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Topic: I may not be deaf much longer!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (May 28, 2009 09:31PM)
I just thought I'd share this with all my magic friends.

On June 8th I'm going to have some tests done to see about getting a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_implants]Cochlear implant[/url]. You can click that link to find out what it is if you're unfamiliar with it.

I was tested for it about 7 years ago but they told me that although it would give me the ability to hear some sounds. It wouldn't be able to help much with the pitch that most speech is in. So basically, if it couldn't allow me to hear speech then what's the point in going through with it. The technology has made many advances since then so I'm going to test again to see if it'll work for me now.

Can you imagine? Ron Jaxon not being deaf? :) Actually, even if it does work I'd still be technically "Deaf" for if I take it out I won't be able to hear anything. In fact that's kind of the scary because if I do go through with it and I'm not wearing the device I'll loose what little hearing I do have now.

Actually there is a lot about it that's kind of scary. Just to be able to hear again is kind of scary. A lot of people I talked to had a hard time understanding why that is. But I've been deaf for so long I'm use to it. I mean imagine you suddenly picked up a new sense and from that you learned about a lot of things you where missing before.

At the same time there are a lot of things I do hope to be able to do someday. Small things really like to be able to talk on a phone without having to read what's being said. To hear music. To know if something is happening around me even when I can't see it. To be able to get things taken care of that I'd usually have to have someone else help me with (Such as phone calls). Heck, I'd love to just be able to go enjoy a movie in a movie theater.

So it's exciting but at the same time a little scary. I still don't know if I'm even eligible yet so I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much but I'm still a bit excited. I watched some youtube videos of people that documented their experience of getting this implant. I'm thinking about doing the same things. Maybe someone will find it interesting.

On a side note. If I do get this done I'll actually have a magnet embedded in the side of my head. Who knows. Maybe I'll come up with the Cochlear Implant vanish. LOL

Thanks for listening.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: abc (May 28, 2009 09:43PM)
Great news and hope all goes well.
Message: Posted by: balducci (May 28, 2009 10:00PM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-28 22:31, Jaxon wrote:

On June 8th I'm going to have some tests done to see about getting a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_implants]Cochlear implant[/url]. You can click that link to find out what it is if you're unfamiliar with it.
[/quote]
Good luck, if I were in your situation I imagine I would do the same.

I've read some in the deaf community 'shun' people who go this route, though. Is there some truth to this?

EDIT: Oh, I see the page actually mentions the controversy.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (May 28, 2009 10:08PM)
Good luck! Medical science kicks ass!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (May 28, 2009 10:22PM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-28 23:00, balducci wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-05-28 22:31, Jaxon wrote:

On June 8th I'm going to have some tests done to see about getting a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_implants]Cochlear implant[/url]. You can click that link to find out what it is if you're unfamiliar with it.
[/quote]
Good luck, if I were in your situation I imagine I would do the same.

I've read some in the deaf community 'shun' people who go this route, though. Is there some truth to this?

EDIT: Oh, I see the page actually mentions the controversy.
[/quote]

Thanks you everyone.

Yes, there is a big controversy about it but that's mainly in the Deaf community. It's basically a matter of Deaf Culture. Imagine you belongs to one culture and someone is coming in and doing things to people that cause them to no longer fit into that culture. There's more to it then that but that's a big part of it. They have a culture that this technology is threatening it.

Watch this movie tailor about a documentary/movie called Sound and Fury. It's about a deaf family and their deaf child who want's the implant but the parents don't want their child to get it. It'll give you a taste of how contriversial it is.

I don't' feel this effects me because I wasn't born deaf and I don't really belong to any "Deaf Culture". I use to be able to hear at one point so it's a little different then growing up in that culture. In fact many call what I'm in "Between worlds". I sometimes feel that way too.

Anyway, Thanks again. I'll keep you updated.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (May 28, 2009 10:32PM)
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s80N4o4ctxw]Here's the link to the Sound and Fury trailer[/url].

The first trailer I found when searching for Sound and Fury was, ironically, a heavy metal music festival trailer. Definitely not the one Ron meant.
Message: Posted by: thorndyke (May 28, 2009 11:01PM)
One of my relatives has this device and it was the best thing as it really made a difference in her world. My fingers are crossed for you!
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (May 28, 2009 11:17PM)
Good luck Ron. Thanks for sharing. And do please keep us updated.

John
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (May 29, 2009 12:03AM)
Godspeed!
Message: Posted by: mvmagic (May 29, 2009 03:56AM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-28 22:31, Jaxon wrote:
Thanks for listening.
[/quote]

One day in the future we will thank [i]you[/i] for listening! I really hope it work for ya!
Message: Posted by: ceme20 (May 29, 2009 04:54AM)
Man that is fantastic! Keep us informed as to how you are going. This is the kind of magic that makes everything else pale in comparison. All the best!
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (May 29, 2009 05:31AM)
My wife has had several children and parents in her Kindermusik classes with cochlear implants. I had a long, fascinating conversation one day with a "cochlear dad", and he said that it was the best thing he had ever done! He also brought up the problem of the way the deaf community now regarded him, but he said that it was worth everything he had gone through to be able to hear!

Best of luck to you.
Message: Posted by: Larry Bean (May 29, 2009 08:35AM)
A recently aired "House" episode dealt with this very topic. I had no idea that a medical breakthrough could have such a downside.

Good luck, Ron!
Message: Posted by: MAKMagic (May 29, 2009 09:27AM)
Ron - extremely exciting my friend. I can only imagine the flurry of your thoughts about this. My hopes and prayers that all works out to your liking and more.
Message: Posted by: airship (May 29, 2009 10:31AM)
Ron, I was born with cataracts in both eyes. I could never see well, and eventually they got so bad I had to have both lenses removed and replaced with plastic ones. They were reluctant to do the surgery too soon because they really didn't have any experience with implants in someone so young, and the techniques and technology kept improving.

Long story short, it was AMAZING how much the world changed when I got my implants! There were whole ranges of colors I'd never seen before. Nothing was fuzzy. My brain used to fill in what I couldn't see, so a bundle of socks on the floor would sometimes look like a rat, etc. Funny sometimes, but it was nice to be able to finally find my socks! :)

I am now 57 years old and ironically have the BEST eyesight of all my peers. I was always the one with the thick glasses, but now they are.

It's a blast. I hope you have a similar experience with your hearing. Fully functioning senses rule!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (May 29, 2009 12:59PM)
Thanks everyone. I'll let you know what happens.

I was talking to a friend who has the implant. She was never deaf though. Just profoundly hard of hearing. So her experience will be a little different then mine. But she talked about how when it was first turned on things sounded strange. She described it as sounding like they where on an old AM radio. :)

I'm sure the therapy will be a strange experience. I'll basically have to learn to hear again and my brain will have to learn to distinct one sound from another. A good example of "How your brain interprets sound" happened not long ago. My dog barked right next to my left ear (Which can hear a little) and I didn't hear a bark. I heard a click sound like two sticks being hit together. If my dog was 5 feet away I wouldn't have heard it but he was right next to my ear so I heard it. That's a good indication of how I'm going to have to learn how to hear again.

There are just so many things about this to think about. :)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 29, 2009 01:05PM)
Ron-

How exciting for you! Will keep my fingers crossed that you qualify for this procedure! Best of luck to you! Jim
Message: Posted by: Big Jeff (May 29, 2009 01:06PM)
Rush Limbaugh has the implant after going completely deaf in both ears. He says he can recognize music if he heard it before. He hears voices and can carry on conversations but if the room is loud he sometimes has trouble.

I hope everything turns out great.
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (May 29, 2009 01:34PM)
I hope this works for you. I learned al ot about the whole issue with the implants and the Deaf community in sign class, some people have very strong feelings about it. Do what ever makes you happy brother, good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (May 29, 2009 02:59PM)
I wish you the best. If it works out, give me your number and I'll make a point to call you on the phone to congratulate you.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 29, 2009 04:23PM)
Ron, I love your spirit and willingness to try something new. With everybody else, here, I am praying that this will turn out to be a great blessing for you!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 29, 2009 05:39PM)
Boy Ron am I happy for you.

I hope to compete against you, and have a long conversation with you at this years Curly's bar close up competition in Colon, Mi.
Message: Posted by: TomKMagic (May 29, 2009 10:05PM)
No Ron, don't do that!!! Then you can't use all the good deaf jokes anymore.

