A world of black and white or a world of color?

I saw a short film a while back, from Australia where a now adult explained living before and after she received a CI, she explained it as before she was living in a black and white world, and now she had colors… This is how I feel… but about ASL, not my CI.

Before I learned ASL and was a part of the Deaf community, it felt as if I were living in an old foreign film, where nothing was clear, where the world around me was muffled, where I was alone, without friends, without true understanding. I was able to grasp a word here and there, I was able to understand some simple things, but never with fluency, never with the ability to really grasp it.

When I learned ASL, became a part of my Deaf community, my world suddenly had color, had vibrancy, had understanding, free flowing comprehension, exchanges of ideas, flow. It became a masterpiece, it became reality, and what a beautiful reality it was. It was something I had always dreamed of, no more struggling to understand, no more lip-reading people who had accents, no more having to ask professors and teachers to stop walking around the room and stand in one place, to pick a place, any place and keep that place for the semester, to not talk while writing on the board, and god forbid… have a teacher with a mustache… or BAD teeth… no, I would sit comfortably, without having to struggle, and watch my interpreters. I could have free flowing conversations with my professors, without having to ask them to repeat time and time again. I could ask them questions without wondering if I was pronouncing a word correctly, of if they would even understand what I was saying. I was free to soak in the message, without having to worry that if I looked away for just a second to make a note of something to remember or look up later I would be lost. I was finally in a place I was free to be me. I was finally surrounded by the world, the community, the freedom, the ability I had been searching for.

My CI didn’t give me that eye opening experience that learning ASL did, my CI didn’t allow me to freely understand no matter the circumstance, my CI didn’t give me the ability to understand the first time, and not just smile and nod. My CI gave me other things. If the world before ASL was an old black and white foreign film, the life after ASL was a modern day High Def Open Captioned movie. Life after my CI… when only using my CI, is like watching TV with Rabbit ears.

Some days, some circumstances, it’s good. The picture is mostly clear, the captions come a little late, but it isn’t that crisp picture of HD. Other days, you struggle to get reception, wondering how you will watch the show when the only time you can get a decent picture is if you are holding the ears, but the moment you let go… the quality goes away. I can understand if it is quiet, if there isn’t noise in the background, if I am expecting speech. I can understand best if I know the voice, if it’s not in a whisper, but also not yelling, crying, too slow, too fast, too old, too young, too foreign, too high, too low or anything else “funny”. Add any of those circumstances, and you are back to trying to adjust those rabbit ears, trying to get the right signal, trying to get clarity.

I live in a colorful world, one where ASL provides me color, provides me access, provides me clarity, and sometimes I have to adjust my ears, my rabbit ears so the hearing world can come in a little more clear… and yet other times, I ignore the hearing world and live in my world of color!! The one place I will NEVER go back to is that old foreign film, of black and white, of pain and fear.

Then where do I fit?

I am on a number of different groups… some Deaf groups, some deaf groups. Some CI groups, some ASL groups… I surround myself with different types of people, and to me I think that is a wonderful thing, seeing different opinions, and different thoughts, nothing then is allowed to be dogma, but I am allowed to see facts for facts.

 

Recently… I’ve been thinking about leaving one of the groups, why? Because it seems their main goal is to end ALL cochlear implant surgeries, they are telling lies about how getting a CI isn’t a choice for anyone, that it is a death sentence, that Deaf people who choose to get a CI will be ostracized from the Deaf Community, that you will no longer be Deaf, or that getting a CI is promoting Audism… none of this I agree with.

 

Let me get a few facts out there (that are already in this blog site, but still) 1. I am Deaf, 2. I use ASL as my main Language, 3. I have a CI 4. I HAVE NOT been ostracized from the Deaf Community, nor has anyone I know who has chosen to get a CI been.

Now… there are a few things I do agree with in the most recent post that has gotten me upset… 1. CI’s should not be done on infants, 2. all deaf children should have sign language (ASL if in the USA, or the countries sign language), 3. Being Deaf should be accepted as a natural state, 4. CI’s are not a “fix”, 5. Before getting a CI, you should talk with MANY people who have CI’s (this was from a comment, not the original post)

 

Responses.

