When I was first told that my ears were getting worse and there would be a day hearing aids would no longer help me I was absolutely devastated. Who wants to be told they are losing one of their 5 senses? Especially a mother who is the primary bread winner. How would I be able to have a job to support my family? How would I communicate with my husband and children?
After some therapy and research I came to terms with it. It was completely out of my control. What was in my control were some options, one of them being a cochlear implant.
A cochlear implant is essentially an long tube of electrodes that get inserted into the cochlear. The electrodes will stimulate the hair cells that tell your brain what your ear ‘hears.’ Often people like me have damaged or faulty hair cells so when there is background noise we cannot understand speech. By doing the CI sound would bypass the ear drum. Simply put you go from analog sound to electric sound. It requires you to reteach your brian to hear and changes beeps to words and sounds.
Since the electrodes need to know what messages (‘sounds’) to send there is a processor that sits on the outside of skin. The processor is a small computer that magnetically connects to one end of the implanted device and sits ontop of the ear.
This is a very generic overview. If you’d like to learn more John Hopkins University, The Mayo Clinic and even Wikipedia have great information.
After 2 hearing exams, a CT scan, multiple vaccines, and about 3 other apppintments I was finally able to schedule my surgery….after pre approval from our insurance company. I was in doctor’s offices more than anywhere else this year. Many times they also suggest you do a psychological exam as well, but I was able to skip that. My expectations are that without hard work and therapy I won’t hear any better than before surgery. If you get a new hip but stop walking and never go through physical therapy you will won’t enjoy the benefits of that new hip. This is no different!
If there is a lesson for anyone it is to get regular hearing tests. You don’t know what you didn’t hear.