Long Time Coming

Amish Buggy

Hey guys! It has been quite a bit since I’ve last updated, but rest assured I regularly check both this website and my YouTube video for questions and comments. It is always very uplifting to read the nice comments of support and care! Thank you!

Living as a junior in college now, I’m feeling as if life is really starting to take direction for me and the people around me. It is impossible to believe that it has been over a year and a half, almost two years, since I got my cochlear implant activated. It is crazy to think of how much life has changed; reading old posts on my blog really turn the clock back so far it feels as if somebody else wrote those updates!

Since I’ve posted, I’ve gotten an amazing opportunity to work for Hearts for Hearing as a hearing screener to the Head Start programs in the metro area. This is a great opportunity for me to work in the field I wish to make a career out of, it is going great so far!

I’m thankful everyday for the changes that have occurred in my life. I can’t help but wonder how life would have been should I have not gotten my cochlear implant. I have become so reliant on this amazing technology, it has completely changed me for the better. Even in the mornings, when I have yet to put on the implant, I feel as if I am missing a major part of myself.

That thought of reliance can tend to be scary for some to understand, but once you become so accustomed to something in your life, you cannot imagine life without it. Maybe you can understand if I switch out the cochlear implant technology for something more common like a cell phone, or something even more basic like electricity? Life didn’t always have those technologies, but I’m sure you can admit that life is definitely better since they arrived. I’m sure that will help bridge the understanding.

Of course, you always have people that break the norm and completely disagree with people using the more modern technology. You have the Amish that object to electricity, and really old people objecting to cell phones. Like those technologies, the cochlear implant isn’t immune to controversy. There is sector of deaf people that object to cochlear implants. One of the many reasons for this blog is to help people understand cochlear implants aren’t as evil as they can be made out to be.

Oftentimes people, when they learn of my story, ask how I ever managed before I got my implant. They oftentimes ask how I ever became acclimated and so well adjusted to such technology. They wonder how I manage. People oftentimes ask what things sound like through a cochlear implant. I’ve even had some blonde girl ask if she could put it on….

Yes, I let her try…

For reference, this video is what a cochlear implant sounds like, I think it is at 29 seconds, but look for the one that displays listening through 20 channels.

Many don’t believe me, or they give me an astonished look when they learn of what I experience. Oftentimes people don’t understand why that technology is so “outdated” or “old”.

Everybody admits that this technology isn’t perfect, but for specific degrees of hearing loss it is the best available.

People ask how I manage to hear like that. Honestly, it is all I’ve ever known or remember. The technology isn’t perfect, but it has changed my life and my quality of life for the better.

Learning to use technology like the cochlear implant is a very personal experience, but it requires a vast amount of support from the people around you. My family, my best friend, my girlfriend, and other close people in my life have been a tremendous support structure for me.

I write this blog not to brag or solicit sympathy, but to inform. Before I got my implant, I was completely unaware of the fact that there was a whole range of experiences that my friends with implants were experiencing that I had yet to understand.

This experience opened me to the idea that everybody has personal experiences that aren’t out in the open. My personal belief is that everything in life happens for a reason, and that everything happens as a form of a lesson to build on.

I feel that if I am able to help inform one person about a part of society that they didn’t know about, it was worth it to write this blog. I always strive to not fit into typical stereotypes concerning people born deaf. I have also always tried to change other people’s opinion about others who have implants and hearing aids. I hope this blog did it for somebody out there!

I hope you guys have a great week! Thank you for reading!

-Connor

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4 thoughts on “Long Time Coming

  1. lalasworld says:

    I am so incredibly proud of you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi my name is suzanne I have 2 kids one is hard of hearing the other is deaf severe to profound. I have been searching for advice stories about implants pros amd cons. is it ever too late to be implanted? from your story I think not! you seem to do so well …..I am just wondering if you wish you had an implant sooner in life ? Doctors say earlier the better but I would like my son to make that decision. I will be reading your blog and get inspiration! you seem like a very successful young man congrats to you !

  3. Connor says:

    Hello Suzanne!Okay for the hard of hearing child, I'm assuming that they aren't considering a cochlear implant for them. The deaf child is who they are considering an implant for. A little background: A baby begins to hear as early as 20 weeks in their mothers womb. When the baby is born, it is federally required that they receive a hearing screening to test for basic degrees of hearing loss. It is considered too late if the baby leaves the hospital after birth with a hearing loss and doesn't have hearing aids in. Does that mean the baby can't be successful? Absolutely not, that is just the standard. I didn't get diagnosed with a hearing loss until I was four, I was born deaf. I'm a college student now studying to be an audiologist. The reason that I appear so successful is due to the fact that I had amazing speech language pathologists. I have a specific type of hearing loss that can cause my hearing to shift in dramatic amounts over night. When I turned 18, my hearing got to a point that it didn't ever shift for the better. I got my implant at the age of 18, and it was amazing.You ask if I would have wished to have gotten it earlier, absolutely.The technology was amazing and continues to this day to improve on my life. I am a huge advocate for getting people implanted as soon as possible, believe me it makes a huge difference. You want to have your son make that decision, and I think that that is great. Unfortunately time isn't on your side for that. Commonly people allow their child to make that decision as late as 12 to 18 years old. To me that is too late. By that time, they have missed critical developmental landmarks that help the child to develop successfully. For me, I had to wait until I was out of high school and well into college for me to get the implant. I oftentimes wonder what I missed in high school. I can tell that you care for your child, and I think it is great that you are getting information on the subject before you jump into a decision. From somebody being on both sides of the debate, I would highly recommend getting the child the implant now.I hope that helps, and I wish you the very best. Please keep me posted!-Connor

  4. Junaberry says:

    Hi ConnorI'm not sure how I went from watching youtube videos of baby pandas romping around in a breeding facility to the video of your cochlear implant activation… but regardless, that led me to this blog. Having read almost all of your blog posts (procrastination from studying for uni exams..), I felt the need to comment to say that you're a wonderful person with a lot more inner strength than many people. What's more important is that you're using your strengths to help others as well. All the best,J

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