Thursday, December 21, 2006

More work phone

I emailed my dad this morning telling him my brakes are making awful scraping noises and would the mechanic fit me in tomorrow? Apparently brake noises are REALLY BAD so he called the RAC for me. RAC came and listened to brakes and looked at them and said "drive it STRAIGHT to the mechanic".

My mechanic is a legend. He said I could go in right away and he will fix it then and there, even though its his last day before closing down for the year.

So I was gone for about an hour and a half! So came back to work and rang Dad and he couldn't believe how quick it was fixed. And how well I did on the phone, he thought it was much easier than dealing with the situation over email. I thought so too. Was especially pleased to have someone other than dad answer the phone and still understand everything!!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Work phones

I sent mum and email yesterday so I thought I would call her and let her know I emailed her so she could check it (because I am very impatient and I like replies RIGHT NOW). So I called her from a work phone, partly to say "hey, check your email" and partly to see how I manage the work phones.

I am the only person in the library without a phone, I'm sure they've done this with good intentions so people don't call me but I can still talk to mum!! This phone rocks, its better than my home one. So I ended up having a conversation with her and understood everything!

So this morning my boss (who sits across from me and probably heard every word I said yesterday) asked would I like a phone. So I am getting a phone! YAAAY! Now I can call mum and dad, yaaay!! I might even try answering a work call to see how I go! whooo!

Monday, November 20, 2006


I was just fiddling with buttons on my CI the other day (I was trying to find the sensitivity) when this "+L" came up. Then I pressed the same buttons again and a "-L" comes up. I did this a few times to try to work out what that meant but it all sounded the same.

Then I went to call Garth and I went to switch it to the telecoil and it wouldn't do anything, it just beeped at me. It was THEN I figured that +L and -L means lock!! It locked the controls! That'd be a safety thing for little kids. But I'm glad I worked that out :P

Sunday, September 10, 2006

New CI stuff

About a month ago I got excited about a new battery case that was coming out which was smaller and used less batteries. When I asked about it, it hadn't been released in Australia, only the US (never mind the fact that Cochlear Ltd is an AUSTRALIAN COMPANY)

Its finally been released here, along with rechargeable batteries (I assume for the larger casing). I got some advertising leaflets in the mail about it. And I nearly fell over when I saw how much they were charging for this stuff

Bare in mind I nearly fell over when they told me the cord that connects directly from the CI to an iPod cost $100.

Rechargeable battery (2 of them... with the battery power lasting only one day and will last 362 charges) is $562.50. And thats at 25% off!! I don't spend that much on batteries in a year!

The new smaller battery case is *drumroll* $337.50! Also at 25% off.

So won't bother getting the new accessories.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Lightbulbs falling from sockets make a lovely tinkling sound when they hit the ground and smash into billions of shards.

They keep making this lovely tinkling noise when you sweep up all the pieces too!

In other news, I can't change lightbulbs.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


For some reason last night I went through the pictures I have on my phone and got a couple of surprises. Obviously when I was completely knocked out after my CI op, the boys got ahold of my phone. There are a couple of pics of me drugged out (complete with head bandages) and one of Garth pretending to play with my blood pressure machine! rofl!

Friday, July 21, 2006


Couple of things to mention!

Firstly, here is a pic of the speech processor so people can see what i'm talking about:

This morning I noticed the wire bit of the CI (as you can see above) has FRAYED. The insulation bit is falling apart and you can see the actual wires inside. Its ONLY FIVE MONTHS OLD!!
I can tell what has caused it, it gets twisted when it's actually on. Trouble is, they have to replace the whole magnet, gah! So finding out now what the deal is there.
*EDIT* Apparently its a common problem, its covered under warranty and just to go in to get it replaced. YAY!
And if they let me keep it, I can start a collection of CI fridge magnets, lol

The other bit to mention... in the pic you can see 2 battery cases. They've brought out a NEW one, a SMALLER one with less batteries!! ARRRRGHH!!! The smaller one wouldn't last as long (they say 4 days, I'd say about 3) but... smaller/lighter! It gets pretty heavy sometimes.

