Thursday, January 24, 2008

Of Deaf and Cochlear Implant Moments

It used to be that I had CI moments. Those moments where you heard a sound that you had never heard before. I brought wonder, joy, satisfaction and great pleasure. And in the fifteen years when my Cochlear Implant worked perfectly, I had many of them. From not only hearing birds, but recognizing what bird it was, to taps dripping, hedgehogs having sex outside my window, a banana peeling, a pencil writing on paper. There’s so many I can’t list them all here.

The only time I was deaf in those fifteen years was when I got phone calls from telemarketing companies trying to sell me something. When I think about it, that’s hilarious in itself. The phone would go, and I would answer it, and the conversation would go something like this..

Telemarketer : ‘Hello – may I speak to the head of the household please?”

Me: ‘Yes this is she”

Telemarketer: “I’m just ringing to tell you about a great offer”

Me interrupting “Are you trying to sell me something?”

Telemarketer: “well..”

Me interrupting again “Well it’s no good talking to me because I’m deaf and can’t hear on the phone”

Telemarketer apologises and hangs up.

They accepted it every time, even though I was talking to them on the phone with no problems, they accepted I was deaf and couldn’t hear them , would apologise and hang up. Hilarious! It works on market researchers too!!

Anyway – for the last 8 months, there have been no CI moments, and I’m slowly having more and more deaf moments. Take today. I have a habit of making my breakfast, then sitting on the sofa with my laptop on my lap, checking emails and answering any messages from my website. I had lots of them this morning, as well as having to give lots of attention to my cats who were determined to glomp all over me. Finally an hour later, I grabbed my breakfast plates and headed into the kitchen with them. To find the hot tap running on full. Water cold. Thank goodness it’s summer as there went my hot shower, but I’m not looking forward to the power bill!

Looking on the bright side of things, the last time I did that was 20 years ago(pre implant) when my daughter was very young, and that time was much worse. That time I had left the plug in the sink, with the hot tap running on full, and I not only filled the sink, but completely flooded the kitchen, the downstairs, the dining room, the lounge etc.. Worse still it was at my mother’s place, and she had only put in brand new carpet the week before. It did need cleaning didn’t it???

I know I’m not the only one who has deaf moments like these. I’m sure there’s lots of hilarious disaster stories to tell, that probably weren’t funny at the time, but looking back makes you double over with laughter now !

I remember popping in on a friend of mine. He didn’t hear us, so we walked in. He held up his hand and told us to take a seat but he MUST finish the vacuuming as he has ONE more room to do. It was summer, it was hot, and sweat was dripping off him, he was working so hard with that vacuum cleaner. Just as well he told us to sit down as we would have fallen otherwise, as we were laughing so hard. We had tears in our eyes. You see – the vacuum cleaner wasn’t even plugged in!! It really did look like something out of a Monty Python movie!

Then there was another friend who was away at a beach house. She decided to turn on the jug to make herself a cup of coffee. She went back to her book. About an hour or two later she realized she still hadn’t had her cup of coffee so went back into the kitchen. The jug was nowhere to be seen. All that was left of it was a little mound of plastic with a power cord going into the wall. The jug had simply melted! No automatic switch off.

This is funny as well as serious. The consequences could have been so much worse, there could have been a fire or an electrocution but luckily there wasn’t.

I rely on my ears to give me clues to what is happening around me. I’ve relied on them for years. I was only profoundly deaf for a short while before I was implanted and the implant gave me more hearing than I’ve ever had in my whole life.

I can see I’m going to have be more vigilant with my other senses in the upcoming months while I wait to see what happens with my ears. I find out on Tuesday whether the hearing nerve is still intact on my left side and whether I can have a possible CI. I’m hopeful. And I’m hoping I will have less deaf moments, and more CI moments in the future.

If you have a hilarious story of a deaf or CI moment, please share with me as I need the laugh, and I also need to be constantly reminded that I’m not the only one!


Karen said...

You're not alone! I had one of those water moments at my house around Thanksgiving:

Fiaenn said...

I got problems with forgetting about anything. I start doing something, go to other room see something else and start doing another thing - and forget about the first one. At home it may be not a problem, much worse it was in my previous work. I know it is caused by weariness, because then I used to work more that 10-11 hours per day, but - I work on my own for a couple of moths in my own tempo - it should pass...

Anonymous said...

I hope you get good news on Tuesday.

kw said...

I love the way you write Robyn. Some of the things you wrote about hearing, I didn't know they made sounds-- like bananas peeling or hearing a pencil write. I haven't heard birds in a good long while. Hedgehogs having sex-- huh?

Just a week or two ago LaRonda wrote about her most embarrasing deaf moment. I have a bad habit of leaving things in the oven and setting the fire alarm off, which I never hear. And of course the usual misunderstand people when I try to lipread them, which can lead to funny conversations but I can't think of anything right at the moment. You must be on pins and needles waiting to hear the outcome of your test. ((((((((HUGS))))))))))) Kim

Anonymous said...

That's amazing what you hear, considering your CI's 15 years old. Funny how you didn't hear the tap water from inside the house, yet you hear the hedgehogs doing their thing outside! Lol....

Anonymous said...

Thats because my Cochlear Implant is no longer working properly so I can no longer hear the taps inside the house. Both tap incidents happened - once when I wasn't implanted and profoundly deaf, and yesterday because the implant is no longer working properly. I can hear them perfectly when the implant works Grrrr!!!

And "BTW - hedgehogs when they have sex are REALLY loud!! LOL


mishkazena said...

Interesting to know that hedgehogs can be real noisy when they are doing their business. I didn't know about the peeling of the bananas.. a lot of little things one just don't think about at all.

Good luck next Tuesday. I hope it'll work out for you.

Abbie said...

*raising her hand shyly*

Meet Abbie the infamous lady who ALWAYS leaves the faucet or the shower running.

I can't tell you how many times I have done that. I still do that occasionally because when I take the CI off to wash my face, I tend to take a stroll and then go back later to discover a sinkfull of H2O :)

I have my fingers crossed for you on Tuesday!

Henry said...

Had a deaf moment yesterday. I got out of the car and didn't hear the little "ding-ding!" that tells you you left the headlights on. Wife comes home in an hour and asks why the headlights are on. (Fortunately the battery hadn't died.)

Then there was the time I got out of the car and locked the key inside -- with the engine running. The next morning I went out to go somewhere and couldn't find the keys, and presto! there they were in the ignition. And the engine was running, I discovered when I put my hand on the car. (Interesting that it idled all night and there was enough gas left . . .)

My wife thinks they're senile moments, not deaf moments.

Bron said...

Hedgehogs having sex... now that's something I've never heard! But considering the number of prickly spikes they have to avoid in the process it's no wonder they are loud. They are probably going "ooh! ouch! argh! ow!"

Anonymous said...

Don't tell anyone, this is years and years ago, but the outside water tap ran at full bore at my flat for about 5 days before I noticed it. So much water was run out that the council came and dug up pipes to see if they could find a leak. I was not game enough to tell them in case I got a big bill and I couldn't afford that.

Anonymous said...

I used to vacuum the house with the vacuum cleaner off too. I never knew where to start again.