  1. if a child wants a CI, let them choose a CI when they are old enough to understand what it means to get one.
  2. Sign language is the natural language of deaf children, and should be taught first. Speech is not the important thing, language is. If you have a solid base for language, then you will be able to learn other languages easier (including the spoken forms of language).
  3. Deaf is natural, there is nothing wrong with being deaf, it doesn’t matter if it is a deaf human, if it is a deaf cat, or if it is a deaf Dalmatian (more on that to come).  It is a natural state of being, we have multiple senses for a reason, so we are not relying on only one.
  4. A CI will not “fix” hearing. For one thing, there is nothing wrong with being Deaf… see #3… a CI may or may not improve the simulation of hearing, give a sense of hearing. A CI should not be seen as a fix for a deaf person, because we are not broken. It will not give a person normal hearing, even if a sound booth test shows near normal results with a CI, because the world is not a sound booth.
  5. Before anyone chooses to get a CI, they should talk with many people who have had them, be told the good, the bad, as well as the ugly. In some cases, it doesn’t work, in some cases it works beautifully. But before you decide, talk to as many people as possible, with all different brands (no brand is honestly better than any other), with all different stories. Don’t count out the person who was a teen when she was implanted and suffered severe vertigo from it, or the person who was born deaf and can’t understand anything but environmental noise, or the girl who was implanted as a child, but can’t have it turned up to where she gets speech sounds because of facial stim, or the adult who chose a CI after progressive loss, and is doing great. Don’t count a story out, because you NEED to know the truth, things happen, its not always successful, bad things can happen, but so can good things. CI’s, just like life in general, is never black and white….

 

So, after reading these things, it gets me wondering, if, because I have chosen, not only once, but twice, to receive a CI, and if the following is true: “if it does work, you are likely to be ostracized by Deafs (you have expressed that being Deaf is bad, and want to distance from it)” , where does that leave me? Am I back in that middle ground between Deaf and Hearing where I use to be before I found my Deaf Community? Do I fit anywhere? I know the answers to these questions… because no matter what I am still Deaf, I still use ASL, and my Deaf Community has not turned their backs on me, and I know they never will, they are my family, just as much as blood makes a family.

Now I’m on another group, and I see so often pictures of children, babies even, having CI surgeries, and their parents or grandparents talking about how they are now hearing (LIE… GREAT BIG LIE) and how they don’t need ASL, or how they won’t respond to their child if they use ASL… or how they only use ASL at bath times (a sign here or there)… and that… it breaks my heart for so many reasons.

These children will never be hearing, they are deaf, and nothing will change that. ASL is still needed, because it doesn’t require batteries, it will never break, it is always accessible (even to a deaf blind child), noise doesn’t interfere with it… it is the only 100% accessible language to a child. I’m in no way pro infant or child implantation, I believe it is a very personal decision that must be made individually, and a child, especially a baby, has NO way of telling you if it is too loud, if they are feeling funny things (stimulation that can be very uncomfortable, even to the point of pain)… I think the person should make the decision, and it MUST be an informed decision. Before I got my first CI I talked with MANY adults who have CI’s, I read blogs, I have friends who’s CI’s failed, who are candidates, but choose not to get one, who regretted getting their CI, those who wanted explants (removing the CI), and those who were pleased with it. I did my homework, I actually watched a CI surgery (I must find that link), and I think that is something that is VERY important, I knew exactly what was going to be happening when I was under the knife, I knew what to expect (mostly) when I woke up from anesthesia, and I knew there was a very real possibility that it wouldn’t work, and that I would never be able to understand speech. Honestly, if you look back, my audiologist told me I was underestimating myself, by saying I wasn’t expecting to understand speech, I just wanted to be able to hear (not necessarily understand) music again, and know if someone was talking… my CI has exceeded my expectations yes.

ASL also, it isn’t something that is only needed for bath times, in fact, if you use it only at bath time… I think there are issues there… it gives mixed signals to the child, especially if the child’s first language is ASL… they may have a hard time telling when its appropriate and when it isn’t (I have a lengthy explanation of that here)

So… I also wonder… do I fit in this group? I can share my CI joy, and I love that… but do I fit in with the people who feel their deafness is something to be ashamed of, or that if you can’t hear something you are missing out? I don’t know… I am not, and will not be ashamed of being Deaf, and I know you can have a full life without hearing a thing… I’m starting to wonder… where do I fit… there are only a few places I know for sure. In my loves arms, in the Deaf community, and with my family (most of it anyways), and this… this I am ok with. I don’t have to fit with the Radical Deafies, nor with the Oral deafies, and certainty not with the audist deafs… but their stories I also shouldn’t count out…  but I shouldn’t take anything at face value either…

Why “never mind” hurts

Who knew two little words could be such daggers? If you are Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing you may understand what I mean.  When you are struggling to understand as it is… doing the impossibly hard job of lip-reading, asking for repetition, getting frustrated… then the other person tells you “Never Mind”… it feels like a dagger.

