First REAL Sound Discerned

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Heard my son’s jumperoo music over the TV, with the other aid on, I still picked it out. I’ve heard words and sounds but this was the first time I just picked it out amongst everything I was hearing. I told my hubby I thought I was picking it up, and turned off my hearing aid. He muted the TV as well for me, so I could focus on what I was hearing to be sure. Sure enough, I was truely hearing the music, and it was not tinny or beep-like, as voices and other sounds are. I could pick up my son babbling, and the jumping sound he made, but those were more of what I had been hearing the past week, tones and pitches. I had heard words but they were very tinny, the music was fairly clear, and I was hearing as much if not more than I was with the hearing aid.

Definitely one for the memory bank!

One Week Followup to Activation.

Today we boosted the volume and added to the two programs. I learned that the second program had the Hi-Res Fidelity program. I was not able to develop a preference to one program or the other as they were not much different from each other or loud enough.

I am once again readjusting to the two programs..they are significantly louder than the previous two.

I came home with all my paraphernalia, headpiece covers, aquamic, waterproof covers for swimming, cases etc. I felt like I had won some techno prize carrying home the box. Here are two pictures.

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She said it will take more time before what I hear makes sense or sounds more normal to me. I am picking up more today..but haven’t really focused yet on what I hear.

More info on the Advanced Bionics Neptune processor is found on one of my pages. Check it out.

Sixth Day Post Activation.

I’ve been fipping through both programs each day. There is a subtle difference between them and I can’t tell what exactly or which one I prefer. I am leaning towards the first one though. I hear mostly tones but get impressions of words when in conversation. When watching TV or listening to CDs in the van, I get the music and surrounding sounds more than the words. It is no longer shocking my system..in other words it doesn’t seem as intense as it did the first three days. I now feel I need more volume and input as it seems “low”. Tuesday is my first appointment to adjust the program and give my thoughts.

My daughter is disappointed that it will take a while to get this to where I can understand them better. There is a reason why they do this so slowly and carefully. It is overwhelming, tiring, and its a lot of information to process, especially if one has never heard anything before. I at least have the “knowledge bank” to refer to. However there are still sounds I have never heard, so that will be exciting to me when that happens.

The hardest thing for me is finding opportunities to go without my hearing aid on the left ear enough to focus on the implant. with the baby, it has mostly been when he is sleeping or the hubby is home. I do find that both together seems to help with my comprehension, but only when I am not exhausted, or distracted by the baby or in the middle of something.

The other challenging is keeping my ten month old from grabbing the cord along with my glasses. FUN…..not….

This is all just the first week impressions and things will continue to change in the Weeks and months to come. I hope that by Christmas, that everything will be much more
normal.

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Second Day of Activation..

Today I used the second program on my processor. I am pretty sure it does not have the high res Fidelity 120 on it. It seems to miss “information” .. will have to keep switching daily to determine what program I like best before my next appointment next Tuesday. 

Small “wow” .. when I took off the hearing aid, I was tickling my infant son (almost a toddler), and I could sense the ‘ha ha’ and heard it, not just in the tones/pitches but the actual ‘ha”. It was not distinctive but I was able to make it out. He has been hard to hear with the other sounds I hear so to me this was a big deal. 

I hear lots of pitches and tones and yet at the same time can hear the sounds and words at times.. its disconcerting. I have not been able to take the hearing aid off the other ear much because of the baby.. I have had to take a couple hours breaks off and on through the last two days as its very tiring even though I am still working out what I am hearing. 

It is really hard to explain what I hear .. it is definitely not what others hear normally. Very hard to adjust to, much less accept that I am basically starting over and relearning sounds with that ear. I keep expecting to hear as I did with the hearing aids, as I do right now with the left hearing aid. 

One day at a time…

 

Activation Day

Today was activation day for my cochlear implant. My new “aid”, the Advanced Bionics Neptune processor is small and sleek. I received a tiny portion of my kit, as they’d erred on shipment.

I didn’t know what to expect at all. I had heard “Robotlike, tinny, and to keep expectations low”. She had me take off my hearing aid and then placed the external microphone over the magnet in my head. After she turned on the processor I began to hear a few beeps. Then she programmed the first program into the processor. The first thing I noticed was a series of tones as she spoke and a sensation behind my forehead. This was normal she said, and that at first I’d hear different pitches and tones, rather than actual words or sounds.

She programmed the second program in and we adjusted the volume on both. She also said a few words to test speech comprehension. She listed four colours on a piece of paper, covered her mouth, and spoke them. Both times she did this, I only erred once.  I did not hear her voice exactly as you would, but somehow in my head the tones sounded like the word she spoke. I was amazed.

The first week or so will be interesting as I and my brain acclimate to the new input and stimulation. Best way I can describe it is it is like tinnitus but varying in tones and pitches instead of a single tone or ringing.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I try the second program.

One More Sleep…

Activation day is tomorrow.. I am so excited but also scared it won’t work. Trying to keep my expectations low as to what it will sound like initially. I am just so ready for the next phase in this. Everything seems to have healed well, and my head is lumpy as heck. More than I thought it would be. I wish I had company for the drive there and back, as well as for the process.. its 3 hours long and I am sure I will be tired, and overwhelmed at the end of it. The technology has changed so much in the past 20 years.. that it is hard not to be excited about what it can do. 

Three Weeks Post Surgery

It has been three weeks, and I can finally shower, and wash my hair like normal (the left side anyway), sleep on the right side (took a few days to get used to it again,) and it felt very strange since there is no feeling around my ear. It feels like I have about 2 inches around it in a half circle that feels as if I have a metal plate in my head. Very weird. One more week, on the 22nd I will be getting my processor and will get activated 🙂  I am so excited! I cannot wait to hear on that side again even if everyone sounds like Mickey or Minnie Mouse or Bender the Robot 🙂 The dizziness has lessened although it still hits me from time to time. So far I can seem to bend over Wyatt to kiss his belly or lay back and not get dizzy. So I seem to be luckier than the ex for that 🙂 The incision is healing really well, and I am feeling self conscious about it since its really close to the ear and what is in the hair seems to be getting covered by the regrowth. I’ve been tempted to try sticking fridge magnets on my head.. to find the spot where the external apparatus will magnetize to.. may let the kids try that 🙂 I am still working on accepting the loss of the residual hearing I had.. it has not been easy to come to terms with it. I keep reminding myself that the end result is going to be worth it. Thankful for the support I have had from my friends and family. I hope you all continue to read this in the next few weeks 🙂