Actually, I think it is an awesome idea. However, you won't recognize my voice if I am talking behind you. And I'm gonna test it out!

Best of luck to you and this prodcedure.
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (May 30, 2009 01:00AM)
That's great news Jaxon and I wish you all the best!

Chrystal
Message: Posted by: RJE (May 30, 2009 07:50AM)
Best of luck with it Ron.

I had a student with the implant in one of my high school history classes that I was teaching. If he did not tell me that he was born deaf, I would never have known. He showed no signs of difficulty hearing at all.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (May 30, 2009 03:06PM)
Thanks everyone.

TomK - I'm sure you will test me. LOL

Al - I look forward to seeing you at Abbott's again. Glad you'll be able to make it this year.

I've been doing a lot of research about the implant and I have a couple of email conversations going with people who have thee implant. I guess the surgery is usually about 2 hours long. More good news is they won't have to shave my head to do it. LOL

I'll tell you what my biggest worry is about it. My speech. I remember years ago when I got new hearing aids and heard my voice I could tell I had a slight speech impediment. I had some hearing then but I was profoundly hard of hearing. I'm sure it'll be quite a shock to me to hear my speech after all these years of deafness.

I also wonder how many of my friends will have annoying voices. LOL

It's funny. In the last few days I've been noticing things and thinking, "I wonder what that sounds like?" and asking questions like, "Does this microwave ding or beep?" :)

It'll also be nice to be able to use a public rest room and know if anyone else enters the room. I bet you guys never thought of that aspect of being deaf. LOL

Here's a video you guys might like to watch. Well at least the first half of it. It shows the process of a girl getting the implant.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nH0RT7R4X8

This video shows how the implant actually works.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpBbJealks0

Thanks again everyone.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (May 30, 2009 03:33PM)
If it works, don't tell anyone. Then you could work up a psychic routine:

"When I turn around, say the word out loud so everyone can think it, and using my powers I will write it down...."


Best of luck Ron!
Message: Posted by: Destiny (May 30, 2009 04:39PM)
Best of luck.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (May 30, 2009 07:13PM)
I'm hoping the best of outcomes for you!

Steve
Message: Posted by: David Bilan (May 30, 2009 09:31PM)
Ron,

I wish you all the best.

Know that you have a a huge fan club here at the Café.

We are all pulling for you.

Dave
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (May 31, 2009 06:05PM)
Thanks again everyone.

Boy, the more I'm researching on this the more anxious I'm getting. I found a really good site full of people who have already gotten this done. It's a sort of mentor site. You can look at their profiles then send them a message and they share their advice and experience. I'm talking to one lady who's experience is almost identical to mine except she was deaf for 30 years. Guess what she does now? She's a music teacher!

It's a good thing I'm researching because I'm learning a lot of what to expect and questions to ask. I'll even have to decide what "brand" I want to get.

It's getting exciting. :)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: RJE (Jun 1, 2009 11:04AM)
See if you can get one that is internet friendly so you can download direct to your brain! ;)

Don't forget to let us know how it turns out Ron!
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jun 1, 2009 06:21PM)
Congratulations, Ron and break a -- hmm, cerumen gland?

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet (With about 25 - 30% of effective hearing.)
Message: Posted by: airship (Jun 2, 2009 10:39AM)
Mine hearing's getting a little 'dull' with age (I'm almost 58), but that's only an annoyance in crowds or when trying to pick out dialogue from music in a badly-mixed film or TV show. I assume it'll get worse over time. That's what hearing aids are for. I'm just glad to live in an age when we can fix stuff like this.
Message: Posted by: Gabriel Knight (Jun 2, 2009 11:02AM)
Ron, I don't think I need to tell you, I think I am almost more excited and happier than you are!
I have another friend who could not see at all, pretty much blind. She was unable to see anything for 10 years, she got synthetic lenses in her eyes and she was able to see 20/20. I was so happy for her. She traveled all over the world. seeing things. So the excitment is more than I can explaine for you. THIS WILL WORK. That is all you need to know going in.
Wish I was there for you. I would drive you there myself.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jun 3, 2009 12:28PM)
Ben, Could you imagine me not being deaf when you come back? I hope your voice doesn't sound like Mickey Mouse. LOL
Message: Posted by: TomKMagic (Jun 3, 2009 06:10PM)
Ben sounds more like Minnie Mouse. LOL
Message: Posted by: Douglas Lippert (Jun 3, 2009 10:10PM)
Are you going to go through with it Ron? How long have you been deaf?
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jun 4, 2009 10:36AM)
Well my appointment for assessment is in 4 days. These test will have 2 purposes. One, to find out if the implant can work for me. And 2, to prove to insurance companies that I am indeed deaf. :)

It was between 15 and 20 years ago that my hearing made a big drop and I became deaf. During that time I went from being able to talk on the phone to not being able to hear voices at all. I haven't heard a voice in about 15 years. So it's been a while.

Ron
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jun 7, 2009 10:25PM)
Wish me luck everyone. Tomorrow morning I go and find out if this will work for me or not.

I'll let you know what I find out.

BTW - I decided to start a blog on this experience. I'll update it every step I make on my way back to the world of sound. I still need to work on it some more. For some reason the "Comments" part isn't working. But you can read it here:
http://returntosound.blogspot.com/

I'm doing this to let me family and friends now what's happening and also in hopes that if I do get this done maybe someone else who's in my current position will find it and read my experience.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Douglas Lippert (Jun 7, 2009 11:58PM)
Good luck Ron!!! I would really like to be able to call you and chew your ear off about thread work. :) :)

Sincerely,
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jun 12, 2009 04:21PM)
Thanks so much for your support everyone.

I missed my first appointment. It was so frustrating. My appointment was a 2 hour drive away at 8:30am. I didn't wake up until 7am so there was no way I could make it in time. Luckily I was able to let them know I wouldn't be there before the time of the actual appointment though.

The good news is my new appointment is on the 16th. So that's only 4 days away.

I decided to start a blog to share my experience. So if you want to fallow along in my experience back to the world of sound you can check it out at http://returntosound.blogspot.com

I'll be updating this when ever I can and share the experience as it takes place.

Thanks again for your support.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: critter (Jun 12, 2009 04:30PM)
It's amazing what they can do now with recent advances in neuroscience.
This is really cool stuff.
The controversy part is confusing. I guess I just don't understand the cultural side of it.
I am sending my Physiology Professor the link to your blog so he can hopefully put it on our online syllabus.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Jun 12, 2009 08:40PM)
Jaxon: my (late) father-in-law lost almost all of his hearing working in an auto plant, and after some years got the implants.

He often said that results are very individual, and didn't fare well when there was a lot of audio confusion (TV on, crowd noises, etc) and I was oine of the few people who could speak well with him because I at least looked at him and enunciated. But he was very gratified by the results as a whole.

Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jun 13, 2009 09:10AM)
Yea, the technology has come a long way. Just 5 years ago their focus was to improve the ability to hear speech. Today the technology has improved so much that now the challenge is more on music with all it's layers of sound. Of course you're right though. Each case will be different.

A lot of touch decisions right now. I'll keep you all posted.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Matthew Townsend (Jun 13, 2009 09:31AM)
Good luck for the 16th Jaxon!!!

Peace & Love

Matt
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 13, 2009 02:10PM)
Darn, when I saw the name Matthew Shepherd I expected a truth like:

"On the show Def Jam not only can people hear but they are not made out of grapes or strawberries"
Message: Posted by: Matthew Townsend (Jun 13, 2009 04:56PM)
The banana is a berry

Peace and love

Matt
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 13, 2009 06:28PM)
Matthew, have you ever been right about anything? A banana is what is called an Epigynous or false berry. That means fruit that is believed to be a berry but is not because of the loose definition. A banana doesn't even fall into the catagory of fruit refered to as a berry just for simplification. Perhaps you should accept your, uh, challenge and not give out any more truths or facts Matthew?
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jun 16, 2009 05:18PM)
GREAT NEWS!!!

I just got back from my appointment and it's official. I will be getting this implant!

Right now they are contacting the insurance and getting all that take care of. Then They'll send me mail to let me know when my surgery will be scheduled. It could be any time in the next few weeks.

