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Editor’s note: this is the second post from Matt Jones, a MED-EL cochlear implant recipient. You can read the first part here.

Then came the next step: I had the operation. I was in and out and all dopey from the anesthetic in no time. After weeks of recovery, it was time to take the next step. The big one!

Switch on day! I thought this would never come. I sat down in the chair while everything was getting set up. Yes, I sat. In the chair! I don’t even know how I did that because I was so excited it’s not even funny. I sat still, but I was bouncing around and going crazy on the inside. I swear it was the longest five minutes of my life! Finally everything was ready to go and the processor was put on my ear. I waited…

*BEEP BEEP BEEP*

The most awesome sound in the world. That is, until I really got switched on! The beeping stopped and I waited again. Suddenly I heard this noise. I wasn’t sure what it was, but it was something. I looked around searching for its source and realized it was a voice. A little, fuzzy, bubbly, gurgling alien voice. YES! I can hear… sort of! But then the alien voice started changing and becoming less alien-ish. Sounds started making sense and people started sounding like people. I was so amazed and so unbelievably happy! I really can hear!

It didn’t take too long for the processor to be all set up, and then Dayse showed me all the other bits and pieces that go with the implant and how to use everything. I could not express how happy and excited I was feeling but I’m pretty sure I had a permanent smile reaching from coast to coast. Everything was set and I was ready to go and hear life again.

And I did hear life. And it was amazing. And I swear it has been more amazing every day. I can have conversations with people without even looking at them! I can listen to lectures and watch TV. I can have arguments with my sister! I can hear music! Everything sounds incredible. I tell people how utterly stunning is the sound of cicadas at night. How sweet it is to be able to hear the sound of the leaves rustling. How fascinating it is to listen to a puppy’s sleepy breathing. All those boring everyday sounds that people take for granted, they are breathtaking.

Me and my life have been reunited. Things are going so well again I wonder if it’s all a dream. I’m seeing old friends and meeting people, listening to my favorite bands and discovering new ones. I’m doing really well with my studies and have even realized that now that I can hear, I can achieve anything! I have new dreams: I want to become a doctor and I have no doubt at all that I will now. Being able to hear again really is the most amazing thing in the world—and that’s the understatement of the year. Soon I get my second implant I can only imagine things will get twice as good! Bring on the BEEPS!

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