A few days in the life of Cabby Keyte, a cochlear implant user

Posted by Pindrop Foundation on 21/11/2018 :: Blog Category Contributors

A few days in the life of Cabby Keyte, a cochlear implant user name

These are the days in my CI life.

It’s AGM time at the local ladies club and I’m looking forward to it. I’m on the committee,  something I wouldn’t have even considered before my CI, let alone going to a meeting. Meetings were intolerable: couldn’t hear what went on, what the discussion was about, who was speaking. Nowadays a meeting is interesting, social, and being a natural-born leader I relish being on the committee and being involved.


Every Tuesday I attend a line-dancing class. I’ve always been a dancer, mostly ballroom type, the old-fashioned ones. My hubby and I had to give up Dancesport because I could no longer hear the instructions and music properly. Since having my CI,  I’ve taken up line-dancing again and love it. It’s so good to move to the rhythms and beat of the music, and to know the names of the steps and dances. Great exercise to keep me fit. 

A typical Wednesday sees me at golf. While I did play in my deaf days, now with my CI I can hear the comments from my fellow players – “Nice shot, Cabby!”. I took on a convenor's role and for the past two years have been running our 9 hole ladies division, requiring much communication, and frequently by phone, which I’m completely comfortable with using, even without my phone clip. My CI gives me the freedom to opt in to a position like this, rather than withdraw because of frustrations with communicating. 

I’d had to forgo yoga and aerobic classes because I  would misunderstand instructions. Since having my CI,  going to the gym or a personal trainer isn’t a problem any longer. I don’t have to feel foolish because I’ve completely misheard instructions.  
I have been a volunteer driver with Red Cross for the greater part of this year. It also involves taking and making phone calls with people who need transport to/from their medical/hospital appointments. While keeping my eyes on the road, I can hear my passengers chat to me and can return small talk, having a few laughs about life, and of course they are always interested to listen to my CI story, or how I got my name. 

Sometimes I do public speaking about my CI journey; how isolating deafness is, and how it affects relationships, and how my once outgoing personality changed to become someone afraid to socialise or go out.  Then I present a slide show that depicts my journey through the CI process, how amazing this technology is, and how my life has changed hugely for the better. It’s also giving hope to others to know there is something beyond, even when the best hearing aids are no longer helpful. 

I spend part of my weekend meeting with friends, going for coffee or having lunch, socialising! Family times are important and being able to interact with my grandchildren continues to be such a blessing. As a co-ordinator of a CI group, I help fellow implantees to manage their gadgets or research how to solve any problems they may have. It’s all so easy with access to the website.