After the Surgery it'll be about a month before I'm actually hooked up and switched on (Called Activation day). Once that's done it'll take some time and therapy for my brain to actually learn how to hear again. Each case is different. It's likely that at first I'll hear sounds and voices but not really be able to identify or understand them.

So I'm very excited. If I happen to get this done before the Abbott's get together and I see any of you there. I just might be able to hear you. I don't know how well or if I'll be able to understand by then yet. But who knows. We'll see how it goes.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Jun 16, 2009 05:39PM)
Congratulations! That's great news!

[quote]Once that's done it'll take some time and therapy for my brain to actually learn how to hear again. Each case is different. It's likely that at first I'll hear sounds and voices but not really be able to identify or understand them.[/quote]
That was my understanding as well, based on what I've heard about the implants. Your brain will have to re-learn how to interpret sound, which will be a challenging and fascinating experience. Good luck, and keep us updated!

-Erik
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Jun 16, 2009 08:14PM)
Shazam!

Best of luck to you.....
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Jun 16, 2009 09:40PM)
Let me know when the activation happens, and I'll start TALKING VERY CLEARLY AND ENUNCIATING in my podcast.
Message: Posted by: e-man (Jun 16, 2009 10:26PM)
Ron, This is such exciting and great news...Im so happy for you!
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jun 17, 2009 06:29AM)
Good Luck Ron, we're all rooting for you!
Message: Posted by: RJE (Jun 17, 2009 10:18AM)
Go Ron!
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jun 17, 2009 11:21AM)
Very exciting news Ron. All the best.

John
Message: Posted by: critter (Jun 17, 2009 01:00PM)
That's really cool.
Message: Posted by: haywire (Jun 17, 2009 05:18PM)
Good for you Jaxon, but there is a downside to everything... Now at conventions and magic shows, you will have to listen to all the bad jokes like the rest of us!

I wish you the best with this, and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

I will pray that you are hearing all those bad jokes very soon...

Steven
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 18, 2009 09:03PM)
Ron... so glad you will be able to do this. Rootin' for you big time!
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 18, 2009 09:53PM)
Did I see someone is getting implants?
Message: Posted by: Douglas Lippert (Jun 30, 2009 12:11AM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-18 22:53, MagicSanta wrote:
Did I see someone is getting implants?
[/quote]

For their EARS magicsanta...:smoke:
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Jun 30, 2009 07:20PM)
Wow, I just found this topic, and read all of it.

Ron, you'll be in my prayers. I hope it all goes well.

This is truly exciting.

I also hope your deaf friends understand.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Jun 30, 2009 10:04PM)
Cool Ron.
Message: Posted by: Jordini (Jun 30, 2009 11:08PM)
A good friend of mine who was HH going deaf got an implant about a year ago, and it changed her life. I hope everything works out for you!
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Jul 1, 2009 08:31AM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-18 22:53, MagicSanta wrote:
Did I see someone is getting implants?
[/quote]
I let this slide for awhile, then my mind conjured up a picture.

Ears ... implants ... DDD-cup or better...

MagicSanta, you owe me a night's sleep! Ouch!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jul 5, 2009 02:38PM)
LOL. Yea, the only implant I'll get is in for my ear. :)

Just thought I'd share an update on my adventure back tot he world of sound. My next appointment is on the 24 of this month (July) to get an MRI. The MRI tests a number of things but one of them is to test the part of my brain that interprets sound that the implant will work with (auditory nerve). But I tell people they have to test to make sure my brain is screwed on right. :)

Some of you have asked me some questions. I'll answer them here as well in case anyone else in interested.

How well I'll be able to hear is yet to be seen. No one can predict this because it all depends on my brains ability to learn to interpret the sounds. At first I'll be able to hear sounds but I won't likely know what they are. I could be walking down the street and I wouldn't know if it's a car horn or a dog barking that I pick up.

At first I'll likely "Feel" sound. When I went in to get tested they put some hearing aids on me. When they tested me and I was suppose to push a button when I hear anything. I kept saying "I felt something there". It wasn't like I was hearing it. It was like something tiny was vibrating inside my ear. It tickled and itched a little. Basically my ear drum was moving for the first time in a long time and that "vibration" is what I felt and it tickled. That's likely what it'll be like when I get the implant at first.

Over time I'll be able to start to be able to distinguish one sound from another and that's when I'll actually begin to "hear" things rather then feel them. So understanding speech is likely going to be a ways down the road. I'll still have to lip read but I'll sometimes have sound along with it. Then eventually I'll start to be able to understand without looking. How far I'll be able to go I'll just have to wait and see. Some can understand half of the speech they hear after a few months then maybe a year later they can understand 90% of what they hear. Each case if different though. So I'll have to spend a lot of time practicing listening.

It's going to be quite an adventure. :)


Here's a nice picture that explains a lot.
[img]http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/eyes/images_69950/P_cochlear-noConsole.jpg[/img]

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Jul 5, 2009 06:09PM)
Fascinating info- do keep us updated!

Oh- my wife would be happy if I understood 90% of what I hear. Heck, half the time she talks to me, and I have no idea she even told me something... and I have normal hearing (supposedly.) I think it's a guy thing- or that's what she tells me, I think...
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jul 5, 2009 06:38PM)
When people ask me when I lost my hearing I sometimes say, "The day I got married" LOL

I'm divorced now so of course I'm getting ready to start hearing again. :)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Jul 5, 2009 08:55PM)
This is fascinating.

Ron,I wish you all the best on your journey.I do have high expectations for good results over time for you.You...I believe,have an advantage...since you have been training your brain all along with your magic creations.This is like building another effect from the ground up...with a little technical help.

All the best.
Rich
Message: Posted by: TomKMagic (Jul 5, 2009 10:43PM)
[quote]
On 2009-07-05 19:09, EsnRedshirt wrote:
Fascinating info- do keep us updated!

Oh- my wife would be happy if I understood 90% of what I hear. Heck, half the time she talks to me, and I have no idea she even told me something... and I have normal hearing (supposedly.) I think it's a guy thing- or that's what she tells me, I think...
[/quote]

Whew... I thought I was the only guy with this condition.


Hey Ron, when you talk, I am sure you feel the vibration in your throat as you talk, but are you able to hear/feel it in your ears or through your skull? I am excited for you to have this operation and hear things again. The tickling or itching feeling, is that similar to what you felt when I showed you my sound system a few years ago with the loud bass?
Message: Posted by: RobertSmith (Jul 5, 2009 11:05PM)
Ron,

That absolutely incredible. Good luck buddy I wish you the best.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jul 5, 2009 11:21PM)
[quote]
On 2009-07-05 23:43, TomKMagic wrote:

Hey Ron, when you talk, I am sure you feel the vibration in your throat as you talk, but are you able to hear/feel it in your ears or through your skull? I am excited for you to have this operation and hear things again. The tickling or itching feeling, is that similar to what you felt when I showed you my sound system a few years ago with the loud bass?
[/quote]

I can feel my speech. Not like you hear it but I can feel when I'm talking. Believe it or not there are some who can't if they have strong nerve damage.

The sound from your car speakers was similar but this was more intense because the sound was feed right into my ear canal. I could feel the air pressure in my ear the sound was making and it tickled deep inside my ear.

Imagine you had a microscopic speaker. You know the part of a speaker that vibrates as it makes sound? I guess you could call it the "skin" of a speaker. Imagine this microscopic speaker was connected to your ear drum so the ear drum is the "Skin" of the speaker and you can feel it vibrating. That's the only way I can describe it. LOL Of course that is basically how the ear drum works anyway when sound waves reach it. But I could feel the movement as it vibrated. I was itching the inside of my ear the entire 2 hour drive home after the test. LOL

They did another test on me that always get's to me. They don't put head phones over my ears but ones that go on my skull. When this makes sound you don't "hear" it. You feel it. When they do low notes I can feel it vibrating slowly on my skull. But every time I've had this test done they hit this one note that drives me crazy. The first time I had it happen I ripped the thing off my head. I can't hear it. I feel it and it feels like my head is empty. I've seen people react to the finger nails on the chalk board and that's the same kind of reaction I have to this sound when using this skull speaker thing. But that's actually a good sign for the implant. It means my auditory nerve is working to some degree.

