William Mager: Billy 2.0 – Activate!

Posted on December 12, 2012

A month since the operation, and I feel fine. There is however one unfortunate side effect which I need to share with you.

I can’t blow my nose properly.

If I sneeze with my mouth closed, or blow my nose REALLY REALLY HARD, I feel this sudden POP under the skin of my skull covering the implant, like a bit of air’s escaped and has momentarily inflated the skin like a comedy balloon.

It feels… unpleasant.

Turns out there’s only one cure – you’re supposed to snort your snot out of your nose and into your throat, and then spit it out through your mouth.

That’s all fine, but… what if I’m in a meeting or something? Should I interrupt my colleague and hawk a massive stinking yellow-green loogie into a spittoon like some sort of Wild West character, or Gary Busey in Under Siege?

It’s only a minor thing, it’ll pass as soon as I get rid of this cold I’m sure. I’m occupying myself watching various videos on YouTube (not just old Steven Seagal clips).

The videos I’m watching are all on a similar theme, like this one:

Or this one:

Basically, I’m watching videos of lots of people getting their cochlear implants turned on, because I’m getting turned on tomorrow.

It’s been a month since the operation and I’m ready to chuck away my old hearing aid with its annoying whistling, its greasy ear mould, and try something different.

But the more videos I watch, the more I start to wonder what it’ll feel like.

A bit scary, maybe. Different. Unusual.

In all the forums and user groups, a lot of people say it sounds ‘bionic’, or just ‘awful’ at first.

The way I see it, there are three outcomes:

1) It works, and it works really well, and everything is great.
2) It works, but it sounds weird, and it takes me a long time to get used to.
3) It doesn’t work at all, and they have to take it out through surgery.

I’m hoping for option 1, with option 2 being most likely, and option 3 being the worst.

William Mageris an award-winning director for film and TV, who made his first film aged 14 when he “set fire to a model Audi Quattro and was subsequently banned from the school film club for excessive pyromania.” He’s made short films, dramas and mini-series, and works for the BBC. Find out all about his work at his personal website – and if you’re on Twitter, follow him here.

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Either way, I’m just looking forward to seeing what happens. Wish me luck tomorrow.

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