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I’m thankful to have bilateral implants

June 15th, 2009 by | Tags: , | 14 Comments »

Hello I’m Jessica. I’ll be one of the writers for this website. So, here is my first post. For anybody who is thinking of getting a second implant. I personally think it’s a great idea because you will be able to hear more.  I would like to tell you about my experiences about having two implants. I’ve had my second implant since 2004. I got it when I was nine years old.   When my second implant was turned on for the first time, I did not like it.  My second implant sounded very weird at first.  I remember saying to my mom that it sounded like “ssssss…”  I remember how much I hated it.  My mom used to make me wear it by itself for an hour each day.  I would complain and scream because I could not watch T.V.  So my mom turned on subtitles. I would still complain because I wanted to hear the sound.  Five years after having my second implant surgery. I now realize how grateful I am about my parents making a decision to get me a second implant.

Not only has it helped me hear better, but also it became very helpful for emergencies.  For example, about two months ago, I attended the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) in Washington D.C.  While I was there I was having so much fun until close to the end of the week, my left implant (which is my first one) stopped working.  I remember that I was sitting in a room and my batteries died out.  So, I changed them. Five minutes later, the batteries died again and, so I changed them again.  Five minutes later, the exact same thing happened.  So I tried changing out my cable, and it was still no help.  I tried switching the controller, and the battery rack and it was still no help.  I remember I was sitting in a room with a scholar relations (guidance counselor), and I was on my cell phone with my mom, who was trying to help me trouble shoot.  My mom could not figure out the problem, and so, my mom suggested that we should call Cochlear.  We did, but Cochlear could not figure out the problem.  Sadly, I could not wear my left implant for the rest of that day and part of the next day. Fortunately, I had my right implant and, I was still able to hear.  At the end of the day, we had a sleepover at the Maryland Science Center. Everybody in my group and the staff was so nice to me.  They really helped me. For example, we got to watch an IMAX movie.  The staff called in for subtitles, and it turned out that I did not need the subtitles at all. I could hear the movie just like the way I could hear it with my old implant by itself.  My group was there with me almost the entire time to help me explain things that I did not understand.  At the end, I had a blast at the sleepover, and I was really grateful for what they did for me.   Now, I’m grateful for getting a second implant.  If I did not have it, I would have had a very hard time that day.  I would not have been able to talk to anyone.  I cannot sign or lip read.  So here I am today, having hated my second implant back when I was in elementary school but feeling very thankful now to have a second implant.


Deaf Person

June 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm


Thank you for sharing your experience with the second implant. I am considering this for my son, it may happen much later due to insurance reasons.

June 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm


Way to go, girl! I think you were very brave to try listening with your new cochlear implant when you were 9 years old, even though you hated it :) Your mom and dad made some good choices for you, and your happy with it today! I can’t imagine how difficult that must’ve been at JrNYLC with one implant failure at the science theatre/sleepover/IMAX movie, but you made it through, and afterwards, you realized how beneficial it is for you and for your hearing.. I’m proud of you for dealing with such a hard decision.

Can’t wait to hear more about you and your blog posts!

Great job on the first one!


Donna May

June 15, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Thanks for the information. We have a two year old who has one and we are considering getting the other implant. Congratulations on everything you do..

June 17, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Wow Jessica, sounds like you handled that well! I’m not sure what I would have done, but it sure is nice to be bilateral :)

Did you ever figure out what the problem was? I’ve never heard of that happening.


June 18, 2009 at 9:26 am

We never really figured out the problem. The only solution was not to use regular batteries. Also, we decided to start using a brand new set of batteries.

Mary Ann

June 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm


Although I have known you since your were an infant and have been keenly aware of your fourteen years of Auditory-Verbal, cochlear implant, academic and social sucess, your personal story, about receiving your second cochlear implant at a later age, was so insightful of you and enlightening for me. I truly thank you for writing such a well written and thoughtful blog and for sharing your experiences. Additionally, your story about your perceived difficulty hearing with only your second cochlear implant turned out to be an invaluable opportunity to learn how well you actually could hear with your second cochlear implant and to graciously accept the gifts of love, wisdom and kindness from the people who were with you on your Junior National Young Leaders Conference trip. Jessica you are such a blessing to all those who know you.

Love, Mary Ann

July 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm

I’m curious.. What kind of batteries did you have to switch over to?



July 9, 2009 at 8:00 pm

The batteries that I switch to turn out to be worthless. They did not work at all. So now I’m going to take it the my audiologist to fix the map so that should work.


October 31, 2009 at 8:23 am

hi my name is rayona
I just got my second implant and you are right I do not like it at all!!!! but I sort of like it because
I can change the color of the implant all the time.I am 8 years old and I sort of know sign language but I want to learn more!!!!!!
I want to ask you a question? what kind of implant do you have?
hope to hear from you soon


October 31, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I have a Nucleus 22 in the left ear and a Nucleus 24 in the right ear. I’ have freedom processors right now. I’m waiting to get the new processor that is out now.

Kristi Murr

May 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I am considering getting one implant for my self.


July 8, 2014 at 5:37 am

Dear Jessica
My niece has received her first cochlear implant at the age of 4. She is now 5.5 years old. She uses hearing aids at the other ear. Their parents are deciding bilateral cochlear implantation. She could hear with hearing aids in the second ear so that she response the sound. Do you advise them to implant bilateral? Is it important to use the same CI for the other ear, or they can get a more advanced CI?
Thank you so much.

July 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Hi, Mahboubeh! This is Elizabeth, who also writes for CIO. I hope I can answer your question. If your niece does not have aided thresholds above 25dB HL across the board (through 6000Hz at least) in hear hearing aid ear, and is not scoring above 85-90% on speech discrimination tests with just the hearing aid, then it may be time to consider a CI in that ear. While the hearing aid may be providing some information, if it is not meeting the criteria above, then it is not providing enough clear input at quiet levels to help your niece hear her best. I would recommend going in for more audiological testing and a CI candidacy evaluation for that ear. The shorter gap you have between the first and second implant, the easier it will be to help that second ear catch up — you don’t want your niece to learn to rely more on one ear than the other. Best wishes!


July 10, 2014 at 5:05 am

Dear Elizabeth
Thank you so much for your complete comments. They will do some audiological tests during the next week. I will share the results for your evaluation.
Have a nice day.