So I never thought I would say it… but I’m actually halfway excited about my CI evaluation tomorrow, but the other half of me, is petrified. I’m not sure what is more scary… them saying I am a candidate for a CI or them saying I’m not. There are benefits of getting a CI, as well as drawbacks, and the same can go for not getting a CI. In my life, I grew up trying to listen and speak, but now I sign.
I wonder at times, am I betraying my Deaf identity that I took so long to accept, if this is seen as an attempt to become hearing, an attempt to blend into the hearing world, and no longer be deaf. This isn’t what it is… I am happy being a Deaf person… but there are so many times… that it might be easier to just have SOME hearing. When at work and clients turn around, when they are impossible to lip read because of a mustache or something… when I go to a play with family… that doesn’t have captioning or an interpreter. When trying desperately to listen to music… when a conversation with a hearing person is much harder than it should be… when I almost get hit by a car…
But being Deaf is absolutely wonderful as well. I do not have to listen to the hate speech around me, I also have the ability to sleep peacefully through the night, I have a wonderful culture, a wonderful extended family (my Deaf Community), and an amazing language that is beautiful in every way. I would not be here the way I am if I was not Deaf, if I wasn’t deaf, if I didn’t have a community to stand behind me, to teach me, to love me.
Tomorrow is the big day though, I head to the Rocky Mountain Ear Center to have a meeting with Dr. Kelsall (the surgeon) and Allison Biever, the Clinical audiologist at the center. I have a book of information for them, previous audiograms, my MRI Report, the actual MRI (a copy of course), copies of my VNG (balance testing) so they have as much information as they can… so that I don’t have to retake the tests (hopefully). Hopefully this will also speed things along, if I am a candidate, and if I choose to get the CI, which at this point… I think I will if they say that I can.
Right now… I’m scared to get my hopes up… I’m scared for them to say that yes, I can get a CI, I’m scared for them to say I can’t. But I’ve started researching anyways, I’ve started looking into the different manufacturers, and I am looking at two right now. They both have their good aspects, they both have their bad. The two I am exploring right now, are MedEl and Cochlear. I like that MedEl doesn’t seem to be as audist as Cochlear, I like that they have color for the processors, I like they have a longer internal electrode, and I like that they are making the processor smaller (meaning lighter weight). What I don’t like, is that they are not water resistant, that the remote doesn’t let you see where the CI is, what program it is in, how the battery levels are, that sort of thing. As for the Cochlear, I don’t like the audist attitudes, I don’t like that they feel if someone can’t hear they are less. What I do like, is they a water resistant processor, meaning that I wouldn’t have to worry if I got stuck in a down pour, and they have skins for their processors… but they only have basic colors, to “match skin and hair colors”… and that is highly frustrating.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do… I think I will need to see the brands, how they feel, the implant, and what I am ok with… and this is all going off the assumption that I am a candidate for an implant.
Hopefully I will know tomorrow morning, or early afternoon… and I will have an update then… hopefully I will feel better, hopefully I will be calm… either way, I will know tomorrow, I will know what is going to happen, and where I can go from there.