So now it’s 2011. I received my first CI in April 2009 and the second in late December 09 – so I’m officially over a year being bilateral. It’s been great. Life is good and pretty much what I’d call normal. I can hear a lot better in many situations. I find myself having one-on-one conversations in very noisy places (a Wine Guild holiday party with about 80 people in a small space – Don had a headache when we left from the noise!). I still participate a lot more if someone’s talking to ME specifically. One-on-one conversation guarantees this, but I’m finding that it happens more often now as a side conversation than it used to. For example, at lunch with a group of five people, I can switch between the main conversation and talking to someone next to me and usually not be too lost when I go back to the group. I catch enough so that I can be filled in with a quick ‘what was that?’ or ‘who were you talking about?’ It used to be a lot harder to catch up to a conversation like that.
I’ve discovered a lot of new things in some of the songs I’ve listened to for years. Usually it’s a high-frequency solo filling in what used to seem to me to be just a boring spot. A harmonica in Billy Joel’s Piano Man… Some kind of flute or pipe in Moxy Fruvous’s Johnny Saucep’n… Hey I bet I can hear those tinkling things at the end of Dreamed A Dream… haven’t given that a good listen yet, but they were one of the things I remember feeling the loss of when I first lost my hearing in 1993. (Time for new music?)
I’m still playing in the 90-piece concert band and the 6-member saxophone ensemble. It took a few CI mappings before the trumpets playing too loud stopped making my face twitch from the first CI. Speaking of mappings, I haven’t been to UNC for an appointment since last year, I think mid or late March. I could probably use one, but don’t have anything specific that needs tweaking.
Another thing that’s amazingly easier than it used to be: having a conversation in the car in the dark. At least with Don, I don’t get many opportunities to test this with other people.
So all is going really well, and there’s generally not a lot that seems exciting enough to bother blogging about. That’s a pretty good testimonial!