Just when I started sinking, just when it became clear that the cochlear implant surgery was a mistake, just when I started planning my days around long walks by myself, just when I’d resigned myself to having my children speak to me in three-word sentences repeated dozens of times, just when I’d started charting out the rest of my life as a non-hearing person, I heard the weather forecast on the car radio.
After that, I ate a cheeseburger and listened to talk radio. Then I had a conversation with my husband without looking at him. Then I rode in the car with him looking straight ahead and listened to him as we drove in the dark. Then I went to a fancy place for dinner with friends. Then I ran into an old friend and we laughed and chatted about getting together to have lunch now that I could hear her. Then I had a three-hour dinner with people at other tables and Christmas carolers making a lot of noise. And then we said good night to our friends and came home.
And I thought right away of this picture I took of the old Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys. I thought about how trapped I have felt. How I have felt trapped behind the fence.
I’m not anymore. It’s working. The cochlear implant, my brain, the technology, it’s working. It’s early yet and there is a long way to go but it’s working.
I’m not trapped anymore. I am getting free. And I am so glad I can barely speak.