October 4, 2010

Finding Balance By David Cluff

Finding Balance By David Cluff a deaf teen with cochlear implants.

For most people walking, running and standing come naturally. For some they have to be in wheelchairs or some assisted device.

Why I titled this “Finding Balance” is because 3 years ago I found out that I have no balance control in my inner ear. It all started when my dad told my Surgeon in 2007 that he thinks it is cool that I don’t get dizzy. Right after that my Surgeon sent me over to a different room to do some small 5 minute tests and the results led me to a major 4 hour test with a specialist. The results came and I had less than 2% of fluid left in my inner ear (the fluid that helps you keep balanced). This all happened a few weeks before I was going to get my 2nd implant. My doctor was worried that my body was holding on to the 2% and that if I got the 2nd implant it would take more fluid away.

I prayed and I knew I should go ahead and get the 2nd implant. It was a miracle that I walked out of the hospital the morning after my surgery. I knew it was my Heavenly Father watching over me.

My parents and I never noticed I had balance issues until I was on Scout Campouts with my Boy Scout Troop. I do great with walking, running and standing during the day but when the night comes I would seem to fall and have to hold onto my dad’s arm or my brothers. I learned that I rely on my vision and feet to keep me balanced. As a young child I learned how to roller blade and loved to roller blade on one foot. As I look back I found that it was not easy and I fell a lot but I mastered it and came to love it. Ever since the doctors found out about my balance case---they started research projects to figure out a way to help kids, teens and adults with balance issues. I have spent many hours helping the Hospital/University with their research. I love learning about how they come up with ways to help people.

I may never know how I am standing, walking and running but I feel my Heavenly Father watching over me each day. I will never forget October 2007 when I got a call from the hospital saying that the insurance approved to pay for my 2nd Cochlear Implant. I was denied 3 times by the insurance and sometimes I almost felt like giving up but it was a year of faith and trust. Then in November 2007 I got my 2nd Implant turned on and so much as changed since then.

Thank you,
David Cluff

Silent Moments, My Story a blog about a 17 year old deaf teen who shares his silent moments.