My name is Veronika, I live in Graz, but I am often also in Upper Austria, so I am open to enquiries from there, too. I have an implant on the left side myself, and on the right side I have normal hearing with tinnitus. I was born with normal hearing and suddenly went deaf in my left ear at three and a half. At the time it was assumed that my auditory nerve was damaged and so no hearing technological provision would be possible. At the age of twenty I went looking for possible hearing solutions. In that context it was determined at an examination that my auditory nerve was intact after all and that I qualified for a CI. Since having the implant, I wouldn't be without my CI. The decision to have an implant is a very personal one, but one I would do again any time.
Being deaf on one side made many things in my life more difficult; directional hearing was not possible, I had to keep turning my head to be able to hear better. That has changed since the CI and it is now significantly better. I can manage much better in noisy environments, listening is less tiring in those situations. New situations are less stressful, I hardly need to lip read any more. With the CI, I can enjoy the full range of sounds when playing music.
I would advise anyone affected to approach the issue positively and have a lot of patience. Getting a CI is the beginning of a hearing journey, it needs time, and like all real journeys, it will sometimes be challenging but at the same time it brings with it lots of wonderful things to discover.