Sorry if I'm raving on and on about this. Sound and the ear has become a fascinating things to me lately.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Jul 6, 2009 08:14AM)
Ron... Will your adjustment to the device be easier since you were not born deaf but lost your hearing later. I would think that since you know first hand what sound is and have experienced it that it would help out a bit.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Jul 6, 2009 12:00PM)
Yea, that would give me an advantage over someone who was born deaf and has never heard anything before. I mean I can still imagine voices. When I lip read my mind usually fills in the sound of their voices. That's one of the things that will probably be interesting. I wonder how many of my friends voices match what I imagine it sounds like.

Having said that. They say that things won't sound like I remember them sounding with the implant. They say that the process of receiving sound is different then normal hearing so sound doesn't sound exactly the same. Kind of like how looking at the world with sunglasses looks different then without them. You can still see everything but it's altered by the color of the sunglasses.

I don't fully understand this for I haven't experienced it yet. But I can understand what that means. I mean when using the implant you're bypassing the ear drum and going right to the cochlea (Which is what interprets the sound to the brain). So of course sound will be picked up differently.

But I'm sure the fact that I use to be able to hear will be very helpful. In fact I was just thinking about this. I spend time on youtube watching videos of people singing songs that I know. Songs that I have heard back in the day and remember. So when I watch a live performance I can actually hear them in my mind from memory. Try it sometimes. Watch a live performance of a song you know with no sound. You'll be able to hear it in your imagination. Even singers you've never heard. You might be able to do what I do and imagine what their voice sounds like. I'm sure this will be helpful because I'll have something to associate the sounds I'm hearing with. I remember what it sounds like so as I listen again I think it'll be helpful in associating the sounds because I have heard them again.

I started a list of sounds that I remember and I'll check the items on this list out when I start to hear. I'm not sure if I'll be able to hear all of them again but I think this list will be helpful too.

It's a delicate balance because my success in hearing again rely partly on my desire to hear. In a nut shell if you're brain isn't in the mind set to "Learn" new sounds then you're going to have limited success. You have to allow your brain to accept the sounds for what they are even when they don't sound right. So it has a lot to do with the desire to hear again. At the same time if I get to confident in myself I might be setting myself up for frustrations. So I have high hopes but at the same time I'm trying to be as realistic as I can. For instance I want to hear all the sounds on this list of mine but I accept the fact that I might not hear all of them and I know I won't have "Normal" hearing.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: critter (Jul 6, 2009 03:57PM)
This looks like the same artist that illustrated my A&P book. Crazy.
Those rings coming off of the cochlea are filled with fluid that sloshes around to help you orient yourself.
It looks like the wire is going into the round hole. Cool.

[quote]
On 2009-07-05 15:38, Jaxon wrote:

Here's a nice picture that explains a lot.
[img]http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/eyes/images_69950/P_cochlear-noConsole.jpg[/img]

Ron Jaxon
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Aug 10, 2009 09:24PM)
A few of you have been asking me how things are going with this. I really appreciate that.

Well, it looks like I'm going to have to wait a little longer. They told me that they are waiting for my insurance to authorize it so that's pretty much all that's standing in my way right now. Waiting for the insurance to ok everything then they'll schedule my surgery. I'm hoping it'll be at the end of this month or maybe sometime next month. This right now is the hardest part of any "big" change. The wait.

I have an appointment tomorrow with my audiologist but that's just to decide which brand of implant I'll be getting. I'm still debating between the brands [url=http://www.advancedbionics.com/index.cfm?langid=1]Advanced Bionics[/url] and [url=http://www.cochlearamericas.com/]Cochlear Freedom[/url]. So I'm going in to discuss it with them tomorrow and help me make my decision. Of course with anything like this there are going to be some people who like one more then the other. They both have features I like so it's a tough choice. Tougher then it may seem because it's a big decision. I mean this thing is going to be embedded in my skull after all. :)

Well, I just wanted t give an update. I'm very anxious but trying to keep it in check for I know all I can do right now is wait.

Thanks again for all the encouragement.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 10, 2009 09:39PM)
Good luck, Ron!
Message: Posted by: Regan (Aug 11, 2009 08:52AM)
I hope it all goes well Ron! I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Regan
Message: Posted by: airship (Aug 11, 2009 11:37AM)
Woo-hoo! Good luck, Ron!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Aug 11, 2009 05:22PM)
Thanks guys.

I decided on the Cochlear Freedom brand today because they told me that a new model will be out by the time that I'll be able to get mine that's much smaller (The external part) yet has all the same features.

I also got a Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine shot today for it. I found out this is because there's a small chance (1/1000) that the surgery has a low risk of meningitis. So the vaccine helps prevent that.

I found out some interesting things today about it. They gave me a list of possible risks involved. I know that seems bad but what surgery doesn't have them. None of them are very serious though in this case. Most of them would just be a minor and temporary nuisance if they happened anyway. For example there are two nerves that could possible get damaged. One is for taste buds and if this happens I'd just have a strange taste in my mouth for a few weeks but would go away. Another nerve is the nerve that controls the facial muscles on that side of the face. Which means the side of my face would (Temporarily) become paralyzed. But both possibilities are treatable and very rare (Like 1/300 chance).

So, I'm sure you can imagine a lot is going through my mind about it. But mostly just waiting and waiting. I'm one step closer thanks to today's appointment though. Unless something comes up the next letter I receive should be the appointment for my surgery.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: landmark (Aug 11, 2009 09:52PM)
Wishing you the best Ron. Thanks for sharing all this with us--it's really enlightening.

Jack
Message: Posted by: Sam Weiss (Aug 12, 2009 07:51PM)
Wow... great story... I think all of us at the Café will be hoping the best for you Ron :)

I think what's really cool is that you have such a positive attitude towards your deafness that you can joke about it to everyone and be happy... you rock man... hope everything goes to plan :)
Message: Posted by: Douglas Lippert (Aug 13, 2009 12:09AM)
I hope everything works out great Ron!
Message: Posted by: Corona Smith (Aug 13, 2009 05:14PM)
Best of luck Ron!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Aug 18, 2009 10:23AM)
Thank you everyone.

I'm just sharing my experiences as they come on my road back to sound. I figured some might find if a little interesting.

For a couple of days I've been waking up soaking wet from sweating because of a fever. The fever is a side effect from the vaccine I got. They said there might be some minor side effects from it. Was annoying for a couple of days but not too bad. I didn't feel sick at all or anything.

Below is the graph of my latest hearing test when I was evaluated for the Implant.

[img]http://www.magicjax.com/hearinggraph.jpg[/img]

To give you an idea of what this means. Here's a graph that illustrates how to read it.

[img]http://www.entsurgery.com.sg/Special/image001.gif[/img]

As you can see. The further down the graph you go the louder the sound.

It also shows the pitch of the sound. Kind of like the keys of a piano. The far left is low pitch and the pitch gets higher toward the right.

The yellow banana shape represents the pitch and volume most speech is in. So as you can see I can't hear speech at all.

Here's a picture of the implant I'm getting. It actually won't be available for a few months because it's just being FDA approved. It's a new model from the original Cochlear Implant company. I chose this one because it's smaller then any other implant, has more features and uses less batteries. It also has a remote control that will allow me to control the volume and programs (It'll have 4 programs set to different atmosphere such as a loud room or a quiet room). Another neat feature is called smart sound. This mean if I enter a loud room for instance. It'll automatically adjust for me.
[img]http://www.magicjax.com/Nuclear-5-1.jpg[/img]

Hopefully my next post will be sharing the date of my surgery.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Aug 18, 2009 10:34AM)
This is really cool having you give updates on something so interesting, yet something I would otherwise not have given so much thought to.

I really appreciate it, and am looking forward to the details as they come.
Message: Posted by: Sixten (Aug 18, 2009 11:51AM)
Very best of luck, Mr. Jaxon, with your surgery. :)
(We're praying that it will be a success!)

Sixten and family.
Message: Posted by: TomKMagic (Aug 18, 2009 06:53PM)
You should get one that is Bluetooth enabled, so you can talk on the phone without even needing any ear piece or the piece attached to the outside of your hear. That'd be sweet!!

Then you could truly tell people you have voices in your head.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Aug 18, 2009 07:14PM)
LOL

Actually the implant can work with bluetooth. I can also listen to FM frequencies. They have some things that I can hook up to a TV, computer, radio, phone, etc.. That will allow me to hear it from across a room but cancel out any other sounds near by.

