Wednesday, 31 December 2008

My Christmas and it's sounds....

After distressing time finding a ferry within 2 days of travel after the original ferry went bankrupt, my parents were relieved to be in UK. Over Christmas I had my parents visiting for a week well it feels much shorter than that as it seems to go by so quick. They were staying with friends. Between visiting friends/relatives, My parents had been to my house doing odd jobs around the house. I told them, the bedroom door squeaks, they both looked quite surprised. I had the house for 2 years and the door had been squeaking the whole time. Since I had the implant, it bothers me... so I asked for advice as I never oiled a door before! Petroleum jelly was their advice... now I have quiet house! They also filled the car up with their stuff thay they left behind in Feb as there was no room on the removal lorry! And few english essentials like proper tea bags, marmite, mustard etc. Sadly, They only stayed for a week as they was worried about their home in Austria! They are worried about their roof caving in, as they have so much snow! The first pic is the terrace, about 3 ft snow. Another picture shows my Dad shovelling the snow!!

Since the Christmas festive began, I now can hear the gate outside slamming, it's about 20 yards from my front door. We had few bad carol singers, Yes, I noticed that too. I use my old excuse, "pardon me, I didn't hear that as i am deaf" smiling sweetly and wished them Merry Christmas.

On Xmas day, My brother Stephen and I went to our parents friend's house where we meet our Grandmother. We had wonderful brilliant dinner! It was huge and so nice!, we were so full and couldn't move much! I heard the crackers, champange fizzing.
First picture was the layout for Xmas dinner, there were 9 of us plus 2 dogs. 2nd picture is our grandmother, she's wonderful. 3rd were Stephen and I deep in conversation after opening our presents. Notice Stephen's purple cast, he broke his wrist ice skating!

We didn't open our presents until we had our dinner! My parents and Stephen loved the presents I gave them, my Dad got shirt and pullover, my mum got top and a cardigan, they badly need some clothes as they lost weight working on their house/garden in Austria. Stephen got ipod snuffle. My dog Boris got a honking soft toy Duck which the honk lasted 20-30 mins and he disemboweled it 2 days later! He also got squeaky ring which lasted about few seconds. I got pretty much what I wanted for Xmas, My parents and Stephen being here which would have been enough for me, I also got Ski helmet, monies (I have bought first item, curtains for my bedroom), home made jams/chutneys, chocolates, socks, photo in a frame of my 2 best friends Rosie and Ric.

Overall it was very good Xmas. I hope you all had good one too.

Monday, 8 December 2008

CI Moment...

On friday I had the house cleaned top to bottom as my cousin Catherine and her husband Reino was staying for the weekend. Catherine's father who's my Dad youngest brother came "home" from South Africa on a business trip. I haven't seen Uncle Simon for 7 years and Catherine haven't seen him for about 3 years, Reino hasn't yet met his Father in law! He was nervous! Simon only had few days and he was staying at my grandparents not too far from me. So it makes sense that Catherine and Reino to stay with me.
On sat we had almost half the family gathering (Grandparents, my father's 2 brothers, and 2 sisters and their halfs, Catherine, reino and i) for a lunch and tea. it was great afternoon as I could communicate much easier this time round. I also texted to my mum to let her know that we are having Gathering (Mum and dad lives in Austria). The house phone rang, It was my father.

Right..... I had my first phone conversation with my father using my CI! this is long distance phone call and the line was bad as their house is up in the cloud (they live surrounding the mountians) I got.....

Me :- Hello dad,
Dad :- Hello Charlotte
Me:- How are you?
Dad:- I am fine thank you. How are you?
Me:- I am very well thank you

Then it started to go garbled i think it's when i got nervous or somewhat excited!... I gave the phone back to Simon.

I am so pleased that i spoke to dad, i was quite disappointed with his incommunication while i was staying with him back in october cos he was so scared of hurting me, I hope this brief conversation had given him some confidence, looks like this is way forward for both of us as I am daddy's girl and i miss talking to him. He and mum is coming home in few weeks for christmas and i am looking forward to see them so much.

How's tat for my ci moment!! I never really heard on the phone due to rubbish at picking up words. This time it was quite clear!

Cat, Reino and i had great weekend it was so sad to see Cat/Reino heading back to london. Thanks Cat for those fattening chocolates and hope you won't catch my cold which happened on sunday morning.

Love you both, Cat and Reino. And you too Mum and dad.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Beep Beep

I heard this sounds, though bugger the Processor is playing up again! So i checked the LCD... it showed H1 = which means Battery low, YES, finally heard the beeping warning to let me know that the batteries is low which gave me ample of time to change the batteries. My Batteries runs out approx every 4 days now, I have started to take ALOT of batteries with me everywhere! I have 2 packets in my locker at work, One in my pocket, One in my bag, one in the car, one at the yard in my horse's trunk (box), there's few packets in Austria.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Saturday's night out

Last Saturday was my first proper night OUT with group (7 of us) of hearing friends since being activated.
My very good friend Andy who is leaving to work in Lima, Peru for couple months. He's a huge hairy man that resembles a big fuzzy bear hence his nick name is "Lord Bear"! I have known/worked/travelled with him for many years.

