Sound Advice Adult Stories
Updated stories- 2016
These stories have been taken from our closed Adults Facebook group and the individuals have kindly agreed to share their experiences to provide support and information to others in similar situations- we hope you find this useful.
For more information on our wide range of Adult services please contact Sarah Jayne Allen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0115) 9421 985
Hi I'm Abigail Greenwood. I was born deaf with a severe hearing loss due to rubella and grew up wearing hearing aids in both years. My hearing deteriorated gradually over the years and then had a further decline following a virus and bad time with tinnitus in 2008. As a result of doctors telling me hearing aids were no longer of benefit to me and would I consider having a cochlear implant I went ahead with it. I was implanted in September 2008 and switched on October 2008. It was the best decision I had made in my life and it certainly helped me deal with the fresh challenges that came my way. I have been a volunteer at the Ear Foundation for a number of years and am regularly seen on the refreshment stall at the annual BBQ and doing a few speeches at events. The Ear Foundation has opened up a new world and new friends for me and I feel really blessed by it all.
Hi everyone, Stella Thorley here. I had full hearing all my life until I became very ill in August 2011 and was in a coma for 5 weeks in intensive care unit. When I woke up I was severely deafened which later progressed to profound deafness. I used hearing aids successfully for 3yrs but in 2014 I started to really struggle at which point I started thinking about having a cochlear implant. My BSL teacher told me lots about her CI and told me about the ear foundation bbq which I went to and met some lovely people who advised me to go of a Facebook group for advanced bionics (which was the implant I had hoped to receive) where I met lots of others. I had my CI surgery on Friday 13th Feb 2015 and from my switch on it changed my world and has helped me so much to enjoy a hearing world again! I'd like to say a massive thank you to ear foundation for having events where we can meet each other.
Hi I'm Nick Tedd - I've been attending events for a couple of years now. As a result of this & mixing with others I am now much more confident regarding my hearing loss when asking for support, getting my needs met or challenging perceptions- while I still struggle I am growing much happier with myself.
Hi my name is Abi, I am 20yrs old and I am going to tell you about my experiences with my cochlear implant.
I was born hearing, at the age of 10mths I had meningitis, I didn't lose all of my hearing, so I had to start wearing hearing aids on both ears. When I had hearing aids, it didn't help that much, especially in primary school. I didn't have much help in lessons and my education was poor. When I moved house, I started to get some support in year 4/5, and then when I was 8/9 years old I lost the rest of my hearing. Once I lost the rest of my hearing we were told about cochlear implants.
When we heard about cochlear implants, my mum and I began our research and attended the Ropewalk in Nottingham for more info and how it worked, what equipment and many more questions we wanted to ask. We were happy with it and could see the benefits it would bring, I decided to go with it. I had my operation in April 2004 and switched on a few days before my 10th birthday. When I was switched on, it made me jump because a loud beeping noise came through. I'm glad that I went for it because I can hear a lot better now. When we left Ropewalk, I heard some sounds that I never heard before and it was birds singing, and that was my best moment. After having my first cochlear implant it was hard, scary, with a lot of loud noises, but after a while these noises have become sounds which adapt to every day noises. One thing I love about it, is that I can switch off my implant and ignore my mum asking me to do jobs and my brother shouting whenever I want :-)
As the years go by with my cochlear implant, I went to a youth club that was held on Tuesdays nights for Deaf children and young people, I met deaf people that I hadn't met before and became great friends. I noticed that they were signing and I hadn't got a clue how to communicate. That was when I was talking to one of them and they were signing back to the other person to translate from oral to sign and back again.
I started to learn sign language in secondary school with a unit for the deaf and having extra support in lessons.
When I was in secondary school, my hearing, my speech and my education improved because of my implant and with the correct support. When I was 14 years old I heard about having bilateral implants, so again my mum and I attend the brief meeting on how that was going to work, so I went for it.
When I left secondary school, My G.C.S.Es were brilliant, I have gained 5 Cs and 1D and I was so pleased. I went to college to studied child care and completed level 2 and 3, while I was in college I had the same support as in secondary school which helped me a lot.
When I was doing my level 2, I learnt how to drive and passed both my theory and driving test first time. Theory was hard because the English was so complicated and I had an interpreter with me, which helped.
When I was in level 3, I remembered that I hadn't heard anything about my bilateral implants, so I had my mum ring up about it because they only offered it up to the age of 19, and I was 18 at the time!
