New patient stories
We hope the experiences shared here are useful for patients and their families who are going through a cochlear implant assessment. We will post new patient stories on this page but you can also find a range of video stories on our website.
After a sudden hearing loss, Sister Linus had a cochlear implant in her left ear and had her initial programming early in 2019. She has written her story to share with others.
My cochlear implant story
I am Sr Linus a Catholic nun.
It was 1989 when I work up one morning not hearing anything at all. I was then 36 years old. There was no pain nor discharge. Later on that evening I regained my left hearing, but the right side remained off up to today permanently. I was treated for colds and allergies with no improvement to my hearing (right). Scans and x-rays were done with both showing no problem.
I was then fitted with the hearing aid where the left was to transmit the message to the right side. Still there was no good, instead they gave me headache. I took them off.
Though it was devastating, hearing with one ear did not stop me from doing my nurse/midwifery duties. I used my left ear throughout.
I then came to England in 2004 (Shrewsbury). The audiologists there again fitted me with 2 different hearing aids. Still there was no change in my hearing.
Then in 2010, I came to Nottingham. Y My GP referred me to Ropewalk House where the audiologists have done a fantastic job to help me hear by changing or trying all types of hearing aids but with no improvement. Instead the hearing was going even lower. Again, scans were done which showed no problem in both ears.
In June 2017, the worst came to the worst. Woke up, and as it was in 1989 my left hearing was now also gone off. My superb audiologist continued to change or give me the best hearing aids but with no improvement. At the same time the team advised me to start thinking about a cochlear implant as they said that would now be the only option.
Assessments with explanations about the advantages and disadvantage were done. The disadvantages scared me especially when I heard I would no longer have my natural hearing. It was a hard decision.
After the left ear going off, everything became very hard. I felt isolated as now the communications were only done through writing. I used so many notebooks. I couldn’t hear our doorbell, whenever the doorbell went somebody was to signal me I could not sit freely with people as I could not follow conversation. Visitors on the door were to write down their names and whatever agenda they had. It was very embarrassing for me. I got nothing from the church services.
In short. After more than a year of assessments and explanations the operation was then done in November 2018. A Just over a month after later, the implant was switched on, and WOW!! It was like a dream. The audiologist asked me a question which I clearly understood and answered. Could hear even the clock ticking on the wall.
I am now 1 month back in the hearing world. I can hear a phone ring and can communicate through phone. I can listen to a tape. I can hear the door bell and talk freely with the visitors. I feel relaxed to site with people. I can hear the birds sing and many other things.
I am just too happy and very, very grateful to the Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme [Nottingham audiologists Cochlear Implant Team]. They have done a fantastic job on me. I want to thank them all for their exemplary patience. Continue to help others as you have done on me. My advice to those with hearing impairment and are scared. Go for it and your life will change drastically.