Sunday, August 31, 2008

Three Year CI Anniversary

Three years ago today, the remnants of Hurricane Katrina blew through Knoxville, knocking out the power in our area. Three years ago Steve was trying to get home from a business trip to take me to the hospital for a life-changing surgery (he didn't make it - Marissa had to miss school that day and took me instead. Steve did make it in time to be there when I woke up in recovery.) Three years ago today I received my first cochlear implant in my left ear. These last three years have been an incredible discovery of new sounds and new joys. I know I've said this before but will say it again. . . I am forever grateful for those who made this technology possible to give the gift of sound to the deaf and hard of hearing.

Below is my most recent hearing test (click on test to view it bigger), which I had done a month ago at my last mapping appointment at the UT Audiology and Speech Pathology department. I tested NORMAL across the board with both cochlear implants, which is even better than the last hearing test I had done a year ago. (That is the C1 you see across the top of the test.) My audiologist also tested my residual hearing to see if I had any left because I told her that I can "hear" certain sounds at a certain range. (Those are the X's and O's you see near the side and bottom of the test.) Cochlear implants usually destroy what residual hearing is left but my doctor used the latest technology, which tries to preserve it. And sure enough, I do have a little bit left. But it is not really usable. It is nice to know that it is there and not just my imagination!

Julie also surprised me and wanted to test my word recognition (HINT=hearing in noise test) score. She used her own voice instead of using a recording and repeated sentences to me. She asked me to write them down and told me to write whatever I heard, even if it didn't make sense. My score was 63%, which is just a slight improvement from my score of 60% last September. But, she tested me BEFORE she remapped my processors. I think I would have done better AFTER the mapping session and with a man's voice. But that is okay. 63% is better than 0%, which was my score three years ago. My score is higher (100%) when there is no noise around me, which is why I prefer to talk on the phone in a quiet place with no distractions.

Tonight is the annual fireworks display in Knoxville for the Boomsday festival. I'm hoping to go see and HEAR them with TWO ears! Have a great Labor Day!


Drew's Mom said...

Happy Anniversary!

Valerie said...

Happy Anniversary! Wow what a change in hearing and the HINT sentences are great. I have so much work to bring mine up too.

Enjoy the fireworks.


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, Laurie! What a terrific hearing test! :) And that's really cool that you still have some residual hearing too!

Here's to many more years of wonderful hearing. :)

~ Wendi

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary Laurie! Your 3 year audiogram looks similar to my own. (My 3 year anniversary was in May). Haven't our CI's improved our lives? I even love reading back over my blog to "read" how things have changed in my hearing. Anniversaries are something to celebrate! Even anniversaries that mark something like receiving a CI!

Cyborg Queen said...

Yeeehaw! Can't wait for MY one year anniversary...which is a months away...

Same here, I still have my residual hearing, the exact same amount I had after surgery. It's kind of interesting.

Shari/"Whiger" said...

Wow, like the others, I noticed that you still have some residual hearing. I don't even know if I do. I really didn't hear much of anything in the implanted ear to begin with except for that beep that tells me the hearing aid is on. Hmm, I'll have to try that and see if I can still hear that beep just to see if that's still there.

Happy CI-versary!! Time sure flies when you have so much to hear!! :)


Abbie said...

Happy anniversary my sweetheart! :) That is one fantastic looking audiogram you got there and it is only going to get better :)

Karen said...

Hey Laurie, sorry my comment is "late". Happy Anniversary!!!! I hope that my audiogram will look like yours someday!!! :-) Love you lots!

SooZ said...

Happy 3rd Anniversary!!

On Aug 21st, just prior to leaving for holidays in Oregon, I saw the surgeon. He has put me on the list for an implant in the other ear! Hurrah. I will be one of the first in BC going bilateral.

I've given up wearing my hearing aid. I haven't had dizzy spells since. I'm back to work tomorrow - I hope I'll be able to coast along unilaterally until my surgery date. I'm looking at a years wait or so..

I couldn't wait to let you know. I just returned back from holidays yesterday.

I feel so thankful and blessed.