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filmfann's avatar

What would be the first spoken words you would want to hear?

Asked by filmfann (40367 points ) January 13th, 2012

Last month, my wife had a cochlear implant placed. This is kind of an advanced hearing aid that bypasses the eardrum, and goes straight into the cochlear.
My wife had 2% hearing before the surgery. This device can give her, potentially, 60%, which is a huge change.
These will be the first words my wife ever hears.
So, what should the first words I say to my wife be after activation?

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51 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I love you.

Coloma's avatar

^ Copy that. :-)

Judi's avatar

@filmfann, I can’t think of anything better to say but I want to send you and your wife my warmest wishes on this grand new adventure. Has she always been deaf or will this be getting something back that she lost?
In either case, I’m sure the next year will be quit an adventure for you both.
You could have Pachelbel Cannon playing softly in the background.

Charles's avatar

“Because our insurance only pays 60% of the bill, I’m afraid we’ll have to cut out the cleaning lady and you’re going to have to do your own nails from now on.

What’s for dinner?”

Keep_on_running's avatar

My first thought would be “how does it feel?”.

smilingheart1's avatar

Whatever you say, include your favourite term of endearment you currently express plus her actual name. There would be nothing more solidly desired by her than that.

Sunny2's avatar

Say her name and “I love you.”

Or, you could say, “Can you hear me now?” (Just being silly)

rebbel's avatar

A bit mean, but if your wife can appreciate humor you could, inaudibly, mouth the words “And, does it work?”

zenvelo's avatar

Nothing tops “I love you” except I would use her name first.

Then it would be “okay, no more excuses about not hearing me…”

Pandora's avatar

I immediately thought of I love you but then I thought the sweet sound of music. Something playing low in the back ground. Instumental and soft.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Hi Honey (or her name).” Something soft…

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is just TOOOOO cool @filmfann!!! Way cool! Modern medicine!! :) I suddenly can’t stop grinning!!!! PLEASE let us know!

janbb's avatar

I love you.

everephebe's avatar

Hello ______ (name).

KoleraHeliko's avatar

Line up Beethoven’s 5th (or something equally epic) to start just as the implant turns on.

zensky's avatar

What should your first words be to her? It’s been said above already… congrats buddy – nice to hear about this development. Just tell her you love her.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

“I love you——- (her name)”

filmfann's avatar

@marinelife I love you too, but do you have any idea what I should say to my wife?

oh, maybe that was it…

Thanks everyone! I will post here how it goes when we get back.

augustlan's avatar

So exciting! I agree with everyone who said “I love you.” That’s my favorite thing to hear, pretty much anytime at all.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

janbb's avatar

@augustlan And what a wonderful one it is!

Rarebear's avatar

“Don’t lower it yet, is he breathing?”

HungryGuy's avatar

“Ich wil den Klavierstein!”

janbb's avatar

@Rarebear You might wnat to read the details.

Jeruba's avatar

It would be my name and probably some sort of greeting or term of endearment: whatever my mother might have said to me at my birth. Your wife will never have heard it.

cookieman's avatar

No better suggestions but…
BEST of LUCK @filmfann!!

ZEPHYRA's avatar

May everything you hear always make you smile….

Rarebear's avatar

Oops sorry.

filmfann's avatar

The activation went well yesterday. My wife was wincing from the many new sounds she was hearing, from my daughters high heels walking down the hall, to my other daughter and I eating cheese puffs LOUDLY. The doctor has started her at a very low level, and will be raising the volume every few days so that my wife can get used to all these new nerve signals.
The way I understand it, on first activation she is hearing sounds, but not the fullness of the sound, so people probably sound like the martians in Mars Attacks!
When the doctor first activated the device, she spoke to my wife, who began to answer, then halted, began to speak, and stopped again. “Oh, my gosh! That’s my voice!” she said. “I thought it was you!” she told the doctor. She had heard her own voice for the first time.
So now she is getting used to all these sounds, and trying not to be overwhelmed by it all. Thank you all for contributing here, and I will add follow-ups as we go through this.

rebbel's avatar

That is pretty emotional stuff, @filmfann, your wife hearing her own voice (for the first time in her life) and being surprised about it coming from out of herself (yet not ‘understanding’ that it is hers)!
Congratulations to your wife,and you and your family!

zenvelo's avatar

Thanks for the update @filmfann , that’s the kind of thing that waters up my eyes.

cookieman's avatar

Thanks for the update @filmfann. That’s pretty awesome!!

apologies to @gailcalled, but in this instance, I’d say it’s appropriate.

janbb's avatar

This is such a thrilling event; I love hearing about it.

