And Then I Went to the Support Group


Each meeting features streaming captions projected on the wall.

At a meeting of the Cochlear Implant Support Group I quickly discovered there were two types of people in attendance:  those who could hear and those who couldn’t.  The people who could hear all had cochlear implants; the rest of us had hearing aids.

The people with cochlear implants were calm and happy.  The people with hearing aids were craning to read the captions projected on the wall as the speaker presented a program on the latest hearing gadgets.  The people with cochlear implants asked questions and shared anecdotes.  The people with hearing aids (me included) just tried their best to keep up.  Admitted, the hearing aid people were having trouble keeping up, not because hearing aids are inferior, but because we’d exhausted the benefit of hearing aids; they’d done everything they could for us and it was time for us to move on.

A kind young man with a cochlear implant he’d had since the 80s introduced himself and offered encouragement.  He said the most surprising thing was how much more energy he had after the implant.  He no longer had to work so hard to understand everything and had excess energy to put into other things.  That sounded promising as I headed home, exhausted.



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