Born in 1975, my parents were not aware that I was severe to profoundly hard-of-hearing until I was approximately 18 months old. Upon learning this, they immediately acquired hearing-aids for me and set about teaching me sign-language, which was actually my first language.
When I was five years old, I attended kindergarten and first grade at an oral school for the deaf in Berrien Springs, Michigan. My classmates and I were not allowed to use sign-language and instead had to speak. After three years at Berrien Springs, my parents decided to mainstream me in a parochial school. I started the second grade at Queen of All Saints in Michigan City, IN. From there I attended a mainstream high-school and I graduated from a Big 10 university.
In order to navigate conversations with a severe hearing-loss, I’ve always relied on lip-reading to communicate and I’ve always been oral. Although I’ve been quite successful thus far relying on lip-reading, I’ll openly admit that it’s had its challenges and can be extremely exhausting and limiting. Not to mention, my hearing -already minimal, will never naturally improve.
Five months ago, I began to explore the idea of getting a cochlear implant. On September 26, 2013, I underwent surgery to receive the implant and this blog is to record the process as well as my upcoming adventures with sound as I discover a new world.