Rarebear's avatar

Now that I actually read the details, I can comment. As @filmfann said, it’s far from normal hearing. Those of us with normal hearing have a million cells that give a full frequency response. Cochlear implants have, say 8. So it sounds like scratching. But it’s certainly better than nothing. You can hear samples here: http://www.utdallas.edu/~loizou/cimplants/cdemos.htm

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow wow wow! This is just giving me tickleys all over!!

bkcunningham's avatar

@filmfann, I honestly can’t imagine what this decision and the entire journey must be like for your wife, you and the entire family. Best wishes for her health and happiness.

Sunny2's avatar

@filmfann Thank you for the update. What a life changing event! I wish you and your family well. I can’t imagine what it will be like for you all. Keep your senses of humor alive and working, and, again, my best wishes to you.

Jeruba's avatar

How did she learn to use and recognize spoken language if she has never been able to hear? I realize it can be done; I’m just asking how she did it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Jeruba I’m sure that much of it is instinctive. Even deaf people are able to approximate words.

Jeruba's avatar

My question asks “by what means or method?” I believe that deaf people who achieve speech do so after a great deal of effort and arduous practice. After all, verbal concepts may come instinctively, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that English comes instinctively. But my information is general and probably faulty. I was wondering what steps @filmfann‘s wife actually took.

filmfann's avatar

@Jeruba My wife was instructed by teachers for the deaf. It is actually quite fascinating.
They can see how the mouth is positioned when a word is said, but cannot see how the tongue and throat manipulate the words. One way this is shown is by using a large, inflated balloon. The student can feel the vibration of the spoken word, and they try to match it. Another tool is using a feather, and watching how the air movement of the word effects the feather.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, how’s it going now??!! What does your wife think?

filmfann's avatar

It has been over a month since activation. She is hearing things she has never heard before, but describes the sounds as fake. Buzzes and beeps. Sometimes she is awestruck by something (I can hear myself pee!), but she is getting fustraited with not understanding speech better. She knows this is a process, and it takes time and work. She is glad to have done it, but wishes progress would come faster.

bkcunningham's avatar

@filmfann, may I please ask you a personal question that isn’t meant in any way, shape or form to be offensive? I’m curious if you’re wife had a network or community of other people with hearing loss and if by her getting cochlear implants it was controversial with her deaf friends?

filmfann's avatar

@bkcunningham She has many deaf friends, and some are quite opposed to having the Cochlear Implant. Some even object to her having married someone who has hearing.

bkcunningham's avatar

I just wondered. Thank you for answering. The deaf culture has always been fascinating to me for some reason. I’ve known a few deaf people who were on both sides of the equation. I’m sure the controversial decision and opposing opinions adds to your wife’s frustration in some ways too. It is a very slow and tedious process. I wish you both the absolute best outcome.

Jeruba's avatar

There was a movie about the controversy around cochlear implants. I saw it but can’t remember the name of it now. I was interested in the arguments of the members of the deaf community who were opposed to it and who staunchly defended the beauty of their own culture, saying it didn’t require correction.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why would someone be opposed to it?

@filmfann If I understood what you said, then that’s so interesting that she’s discerning between “fake” (electronic) sounds and real sounds and pinpointing the electronic sounds as “fake.” :)

filmfann's avatar

@Jeruba The Sound and the Fury
@Dutchess_III Exactly!

Jeruba's avatar

@Dutchess_III, that movie ( Sound and Fury ) lays out pretty clear—and strong—arguments against as well as for. I recommend it if you’d like to understand why there’s any controversy.

bkcunningham's avatar

I saw that movie too, @Jeruba. It was very interesting and enlightening.

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