GARRY’S COCHLEAR IMPLANT IS TODAY – Marilyn Armstrong

By the time you read this, we will be at the hospital and quite probably surgery will be underway or even finished. I guess it depends on what time zone you’re in.

This is exciting stuff. Nervous-making, too. It will be at least 5 weeks until he is out of bandages and fitted with all the technology.

Remi, Garry, Tom, and sunshine

After that, it will take a few more weeks while we wait for the magic to work. The technology doesn’t produce “natural” sound. It is essentially electronic, yet the brain converts it into “real” sound. Or, more to the point, makes it sound like whatever sound we recognize as “natural.”

How it does the brain do that? No one really knows for sure. It just does it. Why? That’s another thing we don’t know. It’s a little miracle in its own right.

What we know for sure is that it happens. At some point during the first few months, the brain converts those “electric” impulses into what it “knows” as “real” (normal) sound. For some people, it happens very quickly. For others, it takes a longer and there’s no predicting which way it will go. The important thing is understanding that it will occur and when it does, its magic time.

For Garry, it has been a lifetime waiting to hear. It’s also going to mean some big changes around here. For one thing, I’m going to have to stop muttering under my breath. For the first time in our lives together, he will be able to hear what I’m really saying.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

48 thoughts on “GARRY’S COCHLEAR IMPLANT IS TODAY – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. For how long has he had a hearing problem? Wasn’t it a problem when he was a reporter? It truly will be a miracle. Fingers crossed. It has been a big life-changer for Jan.

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    1. He has been hard-of-hearing since birth and yes, it was a bigger problem than racism — which was a problem too. But being able to hear judges and lawyers and witnesses was a major challenge. He’s a very determined guy. VERY determined. It has been the biggest challenge of his whole life.

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  2. You’re are surely so many hours ‘behind’ us (it’s past 11am here now) that Garry is probably (hopefully) still sleeping the sleep of the just and I hope and pray for an operation with great success and only good memories during the recovery period.
    One question came up, reading your post: Has he always been near deaf ? Because that’s what I now unerstand from your sentence ‘For Garry it has been a lifetime waiting to hear’…. How could he have been a reporter if he didn’t hear the going-on’s in his professional life?
    And what a long time and what an incredible miracle too to finally being able to hear… I never knew that this could be done…. It’s scary somewhat and mostly astonishing what moder science can achieve.
    But boy, you will really have to learn to watch your mutterings!!!! And I bet you’ll gladly control yourself once you know he can hear you…. I really wish you both well and although we’re in a celebratory mood with our family birthdays, I will and am also thinking of your dear man.

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    1. He was always hard-of-hearing, but for a long time, he managed with hearing aids. Over the past three years, hard-of-hearing has gone fully into deaf and he became eligible for an implant. He put it off for a few years. It was that they are going to make a hole in his head. It bothered him. I don’t blame him. I put off heart surgery for quite a while because my first husband died of that same surgery, so I wasn’t eager to give it another go.

      But what has to be, has to be and if he didn’t deal with it, he would eventually be living in silence. He was past the help hearing aids could offer and this was the only option. He thought maybe he was too old, but given Garry’s genes, he could easily make it to 100 — and hearing would be a blessing beyond belief.

      Thank you for caring. We’re just about to leave for the hospital in about 15 minutes. It’s going to be a very long day.

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  3. Best of luck to Garry!

    Reading a few of the comments, I think you have repeated the quote a few times (paraphrasing) that science we don’t understand is the same as magic.

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    1. I saw the x-rays. You can see the tiny little coil in his head that is supposed to transfer sound to his brain and the magnets that will hold his apparatus in place. It’s amazing. That coil is less than 1/6 of a millimeter in size — maybe like a human hair? Definitely magic.

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    1. He’s good. Got a hell of a headache (no big surprise there) and he was starving. Now, there’s healing to be done and he is not supposed to do anything strenuous for a month — and he has to stick to it, this time. He’s an exercise cheat and I’ll find him hiding somewhere doing push-ups. He really can’t do that this time. But otherwise, the surgery went brilliantly. From here on, waiting is.

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  4. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you well, Garry. This is exciting and a wonderful moment. Well I understand that is yet to come, but it’s wonderful for all that. I had to laugh at Marilyn, muttering under her breath. As soon as Garry can hear, he’ll be saying, “I heard that!” lol. Wishing you all the best, Garry.

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      1. Isn’t it though! I’m excited for you both! I learned sign language eons ago, and since forgotten most of it. But imagine hearing well for the first time in years. At first I imagine things may seen loud but once it settles down, holy crap!

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    1. He’s doing pretty well. Headache — no surprise. Hungry. But at least he got to come HOME to eat. I usually had to wait for some ghastly hospital concoction. The surgery went very well and now he has to rest and heal and not do anything stupid.

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