The Economist has an excellent story on upgrading cochlear implants

…in which I’m quoted. It’s a fascinating story about the emerging prospect of replacing old cochlear implants with new models. Till now this subject has been more or less taboo, with the assumption that implantation is a one-shot deal: the implant you get is the one you will have for life. But improvements in devices and surgical techniques are making it feasible to consider removing a device and replacing it with a new one. Read the story here.

I’ve been too busy writing to post updates on how I’m doing with two ears. Rest assured, I’ve been doing great. It’s opened up new possibilities for me. I’m now taking a yoga course. I’d tried yoga before but it was just too frustrating to try to hear the instructor with only one ear while bent into a pretzel. But now that I have two, it’s much easier and I can follow along without struggling. I still plan to write about auditory training, but it has to wait while I’m working on other writing projects. I’m working on two stories now, which should be up soon.


  1. Congrats on the mentioning in the Economist. I read the article with great interest. I am one of those 3%ers and I can tell you there is an enormous benefit to being bi-lateral. I am amazed at how technology has evolved over the years to give us hearing impaired a better chance than 5, 10 or even 25 years ago. And I am absolutely curious as to what improvements can be made and how. Keep up the great work!

  2. The Economist article was forwarded to me by a co-worker. The mention about your book was very intriguing. I immediately found it on Google Books and read several chunks. I purchased a couple copies today, for myself and family members, via Amazon.

    You have offered a really unique and valuable perspective on the experience of receiving a cochlear implant. I think every parent of a deaf child should read this book!

    My son Micah (10 yrs. old) received his first implant when he was five years old in 2003. He wore hearing aids prior to that, from the time he was 20 months old. He is scheduled to receive his second implant May 27 (or earlier, if the OR opens up). He is very excited, as are we.

    My own website chronicling Micah’s progress to and through his first implant can be found here:

    I am extremely interested to follow your blog, especially your progress with your new implant.

    Thanks for your book and this blog; both are great encouragements to parents of deaf children.

  3. Hi Michael,
    My wife and I have just finished reading “Rebuilt”. Its great read for me as I wan’t to know a lot in a short time. Aslo I’m just a couple of years younger.

    I had aminoglycoside antibiotics, more specifically Gentamicin and vancomycin as a result of treatment for endocarditus (hear infection) I some how contacted while recieving key hole surgery to my knees!

    Anyway, I have rapidly become totally (above 120dB) since December 2007. Yesterday ACC (puplic Accident Compensation Comission) agreed to bi-lateral surgery for me. These will be Cochlear freedom implants etc. (Our only choice in New Zealand. This will make me only the second adult in NZ to have bi-lateral CI’s.

    I’m also interested in the out come and I’m sure you are in the current USD$2.1M FDA charges against Advanced Bionics


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