But why?

Why can a simple phrase hurt so much? Especially from the mouth of someone you care about, a friend, a parent, a child, a sibling, a husband, a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend… does the list need to go on?

To someone like myself who is deaf, who’s family doesn’t sign, or doesn’t sign that great… who lip-reads 99% of the time when around family and friends… to me it says, “You aren’t worth it,” “You won’t understand anyways,” “I’m too frustrated with trying to get you to understand,” “I just don’t care anymore”. I know this isn’t what they are trying to get across to me… but that is what I feel, what I hear when I see those two ominous words… NEVER MIND…

I’m trying, I’m struggling, and yes, I know it isn’t easy for you either… but I’m giving 110% here to try and understand, can’t you give me that little extra, just by rephrasing, or writing it down, so I don’t feel so left out, so isolated among you?

This is why never mind huts… because it makes me feel stupid, because it makes me feel left out, because it makes me feel worthless… it may not be your intention, but that is what happens.

 

My wonderful partner has stopped using the phrase as much… we have had countless conversations about why it hurts, what her intentions are… and I have come to understand part of why she uses the phrase occasionally. She said it is because what she was saying wasn’t actually important… what she was saying didn’t make sense, and she feels stupid when having to repeat a phrase, a word, a sentence that wasn’t important to begin with… this I understand. We have come up with a code word… Llama… to mean just what she was saying… so if it wasn’t important, or if it didn’t make sense, she can just say Llama… but occasionally, I’m starting to feel like Llama is just another way to say “Never Mind, its not worth it”. Although both “Llama” and “never mind” are thankfully rare occurrences in my home now, she has learned to sign, and it improves on a regular basis… and I… I am learning to hear, listen and comprehend again.

 

But I still don’t think she quite understands where I am coming from, Never Mind still hurts, even if it wasn’t important, it is still something she said… something that came out of her mouth. Never Mind is a common occurrence at work… I hear it at least 2x every day… from my co-worker, from clients… and it still is as if I were stabbed with a dagger of words every time it is said… is this what they think?

this is why never mind hurts so much, it may not make any logical sense to you, it may not be your intention when saying it to someone who is deaf, Deaf or Hard of Hearing… but that is how it feels… as if we aren’t worth it, as if we are stupid, as if we are less, as if you don’t care…

Why the focus on speech?

When you talk to a new parent… they are looking forward to the many firsts the child has. Their first night sleeping all night, the first steps,  the first smile that isn’t because of gas, the first time they laugh,  and their first words… when hearing parents find out their children are deaf, they mourn the “loss” of the “normal” child they would have had… instead of celebrating the child they do have. Why?

 

Partially, I think it is because they had all these expectations for their child. When asked what they want most, many soon to be parents say a healthy child… why is deafness not seen as still being healthy? This is the medical communities fault, the audist perspectives many people have, even without realizing it.

 

Watch the words that are used… common words… but think about their connotations, the meanings behind them, and what they tell parents.

When a child is diagnosed as having a hearing loss, it is a scary time for parents. They are told their child will need speech therapy, there child has been diagnosed with something. Parents are told “I’m sorry” as if their new born child has something wrong with them. Those words, especially at a doctors office, are generally used for very bad, life threatening diseases.

 

These words have negative impacts on the child as well as the parent… the parents sense of joy at seeing their child for the first time is overwhelmed by this scary thing the doctors have said. Their child may never talk, they will never hear music, they will be left out. There is too much focus on what the child can’t do, rather than what they CAN do.

 

The following video can explain it better than I can…

 

There is so much negativity in our world, new parents shouldn’t have to feel this. They should be allowed to be happy they have just brought, or adopted, a new child into this world, into their family. The child may be deaf, or hard of hearing, but that doesn’t mean the child shouldn’t have EVERY opportunity to succeed… and with this, sign language, despite other options, such as hearing aids or Cochlear Implants is ESSENTIAL for the growth of a deaf child. Speaking when you can’t hear the words properly is frustrating… and yet, so many parents choose the oral only rout for their child? Why? The medical community is telling them this is the best option, if they want their child to be “normal”.  There are many other examples… but speech is just a modality of language, and too much time is spent focusing on speech when language development is not truly equivalent to speech development.

