Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And it Burns, Burns, Burns, the Ring of Fire...

Last Saturday I attended a cochlear implant seminar to be a resource and answer questions for people who were considering getting an implant. As a parent of a child with cochlear implants, I enjoy helping others out in sorting through this difficult decision. I can only speak from Bella's experience, but I am happy to share how life changing the implant has been for her, and for us. Here is the group helping out at the seminar.

I was reminded by another advocate at the seminar about I story I had shared many years ago. She said it always made her laugh, so I thought I would share it here.

Before Bella got her implants, we did a lot of research about them. How they worked, the chances of them being successful for her, and also the risks. During this research, I came across a site that had simulations of what cochlear implants sounded like to a recipient. I remember listening and thinking that although it sounded very electronic and sort of like listening under water, I was happy that Bella would be able to hear speech.

Then I clicked on the most alarming cochlear implant simulation. It was supposed to be how a cochlear implant recipient hears music. They used the Johnny Cash song, "Ring of Fire." Here is the simulation http://www.hei.org/research/shannon/aip/ringdemo.mp3
After listening to the simulation I was horrified. I was convinced that Bella would never enjoy music. I thought the song sounded like the devil singing. It made me sad for Bella.

As Bella got her implants and developed a love of music, I began to question about how accurately the simulation portrayed music. I wrote it off as scary and not at all how music sounded to cochlear implant recipients.

Then one day, Bella and I were in a hair salon. Bella was about 5 or 6 years old. I was busy reading a magazine when Bella came up to me looking a bit unnerved. I asked her what was wrong and she said she didn't like the song that was playing. I had to listen for a minute and then I noticed...the song was "Ring of Fire." So I decided that all music doesn't sound bad with a cochlear implant, just Johnny Cash...

No comments:

Post a Comment