I met Andy and the others in a busy, noisy pub before heading off to "Kuti" for a Thai curry. When we were in the pub... Yes course it's very noisy. Andy kindly explained to me that it's OK to shout in the pub. He realised that since i had the implant, my voice is quieter than it was with my HA's. Also previously when i was in pubs with Andy, He was the only person who understood me as he is a VERY good Lipreader!!!! But he wanted to HEAR me use my voice over the back ground noise. I tried and got there in the end!

In the group, we have a friend Deb, I knew her around since same time as Andy, we started working/travelled together for 3 solid months back in 1999. Deb had very STRONG Geordie accent! I never ever really understood her for many years. Man, she do talk for the world! Never seen her quiet except that 5 minute visit to mostary (sp) near Barcelona, Spain.
Last sat, I UNDERSTOOD HER!! AND could hear her over the background noise...she sure sounds like sandpaper! When Andy asked me what does she sound like I said Sandpaper.... He said... yes, that's bout right!! there were tears of laughter.

The night went very well, I am so pleased with myself, as there were rare times when I tapped someone to repeat. It was a fun night.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

My 3 month review

Yesterday I had my 3 month review 1 week and a day early than my actual appt on 19th. I was desperately needing a tune up that all of my programs was maxed out for fornight, I noticed I was struggling with understanding people. People commented that I am not responsing well. Sarah my usual Audi was very kind and agreed that I should be seen sooner so booked me for the next day.
Before I had my tune up I had hearing test with CI it was 45db across the board (at one month was 40/35 db)
Also I had problem with my processor AGAIN! I had experinced H5 warning few times and christmas lights flashing (the red light at the ear hook as an adult it should not be flashing or on at all!)Also the keeps processor shutting itself off. So.... I had my processor/coil replaced for the 2nd time in almost 3 months! Oh well.. things happens.
I had a really good tune up as it sounded so much better since when I was first switched on. I actually prefered the fastest speed of 7200 p/s so all of my programs are setted at this speed, P1 is everyday, P2 is Autosensivity, P3 is same as P1 but louder, P4 is my old map pre 3 month but louder in case i am experincing problems with above.
I had my hearing test with CI, it is 30/35 across the board, this is actually MORE than I ever heard with my hearing aids.
I also had CUNY test, Lipreading and listening the first question came up i was shocked to be able to listen/lipread FULL sentence of an unexpressed man! then my grin broke out and grinned through out the test and got excellent 77% (may not be big deal but i only asked for 5% improvement, Pre Implant was 40%, 1 month was 64%)
Sarah, My Audi really wanted me to do listening only test, so I tried... tried... and got one phase which I thought was "the fire engine is red" it was so hard to try to listen for something that made sense. However she stopped after few attempts. "The fire engine is red" is actually "the car engine is running"!!! ALMOST there!! Doh!! Hope I will get something at my 6 month!.
I went straight to London to see my old school/dorm mate, She is a 11 year CI user and we spent all night comparing notes, it was fun! She got very tall house. I could hear Boris the dog barking and my friend's beautiful silver maine coon cat hissing at him from 3 floors up!!!
I am pretty pleased with myself but hitting the walls for not getting enough listening only pratice... not easy when you are single, lives alone well not excatly alone as Boris lives with me but he can't speak.

Monday, 27 October 2008

I am back in Blighty

I had lovely relaxing holiday. The weather had been kind, the mountains had snow caps which had disappeared by the end of the week! We had been stuffed with glorious food cooked by Dad and Mum, all the vegetables we had were from their garden and it was delicous.
Sadly I didn't have much pratice with my Ear as I call it, the house they had "semi built" it was rebuilt internally with thick insulation to ward off cold winters, the house is being redecorated beautifully, they had No carpets, No curtians, no soft upholsteries therefore the house is very echoy which I experinced alot of problems trying to block that out after 3 days I got quite stressed so decided it was best not to wear the processor in the house. It's a pity as I really want to do some listening practies with my parents. My dad, still worries about talking to me, he was afraid about how he would sound, when he was talking normally to the family he sounded lovely and soft. He's the type of person that is difficult to reassure it's okay.
My mum sounds amazing (and dad) their voice is clearer and crisper, I used to tell mum to lower her voice when i had the hearing aids it sounded distored high pitch but now i don't need to and often tell her off for whispering, Ha ha! Very happy about this. My brother is clearer too, he is passionate talker, when he talks about something he gets quite excited and talks clear and a little bit louder than normal but in the house although it doesn't sound loud to me, it sounded booming as if i was standing next to 6ft high speakers. It was outside of the house that i don't have problems, I heard crickets! whay hey, they do make high pitch rubbing sounds.. quite tuneful! Tractors (they live near alot of farms), chain saws. Although in the first few days, I heard people talking in other room, people walking on wood floors.
We went to Venice, in Italy (long drive!) it was beautiful, I didn't realise it's actually City of water, there were so many bridges to cross. When we went to St Mark's square it was full of people, pigeons, I could hear them cooing. The Piazza San Marco got bells. When it stroke at 12 and my mum asked me if I could hear something (she didn't say what it was so I had to listen and think), and it was the bells!!.
We did alot of walking, mainly up the mountians where we used to ski, I didn't realise it was so steep without the snow!
As it was nearing halloween, In Austria they are big about halloween like America. I got to carve my very first pumpkin, the pumpkin was also home grown! I enjoyed it so much, My dad also saved the remains of juicy pumpkin for delicous Soup few days later.

My first pumpkin! As you can see i have included the CI!

