When I was born, I did not have good hearing from the start. My right ear especially was weak. I received little hearing aids as a baby and by the time I was three, I got my first implants in that right ear. As time went on, my left ear started failing to the point where hearing aids were not able to help it. I then got implanted in my left ear when I was ten.
My oldest sister is also Deaf and received bilateral (two) cochlear implants. Because of what my parents experienced with Advanced Bionics, they decided to choose the Advanced Bionics product for me. At the time that company was the only cochlear implant company with rechargeable batteries and they worked well for my sister.
Cochlear implants have helped me in my life by fitting in with most hearing people. I ran into people that have CI and we’ve talked about things we are able to do. Fortunately, I received my implants early in life so that I was able to communicate orally as well as signing. I played music on my saxophone for five years. I was a part of a marching band. Since I was able to hear music, play certain tones and pitches while marching to a beat that I was able to hear, I was a part of a group of people able to perform music. After high school, I went to a wildland academy at Antelope Valley College where I earned an Associate degree in Fire and joined a handcrew. Because of my CI, I was able to work in a crew on fires and project works. I’ve gotten an official job offer to work on an engine and I hope this starts a long career for me. Because of the CIs, I am able to listen to people--the ones I love (and the ones I don't since I could take them off haha).
I can hear orders and follow through with them. The CIs helped me get to where I am today because I worked hard and adapted to my environment. Because of the CIs, I got what I think is a awesome job and I cannot wait to start. There could have been different paths that I’ve could’ve gone through whether I was Deaf or not, but I’m quite glad I am on this path. Cochlear implants certainly helped and so did my family.
28 March 2023