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Before my Cochlea Implants (BCI) and After my Cochlea Implants (ACI)

Suzanne Pelletier
Retired Teacher

Hearing loss causes the world to narrow –  teaching, phoning, TV, movies, dining out, and family gatherings become difficult.  I retired from teaching but mourned my hearing loss.  In Florida I joined a group for hearing impaired people.  The meetings were captioned, and I learned that two members had cochlea implants in their infancy. 
When my hearing reached the threshold for having surgery for a cochlea implant, first I had one cochlea implanted, and a year and a half later, I had the second implant. 

The learning curve to hear with two cochlea implants was steep for me. To turn sounds like ducks quacking and drums beating into intelligible speech took daily practice for me.
Gradually I returned to a more normal life.  I began to enjoy family gatherings, dining out, doing volunteer work, and re-joining organizations.  I use a captioned phone and captioning on TV.  I have devices that let me know when the phone or doorbell ring to alert me at night. 
I do not know what my life would be like without having cochlear implants.

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