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“I didn’t know how much I had begun to rely on what is known as ‘speech reading’ instead of ‘lipreading.’ Mostly I had been watching people’s lips move. You naturally do that whether you’re aware of it or not. So after a while, what [the specialist] would do would be to cover her mouth and say things to me and ask me how much I was able to understand. And the percentage attached to that, I would say, was close to 75%.”
“No matter what you do, you cannot plug your ears up. You cannot create total deafness. You can’t do it. You can put stuff in your ears, and maybe you can get close to it, you think, but believe me, from one who has been totally deaf, total deafness is not total silence. It’s the strangest thing.”
“For the last two to three months, I could swear I was hearing things, and I would say, ‘I was hearing the soundtracks to westerns in my ear. It’s as loud as can be. It’s distracting. I knew I wasn’t hearing it because those noises weren’t being made.’ I asked Dr. Antonio De La Cruz of the House Ear Clinic ‘What is this?’ Well, ‘The brain plays tricks’ is about all he could do to explain it to me.”
“If it were just one-on-one conversation, then I personally would attach a percentage of 90 to it. But if you add two people in a room, and one of the people is talking, but not looking at me? I have to really drop everything else I’m thinking about and focus only on what that person is saying.”
“The upshot of all this is that the doctors have all said that most people start out much slower than I have in terms of ability of hearing what I have heard.”
“The word ‘rehab’ was used a lot to me prior to the hook-up on Thursday, and I didn’t know what that meant, really. Rehab? I think of people in knee rehab, taking six months. I said, ‘What am I rehabbing?’ They said, ‘Your brain and distinguishing crowds. You will be able to do that if you work at it. If you don’t, you won’t.'”
“There are some places that will implant both ears. Dr. Antonio De La Cruz of the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles suggested to me not to do that, to keep one ear, because they destroy the inner ear when they implant this device. So this is irreversible. Had this not worked, it was ‘tough toenails.’ Whatever you get is the end.”

“So they want to keep one ear available for the latest medical marvels in perhaps restoring hearing to people without doing an implant maybe 15 or 20 years from now. That’s the theory on that.”
“I hear pretty much everything. I hear the surf on the ocean. I hear water tinkling at the fountain. I hear paperclips falling. I heard a printer going. Whatever it is, I hear it. Some things do not sound like what they are, but I at least hear the sound of what they are. A car horn sounds like a car horn to me. I was told it wouldn’t.”
“I did not allow myself to have high expectations, because of everything I heard and didn’t want to be disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised and appreciative beyond my ability to express it.”
“For those of you who are curious, it matters not how you lose your hearing. The implant has just as good a chance of working regardless how you lost your hearing. In my case, autoimmune inner ear disease caused deafness, but there are all sorts of reasons why people go deaf.”
“One of the first things I did when I got back home from Los Angeles on Friday was get in a car to drive home. The radio automatically comes on, and it came on to some A.M. radio station. I thought ‘Oh, good.'”

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