Maureen tells me about a couple of local support groups for implant users. And as luck would have it they are meeting soon after we connect. And both meetings are within 2 miles of my house! Funny how things happen.
Local support groups for cochlear implant users:
In late September, out of the blue, I was called to participate in a focus group at WGBH to test and give feedback on captioning for MDTV (Mobile Digital Television). The small group of testers was very interesting, one profoundly deaf man who used an ASL interpreter, a young hard-of-hearing woman with hearing aids, and Maureen who has a cochlear implant. I happened to chat briefly with Maureen after the session and she told me she had a cochlear implant and was recently approved for a second one.
After visiting MEEI, I contacted the organizer of the focus group and asked him to forward a message from me to Maureen asking if she would be willing to talk about her cochlear implant experience. Maureen replied and we shared a few emails and an in-person coffee to talk about it. It was really helpful.
Maureen also has no regrets about the implant and said she wishes she had done it 10 years sooner. Maureen is 56 years old. Her hearing was very bad since childhood and she wore hearing aids for many years until she felt they were no longer helping. Maureen’s husband is also an implant recipient.
Unlike Bob, Maureen’s music experience has improved. She can now understand the words!
She also said that it takes time to get the “mapping” right and to learn how to hear with the implants.
Her second implant is scheduled for December, 2011.
p.s. Maureen is doing well with her second implant and continues to be a supportive new friend.