Dan dropped the boys off early at breakfast club, and then we drove the 2 hours to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for my first assessment. We arrived just in time for the first 10am appointment, followed shortly after by a BSL interpreter, who I’d booked in advance – lovely as I knew I’d be able to relax and not have to rely upon lip reading the whole time.
And so began a long series of tests and questions, as well as a handful of answers along the way. The objective of the day was clear – to check my suitability for a cochlear implant, perhaps ending with the eventual offer of surgery and rehabilitation over the next few years.
First, I had a standard hearing test (headphones on ears without hearing aids) and then a bone conduction hearing test (against my head). Then I had a speech comprehension test, listening to five spoken phrases and trying to pick out what was being said. I could only manage to pick out a single word, “The”. The results were poorer than those recorded at my recent visit to the advanced hearing clinic.
The next appointment was an auditory processing test to check the health of my auditory nerves – essential for a Cochlear Implant. I had 3 electrodes stuck to my head, and then had to lay down on a bed for 20 minutes. During this time, my auditory nerves were stimulated with electrical impulses (it sounded like a hissing), with my brain activity recorded.
The final test of the day was a CAT scan, partly used to gather information about the shape of my cochlears, which could determine the choice of implant, if we get that far.
This article was first published on Catherine’s own blog, which you can find here: http://sounds-different.blogspot.co.uk/
Catherine lives in Norfolk and has a young family. Born profoundly deaf in 1978, she leads a busy life using a combination of hearing aids, lip reading and sign language. Following a deterioration in hearing in recent years, she is now in the early stages of getting a Cochlear Implant, and currently awaits feedback on her suitability. This is her story, told as it happens.
The Limping Chicken is supported by Deaf media company Remark!, provider of sign language services Deaf Umbrella, training and consultancy Deafworks, the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Look, Smile Chat campaign, and the National Theatre’s captioned plays.