While we were on holiday we recieved some news from my Grandfather, He had sadly lost his sight in his left eye to blood clot. He's 89 this coming sat and done amazingly well with living independantly and looking after grandma who is diabetic, blind, with limited mobilty. His sight will not be recovered and they are monitoring to preserve his right eye. I wish him well and hope that he'll stay healthy for long as possible. The rest of the family and i are having birthday lunch to celebrate his 89th birthday on Sat.
It was sad to come home, Mum and dad are counting the days until 22nd dec when they will be coming back to UK for Xmas.

Picture of my processor 3 months after the operation and 2 month postactivaction. I had pink Mic cover as October is breast cancer month also I like it! My shaven hair is now approx 2 inches long and yes it grew quite quickly. Altogether with hair down or in pony tail it's barely noticeable!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Austria, here I come!

In less than 24 hours I would be at the airport checking in with my brother Steve for our trip to our parents house in Austria, We cannot wait! It had been a long time since we last saw them, Mum 3 months and Dad 6 months. Mum came over for my Cochlear implant operation back in July. Neither had met me with the Cochlear Implant activcated. It would be an experience to see what they had to say! It's also a holiday for Steve and I to unwind as we had really busy year and haven't had a proper break for long time also to have dad's brilliant cooking (I am looking forward to that the most, LOL!)Steve and I are in need of good food, sleep and relaxation. I have German and English card just in case and in hope I won't need them.

Few days ago I was experiencing echoy sounds and maxed out 3 of my programs, the centre suggested I go in unscheduled which I went last tuesday, she upped and altered the programs and put 2 of programs with ADRO and AUTOSENSIVITY so I can use it in back ground noises and with my Ipod. The sounds I am hearing now is much clearer not too high, the lows is coming through now. I had started to beable to watch tv with sounds on and heard the dog barking outside which got my attention to let him in this never happened when I had the HA! I realise I am learning to block the background sounds and draw what I need to hear!

Anyway, have a good week.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Amazing weekend!

Yesterday, I was excited as a kid at Christmas when I received a parcel. Inside was a Ear Hooks for my Ipod. Ear hooks are used like an behind the ear and it beds alongside with the Processor (CI)so I can use it with the processor setted on T-Coil. I did have the Personal Audio Cable that came with the Processor but I was having difficulty listening to the music and trying to block the background noise so Katie-louise recommended the ear hooks which I ordered few days ago. It came just at perfect time as I was about to leave for family gathering over in Isle of Wight.
I was on the Red Jet (Fast Ferry) going over the sea to Isle of Wight when I tried the Ear Hooks and the Ipod, it had made an amazing difference! I can now begin to enjoy the new world of musical sounds... I engrossed in reading my book and listening to music over the loud engine of the Red Jet, I relaxed completely for my journey over to IOW. I was elated! Now I need to print off the lyrics so I could follow the songs.
I was on Isle of Wight spending half of the weekend with my Cousins,Aunts and an uncle, poor him, he was only male in the house along with 7 grown women!! It was great weekend though.
Catherine, my 21 year old cousin, She was born and raised in South Africa (our dad's are brothers) Her accent is quite strong, I understood her no problems, she's so easy to lipread. Catherine had only been in London for 2 years, prior to her move to UK I only met her once when she was a baby. I met her only handful of times in the last 18 months so each visit I never found any problems getting accustomed with her accent and understanding her as I do with other people/families (some).
We was out for a wonderful food and wine! On our way home in the car, it was pitch black, there's no way I would be able to lipread at all.. and I was having a converstation with Catherine with out realising it... Hell, I am talking to Catherine in the dark, this is the first!!! I cannot believe it, I already had idea what she was talking about which made the converstation easy. When we got back to the house... Vicky our cousin said to me "you were having converstation with Catherine in the dark!!, How great is that!" she was so pleased for me aswell as other members of the family.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Bon Voyage Laura.....

Boris and Tor

Laura in red, Me in White.

My friend Laura and her parnter Miles had just landed in South Africa this morning for few months work in South Africa and then delivering a boat to South America (near cape horn and i have been there!!)for further few months of work with Mission Antarctica , We (our friends/families) won't see her for good few months. And shall miss her alot.

Laura had been (and will always be) an incredible friend, she had been through my cochlear implant assessments, operation and the aftermath. I couldn't have done this journey with ease as I needed someone with incredible patience, calm nature which Laura has and not many people have this. She would often take time out of her busy day to do listening practice at my home. With her help I heard alot of sounds.

Last weekend was her last weekend with us for few months maybe a year, We had wonderful weekend of long walks, fantastic food, wines. Our friends (there was 11 of us) just chipped in with cooking wonderful dinners, making teas, having good banter! Boris and Tor became a good furfriends, they had great time running with the ball and on long walks.

In the last few days I have been helping her pack up her flat so she could rent it out while she's away. I had the responsibility of taking a Hire Van over to Kent nearly 3 hours away where she stored her stuff at her parents house. At her parent's We met up with her 2 sisters for the evening meal and a sleep over. I dropped her off at Heathrow Airport last night, I didn't want to cry in front of her because i don't want her to cry at the airport also she had been wet eyed at the weekend, she was so excited about this trip of lifetime. I was filled with tears seeing a green hooded top and blue jeans figure walking with trolley full of bags as I drove away.

