I’m turned on (no, not like THAT!)


That is all.

LOL, I’m just kidding.  Well, not about the hearing part 🙂 but of course I have a lot more to say!

We’re leaving in about 30 minutes to go to my mom’s for dinner, but my actual activation appointment was just under 2 hours instead of the expected 3 hours so I wanted to put up a short post with just the highlights.  I’ll go into excruciating detail either tomorrow night or Friday.

The main thing is, yes, I am hearing things!  It all sounds so incredibly strange and I have been searching for a good way to describe it but … I really can’t.  But check it out…I can hear my keyboard right now as I type.  Too cool!

We spent about the first 45 minutes just trying to keep the magnet on my head.  I still have some swelling, plus I have really thick (curly) hair and the magnet in the headpiece wasn’t strong enough.  The audiologist (Krystine) couldn’t find the stronger magnets, so we alternated between holding the headpiece on my head and fashioning weird headbands to try to hold it on.  (At one point Dave used the purse strap from my purse and put it on my head.  LOL)  I was resigned to the fact that I was going to have to wear some kind of headband for the next week til my next mapping appointment, when Krystine decided to check the desk drawer near where I was sitting and voila, magnets!  I think they may end up making my head ache by the end of the day but I might be able to switch to less strong magnets eventually.

I was a little conservative when we set the sound thresholds because I didn’t want things too loud at first.  I could hear the beeps but it was kind of hard to determine what was actually “loud but comfortable”.  We did one ear at a time, and when she first went “live” with my left ear (the first ear) it sounded SO weird.  Kind of like someone tapping on a microphone every time a noise was made.  The sounds started falling into place more by the time we were ready to leave though.

My left ear sounds louder and has more bass sounds; my right ear is softer and much more high-pitched.  Together they sound equal in loudness though.

At this point, voices sound really robotic, almost like they’re being put through one of those voice scrambler things (like everyone is demanding ransom…LOL).  But every now and then I’ll realize I’m hearing something and understanding what it is…like the sound of the tires on the pavement as we drove home.  I also realized I was hearing the clock ticking in the mapping room!

I’m using Hi-Res S right now with 50% T-Mic and 50% regular microphone.  I have the program I’m using now, plus one that is softer and one that is louder.  And I got SO MUCH stuff…two boxes full of stuff that I need to go through.  I got tons of color caps (which I haven’t put on yet) too.

I still have some tinnitus but it’s way, way less than before.  Oh!  Dave put the car stereo on when we drove home.  I could hear the beat of the music but didn’t recognize the song.  So he put on a song and told me what it was (Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor) and yes, I understood what I was hearing.  The words weren’t clear but I knew she was singing.  I’m not sure I would’ve know what it was if he hadn’t told me though.  But still, being able to discern the beat already is kind of amazing to me!

This is just a basic start, and the real nitty gritty mapping starts in future weeks (I go back once a week for about 6 weeks, if I remember right).

Also, I was able to register Paige for high school – we went 30 minutes early and they didn’t blink an eye.  😀

Now we just have to get Eric moved into his dorm tomorrow and we can all relax a bit!

But right now, I am VERY VERY happy.  I can see I’ll probably need the volume increased a lot by next week, but I’m also not working with fully charged batteries just yet (I’m using the ones right out of the package and my right battery already went dead, LOL).

I have nothing bad to report at all.  Yes, it sounds completely weird and not like regular hearing (yet) but it’s also not aggravating like I worried it would be.  Instead it’s fascinating to me, because even just within an hour the sounds are changing and becoming more “real”.  It is SO COOL.

I’ll write more in a day or two, but for now…YAY!


About wendiwendy

I'm a real-life bionic woman.

Posted on August 20, 2008, in Cochlear Implants & Hearing Loss, Medical Visits, Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. It is fantastic!!!!! I am so excited for you. I understand what you mean by the what is uncomfortable with beeps. It gets easier. Right now is an important time to find your program. I started Hi-Res S, but Hi-Res P sounds better to me. Just remember there are so many different types of programs, find what works for you.

    It gets better and better.


  2. Like fingerprints and snowflakes, everyone has a different map. It seems that it changes a lot in the first year.

    I am sooo relieved that it’s not as aggravating as you though it would be. We really don’t know what to expect. I am so glad. There’s so much to learn with that.

    Do people sound like they are “heliumized”? Oh, you said it was like they were masking/distorting their voices for “ransom”. LOL.

    I’m so glad. I know what you mean about not being sure if you would recognize a song if you didn’t know what it was. I would never have been a good contestant on Name That Tune. I can’t recognize beats with a certain song.

    You are on your way. Happy, happy CI journey…HUGS


  3. Wendi!!! Amanda and I are sooooo happy for you! Amanda wants me to ask you if you can hear people knocking on the door.

    Jennifer and Amanda


  4. Woot! Sounds like you are doing great! It’ll get better and better!

    Wait until you turn to someone who tries to get your attention and you have your CI’s off b/c you needed to concentrate, were tired, or etc.!

    “Oops! Sorry… could you repeat that? I was turned OFF!”


  5. Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear more!


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