Sunday, 20 December 2009


I had lovely but brief conversation with mum on the phone this afternoon!! it was amazing feeling to beable to hear her voice! my confidence had started to build! Thank you to Iphone and the personal audio cable (PAC) it helps greatly to block out background noise.

Very happy bunny!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

It had been long time since my last blog.

Over few months it had been a bit of roller coaster ride. I had my one year review in September, My lipreading had improved that it's back where I was at 6 month review (at my 9 month it dropped to 79) now I am hoovering at 86%, when it came to BKB (non lipreading) although I had listening practices and did very well at them but when it came to the BKB I had an panic!! I cannot believe it I was so anxious and my mind went completely blank! I could do it but it's trying to keeping me calm and confident for it! It is a tough job. I had practices with my speech and Language therapist, I was getting 80's as long I know the content of the subject, without content it's complete blank except for words of "the", "what", "and", those are the type of words we use every day. If I were to call you on the phone and say "hello" "how are you?" I would expect replies of "I am fine, thank you, or I am okay" those kind of words but if a person on other end asks me a question totally out of ransom my mind will go blank and I would panic! I need alot of confidence building. For the first time ever I had agreed to my colleague at work that I would call her (just her to begin with) within the deptartment.
My speech and Language therapist (she does do speech therapy but my sessions were purely listening therapy) had given me new project!!! Previously we worked on single words. This time is sentences. She would give me sheet and I have to keep them covered and listen to what she had said, I am only allowed to look at sentence if I heard the the words in the sentence correctly (or almost correctly). The story is about "Tin binder"? (Sp), I have never read it, I just know it's about a solider. I had to work out what she said without lipreading even just one word it was hard at first then gradually as I go through each sentences on the paper, I started to put the pieces (words) together and began recognising the whole sentences without lipreading! whoopee!! It is a long process. I will keep going to my weekly sessions with Speech and Language therapist and hope it will go well.
I am quite excited as I am getting new Phone!.... an Iphone 3Gs, I am looking forward to it because it's clear enough for me to hear on, the direct link for my processor can be plugged into it (Which I couldn't with current phone) so I can use the phone with minimal background noise. And I have talk time on it too (I had text/sms only for years!) in hope I would pluck the courage to call someone!......
Also another exciting thing is My parents and I had gutted my kitchen and started from scratch (new plaster walls, new electric sockets so on) a brand new kitchen almost completely different lay out, it had been night mare at first with the plumbing but finally I have the important stuff working well (dishwasher, sink and washing machine) The units are up and against the wall, even looking a bit faceless (no doors) it still feels big with the new lay out (my kitchen was quite small family kitchen with bad layout that took up too much wasted spaces), Sadly after 10 days my father went home to Austria. He had very busy time here we hardly spoke/ hugged/ spent time together, I have no idea when I would see him again (it was feb when I last saw him) I have got my mum for another week but as I am busy bird I don't think we'll have any time to do anything other than trying to get as much done on the kitchen.

Tomorrow I start training for Cochlear Advocate so it's time for my bed...

Thursday, 20 August 2009

One year on...

The past year had been incredible journey, there are things I thought I would never achieve in my life but is now taking the sounds for granted.

There had been Love and Hate relationship with my Cochlear Implant, the bad times were the horrible high pitched sounds at the beginning like Paper rustling, cutlery on plates, pans clanging in the kitchen! This sound has now been “tuned” out as I got used to it. I don’t mind them now. The weight of it is still an issue to me, I cannot seem to get comfortable with it and had tried different methods, At the moment I am using longer hook (especially for Kids) and realised its bit more comfortable. I hope there would be an improvement soon or new lighter processor.

I still enjoy the sounds of DIFFERENT birds and can recognise some of them! My beloved dog’s tags brought me a lot of comfort of his whereabouts while out on a walk. I can now hear Misty, My very old cat, walking on tiles very softly.
The upside of having CI is that I no longer struggle to understand much. My headaches from hard conteration and tiredness from listening/lip-reading all day had radically reduced. Therefore I get more sound input of ALL of my waking hours whereas I used to pull my HA’s out as soon I am at home. And for the first time in my life I had no ear infections for at least one year and hope this continues *touches wood*
My home life had become easier as I hears water running from upstairs, boiled kettle, Microwave pinging. Now there is something dripping.... must investigate....

