Saturday, January 21, 2006

A New Map

This past Tuesday I went back to Bill to have some adjustments made on my processor. He had increased my C levels (Comfort levels) five steps earlier this month on one of my programs to see if I could handle it. I spent most of my time on that program for two weeks and found the others ones getting too "soft". So, I went back to have the C levels increased on ALL of them. I had also asked him earlier if I could just have a program with no options or filters and he kept saying that it could not be done. So, at this last appointment (after doing some research) I asked him again (nicely) if there was a way that he could choose "None" on his drop down menu in the computer program. He said he would try it but couldn't promise me anything. So, he tried it and it worked! He was just as surprised as I was and I absolutely LOVE this OPEN program with no options on it. There are probably a lot of little tricks on the Freedom and the software that we are not aware of yet so this is a learning process for both of us. We both learned something new.

This new and open program seems to work the best for me for most of the situations that I am in. I feel like I have the best of both worlds now because I still have the flexibility of the different programs when I need them. I still use BEAM in loud situations and Whisper when I need to hear soft voices. ADRO is mainly for music and I don't use it that much. But, my OPEN program gives me exactly what I need. I seem to I hear better with it. Bill also mapped me again so I don't need to go back for six months unless sounds start getting softer again. Right now I am sitting in a very quiet house and I can hear a clock ticking downstairs. I still like the sounds of silence and don't always put my "ears" on right away, either. An extra bonus: my batteries seem to be lasting four days instead of 2 1/2 days. They just quit while I was writing this and the last time I changed them was on Tuesday evening at Walmart.

Speaking of clocks, I have to share my "winter birds" with you. Right now the birds are not singing because they've gone elsewhere for the winter. I miss them, even though I only heard them for a brief period of time. Steve's mother gave me a bird clock for Christmas and I hear different birds chirping and singing every hour! Steve says they sound like the real birds, too. Also, for Christmas, a coworker surprised me with a small present. I told Jessi she didn't have to get me anything but she said that when she saw it, she just HAD to get it. It is a stuffed bird (Carolina Wren) that chirps when you squeeze it! I named him Emmanuel (God With Us) and it fits him perfectly. So, when I need to hear a bird, I just squeeze Emmanuel or listen to my bird clock. Thank you Mom and Jessi!

My hearing with my CI has changed my whole outlook on life and I feel truly blessed. I've never had normal hearing but now communication is so much easier and relaxing for me. I can now experience the free "give and take" with others in a conversation and don't have to depend on lipreading as much. Not being able to hear a conversation or funny joke has always been so isolating. It's nice to be able to laugh at a joke or comment without faking it. It is still a little bit more difficult in a group environment but is getting better. I can catch words being said before I find the person who is talking but not complete sentences. I practice calling "Time and Temperature" every morning and can almost understand the whole message now. I still feel like I need "just a little bit more" but I am happy with what I've got! I feel like I've been given the gift of magic (I used to wish that I had a magic "nose" to get anything I wanted every time I watched the tv show, "Bewitched!")

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