This past weekend was interesting. I went to Deaf Professional Happy Hour on Friday night to meet up with some old friends from school, as well as other people who live here in this area. Saturday was a big pool party that was a combination fundraiser for the traveling deaf softball team and a goodbye party for two deaf girls that were going off to grad school.
The most interesting part of it was that in the group of people that I was talking to, everybody but two had cochlear implants. It’s amazing how many people have been getting implanted, especially within the last 3 years. We were all trading implant stories, and so far, I’m the only one who had a bad time with the surgery/had to have it twice.
I remember the days when meeting a person who had a cochlear implant was something that was somewhat rare and unheard of. In fact, the first time I had a friend with a cochlear implant was my freshman year of college. In 1997, I worked at the oral deaf school that I attended when I was a little girl. I was a counselor for their summer camp program for deaf kids and their siblings. It was amazing, the number of them that were implanted and doing extremely well with their implants, as compared to my generation (at the time) who were still hearing-aided.
The other funny thing was that when I met up with P.J. on Friday night, we found out we had the same doctor, and were comparing notes. He asked me if i was “that girl who had a problem with her implant and had to have surgery twice” and I asked him if he was the “young man who reacted strongly to being activated due to one sound he had never heard before in his life”. The deaf community is way too small, with all of us going to the same doctor, haha.
P.J. was telling me about his post-activation experiences, and all the sounds he was hearing at the bar (that I couldn’t hear/pick out with my new digital hearing aid), and I was very impressed. He also told me a funny post-activation story about when he came home, and he heard this “ding ding ding” coming from around the house, and stopped. It kept coming and going, and driving him crazy. Finally he asked his boyfriend what that noise was, and his boyfriend told him that it was the bell on the cat’s collar. P.J. said that he wanted the bell removed from the cat immediately. It was funny how he told the story.
Found another website that is geared towards wireless accessibility. Sent an email off to Nokia to find out about their phones and the difference between HA+CI compatibility. It’s frustrating because some of the websites, like Motorola, have no information on accessibility, nor can I send them an email without being a Motorola customer.