When the cochlear implant centre rang back they bumped me up the list as because of my age, we went to the hospital to have tests to make sure I could have another cochlear implant because I had meningitis, my hairs inside the cochlea were damaged and they needed to see if the wire could go through and we had been told it was a 50/50 chance, but we went for it anyway! I had the operation in November 2011, when I woke up after the operation, I was told the good news, the wire had gone in all the way, so I was pleased with it. A few weeks after the operation, I was tuned in, it sounded weird without my left implant because my right ear wasn't active over the years.
As I got used to it, the sound was clear with my other implant which made it a lot better.
I had a job after I was 18 years old, I used to work at Blockbusters and I really enjoyed it, the staff where great, we had great laugh and my signing skill were very handy because we had a few Deaf customers come into the store and we just signed and signed. Sadly I lost my job because it went into administration and become unemployed, so I looked for another jobs and woth no success. I became a volunteer at The Ear Foundation at Dukes Barn trips, Crèches, and the Teens activities, I love going because I really enjoy taking part, and became a role model for the Teens, someone they can look up to. Whilst I volunteer I was still looking for jobs and last year in November to December I had a temporary job at Mark and Spencer's. After working at Mark and Spencer's, I was still searching for other jobs and I am now working at New Look and I'm loving it, the staff are amazing and I am really enjoying it.
"After a long and rocky road (I wont bore you with incidentals but to me were horrendous) I was offered a cochlaer implant but refused it as I had a lot off health problems Eventually my hearing deteriated so much I was declared profoundly deaf hearing aids no longer were doing anything for me.
I had to rethink my situation and it was then I was offered a cochlear implant to which I gave serious considoration and accepted.
I had my operation at Bradford Hospital on February 25th and the after effects were minimul
I had to wait the statuary four weeks before I could have the implant switched on four weeks off silence and lip reading and also the passing off notes. A time off reflection off what was to come.
Then at last came the day when the implant was switched on , what an emotional time it was.
I could hear the audiologist voice loud and clear not the eloctronic voice i was told to expect But her voice my husbands voice my son in laws voice all loud and clear (tears all round).
Now the work begins!
I am now hearing and identifying noises which i have not heard for years ie the microwave, the kettle. running water in fact most kitchen noises but the best noise is once again to hear the birds singing.
As I have mentioned earlier the work continues and every day brings new noises and sounds I can identify.
By far the best I can now communicate and hear what other people are saying and can converse.
"My name is Elizabeth Fisher and I have been wearing hearing aids since 2002. Over the years I have gone from moderately deaf to profoundly deaf.
I have known The Ear Foundation for over a year, and they have been of great help to me with the services they provide. One being recommended Phonak Nathos SP hearing aids, which I have been wearing over a month now, after being fitted at Ropewalk Audiology. Since having these hearing aids, it has opened the world to new sounds I have not heard for a long time, as well as improving one to one conversations.
Attending Sound Advice Adult Days has helped me with learning more, and meeting other people like myself. It’s given me more confidence and my independence back."
"After the recommendations from N.I.C.E. that adults with sight impairment could have bi-lateral cochlear implants I was lucky enough in January 2010 to be offered my second implant, which has changed my life completely. Being blind I was restricted with only one implant. I had no concept of where sound was coming from and although it was a revelation to here again I didn’t realise how poor the quality of sound was until the switch on of my second implant.
I can’t deny that it was very difficult to begin with and I did have reservations as to whether I had done the right thing because I went back to ‘square one’ with tap water sounding like knives and forks coming out and people having robotic voices again but I was determined to persevere as I had with my first and that perseverance has paid off. With only one implant I could get by and I was lucky in that I could use the telephone well but I was unable to listen to television or identify accents and hadn’t listened to music for years.
I had no concept of which way traffic was coming or from which direction a dog was barking or birds singing etc and group situations were impossible but now all these things have 100% improved. In particular I have rediscovered music and thoroughly enjoy listening to all the old 60s and 70s tracks that I remember and can even enjoy a night out at the theatre with my wife at a Musical. Hearing Dream Boats and Petticoats at The Royal Concert Hall was great and I am looking forward to South Pacific in June. I enjoy Talking Books and have joined a monthly Audio Book Group at our local library. My life is full thanks to my bi-lateral implants. I play bowls with friends, I swim and co-ordinate an Allotment Project for Dual Sensory Impaired people like myself as well as being a member of three poetry groups. I feel lucky and I am eternally grateful to the whole team involved with providing such a wonderful caring service. I can’t thank them enough for giving me back my life."