Friday, August 05, 2005

Questions, Answers, Oscars

Hey. Man it’s hot.

Michelle has a good question – how long before we know if the implant works? I’ve asked this of many doctors, audiologists, and cochlear implant wearers/cyborgs and they all have the same answer – we dunno.

The implant is a gamble. Next week, when they put it into the ear they’ll test it to make sure that the hardware is working, but they can’t test whether the hardware is compatible with my brain until three weeks later. Those three weeks are for recovering from the surgery. Then the machine is turned on and that first week after being turned on is crucial. The biggest side effect of implants is headaches and vertigo. I already got those, so there’s a chance I might keep getting them. Which means I would not be able to use the implant or a hearing aid in that ear. In which case I will be signing a lot more and saying “what” and then nodding.

Hopefully the headaches stop. I think they should because my hearing will be going from a vibrational system to an electrical stimulation system (sorta like my sex life. Nope, no idea what that means.) But even if the headaches are gone, we’re not out of the woods. It will still take months of training and reprogramming to learn how to hear again and it’s hard to predict how well that process will go. Generally, within two-three months of the implant being turned on, you have a good idea of how well it works. That puts us in November.

If all goes well with no complications, Sam and I should hear better then we’ve ever had. The microphone in the implant will pick up more sounds then our hearing aid ever could. The question is how well our brains learn to understand those sounds. Again, if we can’t understand them, we’ll just nod like we do, no worries.

Actually, better not to let us do that. Stop us if we are.

So, in answer to Michelle’s question – not for a couple months will we know if it’s working. But that’s what this blog is for.

Wanted to quickly mention that my cousin, the lovely and talented Rebecca Haimowitz has started filming a documentary around the procedure Sam and I are having, and around her brother Ben’s hearing impairment. The movie will use the surgery and rehab as a jumping off point to discuss how our families have dealt with (or not dealt with) the challenges of three deaf individuals. This could be really, really interesting. We’ve done some filming already. Dante suggested the title “I See Deaf People” which is why it bears repeating that he sucks at tennis.

The title needs work, but I’m excited about the film. Can you say, Oscah? I can.


Blogger Bankable Poetry said...

I don't know about the Oscar, unless the Fabulous Swillers can drag Brad Pitt into the picture. (It takes a serious face to pull off Oscars, Josh. You should try Cannes or Venice where they give out awards for TALENT, not looks. Hell, you should even try Toronto over Hollywood.) But what I do know is that Cochbla writing this good might make Josh eligible for the Poohlitzer or some sort of literary-type prize.

The real thing I'm wondering is how come I never knew Josh was, like, deaf and all. I would've never let him drive to India had I known.

5:09 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

gleeeen, was it deafness or was I just ignoring you? you'll never know. mmm apples.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Bankable Poetry said...

A last resort before the surgery:
Move to Paris. You would never have to listen to anyone anyway. Could save you alot of money.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

hey bankable american poet...not listening to anyone? I thought you were against that red-state type worldview. Is this why you've stopped publishing your rectal firecrackers -- you've gone over to their side? shoot.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Buddy said...

This is a wonderfully interesting and useful blog. Good luck to both Josh and Sam. I hope that lots of people end up reading this!!

5:52 PM  

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