I made my way back to depot where i got the van from. then went into her flat... it was so bare, no life at all... no sounds of laughter, talking, music, dogs playing. Just complete silence. It sent chill down my spine. I have few of Laura's stuff at my house... radio to help with listening, CD player again to help with listening, and a rug for my bare thread carpet. Laura.... don't expect them back, Ha ha. I really hope she would have fantastic time.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

One Month Post Activation......

Here's the results of my one month activation which was today ;-) The centre weren't expecting I would reach this in the first month!! and to gain well in CUNY test (voice and lipreading) Very pleased with my self! The red is my pre implant, and blue is with CI. CUNY Pre Implant was 40%, Post Implant is 64%. Click the picture to enlarge.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Another Birthday Year Had Gone....

Today is my birthday, it had been a beautiful warm sunny day. I had lunch with my friends at a pub in the countryside, finishing off with a brownie and a candle on it! Gosh, the year had gone so quickly.
Last week it was Boris the dog's 2ND Birthday, he's officially an adult dog now!! It seems like yesterday when I brought him home as tiny puppy, barely big as my dad's hand. He was so cute but fiercely brave dog. However big the opponent is, Boris thinks he's bigger than it! He is really a lovely dog. And Yes, I got him new squeaky ball for his birthday, and today it lost its squeak!!!!! Actually the squeaker lasted a week and it was a record! Normally with those cheap balls wouldn't survive 5 minutes! this ball is (well was) stronger and it did lasts a week!!! I am impressed!

And for me, in the past year it had been a roller coaster, My parents move to another country, jobs, doing up the house, racing on the boat, and the implant which put everything on hold!. Now as an implantee, I can relax and look forward to new year of new hearing, start enjoying my holidays, able to race more that I am sorted out CI wise, I have few jobs lined up for the winter as the yachting season is nearly finished.

Oh, I had hair cut last week, It wasn't too bad until the hair dresser gave me head massage and touched the painful spot! I grimaced and politely said to her you can forget the head massage for now. It was fine other wise. I felt so much better and lighter with hair cut.

Dear Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Thank you for the cards. Charlotte xxx

Friday, 12 September 2008

Clip Clop Clip Clop!

Today, I went to see my horse, Buck and brought him in for a brush and bit of food, I heard him wickering when he saw me and after I tethered him, we walked on the tarmac I heard him walking, he had shoes on. It was awesome!!!

I also heard Boris the dog eating his dinner... god he must be a loud eater!! and him lapping up water. :-)

Today had been good day :-)

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Little update

I went back to the centre today to have my processor tuned up as I was maxed out, When the processor were turned up I had this awful feelings again as I did on my activcation day. Understandably I was so worried and it felt like I took a lot of steps back, I thought I went to the centre because I was improving! Sarah tried alot of ways for about 45 mins then eventually she ended up turning 4 of the electrodes off, Ahhh...thats is so much better and Sarah were able to turn things up as loud as I could bear without feeling the jolts on the side of my head. I think I have 10,11,12,13 turned off and 1,2 switched back on, I can hear her counting clear as day, also hear her saying the days of the week (of course with lipreading), 3 of programs are now same but different loudness and on P4 i have faster speed. I was relieved! I can now hear myself talking clearer and the telly is clearer too... Hope this is the way forward from now on... :-)

I am looking forward to my first hair cut with the CI next thursday! It had been nearly 5 months since I had my hair trimmed! In April I knew I would be implanted so didn't bother having my hair done.
Did you explain to the hairdresser that you have an implant on your head? did you tell them to be gentle? Any tips greatly appericated. Thank you

Sunday, 7 September 2008

I miss my Mum and Dad

After reading Katie-Louise's post about her talking to her Grandad on the phone had brought me to happy tears! And I realised that I miss my parents, we are very close family, I haven't seen my Dad since April and my Mum since my operation in July. They live in Austria and had been since Feb. When they were living in UK, they had been brilliant supportive with phone calls, sorting the important things out for me. I have been doing those since they left and it was pretty hard but eventually I started to pull through and managed myself but I hate using the phone, I use Type talk but most of the time it's just horrible to use. I do have lovely family (aunts, uncles, cousins, Grannies and Grandad) all round me. But my mum and dad are so special to me.
My parents haven't yet seen me with my CI. It would be so wonderful to share the experience with them.
I am SOOOO looking forward to flying out to Austria with my brother, Stephen, at end of October.

And one day I WILL pick up the phone to say I love them.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

CI Moment....

I decided that I don't like my first 2 programs (both 2000 p/s at diferent loudness), I did really liked them at the centre but since I realised I couldn't hear voices well as previous programs, the tapping of my computer went quiet, I couldn't hear my cat purring unless she's right next to my ear! So I Jumped to P3 (which is 4000 p/s) and see what happens... I turned the telly on, a kids program (not telly tubbies) was on, in almost clear english I was able to follow what they were saying with subtitles (and DO know if they missed a word out of the sentence!!)At the same time I had Fan heater on (it was freezing last night!!) I was able to block that sound and listened to the TV! and this is without the HA!

Now I need to get dressed for Marwell zoo, SOECIC had kindly invited the patients and their families to the zoo for the day. There is going to be 350 of us going!! I am looking forward to it and hoping to hear some more sounds and the animals!

