Monday, October 27, 2008

I can offically say...

I think I say this in every post I write. I'll say it plainly and straightforward today; "When people told me in the beginning that it (sounds, background noise etc.) would get better I didn't believe them"'s true I really didn't believe them. However, THEY were right and I was wrong. It does get better. How it gets better...I can't even explain....when does it get better....I have no idea when it happened it just kinda happened. Thank God things are better.

So, I had an appointment with my audiologist today. It went really well. She really listens to me and listens to my input and gives me her input. I really have come to like her a lot. I had some programs moved around. We actually added a little more volume as well. My volume was at 9 but the volume that was on level 9 is now at level 6.This way I can add volume if I want. For listening practice I have been downloading sermons from favorite Speakers/Pastors and listening to that. Sometimes the MP3 doesn't have the best sound quality and I want to turn the volume up. Now I will have the option to do that which is nice. I think that is my favorite change of the day.

I did have another hearing test done. This time with words. I scored 88% on one test and 92% on the other test. I think I scored 88% on the one syllable word and then scored 92% on the longer words. Not bad though. My audiologist was very happy about it. I don't have to return until February unless I "need” to go back for some reason. I have no doubt I will be okay until then. I may go back sooner and see if my audiologist can help me with the digital hearing aid I have...that's always been an issue for me. I wear a hearing aid in my left ear and it is really old. I have a digital hearing aid that I was not able to get used to so it just sits around unused and I really need to start using it. I just had a hard time adjusting to it. Voices just sounded horrible with the digital hearing aid. However, now that I've been through this entire implant process (not that it is over but you know what I mean) I'm wondering if I should try to give the digital implant I try. Perhaps I have a bit more patience when it comes to things sounding "bad". :-) We'll find out.

My presentation (about Type I diabetes) that I did this morning at UT went really well. I enjoyed it a lot. I love speaking and sharing my own life experiences. The students asked a ton of great questions so I really enjoyed that interaction a lot. It was a full day! After the presentation I went to my audiology appt. then went to the Mall to eat and browse around. Afterward, I went to vote, then I went and got my hair cut! What a crazy day. I was worried about getting my hair cut due to the huge bald spot...well, it's not bald anymore. I guess I should say the huge Fuzz spot on my head. Haha. The person who cut my hair was great about it and it was no big deal. I'm glad I waited to get it cut though. I forgot how much they pull on your hair/head. I don’t think I would have thought about it otherwise. I think it took my head a while to “heal”. My head isn't as sensitive anymore but it was for a long time. I am not as aware that there is something in my head anymore either. That took a while to get used to for some reason. If someone asked me to some up in ONE word the most important aspect of the implant process I would say “TIME”. No question about it.

Well, that's my "book" for tonight. I wrote my than I expected to. I want everyone to know that I realize I haven't been "behind the scenes" a lot lately. However, I am still reading everyone's blogs and paying attention more than you know!

I haven't mentioned this yet but felt it was important. I have finally come to the point that I can officially say...the surgery was worth it...including the 80,000 bucks they charged me. LOL!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Yes, I have NEWS! Some really GOOD news! :-)

So, on the way home from work on Thursday I was talking to my Mom on my cell phone. I use the t-link when I talk on my cell phone. I put my hearing aid on T-coil and can use the phone pretty well with that. Well, after talking to my Mom I thought maybe I'll try my cell phone/t-link with the CI. So, I told my husband to use the home phone to call me on my cell phone. I knew it would sound bad and that I wouldn't understand anything. W-R-O-N-G! Well, it did sound bad but I heard everything he said. I even went outside to make sure I wasn't hearing him in the other room. I was so excited that I called my sister Liz and talked to her for a few minutes. I understood her as well. Then I call my niece but got her voice mail but I understood every word of it. Then I called my Mom back of course she didn't understand how I could understand speech with the CI. I've been saying (since I was activiated) "no, I can't understand speech yet". I think I'm a creature of habit and just assumed I've been reading lips. My niece called me back and I talked to her and then I talked to my friend Susan on the phone too. It was exciting. So, I DO have speech...I just didn't realize it. I did notice that when I was using the phone and talking to other people they didn't sound like themselves. They still have that helium sound to it but hey, at least I understood it. Since the t-link I have has dual hooks I can use both ears and will try to do that from now on. I think having the CI AND the hearing aid will just help me understand phone conversations that much more.