My friends/colleagues are getting very happy for me as they excitedly call my name just to see if I am still responding to them on the first call.

They also had taken me to my first concert and first cinema without subtitles.

I have gone through 249 batteries (83 changes) comparing to one battery change every 2 weeks with the hearing aid. I am hoping that there would be allowance for me to use rechargeable but the centre won’t give me one as they cause problems with the battery compartment and isn’t reliable. I wanted to have choices of using both batteries, disposables for when I am away from home and rechargeable when I am at home.
There is still a long journey to go, I am in process of having speech and language therapy and so far I have attended 4 hours worth, it had been going well, this therapy would help me to recognise words/phases/sentences. It would be long and hard slog. I have been without Speech hearing all my life and it would take 10,000 of hours of practice and its hard when I live alone. My hearing friend, Laura is helping me with my listening as much as she could before she goes back to Antarctica this October.

Overall I am very happy with my progress and my decision in getting CI

And oh I am having one year review (3 and a bit weeks late!!) on the 15th september, to be honest i am not looking forward to it. I had knock back at my 9 month review when my lipreading/listening scores had dropped. It would be an all day appointment. Hearing test/tune up then SLT then lunch then to see the surgeon.

Anyway.... “Happy Hearing Birthday” to my ear!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Corporate day last friday (24th)

Monday I had another tune up as the highs were starting to soften. After short tweak (my regular audi and I already communicated on email and I didn't need to have hearing test hence it was quick tune up) I am due for my one year review which will be on 15th September (my one year is 20th August)Current mappings sounds much clearer and I am able to hear water dripping DOWNSTAIRS!! Kettle boiling downstairs! the movements of the dog downstairs!! And while downstairs, I could hear my elderly cat walking very quietly on the tiles. My Dynamic Range is averaging at 45/50 dbs which is pretty good. I would have hearing test on the 15th Sept to see where I am on the audiogram but I am pretty sure it's above the 30db line.

The corporate day I had on friday was my first proper corporate day since I was activcated almost a year ago as I was activacted in the near end of the sailing season. July and August is the busiest time of the year.
We had 3 boats, 3 groups of novice sailors (some never sailed before) and we had 3 races. I and the skipper were the only professionals on board, it was blowing 30 plus knots of wind. Maybe it was bit too much for the novices as they struggled balance and to winch the jib in. So Skip and I did most of the work. Geared up in full wet weather gear and wore Buff head band to protect my CI from the elements. The "Buff" did excellent job, it not only protects it, it is very breathable as I hate wearing hats, Very light and comfortable and still allows sounds through 2 or three folds (little muffled but still hears well) also the wind isn't so loud!!
Communication wise.... it had been a amazing improvement on both sides (me and the clients!) I was yapping away without any "pardons" "Sorry I am deaf can you repeat please" And it was blowing with wind and the water was coming over the bow to the clients' delight! It was so hard to hear over backgound noise but there is noticable sounds when I am conterating to listen what I want to listen for at all the times. I could hear the count down on VHF, People calling my name. And this with strong wind noises in the background!
At the end of long physically tiring day, we won the races!!

I am sure there will be alot of listening next week as I am doing the Cowes week. Last year I stayed at the back of the boat and only lasted for one day as I was just 3 weeks post Op and hungry to do something! This time I will be doing the ginding, pulling, getting wet!!!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

16th July 2008

Today, one year ago at this time (8.21am) i walked to the theatre with bag of nerves, uncertain of what my future lies.... I was about to be implanted with cochlear implant and it was last year!!!! Cannot believe how the year went! It went so quick! Roll on 20th August for my offical hearing birthday....

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Jools Holland and rain...

Few weeks ago, Laura asked me if I wanted to go to a concert. I was so excited for a chance to attend to my first ever concert.

