Sunday, November 05, 2006

Rush Limbaugh comments on his deafness and implant.

I originally found this at Kokonut Pundits, am copying from there to share here. ;)

"Today from the Rush Limbaugh radio show a partial transcript can be seen here with him talking about his cochlear implant experience. The transcript below is him responding to a blind caller on his radio show.

Well, you've gotta great attitude about it, and I'm glad you called. I want to say one thing. You talked about the advantages that you have in being blind, and people think that's kind of odd. I can tell you some advantages being deaf. Now, these advantages are predicated on the fact that I lost my hearing -- you want to know why I believe in God? There are countless reasons, ladies and gentlemen, countless reasons and I've mentioned many of them during the course of discussions of the environment and so forth, but you look at the timeline of humanity on this planet, whatever it is. I don't know, 10,000 years, a hundred million years.

Whatever it is, my little speck on that timeline happens to coincide -- and look at my career now, what I do for a living. My little speck of that timeline coincides with when science has invented the cochlear implant which allows 100% deaf people to hear, and particularly in speech. You get in loud, noisy areas, restaurants, and it becomes very, very difficult because the thing just amplifies all the noise it hears, and if you're in a restaurant with a couple other people, the other people's voices are much louder than the two you're trying to hear, so it really becomes a challenge. But in a situation like this, one-on-one speech, it's not normal as it was, but it's miraculous.

But there are times at restaurants I just lose my mind. So can I turn the volume down, or I can take it off -- and there is blessed silence. How many of you people can't sleep through the night because some noise wakes you up? I never hear the noise. You who can hear do not know what pure silence is, because you can never. You can plug your ears up. You can put muffs and headphones on but you're always getting the white noise of a room, but when you're totally deaf? I can tune anything out. I can. If I'm talking to somebody and I'm tired, I just take it off. It sends the message I'm through. I don't have to listen to the racket on the TV. I can read closed-captioning.

You can do that too by hitting the mute button, but the ability to just totally turn off noise and to not have the normal distractions, when you're trying to sleep or when you're really trying to concentrate and noise distracts you. I can turn all that off. (interruption) I can feel my heartbeat. Of course I can. Snerdley is asking me, "You can't hear the heartbeat but can you feel it?" If I slam a door without touching the door, I feel the door slam. I don't hear it.

I mean, I don't slam it. I'm just giving you an example, but there are a number of things like if I slam the car door. I don't hear it, but when I see it happening, I feel it. There's a particular sensation, those kinds of sensations. Toilet flushing? I don't hear it, but there's an awareness of it, and I think that's the brain, because I used to be able to hear it. It's like the way I hear music. I can't hear... Well, I can hear it. I can't listen to music and understand it unless I've heard it before. I've got eight electrodes in my brain covering for what used to be 40,000 active hair cells so there's not much frequency response for me.

Every note of every new piece of music that I've never heard before sounds the same note. Movie sound tracks or what have you. But I listen to music that I knew before and my memory is what supplies the melody so I know that there's sounds taking place. I'm still very much concerned if the noise in a room is too loud so I'm constantly keeping it lower, even I can't hear it. But just out of habit. The brain is a powerful thing, and the amount of control we think we have over our brain; it would be surprising to you when you realize you don't. At any rate, I gotta take a break here. Charlie, thanks for the call."


Michelle said...

I never knew Rush had a CI!

Sharon said...

I am so thankful for Rush sharing his experiences with deafness and with his CI! This prospective is great information for the educators of mainstreamed students in our education system who are Deaf. Thanks so much!!

johnnywybenga2 said...

Nice if you can get one. My insurance company says they don't cover cochlear implants so I'll be enjoying the silence longer.

Chaotic Mom said...

That's a shame! I would suggest calling Advanced Bionics' Reimbursement Services to help: 877-779-0229. You can also get more info at: Hope this helps! ;)

Anonymous said...

Advanced Bionics is one of three manufactures of CIs. You could also contact Cochlear Americas or Med-El Corporation