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A different kind of nervous!

A while back, I met someone online who had a hearing loss and was interested in the implant. His name is Tony, and he lives in Alaska. He wears hearing aids, and he has some pretty interesting stories about various hearing aids that have, uh, met their deaths over the years. Tony is a commercial fisherman, and I'm sure that can be a pretty wet job at times. We all know hearing aids and water do not mix...

I'm not sure how Tony initially found out about the Envoy Esteem, but I came across a comment he had left on a blog, asking for more information on the implant. So I emailed him, told him what I could about the implant, and how much I've enjoyed it. We exchanged a few emails and discussed the implant. Tony decided he wanted the implant, and scheduled a date for surgery. If my memory serves me correctly, he had his surgery on May 1st. He was the second person in the U.S. to be implanted post-approval. Unlike me, he was not in a clinical trial for the Esteem, so he paid for his surgery/implant. Tony's wife, Jeanine, said the surgery went fine, no complications at all. I was surprised to find out that he didn't even have that strange sensation of a "dangling" ear because of the post-surgery numbness!

Anyway, Tony will be activated on Wednesday, June 9th! I misunderstood briefly when I talked to Jeanine today, and thought he was being activated today at 1 p.m. It was actually 1:05 at the time, and I was surprised at how nervous I was! I was pacing the room at school. Again, Wednesday is actually the day he will be activated.

I am so nervous and excited, it's not even funny.

It feels like I almost had a certain amount of influence in his decision since I was the only patient he had talked to. So I have a hundred questions going through my head right now:

-What will his reaction be when he first hears with the Esteem?
-Will he like it?
-Will he feel as overwhelmed as I did when I first had to adjust?
-What if he doesn't like it?
-Will he be happy with his decision?
-Will it be as life-changing for him as it was for me?

I can't wait to see what he thinks about the implant. When you're sitting in the doctor's office as they make adjustments to the implant, it's hard to get a real feel for the implant. It's once you get back home, in your familiar surroundings, that you can truly explore the new world of sound. Looking back, I can't help but smile at my reactions to the new sounds I was hearing, and how loud everything was. The talking, chewing, swallowing. The first shower that sounded like I was going through a car wash. Flushing the toilet and thinking the world was ending. Then there were the softer sounds that I'd never heard before. A soft drink fizzing, my children talking in another room, distant thunder, the wind in the trees, a child whispering in my ear.

I just hope Tony enjoys the Esteem as much as I have. I hope it helps him to live life without the limitations that a person with a hearing loss experiences. I hope he discovers sounds he never even knew existed. I hope he smiles the first time he realizes he can now hear sounds he couldn't hear before. I hope, if he uses his remote at all, he gets used to the strange looks he'll get when he says "I can't hear you, my ear is not turned on." I hope he enjoys the new-found freedom of no longer keeping up with a pair of hearing aids. And I hope that, unlike a poor hearing aid or two, he manages to keep his new remote hidden from his dogs. ;D




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