I’ve been asking other implant users about their experience to try and guess what it will be like for me. Most of what I hear is very positive. A very common comment is, “Why did I wait so long?”
Just yesterday, I heard from another friend of a friend, who is an implant user, and he replied to some questions I had. I loved his response because it really affected me and made me realize that this is what I wish for…
“It is very exciting to get the implant, congratulations on your decision to do it. It took me more than 5 years to finally decide to do it. I believe you’re an ideal candidate in that you had acquired speech before you lost your hearing.
It’s been about 10 years since I was implanted, so it’s hard to remember those early days but I do remember it being an amazing experience. To hear things I hadn’t heard in years and be able to hear people without lip reading just blew me away. I do remember the first time I tried using the phone. I called my parents and at first they didn’t even realize I was calling them without a TDD/relay operator. It was just incredible.
I recall it taking about 3-4 weeks after activation before things really started to “click” for me. It was a gradual process which continues for years after activation. Even today there are times I will hear a sound and be able to pick out exactly what it is and just be amazed that I can do it. You do have to be patient, and you’re correct in that each person’s experience is going to be different. Given that you learned to speak before losing your hearing, your brain is already familiar with the type of input it will be receiving through the implant, and so it should be a relatively easy transition for you.” – Steven
“To hear things I hadn’t heard in years”… I can’t even get my mind around that statement. Wow.