On 7th July, We attended Summer Swing at Kew Gardens in London, Jools Holland was playing. He's a Jazz/piano musician, I have never heard him before!!

With weather forecast looking bleak with heavy rains and no sunshine. It didn't dampen our moods that morning as we prepared picnic for 12 people who are Laura's cousin Lucy and her wonderful friends whom I never met! I have had met Lucy few occasions at few parties.

We left so LATE thanks to lovely Laura we had to turn back to get her passport!!

Finally we hit the long stretch of M3. Heavens opened up mid way of our 1 hour and a bit journey had made me to drive super slow on the motorway as the visibility was so bad. At first I heard this "WOOSH" sounds and thought someone had beeped, Laura said it's the rain that stopped pelting on my car when we go under the bridges!! I never heard this before.
We arrived almost dry as bone to Laura's lovely Sister Daisy who gave us cuppa and lovely toasted cake.
A little while later armed with Picnic, chair and huge golf brolly we made our 20 min walk to Kew Gardens. As we arrived, Lucy wasn't too far behind we found good spot. Laid the blankets, then the heavens opened again I retreat to my chair and put the brolly over me! then the weather behaved for the rest of evening, we enjoyed food, wine, pimms, meeting friends of Lucy's.
The music was Okay from where we were sitting. After we had our food we walked up towards to the stage joining many other people dancing... I did dance, the music sounded a lot better!! When watching the music, they used many different instruments and I could pick out which is playing... I thought "Jesus" I'd thought I would never pick a musical instrument out of few others!!
The evening went too quickly as I was enjoying it so much.
Laura had admitted that she was worried for me, she was worried that I wouldn't enjoy it, or have difficulty hearing the music, No, I had wonderful evening. I shall look forward to next one.
As evening drew to close Laura and I went back to Daisy's house, I had to leave alone back to Southampton as Laura were going to Italy for a wedding with her other part of her family.
Thank you Laura for making my evening.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Memories brought back

As I have started to read Audio books. My friend, Laura, recommended me to read Roald Dahl books.
The last time I read them were about 20 years ago, I was just a 11 year old school girl!!! It had brought memories back, I remember I was engrossed in those books, I loved Roald Dahl amazing imagation and his creative stories.
Laura and I went out to Waterstones and bought Fantastic Mr Fox Audio CD and book, along with it I also bought Danny the champion of the world book as Laura got the CD already. These CD's are unadbridged which means word to word without music and narration which made it easier and less confusing. Recently I downloaded both CD's onto Itunes which were downloaded on to my Ipod. I try and spend least 30 mins a day listening and reading.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Next Stop

.. Winchester, was my first Train announcement on a very noisy and full train yesterday... I had to check with ransom besumed stranger if I heard it right!

The new map isn't too bad but there is few issues with it as I nearly stepped into path of an ambulance, it came out round the corner from no where at full speed and I did my green man code, I guess the listen part didn't work! Thanks to my friend who suddenly realised that I couldn't hear it and grabbed me. I did hear it on my old map so on the 12Th June I am going back for yet another mapping session to see if I could get those sounds back.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

What is mappings?

I recently went on my 9 month review. It had been so fast few months and I cannot believe I have been hearing properly for 9 and a bit months. Unfortunately my CUNY test had dropped a bit to 79%, I did have bit of difficulty in lipreading recently hence drop in my CUNY test so I had major 2 and half hours of tuning, Sadly it's still not quite right so would have to call on Monday for another tune up. BUT.... the good news I had 3 of my 4 turned off electrodes switched back on. I had them turned off last October due to strange non auditory stimulation sensations on my temple. By one, Sarah, my audiologist, turned them back on and increased the volume until it matched my other electrode's levels and it was fine until she turned the Number 14 electrode on it was very low and immediately I could feel it again so she turned it back off, I may never have it back on again as we think it will always cause the sensations.
My mum who came along for her very first sit in at my mapping session since my first assessment back in January 2008!!! She had eventual morning of understanding the technical side of how the implant works. I think she found it a bit mind numbing but enjoyed her morning learning something new. She asked for copy of my Map....

