Friday, February 24, 2012

I guess it's time for an update. I went back to my audie on the 13th for my first real mapping. The last time was just to give me more volume. Funny how these things work. When she first turned it on, everything was so loud but soon settled down. As your brain get use to the "noise" you suddenly need more volume. My first week I had 3 programs, all the same except for more volume on each. I quickly went through those and on my next appointment it was more of the same. This time I only made it to program 2 and had to turn it down just a bit. So now the volume is settled, it's time for the fun to begin.

I thought I had really done my homework and was going to help my audie to figure out what settings were best for me. I was disappointed with that. She basically said it was all normal and would come in time. I think my mapping could be better but I'm not real sure either. She spent most of the time putting together my new processor and getting it programmed. I have been told to be patient that it takes time to get use to a new mapping but I really have not noticed much change.

Voices now have an echo sound to them. I remember when I was first activated voices were clear and crisp but now I am wondering if that was the case or if hearing voices for the first time in 2 years was so exciting maybe I just thought it was better. I wish I knew for sure...

I am thrilled to be back among the hearing world in spite of not having it all yet. I am hearing more and more at work. Things don't sound "normal" but I am able to hear them for which I am grateful. It will take time but eventually things will start sounding more normal. Road noise has been bad in the car. I noticed this week that it is starting to settle down a bit. I am picking up more and more from the television and radio when it is talk. Music sounds horrible but I am working on that. I have listened to all kinds of music seeing what sounded best. Some I can identify and some not. I went with what I could and have listened over and over. It is improving but it will be a long time I'm afraid before music sounds like music.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Getting Better Everyday :)

This implant is incredible! I can't wait til the day I have 2.
It is so hard to describe but I will give it a shot. Voices and speech are perfect. Clear and crisp, nothing like what I got from a hearing aid. I could not ask for better with that but there are things I can and can not hear. I wish I could give you all the technical stuff but I will just have to go with the basics. My natural hearing has all been bypassed so what I am getting is digital hearing. It takes time for my brain to comprehend what it is hearing. It's not a struggle like it was with hearing aids, it's more like it's not there.... then it is! This is true for environmental sounds but music is a whole other story which I will get to in a minute. Work is a great example of this. I work in a very noisy plant. Lots of machinery, warning alarms, PA system and banging going on. I thought work would be a real problem for me but I am finding that is not the case! The first day of work with my implant, there were lots of things I could not hear. I did not hear the PA system at all or the warning alarms. I am now hearing them! More and more the hearing world is coming into view for me. :)

The television is getting better. I am getting to where I can understand a lot of it but I have to really pay attention. The radio is getting better as well as long as it is talk. Music is the tough one but with lots of practice I will be hearing that too. It sounds horrible right now. It is so bad I have to force myself to listen. Since it has been so long since I have been able to hear music, I have no idea what radio stations are even out there. LOL So in my car I hit the scan button until it lands on something and I listen. I have not been able to tell if I am listening to country, rock 'n' roll or that hip hop stuff I don't like! Now that is frustrating. Can you imagine me sitting there listening to hip hop trying to understand something I really don't want to? LOL I did get a surprise the other day when I was sitting there listening and finally recognized the beat. It was an old Elton John song. Wow! It still sounded horrible but at least I could tell what it was. The more I listen the better it gets. I will soon be investing in a music listening device. The day will come that I can enjoy music again, I just have lots of work to do to get there.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hearing For A Week Now...

I have wanted to update this almost daily but with the crazy hours I have been working I just have not had the energy to do so. Lots has happened...

Initial activation was so much more than I ever expected! Voices were clear and crisp. Perfect in fact so it was easy to think "this was an instant fix" but not really. I went to work Friday after activation on Thursday and it was so neat! I could hear all voices! One voice at a time was perfect but get more talking and it was difficult but I could hear them. Some people at work I could not lip read at all so for 2 years I simply could not talk to them without someone else telling me what they said. This in itself was heaven! Then I started discovering the things I can not hear yet. Warning sounds on the machines are too high pitched so when they go off, my processor shuts down for a few seconds. My audie tells me this is a safety feature and will get better as my brain learns to hear again. My brain really has its work cut out for it. LOL

The things I hear is so amazing to me. I can hear the slightest of things. I have discovered the dog across the street is a real nuisance! I hear his barking inside my house. My cat is really wondering what is going on as well. LOL Before he could do whatever he wanted and I was oblivious to any of it but now, I hear him! He is very loud when eating, something I will have to get use to. Only having a CI in one ear makes it hard to localize where the sound is coming from. So when I hear him pounching from one place to another, I am looking all over to find him to see what he is up to this time. LOL

I often go through the drive thru on my way to work to get a drink. I have never been able to tell if anyone is there or not so I'd pull up, wait a few seconds and tell them what I wanted. Drive up to the window not knowing if they got my order or not. Now, I can hear when they ask for my order!! So neat. I don't understand what all they are saying but at least I know someone is there! I always preferred the drive thru even though I didn't know if they got my order or not. It was easier than going inside not knowing if I would understand the person. I always hated going in and facing someone to discover I had no idea what they were saying. I feel so liberated! I have a choice now, I can go in and talk to them or I can drive thru.

I am listening to the television a lot. I don't understand most of it but I am getting words here and there. I am still a work in progress. Music sounds horrible but I will soon start working on that. My brain has lots of work ahead. I have not heard music in so long that I don't even know what stations are on the radio. I have been listening to talk radio in the car which I am getting words here and there too. I try to get enough to at least figure out what they are talking about. There are exercises online I have been doing. The first time I tried, it was very difficult. I was hearing speech so well it surprised me. Basically they say a 4 word sentence and I click on the words they used. It has gotten easier so I know my brain is catching on. I have found the female voices are easier than male. Also one week later, the voices are not as sharp and crisp as they were at initial activation.

I have also had a few equipment problems. The equipment itself is fine but not practical for me. The BTE is definitely not for me! I have discovered I have small ears. LOL There is not enough room for the BTE and my glasses. Along with an incision that is still tender, it has not been a good week as far as this is concerned. I tried all the remedies to help with this but nothing worked. I have been so looking forward to my appointment yesterday to get the Neptune so I could get this processor off my ear. I was disappointed to find out my Neptune was not there. :( My audie did come up with another option! Bless her heart! She loaned me a kinderclip which I can put the BTE in and clip it elsewhere. She only had one cord which is short so it limits where I can clip it. As I told her "I will make it work". I happily have my Harmony clipped in my hair! My ear is happy, I can hear.... enough said!

To say I am happy with my implant would be a HUGE understatement! I have been given my life back. The is without a doubt the BEST thing that has ever been given to me excluding my family of course. I will continue to update my progress and look forward to the day I can report I am hearing everything and I will! :)