Sunday, June 14, 2009

CI Activation: Adult (My First:))

I've told everyone about Michele and his mom in previous posts. All I can say is that after Jordan's tragic activation (screaming and rejection)and another little girl's lack of reaction, living this experience with Michele and his mom was one of the most emotional experiences of my life

My name is Michele, I'm 28 years old and I live in Florence, Italy. I was born deaf, fitted with hearing aids at age of 11 months, reeducated with oral method (no sign language!) and mainstreamed from tender age in public schools, with no support teachers due to my parents' choice first, then mine one: I relied exclusively on teachers' good sense, they supported me teaching lessons with their faces turned towards the classroom, so I could read their lips with no problems. Moreover, my classmates often helped me giving me their notes, they did it with pleasure (in fact my limit was that I was not able to follow lessons and take notes at the same time, I don't have independent and mobile eyes like chameleons heh...).

I don't deny that I had uneducated and rude teachers, too, but those obstacles make me more obstinate relying on my own capacities than ever, sometimes I had to take private lessons in order to not give them any satisfaction at all. At the end, I had my own back, succeeding in achieving good grades, admitting in a closed-number University and finding a good job that fits on my skills.

Two years ago, on September 2007, I had a drastic fall of my deafness, after a trip in Germany: from one day to another I lose my capacities to "hear my own noises", that sounds' landscape I hardly had to build through my hearing aids. Initially I thought about a hearing aids' failure, then when I came back in Italy I understood that the problem was ME and not them. My deafness, that until that moment I considered at a locked point, was showing me that it wasn't so, that it could be even more cruel than it has ever been...

So I started to look for a alternative new hearing aid, more powerful and modern, a path lasted two years where I tried every model, every available option, every brand, until I understood that sound amplification would have been no more useful for my deafness level. Then I realized that my last option was Cochlear Implant.
Eight years ago, in 2001, I had my first medical conversation about CI evaluation, and I scared away from that hospital... "Let them drill my skull to put that stuff into my head? NO WAY!!!".

It's funny to observe how that, eight years later, I braved this new challenge with a total different state of mind, more serene, more conscious about my needs, well-aware. Maybe it was necessary to let all that time flow away, so that I came to this decision with the greatest serenity possible.

So this is my own advice to all those are evaluating CI option: take all your time to gain informations, breathe, explore yourselves, make you conscious about the big step you're taking, act with serenity and don't let others influence you: whatever will be your decision, point your needs at the core of your attention.


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