Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Of CIs and HAs

I just had to start out this blog with a title like this, since for some reason, John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" came to mind. I've not yet read the book which is a classic often read by literature students.

I've been following the battles of those for and against cochlear implants including Tuscany mom's Re: Ci Controversial, Why? post. Both hearing aids and CIs do the same thing, amplify sound to an extent and pipe/send it to the ear. Even removed, the user still has a hearing loss. I'm wondering just what's on the parent's minds when they have their very young children implanted? Is it that they can't seem to stand the thought or the shame of their child growing up without sound to an extent? Is it that they can't seem to fathom the kid spending more time with other deaf than hearing?

What's really on their minds when they go for a CI at such a young age? Why are the doctors pushing so hard for them to have it? Is it financial reasons for them as well as the companies? The decision to have the implant should come from the future implantee.

I've often told people that with those with hearing losses, that hearing and understanding can be two different things. Just because something is heard if at all doesn't mean it will be understood or known. Too many hearing people seem to not understand this little factoid. It's kinda hard to lipread a telephone.

When I lived in Louisville, KY, I was interviewed on this. If you read the article, A Sound Barrier of Another Sort, you'll see that I've foreseen a few things mentioned. Unfortunately, it's not archived on the newspaper site.

I've pretty much got a "grandstand" view if not an "onstage" view of Jamie Berke going through the process and procedure. It's fascinating watching the healing process and then going from there. I'll let her do the writing about it. Fortunately, I'm still alive since I didn't take a post-surgical picture of her. It was her decision. I didn't make it for her. I told her if she went with nothing, hearing aids, or a CI, I would go along with her decision.

Just because she got a CI doesn't mean she's an audist or she can't do her job on about.com. Far from it. She's still using sign and interpreters. She's still the same person we've all known, with or without CI and/or hearing aids. Too many people just throw around the word without really knowing what it means.

Will I get a CI? Hearing aids still work well for me. Ask me again later.


Anonymous said...

OH well, I was born deaf since I wear my hearing aid. But it isnot help to hear so Four years ago I received CI. Wow, It helps me alot to learn any sounds and words. I speak much better because of my hard of hearing many years. I love CI. So up to your decision so make sure that ask the doctor.

Anonymous said...

Research shows that the earlier that you implant a child, the better they are able to learn spoken language and hte quicker they are able to assimiliate sounds.

So when it comes to children, early intervention is the best, not just for implants, but for hearing aids too.


Anonymous said...

We're still pressuring about.com to replace Jamie Berke at the deafness guide level or change the title from Deafness.about.com to deafness/CI.about.com so that people can find it easier if jamie wants to be so gung ho on the bandwagon of CI.

and NO, we're not going to give up until deafness.about.com agrees to our demand for equal rights. We want a PURE DEAF GUIDE.. not a CI installed guide!

RSGeo-007 said...

I'll say this as others have said it before...

There is no such thing as a pure deaf person. I've yet to find one or hear about one. There is no definition of a pure deaf person. The only definition of a pure deaf person is from you.

Jamie is *NOT* a CI cheerleader or whatever that kind of thing, neither is she gung-ho about them. She got it so she can understand more of what's going on at work and not miss so much. She is *STILL* deaf, with or without a CI, with or without hearing aids. She is *STILL* the same deaf person we've known. It was *HER* decision.

She is *NOT* always talking about her CI, just now and then. She is not going to be so enthusiastic about it that every other article will end with something like "everyone should have one!*" She has been low-key about it. She's not even pressuring me to get one. Like I said, I didn't pressure her, allowing her to decide.

Don't bother about.com. Do you still want a guide? She can still been one and has been for 10 years. She's used hearing aids, both behind the ear and body aids, then nothing at all for awhile since they didn't help her. Did you or anyone complain when she used them years ago? No. Were you or anyone complaining when she tried them again? No. Were you or anyone complaining when she was going through the CI evaluation process? No. Did you or anyone complain when she decided to go through it? No. Just now the complaints start.

She is in at least a unique position here. The deafness.about.com site contains many things related to deafness and hearing losses, right? There's talk in there about CIs way *BEFORE* she even started the process. There's talk of hearing aids in there as well, something even she's used and tried years later. She even told me one time she was willing to try hearing aids again, even was willing to try to find the money for digitals.

Look at the other guides out there on About. Many of them are in the position of having been there, done that, and have the experience and know-how to help out others. So can Jamie. Again, you have a guide who is in the unique position who knows about hearing assistive devices and can help others in deciding what they want. Will they want hearing aids, a CI, or nothing? It will be up to the reader to decide. If you want to change the current name from deafness to deafness/CI, then it will also have to be changed to deafness/CI/hearing aids.

That's not going to work when the site already covers hearing assistive devices and hearing loss issues.

So, you still want to talk rights? You still got them.