Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cochlear Implant Regrets

This past week, I was interviewed for a Massachusetts newspaper.  The reporter is the relative of a reader of my blog (Thank you, reader.)   Through email exchanges with the writer, I learned she had a great amount of technical information for her upcoming article on cochlear implants.  What she lacked, she claimed, was an emotional perspective. 

Well then... I'm your girl.

Being interviewed is exciting.  It's thrilling someone out there finds my story to be news-worthy, and empowering that my insight might reach someone looking to identify with an experience like my own.

But it also worries me.

I feel a great deal of responsibility when speaking about cochlear implants.  My journey does not seem to be a typical one, and I'm wary of becoming a CI spokesperson.   I worry my comments will evoke skepticism, avoidance or fear in someone who could really triumph with a cochlear implant.  I also don't want to be labeled the Judas of the CI world by somehow implying, despite others' tales of life-changing miracles, that the surgery isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Still, I'm committed to the truth, and this happens to be mine.

So it's a heavy task... sharing this experience. 

The reporter asked a lot of questions.  The answers should have come easily considering I was sharing the story of ME.  Still, I spent hours pondering, searching my soul for responses that reflected my whole-hearted truth. 

Perhaps I took the most time when she asked if I ever regret the surgery.  I read that question over and over again, sighing each time, wondering what would merit the most honest response. 

Almost a year into my experience, it's true I'm nowhere near satisfied with the quality of hearing I currently have.  I could be angry, I could feel cheated, and for sure, sometimes I do.  But there's a bigger reason why I DON'T regret my decision.

This isn't JUST about hearing.

I've learned this journey is also about connecting, about sharing, about honesty.  I've craved these in my life for more than two decades, and without the CI- as frustrating as it can be- I just know I wouldn't have shared my true self.  Nor would I have met so many wonderful people, or started this blog, or be interviewed for a Massachusetts newspaper (I'll share the article once its out, by the way.  Stay tuned.).

So no.  There's no regret.  Besides, I have a whole lot of journey left in front of me.