My name is Glee and I have a cochlear implant. During the numerous evaluations I had to help Dr. Peters determine my candidacy for an implant, I met many folks who were implant users. Their words were filled with glowing predictions of how much I would love my cochlear implant and how totally awesome it would be. I began to wonder if it could really be as good as people were saying, and doubts began to creep into my mind. The turning point for me was meeting Linda Daniel, who did my communication evaluation for the Dallas Ear Institute cochlear implant team.
After reviewing my file and questioning me about my lifelong history of hearing loss, Linda grew concerned that I may have a rocky road during the first several months of adjusting to the device. She was forthright with me in an honest and pleasant way and told me I would likely be disappointed in what I would hear in the first few months of implant hearing. She said that I would probably need months of hearing therapy before I grew in my enjoyment of my new way of hearing. Linda took the time to set forth realistic expectations for me to consider. That meeting was invaluable to me … it’s what made me finally make up my mind 100% to go through with implant surgery. I have not regretted a single moment of my experience from that point on.
My mother has a degree in speech pathology: she taught me to talk as soon as she found out I was deaf as a young child. Weary of lifelong speech therapy, I couldn’t imagine what type of therapy I needed with a new cochlear implant. I was very surprised and furthermore delighted to meet my therapist, Sarah Aguilar, and to learn I was not there for speech therapy but for HEARING therapy. I actually needed to learn how to hear and understand the digital signal delivered by the electrode array in my inner ear to my auditory nerve!
With good preparation for what an implant would be like, my hearing rehabilitation process has been astounding. Sarah has been my therapist each week and I’ve had the utmost pleasure of working with her. Above and beyond learning how to hear, I’ve been amazed at the immense amount of information, tips and pointers she has given me. Everything she tells me is state-of-the-art!
When Linda explained the hearing rehab process I would go through after activation, my first question was, “When will I graduate from rehab?” Now I must admit, I am thoroughly not looking forward to the end of my hearing rehab…. every week there is something new to learn and I’ve been totally amazed at my process of going from being deaf to hearing. It’s a beautiful life with this incredible technology and the expertise and caring of the HEAR In Dallas staff.