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More deaf with CIs

One thing I’ve noticed since getting CIs is that I’ve never been as deaf in my life as when I don’t have them on. It isn’t so much the change in my hearing but more the fact that I was never without my hearing aids and never without spare batteries. I even slept with my hearing aids on.

Part of my issue comes from having to develop new habits. I’ve gotten pretty good at changing the rechargeable batteries in the morning and after work. I usually have a spare with me too. But when I travel I switch to the disposables, and somehow 3 days is a hard number to keep track of.

I’d like to have my two CIs on opposite battery schedules so that if one died the other wouldn’t die at the same time. But how would I ever keep track of that??

Sadly my lipreading skills have already started vanishing on me. Luckily I don’t get too worried about being deaf. I can always have someone write things down. Or they can tell me later.

This post was prompted by spending half a day skiing without either CI working because I forgot to put batteries in my pocket and wasn’t about to waste time going back to the room to get them. It was a gorgeous day and being deaf didn’t detract from that at all.

(PS how does one sign with mittens?)


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8 replies on “More deaf with CIs”

  1. Share

    After we exchanged a few tweets the other day. I wondered “who is this Sara” 😉 I read some of your blog and felt awe over the CI’s it’s amazing that science/medicine can do this stuff.

    I just wish they could do better, because I quickly realized what it might sound like to hear the world from your perspective. So I started working on a “CI emulator”, so that I might “hear” sound (mp3’s) through your ears.

    From what I can tell, the CI’s basically have a response range mapped to each nerve stimulator. E.G. 100-200hz is mapped to what you might hear a 100hz, and then 200-300 mapped to 200. and so on. Probably quite a bit different based on your nerves and effeciencies.

    I’ts been difficult to get anywhere on it, there is not a lot of software out there to do this sort of audio hack, at least I haven’t found it yet. If I get something going on this, I’d be more than happy to share with you the resultant audio file, so that you may be able to share your world with others.

    Thanks for the blog, and the insights into your experience.

  2. Share

    Billy Koch says:

    LOL! Quite true – But at times it can be a blessing being tone deaf. IN the past I had residual hearing until I got my CI on one of my ears now I have none. So I now can sleep peacefully and not hear a darn thing. But granted like you I have started to lose my ability to lip read – guess I have gotten lazy with my lipreading and just depended too much on my listening. But then again there are days where my CI or hearing aid just goes dead. So I just do with what I got. Gestures, sign language and more!

  3. Share

    I think it’s going to be pretty much impossible to synchronise the batteries to opposite cycles like that; there will be slight differences between the charge levels for a start, and each CI will be drawing a slightly different level of power.

    So sometimes the batteries will be naturally opposite, at other times they will be naturally co-incident!

    When I had two hearing aids, when one battery went flat I always changed the other at the same time; I typically got 2 to 2½ weeks out of each battery change. Now I have one CI and one hearing aid I just change each as and when they go flat.

    As you know, Sara, my ( single ) implant is the same type as yours; I find that most of the time I’m getting 2½ days out of a set of 3 disposables but at other times they last 3 days. Only on a couple of occasions have I had 2¼ days or less.

    Surprised to read that when you had hearing aids you slept with them on; didn’t you get a feedback going on all night from that? Or regular ear infections from having the moulds in round the clock?
    .-= Peter Mugridge´s last blog ..We’re Back! =-.

  4. Share

    Steve P says:

    I have the Advanced Bionics CI. It’s a bit clunky compared to the Med-El models but does have one feature that I’ve come to like: the cells are good for at least 24 hours. I get (almost!) two full days out of one charge. But that’s starting to slide a bit as the cells age. I don’t push my luck and just recharge each night.

    In 3 years time or so, one charge will last less than a day so then it will time for new cells. Perhaps by then rechargeable technology will have improved to the point where it’s a non-issue for all the makes.

    I’m wondering … does the cold affect the cells at all? I haven’t done much downhill skiing for years and this used to be a problem with my old HA’s. Nowadays, I do mostly X-C and cold isn’t a problem – sweat and condensation can be.

  5. Share

    mog says:

    Hi Sara.
    I understand what you are saying about coping without the CI now. I find I am lost without it, my lipreading is now terrible and my hearing aids are no help at all.

    My batteries last about 10.5 hours, they used to be 11.5 but only 6 months in they are less. I too wondered if it was the cold affecting them but I usually wear a hat outside so they shouldn’t get too chilly.

    I try to have one spare in my purse, one on charge and one in my ear. I’m trying to remember to change them over now once I get home from work, which would be after almost 10 hours.
    .-= mog´s last blog’s walk =-.

    1. Share

      Sara says:

      I’ve found my batteries about the same, but think they’ve gone down from the increase in power with a new map. It would be very nice if we got one that lasted ‘all day’ and could just charge it at night.
      .-= Sara´s last blog ..NPR interview about CIs =-.

  6. Share

    As for signing with mittens, there are two answers to that. First of all, many deaf people wear gloves with fingers, so it’s not an issue. An alternative, though, is the mittens I made:

    They’re the kind where the tops fold back so you can use your fingers. 🙂
    .-= Meredith´s last blog ..Daily Digest for February 27th =-.

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