My first solo trip!!

I went to uk on my own this time round as my husband had commitments to stay with our girls. I had always relied on someone for everything I did as with no hearing it was hard to do alot by myself especially when it came to travelling and hearing the speakers, so this was a big thing for me. My husband always helped me explain to security about the implant and the magnets because I can’t go through the full security scanner as it would erase the mappings and settings of the device.  So he dropped me off at the airport and I said my goodbyes to my little family.  Once I had checked in and made sure I had special assistance apart from the fact that I wouldn’t hear the boarding calls I was still having what I called ‘episodes’ which was the dizzyness and vertigo that came with recovering from the surgery so the doctors and sponsered patients here in Gibraltar thought it would be best to provide me with the special assistance.

I went through security explaining about the scanners then proceeded to the waiting area and finally boarded the plane for my first solo trip to England. Once I got there a taxi picked me up and took me to Calpe house where my lovley group of friends were waiting for me having promised my husband that I would be looked after and entertained by them.  I will be honest and say this time round because I was on my own I did shy away a lot and mainly stayed in my room. Sleeping at night was hard as my mind was constantly racing at being alone but also because I was just scared, I’m not afraid to say that anymore but I was, when you rely on people all the time for simple tasks it can be quite hard to let go of that. Thankfully my friends there made sure we met up and had our regular meeting for coffee and treats and chats. I was grateful to have them there to lean on for my first trip alone. I’m normally a very bubbly person but this trip I felt shy and isolated myself a bit, it was lovley especially at nights not to have someone in the room with me to talk too but during the day I had plenty of company and love around me. 

On the Tuesday after my arrival it was time to head to Eastman dental hospital for my mapping session. I had a new audiologist this time round who has been amazing in my journey with the implant I cannot thank her enough for all her hard work with me. Again. I was asked how everything had gone back home and we Began working on the new settings for this rounds mapping. Again I had to do the tests of sounds and say when they were loud but comfortable and at a place I felt happy with that. the audiologist also told me that again we would need to change settings every 3 days and that this time round I probably wouldn’t notice the change too much as it was going to be more subtle.After hearing the sounds and again setting the mark going through the list it was time to head to the speech therapist to do some more sound work and listening excersises.

We worked on looking at my homework booklet and also my app work on listening. We again did excersises where I had to repeat the word she said without looking at her or lip reading and also sentences. After this was done she proceeded to do sentences that had 2 words that sounded similar and I had to say which word was actually being used. On this trip I actually got quite a few mixes up and was saying the wrong words alot but I was told this was normal as I had only had the device in for a short time. Remember the whole process takes around a year to a year and a half to complete so it was still early days but that I was still making slow progress. I was happy to hear this as I was working hard to do everything in my power to help myself get to where I needed to get too. The speech therapist gave me some new apps to work on my listening and was told to keep up the good work

I was told that again I could go back home and return again in 2 weeks for the next mapping session. So again I came home to my family and used all the tips given to me. I worked hard again on my homework and made sure to practice all I needed too so that the next mapping would be just as positive as this one.

Getting the implant isn’t just having the surgery and connecting the device and boom I’m fixed. Having the cochlear implant is hard work to achieve your goals. You are a work in progress and it takes time to get hearing back, especially after so long without hearing sounds. It means going back to being like a child who constantly asks what’s that? What’s this? It is a learning process. I have to work every day on my listening and talking and identifying new sounds. That means me sitting there and opening a tap 4 times to hear the water run so I know what it sounds like, or asking a friend to knock a few times and identify that. It’s hearing the phone ring for a while before I pick up so I can know what it sounds like, or simply just hearing the same word over and over so I can learn it. Like I said I have to work on it every day and can’t just say not today because if not there can be setbacks and the implant looses it’s usefulness. This trip I made would be the first of many solos but I slowly would open up to the world around me and start being more independent every time I travelled back. After this trip I wasn’t so scared anymore and knew that if I had handled it then I could handle it again.

When I came home I was so exited to share everything that I was experiencing with everyone. Everyone was asking how it had all gone and I couldn’t wait to tell them. It was all so new to me that everything was exciting. I literally wanted to share this with everyone and anyone that would listen, it was that important to me. Unfortunately time went by so quick here at home and it was soon time to go back for my second mapping appointment. Again I would travel alone so my husband could stay here with our children.

But this time I would actually enjoy things a little more and do more. I can’t wait to share that with all you reading this. Till the next time Au revouir.

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