One of the sidebar features I have discovered on my journey toward a cochlear implant is support community that is out there. Advanced Bionics ( AB ), the makers of the device I will be getting, provide space for an excellent forum on their web site. There are hundreds of people there from all around the world who either have a cochlear implant ( CI ) or are waiting, as I am, to get one.

I thought I’d check it out and left a short note on the “I’m new here” page about my impending operation. Before long there was a page full of responses from people who were willing to share their experiences and offer encouragement. As in almost every other area of life, talking to “users” is often the best source of useful information. It was very comforting.

I was amazed to find that more than half of those respondents were bilateral recipients of a CI. I have only seen two people with a CI. Both were unilateral recipients. I personally do not know anyone who has one. I follow a blog written by a woman living in New York City who speaks of going out to dinner with three other friends, all of whom had a cochlear implant. Life in the city!

The actual information I have received on the forum has been very helpful for me as I am in the process of making some decisions about some options that are available to me. That’s when talking to someone who has had to make similar choices and who have opinions based on personal experience becomes useful. I’m here to tell you that the personal testimony is alive and well.

One more thing: I found a video of the actual operation and watched it. I’m not sure that was a good idea. But there it is. 🙂

Two weeks now until my operation. I just knew you wanted to know. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned.

For some reason lately I have been thinking about the possibility of being a member of a book club, or reading group. I recently read a blog by Katherine Bouton about belonging to a book club wth significant hearing loss. Like a moth drawn to the flame, I began to wonder if that would be a fun thing to do. It now occurs to me that this would be an excellent problem to take to a therapist.

What is immediately apparent is that I have never belonged to any kind of reading group. Why then now? The best answer I can come up with so far is some kind of chemical imbalance in my brain.

The first thing I did was to go find a list – there is always a list – of reading groups/meet-ups throughout the world and there are thousands. Literally thousands! There is a book club, meet-up, reading group to fit any interest, sexual orientation or personality disorder.

There are groups for women, men, LGBT, black lesbians and so on. There are a lot of meet-ups and groups that posed no restrictions regarding make-up. Should I choose to align with one of these groups I’d prefer more of a diverse rather than a mono-cultural experience. But, I already know what I am going to do. More exactly, I know what I am not going to do.

It was a good idea, but one fraught with built-in difficulties considering my problem with hearing in groups. I know what that’s all about: a longing for the normal experience. I can not help thinking that anyone experiencing any degree of any disability knows this feeling. You keep thinking you can do everything and at the same time knowing you must choose wisely or be constantly disappointed. It’s called being in charge. Not a bad place to be.