I've had Hearing Aids ever since I was two years old. I eventually married a Hearing man & had 2 Hearing children. I remained Oral with them & my extended family while still maintaining ASL and Deaf Culture.
Part of my oralism is depending on lipreading and what little hearing I had from my hearing aid combined to understand what's being said.
When I was in my early thirties, I started losing more hearing, to the point where I no longer could hear my name being called across the dinner table. Could I have accepted this if I wasn't so Blind, probably. But because I depended on environmental sounds such as cars coming, my kids screaming for help, etc. to help me "see" a bit better. Yeah it's hard to explain, just go along with it. I decided to go ahead and get a Cochlear Implant.
I had my surgery in May 2004, with "activation" due in June. I had one month of complete silence, which wasn't bad except for periods of annoying tinnitus. Sometimes the tinnitus sounded like a "vacuum running in the next room" annoying, sometimes it sounded like a freight train speeding by inches from my head. The only cure I had for that were lots of naps to silence it.
Activation day finally arrived, I know there's a lot of videos on YouTube of other people's activation and they're full of joy and tears, yada yada. Mine was pretty quiet, "It worked, great!" was all it amounted to. Then the new "hearing" adventures began! At first hearing was all "electronic" noises. Yeah, picture hearing "Momma!" in a computerized Donald Duck voice, very weird. Then it started to mellow out into the sounds I was used to, but still different. To put it simply, Hearing Aids only have a range of 6 - 8 feet & they only amplify things, they do not "correct" or "cure" whatever's damaged in your ears. Cochlear Implants have a much farther range and they bypass the damaged parts. So I was hearing higher pitches for the first time and I could hear what was going on in the next room.
My favorite C.I. story is about my kids and bedtime. Before implant, they were sneaking out of their rooms and playing on the floor in the hallway, til hubby or I came along and caught them. After implant, I heard their doors squeak open from where I was in the living room and I yelled "Git back in bed!". My son came in all shocked, "How did you know!"
Other weird experiences have been:
* Hearing Rice Krispies for the first time. "Geez, I'm 35 and I'm now just hearing Snap, Crackle & Pop talk to me"
* Pop fizzing in a cup after I've poured it.
* Hands rubbing together. Did you KNOW THAT!!?? I was amazed that it makes a sound!
* Bacon cooking in the Microwave. Before it was just a quiet hum of the microwave. But afterwards it was snapping, banging, fizzing. Scared the crap out of me and I ran to my husband, "There's something wrong with the Microwave!" He sniffs and says "You cooking bacon?" "Yes" "That's normal" "Yer kidding".
* Crickets - I finally heard crickets.
Now even though it's been a positive experience for me, I'm not endorsing anything and this was purely my own decision. Everyone's got to think for themselves, gather all the information out there, ask a bunch of questions & pray over it. All I can do is share my experience.
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon