Friday, July 06, 2001

The Whole Story: Part 4, The Delights

The Delights

New delights and unexpected surprises defined the wonder of this adjustment time. These “CI moments” were awesome and created in me a deep sense of gratitude to God for this miraculous technology. Simple things like hearing someone call my name or understanding a private, whispered message brought a smile to my face and heart. I never realized how much more enjoyable television and films could be when you’re able to process more than the visual images and the closed captioned words. “I heard that!” I exclaimed one night when the captioning indicated that the actor had emitted a soft sign. Many outdoor dialogues have a lovely background of chattering birds in the sound track. Watching a biography of the life of John Philip Sousa would have been an educational, engrossing experience in my hearing aid days, but now it was an emotional and moving one as my heart swelled to the sound of his rousing marches, like “The Washington Post” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever”.

I remember feeling triumphant one evening when, as a passenger in the front seat, I realized that I comprehended most of my brother’s words as he chatted from the back seat! Then at a religious convention in March, just 5 months since activation, I sat with a silly smirk on my face after correctly answering the question asked by the woman seated next to me (i.e.,” What was that hymn number?”). Even mundane chores became CI moments, like the time that I had a real shock when my headpiece crackled with static as I emptied the dryer of its “electrifying” contents.

The developers of our residential community sponsored a 4th of July fireworks display that could be viewed from our upstairs bedroom. I positioned myself at the window and prepared to watch with minimal interest, my enthusiasm dampened by the unconscious expectation that I would need to turn off the sound of those painfully loud bangs and just experience the visual display in silence. But, wait… the explosions were loud but not uncomfortable. Were there some pleasant whistle sounds and a swishing noise as the spiraling colors lit up the landscape? I asked Gerry to describe what he was hearing, confirming that my CI was giving me those same sounds. Wow!