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Monique’s Story

April 18th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

In middle of the Expo at the Cochlear™ Celebration, I randomly met a young woman who happens to be about the same age as I am and is from Canada.  We both chatted, and I was moved by her story.  She learned to hear and speak utilizing the Auditory-Verbal approach and hearing aids and is leading a fulfilling life.  She attended Vancouver Oral Centre for Deaf Children for Auditory-Verbal therapy sessions from the age of 6 months until 17 years old.  At the age of 17 years old, she received a cochlear implant, and she said it was an incredible decision as there is no comparison between hearing aids and cochlear implants.  She is currently interested in receiving a second cochlear implant; however, unfortunately, in Canada, bilateral implantation is very rare because of Canada’s medical care system.  British Columbia, where she is living, only allows so many implants per year.  The only exceptions are the ones who were deafened by meningitis or have Usher Syndrome.

Monique was delighted to share her story through video:

6 Comments

Monique

April 19, 2009 at 2:42 am

Oh my goodness! It’s hilarious to see myself in a video! Thanks for putting it up!

April 19, 2009 at 5:12 am

Monique, your video is great! I’m 3 weeks out and not loving my CI, but I have a feeling in six months I’ll be feeling more like you do. I’m glad you did this! Most of the implanted adults that blog seem to have less frustration and quicker results, which is understandable, so it’s nice to hear from someone with a similar background.

April 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Like, that guy that blogs over at “Not Listening”, he seems to be on a roll! I’m learning lots from him. I’m not sure if this is like wearing a hearing aid for the first time after not wearing it for a month or so? Usually when that happens, the sounds do sound funny but then over time, things start to sound the way they should. Is it like that?

Elizabeth

April 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Keep going, Michelle — it will get better with time! Don’t be too hard on yourself, and just focus on wearing your CI as much as possible to give your brain every chance to adapt to all that new, noisy input! I think adults with new CIs are sometimes much harder on themselves than little kids. Kids’ “job” is to learn new things. As adults, we like to think we’ve got our lives pretty much figured out. Then this new CI hearing comes along and wow! It throws you for a loop. You have to remember that even though you are a competent adult, your ears are just newborn babies who have to start from square one to re-learn how to hear. You’ll get there. Just take it one day at a time and one day you’ll wake up and wonder what all the fuss was about! I recommend looking into some of the auditory training resources at http://www.hearingjourney.com. Click on “The Listening Room”. They have tons of free downloads that you can play on our computer or an iPod that help exercise your ears. Good luck! We’ll be following along on your blog!

Candy, your analogy is somewhat correct. Whenever the brain doesn’t receive auditory input (or any other input) for a period of time, those nerve synapses weaken — kind of like a muscle that atrophies from lack of use. The difference is that switching from a hearing aid to a CI is not only “waking up” those dormant nerves, but also that it’s providing an entirely new kind of stimulation — electrical (vs. acoustic, with the HA).

May 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm

[...] in 2002 and has noticed a huge difference in the quality of hearing.  She is good friends with Monique and both attended the Vancouver Oral Centre for Deaf Children.  Their parents are also good [...]

June 13, 2009 at 1:04 pm

[...] Cochlear Implant Online [...]