Celebrating Hearing in Music City

We’re in Nashville to for Cochlear Celebration 2019. Cochlear is my implant and processor maker. Every two years it invites its implantees to gather and learn about their new hearing.

The sessions cover a dizzying range of topics. We’re taking part in two sessions. The first is “Making a Difference: Changing how the world sees hearing loss.” We’ll talk about our experience of being “noisy deaf” and talking publicly about hearing loss, but especially hearing health. The second session is “when hearing loss hits home,” about how we coped before and after my Cochlear implant.

We’ve had a busy, busy year with barely a break, so we decided to come to Nashville a few days early, and just enjoy some quiet time and each other. Even then our schedule was pretty full. Yesterday we did a webinar with the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (an archive of it will be posted soon).

In the last year – probably in my life – I’ve met six people with a cochlear implant. There are only a few hundred of us in the Edmonton area. Tomorrow we’ll be speaking in front of hundreds of “my people.” It’s not clubby. It’s not exclusive. It’s special. You have to go through what Andreas calls the “War of Silence” to receive a CI. Hearing loss is an experience. These, my people, have shared it.

We’re getting together with family, and I’m so excited to meet them.