Three months down the line, what differences has having my second CI made to my life? Let me tell you a story!
I used to have a great voice. It was clear, strong and true. (Hmmmm, okay, so modesty might not be one of my strong points, but with brain damage, one always tends to ‘say’ what one thinks!) I had always loved singing. In fact, singing was engrained into me. I loved music. Just as one gets hungry and eats, so too I opened my mouth and sang.
Then I had my “Plunge” and consequently lost 60% eyesight, became brain damaged, spastic down my right hand side, totally deaf and as a result, my singing days are over. I am unable to sing in tune. I can’t explain the loss that is to me. I am no longer able to open my mouth and bring people pleasure. Which is not to say that I then cease to sing. Oh no, I still open my mouth and notes pour out. Often. It is just most unfortunate for the people who are in the vicinity! They are treated to a very loud, hopelessly off key version of whatever music has taken my fancy!
In Church, even with my CI’s, I am unable to grasp the tune of any new songs, so for songs that are unfamiliar to me I just keep quiet and ponder the words that are being sung. But if I know the song, I launch into it with gusto, blasting out the tune in sheer off key abandon! God knows what my voice is like and He doesn’t mind! I apologise to my Mum standing next to me and the people in front of me in church. How they manage to keep singing and not gape in silent horror and fascination is beyond me!
But last Sunday an amazing thing occurred.
We sang four songs that I knew so I “blasted” them out with gusto. To open my mouth and sing is still a wonderful thing! After the church service Mum turned to me in the car park: “Do you realise that you sang in tune today? I waited for you to go off key but you didn’t. Gaynor, you sang in tune!”
“I sang in tune! Are you sure?” I looked at Mum’s smiling face and grinned.
I grinned the whole way home!
So to my audiologist, Jenny Perold and my CI surgeon, Dr Wagenfeld, indeed to the World, I say: “Maria Callus I am not. But thanks to my second Cochlear Implant, I am beginning to sing in tune once more!”
And I could improve as time moves on. Who knows?
Celine Dion – watch out!