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 :)


Denis Figlia said...

Hello Nikki!

My daughter was 3 years old when she was implanted. She wore bilateral hearing aids from 6 months til then.

I wanted to THANK YOU, as you were a young woman when you were "switched on" and thus able to describe your thoughts and feelings. Your experience has given me insights as to what my daughter must have felt at the time, and I am very grateful for that. I found your blog, and have been poking around, learning more about you. I think you are an extremely smart, beautiful woman who is able to convey ideas and feelings in a very friendly manner. I am very happy you are doing well and wish you nothing but the best.

Thanks again for sharing and allowing me to feel what you felt.

BTW - Adriana is 8 years old now and in third grade of a mainstream school.... :) I have included my facebook info if you wish to correspond. I would like that.... :)

Tolstoy said...

Hi Nikki - given as your post is five years old I wondered if you'd share your thoughts having lived with the implant over this length of time. I suspect that the initial response has changed as your brain has become used to the new sounds and since this story has been picked up following a report on Gizmodo your perspective would be interesting -

Nikki said...

Hi Tolstoy,

I'll do a new post about how it is all going now, hopefully I'll get to it soon :)

Thanks :)

Nikki said...

Tolstoy, I have done one fairly recently, post is here: