Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One Year Anniversary

I passed my one year CI activation anniversary on September 20th. I had a new map put on my processor on the 18th and have no complaints. I went back to Bill and this time a Cochlear representative (Carla) was on hand. I feel like I got a good map this time. Bill said that my T & C levels had changed quite a bit since the last map. He won't need to see me for another year unless I get my second implant. (Still waiting to hear on that.)

I have Whisper as my first program in slot P1, Autosensitivity in P2, ADRO in P3, and BEAM in P4. I use ADRO and BEAM most of the time. I like to use Whisper in the mornings when everything is still quiet. Bill and Carla suggested that I try turning down my autosensitivity to 6 instead of 12 on my BEAM program but I'm such a power junkie because I want to hear it all! But, I will turn it down to 10 and leave it there and it seems to work just as well. Turning it down to 6 is too much for me, unless I'm in a restaurant or bowling alley where there is lots of noise. Restaurants are a problem area for me, especially if there are hard floors and high ceilings. While having lunch with Steve the other day at McAllister's I did an experiment and found that it worked. . . I will turn off my hearing aid side (to cut out the "white" noise) and lower the autosensitivity on the BEAM program. It seems more natural and allows me to hear Steve talking to me while everyone else is in the background like they are supposed to be. I still like to wear my hearing aid in other situations because it gives me the low tones and frequencies that my CI doesn't give me.

Also, I've "excused" myself from A/V therapy for now. Susie says that I'm "almost" there and there isn't much else she can do with me. So, my "therapy" consists of listening to books on tape every day. I am understanding and am picking up more words and whole sentences all the time. I'm listening to The Purpose Driven Life as I travel in my car. The speaker is male and is very clear and easy to understand. He also speaks at a slower rate. The radio, however, is a different issue. I don't know if it is because the sound is more distorted or if people talk to fast but it is a little more difficult to pick up what is being said.

But, I've come a LONG way in a year! Last night in Bible Study, I was sitting next to the door. I heard some kids in the hallway and immediately reached over to close it so we could continue with our lesson and discussion. Later, one of the gals in the group commented that I would not have done that a year ago.

As I think back on my "Dance with Sound," my implant has allowed me to hear sounds that I've never heard before. It is a wonderful gift through technology and I marvel how much it has changed my life and those around me. I now hear high frequency sounds that were unreachable with my hearing aids. It is a joy to hear the birds sing, clocks ticking in a room, our dogs toenails as they walk across the kitchen floor, the leaves in the trees blowing and rustling in the wind. Also, my implant has done more than help me to hear better. It has involved changes for my family, friends, and coworkers as well. People don't always have to look at me when they talk to me (although it is still polite to do so!) It has made me more independent and confident. I don't have to ask Steve to order for me in a restaurant anymore. Others don't need to be in my "immediate view" or in the same room when they are talking to me. It is a joy to converse with others in person and on the phone without extra stress! I'm not as tired and exhausted by the end of the day. I don't have to ask people to repeat as often what they've said to me. I can talk, listen, and drive at the same time in the car instead of having to wait until we get to a stoplight or parking space. At work, I am able to use the phone more and understand what is being said on the intercom. I'm still reluctant to make phone calls but when I do, I'm pleased at how clear and easy it is. My hearing will never be perfect but I'm thankful for what I have now. With God everything is possible!

1 comment:

Hokie said...

Wow...I'm so glad I found your blog. It sounds as if your situation is the most similiar to mine. I've worn hearing aids pretty much all of my life but will be getting an implant in my 'worse' ear in Jan. 2007. I hope I'll be able to use you as a 'support' system when I have the surgery and afterwards. :)