Thursday, September 23, 2010

Answer and a question

Okay, back to regularly scheduled programming. A while ago, I posed a question to the big, vast internets:

If you could sit down with a deaf or hard of hearing person and ask any question without worrying about if it was offensive or silly, what would you ask?

Joey had two questions. I answered one last week about remembering what it was like to hear and now I'm on to the second part:

"Would you consider an implant or stem cell therapy to improve your hearing?"

The short version? Yes on the implant, probably not on the stem cell. I don't want my blog to get crazy political. I don't mind touching on politics once in a while, but for the most part, I'd like to steer clear of hot button topics. So I'll just say that for personal and political reasons, I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with stem cell therapy.

I have thought about getting a cochlear implant and I'm open to it if or when my hearing reaches the point where hearing aids are no longer helpful. But right now, honestly, I'm intimidated. And chicken. There, I said it. It's an invasive procedure that involves drilling into my head (I'm fighting off a little bit of vomit as I type that!), and could take several years of rehabilitation to get the full use out of it.

I also am doing well with my hearing aids. I wear two digital BTEs (behind the ear) that have four or five different settings to help me better filter background noise and help me hear what I want to hear. Why mess with what works, you know? And on that note, I've worn hearing aids almost my whole life. I could also just be feeling a little nervous about making such a big change. I know my hearing aids; how to care for them, when it's time for new ear molds, what kind of batteries to buy. I know I would learn those kinds of things too with a cochlear implant, but for now, I'm just attached to my hearing aids. They're familiar.

Having said that, I have friends who have cochlear implants and I've never once heard any one of them complain about it. My qualms about getting an implant stem more from my fears of the surgery than of the results. I have no doubt that a cochlear implant would help me and that the benefits far outweigh the initial inconvenience. Also, I'm not under any illusions. I took a hearing test a couple of years ago (and the one before that was 10 years ago!) that indicated I had lost 10 percent of my hearing in the last 10 years. We're not sure how progressive the hearing loss is, but I foresee entering my twilight years beyond the help of hearing aids - if my hearing can make it that long. I'm okay with the idea of a cochlear implant... someday. Not so much today. ;)

Okay, big, vast internets, your turn. Like I said a few weeks ago, one of the reasons I blog is to educate people about hearing loss, but sometimes I overlook things that seem obvious to me because I'm so used to it. So I'm curious, if you could ask a deaf or hard of hearing person anything, what would it be?

And by the way, I recently discovered how to find the stats for my blog and here is what I've learned:

This week, I've had 211 visitors from the United States, three from Spain and one from Finland. I've had 776 page views in the last month. Readers find my blog via other blogs, Google, The City, Twitter and Facebook.

I don't say any of that to brag, but rather to let you people know I am on to you.

Won't you come out and say hi?


  1. It would be wonderful if they'd come out to say hi! If you figure out a way to get them to reveal themselves, please let me know!

    I read some about the esteem implant which is for hearing aid users. I think it would be really amazing if hearing aid users had an option some day that would allow them to hear while swimming and even through the night. Of course I'm not the one having the major surgery, so it's a bit easier for me to think about!

  2. I think I got something in the mail about that... kinda crazy to think about. Just as you probably can't imagine being able to "turn off" your ears at will, I can't imagine NOT being able to. I think sleeping through the night or even showering with hearing aids in would be quite an adjustment... a lot of new sounds to learn!

  3. blah, blah, you're such big stuff. maybe some props to the awesome girl who gave you the idea to post on twitter, ey? lol ;) jk jk

    i passed out a little at the idea of your head being drilled into.

    oh, and yes, i have your cards. you may have them back after i dominate you in nertz next time. kthxbye.

  4. Ok, I'm coming out...I read your blog religiously! ;-)
    I know I could just ask you this in person, but your "readers" might want to know this too:
    How do you hear/perceive music? I mean I know you aren't completely deaf, but can you tell when music is out of tune or pleasant...know what I mean? ...of course I ask something about music ;-)
    Care to elaborate about your musical experiences? :D

  5. I too read your blog and enjoy it immensely! You are so insightful, honest and funny!

  6. Hi Lucy,

    Very cool blog! You can add me to the stats now:).

    Traci Jackson

  7. Oh Lucy, I am so watching you. I'm glad you're "out of the closet" (hmmm, so to speak) and now I can stalk you along with the total strangers I feel the need to follow up on every day.

    I blog too, but since we pass cards out to all the church peeps we visit, it stays pretty tame. Maybe I should do an anonymous blog . . .

  8. Thanks for stalking, friends! ;)

    Oh Anne, please, oh please, start an anonymous blog. You could call it "Anne with an 'E' and Stephen with an 'S.'" Because I know how easy it is to forget that "S."