I was born profoundly deaf with sensorineural (nerve-related deafness) hearing loss. At the age of 3, I began to wear hearing aids. My left ear was my hearing ear (I could understand speech and sound in this ear) and my right ear was used predominantly to help me localize sound because I couldn’t understand speech in this year. I grew up in a hearing world and I was mainstreamed in public schools. I went on to college and a professional career in retail management. I encountered many challenges because of my hearing loss; however, I did not let the hearing loss or hearing aids stop me from accomplishing what I had set out to do! And I did succeed in many endeavors with lots of hard work, determination, and a positive attitude. About 4 years ago, my life took a drastic turn. I suffered “Sudden Deafness” in my left ear. Now, I was truly deaf. I was depressed and miserable. At the time, I was working in retail management for a leading dept. store chain and I was wondering “how am I going to work?” I worked with people and the public. I made a decision to obtain a cochlear implant; I figured I did not have anything to lose. I continued to work, the store cut back my duties and a long six month later, I was implanted with a left CI. It was not instant success for me. I hated the CI at first, why? Well, I could not understand anything with it and the noise was unbearable. I continued to wear it, because I really did not have any other choice. With lots of listening exercises done on a daily basis, and coping stragedies, I was ultimately able to have success with my left ear CI. It took about 3 months before sound was clear and speech was understood. Eventually, I was able to appreciate the CI because it was actually better than my hearing aids. Mind you, I am thankful for the hearing aids! Since I did so well with the Left CI, about a year later, I obtained a right CI. The rehabilitation process was actually a lot easier. I guess, because my brain already was trained from the left ear. I can actually understand speech and talk on the phone with my right ear CI, something I was never able to do with my hearing aid. Life is grand with my personal “surround sound system.” I am very grateful for my cochlear implants. To me, they are truly the greatest invention and I want to share it with the world!