Have you seen those YouTube videos of people having their cochlear implants switched on for the first time? Well, that’s just what is was like for me getting my CROS system ‘switched on’.
My audiologist hadn’t given me terribly high hopes for using the Phonak CROS. With my single-sided hearing loss, he’d said it could take anything from three months to a year to get the benefit. But, as soon as the hearing aids were switched on, I immediately looked to the left to follow what the audiologist was saying. He and the Phonak technician couldn’t believe how quickly my brain was able to process the sound. It was instantaneous. None of us could believe it. I was instantly getting a sense of sound coming from both the right and left ear. The sound sounded quite natural too – not like it was coming through microphones and being amplified: it just sounded ‘normal’.
I left the shop and was amazed by everything I could hear. I remember being fascinated by the ‘click clack’ sound of my boots on the pavement. Then a bus went by and frightened the life out of me it was so loud. For months, I couldn’t have imagined anything sounding loud ever again, let alone something being ‘too loud’. It was a revelation!
I could hear the conversation of passers-by, and I could even hear the entire conversation of the passengers sitting behind me on the bus. No lipreading required – just ‘hearing’! I was so excited.
When I got home, my husband, Richard and I went for a walk in our local woods and I could hear the birds singing, the stream flowing and the rustle of the leaves in the trees. And, it didn’t matter which side Richard walked on, I could hear him from either side. But the best sound I heard was the squelch of my wellies in the mud. Such an insignificant sound… but it had such a profound impact on me.
This was just what I needed. My Phonak hearing aids had given me my life back! I was able to function once again in outside world after months of isolation. It was nothing short of a miracle to me.
Learn more about the Phonak CROS: