Cochlear Implant Experiences
I'm new to this forum and have searched (will be searching more) for existing threads about experiences getting a cochlear implant. I am 73 years old and have had progressive hearing loss for some 30 years. Both ears are essentially the same. My audiogram shows that I have little or no hearing above 2000 hz. My word recognition is around 34% in both ears. I currently wear Phonak BTE aids.
I do well understanding speech via a bluetooth connection to the HAs and can easily carry on phone and zoom calls. Understanding people in real spaces is far more difficult. I'm pretty good one on one in a quiet setting though I hear some people better than others. Noisy environments are very hard as are many people who speak more softly, quickly, and with higher pitched voices.
Both a local audiologist in NM and the team at Mayo feel I would benefit greatly from a CI and I'm tentatively scheduled to do that at Mayo in April. If indeed my existing hearing is preserved, I may be a candidate for a hybrid solution amplifying my residual lower frequency hearing coupled with the implant for the higher frequencies. Otherwise I would rely on the CI completely. Regardless, I will wear a new hearing aid in the other ear.
I find the decision challenging mostly because 1) there's no going back, and 2) the process to relearn language sounds like it is daunting. Will I see enough benefit to make this worthwhile? How well will I navigate the journey of relearning language and what is that like? I've been told that it'll all sound like noise and will be a bit overwhelming at first.
I am encouraged that so many people seem to feel it was all worthwhile. It's just hard to know what the journey is going to be like.
I'm looking for people who can share with me their experience going through this process - the good, bad and ugly. I'm also looking into the mentor program that Cochlear runs as I've pretty much decided on that brand.