Friday, 5 September 2008

New Processor

Today, i tried the processor again, still not right. I had to work today. So I went to work without the Processor and use the HA (in my other ear) It was howling with winds and torrential rain, I was drenched to the bone working on the Boat... I texted to the centre to see if i could get appt after the weekend. I got reply, can you come at 4pm TODAY.. With big smile I said "Yes". I still really need to get this boat ready for the weekend, there was so much to do so I worked through lunch. Come at 3.30 with a very wet dog and I, we made our way to the centre only 15 mins away.

Sarah my Audio was bit baffled on how i couldn't hear her voice with processor/controller itself but I could hear her if the processor is connected to the computer, so out come is a new processor and controller! Sarah had also tuned my levels down a bit as last settings were bit much.... now it's better.

I heard my cat purring when she was on my shoulder....... thats one of sounds i wanted to hear so that's ticked off the list ;-)

Better have bath now before I catch cold as I am still shivering from this morning.


I had been to the Centre again on the 3rd of September for another tune up. I have now got 4 programs, 2 is ARDO (i think) and is setted at 2000 p/m (pulses per min) and the other 2 is at 4000 and 7200. I was on the P1 when i left the centre... I was given list to listen for and recongise... umm that's gonna be hard as single lady who lives on her own, detecting sounds and identifying them seems to be impossible as they sound same! But time will tell. I also had hearing test with CI and HA, They both were 70db across the audiogram... whay hey! the highs had made exist on the audiogram! The lows were with HA and the highs were with CI. I was delighted with how things went today.
Just before my tune up I had agreed to my boss to deliver 2 boats back to Hamble for friday, thinking I would need to leave Hamble for Dartmouth on thursday morning... nope we left Wednesday evening after a very quick pasta and sauce, dropping my dog off at neighbours. There were 4 of us in a hire car, the drive took nearly 3 hours, we arrived in Dartmouth at 11.30, I was already exhausted from the tune up. We were talking about when to leave... and agreed on leaving at 5 am to catch the tide out. I went to sleep at midnight, and woken up with lights, grr (I HATE THAT!) at 4.30, donned on my warm clothes, and wet weather gear on. I didn't put my processor on as it was forecasted wet! It was Pitch black when we left, a sign that winter is on it's way boo hoo. My skipper and I made our way, pulled full main up and headed out to the open sea... PERFECT the wind were right on our back which the trip was short and we were home for tea!. With the wind and full main out we crusied quite fast, flowing over the surfs clocking up high speeds, I beat my skipper! he he. We arrived at Hamble 12 hours later, VERY VERY tired but glad to be back home.
When I got home, had shower, and went out for supper with Laura. I wore my processor at this time.... something not quite right. I couldn't turn it down as it still sound same and very very high pitched... I couldn't hear the tell sounds...
I thought... oh bugger! No chance of calling the centre tonight to arrange the appt for today (fri).

Monday, 1 September 2008

Ew aw ew aw!

Today I took Boris for his morning walk and it was the first time I actually turned towards the sound of an ambulance with sirens going...

Also the plane going overhead.... a long humming

the wind (it's very windy here) is becoming louder and clear as whistle.


Sunday, 31 August 2008

What was that?! 26-8-08

I picked up my keys and heard something, put the keys down and tried to find the noise.... gave up as it was completely silent... ummm.. then picked the keys up, realised it was the keys!! YAY!

My dog pestered me to play with his squeaky toys all day, I took it off him as it was driving me nuts. Poor Boris I had to hide his squeaky toys. He was wondering why as pre implant he used to play with them all day long.... Sorry, Boris I'll find you something else quieter!

So Keys jangling and squeaky toys to add on the list.

And oh the blinking indicator of my car.

The world is so noisy!!!! 25-8-08

Wow, the world is so noisy I had trouble working out what sounds they are. My brother Stephen went back to london and I had so many people over for the weekend due to local festival, and sailing.

It was my first sail since the switch on, sadly not this time I had heard anything I wanted to hear BUT could hear the wind faintly only if I had the microphone facing towards the wind, sounds like whoosh..

I was much happier with the setting, Sarah had given me and was able to wear the processor and HA 13 plus hours every day, I had very late nights at the weekend.

As everyone had gone home, today was Bank holiday Monday, I put the telly on mute. I tried to listen for things, I heard on P3 without HA... and never heard pre implant!

Computer tapping!
Water running (this is loud)
Rustling of plastic bag
Slicing meat on glass board
Knife and fork on plate
Myself breathing!!
Rice being poured into empty sauce pan.

2nd map 22-8-08

Today was my 2nd map, Stephen came with me again.

I told Sarah that I wasn't happy and got upset with the sounds as it sounded like a constant whine, she changed the programs completely and tried different program, I have no idea what my previous program was but this time it was SPEAK. Ah.... so much better!, My faint feeling went with the old program. I was feeling alot happier. I could hear the cymbals! and people talking. It doesn't sound normal, just in high pitch squeaks but is clearer than before, I could tell when they stopped talking. Again Sarah setted this in 3 different levels so I can increase in comfort.

I had Rehab again, this time we had sylablles pratice. I got most of it right, Horray! I never heard words let alone sylablles before. I could tell the difference between one sylablles to multiple sylablles.

Yesterday I couldn't contain my excitement, I went out and bought ice blue Ipod even I won't be able to use it for while yet! I can play games on it though if anything fails.

