My hearing journey
I was born deaf with a profound sensorineural hearing loss. My parents soon discovered I didn’t seem to be picking up sounds and was diagnosed at 18 months old. The diagnosis wasn’t expected as there was no history of hearing loss previously in my family. I was then implanted on my right side. My request for a sequential implant was at first rejected due to the cut-off age for receiving a second implant. Thankfully our appeal was successful and although the appeal process took a long time, I was implanted on my left side at 23 years old.
While at school I had support from a teacher of the deaf (ToD) as well as receiving maths and languages assistance. This was really useful and I had continued support from a note taker while at university. Having access to these services made continuing my education and completing my master’s degree easier to achieve.
I have had my bilateral implants for five years and have been working for the last eight years, two of these holding a full time position at a university. Having two implants has made talking to groups of people easier than when I had one implant. I am really happy with my devices, although the hardest part is getting re-tuned, as people you know no longer sound the same! It takes me about a week to adjust to the new sounds.
The highlight of having my implants so far has been learning to sing and tune my voice to a piano, but it is still hard to distinguish different musical instruments. I have played the clarinet for 20 years and have noticed my musical tastes have changed slightly over time. I enjoy listening to a wide variety of music including rock & roll, folk, blues, and classical.