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Feb 10, 2009

Is two my lucky number?

I attended an event tonight put on by Cochlear Americas, the company which makes the brand of cochlear implants I wear. From the time cochlear implants first were invented and found to be successful until more recently, people would only implant ear. In the last few years, research has been done that proved that two cochlear implants are better than one. I jumped on the bandwagon and got two as soon as I realized I could do that!

When discussion turned to the question of bilateral cochlear implants, many deaf people and parents of deaf children are pondering if they should get two. Myself and 3 other adults who had two implants were called up to the front of the room to share our story and ask questions posed to us by the presenter. There were a lot of people in the room that knew me. They've seen me go through the experience of getting the 2 cochlear implants as well as lose the 222 lbs. (Notice all the repetitions there of 2) I've changed and become tons more energetic due to the weight loss. The presenter knows who I am, but doesn't know how my energy level has changed (he knew I'd lost so much weight since he saw me in 2006 that he didn't recognize me when tonight). When he was asking me "my question" to answer for the audience, he asked me how my energy has changed since I got my cochlear implant.

The funny thing was, there was a lot of laughter in the room at that question! He was confused. What was so funny? What was the inside joke? Diane made a comment about the diet Coke giving me energy (I do drink too much). However, I knew most of the laughter was from people who'd seen me totally transform from a person who barely moved to this new person via the weight loss. So I had to laugh too! I told the presenter there was an inside joke, but we wouldn't talk about it now! I did answer his question to get the intent of it, or so I hope, in relations to my cochlear implants. The intent for those that don't know, is that you don't have to exert so much energy to hearing and understanding, but can just hear. Ergo, more energy!

Afterwards, some of my friends and I were joking around about it. In talking about the 2 cochlear implants, 222 lbs lost, we realized there was a play on numbers! Notice all the straight 2s! Then I added my own made up numbers. Between the cochlear implants and the weight loss, I decided I had 22 times the energy! Just so I can claim 2 as my lucky number! 2 cochlear implants; 222 lbs lost, 22 times the energy! Add it all up, what do you get? Not a mathematical answer, but rather it all equals a life transformed.


cami said...

That's a great story! made me laugh. Everyone needs a lucky number and two seems to be a perfect fit.

NariceatL4 said...

Another great post, and I can imagine that the presenter didn't recognize you! (You're lucky two's are great!)
(My vice is diet A&W rootbeer. I say vice because I'm pretty sure carbonation isn't good for us...)

Ann said...

Oh no! I don't want to think of carbonation as a vice! If I ever give up diet coke, I will move over to another carbonated drink, even if it's carbonated flavored water (something a lot of peole hate, but I do like!). Let's pretend carbonation is good for a person ok? Indulge me this once! :)

Ang said...

That is a great story! I did not realize that it took so much energy to try and listen and understand other converations. It makes sense, but I just never thought about it.

archiearchive said...

On a serious note re carbonation, Chemically the carbon di-oxide in carbonated drinks does nasty things to our calcium levels. Bone density loss is not a good thing as we move into the years beyond 50. (I'm speaking as a soda water addict)

Ann said...

Nooooooooooooooooooo Archie (dang, can't get that alt 146 or whatever thingie to work on a laptop). I don't want carbonation to be a vice and damaging to my bone densitiy. I LOVE my diet coke and carbonated water! Glad to know you like the carbonated water. Is that how you chase down the caramel? By the way, just sent you a Rolo! :)

Ann said...

Ang, a deaf person (who listens/lipreads has to put so much energy into the hard work of trying to understand people. They have to try to lipread, to try to put together what little they hear with what they lipread (lipreading IS HARD work). Hearing people (and people with bilateral cochlear implants!) can just sit back and relax and understand what's being said. You'd never see a deaf person doodling, slouching and listening, it's impossible. They are sitting at attention and deeply focused and working hard! It's cool to function "almost" like the hearing! Makes life so much easier.

Dustin, Heather and Gavin said...

Hello Ann,
You are great! I so glad to call you my friend. That was a great night huh. You did a great job up there on the panel. You have been through things in your life and that makes you strong. I was excited to see you up at the capital the other day. We will have to get together sometime soon!
Have a good night!