My Cochlear Implant journey
My name is Davis and I am 30 years old. At the age of 1, I was diagnosed with spinal bacterial meningitis. My brain had become swollen and the doctors did not know if I was going to survive.
The doctors told my parents that if I was fortunate enough to live, I would most likely have several disabilities. I was expected to be blind, deaf and to also have a mental disability. My parents were promised that in the best case scenario, I would not be able to pass the educational level of 3rd grade.
Fortunately, I did not die. I was able to make a recovery and come back home. But there was a great amount of uncertainty regarding my future. There were signs that my vision was still good, but it was obvious that I had lost my hearing. After doing many tests, my parents discovered that I had lost more than 50% of my hearing in my right ear and over 90% in my left ear.
Growing up, I used a hearing aid in my right ear to hear. My parents enrolled me in speech therapy and I struggled to speak clearly my entire childhood. Because of my unique hearing loss, there are many sounds that I cannot hear with my right ear. For example, I cannot hear the letters B,C,D,E,G,T,P,Z,S and F. I was trained to pronounce sounds that I could not hear. As I grew up, I did well in school and showed no signs of a learning disability.
Then my parents heard about the cochlear implant and the success stories. They asked if I would be a candidate to receive one. My left ear had almost no hearing and it seemed that a cochlear implant would be the solution to revive it.
Unfortunately, I was not a candidate at the time. In order to be a candidate for a cochlear implant, you must have no hearing in either ears. But things changed over time in the medical field and I eventually became a candidate.
At the age of 14, I received my cochlear implant and I was able to use my left ear for the first time. I was able to hear all the sounds that my right ear could not. My speech significantly improved because I could properly hear myself for the first time.
I have worked several different jobs during my career and my cochlear implant has helped me significantly. I use my CI not only to hear speech, but also to listen to mechanical sounds. In the past, I worked as a diesel mechanic and my CI has helped me to diagnose problems in equipment.
Today, I am a photographer, videographer, and editor. My cochlear implant has helped me in many ways and I rely upon it heavily.