Sunday, April 28, 2013

Update Time Again

I have not posted anything in a long time because of being so frustrated. I hate being negative and wanted something good to post but I just didn't feel it.

The problems continued with my processors shutting off on me. Not just one of them but both. It is very hard to figure out what is going on because it doesn't seem likely that both processors would be bad but they were. I think the manufacturer just had a bad batch and I ended up with three of them. One was replaced previously when it would no longer turn on at all and the new one sent to me became my back up so I have been using my original back up and the one I got originally for my right ear. I felt all along that it was the processors because they worked fine for months before this started.

My audie kept increasing the power which in turn gave me shorter battery life. I went from 12 hours to 6 per battery. She would increase it a little at a time which meant many trips to see her. We added extra magnets and I even shaved the hair under my head piece but none of this worked. A few weeks ago both of my processors shut off on me and would not come back on at all. They have since both been replaced and "knocking on wood" it has not happened again since.

Now I need to make one more trip to see my audie to have her set the power back to the original setting. I plan to do that in the next couple of weeks along with getting a few adjustments. I will be back to post after that appointment with I hope lots of good things to say.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

True Relief

It has been awhile again. Sometimes life just gets in the way of getting things such as this done.

It's been a rocky road since my last post but I am happy to report that the road has now smoothed considerably. I told you about my processors shutting off on their own but over the past couple of months it has gotten worse. It got to the point that I didn't know if or when any of them would work and a couple of days I had to go to work with only one ear. It was getting a bit scary waiting for my appointment with my audie but the wait was necessary so a rep from the manufacturer could be there. So I went Wednesday a bundle of nerves fearing my implants were failing. Why do we always consider the worst? I guess so we can be pleased when it is not that bad. It turns out (or so they think) that even though my audie set the "power" on high my processor was trying to over ride that to save my battery life. So now I have 3 manually set programs for power. If it shuts off again I am to go up to the next program. They both assured me that if by chance I got to the last program and it still shuts off, there is more they can do.

Work has been challenging but I am loving it. We have had several "issues" at work to deal with but I have a wonderful boss and he is always telling me that I am doing a great job. He even told me last week that I better not ever get sick. LOL I worked 16 days straight without a day off so having 5 days off for the holiday has been wonderful. It's hard to believe it's only Saturday! It's been a lazy holiday for me... catching up on sleep, heck I didn't even get dressed for 2 days. I must get busy and get some things done today. Making lots of plans now. I am going to see my mom and sister for Christmas and planning on moving after the first of the year. It's time...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Life Is Good!

I have really neglected my blog lately. Sorry about that but life has got in the way and that is a good thing. I finally have my life back and could not be happier about that!

As for my hearing since my last post, I stayed on that third program with the last electrode turned off. That program sounded the best so I still did not get to try Clear Voice high. That was ok because my hearing is improving. Two weeks ago, I had to go back to visit my audie. I was having a problem with my processors shutting off and on multiple times during the day. I had tried changing out everything I could trying to find the problem but nothing worked. It turns out I need more power which she fixed for me. While I was there she put me back in the booth to see what I could hear and then remapped me again. As she said, I am getting closer! It's obvious I have not heard high pitch sounds for a very long time. These are the sounds that I am having the most problems with. Just can't take them up there where they need to be. She did the same thing with my programs this time, raising those highs and giving me CV medium on one, CV high on two and the third program she turned off a second electrode. Many people worry about having electrodes turned off but that is nothing to worry about. It is not that you won't hear those pitches, the electrode next to it will pick those up.

So on the way home, I did the same checking out my new programs and found the same results. Program three sounded the best. I guess since I have not heard those high pitches for so long, each time she raises them she may have to turn off the highest electrode. I'm not sure if that will continue but I do know sounds are clearer and getting much better. I now know why they tell you to have lots of patience! This does take time to get all the settings just right but I am so close now. Some day I am going to get to try CV high! My next appointment is is Nov. and after this one it should be 6 months before I need to return. I am hoping things are set up good this next time and I can go 6 months without having to go to Tampa!

