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!