It was a really difficult decision to make, as someone who still could hear and understand some speech, but I decided to go for it. Which just led to many more decisions that had to be made. What brand? Which ear? (and most importantly) What color processors?!
So finally, in May of 2007 I was implanted with the Nucleus Freedom in my right ear. Surgery and recovery were a breeze. When it was first turned on three weeks later, it initially sounded like a series of tones and beeps. Within hours that went away, and it sounded extremely high-pitched (Mickey Mouse on helium). Sure it was weird, but it was also pretty funny! Within about a week or so, the sounds all started coming together and I could understand speech. I had always thought I heard pretty well with my hearing aids, but I was suddenly discovering all of these sounds I never even knew existed! I heard rain for the first time. The sound of rain absolutely delighted me (and still does!) It rained every day that summer, and I enjoyed every second of it!
Some other sounds I heard for the first time were:
- sizzling of food one the stove
- the /s/ sound
- clocks ticking
- the sound that a tissue makes as you crumple it up
- quiet music playing in stores, restaurants, waiting rooms, etc.
- the sound of keyboards/mouse when you press on them
One day soon after my activation, my sister and I were sitting around playing some kind of game. I kept hearing a repetitive clicking sound, and just could not figure out what it was! After doing some investigating of when I heard the sound, my sister discovered it was m dog's nails hitting the floor! I had absolutely no idea it made a noise! From that day on, my dog was never able to sneak up on me again!
Not only could I suddenly hear new things, I could understand what people said so much better. The word "what" became a lot less common in everyday conversations. It's so awesome to be able to eavesdrop on what people are saying from the other room! I also love being able to know what my friends say when they whisper a secret in my ear.
I have no regrets with choosing to get an implant!