Angela S. had progressive hearing loss that continued to get worse as she got married and had children. Being a mom with hearing loss proved frustrating, especially after her young daughter refused to learn to sign. This completely broke off their communication and connection, breaking Angela’s heart. Needing a solution, Angela learned about cochlear implants. Read how she regained connection to her family:
“I was born a hearing child. I heard well during the course of my childhood and early teens. By the time I turned 17, I could not help but notice that I was gradually losing my hearing. Before getting married at 20, I knew my hearing was declining enough that my future husband and I had conversations about what would happen if I lost it all.
Five years later, I had my oldest child. I remember hearing my son’s laughter and his first words; I had no idea it would be the last sounds I would hear clearly. When my daughter came along a year later, the rest of my hearing deteriorated so quickly that I missed every one of those first moments of sound with her. I was at a loss…
I am a stay-at-home mom to two children and a pastor’s wife. I emotionally struggled for years with the isolation that profound hearing loss brought me, both at home and with my volunteer work.
When my kids were toddlers, I quickly realized that hearing aids were mostly ineffective in helping me with my profound sensorineural hearing loss. I began teaching the kids basic sign language to communicate better with me. There was only one problem…my then 2-year-old daughter refused to learn. She would only speak a word, something she needed, and I would try to sign, or point, but she would just shake her little head and cry. I cried too. She was so young and could not understand her mother’s hearing loss.
Fortunately, my son, who was 3 at the time, heard his sister crying one day, as I struggled to communicate with her. He waved to get my attention and signed what his sister had asked for, before returning to play. I was elated at my son’s eagerness to help and his ability to understand, but internally, I struggled with the disconnect between my daughter and I.
Opportunities for change
That same year, I attended a Cochlear event in my community to get information on the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 5 Sound Processor. There were many Cochlear recipients in attendance, and I watched the ease in which they could hear the conversations around them. My husband asked one Cochlear recipient a question to her back as he approached her, and to his surprise the person turned around and answered his question easily. I was awe-struck at how the technology was helping them, and I made the decision that day to have the surgery.
My life was forever changed the day I was activated with my first Cochlear Implant. That day, sitting in my audiologist’s office with my husband and my dad, I was overwhelmed by all the new sounds as they spoke to me. I could hear! Every sound was new to me all over again. It would take time to learn each one, but I was finally hearing the sounds I had missed for so many years.
Future full of sound
On the evening of my activation, my husband, my kids and I were riding home in the car, in the dark. For a person with hearing loss, darkness is quiet. You cannot see sign language or hear voices. It is solitude. But, on this drive home, after activation, my husband was asking my son questions. I heard my husband’s question, and to my complete surprise, I heard the sweet and gentle voice of my son responding. I continued to listen as tears just streamed down my face. I could now hear my children.
I am a bilateral Cochlear recipient today and a proud owner of my current Kanso® Sound Processor. I cannot begin to express the change brought to my life due to my Cochlear Implants. My relationship with my husband and my children is now closer than it has ever been. My daughter and I have daily in-depth conversations about her life. Now as a 10 year old, she and I watch cheesy movies together and we laugh often. I can also talk on the phone to my family and friends, join conversations in large groups and enjoy life the way I once only dreamed of.
Cochlear Implants have given me the independence I needed to be a successful wife, mom and pastor’s wife. I can now see my future full of sound.”