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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Afet

I CAN HEAR YOOOOOOOOOOUUU.........!

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Hello everyone,

I have some news.

Some of you may know that I became deaf in both ears as a result of the very high doses of antibiotics I was given in order to keep me alive. I lost my hearing at the beginning of June 2003. It was harder to cope with than losing my legs, as communication (especially with doctors and prosthetists, etc., etc.) was out of the question or at best, extremely difficult! I had always been a confident, chatty person, who relied on her communication skills, so it was very hard to accept and deal with my new 'situation' (It was hard enough having the will to live after losing my legs anyway). I felt like a BIG part of me - the essence of what makes me what I am - had died.

The trouble is that when I would dream - and I have many vivid dreams every night - I would dream in sound. That's odd for me, because when I first came home after my amputations, I would dream I had legs, and that everything was how it used to be, but would wake up in tears once I realised that it was just a dream. However, after a while, I would always be as I am in real life now in my dreams (a bilateral amputee), which reassured me that I had finally, subconsciously, accepted what had happened to my legs. BUT, the point is, I could always hear in my dreams!! The first time this happened, I woke up and quickly told my husband to talk to me, as my dream was so real, and thought that maybe I could hear after all....

I can't begin to tell you how upset I was when I realised that it WAS just a dream. :(

Anyway, I was referred to a specialist who does cochlear implantation. To find out what a cochlear implant is, take a look HERE. I was told I was suitable for implantation, but that there was a long waiting list! (I am in the UK after all!)

So, I eventually had my turn at the beginning of September. The surgery went very well. I was told that I would be 'SWITCHED ON' after about 4 weeks...

I actually got 'Switched On' 2 days ago!!!

I was nervously excited leading up to the appointment! I didn't know really what to expect. I had been playing everything down in my mind, for fear of being disappointed due to my expectations being too high. That's why I didn't really mention it on here before. I hate letting people down, and thought that if I talked about it alot, and then it turned out to be completely unsuccessful, I would have felt that I had in some way let everyone down. Mostly though, I would have felt very let down myself.

Anyway, how did it go? - I hear you ask!

IT WENT VERY WELL!!! :D

Obviously, it was very strange, as what I could 'hear' was nothing like normal. Everyone's voice sounded very computerised. Well, I'm not surprised as it is a computer doing the hearing for me now! But I would describe the sound of a person's voice as very highly sped up and high-pitched. I couldn't stop laughing!! The Audio Scientist switching me on said that the usual reaction he sees is for the patient to cry, not be in fits of laughter!! :lol: But, the tears followed the laughter anyway. :rolleyes:

However ridiculous the sound of peoples voices were, I COULD ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS BEING SAID TO ME!!

I waited 16 months for that moment, and it felt fantastic! The Scientist tinkered about on his computer for a while, setting the comfortable volume for me, and then told me he would see me the next day for some more tuning.

Well, when I came home, my husband couldn't believe it. Actually, none of us could believe it! He told me that he was scared to go to sleep because he felt like he was dreaming, and didn't want to wake up!

We ended up staying up talking (and hearing!) till 3am (much like we did when I first met him), knowing I had to be up very early for my next switch on appointment the next day!

Anyway, although my hearing is far from normal (for now - I've been told to give it at least 6 months till it resembles anything like normal hearing - though it will never be the same), I am so glad to tell you that I am back in the hearing world!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

It is such a great feeling to know that I don't have to rely JUST on my lip-reading skills to understand what people are saying anymore. Though I realise I have a looooong way to go!

Anyway, just thought I should share this news with you all.

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Afet that is just FANTASTIC news.

I am sooooooo happy for you. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

The rest of my day today is going to be a complete letdown now cos I've just had the best news of the day and it's only 8.30 am .

The bad news is now your going to hear ther alarm go off every morning :P

How is it on the phone?.....have you tried it?

I bet it was wonderful hearing your husbands voice again.

So happy for you.

Cat

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Afet that's totally *AWESOME GIRL* B) I am sooooo HAPPY for you to be back in the hearing world!!!! It must seem like a miracle, well actually that's what it is and bless your heart, who better to deserve it than you. :D ;) I mean, going through the amputation of both limbs, I'd say that was far more than enough to deal with, let alone losing your hearing. Perhaps as time goes on they'll be able to work out the kinks and you'll be hearing as close to normal as others, how WONDERFUL and EXCITED you and your husband must feel and thank you for sharing with us. :D :rolleyes:

Circus_008.gif

Sheila lbk

Maine USA

Keep Smiling :)

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Congratulations Afet, you are now able to live your dreams :) May this be just the beginning of many fabulous happenings in your life.

Animation_Flower_Heart.gif

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Afet,

HORRAY for you... I know you must be so excited to be hearing again. Keep us posted on your hearing progess!

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Afet,

I am thrilled to hear your news!!!! And after waiting so long to get the implants, I know it probably seemed like a dream when you got them.

This is such a blessing to me because I will be thankful for my hearing now. We take for granted a lot of things.

My little 15 year old niece is deaf but she was born that way and that is her "nomal".

Again, I am so happy for you!

LaDawn

lbk 07-15-04

Texas, USA

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WWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

HHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO gurl , waaaayyyyyyyyyyyy awsome news and what a feling this must be for you . Yoiu sound as you wereere borned again . :D :D :D

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Dear Afet,

Thank you for sharing on the forum,

this wonderful good news of yours.

You have made us all very happy for you,

hearing about your dreams come true.