Another setting it imagine I'm taking to someone in a loud room. I'll face the person I'm talking to. I'll be able to turn off background noise and just hear what's in front of me.

Pretty cool stuff. Can't wait to be able to use it.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Aug 19, 2009 10:25AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-18 20:14, Jaxon wrote:
LOL

Actually the implant can work with bluetooth. I can also listen to FM frequencies. They have some things that I can hook up to a TV, computer, radio, phone, etc.. That will allow me to hear it from across a room but cancel out any other sounds near by.

Another setting it imagine I'm taking to someone in a loud room. I'll face the person I'm talking to. I'll be able to turn off background noise and just hear what's in front of me.

Pretty cool stuff. Can't wait to be able to use it.

Ron Jaxon
[/quote]
Wow- can you pop in an access chip and jack in to the net? That sounds like something straight out of a cyberpunk novel. Cool stuff!
Message: Posted by: Martello (Aug 21, 2009 07:31AM)
Hey Ron

As a former Speech Pathologist who worked with the Deaf for 32 years (President of the NY State Association of Educators of the Deaf in the 80's) all I can say is "fantastic". The implant was just becoming popular when I retired and I worked with some of the top specialists in New York City. The Total Communication school that I worked at had about 5 kids with implants when I left. Now more than half of the school has implants. You will need to work at using it since it is best suited for a younger population, but I know that it will open a whole new world for you. Yes, the deaf community is not happy with it as it corrupts the "culture". Unfortunately, the culture leaves many deaf folk so impaired that it becomes a challenge to function cohesively in a hearing world as I am sure you know. I consider deafness the worst handicap because of the many other areas it affects. Most people do not understand this. When I taught in the Deafness Dept at NYU and Saint Joseph's College I always told my students that if I were reborn I would much rather be born blind than deaf. Again, most people would not understand this. If they truly knew the deaf experience, they would know why I say this. All the best to you. Let me know if I can be of help in any way.

Arthur
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Aug 21, 2009 12:30PM)
Hi Arthur.

Who knows. Maybe you could be helpful in the near future. My speech is one thing I do wish to improve. If you wouldn't mind a question or two every now and then that would be great.

Actually, I've run into some frustration on my speech issue in the past. I receive complimentary comments on my speech quite often. One reason is that most people think all deaf people speak the same. So when I tell them I'm deaf they seem surprised because in their mind all deaf people spoke "Deaf speech" (Very slurred). But what they don't realize is that there's a big difference between becoming deaf later in life and being born deaf. I could hear when I learned to speak so my speech isn't as slurred. Even I can't imagine how hard it would be to learn to speak if I had never heard speech before.

But here's where my frustration has come from. Twice I seek out professional help to improve my speech. They both basically said the same thing. They say I don't need help because my speech is already good considering the level of my hearing loss. This really annoyed me because I didn't want my speech to be just "good enough". I wanted to improve on the level I was already at.

Right now my speech is for the most part understandable. They say a slight slur from time to time. It's at the point where most just think I have an accent. My friends say that at first they heard it but after a while they don't even hear a difference anymore.

Yet I know it's there and I'm willing to work hard at improving it. But the problem is the "Specialist" I went to didn't seem interested in helping me improve. They seemed to think that since it's good for my hearing loss level then I don't need to improve. I disagree. I know it can improve more. I just can't do it alone.

So what I need is a specialist who is willing to be bluntly honest. One that will tell me what I'm not say perfectly clear and help me improve on that sound. Especially as an entertainer. I don't want "Good enough". I want to correct it. I still get looks and people telling me they didn't understand what I said.

I've spent a lot of time working on this issue. I usually just have to repeat what I said slower. So I'd go to placed like open mic nights (Even ones that are usually for bands) and I'd go up there and perform just to practice speaking to an audience. I'd read out loud to someone and have them tell me when they don't understand what I say (it isn't easy to find someone honest with me on that though).

So, when I get this implant I hope this will aid in this. Then I want to find someone to work with me that will realize that with my speech my goal isn't to be "Good enough". It's to master the ability to speak clearly.

I do have realistic intentions though. I know the implant isn't a miracle cure. But I'm sure it'll be helpful.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Martello (Aug 21, 2009 02:57PM)
Ron

You can ask me anything you want either here or privately via pm or email. Please feel free to do so. I totally understand what you are saying regarding people's feelings about "deaf speech". The amazing thing about you is that you are more than willing to improve. I have worked with more deaf kids than you could imagine over a 32 year period and people like you are rare. I did private therapy at times but it was mostly because the parents wanted their child to have better speech. The kid could care less and this in itself was a stumbling block. The fact that you had hearing for some time is also a major bonus as you say. `The impairment of language is the most debilitating thing about deafness. Thankfully, you have this skill. On facebook I have connected with many "old students" and the text is often difficult to understand due to the language impairment. Don't listen to the people who tell you that you cant improve. Of course you can. Perhaps they just don't know how to help you. I have heard you speak on some of the DVD's I have and must say that even I was "fooled" at first. Your speech is very good but it can get better. Too bad you don't live near the god forsaken place in NY State that I presently live or I would tell you to stop by. In any event, lets stay in touch. I will try to assist you in any way I can.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Aug 21, 2009 03:13PM)
Good for you Arthur! My little brother had a sever speech problem and the speech pathologist at Stanford took him from that to speaking without any noticeable problems very quickly. I don't know what they did as I was in the Navy at the time but one day I saw him and he couldn't really talk and next time he was fine. Amazing work you guys do.
Message: Posted by: Martello (Aug 21, 2009 08:37PM)
Thank magicsanta! It can be frustrating and thankless most of the time but there are moments that make it worthwhile. People like Ron are few and far between.

Arthur
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Aug 26, 2009 03:12PM)
Great news.

Got a letter in the mail and insurance has finally authorized it. So now I just have to wait and see when the surgeon can schedule me in.

One step closer now.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Sixten (Aug 26, 2009 04:53PM)
Don't you just love it when a plan starts to 'finally' come together?

Prayers are still with you, Mr. Jaxon.
Best of luck!

Sixten and family :)
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Aug 26, 2009 04:58PM)
Jaxon,

That is great news! CONGRATULATIONS!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Aug 26, 2009 05:21PM)
Ron --

Fantastic! Very glad to hear this.
Message: Posted by: Cory Chapin (Aug 26, 2009 06:47PM)
Ill be praying for you, Cory
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Aug 26, 2009 08:23PM)
Keep it up jaxon!!!!!
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Aug 26, 2009 08:32PM)
Ron, what is your view of the controversy in the deaf community regarding these type of implants?
Message: Posted by: gdw (Aug 26, 2009 11:00PM)
Congratulations Ron.

I remember when a teacher of mine got his implant. It was quite a change in his life I believe. It was interesting how he described it though. He was a teacher in Classical Animation, and he was talking about how we animate in 24 frames per second, and how, essentially, we only need around 10 fps to perceive fluid motion, but we hear in a much more precise way.

It didn't translate exactly like FPS, but the implant hearing was at a different "rate" than what we "normally" hear at. I actually was very curious what that was like.

Good luck with your new experience(s) Ron.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Aug 27, 2009 01:50PM)
My view on the controversy is that it really doesn't have much to do with me because I've never been a part of any "Deaf Culture". That's basically what the controversy is about. Culture. The Deaf community has their way of life just like any culture does. Whether it be race, religion, etc.. Each culture has their history and ways. If anything comes and takes people away from that culture then people will view it as a threat. In this case there's a technology that is causing members of this culture to no longer fit in. Imagine if you and your family are part of a culture and your kids, wife or friend suddenly doesn't fit into the culture anymore.

I was never a part of this. I grew up going to "Normal" public schools and classes. I could hear well enough to talk on the phone until my late teens. So I'm not really a part of any deaf culture. People like me are often termed "Late Deaf" but we're also often termed "Between worlds". In either the hearing or the deaf culture I'm kind of an outsider. I'm viewed as "Different" from both sides of the coin. I didn't grow up in the deaf culture so the deaf community won't exactly view me as a "Member of the club" so to speak. The hearing community views me as different because I'm deaf. Hence the term "Between worlds".

