I’ve been thinking about the comments from people who don’t support my decision to receive a cochlear implant. I’m sorry they don’t support my decision, but I don’t want to be deaf. Why would I? I still remember being able to hear as a child. I used to sing along with “Bye Bye Miss America Pie” when it played on the radio. I was only 5 years old when my parents noticed I had a hearing loss, but I by then I had developed a large vocabulary, I was able to read on a higher level than most of my peers, and I loved music passionately.
I understand why someone who grew up Deaf wouldn’t want a cochlear implant (CI). Asking Deaf to become hearing is like asking a leopard to change its spots. Or like Michael Jackson becoming white. It’s the core of their identity. So, I get it. I do. I still have some bitterness regarding hearing people in my life insisting I become “healed” and no longer be “deaf”. It made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for them.
But I want to be able to have verbal conversations with people in my life. I’m tired of being left out of the conversation because I can’t speech-read that much or that fast or I can’t see the person talking. I’m determined to learn to hear without so many visual cues.