A Life Forever Changed

When I was born, I was a healthy baby, nothing was wrong at all. I lived in Texas with my mom and dad, a pretty much perfect family. But fate however, had other plans.
It started with ear infections. Never-ending and painful. It’s a distant memory that I remember in flickers. They put in tubes that I was allergic to. It hurt so bad and I started blowing them out, the left one was the easiest, it came out first. I could not dislodge the right tube no matter how hard I tried. Eventually, other infections joined in and I was raced to the hospital, deathly ill. My mom used to sleep with her hands on my back, afraid I would die in my sleep. The bones in my skull were infected and had it not been for my mom, I most likely would have had them removed. I was in the hospital for almost a year and when I left, no one knew the ugly truth. I was now hearing impaired.
I lived my life, like any normal kid for two years. Secretly, I had learned to adapt, to read lips and body language so well that there were only whispers of suspicion. Mom gave me speech before I got sick so I already knew how to talk.
But, the daycare I was in wanted to place me in a competition. I was ahead of other kids my age and to get in, you had to pass a sight and hearing test. Lo and behold, the hearing test was bombed. The results were too much for my dad to bear, To this day, about 12 years later, I’m not sure if he has accepted it. We went to four doctors who all came back with the same result. I was now hearing impaired and needed h-aids.
Fast forward 12 years. I am now seventeen, my parents divorced, and I have a little brother. I’m in band, I play three instruments. Almost a year ago, another hearing test showed I (progressively lost a ton more hearing over the years) was nearly deaf in the right and had lost in the left ear too. I needed an implant and the right ear was chosen. There were several reasons.
It was not my strong ear.
It was the worst hearing ear.
Testing also showed I had stopped using it.
After months of testing, 6 months ago, I finally underwent surgery and had my right ear implanted. Almost three weeks later, I was activated and received the external processor (I picked Cochlear Processor 5 Nucleus).
I am currently adjusting to life with an implant and got dismissed from therapy. I must relearn to hear and so far, so good. My speech is clearer and those closest to me say I am developing my own southern drawl. I’m learning more ASL and am less dependent on reading lips. I cannot march anymore, but instead, learned that third instrument (marimbas) and play on the sidelines.


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