I have news. It is exciting. It is nerve wracking. It is wonderful. It is terrifying.
It could be life changing.
On the 6th May, I am having a second Cochlear Implant! On my left ear. On the ear that has not heard a thing for the past 23 years!
Every year I go down to Tygerberg Hospital where my audiologist, Jenny Perold, does a check up and re-tune of my CI. Having finished this, she turned to Mum and me and said: “There is a special on Cochlear Implants. Your Medical Aid, Discovery is prepared to pay It all. I think we should give your left ear a try.”
“But Jen, do you think there’s any hope of me getting some hearing back? I mean, unlike my other ear, this ear has heard zilch for the past 23 years. Well,” I finished breathlessly, “you know that!”
Jenny smiled. “Yeah, I do think there is a chance. It won’t be as dramatic as your right one was, but I think there is a very strong possibility that you will regain your hearing on your left hand side. Also, you will definitely get your sense of direction back.”
I now have no sense of direction whatsoever. If I don’t see who is talking to me, I will hear what they are saying but have no idea where they are standing; where the sound is coming from. To get my “directional sense” back would be fantastic! My balance would also improve which would help my walking no end.
“Go for it!” was my response, and indeed that was what Jen did! She had to get a letter from Dr Wagenfeld, the surgeon who was going to do the op, giving the go ahead. He sent the most incredible letter to Discovery:
“This patient’s tragic history following an accident she had in 1989 is well known to you. In 2007 she underwent a right cochlear implant which made a most fundamental difference in her life in that it put her in contact with the world through sound again. This has all been documented on Carte Blanche and in the press.
She would be an excellent candidate for an implant in her left ear which would only serve to improve her contact with the outside world even more and she deserves a chance considering how much work she has put into making the most of what she has. I enclose a quote for the costs involved and would appreciate your giving her case your sympathetic consideration for support.”
Naturally I have spoken to God about this. I have been quite explicit: Lord, you know what I want – I would love to be able to hear again in my left ear. Please, please Lord, let that come to be. But You know what is best for me. And so if it is not Your will for me to be given back that hearing, then please Lord, let me accept that decision of yours. It is too, too wonderful being able to hear once more on my right hand side. Let that be enough…..but, oh Lord…to be able to hear on my left…..!
So now it is a case of: Roll on the 6th May!