If anyone wonders what mapping is, as I have a computer chip on my ear and it's so small that we cannot programme it so I have to be wired up to the bog standard laptop using half of my processor and cable to the lap top. Why lap top, because as an implantee with electronic device on my ear the lap top need to be powered by battery so I won't get electric shocks from wall plug!!

Each time I get tune up, my internal implant get checked out then the mappings starts....

this is my current map...

It's very technical to explain, I'll try my best..

The numbers 22 to 5 is my electrode numbers, the 4-1 is hidden behind the scrolls on right hand side. 22 is low frequency 1 is high frequency.

Red bars is my threshold (T)
Green bars is the quietest sound I can hear (C)
Blue bars (there's 3) above or in line with red bars are the levels that NRT (Nerve Response Test), it was tested while I was under GA at hospital during my CI operation almost year ago and I had it tested again recently so they can see where my nerve is responding and what level I could tolerate. This is commonly used in little kids as they cannot tell the audiologist what they are hearing or if it's too loud for them, the Blue bars tells the audiologist that it's far enough, sometimes after we were switched on and hearing alot more than ever the nerves works alot more harder the blue bars often goes up as the sounds gets quieter.

On left side states what implant (freedom), map number (#68), Strategy is ACE, Rate 900 hz, this is speed of current that sound travels from outside through the electrode to the nerve.

DR is Dynamic range
LF is low Frequency (not sure how that works) Sarah said they only test people 250 (Low Frequency) to 4000 Hz (High frequency) as it is within the speech range so there is no point for them to test either sides of 250/4000hz. here's link to bit more details, you may need cup of tea and few biscuits as it is a bit long.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Monsters vs Aliens

Last night I went to cinema with a friend. It was the first time I went since I was implanted nearly a year ago. We watched Monsters vs Aliens 3D, It's cartoon. Because of 3D there is no subtitles. Of course I was a bit cautious about not being able to understand it let alone enjoy it....

Guess what... I was able to understand some of what they were saying without the need of subtitles and I really enjoyed it tremdously.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Uh Oh, lesson learnt.

I have been really good in the past 8 and half months since my activation day to carry my spare batteries. Mum used to nag me all my life to carry spare battery for my hearing aids but I always never bothered, why... For one I never really heard much through HA's and sometimes don't notice if they are flat and when they are flat I just take them out and leave in my pockets! 2nd thing... they last long time. One battery per Hearing aid used to last me 2 weeks at most so I didn't think i need to carry them all the time so I never paid attention to my mum's nagging.

The Cochlear Implant had changed my life because I took the sounds for granted and I love wearing it. THREE batteries for one implant lasts me 4 days. It gets shorter as my mappings/hearing improves over time.

I have been so busy lately and today is my first day to myself in weeks! Yesterday I was called into work as bit of emergency as we are expecting heavy rains the next 2 days so we needed to get the outside jobs done. While working I heard beep beep.... yep my Cochlear implant battery is going... ok I have half an hour before it goes completely flat... wrong it went FLAT in 5 mins, I think I missed the half hour warning as we were outside and it's windy. I ran to the office... can't find a packet of batteries, so went to the car, yay 2 packets... oh no they both are full of flat batteries. How stupid of me. I faced few hours of complete silence and whitewash noise in my other ear which is bearing a Hearing aid, no birds, no wind, no voices, no dog tags, just completely jumbled up sounds that made no sense at all.

Over few weeks my friends, collegues had noticed that they didn't need to tap my shoulder or shout to get my attention. Yesterday my collegue realised that my Hearing aid (in my other ear) isn't doing any justice and had to tap my shoulder. I felt despair! I was almost in tears and realised that my CI is very important part of my life and I must kick myself into gear and replace all the batteries in the car, my bag and leave couple of packets at work.

This made me realise that prospect of going Bilateral (cochlear implants for both ears), I would love to have 2, I think I would be perfect candiate for it BUT according to NICE guidelines which was renewed recently stating that I can't have another one unless I am under 19, visually impaired or phsyically disabled. Other soulution to this is to fund myself... I don't think so as each implant/device costs £40,000 roughly and there's after care for the rest of my life which could be around £3000 per year.

