Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New yEar

I had a CI moment few days ago, after all those snow we had, for the first time in very long time, we had a VERY thick fog, the type we couldn't see the rear lights of a car unless you are right behind it, very scary while driving!
I was walking my dog, as I live quite near to a very busy cruise/shipping docks. I heard a low deep groan, I couldn't think for one minute what that sound were coming from... then it sounded again at one minute intervals, I realised it was the fog horn! I have not heard one before unless it's right next to my ear. The docks/shipping lanes/light house are at least a mile away. I think I need my super ears tuned!!

Yesterday, after New years eve party at a hearing friends house, We didn't go to sleep until 4.30 in the morning, my friends needed to leave at 7.30 to feed their horses, they had made lots of vibration which woke me up! So I woke up, packed and left the house in my PJ's in hope no one would notice me driving in my PJ's. The CI was in my PJ's pocket. When I arrived home I quickly took the dog for walk, yep in my PJ's, there were not a soul in the park thank goddess for that. Came home, did bits pieces, had breakfast, had lunch, couldn't sleep so I took the dog for a walk round the park again in my PJ's, had a bath threw my PJ's in the wash and put my clean PJ's on. At 4.30 pm, I crashed out on the sofa, woke up at 8pm as I was hungry, I had bite to eat and turned the washing machine on which I forgot earlier, then I thought, my CI must have a flat battery, I proceed to move my hand on my head and thought, jeez where's the CI? then looked at the washing machine remembering earlier the morning I put it in my PJ pocket. ARRRRRGGGGHHHH it's in the washing machine... oh man, I can't turn it off since it won't drain water which is already full, so I left it and prayed for miracle. When the cycle had stopped, I frantically looked for it, I couldn't find it, heart thumping... where is it?.. where is it?... I am really good with looking after my CI and I must be very sleep deprived if I cannot remember what I have done with my CI... Trying to think very hard where I put it, Zephyr box - nope, bathroom - nope, dog's mouth - nope, Texted my friend to look for it in her house! Looked in the car, it was on the dash board..... I must have sub consciously put it there for safe keeping since PJ's pocket didn't have a zip or a button to keep it secure. Right, panic over.

Happy New year to my afar and close by family and friends.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Rachel's visit and Snow

Rachel Chaikof, creator of Cochlear Implant Online, She comes from Boston, USA and is currently studying in London.
She came to my house for 2 days, we had fun. On the first day, I took her round historic Winchester, I love Winchester as they have beautiful old buildings also Rachel came on the right time as we have christmas market too and a ice rink by the catheral, Rachel bought beautiful items from those little christmas huts for her future home. In the evening I took her to Mexcian resturant since it's her favourtie food. When we got back to my place, we went on Skype and talked to our greek friend Vivie Moraiti.
The next morning, We had it easy. It was bitterly cold and were about to snow, bless her she was so cold and not used to british damp cold weather. I was snug as bug, even the dog had his coat on. Rachel was wearing appropitately but maybe not enough, she needed techincal coat or a down coat. After a New Forest walk I got her into cute tiny cafe for a lovely hot chocolate completed with mashmallows and cream on top. Then took her into an antique shop! she was in awe! and bought pretty items as gifts (I am not going to say what incase someone reads this) She was really pleased with it. I took her back to the train station early than planned as I was expecting snow and knowing Britain, everything stops over few cms, Glad I took her back (but disappointed we didn't have longer time) as the snow started literally few mins later in thick flakes.
The next morning, I got couple of inches and couldn't go anywhere! Most of the roads were snowed over. Since I live in hilly area, it would be sucidial to drive on untreated roads and I didn't have any snow chains.

A cute pic of Boris in the snow, he LOVES snow and loves playing "find the tennis ball" in the snow! Amazingly he found them everytime, his sense of smell is incredible!


