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.