Hey guys! I’m back! I apologize for the lack of updates lately. I have been meaning to make this post for a couple of weeks but I’ve been crazy busy with writing my book, God Granted Me Hearing (which yes, is based on this blog and my cochlear implant experience!) :). Also, I haven’t had a whole lot of news lately. My 2nd cochlear implant has been progressing well. I saw Alyssa at Jefferson around a month ago and everything was good but she didn’t test me again so there’s no update on that end.
I do have something else to share with you all today though — what it’s like to get caught in the rain with a cochlear implant. I’ve written in the past about how getting caught in the rain was one of the things I was most looking forward to doing after getting my cochlear implant and I also wrote about what it was like to go swimming with a cochlear implant, but up until a few weeks ago, I never actually seriously got caught in the rain with a cochlear implant.
First let me say this was completely UNPLANNED. I live in Washington Township and I love to take walks. I knew that a thunder storm was on the horizon, but when I first headed out for the day the skies were still clear. It was one of the first days of spring so for once the weather was warm. I didn’t want to walk to the gym like I normally do because I thought it might be too far of a walk and I wasn’t sure if I’d make it back in time to avoid the storm. Instead I decided to take advantage of the fact that all of the basketball courts at the high school I live across were empty. I’ve always loved to play basketball but I don’t get the opportunity to play nearly as much as I’d like. So I grabbed my bag with a couple of bottles of water, my jump rope (don’t ask…), my basketball, and headed out.
I wore my aqua cases for this trip. I didn’t wear the aqua cases just because of the pending storm, but to protect against sweat as well. I made the mistake when I got my first cochlear implant of going to the gym without the aqua case and almost broke it from all of the sweat and moisture I got in it. Ever since that incident I’ve made a point to wear my aqua cases every time I go to the gym, work out, or even go for a walk or do anything that could produce a sweat. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
It took me awhile to cross the street that afternoon. Traffic was busy in Washington Township, as always. When I finally managed to cross the street and make it to the highs school I took out my jump rope and began using it. I’ve had my jump rope for over a year and never used it before. I heard it was good exercise which is precisely why I bought it, but I always shied away from using it fearing I’d look like an idiot, which I totally did, but it was okay because no one was around to laugh at me. I still didn’t have quite enough magnets in my headpiece on the cochlear for my right ear. I think the placement for that one is different than on my left which makes it not stick as well. When I used my jumprope it kept knocking my headpiece off until finally I gave up on it and took it off and put it in my bag.
I only jumped rope for about 5 minutes or so before switching to basketball. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you haven’t done it for 20 years, jumping rope is really intense! Plus I noticed the clouds were beginning to look a bit heavy so I wanted to stop and make sure I got plenty of basketball time in before it rained on my parade. I put my cochlear back on for this. It works out better for me than the jump roping did, but it still kept coming off my head whenever I jumped so I ended up taking it off again and putting it in my bag.
I played basketball for about a half hour or so before the rain began. I think this was my first time playing basketball with my cochlear implants. I noticed I was much more relaxed. I didn’t have to worry as much about whether or not any cars were coming by the parking lot or if there were joggers running through or someone trying to talk to me. I was able to hear everything around me (and also there wasn’t many people around anyway). It was very peaceful and fun.
After about a half hour I felt a raindrop hit my head. “Okay, that’s my signal to pack it up”, I said to myself. Within seconds of saying that, I found myself in a torrential downpour. The rain came down at the speed of light. I ran to my bag to check my cochlear and put it back on my head and to check that my phone, which was in my bag, was still working. Everything seemed good. Then I grabbed my bag, my ball, and headed on home.
But I couldn’t simply go home; I had to walk back which meant walking through the torrential downpour and trying to cross the dreaded intersection again. It also meant having to pass a bank and drug store while sporting soaking wet clothes and hair and dribbling a basketball. That’s not something you see everyday…
IT. WAS. FUN. SOOOOO MUCH FUN.
This is something I could never do before with my hearing aids. My hearing aids would have broken in seconds and I would’ve been having a major panic/anxiety account over getting caught in a torrential downpour with them. And my mother would want to kill me for destroying my $3,000+ uninsured devices.
But with my aqua cases on, my cochlear implants were 100% waterproof. I had nothing at all to worry about.
I dribbled my ball through the rain until it began to fill with the water and become too heavy to bounce. Then I carried it. I watched the people flee the bank to their cars as if they were afraid the rain might make them melt. As I waited at the crosswalk by the drug store I noticed the people in their cars looked at me like I was some kind of a freak because I was standing at a crosswalk for a busy intersection with soaking wet hair and clothes, a basketball, and the biggest smile on my face.
I didn’t care about being wet. I didn’t care that my clothes felt like they weighed 1,000 pounds from the rain. I didn’t care about my basketball session being cut short. I didn’t care about the fact that I was getting pretty cold. I didn’t even care about the fact that my contacts were getting blurry from being drenched in rain.
I was ecstatic. I was having one of the best days of my life.
When I got home I didn’t have to worry about anything being broken. I did take my cochlears off and put the aqua case parts and those specific batteries in the dryer just to be on the safe side, but I didn’t really have to. There was no panic attack. I didn’t have to take out the hair dryer to try to air them out and to get them to work or nothing at all.