Few weeks ago I had quite alot of CI moments and is pretty chuffed with them the best of all was, as I was watching a film, the volume was loud but comfortable for me, I was watching a good film. Half way into the film, I heard something faint and it didn't connect with the film, so in wonder I put the TV on mute then went into another room where the sound were coming from, I heard my cat mewing outside wanting to come in. :-) I couldn't believe it! At 16 she had been giving me health scares, but so far she's trucking on and still steals food off poor Boris! She is half the weight she supposed to weigh and she's eating out of the house.

Also I had dripping taps in the bathroom for long time, the taps became impossible to tighten. Over one weekend, I finally got round to replace whole bath tap unit and the dripping had stopped completely... since then I feel quite uncomfortable with the silence! I didn't realise that dripping taps were quite soothing!!

Friday, 6 August 2010


After 10 years break and finally found a climbing buddy who happen to be deaf, under assessment for the cochlear implant, she lives quite far away but will be in my city for few months, I geared up for first climb, in a very long time, and put my spare rechargeable battery in my shorts "just in case".
I tackled the walls fairly quickly and were 6a plus within an hour! It was just like riding bike again after long break! But man, my arms, fingers, back was so sore afterwards.
When I got home and put all my clothes in the washing machine, I forgot to check the pockets. Yup, I have one washed and squeaky clean rechargable battery! It's still working, Whoo hoo and it hasn't even been in the dry and store yet but I will do the wise thing and put it in tonight and tomorrow night to make sure it's absolutely dry.

Rosie's Hen Party

Last weekend, because I am the bridesmaid it's traditional for us to organise a hen party of the bride. For months, I had secretly organised a weekend in wigwams and a greatest day out at the "Go Ape" We had such a brilliant weekend and it couldn't have been any better for Rosie.

In the evening we had campfire and played a lot of games. There was 7 of us who is profoundly deaf (and I am the only one with CI) we were in our comfort zone and signed for England, there was also Rosie's mum and her sister, who both are hearing all weekend we encouraged them to join in and they both had great time and laughed a lot even there is language barriers but they seems comfortable and enjoyed being with us and never showed any signs of isolation, Rosie, I and few others took turns by keeping them in the loop with the signing, we translated everything they had said etc we didn't feel it was a burden to do it. It's only fair when they cannot understand 7 deaf people signing very fast! what hitted us as one of the girls had said recently that if it was 7 hearing people and 2 deaf people the attitude of the hearing would be completely different such as not making sure that the deaf people are fully participate. It's always like "never mind" "tell you later" or "u have your deaf friend with you, talk to her/him" or fully explain to us what the game is about or inviting the deaf people in the game (which is mostly verbal), for us deaf it's quite sad and isolating. It's one of many reasons that I am not too keen on outings/events with hearing people apart from few people who I know very well and who bothers to explain every details of the event/whatever like it's no trouble for them I am forever grateful for those people.

Interesting isn't it?

Austria July 2010

I had returned to Austria during what was the most unusual weather for the area my parent lives, Austrians weather is almost similar to typical British weather but not while I was there. It was so hot and it was 39 for few days, the lowest it went were 29 which is higher than average but the weather was beautiful with cornflower blue skies with very little puff of mare tails. I had swam in the local pool just few steps from my parents house almost daily, there were virtually no chloride, just pure mountain water, little chilly but it was nothing better than dunking in a chilly pool after a very hot day. Of course the CI remains in my room in the house. I had to rely on my mum for communication and awareness of what's happening but that didn't stop us from enjoying the pool.

We went blueberry picking whilst my dad went mushroom hunting, I heard the waterfalls. We had a dog staying for the weekend, I took him for a walk through long grassed fields and I heard a lot of noise! It was the crickets and there was A LOT of them leaping out as we walked through the grass.
We took a day trip to Bibione Beach in Italy, My parents fell in love with this beach and vowed that next time we would stay in Bibione for night or two to make most of the sea! It's 2 and half hours drive which is not ideal for daily trips to the beach! And it's not far from Venice.