So I have three choices. Stay in the "Between world". Become more active in the deaf community or since there is a technology that might give me "back" the ability to hear, I can choose to hear again. I emphasized the word "back" because that's another key point. I could hear before so it's not like it's new to me. It's just bringing back a sense I had lost.

I decided to try to hear again. Mainly because I know what I'm missing. I can't miss anything unless I've experienced it before. I have experienced sound before so I do miss it. I know that even with this implant I still won't have "Normal" hearing. I'll still be hearing impaired and still have to read lips and so forth. How well I'll be able to hear with the implant is something no one can assume. Some in my situation can only reach the ability to understand 20% of what's said to them. Other can hear up to 90% of speech (Which would be considered better then average hearing). So I'll just have to wait and see.

But I will be able to hear. That much I know for sure. I'll be able to hear the dog bark and the bite of potato chips. I might even be able to hear birds and music.

One thing I know for sure. I am committed to hearing as much as I'll be able to hear. A lot of how well I'll be able to hear depends on my drive to be able to hear. There's a lot more going on than just the ear's ability to pick up sounds. The biggest obstacle is my brain's ability to interpret sounds as what they are. There are some people who could hear very well with the implant but their brain won't allow them to interpret what the sounds are. So their ability to understand speech will be limited. Over time with practice their ability could improve.

This is where I have some advantages. I could hear when I was younger so I have a memory to associate sounds with. My being an entertainer is also an advantage because I'm used to speaking to people. Many deaf people who get the implant, if they wanted to and took the time to practice, could use the phone. But they won't even try. This is because all their lives they've talked to people face to face. Communication means seeing them in person or on video. Without the visuals they don't feel like they are really communicating and as a result their brain just won't allow them to make the association. To them talking on a phone would be like talking to a wall. There's also a matter of embarrassment because of speech issues.

I've found out about a lot of these things recently in my research. Sound and speech is very interesting to me right now. It's amazing how much is associated with sound. How our minds can just prevent us from hearing even though our ears can pick it up.

So I'm driven to hear as much as I can and that drive is my biggest advantage. I do want to hear again. This is another reason I'm for the implant for those who want it. Many in the Deaf community don't want it. Even if someone put the implant in them against their will they still won't be able to hear that much unless they want to because it requires practice.

I plan to do some traveling just to experience the sounds of things. I hope I can make it to the world magic seminar next year. I can't imagine what Vegas will sound like. :)

Sorry I'm raving on and on. All I can do now is wait and it's a little frustrating. I can almost taste sound right now. LOL

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Aug 27, 2009 02:23PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-27 14:50, Jaxon wrote:
I can almost taste sound right now. LOL
[/quote]

Right on, brother! What a beautiful description.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Aug 27, 2009 02:58PM)
Ron,

I have enjoyed this thread as much as any in recent memory. I have learned so much about the entire "deaf world" that I never would have dredged up the courage to actually ask about!

My wife is a Kindermusik educator who has taught several deaf and near-deaf children, with and without hearing aids and implants. She has been particularly fascinated with this discussion.
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Aug 27, 2009 04:53PM)
WOW, I just came across this topic and read it through. That is very brave of you to go through with it, and good luck. I can see where some might want to stay where they are in that "comfort zone". I like the fact that you want to make everything better. I listen to music all the time, my satelite radio is playing now. I remember a radio DJ once asking if one would rather have no sight or no hearing. Now I'm going to have to re-think it!

On a side note, as long as you can turn your receiver off! You can block out and do what we guys call "selective hearing". Don't tell our secret! :)

ACE
Message: Posted by: TomKMagic (Aug 27, 2009 05:31PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-27 15:23, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-08-27 14:50, Jaxon wrote:
I can almost taste sound right now. LOL
[/quote]

Right on, brother! What a beautiful description.
[/quote]

My job is working with lighting in vehicles, and I tell the guys at work that I am training myself to hear the light frequency range.

Ron also remember, if you can taste the sound, then you might eat your words someday. HA.
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Aug 28, 2009 11:20AM)
Thanks for answering my questions Ron.

"One thing I know for sure. I am committed to hearing as much as I'll be able to hear" More freaking power to you!!!!!
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Aug 28, 2009 08:21PM)
[quote]
But the problem is the "Specialist" I went to didn't seem interested in helping me improve.[/quote]
Have you considered turning from the medical field to find a speech coach who works with performers?
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Aug 29, 2009 11:13AM)
Not a bad idea. Thanks. When the time comes I'll look into that.

I'm sure that if I'll be able to hear my own speech with the implant some progress will come naturally. But that's yet to be seen but I'm sure it could be helpful.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Aug 31, 2009 04:30PM)
A few friends made similar suggestions to me about something regarding me getting the cochlear implant. I'm pondering the idea and I think I might take a crack at it.

The suggestion was that I write something about the difference between how I live now and how I'll live when I'll have some residual hearing. If you're unfamiliar with that term it basically means that right now, and for the last 15-20 years, I have had no residual hearing. I can't hear voices, windshield wipers, door bells or music. The only sounds I can hear are very loud and low pitched. Basically my hearing isn't useful for anything.

When I get the implant I will have some residual hearing. I don't yet know how much but I will be able to hear some voices and the bite of potato chips. This alone is going to be very life changing.

So right now I'm starting to write what life has been like and what it is like now as far as things that are effected by my inability to hear. I'm sharing both the ups and downs of my situation and some experiences I've had as a result of my deafness. Some are funny, some are emotional, some down right ****ed me off. :)

Then I plan to keep writing this as I start to be able to hear again.

I don't know how well it'll turn out but I figured it's not a bad idea and it might be interesting to some people. Maybe it'll even be helpful to someone out there going through a similar situation.

So I might from time to time share bits and pieces of this writing with you all to get your opinion on it.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Aug 31, 2009 06:27PM)
Ron,

You are a shining light! May surgery go well and healing happen quickly. Please keep sharing with us. It's too easy to take for granted something we've had our entire life.

I was born with a speech impediment. Speech therapy in second grade helped, but like you, I wanted more than just to be understood. I wanted to be a silent magician, but found it easier to speak than mime my way through a joke.

One exercise I was taught was to read something backward, taking care to over pronounce each word. This way, you focus on the technique of speaking, not trying to communicate thoughts. You need a patient friend to help, cause it gets dull, but it makes a huge difference.

It's kind of like practicing the scales on a piano. When it comes time to play a song, you don't have to focus on where to put your fingers, you just focus on the music. Practice backards reading and tongue twisters with a friend. Do it daily and it will help.

By the way, now they can't shut me up.

Dave
Message: Posted by: TomKMagic (Aug 31, 2009 08:56PM)
Ron, you could even write a book about your life experience of being able to hear, then losing your hearing, then gaining some of it back. It would be inspirational to many people.
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Sep 1, 2009 06:04PM)
David, you just made me think of something, with speech practice. There are 3 short pages on speech in "Magic and Showmanship" by Nelms. It is probably old stuff to ya'll, but when I read it many years ago, it really helped me. That tongue twister idea is great also. I love to buy those tongue twister books in the kids section of the book stores. They are good to memorize and you can get a laugh, not only at home with friends practicing, but in shows to get kids to repeat them.
I was working a Shoney's once upon a time. There was an open room they put me in that the kids came in. So instead of table hopping, they came to me a few at a time, etc. I did magic and balloons. This was mid-city New Orleans. I remember one kid who seemed to have a speech situation. Some days were boring and I had a lot of time. So when I was busy twisting balloons, I would have him sit next to me and try to repeat tonge twisters. I would break them down for him. He got fairly good with a couple of them. I don't know whatever happened to him as this was about 5 years ago. A lot happened since then, including the Shoney's is now a slab as a result of Katrina. But if I helped him even a tiny bit, I am happy.

ACE
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Sep 2, 2009 09:35PM)
My landlord is completely deaf in his left ear, and hard of hearing in his right. He got the implant in his left, and he showed it to me today. The magnet thing sticks to his head, he gets a special card to show when he passes though airports, etc. It was interesting and I would have never know to ask him about it if it had not been for this topic. I mentioned Ron to him and he said if Ron had hearing in the past, he should take it it prety quickly. My landlord never ever had hearing in that left ear, so he said he is learning to hear in steps. He said the hearing might end up being better in that left ear than the other ear with a hearing aid.