I simply did what any normal person would do…I changed out of my wet clothes, got a hot bath and made a hot cup of coffee to warm up, and went on with my life.
You don’t realize how much these little things in life like getting caught in the rain can really mean to a person until they get to not just experience them, but ENJOY them without any kind of fear at all, for the first time ever. It’s surreal.
Getting caught in the rain with my cochlear implants may not have been everything I hoped it would be. Larry and I have been broken up for over 6 months now. There’s no one new in my life to give me that Notebook-style kiss in the rain. I didn’t even have anyone there to have a conversation with or to go puddle jumping with.
But you know what? It wasn’t what I wanted it to be because it was BETTER.
It was all my joy for the taking. It was all on me. It was all about me, having my moment. I didn’t need anyone else to be there for me. I just needed that rain and to be off in my own little world.
It was one of the best days of 2016 thus far.
I can’t wait to get caught in the rain again sometime soon.
Image Credits: Sincerely J
Hey everyone. Happy November 1st! I’m not sure what the weather is like for all of you guys today, but here in South Jersey it’s been cold and raining all day. And if you’re a hearing aid user like I am, the rain may be a bit annoying. Hearing aids just aren’t the most waterproof things in the world, that’s for sure.
I’m getting closer and closer to my next surgeon appointment (it’s on Wednesday, November 5th by the way). As I previously stated I should know the date of my surgery after this appointment. It should be before Christmas, maybe even before Thanksgiving. Everything has been happening so quickly with it all that it only makes sense that it’s been one of the only things on my mind lately.
As it rains today I keep thinking of yet another thing I’m very excited to do post-activation: get caught in the rain.
Have I ever been caught in the rain before? Oh yes. Plenty of times. Just check out this picture from this past 4th of July when I decided to go for a walk before checking the forecast…
Yeah…I had my hearing aids in that day. It didn’t go over too well. Hearing aids aren’t water proof like at all. One of them almost died on me. I had to lightly blow dry it, pump the water out, and place it in my sta-dri dehumidifer for awhile. I’m surprised this outing didn’t completely kill it. A few years ago I got a little too wet while riding a log steam ride in Hershey Park and it totally destroyed my hearing aid. Hearing aids are super expensive (over $2,000 each) and mine are not covered by insurance at all — so ruining a hearing aid to water id devastating.
Another better memory I have of getting caught in the rain goes back to September 13, 2014 when I was with my now-boyfriend (this was actually the day we became official!). We went to Wheaton Village and it began to rain. I had to remove my hearing aids and keep them in my purse/pocket so they wouldn’t get ruined. We had a lot of fun in the rain trying (and failing) to avoid the puddles. Whenever it rains now I think of this memory and can’t help but smile. But at the same time I think about how much better this memory could have been if I could actually hear him and didn’t have to take my hearing aids out…
This is my boyfriend, Larry by the way. This picture was taken just a few hours after our trip to Wheaton Village. My hair is all messed up from the rain lol. This is also the first picture we’ve ever taken together.
There’s something romantic about the rain. I’m not sure what that is, but in every good romance movie you see the couple get caught in the rain, kiss in the rain, or whatever and it just looks so incredibly romantic. What girl hasn’t wanted to recreate one of those scenes at least once during their life time?
Fact: every girl who’s ever seen the movie The Notebook has dreamed of recreating this epic kiss in the pouring rain. Any girl who tries to tell you otherwise is definitely lying. Image Credits: Live For Films
When you’re HOH and wear hearing aids, these idea of trying to recreate it suddenly becomes a bit less romantic. It’s more of a “Oh god it’s raining I have to hurry up and find shelter. I need to take my hearing aids out.” Followed by a, “I can’t hear a word you’re saying because I had to take my hearing aids out”. Far from romantic.
After I get my cochlear implant I really won’t have to worry about this so much. I still haven’t chosen which implant I will get, but I’m definitely leaning towards getting one from Advanced Bionics and I’m especially interested in the water proof model, which I believe is called The Neptune. The fact that you can actually go swimming with this processor blows my mind. Definitely nowheres near possible to do with my hearing aids, that’s for sure!
The only thing I’m not sure about regarding the waterproof Neptune processor is that it looks like it doesn’t go behind the ear. The processor looks like it would have to attach to your clothes and that would drive me nuts. I definitely want one that looks more like my hearing aids I have now and that go behind the ear. I’m trying to avoid having to attach the processor to my clothes at all costs. Leaning towards getting a processor that looks more like this:
Image Credits: Advanced Bionics
This one is called the Harmony. It also says it’s water resistant, so that’s a plus. Although I’m not sure if you can go swimming with it like you can with the Neptune. I wouldn’t mind that though. Yeah, I go swimming about once or twice a week in the summer when the pool is open, but if I have to remove my processor it’s not a biggie. I definitely just want the processor that will give me the most clarity and work the best with my hearing. Being water proof is just an extra bonus. From what my surgeon told me I’ll be able to enjoy getting caught in the rain with any model I choose.
It’s the little things like this that I’m looking the most forward to. For those of you that can hear and don’t have to rely on hearing aids or whatever, don’t take anything for granted. There are some people out there who which they could enjoy getting caught in the rain sometime and actually be able to hear the rain as it falls down around them. This will be something I should hopefully be able to enjoy in the upcoming months, and I really can’t wait for that.