My parents had made alot of friends in their village and I am so happy to see them enjoying their new life in different country where there is few language barriers. I (and my brother) became the important person in their life as their friends always asks after us and wants to see us when I am in Austria. One lady in particular who speaks half a dozen languages! were so interested to see how I developed spoken language even I was born profoundly deaf. She and I spoke quite a lot last time I visited but this time we didn't have time to visit her. There was another lady who lives opposite to my parents house, she got a nephew who lives in Germany and he has got a CI. She had always asked my mum how I got on with mine. I went to her house with mum but my mum didn't stay long and left me with her. At this point I would have clammed up and tried to escape but I was totally chilled. I was feeling very confident talking to her in her fluent english with soft accent! I loved listening to her! We talked quite a bit. I don't see them often as I wished but I am glad I can understand her well. On my final day my mum and I went to another person's house, I said to mum "why are you coming with me?" realising that I am perfectly capable of speaking to people so she left me and smiled. This person, He has very strange personality but very intellgent, a very nice man but sadly not in the best of health. We spoke for a bit in fluent english with beligan accent then we said our good byes, I walked back to the house.

When we reached the airport, I realise that wearing CI through the metal scanner is harmless so I decided to see what will happen, since this airport is very small it only got one detector and small group of security it's not possible that they would always have female available. Few times they had refused to turn the detector off for the sake of the queues so I had to wait until there were clearance. But with it being very small airport my flight could have gone without me! So this time I went through with CI on my ear, switched on, card in my hand, the detector beeped (yeah the first time I ever heard it beeps!) the lady guard wanded me and I heard the noise from the wand as it got near my ear. With the german card, She was happy to let me go. And I was completely unaffected by the experience and will contiune to so.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A new Hearing aid

Since my last blog, I took the plunge and went to my hearing aid clinic. I have not been there since I was refered to the CI centre, the CI centre provided me with temporary HA for my unimplanted ear to keep me out of the silence for 5 weeks while I was recovering from the operation. That hearing aid was an analouge and did pretty good job of hearing the environmental sounds but with the cochlear implant, I couldn't tell if it was on or off! I went weeks without realising that the battery were dead and thats when I took my CI off to change the battery! Duh Oh...

I had alot of listening practices with the Speech and language therapist, at first I used both ears and realised I found it little easier to listen with both ears not just CI alone. I think it's because I get better low frequency input from the hearing aid. This influences me to get my self in gear and get new hearing aid. I got my mum to call the audiology department at my hospital and were surprised with very quick appt date, usually they put me on the list and sometimes I had to wait 3 months, but not this time, I only waited few days and they already had HA all set up and ready for me to use. I received a Phonak Supero, it's a digital hearing aid. At first I found it hard to use, the sounds were so tinny, and over powering the CI, everyone sounded as if they are on helium... I remembered 2 years back when I was first switch on, it was just like that, so I said, I will try it for few weeks and see how I get on with it. The audiologist was surprised at my response as most people would immediately hate it in the room! I didn't like it at first but I knew if I waited and got used to it then it might be worth it. I am glad I did, after 3 weeks of helium sounds it finally the sounds became more sense! The audiologist had setted the HA to the max which means this hearing aid have no more room if I loose any more hearing or lose the benefit of it.

I am picking more speech sounds without lipreading, today I got a teacher to sign some papers for my course and while I was looking at my papers I heard her saying, "I need a pen, do you have one on you?" then I went to the other room to get the pen without looking back at her and came back with a pen, she looked at me flabbersgated, she had known me when I was at the school as child, she used to work very hard to help me with oral speech since I couldn't hear any speech now with bit of practice, a new hearing aid and wonderful cochlear implant. She smiled and saw the success of the CI.

Today I heard some strange noises and couldn't work it out until I realised it was the battery dying on my hearing aid! I am pretty pleased that I finally could tell if the battery is dying.

The nice thing about the superos is that they are 1/3 rd smaller than my old hearing aid. I asked for brown one to match with my Cochlear implant/and my hair they said no... so I will work on it....