Tomorrow I'll hop on Amtrak and head for Baltimore to visit the audiologist at Johns Hopkins. What a difference a month makes!!
In the beginning, everyone, whether men or women, sounded exactly the same--like Donald Duck. Now people sound like themselves in all their individual richness.
In the beginning, too, music did not sound AT ALL like music. Now Mozart sounds like Mozart, and the Beatles sound like the Beatles. In the beginning, only the words of "Old McDonald Had a Farm," were recognizable. Now I can hear the tune, too (PLUS the COW MOOING in the background!!)
Everyday my implant gives me another gift as my hearing nerve revives under the stimulus of the implant: the best gifts by far have been the conversations I never would have heard before they turned on this implant: at first, just brief chats with store clerks, and finally, last Saturday, hearing my friend Lida's voice clearly and listening to her tell one of her inimitable stories (see "This Week"). Lida has a strong, vibrant voice with a NY accent that's at once earthy and sophisticated. You just might know she'd have a fabulous voice, too!!
But today, the implant surprised me completely! I haven't been able to use the telephone so far, but I ran into my lovely neighbor Patricia at the mailboxes after work. We talked for a bit--"Can you HEAR me???" she said..."You bet!!" She was very eager to try to call me on the phone, and I told her that phoning had eluded me for lack of practice and a number of other technological considerations, too. She said, "Let's practice the phone calling!" She took my number, and I took hers (they're on that list from the condo board, but who ever looks at that--if you can find it!?). Anyway, she ran upstairs, and I let myself into my condo (in which Patricia used to live before I moved in, btw!!) and poured a nice glass of New Zealand white wine. (Sally has a friend who was/is the wine person for Esquire, and she told Sally that ANY New Zealand white was good. Babies, if it's $7 a bottle, I'll take her word for it.) Anyway, with glass in hand, I went in and sat by my two phones (I had to buy another phone to work with this implant. My old phone is for TTY calls, and it doesn't have a T-coil (for use with hearing aids) or a volume control handset. Anyway, I called Patricia's number, and....no answer. Patricia is a real working artist, and a fabulous one at that, and she believes in simplicity in all things, so I don't think she has an answering machine. Anyway, I hung up, and two minutes later, MY phones rang. I hit the speaker phone button and said, "Hello?" and I heard, clear as a bell, "This is Patricia...can you hear me??" I sure could!! We talked for maybe two minutes, then we hung up. Next I called Lida's number, and she answered!! and I heard her voice again! We talked for another two minutes, then hung up.
OK, Peggy....I know I said YOU would get my first phone call, and I would call you right now, but it's 11:44 pm your time, and you are probably in the arms of Morpheus (as they say in the classics). After I've had a bit of local PRACTICE, I'll certainly call you, and you'll be the first person in the fambly to get a fone call from me.
As they say in Northern Wisconsin, "Holy Jumpin' Jesus!!!"