The really weird part of my implant – is that now when I switch it off …. it doesn’t ‘switch off’ in my head.
/insert Scooby Do creepy music here
And I’d have gotten away with it if not for you meddling kids. What? Yeah back on subject. I give you Phantom of the Opera and What’s opera Doc as presented by Michelle.
In the shower, without the implant on, it sounds like it is on. I can hear the implant version of water but in my head. Like my brain is adding the sound it thinks now it should hear. My own foot steps when I walk. The sea gulls when I see them but not all sounds. It’s really weird.
In bed at night, I think I can hear floors squeak, or running water, or traffic outside. Like I can switch it off but not fully. I’m reminded I am deaf when I sit and the house is quiet and the noises are all in my head. Or when someone speaks and I forgot to read their lips. But when they are on I hear most everything. I almost feel normal.
No, my implant hasn’t malfunctioned. My implant isn’t being controlled by a rogue Russian satellite and being used for spying to get state secrets. Though honestly that might be pretty cool.
It’s the nerves in my cochlea going a bit nuts from being stimulated constantly after years of silence. It’s my mind craving what it has been missing. If you consider, since birth, right up until the switch on last year, I never heard anything at all.
But now – at night, when I take it all off, and go to bed, I lie there listening to the range of sounds going through my ear like a music scale. I often wondering what on earth is going on in there. I have double checked with the doctors, and there is no sound when this happen. So it’s literally my nerves creating ‘phantom’ noises.
It must be what it is like when you lose an arm – but you can still feel it.
I hadn’t been ready for something like this. I wish I had been mentally preparing myself for my ear and brain to be doing weird things. I have all the faculties to deal with this kind of thing.
Because I can feel myself lying there in the darkness at night thinking “Stop! Stop!”. It’s difficult to sleep when this happens though it does fade. It’s fading faster now at night seems the more I get used to the implants the less it happens. But i still tell my ears to stop sometimes even though it doesn’t!
At night the panic begins to rise as all my other senses go haywire. It takes a lot to lie there and think of something else. It takes a lot to clear my mind and settle my crazy nerves.
But, having said this … deep down I know that these ‘phantom sounds’. That my ear is making are actually a good thing. Those parts of my ears must be freaking out in there. They are being electrocuted ever second of every day whenever a noise happens.
It really feels like my ear has been ‘awakened’. Sometimes it seems that now doesn’t want to sleep….EVER! It’s like my ear is taking music classes when I remove the external implant. While the implant is away, the brain will play I guess.
It is my body and my brain dealing with something that humans are not normally meant to deal with. Sound then silence both imposed by the introduction of connecting the implant.
So, I am just trying to be kind to myself. It’s interesting just how hard I have been on myself actually and still am. I’ve been trying so hard, when sometimes you just have to sit back and let everything flow over you. These implants have certainly been something you are just along for the ride.
My new motto (well for this week at least) is now “Relax, sit back and keep your arms and legs inside the cart at all times and enjoy the ride. Enjoy the ups, the downs and even the loops”.
~Michelle Styles – May 6, 2014