Implant Anniversary

Friday, August 31, 2007

Three years ago, October 24, 2004, my cochlear implant was activated. For 18 years I suffered in the realms of amplified sounds via bilateral digital hearing aids. Many moons ago, when CI technology peeked over the horizon, I resisted the audiologists recommendation for the operation.

Looking back at what three years has taught me, and what the future may or may not promise. I have learned there is beauty in silence and in hearing; each person has a unique voice of distinctive harmony. NO longer do I have to stretch my neck or my eyes to investigate sound. There are many factors to successful speech discrimination, and within speech is clarity, tone and inflection. I have learned that facial expression is one small component of self-expression - tone and volume are other important factors too. I never realized a person could keep a straight-face yet have the most stern, serious voice with an angry tone. I have learned that young children can cry out of hunger, fatigue, urgency or loneliness. I have become a better, more understanding parent.

I'm wearing the most technological advanced Cochlear Implant on the market; the promise of better technology is all part of Advanced Bionics' mission to ensure the internal device can be upgraded via the external processor (i.e., I will not undergo additional surgery).

I have traveled throughout the United States sharing my story, my journey to hearing, from a world of silence-filled with depression and confusion. Many have been touched, and even made the personal decision to pursue a Cochlear Implant, including my oldest brother, Fred.

I love hearing, I love the freedom I have gained with my Cochlear Implant, and I look forward to additional self-discovery. I look forward to acoustically challenging environments, such as concert halls and banquet facilities. I look forward to my ever-expanding horizon of hearing, because within sound I have discovered is the beauty of life.


Jennifer said...

*stands and applauds* Love it, Mike..thank you for sharing. Happy anniversary!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike - Tried to get in touch with you. We re in town visiting the family before heading home tomorrow. I ve emailed you several time hoping to get together. Havent heard back from you. So i thought I ll try email you from this. We re leaving tomrrow. Hope to see you later.

Tony, Ryan, Grace, and Leo

Anonymous said...

Man, you are good! You must get it from your old man-in-law.

Anonymous said...

Well spoken, sir.

Mom said...

And then what happened?