This video explains some of it…

 

Don’t get me wrong, am I happy I can speak, yes. It has helped me, especially when I didn’t know ASL, I could get my feelings out in some ways… but writing has always been easier for me. Why? Because I could see the language, I didn’t have to think about it as much, I didn’t have to think about how the words were pronounced, but I could just let it all out. Writing has always been my way into the world around me, I would write poetry, music, letters, sometimes I would just rip them up… but I could still get it out. But spoken language ISN’T a language, it is a modality of a language.

 

Children younger than 10, 5, 3, even 1 are being put into speech therapy, into AVT (Auditory Verbal Therapy) not to improve their LANGUAGE, but their SPEECH. There are “toys” out there to help a child learn where they went wrong in speaking, but this doesn’t equal having language.

why is this the image so many people want to see

rather than…

 

or this?

why is this what we focus on

rather than this?

because parents want their child to be normal… and to be normal, is the same thing as being hearing… and that is just a sad, sad thought. That this is considered more normal

than

Is it so important to hear your child speak rather than see their thoughts? Is it so important to hear your child tell you I love you mommy/daddy, rather than see them sign it? I think we should focus on language before it is too late, rather than words.

almost forgot about those darn gerbils… not

Many months ago, I saw a short film in BSL (British Sign Language), and recent events have brought the film back into my mind. It is a sobering story, with many lines that break my heart… with a tale that breaks my heart… and a future I hope never comes to fruition. The film is called “The End”, and it starts in 1987, at a school for the Deaf, it ends in the future, with the simple, yet heart wrenching line “I am Deaf”… I will let you watch it on your own.

BSL Zone, The End

What made me think of it? Was it seeing so many people with CI’s and becoming one of them? No. Was it imagining a future without deafness? No… it was something that also came out of the UK… it was a story about gerbils… I know… seems kind of weird.

Gerbils… 

Now that hopefully you have gotten a chance, to both watch the one film and read the article… let me give you my two cents.

this tech, although could be useful in so many ways… it scares me. I don’t want my wonderful, beautiful, amazing Deaf culture to go away, and that is what it looks like their aim is, to stop there from being any more deaf people. Why? That is the question I am asking myself, why? Is it because we are dangerous? No… I’m thinking its because we are different. Different from the majority, different from their idea of perfect. Through out history, we have been seen as less, we have been seen as wrong… people have forced us to learn to talk, learn to lipread, learn to accomodate them, rather than them helping us become the best we can be within our selves. This is what scares me.

We are already a world that cares more about beauty than what is inside, we do not value intellect any longer, this is especially prevalent in our television shows and our lack of funding for education here in the United States. We are a culture that on the outside appears to value the individual, but in reality it values sameness… anyone who is a little different, who views things differently than the majority, is squashed. We have already seen this happen to the Deaf Community, although we do seem to have a knack for living on, thriving during the impossible… but if this is whole heartily squashed out of us in infancy, so that we do not even have a chance to come to understand our roots, our identities, how will we know where we are truly destined to go? If we aren’t given the chance to self actualize, what will become of our world.

One of the quotes from the video, that terrifies me, because it is already something that is being told to us, already something that is being ingrained into our heads, from a very young age… “We aren’t forcing the treatment onto anyone, but if they want to have a BETTER life, they will take the treatment.” substitute treatment for CI, and this is what you get, a world were so many deaf children are having their heads cut open, and a device implanted inside of them. (Now I want you to remember I am NOT against CI’s, I have one and plan on getting the other one done soon)… but these children are not given the opportunity to learn ASL, or the language of their country. They are given a limited restoration of their hearing, a mechanical device that is not the same… and told they are “fixed”… when there was nothing wrong with them in the beginning.

If we start trying to fix differences within ourselves, it won’t be long until we are all just the same…

It isn’t only my beautiful culture possibly ceasing to exist sometime in the future, it is that if they can regrow hairs in my head that are long dead, what can they do with other things? Will they create factories where everyone has body parts growing? and life extends forever? Will our world become so grossly overpopulated, (it is already over populated), that we are forced to find refuge across the stars, finding other planets to desiccate, leaving nothing but a wasteland behind us?

What will happen then? I know the gerbils aren’t the only thing leading us to this desiccation, but if we try and remove the difference between people, does that make the medical professionals we trust any better than someone so set on eugenics? In my opinion no. I think this is a form of eugenics, it is destroying a beautiful population, my population… and I don’t need your cure.

if it makes me a radical… I’m ok with that

If it makes me a radical, I’m ok with that… but I believe ALL deaf children, ALL HoH children, should have the ability to learn ASL, or the sign language of their country. For me, its entirely the same if the child is unaided, aided or using CI’s or a Baha… but they should be able to learn and communicate in sign.

 

What has prompted this you may ask… well I’m part of a group… a Cochlear Group, for people or parents of children who have a CI. There are quite a few baby boomers in the group, as well as a few people my age, and some parents and grandparents of children with CI’s. Obviously I have nothing against CI’s themselves, because I have one, I made that choice, and I’m making the choice to get my left ear implanted as well… but too many people focus only on speech development, instead of language development. They are not the same. Speech is a modality of language, a modality of an oral language, such as English. Writing is also a modality… but language, lanugage is something totally different. Language, as defined in the dictionary is “a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings”. What does this mean for us? Language is about communication, language is about ideas, thoughts, feelings, and the ability to express those ideas thoughts and feelings… language is what connects us.

 

Now imagine, you are a small child… lets say 2 years old. And the only language you have ever known is sign language. You can hardly communicate as it is, because your family doesn’t understand what you want or what you need, although you understand it, and the people who know sign around you understand you as well. But you can communicate, at least basic things… now… imagine you are still the same little 2 year old, and your family is learning to understand you more and more, then one day you go to this scary place, no one is able to explain what is going on, but there are people in white coats, and you know they are going to give you a shot (the fear of every small child at the doctors office), and they do… but this time they don’t take the shot out, it stays in (IV)… you are scared, and no one knows what is wrong, no one will explain to you. You feel sleepy, and you fall asleep, when you wake up, you don’t feel good, your head hurts, and people look upset when you try and touch your head. A few weeks later, after your head is finally starting to feel normal, you have to go and get something put on your head… you are use to hearing aids, but this… this is different. Its so loud, the sounds are different, it isn’t what you are use to… and people aren’t explaining. You try to ask questions, but you are punished for trying to communicate… for trying to sign… for using your language… how scary…

 

now… to add to this scary, people are trying to make you wear this device all the time, and you get in trouble if you use signs, they want you to use your voice… everything is just beeps, its not understandable, eventually your brain will start to understand a word here and a word there, the beeps become less beepy… but it still isn’t normal. You are still punished for communicating in the way you know how… and your family doesn’t use any signs with you anymore. But… then when you are in the bathtub or swimming (which have become your favourite activities) your family is more than happy to communicate with you on your terms, a few signs here, a few gestures there… the signals are being mixed… you can’t figure out if it is ok to sign or not… sometimes you are rewarded, by effective communication… and other times you are punished… oh what a confusing life for a child…

 

from my perspective… a child needs communication. Hearing children are given the opportunity to use ASL, or at least a few signs from ASL, why are deaf children so different? Is it really all that different with a deaf child? People keep saying that if a deaf child learns ASL they will never speak, this is not true. If a hearing child learns ASL they end up speaking better, having a larger vocabulary.

Bilingualism has many benefits, and not just linguistically, but cognitively as well. A New York times Article  expands on this, saying “It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.” How can having a child be able to understand and communicate in two languages be a negative thing? I understand why parents implant their young children, I really do… but coming from a CI recipient, if I have a deaf child, I will let them choose. I have heard from many adult recipients, who were children when they were implanted who turned against their CI, who stopped speaking entirely, why? Because they felt their parents were trying to fix them, because they were deaf they would never be enough for their parents. On the flip side, I also have met quite a few young adults who were implanted as children and LOVE their CI’s (one of my friends actually, one of her CI’s after 20 years just broke, and she elected to have it replaced, because she loves it)… what is the difference between these two groups? Access to a visual language, bilingualism, acceptance. The second group didn’t feel they were less because they couldn’t hear without their CI, they knew their parents loved them enough to learn to communicate with THEM, no matter the situation… they were loved enough every opportunity was given to this child, they were loved so much their parents learned a whole language to be able to communicate with their child… nothing was tried to be “fixed” the children still knew they were deaf, and many of them actually identify as culturally Deaf, they weren’t stuck in-between worlds, but they had the best of BOTH worlds… the hearing world and the Deaf world… able to function wonderfully in BOTH worlds, in all situations.

 

Imagine the difference a thing like that can make… or better yet… let the child choose if they want an implant, its a scary process, it takes a lot of work… but when a child is old enough to choose if they want an implant, they are also old enough to say it needs remapped, when it isn’t working right, when its too loud, when its too quiet, when settings need to be changed. This blog  might help to clear some things up too, from a well known mother to a deaf child, who at the age of 7, decided on her own she wanted a CI.

