I Hear, I Hear

With all the posts lately about the Auditory Verbal Therapy, and random topics, I noticed I had not written about the sounds I can now hear. As I had previously mentioned, one of the hardest things for me is having what I hear identified and validated. My toddler is learning the same things as I am so he cannot exactly help me with this.

With the cochlear implant, I can now hear higher frequency sounds. In addition to hearing the beeps from the microwave and stove from further away, I can now pick up these sounds over normal background noise. Not consistently, but it is getting there. The same is true for the backup warning beeps in the vehicle, I can often pick up on it over the stereo. I can pick up birds chirping in the trees and locate them.

I’ve heard conversations outside the vehicle a few feet away. Amazingly, I picked up an emergency vehicle siren about 100 meters away, while inside a building, through a window. I can identify water running or trickling, raindrops on the windows or roof of the vehicle, the crackle of the fire in the woodstove behind me over the tv. Earlier this year, during a big snowstorm, I heard the crackling of the ice on the deck outside the patio doors. This freaked me out as my husband was away and it was just me and our son in the house.

Speech sounds and words are becoming clearer every day. I practice daily, and try to use a variety of things to increase my comprehension. My son is giving me loads of practice daily as he works on his own speech development. I am even beginning to randomly identify words he says or yells out over the baby monitor when he is playing instead of going to sleep.

I once heard sounds coming from the basement when I passed the stairs. It took me a while to figure out where it was coming from. Once I did, I went down and discovered that somehow, a small electric sander had fallen to the cement floor and turned itself on. I don’t even want to contemplate what might have made it fall, but needless to say, the noise was scary enough.

One of the newest changes is that when I recently saw Catching Fire in the theatre with my daughter, I was able to follow more of the dialogue than I had ever been able to in the past. I was using the closed caption device, but rarely looked at it, as it was not accurately reflecting the dialogue. My daughter said she was looking at it more than I was funnily enough. I enjoyed more of the movie experience than I usually did.

There are so many environmental sounds I could already hear, that now sound fuller. I try to take the time to appreciate what I am hearing, even the noise my kids make. Life is definitely better with more hearing.

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