Part of the cochlear implant marathon is getting back up after a set back. In my last blog I talked about how during the cochlear implant marathon we may have set backs along the way. My current marathon set back is going through the reimplantation process. After taking some more time to think about this, I have to admit, this is hard. When you are training and making progress, it is HARD to have a set back; both mentally and physically. Physically (hearing), I was relieved at first to know that there was a reason that I was having a setback in my hearing. The migration made sense why the microwave beeping was not as audible as it was in the beginning, it made sense why the turn signal in the van is dimly audible, it made sense that the dog collar is no longer a nuisance. In my mind, I thought that this was the brain’s way of telling me these noises are not “important” to pay attention to when in reality I was gradually losing audibility to hearing the sounds. This translates over to my day to day interactions with people. Conversations were harder to follow and I felt listening fatigue setting in at the end of each day. It was a flashback to my pre cochlear implant days when I felt that sound was blurry and out of focus with my hearing aids. When the set back happens gradually; it is harder to recognize the change. Mentally, reimplantation does not happen often even though there is always a risk, but why me? The mental thought process of going through the surgery again, chance of losing more residual hearing, and acclimating again to sound brings back all of the initial feelings of anxiety.
GRIT: Perseverance to keep going despite new obstacles.
Mindset is everything. As I reflect back on this cochlear implant marathon, I KNOW that I have had a positive experience in this vibrant hearing world with a cochlear implant and I am amazed at all of the sounds that I continue to hear despite this setback. I KNOW that I want to hear to the best of my ability and through grit, I will keep going despite new obstacles that are in my way. Persevering to keep going, I now have my surgery date scheduled for Dec 3 and my post op and reactivation day scheduled for Dec 14, 2021.
Grit is quickly adapting to the circumstances that you are faced with and committed to work hard over time. With this mindset, I am looking forward to quickly adapting to new challenges. Knowing that this setback will propel me forward to better cochlear implant hearing with a new internal and external device while jumping back into the cochlear implant marathon race through continued auditory listening practice and therapy.
With GRIT in mind, I am hopeful that I am right where I need to be. In my own faith journey, I believe that God has me right where I need to be. This setback is one that doesn’t happen to many, but to have a personal and professional (audiologic) experience will give me additional insight, experience, and empathy for whatever path I am on in the future. I am stronger than the challenge that stands before me. Through this journey, I am grateful to share this story with all of you and have hopes that you will grab onto GRIT to keep going despite whatever new obstacles you have in your own life.