FOR THE FIRST HALF OF MY LIFE SINGING WAS AN IMPORTANT PART OF MY LIFE . Then came hearing loss. Even then with hearing aids I was able for many years to hear and enjoy music. Then one day the guy who was doing some roofing on the house had his truck backed up to a window near my desk and had his radio playing. It sounded awful. I went over to close the window and paused for a moment and realized I knew what the song was by listening to the drum beat rhythm. I couldn’t hear any melody, and the words were unintelligible. It was CCR knocking out Proud Mary. I was shocked that I could not hear the song.

It has taken me years to make peace with loosing music in general and singing in particular. Well, peace may be the wrong word – truce or cease fire may be better. It was about then that I realized that disability might be a good word to add to my growing vocabulary.

When I am alone I do sing sometimes. With the hearing aid and the cochlear implant both up and running I hear some useful tone differential but not much in tone quality. With the CI alone it is harder but I have the sense that it helps in a rehabilitation kind of way – the kind of exercise I am supposed to do to train the brain to hear what the sound processor sends to it.

Not long ago I realized that there was another benefit from making the effort to sing. That is that doing something aurally and familiar that I used to do all the time is good for the soul, or if you rather, that deep part of the being where hope lives and joy sometimes comes for a visit.

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