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  • Technology Changing Lives

    Posted on December 13th, 2009 Andy Parkes 7 comments

    My job means on a day to day basis I try to help businesses improve by the use of technology. It’s very satisfying when you see “the penny drop” for someone after explaining a concept. I saw this after a SharePoint demo at the back end of last week – I love listening to conversations afterwards as co-workers start bouncing ideas off each other

    Technology isn’t just for business though, smart use of technology in our everyday lives can have a huge impact. Whether it’s families in different countries staying in touch via Skype, or re-connecting with long lost relatives via social networking sites there is potential everywhere

    We’ve had some news recently that shows how technology can have a dramatic effect on someone’s entire life

    If you know me personally or have read this blog for any period of time you’ll know that my wife is deaf and has been since birth

    Six months ago she decided to take a look into her options and the hearing team at Selly Oak hospital started an investigation to see if it would be possible for her to get a Cochlear Implant

    Last week we had the “big decision appointment” and it was a yes. In addition to this they even had a date so on the 22nd December she’ll be having the operation! (less than ten days time!!) Bryony wrote a blog post about bringing the equipment home and the details of the appointment here

    The big switch on will be in January so we’ve got a massive start to the year ahead of us

    It’s not an exaggeration when I say this is HUGE. If all goes well Bryony will get as close to “normal” hearing as she will ever know, all down to a tiny computer that she’ll wear behind her ear

    It’s certainly a different way to spend your Christmas and New Year!

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    Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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    7 Responses to “Technology Changing Lives”

    1. That is fantastic news and I hope the operation is a success! To what extent is your wife deaf? Does she have any hearing at all?

      My mother is partially deaf and when she started wearing hearing aids a few years ago she hated it. The noise was a massive intrusion into her life that she just wasn’t used to. I’m sure your wife will receive excellent care both during and after the procedure but it must be a very scary and frightening prospect. Although I’m sure she is equally as excited!

      Please update your blog with her progress over the coming weeks. I wish her the very best and hope that you both have a fantastic start to the new year. A whole world of new experiences await!

    2. I meant to add that as time passed my mother became used to the hearing aids and loves them now. It wasn’t meant to be a negative point!

    3. Thanks Luffer,

      She is profoundly deaf, without her hearing aid she hears nothing at all!

      I’m sure I’ll update the blog after the operation but her blog will have the full details! (www.thedeafone.co.uk)

      Glad your mother got used to them, must be weird hearing nothing then having to switch to a massive amount of noise!

    4. This is fantastic news and really shows how technology can have such a positive effect on people personally. Best of luck to you both and I know we’ll all be keen to find out how it goes!

    5. Indeed, she lost her hearing over several years but never noticed it herself because it was gradual. It wasn’t until one particular incident when a jet plane went over head and we all commented on how loud it was and my mother just replied “What plane?”…

      A bit of joking ensued along the lines of “you must be deaf if you couldn’t hear that!” etc… But then quickly realised she should get her hearing tested. The results were a bit surprising to find out just how much of her hearing she had lost without anyone really noticing.

      To suddenly use hearing aids was a massive shock to her system. She used to complain how loud someone typing at a keyboard was, or even turning a page in a magazine. All these little things were a massive intrusion into her life all of a sudden. Her brain had to reprogram itself to filter out all the background noises we all learn to do naturally.

      Her hearing was so sensitive that at the time I recall her asking what a loud crackling noise was because it was driving her mad. We couldn’t hear anything, or so we thought. Then it tuned out she could hear the frying pan in the kitchen two rooms away! When we listened for it of course it was there, but we were able to ignore it. However, it was a huge irritation to my mother and it took several months for her to feel comfortable wearing them.

    6. Yup, hearing aids just ‘shout’ at you and we can hear some surprising things. Someone sitting next to me turning their newspaper can be intensely irritating. As my hearing has worsened, they shout at me more and help me less. I had my CI implanted a few days ago and was born deaf, so I am quite apprehensive about the difference in quality of hearing I am going to experience. It’s the unknown quantity that unnerves me. But – que sera sera!

    7. […] wife Bryony had her operation over the Christmas of 2009 with the recovery and switch on happening in the January of […]

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