Thursday, October 27, 2005


So I emailed Meg other day because I had outgrown the first program on the implant – that is, my cochlear nerve was ready for a higher level of electrical stimulation. She gave me a time to come in to the clinic and quickly get a program boost.

Michael came in to the room while Meg and I waited (and waited) for the new settings to load off the computer.

“How’s your brother?” Michael asked.
“I saw him this weekend,” I said “I think he’s having a slower go at improvement because he wears a hearing aid in the other ear. I tried on his implant and its much softer than mine –“
“Wait, you tried on his implant? Don’t do that! You can get a powerful shock.”
“Yeah, I think he got one. He was driving too.”
”That’s dangerous!”
“Nah, you should see him drive. It was an improvement.”

Nevertheless, I promised never to wear someone else’s implant again. Apparently there’s a risk of a sending a shock right through my brain and that’s not a good thing -- though I recall the days of looking for drugs that could do just that. The three of us talked some more as the implant continued loading and I just want to say, my God, I’ve never met such wonderful people in my life. That has nothing to do with this next thing Michael said.

“So, Josh, I’ve been reading your blog…”

My life flashed before my eyes. My hearing life at least – this is what comes of making fun of people. What if he programs a time bomb into the thing? What if he makes it play nothing but Thriller?

“I’m sorry, Mike, truly.”
“Don’t be. Just call me Elvis from now on.”
“Uh, ok.”
“And make my home Graceland.”
”Done and done. I love Graceland.”

Fair requests, very fair. We talked some more, and it was cordial and informative, but I couldn’t wait to just beat it, beat it out of there.

I came home and Carl was giving a music lesson to a young woman. I sat down in the next room and tried to eavesdrop, and I was actually catching bits of phrases here and there. She has a test coming up, I believe. Getting to eavesdrop, man, the whole idea is thrilling – and nobody knows, that’s the key, no one suspects a thing – the deaf guy’s eavesdropping, come on, I will be able to find out everyone’s secret dreams and hopes and fears, loves and lies and…ahhh, shoot.

Well, now that I’ve run out of ways to say that my hearing’s getting better, I can say that though the sound quality of this new setting is the best yet, there is an odd little stinging in the ear and quite a bit of what I’ve come to think of as the “up-a-program” tinnitus. That is, every time there’s an implant boost, my ear rings a bit -- I may have hit a limit somewhere. But that’s alright as there are six or seven thousand other ways to program the thing.


Blogger Buddy said...

Hmmm. Want to write a bit more about those drugs?

9:01 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Huh, you never mentioned anything about the shocks to me. Thanks a-hole.

8:56 AM  

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