Journey of a fighter…. Ms.Neeta Mehta Parashar (Post-Lingual Cochlear Implantee)

It started in the vacations of 1989 ,when i was  on a  trip to U.S.A to visit my uncle’s house, I, suddenly  experienced  an  immense pressure  in one of my ears  while aeroplane was  landing.

My uncle being a child specialist took me to an ENT expert and after conducting several tests I was finally  given a hearing aid with which  I could  hear normally but i was extremely confused as how to react?

My classmates and school mates made fun of me saying,“  behri aa gayi ! ”

Some children used to stare at me which made me feel insulted. There were some teachers and classmates who used to sympathise with me, but that  only made me feel more pathetic

Being a shy and introvert person, I didn’t know how to express my frustration and I used to cry a lot. I stopped playing, going out and then one day, I decided to quit school.  From the next day I Started making excuses not to go to school and finally my mom got irritated with my excuses. When my dad came to know about it, he called me and said, “Beta lots of people wear spectacles, but that doesn’t mean that they are blind does it?  So the same applies to your hearing aid. You are punishing yourself without any reason or fault of yours. Don’t feel let down by any comments but face them with your head high. You are an  achiever not a coward. ”It was on t hat day, that I promised myself wouldn’t cry for this ever again.

Then as days turned into years, I completed my graduation, did some short term courses and then I finally got married.

All this while had been using my hearing aid. I always stood firm despite of receiving many harsh taunts from the world which included my so called ‘friends’. Only my parents and some college friends supported me throughout   my fight with this mental suffering.

In April ,2004, I had come back from Canada to see my ailing father. We planned a short trip to Haridwar. We were sitting on banks of ‘Har ki paudi’ ,when suddenly a guy dived into the river and the water splashed into  my ears

I experienced a slight pain which was not normal. I tried putting my index finger inside my ear to take out water but my God! I could not hear anything at all and I was experiencing a lot of pain behind my ear.

We tried seeing a local ENT doctor there in Haridwar, but it was all in vain.

We rushed back to Delhi as we all were confused what to do.

I then decided to visit an ENT living nearby who said, “ Infection ho gya hai ek hafte mein theek ho jaoge medicine khao”.

Four weeks went by, but I still could not hear any sounds. I felt like an alien who was isolated in a silent world. I was extremely confused as to what my next step should be. All I had to my advantage was lip reading and sign language.

Then my husband came back and so we decided to go to an expert.

My father in law took us to a Govt. Hospital and there I met an ENT. He advised us to go for an M.R.I scan, which revealed that my cochlea had been damaged and I was suffering from a genetic disorder so nothing could be done. It was a severe case and so, the doctor advised us to go for a cochlear implant.  I was trying to lip read and understand the sign language so I could figure out what was being said.

When I was explained about the process of getting a cochlear implant, I got scared as it was a brain surgery

My family members suggested that I should  see  a few more doctors  and have their views and then decide what to do.

During this time my son who was only 3 yrs old, got locked by me in the  balcony as i couldn’t hear him  crying and I  went inside. For 2 hrs he was locked outside crying. I was damn scared at night and I searched the entire house looking for him. It was like hell for me. My landlord came up on hearing his crying and opened the balcony door and my son came running to me and we both cried a lot. That was a turning point in my life for me and I decided to go for Cochlear Implant.

My case being ontogenesis imperfect was so severe that no doctor was ready to touch it as there were 99% chances of failure. Upon going abroad too we found out that there too no doctor was willing to perform the operation.

We normally have this notion that the doctors in the government hospital are just like that so that made me twice as confused whether to go ahead with the surgery or not .But finally I decided to take a chance! Some tests like Bera and MRI were conducted and I was given a date on which I was to be operated on.

On 12 Nov 2004 early morning 6am, I was taken inside the operation theatre and to my utter surprise I saw cameras inside .

While I was wondering what was happening a team of 4-5 doctors came in and I was explained in sign language that they were from the company and they would be seeing my operation live and this would also be shown live at their research centre, as I was the first one in India to get a cochlear Implant and fifth one in the world.

I was feeling very happy about this when  suddenly the  doctors  said that they would increase the price of implant  as I’m an  adult . After several heated arguments, things finally settled down  and I was given anaesthesia at 8.30 am and the surgery started. It went on for 7-8 hrs. My cochlea was like kneaded dough with no bones and the nerves were all entangled but God had mercy on me and I finally got implanted. It was a big achievement for me and for the doctors. After one week I had a switch on. On the switch on day, my audiologist asked me whether I could hear something.

For me it was as if I was given a new life .I was listening to sounds again but with a different chord that I had never heard before.

