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Activation: Part 2

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It’s been a good two weeks since I’ve been activated. I can’t believe the amazing changes that have happened in such a short period of time. When the “processor” was first activated, the sounds were overwhelming—it sounded like walking into a video arcade (loud and constant). There was a day that I was actually angry at God (never directed anger at him before!) and asked him what the purpose of all these sounds were–why would he make it difficult for people to escape noise? Were all those sounds necessary? The dripping of a faucet, the water boiling in the pot, people talking loudly outside my house–so new and so much. Now, I’ve reached the point where those sounds are recognizable and my brain has to learn how to filter them out. The brain is really quite amazing—it adapts to changes so quickly. I just had my second “mapping” yesterday in which the audiologist upped the sounds and them rounder–meaning instead of voices sounding like whispers, they sound real and more accurate. I really love what I hear now, even more so. I love that I’m not asking people to repeat as much—in fact, I just had my first phone conversation with my dad where he gave me a credit card number over the phone (which a allowed me to quickly order plane tickets while they were still cheap!) I felt so free not having to rely on someone to talk on the phone for me—this was true independence.
In addition, I can now hear the kindness in people’s voices. That’s absolutely new to me. I was also understand one of my student who has a very heavy Israeli accent–not only that, I hear how to pronounce her name and now can say it correctly (it’s funny,so many people mispronounce her name and I have to work really hard on not correcting them). I have also heard laughter and how beautiful that sounds—I didn’t realize how much it comes from the heart–I mean, I can really hear it.
I was told by my audiologist that I may not like music. Hmmmmm…well, I did a test with one of my favorite tape and fell in love with the music. It only sounded better than before, I also noticed instruments that I had never heard before—and had no idea what it is. I feel like going back to music class where they taught you the sound of all the instruments.
The drawbacks are: for the first time, (as much as I love my daughter, I have to say this…)I didn’t realize how much she whines—I never heard it before. I told some mothers that and they laughed saying that was normal and said, “Welcome to the real world!” Elyza had made interesting accommodations withe her voice where she would yell, “Mommy!” really loudly—and now that sound makes me feel like a cat whose hair is standing on ends. I’m working with her on lowering her voice. It’s really interesting to hear the difference between a man and woman’s voice as well as a child and adult’s as well. I’m still having trouble with a crowd of people talking or even talking one on one when there’s a lot of noise—the audiologist explained to me that there will come a day when the everyday noise will fade in the background and the speech will in in the front. As my cousin Robin says, “Keep your eye on the prize.” That’s exactly what I’m doing.
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About Amy Pogrebin Bremenstuhl

Life is noisy~ in a messy way. I thought I'd try writing about surviving the hearing world every day for 365 Days.

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