Have you ever watched a movie that depicted someone that had the same illness or problem as you and it was depicted almost incorrectly? Yesterday I watched the movie from Amazon called Sound of ￼￼Metal. It’s about a drummer who loses his hearing and ends up in the deaf community and ultimately decides to get the cochlear implant￼. My daughter was born with a progressive hearing loss and at the age of three she got her first Cochlear implant and her second one was done at six. I’ve lived in the world of Cochlear implants her entire life. I’ve also lived for the beginning stages of her life in a program for children who were hearing impaired.
In 2001, when she was first implanted, it was still relatively new in the world￼￼. The FDA declared it was safe for adults in 1984 but it wasn’t until 1990 they approved it for children. Even at the time my daughter had her first implant there were FDA criteria. She had to be over two years old and her audiology tests and charts had to be approved by the FDA for the surgery to be done.￼ Basically, in layman terms, she had to be profoundly deaf to be approved for the surgery. ￼￼My daughter was profoundly deaf in high frequencies however she was severely deaf in low frequencies.￼ A hearing aid would bring those low frequency levels up to a level that would give her some sound. Way back then, that was enough where the FDA could have denied her the Cochlear. I was told she wouldn’t qualify by one of her audiologist because of this fact. Thankfully, I didn’t listen and I went and had an appointment in New York City. Without high frequencies, she would have never been able to speak. Since no hearing aid of any type could help with a profound hearing loss in high frequencies and she was so young, the new York city audiologist￼ got her approved. ￼￼
I sat in the NYC ear office doing mapping of her cochlear or audiology tests with my daughter every few months since she was 3. The mapping of a cochlear implant is when they test sound levels from various points of the 22 electrodes that are in her ear bringing the sound to her brain. It isn’t a switch turned on to perfection. It is the mappings that fine tune how she hears. ￼ not only that, she hast to learn to hear. My daughter only knows this hearing. She has never known real sound. Yet even with this every time she comes home from a mapping, she complains she can’t hear and she hates it. The reason why is she has to retrain her ears to the new sounds and how she hears. She’s 21 and it happens every time she goes for a mapping. ￼￼
Now I bring you back to the movie on Amazon. This is a guy who supposed to of had hearing all his life and lose it. Fine. Then he goes into this doctors office gets the Cochlear implant comes back a month later gets turned on and that’s it. It was completely a misrepresentation of the cochlear implant. He would’ve been lost at first. It just really bothered me. Not to mention the deaf community he was originally and kicked him out when they found out he got the cochlear implant. OK so they made this a modern day version of Sound and Fury, which was a documentary in 2000 about the cochlear implant and the deaf community. ￼￼ He had to pay privately for the Cochlear implant it wasn’t covered by insurance.￼ The movie just didn’t represent the amazing technology of the implant. It bothered me and I wanted to share.
However what I did truly love is they did represent the sounds of what it is like to hear through the Cochlear implant. This is something that my entire family always wondered what how she hears. For that reason I would recommend watching the last 20 minutes of the movie.￼