Oh well lets hope there is something better for my unimplanted ear soon.

Right off to collect old batteries and replacing them with spanking new packet plus an extra packet!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

New CI moments...

For few weeks something was nagging me... I realised i couldn't hear my dog tags or the cultery noises in the sink.... things were sounding just so muffled, like it had lost it's clairty. So I emailed to Sarah my Audi who said i could see her the next day. It had been a record of 3 months since my last mapping!

Had hearing test, on the audiogram it had showed that my high freqency hearing had gone down on a long steep ski slope!! Sarah reckons that my brain had got used to it alot and it just went quieter quickly than usual. I am so glad I noticed it and I felt that i wasn't wasting anyone's time.

We had long tweaking, tuning and 3 hearing tests I am back to where I was but bit better clairty than before.... psst i could go on to 20db across the board but Sarah feels I am not ready for quiet sounds!! so she tweaked my CI back to 30/35db across the board. My dog tags is back. The cultery noise is back to my annoyance! Added some music software on to my programs for me to try out when listening through my Ipod.

My godness..... I could pick out Elton John "candle in the wind" ABBA "Mamma Mia" out of 15 songs straightaway without even looking!!! I was in awe, I couldn't believe it.

I was discussing with my collegue at work and then he made phone call to our boss, I OVER HEARD what they were talking about without lipreading... all this I knew what he was talking about since we already talked about it.

I like this mapping!

My 9 month review is on the 27th May and mum is coming home for it... it will be her first involvement to my mapping session and hearing tests since I was implanted.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Happy Mother's day, Mum

Hi Mum, Hope you are having great day and dad is spoiling you for us (my brother and I) I am sorry I couldn't be there with you but I am there in spirit. I appreciate your help over the years and I love you (and dad) very much. Hope you are coming back in UK for a visit soon.

Since it's Mother's Day today in UK, I attempted to call my mum, sadly the phone weren't loud enough so I had to text her instead.

Few days ago I was annoyed by response of the sensory centre who helps deaf/HOH people to test out phones. My cochlear implant recommended me and a friend also a CI user to the sensory centre. We arrived there expecting to try at least one phone but left without trying ONE phone. The lady said we need phone! and they are sorting this out with my CI centre, why would my CI centre tell us to go there without "phone training" also this is very first we had heard of and the CI centre never mentioned this. So we have to wait until at least April for our appointment. I so wanted to get the phone that I can use/hear well/clarity is clear enough so I could call my mum on her Mother's day as I know this would make her day. Oh well... Never mind, there's next year, mum.

On good note I am picking up alot of new sounds....

I can hear my mobile phone ringing in the next room!!!

I have the pleasure of hearing my beloved dog Boris tags jangling while we are out walking. This gave me chance to keep walking knowing his whereabouts up to about 30 feet without looking, if the jangling stops, I would check for him. Pre Implant I was always looking around and keeping eye on Boris, I was frightened for his safety.

Yesterday, We were playing ball. I threw a ball over towards to the pavement, Boris ran so fast and stopped on the pavement.. I could hear him skidding on the pavement... owwwiieee!! that must be painful, I checked his paws... tough little bugger was fine!

I can tell the difference between different bird singing.. Magpies, Jays, Crow, but having difficulty identifying black bird, blue tit their singing is very high and sound similar. I walk around the park hearing all those singing at ease, no struggling to listen.

So far I had same mapping since before I went to Austria more than 2 months ago, it does need tiny tweaking but I think I would settle for this mappings until Mid May when I go for my 9 month tune up, But I don't think I need much of tune up.

Mum's cherry tree had bloomed, daffodils had come out and it had been really beautiful and sunny all week. Hope this would continue next week as I am off to Centre Parc for long weekend.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

6 month evaluation

Today I had my 6 month evaluation.....

I am still in the 30/35 db range, since i still experience loud environmental sounds they can't be any better yet.

But.... I got 86% for CUNY! (lipreading and voice) yay!!