And I will just mention I just LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to understand people without lipreading :)))

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Went to see Over the Hedge last night and it was lovely to see a few people I hadn't seen in a while :)

Nearly six months since switch on and I STILL get excited about understanding movies without subtitles. And animated ones, no less!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

3 month checkup

Yesterday was my 3 month check-up at the audiologist since my Cochlear Implant was switched on. I did a hearing test and it has been a very long time since the lines on my audiogram have been that high ;)

She asked how it was going, its all good... she doesn't think I'll need to come in at the 6 month mark because I'm doing so fabulously and I'll see her in a year! Sounds like she'll pass on my email address to people having CI assessments so they can talk to someone who has recently had it done, yaay!

I think I've reached a stalemate when it comes to the CI, I think I'll always need subtitles with the TV and the phone is difficult.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006


I am SO depressed. My 22 channel CI has been superceded by a 120 channel CI. How on earth did they manage that huge jump? And just 2 months after I was implanted?

Its a different company to mine, and their old CI had 16 channels. 16 to 120!

I knew I'd get depressed as technology advanced but I thought they'd at least jump just a few channels, not quidriple it!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

1.5 months

Yesterday was another audiologist appointment, she did a proper speech test with me, rather than "exercises" which is what I've previously been doing. I've been calling them speech tests, sorry folks!

This involves using a decible measurer (whatever they are called) so Anne speaks at a certain volume (ie, very softly, gah).

So this time we used the exact same sentances she used when she tested me before the CI. Here are the results

Left hearing aid : 10%
Both hearing aids : 40%

Left CI : 75%
CI and hearing aid : 90%

I thought that was terrible, I wanted 100% :P

I got it turned up *Grin* And now I don't see her again until May!

Then I went to visit the actual surgeon, who I haven't seen since switch-on. He's a very serious man (*serious deep voice*) so I was telling him all about my progress and he's smiling and saying how pleased he is and he thought I'd do well and giving me a pat to show how pleased he is (this is his bedside manner, god its hilarious). And that he bet Anne was just excited as me at my progress (which she is!!).
I also asked how my speech was. Yes, it has improved. Which I thought was amazing because it was really only supposed to stop more deterioration. (I couldn't tell my speech was deteriorating and either could my family)

In ipod-ci-cord related news, Anne (audiologist) emailed me this morning to say its 100 DOLLARS and do I still want one. No bloody way!! Even she thought it was expensive!

In other bits and pieces, last night Penny said something to the back of me and I answered it and it wasn't until she said "I love how you don't have to look at our face to understand us!" that it clicked, THATS RIGHT!! HAHAHA! I did a mental dance last night when I realised I was joining in just fine at the dinner table! And I love when I'm at the folks' house and they ask "do you need a light on?" and I DON'T!! And apparently I'm a lot easier to talk to *grin*

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Exciting news : I was at Mums last night and I called my Aunt and had a conversation… on a NORMAL PHONE. Without ANY volume control! And I understood her!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 9, 2006

More tests

After I finally got to the Audiologist, it was explained it would be a quick appointment and I didn't even get hooked up to the computer!

More speech tests, more blitzing. She is SO pleased at how I'm going.
I asked about rehabilitation/therapy and she said I don't need it, I'm doing fine as I am. It's just a matter of exposure now.

I also asked am I just doing really, really well or if my progress is normal. She said its not unexpected with my history of hearing aid use and they tell people it'd be months before understanding speech so expectations are low.

"Now we'll test the phone" she says. I said I tried testing the phone with Mum before, I couldn't understand a thing. "Does she have a cordless?" Yes...apparently cordless phones are really terrible.
She also said it helps if I know what is being said and while I'm practicing phone use, to get the call-ee to read out my speech exercises and me work them out

So WE practiced that (she went into another room and called) and I got it! OMG, USING THE PHONE! I even got all the stuff like 'ok, I'll read them out now' and 'thats great, I'll come back in a sec' !!!

