|3 cars and 11 of us|
traveling the country!
Now, the second question was a little more stressful for me. On an average day I carry five batteries to get me through the day. A new battery for my right ear will last a full four hours and my left ear will get about 24 hours. (The difference is due the different age of the cochlear implant technology) Like any battery, it will lose charge over time. After awhile, some of my batteries will last anywhere from 4 hours to 20 minutes. Each day I constantly calculate how many batteries I need for the day and also plan night activities around the amount of battery life I have left.
So, planning for an international trip was a little more extensive than a normal day. My first hurdle was the long flight. Will I be able to charge my batteries on the flight or do I need to turn them off and be deaf the entire flight?? Right before we left I bought another battery just in case. Getting a new battery is like a Christmas morning to me as: (a) they are around $200 per battery and (b) I get more battery life, which makes me really happy. I feel like a robot at this point, but it is true and has been the story of my life.
The time came to board our long journey to England and once we switched planes in Canada I found that each seat had an outlet where you can charge stuff. I was super excited! I pulled out my chargers and was able to charge my batteries as we traveled and had enough battery life to experience a memorable welcome to England! By the third day, I was able to develop a routine and knew how much battery life I had each day.
After our time there, traveling in the USA was so much easier. The following months included a trip to Idaho and then a quick weekend trip this past weekend for my brother-in-law’s wedding. Packing up my equipment for my ears and calculating my battery life was a piece of cake. It also helps to have an amazing wife who is able to sign to me if I have to be deaf for a few hours while traveling.