Have you ever hosted or attended a 1-year old’s birthday party? This little one will not remember a thing about the birthday party but will have many extravagant pictures to remember eating the smash cake while surrounded by family and friends singing Happy Birthday!!
Birthdays are a special time and should be celebrated! I clearly do not remember my 1-year old birthday party. So why not celebrate a birthday to remember…my 1-year Cochlear Implant Birthday!! #hearingspanglish
It does not matter how old or young you are, BIRTHDAYS are a reason to celebrate. On my CI birthday, I have 6 reasons why my CI Birthday is a Celebration!!
- THANKS: Expression of Thanks!! I am so thankful for the outreach of support that I have received over the past year (and more). The CI journey cannot be done alone, and it truly takes a village. My family, friends, AuD squad and work, AuD peeps with CI’s, CI surgeon, audiologist, and AVT therapist are all to be thanked for being a part of village.
- BEGINNINGS: Birthdays are the beginning of a new year of life. My activation date of Dec 4, 2019 was my new CI hearing beginning. CS Lewis quoted “There are far better things ahead than what we leave behind”. What a positive reflection about new beginnings!!
- REFLECT: Birthdays are a time to reflect on the year. I am so grateful to have taken Brene Brown’s vulnerability quote to heart. “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; It’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage”. By being vulnerable, I wanted to show up, with no control of my “what if’s”, in the hope that it will help others. #hearingspanglish, this blog, was my vulnerable, courageous risk. Taking the time to reflect, I am thankful for the 28 posts that I took the time to write. Just reading post titles triggers memories and is a reason to celebrate!
- RENEW: My own faith journey strengthened through this process. For those who follow God, this bible verse was a stronghold for me. Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Professionally as an audiologist, I have witnessed firsthand the amazing outcomes of cochlear implant technology for children and adults. When the table was turned, and I became the patient; I relied on faith through my doubts. I had to learn to trust the process as a patient. Thinking about my activation day on Dec 4, 2019 and hearing only beeps, chirps, and whistles; doubt could have taken over. I remember thinking “there is no possible way that my brain will be able to make sense of this”. Trusting the process, I am renewed to know that the right support and people have been places in my CI journey to continue to get me to the next milestone. On this CI birthday, I am renewed and grateful to put on my CI to hear not just beeps and chirps but understand all of you!
- CELEBRATE with those you love! Even though it is a pandemic, and I cannot host a “Hear, Hear, Happy Birthday Carrie’s Ear” party, I want to celebrate the bonding experience over the past year. Birthdays are a joyous occasion to bond and celebrate. #hearingspanglish has given me the opportunity to meet many new families and adults who are beginning the CI experience. It has allowed me to connect with professionals who are in the field but do not have the firsthand experience of living with a bionic ear. It has given me opportunities to present virtually to several AuD programs throughout the US, hopefully instilling a personal and professional point of view of the CI journey. Everyone’s life journey is their own, but we cannot do life alone. Thanks to ALL of you for celebrating my CI Birthday with me virtually.
- WISHES! As I look ahead (and eat my delicious Hear Hear Birthday cookies), I am looking forward to new opportunities in the year ahead. I wish to share my journey with families and adults who may be starting this journey. I am excited to have started my podcast journey (check out empowEAR Audiology on Apple/Spotify/Google) and wish to continue writing #hearingspanglish. My hope is for those who are on the professional side can experience the emotional side of the CI journey. I have the wish to continue to advance my listening skills even more with my one-year bionic ear and the little voice that started #hearingspanglish has been whispering about my right ear becoming Bionic… it is still a whisper right now.
Whenever your birthday is this upcoming year, take the time to CELEBRATE YOU!! Write down what you are thankful for, start new beginnings in your new year, reflect on the year but do not dwell, renew yourself, celebrate with cake and cookies, and make birthday wishes!
Happy Birthday to my family and friends!