Tried the BKB (ransom sentences with voice but no lipreading).... got few words but still can't make out the sentences.

I didn't have any mapping change as the current ones seems to suit me at the moment. Sarah the Audi did add extra to one of my program to enable me to hear the ipod bit better.

Had Speech/language therapy, the therapist was chuffed to bits with my speech comparing to 1 year ago (pre CI), I was told that my speech would NOT improve, proved them wrong didn't I and I didn't have any speech therapy since the switch on (actually since I was 16). She tested some sentences without lipreading, got approx 20 out of 30 sentences right!! whoooo hooo... never thought I would achieve this! I am pleased as punch as everything seems to be on the right path.

At the end of my evaluation I volunteered to help Sarah and another Audi to be their guinea pig, testing a new equipment that they haven't tried before today. I was the 2nd guinea pig to test for them... I think they need more practice to make it sense!!
Basically the new test is similar ABR (auditory brainstem response)test which I had during my candiacy assessment. This time they are doing this with the implant. The connections is same as ABR and using same connections as we would have done with mapping, all I had was 4 sticky electrodes on my head, processor plugged in to the computer, it reads the waves of my brain responses to the sound using the CI.
They want to see how people progress with their auditory nerve/brain stem before and after CI operation. Pre implant I had poor responses (in their words) and today the responses is very good.

Overall it had been great afternoon! Sarah had booked me down for 3 months time instead of 6 month, she felt that I would need another tune up/envaluation sooner than 6 month.

Oh the spring is here for me.... Heard the birds sing this morning.. Can't wait for my Mum's cherry tree to bloom and the tulips to emerge as they are my favourtie flowers.

Monday, 2 February 2009

E-Postcard from Austria

Dear Friends and Family,

Hereby I am in Austria on 2 week holiday, spending time with my Parents and of course my first experince on the slopes with the Cochlear implant. I must say it had been a surreal time!

On Saturday morning of 24th January, Very early I say! I went to Southampton Airport, it's a very small airport which is a bonus because I could hear the tannoy almost word to word!!! no jumbled garbles! When my flight were anncounced to be boarded some 20 mins late! It said "PASSEGERS OF FLIGHT NUMBER xxxxxx TO SALZBURG PLEASE PROCEED TO THE BOARDING GATE 7" I was dumbfound when I heard it! I was sort of expected what to listen for but weren't expected to hear the whole thing clear as day!

It was small and quiet plane, Not full plane more of half full plane of 70 or so people. Behind me was a little boy, as I noticed that his father who were sitting next to him had been reading DR Who to him and showing posters of those sci fi robots etc. Later perhaps halfway through the flight, I heard whisper "lady" then again then a small hand reached to my shoulder obviously he wanted to say something. I had my hair down, the coil tucked under my hair but sometimes my hair slides, the coil can be exposed. The little boy of about 4 or 5 said "what is it on your head?" I thought of DR who... I said "I am a cyborg" his eyes were wide as saucers and went "wow!" So I took it off and showed him, explained to him and his father what's it is. I had made a friend for the rest of the flight! I haven't yet spoke to a small child since I had the implant, and here on the plane is me and him chattering away about Dr Who!.

