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1 Month Audiogram and 6 week update

I’m a little bit hesitant to post this news because my test results definitely don’t seem to match with what I’m experiencing in the “real world” and people already have expectations that are too high.  My co-worker told me that my boss thinks I’ll be able to hear him yell across a field to me.  I have to constantly get him to face me when we are working in the lab. I am always reminding him that I can’t understand the speaker phone even if he turns it up.  Not to mention all the requests for phone calls I’ll get if my family thinks I can hear on the phone.  I still hate the phone.  I don’t plan on adding minutes to my voice plan.  Learn to text message or IM if you want to talk to me.

But here goes…

It had only been two weeks from my first map and I didn’t think my hearing with the CI had changed much at all in that time.  So I was more than a bit shocked when my audiologist put me in the sound testing booth and played the CUNY sentences.  I understood them all almost perfectly.  She actually stopped me half way through and said “Sara, do you know this list? You keep smiling!”  I said “Nooo! I’m just smiling because I can hear them! They are easy!”  The CUNY sentences were pretty easy, I got 60-some percent last time.  Then she switched to the HNT sentences in quiet. Last time they were very difficult to hear, the voice was barely audible. Surprise, this time they were almost as easy as the CUNY sentences.  Wow.  Then she did HNT in noise (quiet noise with the voice louder). That was harder but I still scored in the 70s. CNC words – definitely still hard, but I got around 50%.  This was on the HD-CIS  coded program that is optimized for speech.  I normally use FSP because it sounds “fuller” or “richer” to me.  When we switched to FSP my scores all dropped by about 10%.  She said this wasn’t surprising and we are still planning for me to use FSP coding.

I now have four programs – 1 and 2 are the same settings that don’t give me sound outside of the speech range (nothing below 250 Hz and nothing above 4000 or 5000 I think).  1 is the HD-CIS coding and 2 is FSP.  Program 3 is a program designed for speech in a very noisy place, such as a restaurant.  This is nice because the sensitivity adjustment never cut out anything in a restaurant.  Program 4 is FSP with a full range of frequencies – very good for music or listening to birds when I want to hear more than speech.

Another change is that I’ve gone bi-modal. My audiologist said that when I decided to I could wear my hearing aid again in the unimplanted ear but that she recommended sticking with it and not going back and forth. So I decided to do that on my drive home from Chapel Hill. My goal has always been to hear low sounds via the hearing aid, I just wanted to make sure the implanted ear got a good start.  I still feel like the hearing aid is barely there. It’s very overpowered by the sounds from the CI.  After my next map (mid August) I’m going to see if I can get it adjusted (probably have to visit my local audiologist) to feel more balanced.



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9 replies on “1 Month Audiogram and 6 week update”

  1. Share

    erin says:

    it’s weird because they never do the sentences test pre-CI then after it’s like whoa what? however it’s so hard for me to tell people how well i did on the sentences test because of the fact that i feel like it does not compare to the real world. People do not speak in short sentences. it’s not always 100 percent quiet. You don’t always have headphones on to listen to a conversation.

    i’m curious as to why you sleep with HA and CI on? I never have — i love being able to sleep in complete silence. However, if i’m staying with my nieces and nephew and it’s just me, I have something on!

    i have tried the phone a couple times. i’ll try to post about it soon! i just need a reminder. my conversations were with my dad. then i had one with my 8 year old nephew, surprisingly i understood most of what he said.

  2. Share

    Sara says:

    I can’t sleep with my CI on – it falls off and isn’t that comfortable to lay on. The hearing aids staying in became a habit with Don around. He tends to insist on telling me things when I’m asleep and I like to hear what he has to say, or maybe it was just easier to kind of hear him and fall right back to sleep rather than having to wake up all the way… so I just started leaving them in. Maybe it was because I could understand him really well even in the dark and even if I was asleep? When I’m alone I take them out without me thinking about it.

  3. Share

    Barbara Hutchinson says:

    Such a different conversation to read & consider-I can’t tell you when I’ve heard complete silence (oops-I guess silence is complete). My house, neighborhood, etc. all have so many noises even during the night. I also have ringing pretty consistently in one ear or the other. Funny, I sleep with a fan on to drown out the “little” noise or “too quiet” that seems to wake me up!

    Congratulations Sara-I’m really happy for you.

  4. Share

    Dennis says:

    That’s unfortunate that these expectations have been put on you — right now, you’re putting enough pressure on yourself to adjust, let alone meet someone’s vision of you being able to hear. I hope you’ll be able to reset those expectations and get them in line with reality.

    I think it’s great you’re surprising yourself – we never know our limits until we really test ’em.

  5. Share

    You can understand all the sentences after 6 weeks… that is great. I know it might not feel like this in real life, but you really are doing great.

    I’m curious, so let me ask you this… how does music sound to you? and is it much different than when you heard it before you became deaf? I listened to some music last night and the other day, and I thought it sounded pretty good – even better than with hearing aids.

    Nabeel’s last blog post: The Good, Bad, and Ugly – Week 1

  6. Share

    Mog says:

    Good to read your update Sara

    People’s expectations are a problem. Already people seem to think that I will be able to hear perfectly right after the operation. I am planning some sort of information session for them, probably via the blog..

    Your progress sounds remarkable to me, so much and so soon. Well done.

  7. Share

    I’m glad you’re progressing so well–how exciting!
    Good luck with retraining other’s expectations. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Rachel’s last blog post: The Princess Bride

  8. Share

    That’s interesting your CI is overpowering the HA to the point you don’t feel like you are getting much…. I think I felt that way for a while as well…(trying to think back in the distant past of May 2009… *rimshot*) and now it feels quite a bit more balanced. However, I do get told I’m “ringing” a lot since I’m jamming up the HA to keep up with the CI. My hearing loss has always been similar in both ears so my HA ear feels a little jealous. 😀

    Did the sentence test make you nervous? My heart was pounding so much I didn’t feel like I could focus because *I* had such high expectations of myself. Totally feeling for you with the speaker phone thing…. there was one time my husband really wanted me to hear something on tape, and I just looked at him like he had two heads. That’s the last time I had any crazy requests like that.

    Michelle’s last blog post: Technology (Phone, Text, Music) Suggestions Needed! 🙂

  9. Share

    Sara says:

    Heh “I still hate the phone. ” Good! Same here

    I’m glad to have read an update. It is very ridiculous how much people think technology is an automatic fix-all, like your boss thinking you could even hear across fields. Psh.

    I have a guy in my class now with a CI (Wait… first, a guy? with a CI? in sign language class? What are the chances?) and it seems to work well for him, but even he still gets overwhelmed and sometimes it doesn’t work at all.

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