I’ve written in the past about how getting caught in the rain was one of the things I was most looking forward to doing after getting my cochlear implant, and I also wrote about what it was like to go swimming with a cochlear implant, but up until a few weeks ago, I never actually seriously got caught in the rain with a cochlear implant.
First, let me say this was completely UNPLANNED. I live in Washington Township, and I love to take walks. I knew that a thunderstorm was on the horizon, but when I first headed out for the day, the skies were still clear. It was one of the first days of spring, so for once, the weather was warm. I didn’t want to walk to the gym like I normally do because I thought it might be too far of a walk, and I wasn’t sure if I’d make it back in time to avoid the storm. Instead, I decided to take advantage of the fact that all of the basketball courts at the high school I live across were empty. I’ve always loved to play basketball, but I don’t get the opportunity to play nearly as much as I’d like. So I grabbed my bag with a couple of bottles of water, my jump rope, and my basketball and headed out.
I Wore My Aqua Cases to Protect Against Rain and Sweat
I wore my aqua cases for this trip. I didn’t wear the aqua cases just because of the pending storm, but to protect against sweat as well. I made the mistake when I got my first cochlear implant of going to the gym without the aqua case and almost broke it from all of the sweat and moisture I got in it. Since that incident, I’ve made a point to wear my aqua cases every time I go to the gym, work out, or even go for a walk or do anything that could produce sweat. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
I Struggled to Keep the Aqua Cases on My Head
It took me a while to cross the street that afternoon. Traffic was busy in Washington Township, as always. When I finally managed to cross the street and make it to the high school, I took out my jump rope and began using it. I’ve had my jump rope for over a year and never used it before. I heard it was good exercise which is precisely why I bought it, but I always shied away from using it, fearing I’d look like an idiot, which I did, but it was okay because no one was around to laugh at me. I still didn’t have quite enough magnets in my headpiece on the cochlear for my right ear. I think the placement for that one is different from my left, which makes it not stick as well. When I used my jump rope, it kept knocking my headpiece off until finally, I gave up on it and took it off and put it in my bag.
I only jumped rope for about 5 minutes or so before switching to basketball. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you haven’t done it for 20 years, jumping rope is intense! Plus, I noticed the clouds were beginning to look a bit heavy, so I wanted to stop and make sure I got plenty of basketball time in before it rained on my parade. I put my cochlear back on for this. It worked out better for me than the jump roping did, but it still kept coming off my head whenever I jumped, so I ended up taking it off again and putting it in my bag.
Cochlear Implants Made Outdoor Exercise More Relaxing and Stress-Free
I played basketball for about a half-hour or so before the rain began. I think this was my first time playing basketball with my cochlear implants. I noticed I was much more relaxed. I didn’t have to worry as much about whether any cars were coming by the parking lot, if joggers were running through, or if someone was trying to talk to me. I was able to hear everything around me (and there weren’t many people around anyway). It was very peaceful and fun.
The First Rain Drop
After about a half-hour, I felt a raindrop hit my head. “Okay, that’s my signal to pack it up,” I said to myself. Within seconds of saying that, I found myself in a torrential downpour. The rain came down at the speed of light. I ran to my bag to check my cochlear and put it back on my head and to check that my phone, which was in my bag, was still working. Everything seemed good. Then I grabbed my bag and my ball and headed home.
Getting Caught in a Torrential Downpour With Cochlear Implants
But I couldn’t simply go home; I had to walk back, which meant walking through the torrential downpour and trying to cross the dreaded intersection again. It also meant having to pass a bank and drug store while sporting soaking wet clothes and hair and dribbling a basketball. That’s not something you see every day.
IT. WAS. FUN. SOOOOO MUCH FUN.
This is something I could never do before with my hearing aids. My hearing aids would have broken in seconds, and I would’ve been having a major panic/anxiety account over getting caught in a torrential downpour with them. And my mom would want to kill me for destroying my $3,000+ uninsured devices.
But with my aqua cases on, my cochlear implants were 100% waterproof. I had nothing at all to worry about.
I dribbled my ball through the rain until it began to fill with the water and become too heavy to bounce. Then I carried it. I watched the people flee the bank to their cars as if they were afraid the rain might make them melt. As I waited at the crosswalk by the drug store, I noticed the people in their cars looked at me like I was a freak because I was standing at a crosswalk for a busy intersection with soaking wet hair and clothes, a basketball, and the biggest smile on my face.
I didn’t care about being wet. I didn’t care that my clothes felt like they weighed 1,000 pounds from the rain. I didn’t care about my basketball session being cut short. I didn’t care about the fact that I was getting pretty cold. I didn’t even care about the fact that my contacts were getting blurry from being drenched in the rain.
I was ecstatic. I was having one of the best days of my life.
What I Did When I Got Home, Soaking Wet
When I got home, I didn’t have to worry about anything being broken. I did take my processors off and put the aqua case parts and those specific batteries in the dryer to be on the safe side, but I didn’t have to. There was no panic attack. I didn’t have to take out the hairdryer to try to air them out and to get them to work or nothing at all.
I simply did what any normal person would do; I changed out of my wet clothes, got a hot bath and made a hot cup of coffee to warm up, and went on with my life.
You don’t realize how much these little things in life, like getting caught in the rain, can mean to a person until they get to not only experience them but ENJOY them without any fear. It’s surreal.
I can’t wait to get caught in the rain again sometime soon.