On a more personal level, I am finally getting my life back! This has been gradual and hearing at first brought so much of my life back that I can't describe how wonderful that was. But now things are getting so much better I feel like shouting from the roof tops! The past 5 years my job has been just that... a job. A means to live. I worked hard everyday but got no recognition for that. I was overlooked many times because I was deaf. Don't get me wrong, I was thankful just to have a job and be able to take care of myself but I am capable of so much more and never given the opportunity. I have recently gotten a promotion at work!! I LOVE my new job and after 5 years have gotten my first raise! :-) My new boss is awesome and sees how hard I work to get things done. Finally!! I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am going for it at full speed. Nothing is going to stop me now!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Mapping

I went back to Tampa Tuesday to get my audie to work some more of her magic. She is awesome and I am so thankful and blessed to have her work with me.

When we go in for a mapping (adjustment) it is so hard for me. My implants have 16 electrodes that have different pitches. It gets complicated but there are virtually 120 pitches I get from these 16 electrodes. She starts off setting these electrodes at a comfortable level (loudness). It is so hard to tell with all the different pitches if I am getting them the same loudness which is what I am suppose to do. So now, she puts me in the booth and tests me with tones to see where I am hearing them. This tells her which electrodes I should go up in volume. So Tuesday after we did the booth thing, I told her to set it up where I needed to be and just let her drive. She raised all those high pitches quite a bit and they were loud but tolerable.

We also have a new strategy called Clear Voice which cuts out background noise and can tell speech from noise. There are three settings... low, medium and high. I use medium for everyday and LOVE it but have never tried high. I have found in noisy environments I seem to still have trouble so I wanted her to set one of my programs to high so I can try that out. My processor holds three programs so when she got the tones set, I had her set up one program with CV medium and one with CV high.

This left me with the third program I really didn't know what to do with. She then looks at me and says "how about if I set up the third program with something I want to try?". What she did with the third program is turn off the highest electrode. According to the booth, I am hearing right where I should be until I get to the high tones and it drops off there. Turning off this electrode does not mean I will not hear those high pitches, the electrode next to it will pick them up. So that is what she did.

So on the way home, I turned on talk radio (my rehab) to see how it sounded. Oh my, those high tones had a major hiss to them. All those "s" sounds sounded like sssssshhhhhhhh. At first I thought, uh oh we may have gone too high with those tones and then I thought maybe it will just take my brain time to adjust to it. I listened for about a half hour when it dawned on me to try program three where she turned off that electrode. She is SO smart! That took away most of that hiss! So for now, I still don't get to try CV high but I am hoping in time I will adjust to these highs that I have not heard in so long and can tolerate having that electrode back on. We shall see.

She also tested me in the booth with sentences just to see where I am at. I scored 58% which is kind of frustrating since I was at 69% shortly after my first implant. It is also encouraging because right before my second surgery I had dropped to 40% so at least I am heading in the right direction now. Most of the time, I feel like I am doing so much better than that. It is when I get in a group setting that I see I am not. So, I am still a work in progress but I am thrilled with what I can hear and I know it is only going to get better.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Catching Up

There is so much to catch up

I did get my second ear activated and it was SO strange. It sounds completely different than the other ear. Lots to get use to there. When activated, I got to listen through both ears about 2 minutes when my audie told me to remove the older one. She wanted me to only wear the new one for the first few weeks to give my brain time to get use to the new one. This was very hard to do but I am so proud of myself for doing just as she suggested. I had to get the new ear to catch up with the older one.

The new ear has more bass sounds than the older one. I was starting all over again learning to hear with it. When they say you need patience and lots of it they were not kidding at all! Slowing down and learning to "take it as it comes" has helped a lot. I was activated only a few days before my trip to see the kids and grandkids. I did not do as well as I thought I would but that was ok too. I did so much better than the last visit and I know my next visit will be even better. I had such a great time visiting with everyone. It was a bit overwhelming at times but then I was not in good listening conditions and I was relying on a new ear only. I think with all considered I did as well as I should have expected.