Now it was time for therapy. As I went to my first class, the therapist said that it would take me a year or so to listen normally to which I was shocked. Every time I heard something, like piano keys or trumpet I was always like Oh my God! But I didn’t give up and I decided to fight on my own.

I started catching different sounds at home one by one for example, standing near the door bell and asking my kid to ring it for me.

It took me 3 months to stand before the world like normal adult catching sounds even from behind me. Wow! I was an achiever. People used to ask me ye ipod kaha se liye? And aap sun sakte ho sach mein? As at that, there were not many people who were aware about these surgeries.

It’s has been 12 years now. it was not an easy path for me but I won my struggle by  facing so much torture of being taunted or sympathised with  as if they really care for me. But now I give a hearty laugh at all this .For world I may be disabled but for me I’m a much better person. It  is actually my choice that when someone is taunting me , I have the power to switch off my implant and ignore all the non sense and tensions of  the world and as person I would also proudly refer to myself as having three ears.

The Moral I learnt:  we should make our own path and walk on it with pride and always have faith in God for this is what makes you stronger.

Best Wishes

Neeta Mehta Parashar





Living life with my new friend !!

” What ? ”
” I can’t hear you all..  No not at all .. Not a single word ” – said a little boy to himself And from there on he believed he was born with a  hearing disability.

” What are my parents doing to me. I’m scared, Mamma please hold my hand, I feel good when u r around me”,  – his inner voice said to himself.

” Oh God !! I have a pain in my ear. I was in OPD, but the medicine which my mamma feeds me makes me feel better. “- And he recovered soon.

” Wow ” –  the little boy was amazed !

” What was that ? ” – he questioned  to himself.

” They made me  wear an equipment.  It’s amazing. “,thought the excited little boy.

” I can now hear you all. It’s new to me & I’m loving it. “, said the delighted little boy .

My parents and I call it as “Om”. It’s my hearing implant and a friend who accompanies me through the thick and thins of my lifetime.

” Life is so Wonderful when I am with my new friend. Yes, I’m born deaf, but with  my friend i have proved that deafness wrong. I can now face the world with my Om. It has become my strength. I play, dance, sing and  go crazy with it. There is so much of melody in it. It is the best part of my life and the  best thing that has ever  happened to me.  Without my friend I’m incomplete. I feel proud to call it as my friend. ”

” The journey of my sound life seems beautiful with you. And now i know that Aadhit is my name all because of you. Although my parents say I’m special but my friend, you hold a special place in my heart more than anything.  Now that I believe our friendship is forever ,no one can tear us apart and I promise that our friendship will last forever. ”

A true relationship doesn’t need two people , it can be shared with things around us. Friendship is all about trusting each other, helping each other and being crazy with each other together !

“And that’s what I do with my hearing equipment.   I love my Om and don’t you..? ”

– Alpa Bhawani

The story of a young girl..

Day 1

Life has meaning. Life has a purpose and when one comes to life that meaning comes into existence. For long people have wondered as to where life comes from .for me, I am the same as the next person wondering the same questions. Unfortunately, sometimes I am looked upon as a fragile person, a person damaged by some extraordinary co incidence. And there are times when people treat me as a normal person .in reality what I feel ,is different from what I show .I  am proud of my disability. It makes me stand out from others in a way that is unique. I am  hearing impaired. If u think about it, I should be looking for moments in life where I should be looking to improve myself. But the thing is I have already found it. I am improving myself experience by experience .we are often treated differently whether we like it or not. My beginning wasn’t easy. I had my so called peers judging my every move. But with the help of my family and a few close friends I was always on track. Though however much you may try, it will never be enough unless you do it on your own. I remember being taunted about my implant and the only solace I could find was that it all was temporary. I wanted to change these stereotypes about us being fragile .Yet, I admit to being fragile once upon a time.

As technology advanced and I changed schools switching to a more mainstreamed school, the opportunities were there oh yes! but along with it came new faces, new experiences. It was hard at first. It’s always hard. I am in grade ten now and frankly speaking, the world hasn’t changed. But I have .I know who I am and my choices. I know my friends and i know where my loyalties lie. It all comes with time. even if we are left alone, we will rise despite the odds and for that i am thankful for my disability for it has made me who i am .there will always be people who despise their hearing impairment but i can without a doubt say it is a gift. a gift which we learn to accept once it recognized .I  want to become a travel journalist and write about the world in ways  that haven’t been sought out yet, touching the hearts of people around the globe is my goal. I don’t need anyone’s  help or pity. I  don’t want to be  seen as hearing impaired ,rather I want to stand out and make my own way in life because I have a gift which  has allowed me to become who I am and I want is people to recognize me as ANANYA NAKRA  and not the hearing impaired girl.