Today makes a week since my cochlear implant was activated.
My friend asked me if I like it – of course my answer is “ask me in a few months”.
The robot voices are much less beepy now and are more mumbley and underwater sounding. Still not intelligible without lipreading or a script. My own voice still bothers me a lot. I don’t talk as much when I’m wearing the CI.
I’ve had really bad tinnitus ever since I stopped wearing two hearing aids (since the surgery). I’ve always had tinnitus, but hearing aids did a good job of masking it. It seems like the CI is making it worse instead of masking it, and it’s more roaring than ringing. For example when I type on my keyboard I hear it but both ears are filled with a very loud roar that keeps going for a minute or so after the noise stops and then it quiets slightly.
Speaking of the keyboard, my keyboard at work is insanely loud. It’s just your standard Dell desktop keyboard, and I could hear it with my hearing aids, but with the CI the clackity clack is very loud and disturbing. I might be shopping for a quieter keyboard. The one with my iMac at home is super quiet.
I discovered this morning on the way to work, that as weird as music sounds right now, it’s more fun to turn the CD player on than to listen to the road noise. I have a saxophone quartet CD in there that has a drummer along with the 4 saxes. I can keep up with the rhythm pretty good. It was a new CD that was in the car for a few weeks before surgery, so they are songs I’m familiar with but don’t KNOW perfectly. I need to make a new mp3 disk with some favorites I think.
I don’t have to turn the volume on the car CD player up even to half the level as before to have the music drown out the car noise.
One thing that has me somewhat worried and disturbed. My hearing aid in the UNimplanted ear sounds very strange to me now, even by itself. I know this is from my brain adapting… but it isn’t something I anticipated. I also hadn’t anticipated the effect of wearing the CI and the hearing aid together. The CI completely overpowers the hearing aid except at the lowest frequencies. It’s like I’m not wearing it at all. For now, I’m trying not to worry about this. I’m not supposed to use the hearing aid anyway until I get used to the CI. But right away I could tell why people might opt for two CIs rather than trying to be “bimodal”. Especially since it’s hard to find one audiologist who can support both your hearing aid and your CI.
I don’t have another appointment until a week from Thursday. It seems like a long time between initial turn on and mapping and going back for a new map, but I don’t have anything specific that’s bothering me, and I seem to have plenty of volume.
So bottom line – in the last week things have become less musical (filling in frequencies between the electrodes?) and less beepy, but still not easy to understand even though I can tell that I’m hearing consonants. I think a new map will help a lot.