Friday, January 31, 2014

A New Story

"Every great personal story you have to tell involves overcoming adversity. If you shy away from adversity, you take away your ability to tell new stories." Farrel Droke

Some days are better than others. Today was a better day.

I knew my cochlear implant journey would be fraught with frustration -- an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs. I don't doubt for a minute that getting one was a good decision. Most days, I plod along clinging to the promise that my brain will eventually make sense of it all and I will reach a state of contentment and ease. But today, there were victories large enough for me to notice, though no one else could know.

I can hear my students better. The quiet muttering of answers to questions asked; the tattling words interrupting my reading group; the quiet confession of leaving homework at home... all small victories that tell me I am progressing, slowly, but surely.

My husband turned the TV to mute before he started talking to me. My parents invested in text messaging just for me (the telephone remains elusive right now). People turn to face me before they speak, and they are taking turns instead of talking all at once. These are simple gestures. But they make all the difference in whether I'm able to understand the conversation or not.

It's hard. The learning curve is huge, not just for me, but for those around me, as well. And it's exhausting. But I know I'm making strides. My journey is far from complete.

The bend in the road is not the end of the road -- unless you refuse to take the turn. I have to continue this journey. If I don't, the alternative is being deaf; and I don't want to be deaf.

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