Monthly Archives: February 2010

Bilateral CI Seminar in Chicago, March 6th

If you’re wondering about bilateral cochlear implants (either you have one already and are thinking about another, or you’re wondering whether to go for it and do both ears at once) and you live near Chicago, there’s a seminar coming up that you won’t want to miss!

This seminar is being held by the Bionic Ear Association (BEA) on March 6 (a week from today!) at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago.  In addition to the seminar, you’ll get a chance to tour a new exhibit at the museum: YOU! The Experience.  Per the museum website, this exhibit brings the elements of your choices, your personality, and your environment together into an interactive exhibit examining and celebrating the experience of life itself. It is one of the first and largest exhibitions to showcase the connection between the human mind, body and spirit in the 21st century.

Advanced Bionics is a permanent part of the exhibit (I haven’t seen it yet, but I imagine it’s part of the High Tech Human section).  How cool is that?!

Here’s the official invitation from Advanced Bionics – if you’re interested, be sure to click the link and register so they have a wristband waiting for you on the 6th, to give you admission to the museum and to the seminar:

BEA Bilateral Seminar

Invitation to the BEA Bilateral Seminar

I’ll be there, one of the people answering questions about being bilateral.  This is one of the things I really love to do, because being bilateral has made such a huge difference in my life.  Getting the chance to share my experience and to answer questions about it is so exciting!

I’ve learned something about myself when I do this sort of thing – I totally start shaking when I talk.  It doesn’t matter if I’m just sitting at a table with other people or if I’m standing in front of everyone; it has nothing to do with being nervous or scared.  It’s total adrenaline from the excitement I feel when I talk about this sort of thing.  I noticed it when I was part of a similar seminar at my doctor’s office in November.  This was a seminar about cochlear implants in general, for people who qualified for a CI but weren’t sure they really wanted one (or two).  I was there, along with another lady who had a Cochlear brand CI, to answer any questions people might have.

This was totally informal, and I was really comfortable – it was in a conference room where I had no problem hearing the questions people asked, and I just stayed seated (didn’t have to stand up in front of people).  But once I started answering questions, I was literally vibrating – teeth chattering, totally shaking.  It was bizarre – I was just so full of adrenaline and excited about sharing the details of how my cochlear implants changed my life.  So if you do happen to come to the seminar and you see me quaking in my boots (or sneakers, LOL) then you know why!

Seriously though, I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait to see the exhibit.  It’s been probably 4 or 5 years since I’ve been to the museum, even though we live less than an hour’s drive from Chicago.  On top of that, the topic of the seminar, bilateral hearing, is so near and dear to my heart.  Since I got both CIs at the same time, it’s sometimes hard to separate the benefit I got from cochlear implants and the benefit of bilateral hearing.  Not only did I get the joy of hearing again, but the absolute mind-blowing effect of hearing well from both ears (something I really had never experienced)…amazing!  It would have still been great to get one CI but getting both at once (and I can really hear the difference if I’m just wearing one CI or the other) has brought me a level of hearing I never thought was possible.

And yeah, I’m shaking as I type this…I can’t help it.  🙂

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