In Canada, this is our Thanksgiving Weekend. While the originally designed to give thanks for the harvest, we generally use this holiday to share a meal with friends and family and reflect on all things for which we are grateful. For me, the following represents things for which I am most thankful. There is no particular rank order here…
- Cochlear Implant Technology. This technology has dramatically changed my life in enormous ways. Simply put, without it I could not function. Communication would be almost impossible. I probably would have embraced sign language to a greater degree, but I would be limited to communicating to a much smaller and limited set of people. I would have completely lost my ability to enjoy music. Do I wish for improvements from this technology? Sure. Music perception and hearing in noise and are still challenges, but I have developed some additional compensatory techniques. Still, a day does not pass in which I remind myself how my different my life would be without the CI.
- Wireless Microphone Technology. While the the cochlear implant implant is amazing, it is the synergy of the FM system in conjunction with the CI that provides me even greater capabilities. Adding FM technology allows me to use my mobile phone via Bluetooth, hear in noisy cars, restaurants, and bars, enjoy social events more fully, and enhances my ability to hear and perform music. I wish more CI users would realize how much more they could get out of life if only they added FM or other wireless microphones.
- Music. Music brings light to my soul. It always has the ability to brighten my darkest days. I am so grateful that I can still not only enjoy listening to music, but to perform it as well. It has not been easy to keep music a part of my life. I needed to experiment with vibrating platforms, compressors, equalizers, FM systems, and soundboards to make it happen. Lots of money and time has been spent on this. But it can be done.
- Family. I have a wonderful, intelligent and beautiful wife that puts up with my shenanigans. And I have a handsome, brilliant, and kind hearted son who is so full of passion. I love you both.
- Health. A weird thing happened the other day. My son’s friend was looking at some pictures of both my son and I from his early childhood. The friend remarked that I look younger today the I did 10 years ago. That was such a compliment! Losing 40 pounds of excess weight and getting into better shape has had the effect of turning back the sands of time. Next week I will be completing a half marathon, something I never dreamed I would be capable of doing. I am so grateful that I am finally on the road to better life. It feels great.