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News and Views: Implantee's Views

Tom

As the day of the operation drew nearer the nerves began. The waiting was worst of all.

Everything went smoothly, and apart from feeling woozy and having a couple of slight headaches I was fine and up and about the next day.

The nursing staff were really brilliant during my stay in the hospital. I had the op. on the Tuesday and went home on the Saturday. Since then I’ve made regular visits to the Cochlear Clinic and have really been impressed with the help and encouragement of the staff.

I would advise anyone to have the operation if given the chance.

I’d also tell them not to expect instant miracles. At first you feel you are getting nowhere but hard work pays off. Practice, practice and then more practice which I still do every day at home. Before the operation I had no hearing whatever.

Now I would say I have about 60 -65 %, which is a real help during conversation. I can now hear the doorbell, water running, the kettle boiling and best of all the telephone. I don’t hear every single word but can get the gist of the conversation. I now feel lost without my aid and can’t get it on quick enough in the morning.

So I’ll say to anyone thinking about the operation to ‘GO FOR IT’. The tuning sessions and the audiology tests may feel a bit of a drag, but they are well worthwhile and very necessary.

I now feel much more confident about everything.’


Frances

‘When ‘switch-on ‘day arrived and I travelled back home to Glasgow, I couldn’t believe how noisy my car was.

The children at first seemed to be shouting all the time; it did give me a headache!

I expected to hear a different sound from what I remembered, but to be honest it seems perfectly normal to me. It has made it easier to hear people but lip-reading still helps a lot.’


John

‘I had a progressive hearing loss which resulted in a total loss of hearing in January.

I had been a little apprehensive prior to the ‘switch-on’ so it was a very wonderful and remarkable experience being brought back into the world of sound. Voices sounded the same as I remembered of my family and friends.

I was also able to pick up environmental sounds much more clearly e.g. tap dripping; rain falling on the roof of the car over the sound of the engine; my dog’s claws taping on the pavement when I take her for a walk ! Music was the only sound I found difficult to interpret, especially new tunes and songs; using the telephone was also difficult.

17 months on the implant has given me a higher standard of hearing than previously experienced with my conventional hearing aid. I have also mastered the use of the telephone and can have conversations with most people - only the very loud spoken prove difficult to follow.

I would not hesitate to recommend the implant to someone in a similar situation as my memory of sounds has helped me enormously in maximising the benefits of the implant.’


Margaret

On switch on day I was absolutely amazed at what I could hear though my biggest delight is being able to hear music and pick out different songs again.

Also being able to hear the telephone and join in conversations and the strangest of all is I can even hear birds singing and many more things.

So to anyone who is considering an implant my advice would be take the plunge as it is the best thing I have ever done and it has completely changed my life.’


Further Accounts

Further accounts of patients experiences with their cochlear implant can be found on www.thedeafblog.co.uk