Sooo.... who has a corded landline and wants to call me and read out nursery rhymes (or something familar) for me to practice with?!! :P

Wednesday, March 1, 2006


I was listening to music on the weekend... it doesn't sound the same per se, but it sounded a lot better than it did the first day I tried listening to music. I did expect to be hearing new instruments and I was right!! I don't know what its called... its part of the drum kit, the bit that looks like 2 cymbals. Run to Paradise uses that instrument in the first few bars, did you all know that? :P
And Axel F sounds a hellava lot better!

Garth and I went to see Revenge of the Sith at Moonlight Cinemas... about halfway through, some people from the audience walked to the front, lit up their LIGHTSABRES and did a mock fight. It was so cool.
But the most exciting part of the night was actually understanding most of the movie! Even at the end Garth said to me “I could tell you were understanding the movie because you were laughing at what Yoda said”… you can’t lip read Yoda! YAAAAY!!!

I'll tell you what drove me nuts today.... black cockatoos!!! Sitting at my desk at work, then suddenly.... OMG, I can hear the cockatoos! And they SOUNDED like cockatoos! I got over that very quickly, they are annoying too :P

Friday, February 24, 2006

More tune ups

Another tune up today, only this time at the end we did a speech test.... and I BLITZED IT!!

I don't think either of us believed it :) The audiologist was saying "this is unbelievable!" and I don't know if she's so surprised coz I'm doing so well (I'm only at the end of my second week, afterall) or if its simply because the last time I did that test... with 2 hearing aids.... I didn't get ANYTHING!!

So now I have different programs/maps (which I change with a push of a button), one which will 'even out' environmental sounds (ie, if its going soft, loud, soft, loud), and another which directs the microphone right in front of me, so I can hear the person in front and it will cut out background noise.

Then we talked about that guy who got 2 switched on at once this week and how ridiculous it was that he was going to listen to music in the car on the way home. Good luck mate. We also had a bit of a laugh at the reporter saying this guy will need "intense rehabilitation for the next month". The audiologist had a bit of a joke saying I was having intense rehabilitation right then ;)


Monday, February 20, 2006


I forgot to mention that last Friday, on my arrival at Mums, I was putting stuff away when Garth asks me a question from behind me... and I answered it without thinking. It wasn't until Garth said "You understood what I said!!" that I realised I wasn't lipreading!!
It happened again later on in the night when he tried to say "now we can't trick her anymore" without me knowing, haha.

But today was amazing. We had a section meeting where I can never understand anything. But I could today! Even when the speaker had her back to me, I was still understanding what she was saying! Of course, then I'd get so excited that I could understand, it would break my concentration and I'd lose the thread of speech again, haha. My supervisor looked over at me and asked if I wanted to swap seats so I could see/hear better and I said I could understand (!!) and she got really excited too :)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

First tune up

Yesterday was my first tune up. It was so funny, the audiologist walked into the waiting room and saw me and she broke out in a huge smile and said "Hi Nikki!! How are you going??!!" Then when we went into her office she said "I've been thinking about you this week, how have you been managing??" She's a lovely lady :) (I also think I'm only her second CI patient, lol)

It was all pretty straight forward, listening to tones and telling her the softest I could hear. I really hate doing this because the sounds get mixed up with my tinitus and my brain will repeat the sound back to me so I'll say "yep, heard that" when there is nothing there! Apparently this is NORMAL, haha!

I was a bit disappointed to find out that she'd given me all my pitches the first time round. I could swear I'm missing some, my really low tones have disappeared. She did try to explain it to me but I didn't really understand it, I think its something to do with a pitch threshold which gets smaller as you get older and I have the threshold of an old person. That didn't make ANY sense, I think I missed half of what she was saying (the CI was off at that point, haha).

