I get such a thrill when I work with my Cochlear Implant recipients. Last month I had the chance to go to theatre to see Mr Michel Neeff perform the surgery part of the procedure. It was both complex and precise. And a privilege to be a part of.
Once the electrode array was in place, in the theatre, I tested the performance of the electrodes, and the ability of the nerve to respond to the stimulation. All was good.
The following day the CI recipient had a CT scan to confirm that the electrode array was perfectly positioned (it was). Then he was in my clinic for ‘switch-on’. After a few measurements of how much sound the nerve was able to tolerate, he was hearing from his ear for the first time in over 40 years. It’s lovely getting to share that moment with a recipient.
For me, as exciting as those parts are, the real wonder of the whole journey is when the recipient returns to an appointment and tells me something like “I no longer need my wife to act as a hearing dog”, or “I can now take messages from strangers over the phone”. When a cochlear implant wearer begins to perform every day listening tasks they thought they had forever lost, it gives us all a sense of wonder.
Just one of the reasons I love my job!