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I’m now in Seattle and this week consists of pre-op appointments.  Surgery is next Monday, the 23rd!  I also just learned that activation day – the first day I hear with the implant on will be just a week after surgery – April 1st. Plenty to process 😉

The Flashbacks

As I write this, I’m preparing to go to sleep after a day of inner-confusion.  I’ve had feelings of fear and nervousness about the upcoming surgery and also flashbacks to when I was younger and less sure of myself.  Growing up in a world where most people do not have hearing loss was difficult.  I remember clearly working on a group project and being ignored by other peers as I tried to offer suggestions – this was in high school.  Today, the memory suddenly rushed to my brain and became very vivid and served as an important reminder of when a similar situation does happen now, how differently I handle that.

But still, I think back at the oddity of this such situation.  If you know me, you know I can hear and I am very capable with projects.  It’s odd these people in the group assumed, even with my speaking out, that I was worthless.  Now, today I know I am not worthless, but back then I was much younger and didn’t have the skills to look at the situation objectively or with a lens other than self-defeat.

Today, if I was in that same chair with the group, I would speak up after being ignored and bring in the teacher to point out the absurdity of the situation to him and to the other group members.  I wasn’t dumb.  Advocate for myself then? – No, I was too scared. – Now?  Absolutely I would.

Anyway, writing this has already lifted a burden off my shoulders as similar situations have also presented themselves as mental flashbacks to a time when I was less capable of handling a heart wrenching situation.  I wasn’t able to see that I wasn’t defective.  Now I KNOW I’m not defective and I know my strengths.

Thanks for reading and for reading about some of my self-care (including dealing with inner-feelings as demonstrated here) as I prepare to fly to Seattle on Monday!

Voice coaching today

Today I met with my favorite voice coach of all time, Patrick Muñoz, who works with everyone from performers, business people, and people who just wish to speak better.  His website is: http://www.thevoicezone.net.

I want to say thank you to Patrick Muñoz for being a supportive person in my life who follows his passions.  He has truly been inspirational and is a great person to know.

I have experienced emotions as I have gone through this journey of preparing for surgery and today elicited emotion as well.  I am again very happy he is a part of my life.

We spent the day talking about the device and the journey and the many unknowns (eg. how much benefit one gets from a device such as this is not set in stone).

I wanted to test my pitches using the piano (matching pitch to scale) and see if perhaps after surgery things would change.  As expected, my low pitches are very good while my high frequencies are quite hard to reach accurately.

I should say here that the cochlear implant device is not designed to restore hearing in such a way that music is greatly enhanced… rather speech understanding is the goal.  It’s a mechanical device that can’t replicate what the natural ear can.  But I’m thrilled to be on this journey with Patrick because one never knows what might happen and what the benefits will be afterwards.

So, today included an informal test. 😉

The Hybrid and Music

The fact I have great low frequency hearing is why I am qualified for the newer hybrid cochlear implant rather than a traditional one.  A hybrid does not go as far into the cochlea (where the hair cells are) and focuses on the high frequencies.

There are so many benefits to retaining natural low frequency hearing and that’s a big reason why the hybrid device is so revolutionary.  This includes music appreciation, which with conventional cochlear implants has demonstrated poor results.  Because my low frequencies will remain intact, my music appreciation will continue and be enhanced by the added high frequencies of the cochlear implant.

Feelings…

The Cochlear Hybrid surgery I’m having soon is constantly on my mind. It’s exciting and frightening and has caused me much anxiety at times. I admit sleeping has been difficult. I appreciate the people in my life who distract me from such thoughts. School has also been a blessing during this time. I will be leaving the 16th of March and having surgery the 23rd of March.  Thank you all and I appreciate the support before I leave… and I look forward to continuing to see people when I return as well!