All the best to you Ron...

ACE
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 3, 2009 04:23PM)
Thanks ACE. Stories like that are very encouraging.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (Sep 3, 2009 04:42PM)
I'm very excited and happy for you Ron! Hope all goes well and I will keep checking in for updates.
Message: Posted by: Martello (Sep 5, 2009 06:36AM)
Hey Ron and everyone else on this thread. I've been away for awhile and have not checked in to see what was happening with the implant. I am so happy that the insurance company gave you the okay. It is an exciting and anxiety provoking time for you and all of our thoughts are with you.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Sep 9, 2009 08:31PM)
The magic is within you, Ron.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Sep 9, 2009 08:51PM)
Ron, I second the idea of going to an entertainment vocal coach. I went to one for singing, and he would have understood an entertainer's need for added clarity.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 11, 2009 12:06PM)
Thanks. That does make sense. They would understand the difference between "Speaking well enough" and "speaking clearly enough for an audience to easily understand". I'll look into that when I reach that point.

I just found this video and it brings tears to my eye every time. I don't know if I'll react this strongly or not but I've read that many do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWe6iJmHKUE

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Sep 11, 2009 05:18PM)
Thanks for the link, Ron.
Message: Posted by: Martello (Sep 13, 2009 05:38AM)
Very touching video. I have seen kids turned on before. Sure is nice to see the reaction of someone older. Inspiring!

Arthur
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Sep 15, 2009 08:09PM)
Ron,

here is a story I think you'll like. A friend of mine, whom I've only know for a few years now, became deaf and lost his hearing as an adult. He was w/o his hearing for a long time. He got the implants and can now hear again. He took up magic a few years back and started doing kid shows. To help learn comedy for his magic act, he took a comedy course in stand-up comedy. He has done very well. SO well in fact, that he now labels himself as the "Deaf Comic" even though he is not deaf due to the implants. He plays off of his disability in his stand up comedy shows and it is working for him. He left magic behind and got rid of all his magic props (to me!) He has found his niche and his career as a stand-up comedian is now off the ground. I have included a link to a you- tube clip. To anyone who clicks the link, it is NOT a rated G performance , so anyone who may get offended, just don't watch lol. But his name is Mike Murray. He is a GREAT guy with a heart of gold and one of the nicest people I know and we have become great friends. If you like stand up comedy, enjoy the clip!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjOes0lXR4E
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Sep 16, 2009 02:13PM)
Ron,
It occurred to me today that you may be able to view the video link, but you can't hear it . . I never thought of that when I attached the link lol.

Sorry bout that.

Tommy
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 17, 2009 05:45PM)
Thanks for the link Tommy. No problem about it not having subtitles because I know a service that can subtitle it for me. It just takes a couple of days so I'll be able to watch it when it's finished.

It sounds a lot like me as far as how he uses his deafness in his act. I can't wait to see it.

Could you ask him if he'd mind if I contact him? Seems we'd have some things to talk about with us both being deaf and using it in our acts. And of course the implant when I get mine.

Here's another video of a comedian joking about deaf issues. The same warning applies. No foul language but "Adult content". Very funny though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDGEExF1VYQ

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Sep 17, 2009 07:43PM)
Sent you a PM
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 21, 2009 03:55PM)
I finally got an update.

I still don't know when the surgery will take place but I got a letter in the mail for two appointments about it on October 13. One is "Final Consultation" with audiologist. I think this is just to make my decision on what brand of implant I'll get and answer any questions I might have. The other appointment on the same day is with the surgeon. Probably just to walk me through everything that'll happen during the surgery and so forth.

I was hoping my next letter would be telling me when the surgery will be. But it's good to know I now know when the next step will be. The wait is getting annoying. LOL

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: LilyStar (Sep 22, 2009 12:03AM)
Hi Ron,

I just wanted to give you some additional encouragement.

I have a friend who is 80 years old and he had cochlear implant surgery a few years ago. He couldn't hear anything in that ear before, and now he has great hearing! It was such a blessing for him, his family, friends, and the community.

I will be pray for you also!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 22, 2009 02:29AM)
Thank you and welcome to the Café. I'm honored that this was your first post. :)

Wow. almost 80 years old. I have a lot of respect for someone who will do that at such an age. Most people who loose their hearing in later years usually don't admit they have a hearing loss. I'm sure you've meet them. They won't go to doctor about it but they'll speak very loud and turn TV up full blast. But won't admit they have hearing loss. LOL

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 28, 2009 07:48AM)
I finally got the date for my Surgery. November 11, Just a couple of weeks away. I'm so excited.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Oct 28, 2009 08:07AM)
Congratulations! Hope all goes well!

And boy does time fly...we met at Kevin James' board like 10 years ago (remember those days? LOL), talked a lot (as a group) about the certain challenges of being a deaf performer and now, you're about to hear. I am very, [i]very[/i] happy for you!
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 28, 2009 10:32AM)
Good luck Ron.
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Oct 28, 2009 12:55PM)
Congrats buddy
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Oct 28, 2009 01:47PM)
Just remember, we'll still make bad jokes at your expense. No one is spared around here.
Message: Posted by: airship (Oct 28, 2009 03:10PM)
You're on my prayer list, Ron. May God bless and keep you, dude.
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Nov 2, 2009 08:18PM)
I was ready the topic title, "Not very magical, still..."

To me, this is VERY magical!

Good luck Ron! We are rootin' for ya!

ACE
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 11, 2009 11:40AM)
Well, I have to wait just a little while longer for my surgery.

I have to have a physical before the surgery and that was suppose to be last Monday. But I had the flu and had to reschedule the physical. So my physical is today and the surgery was bumped to next Wednesday (Nov. 18).

So all is stil good. Just have to wait one more week. Just thought I'd keep you all up to speed.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Magicman0323 (Nov 11, 2009 12:09PM)
Ron, I wish you the best my friend. I hope it all works out for you! We are all pullin for ya brother!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 19, 2009 03:59PM)
I had the surgery yesterday. Everything went perfectly.

I came home about 2 hours after the surgery with a huge bandage around my head. I was just able to take the bandage off about an hour ago today. I'm glad because that thing was getting annoying. I'm still on the pain killers but the pain has been minimal. So far the only side effects I've had are what's expected such as dizziness and a little sore. But I feel fine (The drugs help. LOL).

My next step is to have the stitches removed in a week or so. Then 2 or 3 weeks later I'll go in and get the processor. The processor is the external part. This is called "Activation day" and it's when I'll actually begin to hear again. They'll put it on me, hook it up to a computer and do what's called "Mapping". This means they'll adjust the processor to my hearing needs. Create different programs on it for different noise levels (Such as a loud room or a quiet room).

So I just thought I'd let everyone know what's going on. It looks like I'll be able to start hearing a little before Christmas. Over the next year I'll have to go in and get it "Mapped" a number of times as I adjust to being able to hear again. No one knows how well I'll be able to understand speech yet but in time it'll improve. I'd be happy to just be able to understand 20% of speech. I hope for more but just that much combined with my lip reading will be a huge leap for me.

Well, I'm gonna go get some more rest. I'll keep you all up to speed. Thanks for all the support.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Nov 19, 2009 07:21PM)
Excellent, Ron. Heal well and keep us posted!

John
Message: Posted by: Sixten (Nov 19, 2009 07:32PM)
This is great news, Mr. Jaxon.
Best of luck!

Sixten :)
Message: Posted by: tommy (Nov 19, 2009 08:44PM)
Cool! I can't wait to hear what you think. :)
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Nov 20, 2009 12:45AM)
Lots of best wishes and positive vibes sent to you!!

Chrystal
Message: Posted by: MAKMagic (Nov 20, 2009 07:30AM)
RJ...that. is. awesome.
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Nov 20, 2009 08:13AM)
Rock ON!
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Nov 20, 2009 08:15AM)
Great news Ron, heal well and I look forward to more progress reports!

MMc
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 20, 2009 05:22PM)
Thanks everyone.

I'm in a little pain right now but it's not too bad.

