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.