So lately people have been asking me why I don’t want a cochlear implant. Since hearing aids can’t help me that much, why wouldn’t I want to take the next logical step? That’s a very reasonable question. But at the end of the day I’m the one who would have to go through the surgery with all the risks. I’d have to live with a wire hanging out of my head for the rest of my life and a big appliance on my ear, have to learn a whole new way of ‘hearing’ on top of recovering from all that surgery, and turn my life upside down. All that when I’m okay the way I am. I’m not just coping with hearing loss, I’m living with it. As in living, having a life, functioning, having fun. So why change things on the chance something might be better, give up all that time it would take to do, risk my health and well being and go through the risk of it not working out?
I know people mean well and they probably have the right idea for many late deafened people. Especially those who are educated about hearing loss. It’s the non clinical personal aspect that they can only imagine – that part isn’t in the medical books or pamphlets. For most people, a cochlear implant is probably the answer they’ve been looking for. For me, it’s scary, major and complicated. (Hey, I never said I flow in the same direction as the rest of the river. And just so you know, the Hudson River flows in both directions.)
I’m not a kid anymore. At this point in my life, I would have to go through too many changes to get somewhere that might not be the place for me to be. I’d never be able to go back to where I am now, so if it didn’t work, I’d be really messed up. Why rock the boat as long as it’s sailing? Maybe not sailing as well as a Donzi can run, but I’m getting where I have to go. I’m enjoying the journey without worrying about a specific destination. That’s enough for me right now.