Saturday, July 30, 2005

Numbing Fear

I've promised my friends and coworkers to add another entry to my journal this weekend. Ever since my phone call from the doctor's office three days ago my emotions have ranged from pure excitement to numbing fear now that this is going to be a reality. Just pray that I will be calm on the day of surgery. I know that God will be with me and will watch over me as I start this new phase in my life as a cochlear implant user. I have a feeling that the whole culture in our household will change! I'm beginning to realize more and more that my potential future as a completely deaf person is slowly fading away. With the amount and quality of sounds that I have not been able to hear, it probably will take me a while to learn and recognize all those new sounds after I get "hooked-up." I am still apprehensive about losing the residual hearing in my left ear after the implant but need to look on the positive side. I really have nothing to lose and have everything to gain as long as I have high hopes and low expectations. I know there isn't much residual hearing left compared to what I used to have before. My friend, Susan, says that she still has a little bit of hearing in her implanted ear without the processor. It is possible that the surgeon might unknowingly save a little bit of residual hearing after the surgery. It is my prayer that that the CI will enrich my life with new sounds, music, laughter, and love. I hope to be able to share this new CI experience with others, especially with my brother Doug, who also has a severe hearing loss.

Steve and I went to out to dinner last night with Jack and Marcie, some dear friends of ours. We had a great time. I did struggle with the conversation a little bit in the restaurant because the lights were dim and it was noisy. I really have to work hard to read lips in that kind of an environment. The Freedom Implant that I will be getting has a special feature on it that will allow me to focus on people talking to me while blocking out the background noise, just like the brain does for normal hearing persons. We rode in the car together and I was happy that Marcie sat in the back with me so we could talk.

This morning we went to a land auction. We had hoped to purchase some land for investment purposes but the bidding started higher than the amount that we had hoped to get it for! Even though the auctioneer had a microphone and it was loud enough for me to hear, I still could not understand what he was saying. He covered his mouth with the microphone and spoke very fast like most auctioneers do. I love the excitement and thrill of auctions but have to go with someone who can tell me what is going on, what is being bid on, what the current bid is, and so forth.

Later this afternoon, we went to a wedding at our church. One of Marissa's youth leaders got married. The wedding was beautiful. Steve and I sat as close as we could so that I would be able to understand and hear what was going on. I could not always understand the minister since the bride and groom blocked my "view" of his lips but I loved the music. The bride's brothers played violin duets. There was piano music and some sort of xylophone as well as a soloist. I have always been able to appreciate music, especially the piano. I could not hear the violins "sing" very well but it will be interesting to hear what they sound like after the implant.

Helen Keller has always been a role model of mine. I'm going to close with one of her quotes . . .
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." So, I will be optimistic and hold fast to hope!

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