I really hate being deaf.
I can't hear well enough with either my hearing aid or my cochlear implant to make much difference. "It'll get better." they say. "Keep working," they say. "Don't give up," they say.
Truth be told -- this cochlear implant is nothing like "they" say.
The constant garble of noise that assaults my senses wears thin on my nerves and my patience. It's like a never ending deluge of distorted sound mixed in an incomprehensible stew of noise -- from the gurgling of the ice maker to the whooshing of my hair when I moved my head. My brain hears everything, yet filters nothing. I am inundated with sound both wanted and undesirable.
It gives me headaches. It makes me tired. I cringe at sounds that are too loud -- barking dogs, doors closing, dishes clanging, sirens wailing, and unmuffled cars. I strain to hear things I want to hear -- the drive-thru speaker, TV, conversation with family, and phone calls from friends. The only relief I get from this noisy world is to take my processor off and plunge myself into muted deafness. Neither is desirable to me. I walk between two worlds -- that of the hearing and that of the deaf. One I desire. The other has ensnared me.
I face my biggest challenges when I'm around those who don't understand that "hearing" with a cochlear implant is a poor substitute for normal hearing. It did not miraculously make me a hearing person again. It did not deliver instantaneous comprehension of speech and conversation. It did not restore my life as a hearing person. It did not fix all that is wrong with my ears. People get frustrated with me repeatedly. And their impatience with me increases my agitation and apprehensiveness with this process even more. It's a continual struggle to make this work. And I get discouraged often. I hate to admit it, but more and more, it's easier to be alone.
I am deaf. I hate that. To my chagrin, not a day goes by that I don't wish I could go back to the way it was before.