When we made to my parents, they had made every effort to make the house less Echoy, It is still echoy but so much better than it was in October which I was unable to wear the processor during the time we were in the house. This time I had worn the processor all the time. I am so glad of Sarah my audi made a quieter programme of my usual program which I was able to use in the house more comfortably. And the usual program when I am out and about.
I had heard alot of new sounds. When skiing I could hear myself over the snow and Ice. I also heard other people skiing while I was on chair lift. In Nassfeld at halfway point there is a huge boom boxes that blast out music (I don't know how people can eat next to them!) I could hear it up some 1000 meters away!
With 1.5 meters already compacted in the garden (above 2 meters up on the ski slopes)We still keep getting fresh blanket of snow on daily bais. Some of the days it had snowed so much the visiblity were quite bad we couldn't hardly see. On sunny days (only two of it so far!) I had blast down the mountians feeling alot more confident since i can hear people behind me. I also had started to wear helmet due to that if I fall I wouldn't want the skis to hit the back of my head especially since I have the implant lodged on my skull and wouldn't want reimplant. Prevention is better than cure!! I had few trials and errors wearing the processor and helmet! On the first day of wearing the helmet with the sunglasses, I found out that the sunglasses arms a bit too thick and it was causing sore skin just below where the implant lies so tried the extra padding on the 2nd day but it keeps pushing the coil off so I ripped the padding out, tried the Helmet/goggles/no extra padding it has been great since! so I have found the solution.
I had been taking pictures, i heard different types of clicking on the camera! I didn't know they do different sounds!...
Since it had snowed so much my parents house is huge and needs the paths cleared often so we won't get snowed in! I had been helping my father snow shovelling resulting few blisters in my hands! It had been fun. One really heavy snow day instead of skiing we went to Ikea 40 mins away for few things for their house, on the way there the roads wasn't too bad. On return trip the snowfall was getting heavy the motorways were getting covered in settled snow of few cms or so, you would have thought gritting but they used huge snow ploughers (one on each lane) every 5 kilometers or so causing few Tail back of traffic. Over night it snowed another 4 inches and another snow shovelling session before we could go skiing.

Before my arrival my mum had twisted her ankle so were confinded in the house for few days doing ironing, sewing, etc. I was on the computer one evening playing games, I heard gentle swishing "swish swish".... I looked for the sound... it was my mum ironing! She looked at me in amazement and said "this is so quiet!"
I also had few phone call practises to Blighty, One to my Aunt Jackie who was blabbing after few sentences as she couldn't contain her exticement for speaking to me on the phone! One to my Brother on his 30th birthday, he was quiet as mouse and needed to speak up (tut tut)!!! 2 to my beloved nana, hers was the best of all as I was able to pick out ransom words, she spoke very clearly... Me thinks start annoy her with phone calls when I get a new phone.

For those who doesn't know what the coil is it's round thing with magnet in the middle that sticks onto my head.

Auf Wiedersehen for now... A picture of neighbour's sweet cat Stella aka a little Bandit.....She was up our tree eating the bacon rinds left out for the birds and The sunset from my parents house. Enjoy.

Friday, 23 January 2009

New year and new hobby!

Last few weeks had been bit of turmoil. I had problems with listening to voices and too much environmental sounds, also the new settings (early Dec) on my processor were strangely too loud, i couldn't turn it down further on my favored program! I asked my usual Audi pre Xmas to check it out but as it's Xmas it was difficult so i had to make do with quiet setting until last Monday.

I went to the centre with list of problems. Before we started with new tune up she did hearing test with the levels I was comfortable at it was 40 db across but with a dip to 50/60 in the middle (1000/2000 Hz), we had no idea why this is happening. She also tested me at my uncomfortable levels (thank god for sound proof room) it was 15/20 with a dip in the middle also. It indicates that there's tweaking needed. Audi also noticed that I was talking very quietly... yeah the setting is too loud for me!

We had quite a long session. I had my DR (dynamic range) moved wider so I have more of quiet sounds (comfort levels) and more of louder sounds (threshold) but balanced if that makes sense (perhaps someone on board will explain better).
We tried slower speed but I found it too flat, we worked on faster speed but similar map to my previous map of slower speed.
I also had my NRT (nerve response test) done, it was done while I was under GA during my cochlear implantation operation to test each electrodes to see the responses to nerves and the thresholds I can tolerate, it is quite unpleasant test, I couldn't do it during my 3 month review. It wasn't too bad this time round, The levels met the thresholds now which is good. The unpleasant ones I had experienced, are the ones switched off (I have 4 off).

Since Monday I had few new experiences, I was tapping away on my computer, watching telly which is quite loud to hearing person I HEARD my washing machine click when it finished!! it was about 30 feet away also I had started to put my phone on ring instead of vibrate alert, and began to notice when it rings not on me but around the house! These sound would have never happened if I didn't go for CI! I was in awe with these sounds.