Switch on day,

To be honest I was really nervous and was glad that my brother Stephen could spare his time off work (he works in london) and spent few days with me. My nana came along aswell. They have been wonderful.

The switch on was at SOECIC with my usual Audiologist Sarah. She started very low, slowly increasing the volumes as I wasn't hearing anything but started to feel faint which is signs of stimulation. She stopped and went back few steps... tried from high, I listened very carefully a faint beep beep came... But I was still having faint feelings, she tried, I tried so hard aswell. She setted the processor at low and with 3 programs which I can turn up until I am comfortable and not feeling faint/dizzy. I couldn't hear the drum or anything at all, just high pitch whine. It was very tiring day so we left as it is. I also had rehab after the switch on.

About 10 of my electrodes were turned on today. I was bit worried that I was doing it wrong as I can't hear a thing but a whine. But managed to wear the processor and HA for the rest of the day.

29th July - Got my Date of Activication

It's on 20th August, 5 weeks post operation.

I cannot wait until I am back on the waters... I am going to race in Cowes week next week but I won't be doing a thing just take it easy and enjoy the race.

2 weeks post Operation

I went back to Nuffield Hospital with my Aunt Deb (uncle Peter's wife and my dad's sister)
My steri strips came off and the ear wick came out, it stinks of antiseptic! eugh! The wound is so neat! Good job Mr Ashcroft! ;-) And at last I can wash my hair properly, In the last 2 weeks I had Laura or my mum to help me to wash my hair without getting the wound wet. I asked Mr Ashcroft when I could get back to sailing, he said give it another week and I could go racing (it was Cowes week) but I had to be careful and stay at the back of the boat.

Collected my new toys!!! But cannot use them until my Activication date.

21st July - Mum goes home.

I was bit glad of getting my house back but would miss my mum so much she was great. I took Boris for my first walk today since the operation, I was quite tired due to the drugs i was taking and the GA dissolving in my body, I often fall asleep at about 2/3pm every day since the operation for few days. Other than that I was in very good health.

The Turban comes off

Friday 18th July, It was 48 Hours since I had the operation, I had check up with my surgeon, Mr Ashcroft, and to remove the turban. The surgeon was pleased with my progress. I was bit shocked on how much hair he had removed!

The day is finally here.. 16th July.

I woke up at about 6, opened the curtians. Saw a pretty grey and white cat lying in the road thought it was sleeping, we have alot of cats on this street. I have one so it's not new to see cats lounging about in the sunshine on the roads also it was very quiet road.

Went to mum's room and told her about the cat as I have the feeling something isn't right.

I had quick shower and took Boris, my dog, for quick walk. Mum went to see the cat, sadly it was victim of a car. Mum moved the cat into my garden (I have fenced front garden) and took it's tags off so she'll call the owners when we get to the hospital.

We Arrived at the Nuffield Hospital in Chandlers Ford and it was only 15 mins drive. I arrived at 7 am. I was assigned to my own room right next to nurses station probably because I am deaf. I had my own nurse well 4 nurses through out my stay at the hospital.

At 7.30 I srrived into my room, there was good luck balloons and a present from my friend Abbi. It was lovely balloons and the present was a teddy bear which I put on my bed. My nurse "Mary" she was lovely. She took my vitals, said my vitals couldn't be any better than 100% sats, got me to wear those pressure socks, I changed into gown and put dressing gown on. My Anesthesist came in huffing and puffing, he checked my forms etc and dashed out! He was good looking one, shame he didn't stay any longer! My mum called to the cat's owner, it was so sad, the cat was called Gizmo and was only a year old.

My operation was scheduled for 8.30. Bang just before my time Mary walked with me to the theatre which is about 10 steps away! I laid on the bed while the staff put the pads on, put cannula in, my surgeon came in and said it will be okay. Mary was asking me what I would dream about, I said sailing in the caribean.. the mask was put on me and the drugs were put in, at excatly same time I looked at the analogue clock, it read 8.30 am, poof, I was gone.

I came round, everything were in a blur and saw the clock which said 9.05 i thought damn the operation didn't go ahead for some reason but the different nurse saw me and said "All Over", I was bit confused and saw Mary, I was relieved for a familar face, Mary said, It's quarter to one and the operation went very well, I was under for 4 hours. The other nurse was my new nurse as there was shift change over, but Mary being so nice and considerate she stayed until I came round properly. The new one was called Lorna.
They checked if I was in any pain, nope, feeling sick, nope, dizzy, nope. I was wheeled back to my room. I was very thirsty. My mum and nana was waiting. I was given Injection of antibiotics, dressed in my Pj's just before Mary went home. I walked (with Lorna's help)to the toilets less than an hour after my op! Mum and Nana left at about 3pm I spent rest of the afternoon drifting in and out. I was asleep until my Uncle Peter came over (he lives in Chandlers Ford) at about 5pm, I was so hungry! They gave me some sandwiches and soup, whilst eating the surgeon saw me and was pleased to see me sitting up and eating. My friend Laura came over. It was lovely to see her. Had another nurse change over, Erica, another very nice nurse, she admistered another injection of antibiotics, it was irritating and horrible, it took good 10 mins to get all in, I think it was 50ml, a huge injection but I was glad it was the last one. I had good nights sleep and had slept on my implanted side with no problems.
I was discharged the next morning after x-ray and went home with bag of pills, I had Anti biotics, anti inflammatories and painkillers which they advised me to take them anyway to keep fever abay even I wasn't in any pain. Here picture of me the day I got home from the hospital.

