“It feels good to know that I have doctors who have my back and are fully vested in my care, well-being, and progress.”

It is funny how a single date can be etched in your life forever.

For me, that “forever” date is May 13th, 2019… the day my cochlear implant (CI) was activated. It was the day I enjoyed my first glimmer of sound after 20-plus years of living in a soundless black cloud. It was the day I started a new way of life… the hearing kind.

My CI journey began with a simple Google search for the best CI doctor in my area, and as I think back, I still cannot believe I got so lucky.

I discovered there was a CI program in my area at ENT Associates helmed by Dr. Scott Greene (CI surgeon) and Dr. Nada Hanna (CI Audiologist.) The care, comfort, knowledge, and understanding from Dr. Greene, Dr. Hanna and their team at ENT Associates has been the best part of my journey. It feels good to know that I have doctors who have my back and are fully vested in my care, well-being, and progress.

Every day, as I hear more and more around me, I sit back full of thankfulness and so much gratitude. Grati-tude for Dr. Greene’s surgery experience, for Dr. Hanna’s wicked programming capability and finally for the technology that allows me to hear so many sounds.

I’ve come to appreciate every sound as precious — the spoon as it clicks against the cup when I mix sugar into my coffee in the morning; my husband’s car as it drives away to work; the sound of our stray cat meowing as it asks for food; the birds, the wind, the simple sound of water running.

I can now listen to the lyrics of a song and finally sing along or simply enjoy TV without having to read the closed captions. I can look at people when they talk to me without being focused on lip-reading their speech. All these big daily wins, which are wrapped in so many positive emotions. It has been so encouraging! “I can hear” is a sentence I love to say out loud, because I can.

Every day it gets better. Conversations come easily now. I am no longer intimidated by environments that I would avoid in the past – loud restaurants, large crowds. I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted and it is the best of feelings. I am fully engaged with the world, and I am finding my place in it again.

Dr. Greene and Dr. Hanna have given me my life back and I cannot express how beholden I am for this gift.