A year ago…

A year ago I was feeling pretty comfortable with my first CI. I’d survived the summer band concerts and was taking a class in Houston to prepare for the PE Exam. I remember the class being the first environment where I thought two CIs would help a lot. A large room, a sound system, ventilation system noises, and an unfamiliar teacher writing notes on the board. I got through it fine, but I’ve always gotten through school fine, even with a profound bilateral hearing loss and just hearing aids.

Two CIs has been amazing though. When one of my batteries dies it takes me a few minutes to get used to just one again and I have to focus harder to hear.

With two I’ve been able to eat in noisy restaurants with groups of people. I’m usually not following the conversation perfectly, but at least if I ask what the topic is I can hear the answer. I actually do best when it’s very loud because the software in the CIs adjusts and filters for me but everyone else has really raised their voices to hear each other.

I gave a lot of thought to one CI vs two vs bimodal. In the end I decided I was happy enough with the first one to do the second. I might have lost the booming bass I’ve lived with since 1993 when I became deaf, but if it’s there I can feel it, and I’ve gained so much in other frequencies that I don’t miss it. Those bass frequencies aren’t gone, they’re just not overpowering anymore.

I still play in a 90 piece concert band and the band sounds great to me (except when sight reading new music). I can hear more of the different parts. I can hear the percussion! The xylophone always surprises me.

When I went for my one year appointment for the first CI it was four months for the second CI. They said they didn’t need to see me again for a year. Pretty nice. Thus far, I haven’t felt like I need any adjustments yet (which is good since my self-employed health insurance doesn’t cover anything until I hit a $5000 deductible, but that’s a topic for another day).

Hope you’re all well.

2 Comments

  1. Phil
    Sep 19, 2010

    Congratulations on your success with the CIs. You are so brave and inspiring even to those of us with “normal” hearing. I’m not sure what I would have done at age 14 if I lost my hearing, because that’s about the time I, too, decided to pursue music in college. BTW, your tenor sax playing is sounding better than ever! 🙂

  2. miguel muniz
    Sep 21, 2010

    i am so happy for you! I hear so much better two cochlear implant my last word test in May I got 75 % of the words right….. and I feel i have improved since then.

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