Mama’s Baby Robot


My implant is live. I am now part of cochlear nation.

It’s two weeks to the day since my cochlear implant surgery. The magnet inside my head just sitting there all lonely met its match today. When it did, and the audiologists activated the implant, they asked me whether I heard any static.

I sat and listened. They asked again, “Do you hear any static?”

“No,” I said. “But I’m hearing voices and neither of you is talking.”

They looked at each other, smiled and then looked at me, “There are people talking out in the hall.”

There are people talking out in the hall. Okay. Well, I guess I heard them talking out in the hall. I heard people talking out in the hall. 

I had been warned that the implant would not result in normal hearing, that it wasn’t going to be a cure. It’s like an prosthetic leg is not a real leg. It isn’t beautiful and shapely, strong and muscular. A prosthetic leg is about function. In the same way, I think, a cochlear implant is about function. Do I want to have normal hearing? Sure. But that’s not an option. Do I want to function better? Yes. And the cochlear implant will help me do that.

Speech sounds very robotic. Think R2D2 robotic. This includes my own voice and everyone else’s. At first, people’s voices sounded like a text to speech reader but gradually over the day (and it has just been about 8 hours), the sounds have rounded out so they are more human, less machine-like.

Over the next several weeks, I will go through a series of adjustments and, after that, several check-ups during the year. The science of hearing technology is remarkably advanced and I am lucky enough to be really in the belly of the cochlear implant technology beast at the terrific Koss Cochlear Implant Center at Froedtert Hospital/Medical College of Wisconsin.

I walked out of the clinic carrying a suitcase with all the cochlear implant gear like I was taking a newborn baby home from the hospital. I was wanting people to stop and admire my suitcase, coo over it, congratulate me. But instead I got in the elevator and said “5, please” when a man asked me what floor I wanted.

5. That’s what floor I wanted. 5.

And I almost burst into tears.






18 Comments on “Mama’s Baby Robot

  1. Wonderful. I don’t know how I missed out on this eight years ago. I remember when you had the implant but evidently didn’t read this!!!!

  2. As women of a certain age, lets hear a big cheer for anything that makes us function better. Trumps beauty any day of the week! This is what I have been waiting to hear – you have made my day.

  3. I am thoroughly enjoying these updates of your cochlear implant journey and cheering you on all the way. This one made me teary. In a really good way. ❤️

    • Thank you and you know, the support from people on my blog has been really helpful/meaningful. It has been and will continue to be a trip and I’m glad there are people who will listen to me talk about it. Thank you!

  4. Can’t wait to read what does bring you to tears. I still think it will be those boys in California

  5. Great news, Jan! Now, if we could only get the Pack to win one….

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