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Slowly...slowly...

Last week was the week of the 'boom,' the huge lift in volume which burst my previously quiet bubble. Time has passed very quickly since then and I have grown used to the CI, in that I am struggling to remember what it was like with just the HA in my left. Sometimes I wonder if I did as badly as I thought I did, but then I realise that I could never hear or make out familiar music with just my HA, whereas now I can, with some repetition! Today I had another mapping and a hearing therapy appointment.

The hearing therapy appointment was useful in that I learned a strategy for rehab. It goes like this:
Looking at the CI user, tell them what context you will use when saying a sentence. Eg: I will say, "In the mornings I..." The CI recipient has to then listen with eyes closed/looking away, to that sentence starter and then figure out a single new word or phrase. Eg: "In the mornings I brush my teeth." The brain will be anticipating likely options and this helps…

Boom!

Yes, I know - I haven't posted much, but nothing much has happened, which seems hard to believe! I did have family over on Sunday and we had dinner. I noticed I was able to follow a lot more of the conversation and I felt much more relaxed as well. I continued listening to music on YouTube and did a lot of AB Sound Success Rehab work, highly recommend it! I did, however, notice that my volume was dropping so had waited excitedly for today's appointment so, here goes!

Wow! Today, I had my 10 day assessment appointment with the loveliest audiologist you could meet! I could not imagine how things would change as I thought what I had was pretty good, you know - it was better than my old hearing aid for sure, so I honestly could not contemplate any possible improvements. I'm going to break this down so it makes sense for people who have asked what happened.

1 - Sat down, had a brief chat about all the things I was hearing, and how things had become easier for me since the switc…

On the edge of something: Day 5

If you haven't checked out day 3 - please do so, as I have compared my experiences in listening within a quiet environment with a noisy one. Again, my experience is my own!

Today was pretty amazing. Wearing my CI with my HA on its lowest volume, I went to school, and instantly realised I didn't feel as on edge as I usually do when preparing to listen to people all day. I was relaxed, and I chatted with a number of colleagues briefly, recognising that they seemed so much easier to understand. I feel as if my voice has changed in volume and maybe clarity, I don't feel as mumbly.

I caught up with one colleague whom I have known for longer and better than most in the school, in the background was 'The Lark Ascending', which was playing fairly loudly, yet we had a conversation at length and at the end she commented that before my CI, I would have gone and turned the music down but that I had picked out everything she said over the music!

At lunch time, I took my CI off …

Back to School...Day 4

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I have just taken my CI off after 8 hours of usage with my HA in my other ear. I am cream crackered! I am so tired I am just going to bullet point my observations.

When I keyed in the code for the building, each button made a beep! Never heard it beep before!My board pens are squeakier on the board than I remember. Doors generally make a more audible creaking sound. The children are interesting to listen to. I found myself not having to really squint and concentrate on them. A couple of times I had to ask children to repeat but they had very soft voices and so I explained that they needed to speak up. The hall assembly was interesting to listen to, I felt more comfortable listening to what was happening further away as children received their certificates whereas before it had always been indistinct. Playtime was ok, children weren't too overwhelming and I could talk to my colleague over the noise without too much trouble. I got some equipment from the PE store and could hear the k…

Day 3 - quiet versus busy

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Woke this morning and after breakfast, I tried out the same videos on YouTube as I tried yesterday. No obvious difference but I did stumble across this beauty: Rag'n'Bone Man - The song is called 'skin' and his voice is so gorgeously rich at the start. No instruments for the initial bit, just his voice and it sounded almost as I remember it, just with that tinny undertone.

It was much colder this morning, frost had settled upon the cars and so I ventured off to Longton Nature reserve to investigate the birds. Investigate being the word an elderly gentleman used when he spotted me stood stock still by the water, waiting for something. "Investigating the birds, are you?" I think he said. I replied that I was listening out as I had a cochlear implant. I'm not 100% sure I heard everything but the gist of it was: was it under my skin? Was it very strange? It was at this point I heard what sounded like something dive bombing. Turned out to be a gaggle of mallard…

Day 2

I want to start by saying that everybody responds to their CI differently. My experience is different to everybody else's. Yes I can hear/detect music and voices but the quality is still very robotic. I hope this is a useful reference point for others interested in what a CI sounds like.

Woke up this morning and it was raining. After getting ready and dressed, I went to the kitchen to clean up and sort stuff out. I needed to put the ironing board away so I opened our outside door to get to our utility room which is just off the house (don't ask) - and I was aware of a steady hum, like passing traffic. I realised it was the rain! As I stood there, I became aware of a drip, drip, drop noise and looked at a row of pots outside. Every so often a drop of rain hit the pot in such a way it made a sound distinct from the sound of the rain hitting the roof, gutters and floor. I put wellies on and went into the garden wearing a raincoat, honestly, I felt like a child at Christmas. With …

Ping! Day 1

Words cannot describe how relieved I am! And grateful, and lucky. I had my switch on today and it went as well as it could have done, considering I was born deaf, and profoundly deaf at that! Everybody reacts differently, this is my experience, and may not be the experience that others have.

The testing of the electrodes was strange. I quickly got over the sensation of having a magnet on my head and for the most part today, I have not been aware of having anything on my ear and on my head. At first, the beeps all sounded the same, but as the test progressed, they sounded more like different keys being pressed on a piano. The poor audiologist had the patience of a saint because instead of telling her how loud everything was, I was excitedly yammering away about the pitches and comparing them... whoops. The higher pitches were physically jarring to experience, it was almost as if the sound was splitting my brain. That's what I've noticed today, my brain is hearing the sounds! It…