So she changed some pitches and gave me more volume! YAAAY! I think she thought it was too loud but I love it and I don't have to worry about it being too loud and making me go more deaf :P She said it might sound strange but it sounded how it did before, which made me wonder how gradual the change was.

Now... the exciting bit. She did a speech test. I must admit, its a controlled environment but I closed my eyes (ie, no lipreading) and listed some random colours and I got them! Ditto with months of the year! OMG!

And at work yesterday, I had to check some videos to make sure the picture and sound is ok (I have no idea why they get me to check sound, pfft). But I was watching it and suddenly I realised..... I could understand the voice overs. And there was an ANIMATED video and I was understanding EVERY WORD.
Before we get too excited, I realised a few things. I had headphones, there was no background noise. And the videos I had the most luck understanding were children's videos and they tend to talk a bit slower. But.... OMG!!!!!!

New Sounds
Petrol station checkout beeping when reciept printed
Video rewinding

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Difference between hearing aid and CI

It is amazing the difference between the CI and my hearing aid… now, I still have to wear my hearing aid in my other ear or I’d never understand speech. But the sound from the CI is so *clear*, the hearing aid sounds “dull” in comparison (and I’ve done tests!).
So sometimes I’m unsure if a sound is new or if it’s just sounding crystal clear instead of muffled.

It cuts out background noise. Hearing aids are *supposed* to do this, but I can say that’s absolute bullshit, all they do is increase it. Unless the CI is on such a low volume that it doesn’t pick it up… we’ll find out when it gets turned up.

Speech is still a write-off, its still a horrible garbled noise. About the only thing I can make is “s”. I still love words with S in it after missing out on it for so long :)

TV sounds awful, only because music and talking are all garbled

I think I’ve only been given my “middle” pitches back. I’ve lost my low tones. Someone suggested they are just being evened out with the higher pitches but there are some really obvious noises I used to be able to hear which are missing. And the volume needs to be louder!

My mobile makes it buzz. Damnit. Will have to research if there are any phones which don’t make it buzz, I want to make mobile calls! (this reminds me, someone keeps calling me. I can’t use the phone yet folks!)

The batteries lasted 5 days. THREE batteries, FIVE days. As opposed to my hearing aid using ONE battery lasting 3 weeks. It just conked out just then *Grin*

It takes ages to get to sleep because my mind buzzes after the noise all day. And even though a lot of the time I try to let sound just wash over me instead of concentrating on it, its making me tired too. Then back at work! No wonder I’m buggered :)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

New sounds!

Last night was Rhi's housewarming and that was fantastic! After planning on only staying a short while, I ended up staying all night! It was so good to catch up with everyone, I've felt so hermit-ish lately.

New sounds:
Car indicator
Keys rattling
Ice clinking in the glass
PFFSSHHTT : opening soft drink bottles

New Sounds
Light switches
Taffy’s nails on the floorboards
Tape dispenser
Oven timer ticking over
Squeaky work chair

So exciting :)

Friday, February 10, 2006


IT'S ON!!!! And the sound is nothing like anything I've ever heard in my life. Thank god I was told by lots of people I was going to hate it, now I'm not too fazed about how strange it all sounds.

I had reached the point yesterday that I didn't care how the weird the sound would be, I just wanted to know it all worked ok. So after the audiologist went through the whole process and explained how everything worked, she plugged the Speech Processor into the computer and it DIDN'T WORK. She tried to reassure me it was the computer and not me and she eventually restarted the computer and then it worked. I must've been holding my breath the whole time, suddenly I could breathe again, lol.

Then she went through some tones and I had to tell her the softest tone I could hear... we did that through all the pitches and she warned the high pitches would sound weird but they all sounded the same to me. Dane, meanwhile, is taking pictures of me the whole time, lol.

Then the audiologist turns to Dane and says, get the camera ready, this is the actual switch on where she'll be able to hear. I thought great, he's going to get a pic of me bawling my eyes out.

She turns it on, and as explained, just kept slowly turning it up until it got to loud and I'd tell her to stop.

