Today I met up with a former colleague who is an audiologist and bilateral cochlear implant user. Besides the fact that I hold her in high regard for being a fabulous audiologist and friend...I cannot put into words how much I appreciate knowing her and having her tell me about her experiences with her implants.
No matter how much I know (or think I know) or could ever dream to learn about cochlear implants, I don't know what it is like to have one. I often think about these babies and toddlers and how we are doing the best we can with knowledge we have now. But what is it REALLY like for them when I ask them to take their preferred implant off (if they have one) and listen? What is it REALLY like to go from those hearing aids you were hearing with to these implants? Did I leave the preferred ear off too long? Is this an auditory memory issue or a discrimination issue? I could go on and on.
Bottom line...knowing someone with an implant(s) is invaluable if you work with these patients or if you have a child with a CI. Get online and find people. People like Ally (my friend) or my parents are always so willing to talk about their experience good and/or bad. One of the great things about the internet is that it has made the world very small. So other people "worlds" away can now be contacted via Skype, Facebook, and web forums. It is truly invaluable...
Cochlear Implant Surgery....$70,000
Weekly Speech Therapy Session...$80-150.
Knowing an adult with a cochlear implant who can give you advice and some piece of mind...priceless