Week Two

Week Two

I‘m trying to make at least weekly updates here…

Things I’m hearing that I’ve honestly never considered hearing before:

  • The electronic door lock at work beeps when I open it with my ‘wand’
  • The keys I wear around my neck at work clink as I walk
  • My boss swishes as he walks across the room towards me (nice to have a warning!)
  • I can hear myself huffing and puffing as I hike up a steep hill
  • Walking on a gravel path sounds like someone chomping on nachos inside my head
  • Piccolos in Stars and Stripes Forever (but not much else of that song comes in clearly!)
  • A coworker eating chips out of a bag in the next cube (I heard the bag)
  • My car beeps about 6 times when I turn it on (I think I knew this, but had forgotten)
  • Someone’s cell phone playing music from across the office (didn’t know it was a cell until she ran over to shut it off)
  • My favorite Thai restaurant has fountains

I’m sure there’s more… but it’s nice to be able to hear so many new high pitched sounds.  The door lock beep really surprised me… I had no idea.  The gravel was very frustrating as I love walking that trail, it’s so peaceful… not anymore.

A few days ago I added a CRUNCH sound to my repertoire. Voices have stopped being beepy robots, but are still hard to understand, more underwater sounding, and now they crunch periodically.  Things are definitely less musical than they were at turn-on.  I think this is a good thing, it means I’ve moved well beyond my 10 initial frequencies (one for each electrode).

saxNow, music.  So far I have been to one band rehearsal and one concert. I need to play by myself at home sometime as the one time I tried it I was just one day post activation and my saxophone only played a single note.  I’m curious how it’s coming along now after 2 weeks.  At band rehearsal a week ago I was just overwhelmed.  I turned the volume on my CI waaaay down and could hear out of my hearing aid.  My hearing aid alone sounded very muddy even without the CI on so I figured I might as well leave it on and see what that did.  I couldn’t understand the director, but did pretty good with the guy who sits next to me.  I could actually hear him say ‘SHHHH’ to test me even over all the noise in the rehearsal break.

Last Friday we played an outdoor concert for a local community college’s graduation.  As we progressed through our songs I realized that even though things sounded entirely different than I was used to I could hear new sounds that helped me stay on time.  I was still watching the conductor constantly (I watch him, the guy on my left’s fingers, and the guy on my right’s foot, but the guy on the left wasn’t there).  I lost my place a few times, and it was weird playing without hearing myself very well, but being able to hear the percussion is definitely a plus for staying in time.  For our last song I realized I Was hearing myself better for some reason.  Turned out I had the hearing aid IN my ear but NOT turned on.  So I was hearing myself better due to occlusion, the effect of plugging up your ear and hearing internal sounds louder.  Singers do this to hear themselves, but I hadn’t realized it applied to wind instruments.  Another thing to experiment with.

Tonight I have a saxophone ensemble rehearsal before our regular band rehearsal.  I’m not hearing saxophones very well yet, so it should be interesting.  The guy on my left plays Bari and I can’t hear it at all with the CI (too low), but he is the leader and usually taps his foot and counts time a little bit.  On my right is a guy playing the same part as me most of the time.   We’ll see how it goes.

4 Comments

  1. Mog
    May 20, 2009

    Thanks for posting an update Sara. It sounds like you are making wonderful progress. How is speech understanding coming along??

    • Sara
      May 20, 2009

      I Think I’m about where I used to be for actually comprehending speech – with lipreading I understand most of what someone says directly To Me when there isn’t much background noise. And I’m not a master lipreader, I need some sound.

      Don is still harder to understand because I could understand him before without lipreading.

  2. miguel
    Jun 30, 2009

    I got my implant on july 12 and had it turned on laste thursday. I hear better everyday. like you i hear lots of stuff i never heard … and i enjoy hearing the birds i think the best. thank you for sharing …. i am excited for you take care miguel

    miguel’s last blog post: montalvo1956: @ClarkeSchoolNY not too bad … i do have fuzzy sounds and it sounds sorta like feed back. I think its going to work well for me

  3. Roz Waldon
    Apr 26, 2012

    I am currently wear a cochlear implant on my lest ear. I have it now for about 6 years. My audiologist recommended that I get the program to have better results with my cochlear implant. I wear the strongest hearing aid on my right ear and rely mostly on that.

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