 

Here is an interview from them both, (with captions!!)

Expectations, do I have any? Yes…

Ok… so like I said in my last post, tomorrow is my Activation for my Cochlear Implant. I have been told by people not to have any expectations, or I will be disappointed, or expect the worst, hope for the best.

First of all, I don’t think I can’t have any expectations for tomorrow, life is full of expectations. I expect that I will have more clients at work today, and the reality is, I most likely will. I expect that when I get home at some point I will go to sleep, this also, is true. I expected to have more pain from my surgery, this thankfully was not true. I expected my Deaf community would stick by me on my decision to get a CI, this for the most part, has held true. I expect that I will wake up tomorrow, I really hope this is true. Life is a game of expectations, and there is no way I can’t have any expectations, it is a natural part of living.

Now for expect the worst and hope for the best… I don’t know that I can do this either. what would expecting the worst actually be? This depends on who is talking… it could be a total failure of my implant, meaning there is no stimulation happening, it could be severe facial twitching, it could be pain… is this really what I want to expect? NO. I don’t want to expect I have gone through this surgery for pain, for facial twitching, for a complete and utter failure of the implant… I expect… I expect to hear SOMETHING.

Hoping for the best… would that mean hearing like a person with “normal” hearing? (this will NEVER happen, I am Deaf and proud of it). Would it mean understanding words right away? (I also doubt this will happen) Would it mean being able to tell the difference between shoe and Ice Cream? This would be nice, and something I can not do with my hearing aid.

So… what are my expectations for tomorrow? Honestly my expectations for this whole CI journey are very low, I have been told this by my audiologist, my friends who have CI’s, my parents, my family… but I have a low expectation for this whole journey, let alone “A-day”. My expectation for tomorrow… for things to be very confusing and overwhelming. I expect to hear something, and if that is just “beep beep beep” that will be fine. It means that my brain is getting auditory stimulation, which was the whole point of this surgery, of this journey, of sometimes feeling like I was betraying who I was… to get auditory stimulation. I expect I will be so overwhelmed I may want to, and perhaps cry, will they be tears of joy? maybe, or will they be tears of oh god… what did I do to myself? maybe. I have to remember something, no matter what happens, this journey will make me a stronger person.

I expect I will have to do a lot of auditory “rehabilitation” to get to a point that I can understand words, to understand the meanings coming from the implant. I hope that I won’t have to go in to actually do rehab, but that I can do it on my own, with tools like Sound and Way Beyond, The Listening Room, Bridge, listening to audio books and reading along with them, listening to presidential speeches and reading the transcription, the HOPE site From Cochlear, telephone with confidence program… and just every day listening.

I expect that although one big reason for me to get the CI was music, over the last few years music got to the point from where I was feeling it and hearing it, to where it was just a bunch of gobbledygook, noise that made no meaningful impression on me, where I was only feeling it (don’t get me wrong, I love the feel of music) I would just like to be able to understand it again… understand the melody, understand the meaning and feel the feeling behind it. I expect, at first it will still just be… gobbledygook… at first it will just be, annoying, but hopefully with some work, I will be able to understand it again, and enjoy it again. Cochlear (sorry if this is very heavily cochlear based, they make my CI and I’m not entirely sure what other manufacturers have to offer) offers something called Hope Notes, which is suppose to help me understand the differences between different instruments, different pitches and so forth. So this will be something I will be using a lot. I would love to be able to get to the point where I can know if my guitar is in tune or not, where I can play it and hear it, where I can… enjoy music.

But for tomorrow… what are my expectations… to hear something, to be annoyed, and… possibly be disheartened. I know this journey is far from over (I have promised my family that even if I don’t like it, I will keep wearing it on a regular basis for a year, so I know if I actually get any benefit from it) and it will be work, and I will be tired… but my journey has just started. I am not looking to be seen as hearing, honestly, I am very proud to be able to call myself Deaf, I love my Deaf community, and I don’t know what I would do without them… but there are so many things about my life that revolve in the hearing world vs the Deaf world… my job for one, and that is another reason why I got my CI. I hope that eventually I will be able to understand speech to the point I don’t have to lipread as much, and I hope it will help me at work. Particularly with my clients who do not move their lips, or have facial hair. Enough for now. Weds there will be an update, I know tomorrow I will be too tired.