After 3 very long weeks, I was told I could start wearing both "ears"! Even though each ear sounds completely different, they sound wonderful together. My first day of wearing both ears, I went out and met a fellow CI'er that I had only talked to online. This was an incredible experience! We met at a local Starbucks that has a nice patio area outside. Imagine two deaf people sitting and talking for hours. LOL I was off to an incredible start. The next weekend I met with a different CI'er that has become a dear friend. She at that point had one CI and was scheduled for her second ear. She was nervous and wondering if she was doing the right thing. After we got together that day, she told me she felt so much better about going ahead with the second surgery. Seeing how well I was doing put all her fears to rest. I am so thankful for that!

I can now tell where a sound is coming from. This doesn't seem like a big thing to most but let me tell you it IS! I can not begin to express what a miracle I have received. To be able to hear anything at all is truly a miracle in itself but the gift I have been given is beyond anything I can describe. I am still not using the phone yet, that will take time and practice. It has been so long since I have used a phone that I now have a phobia of that crazy thing. It's very hard for me to do but I am going to work on that. I still need captions for the television but I do understand a lot of what is said there too. I am told this will continue to get better and better. I see improvement all the time so I know it will. Crowded, noisy situations are still difficult but I think it is for normal hearing folks too.

So now I still have lots of work ahead of me but I am at the point of helping others. I want other people that are dealing with hearing loss to see how wonderful this miracle is. I want to be a positive part of helping others deal with this horrible disability and let them see there is hope. I am so thankful to have my life back which is something hearing loss took from me.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Getting Very Excited!!

I am feeling much better now and this is my second week back at work. Since I have changed jobs at work, I actually love going to work now. I work with a great crew that makes all the difference and love working second shift. Still don't have quite all my energy back but I am getting there. All other symptoms have gotten better and I am even starting to get my taste back! YAY!!

One week from today I will have my second ear activated. Although I have had a rough time with my first ear, it is getting better and I know the second is going to help even more. Did I say I am getting excited? The best news is in two weeks I will be going to visit my kids and grandchildren! Yes, I am more than excited about this. The last time I was there I was deaf and it was difficult for me. This time I will get to hear those sweet little voices I have so longed to hear. I can not wait to play with the children and not have to say "Grandma can't hear you, can you show me what you want?" Even though they are all very young, they did a wonderful job of communicating with me when I was deaf but it is going to be SO much better this time. I am so thankful for my implants and getting my life back.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


It amazes me how differently "we" (general "we") see things from one time to another. With my first surgery you may recall I had problems the first couple of days because of pain pills but after that things went really well I thought. I was at work on day 7 post-op but had to come home due to not being able to wear safety glasses.

This surgery does not compare to the last in the least. The first couple of days this time was filled with nausea. YUK! The pain pills were not an issue this time other than possibly being the cause of the nausea. After day 2, I switched to advil and the nausea comes and goes but not as bad as it was. Recovery seems worse this time and I'm not sure why. I have slight balance issues (knocking on wood) but nothing compared to what some have to deal with. I am thankful for that. I feel like I have a major ear ache and lots of soreness. My neck and jaw are sore and I have lost taste in food. I am not worried because these are all "normal" side effects but I am hopeful they will pass soon. I am not able to wear my processor for the first implant. :( Anytime I put it on, it triggers tinnitus really bad. I am hoping this does not last until activation but it's a wait and see type thing. No way to tell if or when these things will improve. My SIL tells me he made a larger cut this time. He told her after surgery that I had a lot of scar tissue to cut through. I'm not sure why that was there since I have never had surgery on my ears before but nothing really surprises me either. This may be the reason I am much more sore this time. Who knows?

I just wish at this point I could get comfortable, rest and heal. Hopefully I will have better things to report soon....