Saturday, October 15, 2005

Adjustment Needed

It's time for another update from me. This last "tune-up" that I had over a week ago has not been as good as the first one. I'll be going back to Bill on Tuesday morning for another adjustment to my processor and I am ready! I still continue to hear new sounds almost every day but not as much as I did the first two weeks. Voices are sounding very mechanical right now and I feel like I'm hearing everyone underwater or through a speaker phone. Music does not sound as good as it did before even though I have a "music" setting on my processor. It sounds like rap and is very static-like. Not a good thing! I have also noticed my sound quality diminishing towards evening and don't seem to hear as good like I do first thing in the morning when I turn on my processor. It could be my brain getting "tired" or maybe the map on my processor is not strong enough.

Also, my tinnitus is bothering me quite a bit. I never did have a problem with it until after the implant. I only notice it when I take my processor and hearing aid off at night but it is gone by morning. It sounds like a constant buzz in my head as if the brain is still "hearing" sound after everything is turned off. This is normal and is only temporary, I've been told. All these "problems" are part of the process and the auditory nerve needs to be stimulated at a faster rate so that I can proceed to the next step. I am on two CI forums online and the feedback that I'm getting tells me that the second mapping is usually the worst one and it will only get better after that. I hope so!

Last Monday I was sitting in Steve's office talking with him and kept hearing a clicking noise. I asked him if he had the radio on and he said no. He said that the only noise in the room was the clock ticking on his desk and he could barely hear it. The clock got louder as I got closer to it. That was a good CI moment! I also heard Riga "sigh" while I was talking with Steve and ignoring her. The tags on her collar jingle when she walks around the house or scratches her neck. This past Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment and heard the ear thermometer "beep" while the nurse was taking my temperature. Never heard that before! I've always had to look at thermometers several times to see if the reading was done or not. Other sounds are becoming clearer and more distinct and I can hear them from farther away.

The program on my processor that puts the background noise in the background for me is nice. I could hear salespeople talking to me very clearly while I was shopping in the mall with Marissa.
Newspaper pages and rustling papers are a little irritating to me right now and sound very loud. Last night I heard Steve wipe his arm with a paper towel. Leaves make a noise when they are stepped on. This morning I heard an "auditorium" of birds outside. I could even hear them in the house while fixing breakfast for me and Steve. I also heard the kitchen timer ticking. I noticed that the kitchen timer speeds up when it is ready to go off. I also heard Steve running his brush through his hair while we were in our bedroom.

On Thursday night, Steve and I went to the monthly SHHH meeting. Dr. Merwin, who is my doctor that performed my CI surgery, was the speaker. What a great meeting that was. He did a wonderful Powerpoint presentation and it was fascinating. Even though I have done a lot of research on cochlear implants, I learned a lot. He talked quite a bit on implanting children, catching them early so they don't get delayed, and the qualifications and criteria for CI's. He also talked about the progress and advances that have been made in CI's in the last 20 years. What was interesting to me is that he started his career as an electrical engineer before he became a ENT doctor doing cochlear implants. He has been doing cochlear implants since 1991 and did the first adult implant in Knoxville at that time. He was also the first one to do a child implant in Knoxville a year later. He was very patient with the questions people asked him during his presentation and was very knowledgeable about the subject. He even used me to demonstrate where he makes the incision, etc. during the surgery and took my processor off my head to show everyone what it looked like. We could tell that he really enjoys what he does with technology and medical science. I had the opportunity to thank him again after the meeting for giving me the gift of sound. He was very pleased to hear about all the new sounds that I've been hearing. He is a miracle worker!

Today is Susan's birthday. This is the first birthday she has had with sound since she was implanted earlier this year. Happy Birthday, Susan!

No comments: