After getting the Cochlear™ Kanso® Sound Processor, Paola has excelled in her sales career, her fitness work and personally with family and friends. See why she is grateful for having made the decision to get a cochlear implant:

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“Living with my hearing implant has become second nature. Most days, I forget I even have it on and recently, I have started to enjoy music again. In the past, music was uncomfortable and somewhat distorted. I have noticed that in the past few months when I have my sound processor on and I’m in the car, I am able to enjoy it through the speakers.

Adapting to the hearing implant and excelling in work

Paola, working out, after adapting to her hearing implantI feel that I have succeeded in a big way because I work in sales and I would not be able to have a job in sales today if it were not for my cochlear implant. Being a sales representative for biotechnology is a very challenging job. And of course, 2020 was extremely challenging for all of us but for people like me (hearing impaired), everything was much harder.

I have been forced to embrace virtual technology/communication. Conference calls are the main way we have been communicating now for over a year. In the beginning, it was excruciating but now it’s second nature to me. My coworkers, my boss and my customers accommodated as much as they could with me but when you communicate in an online, visual form, it’s hard to read lips and facial cues, etc. With that said, today, I am one of the top sales representatives in the country with sales numbers.

I feel that my brain has adapted in so many ways. For example, I have noticed that I now hear the ‘natural’ sound of my husband’s voice and people that are close to me. I feel that being a Cochlear recipient has made me a better person in so many ways. It has gotten me out of my comfort zone. It has been two years since my surgery.

Addressing my concerns with getting a cochlear implant

I decided to move forward with the cochlear implant because I was exhausted all the time. I was tired of struggling to hear, and the main reason was I wanted to be able to put my son to bed and be able to hear him when he spoke to me in the dark. Before surgery, I was afraid of losing whatever hearing I had left and not being able to appreciate music. I was wrong on both counts. I also had a fear of having something foreign in my body and something that would look sort of ridiculous on my head, but then again, I was wrong.

Most people are fascinated by my story, and they think it’s kind of cool when I wear my device. I actually put Swarovski crystals on my Kanso Sound Processor, and it looks like a hair accessory1. I have fully embraced my hearing disability, and I look forward to hopefully inspiring others that are struggling with the decision to be implanted. By far, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am the first one in my family to have been implanted, and I’m hoping that this will inspire others to follow my footsteps.

Why I chose Cochlear

A photo of Paola in ballet shoes, after adapting to her hearing implantI chose Cochlear because it’s the brand that made the most sense to me; it was the right fit. I love the fact that I’m able to use my iPhone®23 to control and adjust the volume of my sound processor. The Cochlear True Wireless™ Mini Microphone and many of the Nucleus® Smart App* features allow me to hear the television so much better. I have been using the Mini Microphone a lot more the past year. Especially, when I train with a coach and when I do photo shoots, eat at restaurants, etc.

I love using the Mini Microphone when I’m in meetings or even when I just go to lunch with my boss because I’m able to put it on the table. I also use it on a consistent basis when I watch television by streaming directly with the Kanso Sound Processor, and it makes a huge difference!

The main benefit that I am experiencing as a Cochlear recipient is that I can live a ‘normal life’ with very few exceptions. While driving, I can listen to books on tape and the news. I can enjoy movies and even music with my teenage daughter blasted in my car. I’m able to have a conversation with my friends at a party without struggling.

Most people that have known me from the past are so impressed at how ‘normal’ I am able to speak and sound and able to interact. People that don’t know about my hearing loss can never tell that I have a hearing disability which is kind of cool but again, I usually tell people.

Social interactions

People still make assumptions about you when you have a hearing disability. That is why I think it’s important to be honest from the beginning. That way, you can relax, and the person can know what to expect in an interaction, especially if it’s at a party with loud music. It’s still a struggle many times but a night and day difference from the way it was before my implant.

Prior to being implanted, I would shy away from any social interactions. That has been the biggest change, I think. I was embarrassed that I could not interact because I couldn’t hear. Especially when there was music in the background. I was afraid of looking stupid. Now, I am able to enjoy life and what life has to offer. Social interaction is so important, especially now that we have had such a difficult year due to the virus. I will now appreciate it more than ever before. Of course, this is so much easier when you’re able to hear what people in social interactions are saying. I am grateful beyond words; I feel that Cochlear has given me my life back in many ways.

My plans for the future

Paola, with her Kanso Sound Processor, after adapting to her hearing implantOne of the things I enjoy is hearing birds sing. This morning, I was getting out of my car and the birds were so loud and singing the most beautiful tunes…. being able to appreciate that is such a gift.

I am an IFBB Pro athlete and my hobby is training with weights. You can call it a hobby or just a lifestyle. I enjoy exercising, and I had a trainer last year for almost seven months and the Mini Microphone really helped during the training sessions. I was not using it at the beginning, and I realize that I was missing out and he was repeating himself quite a bit.

What’s next for me is to take my physique to the next level and hopefully land a cover on a fitness magazine. I’m always improving my physique even though I’m a 51-year-old mother of two children, I feel that I am in top shape. I also have my foundational goals/a mission for my life which are to continue to create a beautiful family culture, to leave a legacy, to help my daughter with her first year of college and help my 9-year-old son (on the spectrum of autism) to continue to improve with his therapy. My husband and I have been married for 28 years, and I continue to have goals for our relationship to take it to the next level. I believe that couples that grow together stay together.”

Are you or a loved one missing out on the sounds that enable you to live your best life every day? Learn more about cochlear implants here and see how getting a hearing implant could change your life.

  1. Altering a sound processor can affect device performance. Please consult a hearing professional prior to making any embellishments.
  2. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
  3. For compatibility information, visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility.
Cara Lippitt
Cara Lippitt is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager at Cochlear Americas. She is responsible for consumer marketing social media and blog content. Cara is inspired by the stories of the recipients that she is able to tell and the incredible journeys they have taken. Cara was born and raised in Colorado and adores the mountains, snow and the world of musical theatre.