Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Fears and Some Wonderful Encouragement

Tomorrow is the big day. I am excited, but a little scared.

I am not scared of the implant.
I am not scared of the sounds and loudness I will hear.
I am not scared of the surgery. (OK, maybe a smidge.)

What I am scared of is what music will sound like. Will it sound like it did before? Will I hear the high frequencies clearly? In my research, I have read that CI recipients can hear and enjoy music. But, I have also heard that music and voices will sound different. Even my audiologist has told me that.

What does that mean? HOW will they sound differently? That is probably my greatest reservation going into this adventure. I want to hear melody lines. I want to hear the entire range of frequencies in a piece of music. I want to be able to hear the alto part and sing along. I want to be able to hear my own voice. I don't want voices to sound like robots. I am sure they won't, but that keeps going through my head. Someone said that voices and music with a CI sounds more electronical, someone even mentioned Darth Vader. My husband might think that cool. So NOT. I'm sure I won't know until my device is activated and I hear the sounds.

I don't doubt that I will hear better with this implant. I know I will. I am sure that understanding of speech will be better. (How soon depends on each individual, I am learning.) But what I doubt and question is what MUSIC will be like. My heart longs to enjoy music and singing like I did even a year ago.

One thing that has become clear very quickly is that every CI recipient walks a different path and the journey is so individualized. As I talk to others who have experienced this same technology, I can learn from them and share with them, but each day and sound will be mine to experience in my own way.

And so tomorrow I jump in. Today (and always), my friends, family, and colleagues have been so supportive. Today I was showered with flowers and candy from my third grade buddies, hugs from my fellow teachers, and so many phone calls, Facebook messages and emails from everyone wishing me good luck on my surgery and the best of results. Thank you. It makes me feel loved and gives me confidence to keep taking the steps I need towards greater hearing.

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