The sound was just so weird, all it was like was this high pitched, garbled, continuous noise. This was people TALKING. I had to indicate to get her to stop turning it up, I didn't even want to talk, my voice sounded so weird. Then everyone is trying to talk to me and its so weird and I said "it sounds like aliens!" and just burst into tears (just like i predicted). Mum and dad got all teary too, I think they thought I was happy-crying because there was sound but it was bloody awful. Dane didn't actually take pictures, he FILMED it! (I love our digital cameras!)

She turned it down and that really helped, either that or my brain adjusted to the sound quickly enough to realise this funny high pitched noise is people talking. There was a delay between the noise and it actually reaching me. I described it as the noise sounding "stringy" but that makes no sense... its almost like a radio frequency, a noise that makes no sense.

Now, this is all normal, its going to be a while before things make sense.

Speech is just weird, I can't make anything out. But NOISES!! I had absolutely NO IDEA that the keypad on my mobile phone makes clicky noises! I can HEAR THE RINGTONE! We visited my grandparents on the way home and I heard the DOORBELL from far away!! I can hear the noises Taffy's plastic bucket makes and I had no idea at all it even made noise! I heard a BIRD! (tho, it didn't sound like a bird, I could just tell there was a noise). I can hear "SSSS"!

Everything else is just garbled. Thankfully, the CI is better than a hearing aid where a low volume stays at a low volume so nothing is really loud to me at the moment, I'm just supposed to be getting used to different pitches.

It's been a huge morning and now I'm completely buggered :)

Monday, February 6, 2006

Not long

Friday morning is switch-on day. I'm not really looking forward to it if its going to be as awful as everyone says it is.

I am sleeping on my left side again (thank god!) and I can FEEL the implant in my head when I lie on my left side, its almost like there is a piece of board in my pillow or something. Its so weird!

And I still get dizzy, mostly when I'm wandering around. This is a huge improvement, I don't feel the need to lie down, sitting is just fine. Phew. It makes me feel a bit out of it though.

Having no taste buds on the left side hasn't bothered me at all either! I got used to that very quickly!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Post-op appointment

Today I went to the doc for the post-op appointment and I nearly freaked out when he came into the room and checked the RIGHT side of my head. OMG, he needed the LEFT side!! HAHA.
Anyway, he says "how are you?" and I said "I'm still dizzy" which was a lovely greeting :P Apparently this isn't unusual, he's known people to be dizzy for longer and he's surprised that it doesn't happen to more people. That made me feel a bit better.

Now, I woke up last night and there was some kind of lump in my neck and I immediately start worrying it was a blood clot and it would travel to my brain and I'd be dead by morning. I wasn't dead this morning (phew) so I also asked about this funny lump but he said it was my lymph node, albiet swollen. Fatalistic, much? ;)

My stitches are out now too :) I had 16 of them!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Back home, finally

I am FINALLY home after being released from hospital yesterday. So much for day surgery.

The actual surgery all went well, its the side effects which have me laid up. Dizzy, nausea... its like being seasick on dry land. I won't go into how awful it is. But its pretty awful :P And I'm putting a lot of faith into the doctor who said it won't last forever. Apparently its a common side effect.

The only complication being I've lost the taste buds on my left side coz he had to drill through the nerve. Well, better that than a facial nerve ;)

Thank you to everyone who has sent me sms's, it is much appreciated. My apologies if I didn't reply to all of them, its an effort to concentrate on a small screen.

I'm going to go collapse on a chair after the tremendous effort of staying upright while typing this out :P

oh, btw... NURSES ROCK!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

One day!

And this time tomorrow, cochlear implant surgery will all be over. I'll officially be a cyborg :P Hopefully with no complications *fingers crossed*

Friday, January 20, 2006

Switch on date

There is a God and he loves me.

10th February at 9am! I will try and get it done even earlier if possible but at least its while I'm still on holidays (albiet, my last day).

