Sunday, June 8, 2008

What have Cochlear Implants given me?

You would think the first thing cochlear implants have give me is hearing! Right!

Wrong, dead wrong.

It has given me something greater,

Self-Esteem and being independent

All my life I have felt a dependence to others, to hear, to alert, to protect, and of course to be there. Now I feel I can do this myself.

I have adventured to the world wide web. I created this blog and made great friends in this world. Most importantly I accepted my deafness. I don't feel that loneliness of being the only deaf person in my family. I found that kinship with others. The wordless moments of understanding. I found the clues and the hints on how to be independent. No longer are my cochlear implants about sound. They are about becoming ME. I no longer take those looks from others when I ask them to repeat. I don't allow others to limit me! I asked for a new reading program in our school and volunteered to teach it. My supervisor asked, can I do it, since it requires more phonics. I turned to him and said, I have an audiological report that says I can. If you give me this assignment, I will do my best and those students will get a caring teacher.(side note these students can't read, this program teaches them, really teaches them). I'm going to class on Tuesday for inservices.

I walk with a spring in my step. I care about things I forgot were important, music, dancing, movies, and conversation. I own technology that I never in my life thought I could use - an Itouch. I download songs all the time and enjoy it so much now.

Now if I can attack this Discord lupus and Sjogren's Syndrome that has invaded my system. But don't underestimate me, I'm a fighter.

I downloaded four songs this morning. Check these out on youtube:


If you click the name it should take you to the youtube video. Enjoy
Come visit


David said...

Valarie, this post made me so happy. I teared up. I loved this line: "I walk with a spring in my step. I care about things I forgot were important, music, dancing, movies, and conversation."
Thank you for this, I will use this link for anyone that needs reaffirmation of what we did.

David said...

Val, I asked Tasha to read your post. She needs to hear this!

Valerie said...

David - your post always give me that spring. Please send Tasha my way. Also David, I am begging you to join DeafVillage - you are so awesome.

Candy said...

Touching post. Thanks for mentions of these songs, I have not heard some of them in eons!

Dyniece said...

This is such a wonderful post - especially since music is such a huge part of my life.

You are so right about self esteem and independence. A lot of people don't realize this.

I'm going to watch the songs you listed - I love YouTube and I frequently find new songs to enjoy there, and by googling up the lyrics, and then adding them to my mp3 player :)

Its wonderful to "read" your happiness!!

Kim said...

I'm so happy for you. Someday I'll have that too. I understood what you meant by feeling dependent on others. This was one of the hardest things to deal with when my hearing started to go. Over the years I've learned to be much more assertive about my hearing needs with strangers. There are times I do get in over my head, but it's better than relying on others to do everything.

elizabeth said...

Wow. This is such a beautiful post. You are right -- it's about so much more than hearing. That's just the beginning of it all! I am so proud to hear that you are going out there and showing the world all that you can do!!! Thank you, also, for supporting Deaf Village! Welcome to the neighborhood!

Cyborg Queen said...

You know, I can't help but think of Rose the Riveter "We Can Do It!"

It is posts like these that are very inspirational to others, especially to those who frequently take their abilities (hearing, sight, or whatever) for granted.

You totally rock!

Abbie said...

Amen to independence! I used to be so independent when it came to making my own choices, my own phone calls and my own ability to feel free to go to the store without anxiety that someone was going to start talking to me. Now all that has been erased and the freedom of choice of flipping back and forth has been giving to me. Thank you for giving a great perspective on them!

Anonymous said...

You're so right about the CI - Confidence is the best thing it can give a person.

Hey - I like that old Seals and Croft song Summer Breeze - i used to listen to it years and years ago :)


Valerie said...

It is funny your talked about Rose the Riveter "We Can Do It!"
She is our teacher mascot. We have shirts with her pic and the we can do it on it.

Remember I spent 20 years without any music. I gave up on music at 18 the sound was terrible. So gaining music back is a big, huge plus.

We have to strive for independences either alerting devices, a dog, hearing aids, or CIs. You can't be independent without a good self-esteem. I gained the esteem and then moved on to being more independent.

Enjoy the day,

Val said...

Very good post Val! I love hearing about these things...the little enjoyments in life that we sometimes take for granted.

Anonymous said...

Hi, that Gene Hackman looked young in one of the music videos you left here. I'm his big fan on any movies he's in.

I started to get into music seriously about 2 or 3 months ago. Especially the ones with videos so I could watch the singer or dancer's movements. Can't pick up words from songs but I'll live.

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