Forgetting to hear.
I was up, showered, shampooed, blow-dried, teeth brushed, eyeglassed, dressed, jewelried, and on my way out the door this morning when I realized I was still deaf.
On my walk to work - the CI processor now in place - I reflected on how exactly that could happen. How could I forget to hear?
I suppose there are late-deafened people like me who can't stand not wearing the processor. It's probably the first thing they reach for on waking up.
I find that - within reason - I transition very well between both states. And after several hours of being deaf - when sleeping, or swimming - I'm quite comfortable navigating the world not hearing. So much so that I can apparently forget to "turn hearing on" when I'm able to.
That's not to say I'd be comfortable without the option! The couple of times a component of the processor has failed - a wire broke, for example - I've been in a cold-sweat panic until the problem was solved.
But the fact is, when you've been there for a few hours - optionally - deafness is a very peaceful state. So much so that here's a secret: I don't enjoy putting the processor on in the morning.
Oh, I am enormously grateful for it! And, as I said, I'd have a panic attack if I put it on and it didn't work!
But it does work, and putting it on is just, honestly, not a terribly pleasant experience. You go from total silence to a sudden - LOUD - cacophony of noises, from the traffic on the street to the electricity humming through the appliances. The world is very, very loud. Having it hit you all at once is not a particularly pleasurable sensation.
I am grateful, enormously grateful, every single day for the miracle of the processor. But that first few seconds after activation is the thorn on the rose.
Perhaps that's unique to me. I don't know. It's just an observation. And I hope I never have to learn about the alternative.