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Melissa’s Story

February 9th, 2009 by | Tags: , | 6 Comments »

Melissa, a blogger from My Journey with Nucleus Freedom, and I met each other through a Facebook group called The CI Community.  For the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing our stories and talking about our life in general.  Melissa is an example of a cochlear implant user who grew up with hearing aids and then received a CI later in her childhood.  She noticed positive differences in her hearing with a cochlear implant compared to her hearing with hearing aids.

I’m Melissa, I’m 18 years old and I have a Nucleus Freedom. I received my cochlear implant at ten years old. My life has changed so much since then. I wasn’t born deaf but my hearing was destroyed by aminoglycosides antibiotics after my premature birth at 28 weeks gestation. I was diagnosed as severely deaf at 9 months old and got my first bilateral hearing aids at 14 months. I attended a deaf school from 3-11 years old , the class sizes were so small and you got more 1-1 attention with teachers and there was a oral and SSE policy, so teachers used both while communicating with us deaf children. I was so upset when I left because I loved it so much! My hearing loss deteriorated at around 7/8 years old so my parents, my audiologist and I decided to go through the cochlear implant assessment to see if I was eligible, after a long year of tests and assessments I was found to be eligible! I had my operation at the nearest hospital to me who did cochlear implants. After my operation I was quite sick and tired but I was so excited for my activation day! After my activation I was able to hear many sounds that I could never hear before and still today I am hearing new sounds although I’ve been implanted eight years. I am currently in college studying childcare, I enjoy working with children but it is a challenge sometimes, my cochlear implant doesn’t give me perfect hearing, I still struggle and stuff but it’s great and I could never live without it! I still rely on lip-reading heavily but I can hear people talking when I am not lip-reading but I chose to lip-read as it makes words clearer. My favourite sounds have to be fireworks crackling and the rain. I am not a music fan, I never have been and don’t think I would want to listen to music, to me at the moment it is not important. Growing up with my Cochlear Implant was great, I heard so much and it improved my speech, before the implant I wasn’t able to hear some letters such as ‘CH’,’S’,’SH’, but now I can and it has helped me to communicate better with people.

Please read my blog at http://ajourneywithacochlearimplant.wordpress.com

6 Comments

February 10, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Is it possible for Melissa or anyone to be able to explain in detail the differences between a hearing aid and a C.I. (sound-wise)? Maybe there is someone out there who had normal hearing once, then went on to wear a hearing aid, and finally a C.I.? I’m real curious since I am actually thinking about getting one. Is it like listening to a “robotic sound” similar to computer generated voice? Or is it more natural than that? That’s probably the only thing that I’m real concerned about if I do go that route that the sounds would be so artificial that I’d want my hearing aid back. LOL Maybe not? I have asked people that, and have gotten a vague answer, all positive, tho. I tend to be very cautious when it comes to big changes and I don’t want to wait so long and then tell myself I should have done that eons ago. I’m not concerned about speech and listening, I already have that…but, does one have to start over because the sounds are different? Thanks.

Caitlin J

February 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Candy,

I was born deaf, so Idk how much you’ll take my answer for credit, but even I with a cochlear implant can tell the difference between a “robotic voice” and a human voice. I’ve heard from people who lost hearing that the cochlear implant is worth it, and much more efficient than hearing aids. Hope that helps.

Rachel

February 11, 2009 at 1:39 am

Candy,

I know someone who was born with normal hearing and gradually lost hearing over time and then eventually got a cochlear implant. I will get her e-mail address from my mom and put you two in touch. Also, if you check out the Cochlear Community at http://www.cochlearcommunity.com , you’ll find quite a few people in this group who had normal hearing all their lives and then suddenly lost their hearing. They can provide you some feedback. In fact, if you want, I can also give you some of their contact info too. Your concerns are definitely very normal.

February 11, 2009 at 2:44 am

Thanks Rachel!

February 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm

[...] story My story can be found here Cochlear Implant Online __________________ Deafteen90, Deaf, Nucleus Freedom User and an Oticon Spirit 3 SP hearing aid [...]

Melissa

April 4, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I cant remember exactly what the CI sounded like when I was first activated, but I wear a hearing aid in my right ear and I have a CI in my left, the CI is a lot more powerful than my hearing aid, I think they both sound the same but ihear a lot more with the CI, it is hard to explain. You should consider the CI, other people may be able to explain better