Monday, October 15, 2007

A weeks worth of thought...

It has been four weeks since I was turned on and I cannot believe the difference. Not just in what I hear, but in how I feel. I feel that I am on a path to rediscovering myself. I am doing a complete overhaul on my life, pulling out the weeds so to speak. My self-confidence is slowly coming back. I do not feel as socially repressed. I will admit I have withdrawn into my own little world. I use to work out like crazy, go out on a whim, and take little trips to nowhere just because I wanted to. Since I lost my hearing, I lost interest in all of that. On the other hand, since I have lost my hearing, I have gained interest in what really should matter. I feel secure in my surroundings. I can hear a car coming up behind me. I can hear someone answer me through a wall. I can hear a fire alarm whereas four weeks and one day ago, I could not hear one if I held it right against my ear. It is a sense of security that has been given back to me by simply inserting a circuit board with a tail in my head. I feel that the ability to accomplish tasks without placing a burden on anyone is within arms reach. To do things myself, gain a sense of privacy, and achieve independence would be my poetic justice.

The one thing that has affected me, as thick skinned as I might appear is how my speech is perceived. I'm conscientiously aware of how I am speaking at all times. The idea of someone commenting on my "accent" turns my stomach. I would fight like hell to hold my tears back, which I am doing now. Humiliation rears its ugly head when a stranger out of nowhere ask me where I am from when I am at a store, amongst friends, or worse, a friend notices. I have received more comments regarding my speech since February then I ever have in my life. I started for the first time in my life, keeping my mouth shut. I began to think to myself maybe people were afraid to tell me, that they did not want to hurt my feelings. I suppose there was no right or wrong way of saying it to me. I contemplate that it would be like me asking someone if a tube dress made me look fat and did not want to hurt my feelings. Regardless if I was left looking like an overstuffed sausage or slurring as if I have been hitting the bottle a little too much, I'm starting to feel that I can talk candidly without the weight on my shoulders of wondering if they are judging my speech.

Nuff about that though! Since my audi Jennifer turned off my auto gain compression, it has been a blessing in disguise. An ambulance went by me while I was driving and I heard it approaching without having to look in the rear view mirror. With the auto gain on, it sounded like when you are talking on a cell phone and you lose signal, it cuts out. Very annoying. I am reading this book called The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, and it has a woman with a very slight Indian accent narrating the book. This is my first audio book with a woman narrator and I am able to follow along fairly well. My next mapping is on Monday, so I will have to see what she has in store for me then.

For those who like CSI shows, CSI Miami aired an episode last Monday called "Inside Out". It featured a deaf girl that was killed and she had a cochlear implant! Sure, they killed her off, but you can see the magnet stick to her head and everything!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Abbie,

I understand how it feels to hear yourself speak all the time. I am also very worried about my pronounciations of words. It is very different with the CIs. I can say it gets better. I'm at 2 months and I am starting now to feel more comfortable with it. One thing I have found is that I now listen more and do not need to speak as much. Before I had to control the conversations, now I can let others.

Enjoy the day, there are so many new sounds to hear!!!!

Valerie

Anonymous said...

So good luck for your poetic justice :)

Could you tell me please which episode of CSI is the one with the girl with CI?

Roberta

Abbie said...

The episode was aired last week on Monday October 8th, it is called "Inside Out" It was pretty cool :)

Anonymous said...

I learnded that I tend to be inconsnstant with how loud I talk.
One minute coworkers say I'm talking too quiet and next thing I know they say I'm talking too loud and I don't realize it. I am still deaf, no CI yet, so I assume this is normal for someone who has been able to hear and lost their hearing. My speech seem normal or at least no one has said otherwise. I'll ask my wife tonight. I also think we are the last ones to realize we are changing and it can be quite a suprise to find out we have.

jim (deafcone)

Abbie said...

Deafcone, you are still scheduled for surgery at the end of the year right?

web_wiz said...

The first time someone said my speech deteriorated, I just cried. Everyone else reassured me it was fine. But after the CI, I've had aquaintances say how much better I'm speaking... and that upsets me too! But friends and family I was close to never noticed. Or were being kind and not saying anything at least.

Anonymous said...

Abbie,

Yes. I go in on November 6th to go through all the qualification stuff in one day. Surgury is set for dec 31st. Will need insurance approval also. Only two days were open for surgury in dec so they went ahead and scheduled me for the 31st assuming everything would go as planned.

deafcone

SkullChick said...

yeah im extremely insecure about speaking to anyone even my family one time my surgeon asked me to speak some stuff to prove him that i can speak i was so scared that i start shaking but i managed to said couple things and he seem shocked and said ok i speak really good for someone with profound loss idk i know my pitch is way off cuz its constantly high pitched and sometimes i breath the word not realizing it i hope ci will help me with that

Jennifer said...

Oh, Abbie, I feel that way too :( It helps when some folks say they can't even tell I'm deaf, but others will say "Huh? and I have to repeat myself, or they'll ask where I'm from...I hate it! (((HUGS)))