2018 UPDATE: Another post from 2015 that was sitting in my drafts unpublished.
As I’ve gone through the process of receiving a hybrid cochlear implant, I’ve had the privilege to talk to other people considering the hybrid. In the beginning I was very much inclined to say to just go for it and have it change your life! However, as I’ve gone through the process, I realize how much time, effort, and positive thinking must be present in order to remain sane in the journey.
I already consider my device a success. I have a long way to go in terms of auditory rehabilitation, but I have improved so much since the beginning. I know that because I sought out formal auditory training and am able to receive that feedback. Other people who don’t have as much support as I do with training, family, and friends, may very well have a much harder time getting through this journey.
There are many times of worry, what if’s, etc. that can pollute the mind. However, continuously receiving support throughout the journey and having the time to do so is so vital.
Thus, when interacting with someone who is considering the hybrid, I consider them as a whole and that includes listening to their unique story as well as what their current life looks like in terms of ability to give commitment. Also, I would never say to go ahead straight away for someone who is worried about the procedure without the reassurance that they are navigating that aspect healthfully. And to be honest, I believe it’s better to wait rather than rush this huge procedure.
When I decided to do this, I was certain from the beginning that I needed more assistance and this surgery was the way to go. I was able to arrange everything so that I had extra time to devote to training, fatigue, and the processing that goes along with such a surgery and the after-care. I’m so glad I gave myself the time. The adjustment is emotionally and physically tiring. I have no regrets!