I had Claire over for the night, her job isn't far from my house, she's also CI user, she had hers for nearly 3 months and is doing well. I asked her if she could hear my dog on the tiles, cat meow... that kind of thing. It was new sounds to her.

I took up new Hobby, Thought it's time to meet groups... Dog Agility. Man, that was fun. Boris and I loved it. It involves alot of listening and communication with the dog, also there's group of us, lots of barking dogs... listening is hard! I had to teach Boris new words like Up (jump over poles) tunnel, weave, left or right, at the same time the coach was yapping (I couldn't understand her without lipreading) but managed to enjoy the fun.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Good grief, i just realised...

That.....Yesterday it was A year since i was refered to the Cochlear implant centre for my first intital appointment. And accepted to be put on waiting list for tests , I was expecting about 18 month wait, but I started my assessments few weeks after the appointment. Yes, it was bit of mind boogling time!
It's also had been 6 months to the day since i had the operation and next month i am having my 6 month post activation review.
It seems like yesterday when i was a nervous wreck on my first appt. The operation is still fresh in my mind so was the activication day!

I don't regret it one bit! I tried HA alone, couldn't do it... I put my CI on first thing and last thing of the day, When it sounds awful I just turn it down a bit, then consulted the Audi and it's sorted quite quickly.

Words without lipreading still doesn't make sense to me but my environmental awareness is so much better, My lipreading with voice is also so much better. I understand foregin people much better too as it helps when my parents lives in village of germans, belgians, austrians, and few other Europeans.
The other day I was at hunt, it was a new hunt I have just joined, I made few new friends. I had converstation with a young lady, yakking away, I realised she got an accent and difficult lip pattern but managed to hold converstation without hitch, it wasn't easy when you are talking and riding lively horse at the same time! I asked her if she was a Scot... I was right! yay! It was also first time I wore my riding hat for at least 3 hours without feeling discomfort from the coil.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

New CI moment

I was busy busy working on something at work. It's very spacious and the floor are hard and covered in lido and hunderds of people lingering about. I began to recongise who's walking up behind me without even looking at them! I got bit of surprise yesterday for the first time when Helen my collegue walked behind towards to me while I was busy sorting out the clothes and in semi focus i thought.... try this.. this is Helen coming, looked up and I was right! So people, you better watch out!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Good bye 2008, Hello 2009

As I type this the old year had just gone with bang, Elton John is blasting away on piano making wonderful piece of music which I wouldn't have experinced pre implant. There is fireworks going off outside, lots of popping, bangs, whistling.

Looking back in 2008, It had to be a great year for me because,

I started my Cochlear implant journey on 15th of January 2008.
I had the operation on 16th July.
I heard highs for the first time in my life on 20.08.2008 (notice the date :-))
Began my hearing journey, I have experienced alot of firsts with sounds, made first phone call, first at recognising different sounds. It had been an amazing journey not just for me, for my whole family and friends. I gratefully thankful for them for their incredible patience and curiosity.

I am blessed with my wonderful parents who left British soil for better life in Austria in Feb 2008, this had given me a wake up call and to be self reliant over night, no more texts to mum saying " can you do this, that?" " can you call this that for me" no more popping into their house for help/advice and my dad's suppers (so that i get away from cooking) the list goes on, I managed do most by myself now and some times when things get difficult I have wonderful next door neighbour Lyn, she has got blind mum whom she cares for 24/7, she would also help me in any aspects and phone calls is one of them! Often I ask her to dog sit (she and her mum loved having him) so I can go out and enjoy my life, she would do it without hesitation.

This year, 2009....
I would go to a centre in Lydhurst and try out the phones, hopefully to purchase a proper house phone, not the minicom type, a proper talking phone!
Do more listening practices with use of accessorises from cochlear, website, ipod and computer, thank you Katie-Louise for her great tips.
Find victims to talk to on the phone!

I think this is enough for this year to start off.

And the worst thing in 2008 is jobs... I am out of job as of 17th Jan, sadly, but won't dwell on it as i gotta to think postive (as my brother says)something will come up eventually.

Hope your old year was good one and happy new year.