Barb E. was battling isolation and some safety concerns when she realized her hearing aids were no longer enough. Tired of struggling and not being able to fully participate in her grandsons’ lives, Barb decided to get a Cochlear implant. Read her story below and how she’s not missing out anymore: 

“My journey back to hearing began more than 25 years ago. I lost a lot of the hearing in my left ear and more slowly in my right ear. I wore hearing aids for a while and then started learning American Sign Language when I stopped wearing them.

During the summer of 2015, I had reached the point of not being able to drive by myself. I was with my husband and grandson and when we approached the intersection, they both yelled, ‘STOP!’ I stopped just in time to keep us from being crushed by a fire truck.

This was a serious problem as I do a lot of driving. My daughter is not able to drive so I drive her to the grocery store, lunch and shopping. We babysit for our smaller grandsons during the school year, so there is a lot of picking up and dropping off. It got so bad I had to tell my husband and daughter not to talk to me while I was driving. I couldn’t look at them to read their lips and drive.

I definitely needed help so I made an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat specialist to see if hearing aids had improved. The audiologist I saw told me I was a candidate for cochlear implants and referred me to a cochlear implant surgeon. I was on my way to hearing again!

My surgery went well and my activation day was March 9, 2016. I was very lucky and was able to understand words immediately. It was such an exciting day!

I’ve mentioned my grandsons. I have three: Cooper, age 5; Parker, age 9; Vaughn, age 16. Cooper is with us most of the time since he has just started kindergarten. It is the greatest joy for me to be able to hear him chattering and singing in the back seat of the car. To hear his voice always puts a smile on my face.

Taking Parker shopping, discussing his day at school, are also things I would have missed without my Cochlear implant. I can have complete conversations with my grandsons now without them getting tired of trying to make me understand. ‘Never mind, Mamaw’ are some very sad words to hear. Attending their lacrosse games and basketball games are so much fun because I can hear the calls and keep up with the action too.

It’s been said that it’s the little things in life are the best things. I find on a daily basis that is true. Enjoying my grandsons, hearing the birds outside, just being able to have a conversation with the person in the car with me. These are precious moments I was missing out on that I’m so happy to hear now.”

To learn more about cochlear implants as a hearing solution for you or a loved one, click here.

Renee Oehlerking
Renee Oehlerking is the Public Relations Manager at Cochlear Americas where she is responsible for the region’s public relations and consumer marketing social media. Renee enjoys uncovering, telling and showcasing the inspiring stories of hearing implant recipients. As a recent transplant to Denver, Colorado, Renee enjoys exploring all that the state has to offer outdoors.