You are very deserving of this joy,

because of all that you have been through,

along with all of the goodness for us that you always do.

Congratulations, and much love :rolleyes:

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Well Afet, among a lot of sad stories on this Forum yours is a precious pearl of happiness and wunderful to read!!!

So good for you to have regained your communication abilyties, I can imagine that -as you say- the lost of hearing is more drastic than losing a leg.

It's great you told your story so beautifully on this Forum so we can all read (again) how important it is to stay positive and to keep on fighting for our happyness and improvement of the limitations in our life!

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Wonderful news !!!! this is fantastic , my father is deaf and I know how hard it can be .

Afet if you get a chance to read my latest post on "make Josh's day" you will see how we have only just found the card you sent Josh ????? Sorry !!!

Debbie

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Great news , Afet ! The time finally came....Well worth the long wait!

We don't realize just how precious and vulnerable our senses are until we lose them.

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Hi Afet

What wonderful news, I'm so pleased for you! Let us know how the 'fine tuning' goes.

Best wishes

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Thank you all for your responses! I am truly touched. (Just read all your responses to my Mum and we're both in tears!)

Yes, it is fantastic to be hearing again, even if a little. :D My favourite sound so far is hearing my dog walking on our laminate flooring at home! It's sooo cute!

I feel much more confident now. I was at my Limb centre today and for the first time ever, I had a CONVERSATION with another amputee, without having to ask my Mum to intervene and help me understand! I even recommended this Forum! I feel much more like my old self now.

MJ, you're right, it really does feel like I have been born again! :rolleyes:

I only had one implant (in my left ear) as they cost so much - around £40,000 per implant! It was done on the NHS. It is more cost-effective for them to implant 10 people with one implant, than it is to implant 5 people with two, which completely makes sense. Who knows...maybe one day I might be able to afford another implant for my right ear myself anyway?!!!

Cat, you asked how it is speaking on the phone...? Well, I tried a couple of times and could just about manage to make out what words were being said, though I don't think I could hold a conversation....yet! Give it time though, I'll soon sort that out!! :P

Co, you are very right. I say never give up. I have always tried to remain positive throughout everything that has happened to me - sometimes harder than it sounds - but I saw that as the only option for me. I never wanted to become something or someone that I wasn't. As amputees, we should never give up fighting for our happiness or comfort. Nor should we just accept what we're told our limitations are. We have already survived (and fought) this far, why should we give up now??

LaDawn and Kaz, you two made a very good point. We, as amputees, have learnt not to take things for granted the hard way anyway. Hearing is a gift, and it's good to remember that.

Sheila, yes, it was nothing short of a miracle, and I thank the doctors/scientists/teams that made this happen. But, ultimately, I thank GOD for taking care of me.

THANKS AGAIN EVERYBODY! :D

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Hi Afet

WOW !!!!!!! as I write this mail I am afraid the tears are just streaming down. What wonderful news you have made my day and weekend to come.

I was also on Vancomycin and was warned by my Drs that I could lose my hearing. Everyday blood was taken to keep a close watch on the levels. One of my friends was in a bad car accident and he to lost his hearing because of Vancomycin.

Please have a great hearing weekend,

Cheerio

Jenny South Africa

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Kaz writeded : " ... We don't realize just how precious and vulnerable our senses are until we lose them. ... "

Kaz , i ahev to tell you that you are one waaay sm,art cookie . you know , we think we have tones of friends and stuffs all the tiem but when things are bad and getting baddededer , the friendss we thinked we had seem to run away soo fast as to think that they may catch some waaaay hirribel thing from us . Then when we have a victory , we share iot with others and learn who are ourt totaly trye friends becaus those are the ones that satry with us forvever ... in othe3r words , tyhey are true friends .

So AFET , im otyher words , you had a battle but in the end , you WON it because you found TRUE friends so , you lost nothing really . I too am waaaay crying to read this waaaay joyfull day for you because , well , it is GREAT news .

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Hey Afet, way to go girl.

I am really pleased for you, it must seem like a miracle to you after all this time without hearing.

You mention the cuteness of hearing your dog walking on the laminate floor, i remember many a time moaning about my dog when she constantly followed me around my house, the little tippy tappy noise of her claws on the flooring. She died about 8 months ago and i realised when i read your post just how much i miss that noise now.

I am so pleased things are looking so good for you, you deserve it. :)

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Congratulations, Afet. It is wonderful that they were able to return your hearing to something you can be satisfied with. All of us have had to deal with loss, but to have lost so much would have been tragic. You know we're all pleased as punch for you.

phillycarole

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Afet,

I am so happy for you!! It is great to hear good news like that and I thank you for sharing it with us. As others have said, you have totally made my day. Have a fantastic time listening to everything.

Caroln

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Hi Afet,

I'm so thrilled for you. All that you have been through, makes us thankful for what we have. We take so much for granted - especially our senses, and I don't know how you coped with the loss of your hearing as well as everything else.

GO GIRL!!! :D :D

Sue - Cardiff - UK

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Thanks again to EVERYBODY that has replied.

Also, for those of you who are interested, I have found another link which explains more about what a cochlear implant is. Plus, there's the facility to click and actually hear what it sounds like to hear with an implant for yourselves!

Hear what it's like to hear with a cochlear implant.

Mind you though, I can't tell you if it really does sound like that, as obviously, it sounds the same to me! :lol:

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I had a listen Afet and it sounds funny like you said.

Can understand why you cracked up laughing.

Cat

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