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I Haven’t Regretted Getting a Cochlear Implant: Chris’s Hearing Journey

In his last article, CI user and musician Chris from Germany shared about his hearing loss, implantation, and activation. In this article, we will learn more about hearing rehabilitation with his cochlear implant, how his life changed, and why he doesn’t regret his decision to get bilateral cochlear implants.

I Haven’t Regretted Getting a Cochlear Implant: Chris’s Hearing Journey

My Tips for Understanding Music Better 

On the first evening after activation, I started training speech understanding with hearing training apps—but that got boring really fast because I quickly understood everything. But understanding music was more work. I had to practice a bit before I could hear the difference between the drums of my drum set.

I was immediately able to hear that a piano was out of tune—that was probably one of the most memorable moments. I could even immediately distinguish between the different high notes, but it took a bit longer with the mid-range and lower notes. I’m still working on it with apps such as Meludia, the music training app.

For practicing with background noise, I like to try to understand song lyrics. Other than that, everyday listening is the best training for me—there are always challenging listening situations that require practice and patience. I even wrote a list of tips and tricks for listening to and making music with a CI.

Rediscovering My Favorite Sounds

Nature sounds I can hear again: Birds chirping, the pitter-patter of rain, the crunching of snow under my shoes, the rush of the sea, leaves under my feet in the fall. Being able to hear all of that again is wonderful.

Chris from Germany

And, of course, my son playing piano! There’s no sound more beautiful for a proud father.

Chris

CI user from Germany

My Life-Changing Cochlear Implants

My CIs changed my life more than I could have imagined. I can talk on the phone again, and my pronunciation has gotten a lot better. And communication in English is no longer a problem—I primarily speak English at work.

And I enjoy cultural events: I often go to concerts and festivals, understand almost everything at the movie theater, go to poetry slams and comedy events, and listen to and make music again in every spare moment. I learned how to play a new instrument: the bass guitar. And I started a band that I jam with once a week. And I perform with them live every once in a while.

Simple Communication Thanks to Cochlear Implants

But the most wonderful thing is that communication is no longer exhausting. It’s fun to listen. I don’t need lip reading or a flood light anymore and understand most people even by candlelight.

Small talk is really fun—so grocery shopping takes longer than it did before. I can join in conversations at work, go to conferences and conventions, and I talk to my neighbors and family a lot more. My sons say they’ve gotten new friends thanks to my CIs. That made me so happy.

My Advice to Others With Hearing Loss

Don’t be afraid of getting a cochlear implant. If hearing aids aren’t enough anymore—if you can’t understand speech well enough with them anymore—then you should consider a cochlear implant. For an experienced surgeon, the operation is routine—for me, both operations took less than an hour. And I was back on my feet shortly afterward; I had imagined it would be much worse.

Be prepared that it may take a while for you to hear well with a CI. It went super fast for me, but I was quite the exception. It can take weeks or even months to hear well and naturally. And it can require lots of training and patience.

Chris from Germany

Having a positive attitude is very important. If you’re frustrated after your first activation about everyone sounding like Mickey Mouse instead of being happy about understanding them, it will be difficult to have a successful hearing journey. You can’t succeed without optimism.

Chris

CI user from Germany

My Work as a Hearpeers Mentor

I have been a Hearpeer at MED-EL since 2020 and love volunteering and answering all the questions people have about CIs. And I am happy to accompany them on their hearing journey. I’m happy to help anyone I can.

Without the support and motivation of other people with CIs, I never would have taken the steps toward getting cochlear implants. It’s perfectly OK to be afraid. I was too. But the difference a CI can make is enormous. I haven’t regretted my decision for a single second.

Connect with Chris

Are you considering getting a cochlear implant? Hearpeers mentor Chris will be happy to share his experience and answer your questions.

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© MED-EL Medical Electronics. All rights reserved. The content on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Contact your doctor or hearing specialist to learn what type of hearing solution suits your specific needs. Not all products, features, or indications are approved in all countries.

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1 Comment

Truijen Victor

December 28, 2023

Geachte, om het geluid van onze TV te horen gebruik ik de audio-link of streamer en het geluid kan ik zeer moeilijk verstaan en de audio-link flikkert altijd. Is dit normaal dat die flikkert of is er een andere oorzaak ?

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MED-EL

December 29, 2023

Truijen, thank you for your comment. If you are experiencing distorted sound during streaming, AudioLink may not be within range, or there may be interference from other devices. We would recommend trying to move AudioLink closer to your audio processor and removing other devices that might interfere with the wireless frequency, such as internet routers or your PC. You may also be interested in learning more troubleshooting tips here: https://www.medel.com/support/product-support/accessories/audiolink/audiolink_troubleshooting Kind Regards

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