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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » I may not be deaf much longer! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Cory Chapin
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Ill be praying for you, Cory
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kcg5
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Keep it up jaxon!!!!!
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it"- Sir Winston Churchill
kcg5
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Ron, what is your view of the controversy in the deaf community regarding these type of implants?
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it"- Sir Winston Churchill
gdw
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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.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

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I won't forget you Robert.
Jaxon
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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. Smile

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
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2009-08-27 14:50, Jaxon wrote:
I can almost taste sound right now. LOL


Right on, brother! What a beautiful description.
ClintonMagus
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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.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Acecardician
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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! Smile

ACE
TomKMagic
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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


Right on, brother! What a beautiful description.


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.
You must be smarter than the tools you are using...

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kcg5
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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!!!!!
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it"- Sir Winston Churchill
rossmacrae
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Quote:
But the problem is the "Specialist" I went to didn't seem interested in helping me improve.

Have you considered turning from the medical field to find a speech coach who works with performers?
Jaxon
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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
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Jaxon
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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. Smile

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
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
David Bilan
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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
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
TomKMagic
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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.
You must be smarter than the tools you are using...

Tom Kracker
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Acecardician
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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
Acecardician
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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
Jaxon
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Thanks ACE. Stories like that are very encouraging.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
michaelmystic2003
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I'm very excited and happy for you Ron! Hope all goes well and I will keep checking in for updates.
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Martello
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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.
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