Jordona H. began losing her hearing at 30 years of age, which caused her to lose her job, stunted her joy of travel and impacted connections with her family. After getting a cochlear implant and choosing the Cochlear™ Kanso® Sound Processor, Jordona hopped right back into traveling, getting to experience the joy and sounds of the new environments and experiences around her with the ones she loves. Where have her travels taken her lately? Read her story to find out:
“It is amazing how we take things for granted every day until we are either losing them or they are already gone. I was born hearing, but I started to lose that basic sense when I was around 30 years old. Over six years, my hearing loss became so profound that I lost my job as a registered nurse, I was unable to hold meaningful conversations with my children (ages 8 and 10) and it was frustrating to communicate with my husband.
I relied mostly on lip reading to get through a conversation. I became a homebody because there was too much anxiety and stress involved with going out in to a hearing world. My hearing loss is invisible and being so young, I felt like people did not understand why I could not hear them…so I simply stayed home.
The wait for cochlear implant surgery
Due to the health care system in Canada, I had to wait for my cochlear implant surgery. I was initially told my wait could be up to two years for surgery, but thankfully, I was able to get in on short notice within 10 months.
Having my cochlear implant surgery and choosing the Kanso Sound Processor were the best decisions I ever made. I felt like I had nothing to lose and only something huge to potentially gain.
I remember getting the call that I was going to get the surgery, and it was going to happen two months before our planned trip to Disneyland® Park to celebrate our kids’ birthdays. I was worried about the upcoming trip and how I would handle it with my new cochlear implant and Kanso Sound Processor. I had already been making plans in my head about how I was going to enjoy Disneyland and take advantage of their captioning devices in the park without having a cochlear implant. I asked my surgeon about our planned trip and she encouraged it and told us to enjoy ourselves. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that just one month after my activation, I would be on the road.
On the road with my Kanso
I was nervous leaving home with this new device and all of its equipment, but I tried to embrace it and use it as the ultimate rehabilitation for my hearing. In the airport, I was able to hear little bits and pieces of the announcements, which I never have been able to do before my implant. On the airplane, it was the same thing. I was a bit more comfortable and confident with the flight attendants when conversing with them than before. It was still a struggle, but nowhere near as difficult.
Once at Disneyland® Park, the change became even more apparent! Walking down the streets, I remember taking my Kanso Sound Processor off, trying to replicate how my trip would have been without it. I was so grateful in that moment I had my Kanso and that I was able to enjoy so much more of the trip thanks to it. The music that was playing was crisper and clearer; all the conversations around me were as well. I was actually able to make out some words of conversations going on around me! The change was happening so quickly.
I was able to wear my Kanso Sound Processor on the rides. I used the short tether and hair to help hold it all secure. It was amazing to hear on the rides. Having my Kanso, even for such a short period made my trip all the more enjoyable and meaningful. I knew that life would only continue to become more enjoyable having my hearing back.
Getting out and traveling again
We have just come back from another trip. We flew to Utah to see my mom and to go to the Grand Canyon. What a trip…I have now had my cochlear implant and Kanso Sound Processor for 10 months.
The differences on this trip compared to Disneyland are huge. I had no problem hearing the announcements in the airport and even made out most of the announcements on the plane. I had a conversation with the flight attendant and felt like I was able to do so with confidence. We took a train to the Grand Canyon from Williams, Arizona. It was an animated experience that I was able to experience in full.
Our host talked about the trip on a speaker and told us what to expect, there were jokes and laughter that I got to take part in! Before my implant, I would have smiled politely and been in my own world, not hearing what was going on around me. After the announcements would have been complete, my husband would have struggled to communicate them with me, while I tried my best to lip read and understand what he was saying.
They had a banjo and guitar player who sang and played for us. I did not know the songs they were playing, but I could hear them and had fun enjoying their music and the lyrics they sang. Life is now fuller and richer enjoying all sounds and experiences around me.
Getting my job back
I am in the process of trying a new nursing position and getting that part of my life back as well. I will be relying heavily on the Cochlear™ True Wireless™ Phone Clip, as I will be using the phone for work a lot.
I have a ReSound hearing aid in my left ear and my Kanso Sound Processor on my right. Having the ability to stream the sound from the phone to both my hearing aid and the Kanso, utilizing the phone clip, is going make this job work for me. Before my Kanso, I had stopped using the phone completely. This is still one of my weak points and a place where I need to build more confidence. I do phone into the Cochlear phone-training rehab program. It has helped boost my confidence a lot. The more I use the phone, the more confidence I will have and the easier it will become.
I am thankful every day for the life my Kanso has given me back.
Some days I have a hard time remembering what life was like before my cochlear implant and Kanso. Every morning I wake up and the first thing I do is put my Kanso on. I try to embrace every new hearing experience and truly appreciate it.
Traveling, kid’s concerts, announcements over speakers, meeting new people, sharing my experiences, conversing with family and friends and going back to work have all taken on a new meaning and increased enjoyment. I am thankful every day for the life my cochlear implant has given me back. It is now a part of me that I embrace fully and wholeheartedly and am so grateful for.”