Margie McFadyen Fitchlee: Lucky to live in a time of medical miracles - The Buffalo News

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Margie McFadyen Fitchlee: Lucky to live in a time of medical miracles

Depending on our circumstances, some of us on this earth want to stop time, some of us want to speed it up and some of us want to slow it down. We have no control over it, but perhaps we have some control over what we do with our time.

I just finished Mitch Albom’s book “The Time Keeper” and I couldn’t help but reflect on this concept we call “time” and what it might mean for those of us with profound hearing loss or deafness.

It has been said that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift from God, which is why we call it the present. One nice thing about the present is that it affords us the opportunity to look back at the past, but it also gives us the excitement and the anticipation to look ahead to the future.

I lost all of my hearing in the course of a 14-year period. As a result, I had to retire from my job as a teacher’s aide; I could no longer understand the children.

But for many of us in the cochlear implant community, the present is now a place we can feel comfortable taking part in. The technology and the skillful hands of gifted doctors have given us that chance. Today, for us, is truly a gift from God; a gift I will never take for granted.

I will always look at Dr. Ernesto Diaz-Ordaz as the man I feel saved me. I can never thank him enough. It is my hope that down the road he will continue to save many others who take that giant step and go forward with cochlear implant surgery.

Thanks to him, the present is now a place I can function in. It may not be perfect, but perfection was not what I was striving for when I made the decision to have the surgery.

As I write this article, I am sitting on my front porch – listening to the birds chirp, the wind blow and the cars go by – and reminding myself that without the use of my cochlear implant none of this would be possible.

Time truly does have a way of healing. When my hearing loss became unmanageable, I often said to my husband that one of my biggest challenges was trying to simply relax. That might seem strange to some people, but all of the things I did to relax no longer worked for me. I could no longer successfully watch television, go to the movies, listen to music or pick up the telephone and call someone.

The world I knew was closing in on me. I started to withdraw.

Luckily for me, help was on the way and my implant surgery four years ago brought me back to a place I can function in. I will never have natural hearing again, but with the use of my implant, I am able to function in the hearing world.

The future and what it will bring is unknown. My faith and my belief in the power of the human spirit tell me it will be a better place. A place where technology and medical miracles will prevail. A place where I hope the struggles and challenges of folks like me will subside. I look forward to the future – to the excitement and the anticipation that come with it.

The Irish tell us that the future is not ours to know, and it may never be, so let us live and give our best – and give it lavishly!

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