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.