Was familiar with the story, but envy you seeing the live production. Thanks for sharing!

  6. That’s wonderful Rosemary. I still remember how exciting it was when we were at a music evening and you could HEAR it !

  7. What a wonderful experience for you. Thanks for sharing. I was aware it was a terrific show.

  8. Hi Rosemary
    Your description of Home Away makes me want to see it all over again. Also found very interesting learning more about the advances in technology that makes it possible for you to enjoy the theatre. Love, Nancy

  9. Thank you, Rosemary … For sharing such a good news story!

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