Something Lost, Something Gained

My Cochlear Implant
Dear Readers,
Last November, I had a cochlear implant. 
I have had a hearing loss for most of my life, but over the last 10 years it declined very quickly.
I still use a hearing aid in my other ear, although it doesn't help much.

The implant helps me hear speech better, but it does not allow me to enjoy music.
This is nothing that can be learned.
It's how the implant works.
I used to play piano, sing, and play guitar.
I loved singing and playing with my students.
My ear before the implant had enough tones to hear melodies.

Now, I can't.
The implant doesn't let me understand melodies.
This has been the hardest thing for me to accept, and I can still cry about it if I think about it too much.
I know I should be glad I can hear speech better, and I am.
But music was a part of my soul.

I am linking a site to you here, that lets you hear what I hear when there is music.
My husband finally understood what I was feeling after listening to this.

I find myself going through the stages of grieving. 
I go back and forth between sadness and acceptance.

At first, when I stopped drinking, it felt like a loss. 
It still can when I'm in my low moods.
But the difference is, I am finding something else.
By not drinking I am finding a more active, happy life.

All through our lives we have to deal with losses; loved ones die, children leave home, pets die, we lose a physical ability, divorce, and so much more.
I am telling myself, there is no time table on grieving.
I don't have to be "happy" about my loss of not being able to hear music.
I can be happy for my speech, and sad about music.

I am not writing this because I feel particularity down today.
I am writing this to just explain a little bit more about me.
Retiring, stopping drinking, and my implant operation have been three big changes for me in the past year. 
When I put them together, I must give myself a little "You are doing okay, kid!"

With Hope on Day 330


  1. Dear Wendy,
    That is a big loss indeed. I listened to the example on the website. :-( It is very helpful to hear that because one can not imagine how it would be. Thank you for sharing. It is a big year. And you are doing very much ok Wendy. :-)
    Hugs, Feeling

    1. Hi Feeling!
      Thank you!
      It's very hard to explain, that's for sure!

  2. Wow. I play guitar too, and have a bit of hearing loss myself, and I never thought about having to hear it like that. Based on the sounds, I wonder if bass or drums would still be do-able. Not trying to make light of it, but thinking about what instruments might still be able to bring light to your musical soul.


    1. Dear SC,
      Funny you should say that!
      I was thinking the same thing.
      I was thinking I could try some drum lessons.

  3. You are doing awesome, kid.
    Yes, you can grieve something and be grateful for it at the same time.
    Hearing speech must be very helpful. But it has come at a big cost.
    I have to say, I love silence. I'm not a music per own, but I think I would be sad to think it was unavailable to me.


    1. Hi Anne,
      It has been a struggle to be sure.
      Thank you!

  4. You are definitely doing okay, kid :-) Thank you for explaining the issue you're having with music, that is something that not many people are aware of, I'm sure. Our bodies are so complicated, adding addiction or dependence to the mix certainly doesn't help does it? You are a very brave lady, thank you for sharing...xx

    1. Thank you, Lori.
      It's very complicated to explain to people!

  5. Dear Wendy,
    It is sad to have a sense of what hearing loss sounds like. I was so surprised to listen to the two recordings, and yes, I cried a little bit for you. But I'm glad you're doing so well, embracing life and enjoying it fully despite the loss. Sending you a big hug. I hope you get out kayaking again! And lots more fun stuff, too!

    1. Kayaking and dancing!
      I told my hubby that's what I want to do for my birthday, this week!

  6. oh dear, please dont read my Post i wrote last night (about music!)
    you are beautiful on the inside and out. you are doing more than ok - kid

    1. Not to worry, Lisa!
      I can appreciate how much music helps us in so many ways!

  7. Hi Wendy,
    Hearing is something we take for granted. Thank you for sharing your world with us. I can't imagine what it must be like, but listening to those examples makes me realise that I have much to be thankful for.
    You are very brave and are doing so well. Congrats on day 330.
    A x

  8. This is fascinating. I had no idea that was what it us like to hear through a cochlear implant. My ignorance was such that I thought once it was implanted, you could hear exactly what the hearing population hears...including music. I'm so sorry this isn't the case. I'm glad you are able to hear speech better but I'm sad it was at the cost of music.

    I was talking to my son the other day (he has low vision brought on by optic nerve hypoplasia) and he was explaining to me that he doesn't see eyes. He has no idea what color eyes anyone has. He also doesn't do facial expressions well which has caused him some social awkwardness over the years but it was the thought that he's never seen my eyes that broke my heart.

    Then, like you, I remembered that at least he has SOME sight and I am grateful for that.

    Thank you for sharing a part of your world with us Wendy.


    1. Sherry,
      Being grateful is the most important thing I can do to help myself.
      Now, I will always have hearing even if I reach 100!
      Thank you for telling me about your son.

  9. That sucks.I couldn't imagine either without that audio. I'm able to understand your grief much better. Can't wait to see you again! We will definately pick a quieter location next time. And do yoga or kayaking - or both! Lori

  10. Thank you for the link. I know we've talked about hearing loss. My tinnitus has been bearable and even better than that, I've been back playing acoustic and electric guitars with no issues recently. I could hug the world for that.

    Like you I've lost parents, friends, drinking but to lose music... that would be the most painful for me for sure. I do worry that my condition has been over years getting worse whenever I have an episode and that even with the latest medication that deterioration will continue. I should just make the most of now as ever that is the real answer to me in your story. I can enjoy music for the moment so I should

    1. I wish I had known how profound this was going to be for me.
      I can sing by myself, I just don't know if I am in tune.
      Enjoy your music, Graham!!
      And thank you!

  11. Great post. You are a strong survivor for sure.

  12. This is fascinating! It's cassieglows, beeteedubs.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts