Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Don't Panic!!! I'm still here!!

Hey all,

Sorry long time no speak! Life has been mega hectic and busy, not helped by a problematic laptop. Now I have a new laptop that is much much faster and reliable and therefore more free time available so can update my blog - hopefully more regularly.

What have the going ons been since October?

My implant has continued to be a massive rollercoaster. Environmental sounds and music are very very good through my implant so I am really happy with it there for those things. However, I really hate my implant for voices in groups situations and hearing voices as background noise as they all sound like a shed of chickens that makes no sense at all, even when just trying to follow something being said between two people, especially when no Deaf awareness is applied. Voice through an implant sounds best through an FM system or in quiet rooms where there is NO other sound, but I still need to lip-read and still need the person to be Deaf Aware. I am still unable to understand what is being said on a radio, so those are still out of my life. As for music, cinema and TV, providing I have the lyrics and subtitles in front of me, am able to follow along and with the pace of it quite well. Had a great time seeing Avatar 3D with subtitles recently and it was great to get the full picture thanks to the subtitles.

As a result of having been able to identify the places where I get benefit from my implant and the places / situations where I dont get benefit from my implant, it makes it easier when to call in the interpreter at work. Where I can lipread the person then my interpreters know to let me lip-read and they monitor closely the communication situation and they seem to know immediately when I am lost or start to be lost and they step in to my rescue at the right time. I know the situations (e.g. groups) and the people who I cannot follow, so I automatically go back my old way and use BSL and interpreter 100% for that.

The current biggest battle I am facing at the moment is the attitude of some hearing people outside of work. My work colleagues are excellent in meeting and understanding my needs. However, I am having some real struggles with communication and the attitude of some hearing people outside of work. Some people who known me since before my CI who were Deaf aware before have ditched their deaf awareness since I got my CI and now I find it impossible or extremely hard work tyo communicate with them. I find that quite upsettting and very frustrating. There are also the attitude of some hearing people out there who have discriminated me cos they have expected me to understand what they are saying cos I have implant my speech is good. I feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall sometimes and I am so exhausted and fed up with having to remind people that it is not a quick fix and that due to my history of deafness since birth, speech comprehension is very very unlikely and that they STILL need to face me and be DEAF AWARE when they talk to me. Also, I have alot of CONFUSION re hearing culture, and am finding that quite difficult to adapt to. Due to this so much hard work, I don't wear my implant everyday - it takes alot out of me. I wear it most days in the week, but there are a couple of switch off days where I can go back to my old ways.

However, I am delighted to be invited to speak at two forthcoming conferences on CIs where I will be speaking about the born Deaf BSL user perspective on the experience of hearing with a CI.