I'm Dale, I'm 29 years old and I've been deaf pretty much all my life.
And it got worse over time, bit by bit, until I woke up one morning in 2014 and just couldn't hear at all, even with a hearing aid.
One of my biggest passions in life is music and I play guitar and piano and when my hearing suddenly dropped like that I wasn't able to really play anymore.
I tried once to have a jamming session with an old guitarist friend of mine, it didn't go well, I couldn't really hear, so I kind of had to give up some of my musical endeavours. I wrote lyrics but that's pretty much all I could do at that stage.
My expectations about the implant were more nervousness than excitement. I knew that it will be different, there'll be a lot of adjusting to do to the new way of hearing and I'd never be able to hear as well as a normal person might.
But more than that, I heard there was a chance that I still wouldn't be able to hear music very well and that didn't fill me with a lot of hope.
But I looked on the internet and there are people out there who can hear music.
One lady has perfect pitch even with her implant.
That gave me a bit more hope but I was still nervous.
When I first had to switch on I was surprised at how sudden the hearing change was.
I was able to hear a voice, that sounded a little bit like Daleks a little bit electronic maybe even a little bit slightly garbled but I could actually hold a conversation with the audiologist straight away.
But it was very different and I did need to adjust and I couldn't hear perfectly, but I could just about manage.
I was advised not to try to listen to music for a short while, while we made some progress on just hearing.
After a week or two things carried on progressing with my implant I found different voices to be easier or harder to hear than other voices, for instance, my dad's voice which is slightly lower-pitched, was more difficult to hear than my girlfriend's voice, which is quite interesting because before the sudden deterioration in my hearing and the implant I found my dad's voice to be easier to hear than higher pitched voices.
I continue listening to music and I found some ways better than others. I found the best way of listening to music was using a direct connecting cable into the implant or more powerful speakers were the best way of getting the sound.
I found it difficult at first with mixed results but I carried on, I persevered. Music such an important part of my life that I didn't want to just give up when things got difficult so I persevered and now I can listen to most genres I've listened to before with good results.
What also came in handy with practising listening to music was to have lyrics maybe in a separate web browser to a YouTube video or a YouTube video with the lyrics already on and I found that a really good way of practising listening to both music that I'd heard before and it sounded different and also, new music that I'd never heard before.
Now things have progressed to the point where I come full circle and back to playing music, guitar, piano, exploring myself as a punk artist and as a blues artist. I've even started a new project something that I didn't think I might be able to do before.
I'm not playing live just yet, but I'm really hopeful that I will be able to play live again. I can't see any reason why not.