So, what made me try using the phone? Well, about 2 nights before I had Jason quiz me on some words before we went to bed. I was laying in bed facing the wall (away from him) so that I couldn't read his lips. He must have tested me for about 20 minutes or so using different words and random sentences. I got about two of them wrong. One word he was saying was "tower" and I kept saying "towel" I thought that's what he was saying. I think I should get some credit for that b/c they sound really close. Haha. Even though I did well on the quiz I didn't think much of it. I guess I just thought I was getting lucky. Now I know that I am understanding. The phone would be the ultimate test so that is cool. I go to the audiologist a week from Monday and I think she will do another hearing test but this time she will use words. I don't expect pass it with flying colors because...well, things still don't sound "great" so it is easy for me to get confused. However, before I couldn't even entertain the idea of my audi doing a hearing test using sentences and words but now I can! Yay.

I really need to go back to working on my listening skills. I spend all my spare time looking for a job. I worked my butt of for my Master's degree and I have nothing to show for it but debt. It's been exhausting and extremely discouraging. I am beyond depressed about it. However, there is only so much I can do. At least I have good news on the CI front. That lifts my spirits a little!

Well, I just wanted to share my news. I can truly remember the first two weeks with the CI and I can honestly say I never thought in a million years it could possibly get better. It's nice to know I was wrong! :-) I just remember when people told me "it will get better"...I was like "yeah right" but I willed myself to trust and have faith in those words. Thank God I did! I think it's something that you have to experience for yourself. The beginning was just yucky and I'm glad to be past that part. Whew!

Well, that's my update for now. I will try to post back after my audiology appt. on October 27th. Oh that same day I am doing a presentation for a class at the University of TN. I will be doing a presentation about a day in the life with type I diabetes. I love doing presentations!!! I remember being nervous that the CI might get in the way of it b/c I don't understand speech that well. However, now I'm not so worried about it. I think that during the question/answer time I should be okay. Of course I will tell the class that I am hearing imparied so it shouldn't be a problem.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Long Time No Post...

Hello!!! Anyone out there? :-)

I know it's been a while since I've posted. I have been reading blogs. I just haven't been posting much. I apologize. I really don't have much to share to be honest. Things are still the same. I guess you can say I'm at a stand-still. I "hear" things and have learned to identify a lot of sounds. However, I still don't understand speech yet. It just lacks clarity. Voices still sound "different". Voices still have that helium sound to it. I wish I could explain it better but I can't. Describing sounds is HARD work!!

I have noticed that the sounds that used to bother me are not as bad anymore. I confess that I'm still not "friends" with plastic bags yet. The sound is still uncomfortable. I have also noticed that when I first put my CI on in the mornings it takes a couple of minutes to "adjust". My "bionic ear" is a little sensitive in the morning. I have noticed that I can tolerate my dog wearing his collar. Before I would have to take it off b/c his name tags rattling was annoying and somewhat painful. I think it was just the high pitch that drove me crazy. Running water isn't so bad...unless it's early and the same with the toilet flushing. I assure matter how much I hated the sound of the toilet flushing...I still flushed! I assure you. :-)

That's really all I have on the CI front. I have lost count of the mappings. I say I've had about 5 or 6 mappings and I don't go back until the end of October. I just wish I could understand speech!!! I remind myself often that the implant hasn't even been activated for 2 months! So, I think I need to chill out a little. :-)

Until next time....