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My 18th “Hearing” Birthday with a Cochlear Implant

A right hand holding a Harmony BTE in silver color

Today is the 18th anniversary of my cochlear implant activation. My friend jokingly told me that my implant is now considered an “adult”. It seems like just yesterday when I was browsing brochures about cochlear implants and not being sure if it’s a right decision for me to get one. It’s impossible to summarize my 18 years experience into one article, so I’m highlighting important parts.

My family first learned about cochlear implants when I was an young child but back then it was not possible for them to have me implanted mostly due to financial reasons. I was born with normal hearing and lost all of it from meningitis when I was 2 years old. Hearing aids were of little use to me, so I learned only to speak (again) and to lipread. Later I learned sign language in a school for deaf that improved my language skills significantly.

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