Personal, Post-Activation

Do I Still Have to Wear Caption Glasses with Cochlear Implants? What It’s like to Go to the Movies with Cochlear Implants

Larry came back from Florida this weekend. Actually, he came back last weekend on Sunday afternoon, but due to work schedules, this was the first I’ve been able to see him. We didn’t know what we wanted to do this weekend. Here in NJ, the temperatures have been in the single digits or very low double digits all week, so it was too cold to do much of anything. We decided to go with the classic dinner and a movie date.

Choosing the Movie

Larry didn’t know of anything he wanted to see, so he let me pick. I wanted to see Paddington and the new Spongebob movie, Sponge Out of Water (Yes, I am five years old at heart), but neither one is out yet. I have been hearing great things about Into the Woods and remembered seeing it as a play in high school (although I couldn’t hear it when I saw it, I really just went to support my drama club friends who were in it). So I chose to see that.

Do I Still Need Caption Glasses?

When we got there, the inevitable question came up… “Do you need

I took this picture the weekend before my surgery. I was excited, thinking it would probably be the last time I’d ever need the glasses. They were such a pain. Not only are they big and bulky, but they don’t always work. On this night, the battery in my glasses needed to be re-charged, but the employee who gave it to me couldn’t comprehend that. I’m more than glad to be done with these!

I didn’t know how to answer it at first. I have been watching TV at home with the captions on still. I feel like I’m not quite ready to go without them. But caption glasses suck so much. They are bulky and annoying. Also, I have regular glasses that I cannot see without, my cochlear for my left ear, and a hearing aid on my right ear. That’s a lot of equipment to have on or around my ears. The caption glasses are very uncomfortable. And I was afraid of losing my cochlear since it’s very easy to knock my processor off my ear, especially when I wear my longer 10-hour battery. Into the Woods was a movie we saw because we wanted to see a movie, not something we’ve been dying to see or anything like that, so I decided to take my chances.

Could I Hear at the Movies with My Cochlear Implant?

I heard nearly every word.

It blew my mind. It’s been about 13 years since I’ve been able to see a movie in theaters without caption glasses and be able to still hear and understand it. Plus, it was a musical. Music is usually much harder for cochlear implant recipients to hear and understand, especially when newly implanted. But I did so amazingly well with it. I understood all of the characters, their voices sounded natural, and I was easily able to follow along with the story, sans glasses.

My boyfriend kind of hated it. He doesn’t like musicals much — it was way too much singing for him. But I loved it, and it made me so excited for the future. I previously mentioned wanting to see a movie in the drive-in post-activation. And now that I know I should be able to hear it fine, I’m 100 times more excited for that.

Has anyone else experienced going to the movies with their cochlear implants? If so, leave me a comment and let me know what movie you saw and if you used caption glasses, and how it felt!

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