Found out my activation date is December 22. So that's the day I'll begin to hear again.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Nov 21, 2009 11:55PM)
This is very cool. What a Christmas Present!
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Nov 22, 2009 02:03AM)
Was about to say the same thing. Hope it's a merry Christmas for you, and don't mistake the jingle bells for tinnitus!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 22, 2009 09:59AM)
Thanks everyone. Yea, it's going to be a pretty full holiday season for me. I wonder if Santa's voice has changed much in the last 20 years. LOL

Well, it's been 4 days since the surgery. I still have a bandage over my ear so I haven't even seen the stitches yet. It's covered by some bandage that's stuck over it. I'll get the stitches removed toward the end of this week.

I'm in some pain. It kind of comes and goes as the pain killers wear off. But it's not to bad. I've had ear infections that hurt worse. The hard part is sleeping because the surgery was on my left ear and that's the side I usually sleep on.

I can feel the lump on my skull where the implant is. Feels kind of strange. Imagine you have a half dollar coin under your skin behind your ear. That's kind of what it's like. I know there's a magnet in there but I have to hold myself back from sticking a shimmed half dollar to it until it heals. Yup, I'm now the PK head magician. LOL

I was just thinking that I need to meet a girl with the implant on their left ear. So when we hug we'll be stuck together. :)

The hardest part right now is the fact that I'm feeling better and more alert, but I still have to take it easy of course. This means I'm getting very bored. I could do some less work such as writing but that's not a good idea to do when you're on pain killer.

So, the big day is December 22. Some have asked about how well I'll be able to hear. No one knows. If you see me this year I know I'll still have to read lips. I will be able to hear your voice some but how well no one knows. Just want to make that clear to those of you who I know in person. Over time my ability to understand speech will improve to some degree.

That's another hard part. It's common for people to be very excited when the implant is turned on the first time. But months later it's also common to have a degree of depression when they realize they still can't hear all that well. Kind of have to have realistic expectations.So right now I'm just looking forward to hearing "things". Small sounds I might pick up from day to day like biting potato chips, ice in a glass and so forth. Then I'll go from there. At any rate a little sound to go along with my lip reading will be helpful.

Thanks again for all the encouragement.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: cardone (Nov 22, 2009 05:34PM)
Wow what an experience ..thank you so much for sharing it with us !! Good Luck with your recovery !!!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 24, 2009 03:54PM)
The bandage that's been over the stitches behind my ear since the surgery last Wednesday came off today. It wasn't suppose to be removed till I get my stitches removed tomorrow but it just fell off. Probably from sweat. It's been kind of fading from that the last could of days. Called the doctor and they just asked some questions about how it looks. No blood or anything so they said to not worry about it and just tape some new gauze over it when I go to bed tonight. It would have been removed tomorrow anyway.

But I was finally able to see the incision. It's bigger than I though. It basically outlines the entire shape of the ear from top where ear meets my head to my ear lobe. But that bandage not being there is like instant relief. That thing was bugging me big time. LOL

Just keeping you all up to speed on my journey. So far so good.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Nov 24, 2009 04:11PM)
This is all great news man.


I'm sorry if I missed this, why do they wait so long to turn it on after the surgery?
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 25, 2009 12:01PM)
The wait is basically just to give the surgery time to heal.

I'm still baffled about one thing and I haven't yet gotten an answer that helps me to completely understand how the internal part is powered. I'm talking about the part that is embedded in my head.

Here's an image of the internal part.
[img]http://www.bcm.edu/oto/jsolab/cochlear_implants/Implanted-device.gif[/img]

Mine is a different model but it's bascially the same thing. See the two wires coming off it? the wire that has a curl on the end is the wire that goes into my inner ear. The little dots on the curl are electrodes that send the sound waves to my brain.

Now the other wire is what has me baffled. That's a ground wire. It goes into a muscle in my neck. But this part has no battery. It's powered by the external part (Sound processor).

Look at this image.
[img]http://msnbcmedia2.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo/_new/g-hlt-081001-cochlear-implants-5p.widec.jpg[/img]

The round part on the end of the wire is held on by a magnet. Somehow this powers the internal implant. The only thing can think of is the electric current is able to power the implant through the skin. Which kind of goes against what I understand about electricity. I'm going to see if my audiologist can further explain all this. :)

Ron jaxon
Message: Posted by: rawdawg (Nov 25, 2009 02:21PM)
Man, if you could figure out how to shimmy a Black Jack Counting program into that thing you'd be set!

Congratulations on your journey to the hearing world. It will be interesting to see how depressed you get once you listen to the presentations of most magicians... that thing has an "OFF" button, right?
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 26, 2009 09:51AM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-25 15:21, rawdawg wrote:
It will be interesting to see how depressed you get once you listen to the presentations of most magicians...
[/quote]

Ha! And how they all use the same music.

Ron, I think you should rig up a levitation, so when they turn it on the first time, an object you were holding begins to float. You can ask the doctor "How does the implant let me do this????"

If the implant external housing is only on one side, you should have a matching ITR made for the other side.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 26, 2009 11:27AM)
LOL. Good idea about the levitation. I had a funny idea to make it spark when I push a button on a remote. Be a good way to get out of boring meetings or end conversations with annoying people. LOL

Actually, I've already thought of making an ITR hearing aid. I think I'll make one for myself but I won't market it. If I did I'd probably only sell 5 or so. LOL

Oh, I did come up with a magician fooler. It won't matter if I share it. I mean, who would steal this. Take a shimmed coin and cover one side with hair that matches my hair. Now I can secretly stick it to the side of my head and it vanishes. :P

Ron Jaxon

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Nov 26, 2009 11:18PM)
Jaxon wrote:
[quote]
I'm still baffled about one thing and I haven't yet gotten an answer that helps me to completely understand how the internal part is powered. I'm talking about the part that is embedded in my head.
[/quote]
Ron, I'm guessing that it uses a [i]transformer[/i], i.e. it's powered by magnetic induction. The external until creates a an alternating magnetic field with loops of wire driven by a high frequency alternating current, and this causes current to flow in loop of wire on the internal unit.

Jaxon wrote:
[quote]
I was just thinking that I need to meet a girl with the implant on their left ear. So when we hug we'll be stuck together. :)
[/quote]
:lol:

Yeah, then you can tell her, "I'm stuck on you." or "I find you very [i]attractive[/i]."

Best wishes on Dec. 22nd. I'll start checking here every day after that to find out how you're doing.
Message: Posted by: Martello (Dec 1, 2009 05:39AM)
I believe that Bill is correct as far as the magnetic induction is concerned. Having worked with deaf students with cochlear implants and supervised the cochlear implant program at Saint Francis de Sales School for the Deaf for 32 years before retiring in 1999, I can appreciate all of the wonders associated with cochlear implants. They will surely put an end to hearing impairment as the technology improves.
Hearing is our most valuable sense. When I taught at Saint Joseph's College in Brooklyn NY, I would tell my students that if I had to be reborn I would rather be born blind than deaf, they were very surprised. The fact is, that the loss of hearing in most cases also means a loss of language as we know it. ASL is not a viable substitute for the complexities and necessities of the language we use. Loss of language affects so many areas that it boggles the mind. Hearing is 360 degrees all around you but vision is only 180 degrees. We are hearing things that we are totally unaware of and gaining information (the sounds of passing traffic, people talking, planes flying overhead, children laughing in the next room). The deaf child never benefits from this information, nor does he learn to communicate the same way that we do, through the auditory sense. It is the way we learn language, our primary means of navigating this nutty world.
To me, there is no greater handicap than deafness!
Can't wait to hear the story surrounding your "turn on" Ron. Best of luck.
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Dec 1, 2009 08:24AM)
A magnet in motion can induce electric current. This is the basis, on a much larger scale, for hydro electric power. (hoover dam) The circular device is very possible inducing a current this way. a lot of electric re-chargers work this way, which is why we don't get a shock by touching the business end. Don't mean to hijack this topic, but I do love answering science questions.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Dec 1, 2009 09:19AM)
Martello - That's why I was very lucky to have been able to hear when I was younger. Even I can't imagine what it would be like to be born deaf.

Cliffg37 - NO problem at all. Like I said, I was kind of stumped on that. :)

There's a discussion going on in a forum for the deaf about "Future Cochlear Implants" and what we perceive or imagine they will be like in the future. One of the things I brought up is that I think they'll be much smaller (Like a strip that goes behind the ear or something) and be powered completely by the electricity in the human body. Watch "The Matrix" for a more detailed description. :)

Ron Jaxon