Night has come, and as I head to bed I take off my cochlear implant. I only know two others who understand what actual silence is, so I’m going to explain mine sounds like. When I take off my cochlear implant, I immediately feel relieved, as though a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. After a long day of noise and chaos that comes from noise, it’s an incredible feeling to just sit in total silence for a bit and finally be able to hear my thoughts.
When I first take off my cochlear implant, I hear a slight buzzing noise in the back of my head. I’m not sure if I am imagining this noise or not, but I think it’s a surprised reaction from my brain. I’m going from abundant noise to absolutely nothing rather quickly and I believe my brain is shocked at the rapid transition. The humming dies away soon enough, and I am surrounded by complete silence. I look around and suddenly the room is peaceful, it doesn’t matter where I am. If I were in the middle of a parade, I could simply close my eyes and imagine myself in bed and my mind would not be able to detect a difference (excluding the amount of light coming in through my eyelids).
Suddenly, everything that had a noise doesn’t have one anymore. There have been times when I am walking to the bathroom in my dorm when not wearing my cochlear implant, but my friends can’t tell the difference until I tell them. Sometimes they go ahead and talk anyways, so I have to try to gaze at and decipher their lips while they speak. But I’m not very good at that, so I indicate that I’ll talk to them later and hurry into the bathroom.
I enjoy spending my time wearing my cochlear implants just as much as without. Both moments are just as important to me. I need to spend time interacting with others just as I need time to be alone and focus on homework or simply reflect on my day. I am lucky to have the option of turning off sound, since sometimes noise can be too chaotic. But sometimes the sound of nothing can be comforting (after a long day) and confining (when I am unable to effectively communicate).