Right now, I'm using the Freedom Implant in my left ear and the 3G Implant in my right ear.

I’ve had the latter for three and a half years and it has exceeded my expectations of its impact on my life.

Naturally I became curious about going bilateral; the idea of not turning my head around in awkward positions while chatting to people at restaurants, parties and the pub was very appealing. It wasn't until I attended a seminar at the SCIC which featured bilateral recipients talking about their experiences which convinced me to proceed with this new adventure, and after a long wait I went under the drill late November 2008, switched on early December 2008. Then the fun begins....

People tell you a switch-on is a unique experience for the recipients especially for those who have gone bilateral. Believe me they speak the truth.

I had somewhat too high expectations of how ear #2 would handle the implant and was forgetting how ear #1 performed when it was first switched-on.

Initially the fact that ear #2 was not picking up a range of sounds, from my car idling, a button on a lift beeping, my e-tag beeping and so on, was quite unnerving and had thrown me off guard. Instead I was hearing a lot of chirping like a new born bird at its mother for a feed. So Tweety is the name I've given my new implant!

In the maelstrom of bewilderment I opted to be patient to allow Tweety time to grow, after all as a “newly hatched bird” it was unrealistic to expect Tweety to be a “fully functioning adult”!

Even now it is still difficult to be patient. Perseverance is important and this meant switching off the first implant for a few hours each day to give Tweety the "nourishment" to grow and mature. However this didn't stop me from experimenting with using both implants (which I do on a daily basis) by listening to music in my car at a volume that caused people outside my car to look at me strangely.

Tweety has grown a little more after each mapping session and has started to learn to sing with more notes, thus making music I listen to richer and peoples voices clearer. However it is still too early to achieve any directional hearing apart from knowing which side of my head the noise is coming from.

Recently Tweety achieved a milestone, for the first time while I was listening to a radio podcast (excellent practice for listening to peoples voices while you're at work), it was able to understand several words on its own. When you were a kid learning to ride a bike, imagine the feeling when you first managed to ride the bike without the training wheels. Tweety’s milestone was similar, and when it happened I wore a HUGE cheesy grin on my face.

And I look forward to many more milestones in the future. Right now I can imagine Tweety's head resting on the edge of its nest looking wistfully at the world beyond, wondering when it will get the chance to fly.