Music Observations

At Day 8 post-activation of my Cochlear Implant, I tested music for the second time. The first time was on Day 3, and I’d previously been so happy that I was able to pick up the melody from certain songs.

I tested two different songs on Day 8, and both were some of the simplest of songs that I tested on Day 3.

Test 1 was Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.”
In the quiet of the evening, after the kids were in bed, I turned on the speakers of my computer to the song, and I literally broke down in tears. What I heard was no longer the static background of music with a clearer melody. I heard strings. I heard a piano. And I distinctly heard the pure voice of a very talented male vocal lead. I can’t describe the heartbreaking joy of hearing something I thought I might not be able to hear again. Let me say, it’s not perfection, and I still have so much work ahead of me, but it was something more beautiful than I thought might be accomplished by a technological device in my head. I wasn’t sure this implant was capable of this much, but I’m so very happy to say that I’m wrong.

That first test hit me so powerfully, partially because the song means so much to me. I knew the second test wouldn’t be so emotionally binding, but I wanted to go further.

Test 2 was by Howie Day, titled “Collide.”
When I first heard this song so many years ago, Howie Day sang it on Jay Leno’s show with nothing more than an acoustic guitar. I don’t know why, but the melody has just always stuck with me. And when I heard it during my test, I was just astounded at my hearing comprehension. When I heard it on Day 3, it was a whole lot like the Josh Groban song. I picked up the melody in the vocal, and I could make out the strum of the acoustic guitar. The second time around was a whole different thing. When I heard the guitar intro, I could clearly pick out the individual notes that make up the entire chord being played. Each strum became much more than just a mushed note, but a symphony of multiple notes.

I laughed and just held my head in my hands, hardly believing this gift I’ve been given.

I’m still not close to perfect. I’d say at this point that I’ve come back to something around fifty to sixty percent of my hearing. I have such a distance to go, so much more to learn, but I can’t explain how happy I am. I’d lost a joy inside myself that I hardly realized I’d lost, and I now find that each day is no longer a monotony of lost sounds, but an adventure of new ones.

And I’m so incredibly grateful. Thankful. And enjoying my life once more.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Flyinghigh on February 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I found it within a little bird, a finch.Sitting at work awaiting before my drive home.I heard him somewhere.I focused the search and found the little critter alone on a fence thirty yards away.Saw his little mouth move as I listened to his music.Its hard to relate the beauty of that sound if you have never lost hearing to gain it again.You understand and would guess it right in saying that I was late getting home.


  2. Is there a way I can subscribe to your post. My daughter, she’s a junior in high school, home schooled but is taking ASL. I took it for two years in college as my second language for deaf education. In any case, she is think about being an audiologist and I think she’d really love to read your posts and ask questions.
    Susan or homschlr4ever


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