My X-Rays

13th July - 15th July

I flew home...... :-( I am going to miss all the fun and my dear team! My boss gave me jobs to do when I get home and I would be doing them on my own as the rest of staff is in Cork!! I guess thats good as it would keep me busy until the operation.

I spent the next 2 days working very hard, and good job my mum was here (she came over to look after my dog while I sail to Cork and to look after me after the operation) she had helped me alot even she is a land lubber and doesn't know much of sailing terms!! But she had learnt some.

15th July - I had my pre Op appt with Mr Ashcroft this evening, he said.. perfectly healthy and he'll see me tomorrow morning... I was so excited but nervous aswell...

8th to 12th July, the delivery to Cork

It was horrible trip, the boat was pounding all the time and the wind was on the nose the whole way, we only managed to sail for a bit but had to motor most of the way so we could get to Ireland on time after many delays due to horrible weather, I was sick as dog on the last day of the trip, I had no idea why i was sick as i never had been seasick before. Come to thinking that i may be nervous about upcoming operation, missing the fun in Cork, i was also very cold and damp due to my waterproof trousers leaking like a sieve! Oh well... never mind. I was fine as soon I saw Ireland in view!

Few days ago I asked my Audiologist if I could wear HA in my left ear, I had not worn HA in it for 15 years due to on going Tinntius. Sarah agreed that it might help a bit if I had HA in my left seeing as I am having my good ear implanted. So I have a pair of HA's now.

4th June;- The date for the big day

I got letter from SOECIC informing me that my operation will be on 16th July. My surgeon would be Mr Ashcroft and it will be at private hospital (I was hoping for that!!). My pre op would be on 8th july but since I am already booked to deliever a boat to Ireland so they changed the date to 15th July, 2 days after I fly home. God, it's so close! I was bit disappointed that i would miss the CORK WEEK (it's yacht race/festival) but there's always next time. I am not going to delay the Operation any longer!

Funding is in Place

This morning i recieved letter post stamped 13th May (I was at SOECIC), I was wondering what it was about since we had no appointment planned until the funding is in place.

It was long and thick letter, it said.... FUNDING HAS BEEN APPROVED! Whooooo hoo! I was over the moon. Now it's just an operation date to wait for....

13th May, Finally another new Aid

I went to SOECIC to get replacement HA, I got unitron analogue and it was better than otcion/seimens but not good as widex. Sarah my Audiologist and I agreed it will be okay until I get the funding and operation. I asked Sarah what is the progress on the funding, she spoke to the director and they haven't heard anything yet, they are still waiting. Looks like I am in for a long wait.

The D-Day 18th April

I woke up with butterflies in my stomach, to put it out of my mind and went to work. At lunchtime I was about to leave for home, I got a text message from Nikki at SOECIC........I AM A CANDIDATE!!!! then my excitement dimissed... they need to apply for funding (At the time i thought they already got the funding) which could be a while. Oh well at least I am candidate and that's one step forward. I texted my mum who is in Austria, she cried in the middle of the garden centre and my dad was panicky as he was worried that mum had recieved bad news but when mum told him the news he was elated. Mum then called my nan (she lives near me but don't have mobile phone) she cried too.

Mum and Dad's Visit 8th April

It was 2 months since I last saw them, they moved to Austria for a better life since they both are now retired. It was lovely to see them. My mum called to SOECIC to see if i haven't missed anything and to keep her in the loop also I haven't heard from the centre for while and there were no news on replacement HA. The centre said they will get back to me when they find a suitable HA for me to wear. And the Decsion day would be on 18th April! That is 10 days away, sadly my parents won't be here to share the news.

Good night to Widex senso 2000 - 2008

18th March, seems like my Widex had finally given up it's life. I used my otcion... damn, it malfunctioned! I am nowhere near my Hospital and they only do HA checks Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, Tomorrow is Wednesday, I couldn't go as I was fully booked at work, Friday is Good Friday so they won't be open, the following Monday is bank holiday Monday so again they won't be open! I have my cousin's wedding this weekend..... not good. I remembered vaguely that I still have Phonak analgoue HA somewhere, but would it be working as I haven't worn it since i got Widex. Looked and looked everywhere.... Boxes to boxes, then I found "childhood" box... it was in there not only one but TWO... Since I only wear one in my good ear (right) the more the better. Tried them, one of it is flat out dead, so tried the other one it's working, least I have some sounds for the weekend. I have sent email to SOECIC informing them that I would need replacement HA, I would have gone to hospital but the open clinic hours is very short and there is so many deaf old people, I didn't have time to wait 3 hours before being seen then they say sorry and come back next time only to have same problem repeated, I work full time, I have to take alot of unpaid time off to attend this.

Final Appointment

It had been a while since my last appointment, Today is 17th March and it's expectations meeting, when I arrived at SOECIC, I was given a questionnaire!! I don't do questions! I was staring at it looking puzzled! one of question was "would you expect to hear same again?" what...I was born deaf and haven't heard much! one of the ladies came in and said, that wasn't supposed to be for me it was for post ligual people!, I was relieved! I had "verbal" questionnarie with Nikki. Thank god, It was very relaxed meeting. In few mins she gave me a form, I looked at it... it was a form for chosen implant.... but I haven't been accepted yet, she said... according to my "successful" assessments I may need to make choice of which implant I want.... I was getting so excited and had butterflies in my tummy!! She didn't say that I am candidate, I have to wait for the Decision day (god knows when will that be, it could be a while as my CT scan hasn't arrived yet).