Now I have heard that you can hook up an Ipod to a CI, but couldn't find anything on the net about it. My instruction book mentions a cord (an "accessory") which connects the CI to a Personal Device run on batteries, ie game console thing... now they didn't exactly mention Ipods but thats a battery powered personal device!! ARRGGHHH!! OMG, AN IPOD!!!

**EDIT** OMG ITS TRUE!!! Direct from the site:
Personal audio cable: Helps you keep up with the exciting personal audio products on today's market. Use the personal audio cable for simple connection to an iPod®, Walkman®, portable radio or other battery-operated audio products

Thursday, January 19, 2006

More tests

I went to the Audiologist yesterday, I was hoping for a switch-on date, but more on that a bit later.

She had fun turning up my hearing aids AGAIN. She turned them up so loud my head was vibrating at one stage so she turned them back down.

One of my main worries with the CI is things being LOUD. I've gotten so used to everything being quiet. But she tells me they aren't going to bombard me with sound, it'll probably be the same volume as my hearing aids, but just with the higher pitches. Good.

So she went through the switch on process with me, the speech processer will have 3 settings on it and I'll start off on the first setting and change it once I think I've gotten used to it. Then I go back every week for a month for adjustments.
I got an instruction book and I read through it last night, it sounds very fancy. It'll hold my name in it! haha, I can just imagine losing it, then someone chasing me down because my name being in it ;)
Anyway, it has all sorts of beeps and lights and LCD screens, very cyborgish.

The switch-on date... she says to me "how does Valentines Day sound?". Thats a TERRIBLE date, I'll be back at work by then and I wanted it done 2 weeks after surgery (as she said I could last week!!) so I could have a few days to adjust BEFORE I go back to work. She wanted it on that date so some kind of representative from Cochlear (the company) could be there, they are flying in from South Australia. I asked did they HAVE to be there, she said no, so I said I really wanted it done before I head to work. This is about ME, not some damn representative! (I didn't say that bit, lol)

So she's supposed to double check with this representative to see if they can make it earlier or something and then ring mum with a date. Please God, let it be between the 6th and 10th of Feb.

Monday, January 16, 2006

1 week to go!

1 week! I'm trying not to think about it too much or I will freak out. I've started dreaming about it already, how sad is it to dream about understanding what people are saying with your eyes closed. ;)

Ariane (Carls sister) has sent me lots of emails about the whole process and its SO useful and encouraging :)

1 week, 1 week, 1 week!

Audiologist appointment on Wednesday, to go through the whole process and what to expect... and hopefully I'll get my switch-on date!! I'm not sure why I'm so excited about the switch-on date when I'm apparently going to hate it.

Friday, January 6, 2006


This morning I had to go to the Audiologist for more tests. This involved normal hearing tests, speech discrimination tests (ie, how much speech I understand without lip reading) and then just testing my hearing aids.

I'm not off the chart anymore, I can't understand that but the Audiologist said it does fluctuate, its not really completely reliable but gives a general idea and previous audiograms are off the charts too.

Then I had various speech discrimination tests. Im glad I wasn't graded because I failed so miserably I can't believe it. I can not understand a damn thing without lip-reading. One part of the test DID let me lip-read and I blitzed that bit :P

My hearing aids are apparently not at optimimum performance for my loss so she turned them up. Everything is Really Loud now.

She had the actual speech processor in the office so I got to see what it looked like and tried it on. Its SO huge. I'm very good and didn't cry but god, its massive (ie, bigger than my hearing aids anyway).

I don't have a switch-on date yet, I have another appointment before surgery which we'll make a date. And we are thinking 2 weeks after surgery so I can get used to it before going to work! YAAAY!! This might be a good thing considering I've been told I'm going to want to throw it at the wall during the first week, its so bloody terrible. Apparently I'm going to HATE it. So at least I can be mentally prepared for that.

I know I have to be careful about walking through airport security but she didn't know if I'd set off LIBRARY security! HAHA. Omg, I could be stuck at work forever :P