Remco is hearing impaired, wears hearing aids and is a social worker in daily life. Recently, he is discussing a CI (Cochlear Implant). In this section, Remco writes about his process from hearing aid wearer to CI wearer.
And then there was sound …
Last Friday the time had come. The connection of the internal part of my CI with the external part. I was going to experience if everything worked. It had been two weeks since the operation and I have gone through a quiet healing process, without any noteworthy side effects.
I only suffered from fluid accumulation but this was also a natural process. It is part of this type of surgery. Unfortunately (-; my characteristic features just remained intact and I can therefore reassure everyone. The two weeks before the connection, I did of course let my thoughts shine. What will happen and how will it be? How will it sound and will it sound at all? Will it indeed be well placed? These are all logical questions.
The guidance from the hospital was also extremely professional and at the same time human. Any questions were answered quickly and often with reassurance.
But back to last Friday. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that I had to be in Utrecht again. I left in time not to get caught up in a web of traffic jams again and perhaps also to arrive on time. Being stress-free on the road is also nice and quiet to arrive at your destination, too.
Once in the hospital we had to wait for the doctor. This took a little longer than the planned appointment. And then, then, I was called and set off for a new hearing. A new dot on the hearing Hearizon (;. The doctor explained what was going to happen and even had a booklet ready with the script, because he didn’t know if I could hear enough.
And then he was there. Beautiful in blue. Shiny and shining, my bionic ear. He was connected to me and then the doctor spoke the magic words: ‘I’m going to turn it on’. And so it happened, he turned it on and with me the sound jumped on. Emotions attacked me but I was especially relieved and happy that it was there. The sound. In my ear. That the CI worked. And that I was no longer “deaf”. It is a different sound. Suddenly I heard things I couldn’t hear. Clicking heels on the stone floor of the hospital. The sound of a revolving door. My brain exploring. Certainly recognizing and then thinking of sounds; ‘Hey, is this sound also there on the hard disk’. At home I am now practicing with the different programs and also to turn up the sound a bit. The tuning will still take some time. It’s all about fine-tuning. The louder the sound, the louder my brain has to work and process. This takes energy and fortunately the CI can also finish it. It also takes getting used to the fact that there is no earpiece involved. But all in all I experience that it is different. That it is actually a miracle. That I can now become deaf without noticing it because my CI is my ‘new’ ear and hearing. I also feel like a child with a new toy. I make a sound to see what it does. And that time and again.
Finally, I’m already on the road again. A voyage of discovery that gets ever closer to that little dot on the HEARizon. And I’m looking forward to that because a new adventure awaits there.