I chose Freedom, because of it reliblity, 4 programs,Gore-tex microphone covering which I would beable to use it while sailing and working outside, battery life and the comfort of wearing it. I also chose Chocolate brown.

The ABR test

27th Feb 2008:- I had the ABR test, and another test (i forgot what is it called) to test the cochlea. I have slightly active auditory and the Cochlear isn't responding so my deafness lies somewhere in the cochlea. With the scan it will tell if I am suitable for the Implant. My friend Ilona was there as support, she's an implantee herself and I had asked her loads of questions.

I had repeat hearing test with the otcion, they stopped just after the test started as they realised I wasn't responsing to ANYTHING! So back with Widex and kept Otcion as spare.

20th Feb 2008

Yesterday I had the menigtits jab, it wasn't too bad as I am not fan of needles but boy the pain afterwards, I had big lump aswell. I was pretty sore for few days. Lucky it was in the left arm as I am right hander.

Today we had users group. My hearing friend, Laura, came with me. I took her as I thought she would be interested in hearing other people's views with CI. Although the talk was very good, I was little disappointed that the implantees were Post-Ligual deaf or late deafen, to me they already knows what the sounds were before they went deaf and adapted to CI quite quickly whereas in my and 2 other's case is completely different as we were born deaf. We do need an input from an implantee who was born deaf.
In the afternoon we get to look at 3 different devices, Cochlear, Advanced Bionics, and Med-EL. we learnt about them and tried them on to see how it feels. I didn't like the Med-el. I had choices between Cochlear and Advanced bionics. Laura had very pleasant day and really enjoyed it, she tried the processors on as well so it was fun too. She had been wonderful support. If you are reading this, you are a star.

18th Feb 2008

This morning at 10.45 I recieved a post from the Hospital saying that my CT scan had been changed from 4.30 pm to 11.30 am of same day and that was today. In utter mad rush I dropped everything, chunked my poor bewildered puppy into his crate, texted my colleuge that I will be late for work and made dash to the hospital which is 30 mins away and the parking is very small!!. I made it there with few mins spare and they were late, groans!!

The CT scan itself was very quick, it was literally like in and out within 10 mins.

New Aids Again

12th Feb 2008 :- I went back to the hospital to get new aids, this time it was Otcion spirit SP 3. Again it was no good use to me but I took it anyway in case my old Widex gives up. Otcion would give me little environmental sounds but not much of speech sounds.

The Initial Assessment, 15th Jan 2008

The posts is extracts from my dairy and emails to my parents who lives in Austria.

This is the first appointment I had at the South of England Cochlear Implant Centre. The assessment tells them if the assessment is worthy enough to get on to the CI candidacy assessments.
When I got my new hearing aid (siemens) back in september 2007 at the new hospital wasn't working so they used my old aids Widex which I had for 8 years.
The first assessment i had was hearing test. In my right ear my loss is 95db at 250hz sloping down, i have no High freq recored. In my left the loss is 110db sloping down, again with no High freq, I haven't worn an aid in this ear for 15 years due to ongoing tinntius problem.
The lipreading with aid in was 41%, without sound it was 28% and without lipreading a measly 2%! I was laughing at this as i really tried so hard to hear A word! it was impossible.
The audiologist did say I may not benefit from getting CI. I visited the consulant he said same thing BUT he wanted to see me again... Phew, He said i have very good speech (for a profoundly deaf) and would like to see how the tests would go.
Few days later I had pile of letters on my door step, counted them 6 from the SOECIC! all listed with appointments! Most of them in Feb and Feb is just round the corner.. so soon!

The beinging of my journey to cochlear implant candidacy

I had spent few years thinking about getting CI due to my lack of hearing with HA. I went to a hospital for years, presuading them for years to let me have one but they said that there is absolute no way that I would be candidate for Cochlear Implant as I was deaf too long and had no auditory memory. Well they were wrong as when I moved to new area, I was refered to new ENT and Audiology. I went to see the Audiologist as I needed new hearing aids. At this point I thought I wouldn't bother asking them about CI as I would get same reply as the other hospital. The Audiology wasn't happy with me and new aids, so he refered me to see ENT.

On the 10th of September I had an Appointment with ENT, the first question after "hello" (obviously), he said have you thought about Cochlear Implant? As you can guess I had to check my mum if I lipread him correctly. The journey had began...

Little about me.

I thought I would set this up so you can read my progress with my Journey with Cochlear Implant. I was born Profoundly Deaf, with recent CT scan (for CI) it revealed that I have no hairs on my Basilar Membrane. I was brought up oral with little sign, mainstreamed primary school then on to Oral Deaf Secondary School. I spent 4 years at mainstream college with a note taker. I had spent a lot of my time with hearing friends and works in hearing environment. I also have deaf friends and most of them were from same school as i went.

Why "Silent Sail" as my title... Sailing is my love! I love being on the water, it's also my livelhood. The problem is.... I couldn't hear the ocean, wind, slapping of the water against the boat. It was one of the sounds dreamed of hearing....