Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Rachel's visit and Snow

Rachel Chaikof, creator of Cochlear Implant Online, She comes from Boston, USA and is currently studying in London.
She came to my house for 2 days, we had fun. On the first day, I took her round historic Winchester, I love Winchester as they have beautiful old buildings also Rachel came on the right time as we have christmas market too and a ice rink by the catheral, Rachel bought beautiful items from those little christmas huts for her future home. In the evening I took her to Mexcian resturant since it's her favourtie food. When we got back to my place, we went on Skype and talked to our greek friend Vivie Moraiti.
The next morning, We had it easy. It was bitterly cold and were about to snow, bless her she was so cold and not used to british damp cold weather. I was snug as bug, even the dog had his coat on. Rachel was wearing appropitately but maybe not enough, she needed techincal coat or a down coat. After a New Forest walk I got her into cute tiny cafe for a lovely hot chocolate completed with mashmallows and cream on top. Then took her into an antique shop! she was in awe! and bought pretty items as gifts (I am not going to say what incase someone reads this) She was really pleased with it. I took her back to the train station early than planned as I was expecting snow and knowing Britain, everything stops over few cms, Glad I took her back (but disappointed we didn't have longer time) as the snow started literally few mins later in thick flakes.
The next morning, I got couple of inches and couldn't go anywhere! Most of the roads were snowed over. Since I live in hilly area, it would be sucidial to drive on untreated roads and I didn't have any snow chains.

A cute pic of Boris in the snow, he LOVES snow and loves playing "find the tennis ball" in the snow! Amazingly he found them everytime, his sense of smell is incredible!


Few weeks ago I had quite alot of CI moments and is pretty chuffed with them the best of all was, as I was watching a film, the volume was loud but comfortable for me, I was watching a good film. Half way into the film, I heard something faint and it didn't connect with the film, so in wonder I put the TV on mute then went into another room where the sound were coming from, I heard my cat mewing outside wanting to come in. :-) I couldn't believe it! At 16 she had been giving me health scares, but so far she's trucking on and still steals food off poor Boris! She is half the weight she supposed to weigh and she's eating out of the house.

Also I had dripping taps in the bathroom for long time, the taps became impossible to tighten. Over one weekend, I finally got round to replace whole bath tap unit and the dripping had stopped completely... since then I feel quite uncomfortable with the silence! I didn't realise that dripping taps were quite soothing!!

Friday, 6 August 2010


After 10 years break and finally found a climbing buddy who happen to be deaf, under assessment for the cochlear implant, she lives quite far away but will be in my city for few months, I geared up for first climb, in a very long time, and put my spare rechargeable battery in my shorts "just in case".
I tackled the walls fairly quickly and were 6a plus within an hour! It was just like riding bike again after long break! But man, my arms, fingers, back was so sore afterwards.
When I got home and put all my clothes in the washing machine, I forgot to check the pockets. Yup, I have one washed and squeaky clean rechargable battery! It's still working, Whoo hoo and it hasn't even been in the dry and store yet but I will do the wise thing and put it in tonight and tomorrow night to make sure it's absolutely dry.

Rosie's Hen Party

Last weekend, because I am the bridesmaid it's traditional for us to organise a hen party of the bride. For months, I had secretly organised a weekend in wigwams http://www.wolferlowwigwams.co.uk/ and a greatest day out at the "Go Ape" http://www.goape.co.uk/whats-it-all-about. We had such a brilliant weekend and it couldn't have been any better for Rosie.

In the evening we had campfire and played a lot of games. There was 7 of us who is profoundly deaf (and I am the only one with CI) we were in our comfort zone and signed for England, there was also Rosie's mum and her sister, who both are hearing all weekend we encouraged them to join in and they both had great time and laughed a lot even there is language barriers but they seems comfortable and enjoyed being with us and never showed any signs of isolation, Rosie, I and few others took turns by keeping them in the loop with the signing, we translated everything they had said etc we didn't feel it was a burden to do it. It's only fair when they cannot understand 7 deaf people signing very fast! what hitted us as one of the girls had said recently that if it was 7 hearing people and 2 deaf people the attitude of the hearing would be completely different such as not making sure that the deaf people are fully participate. It's always like "never mind" "tell you later" or "u have your deaf friend with you, talk to her/him" or fully explain to us what the game is about or inviting the deaf people in the game (which is mostly verbal), for us deaf it's quite sad and isolating. It's one of many reasons that I am not too keen on outings/events with hearing people apart from few people who I know very well and who bothers to explain every details of the event/whatever like it's no trouble for them I am forever grateful for those people.

Interesting isn't it?

Austria July 2010

I had returned to Austria during what was the most unusual weather for the area my parent lives, Austrians weather is almost similar to typical British weather but not while I was there. It was so hot and it was 39 for few days, the lowest it went were 29 which is higher than average but the weather was beautiful with cornflower blue skies with very little puff of mare tails. I had swam in the local pool just few steps from my parents house almost daily, there were virtually no chloride, just pure mountain water, little chilly but it was nothing better than dunking in a chilly pool after a very hot day. Of course the CI remains in my room in the house. I had to rely on my mum for communication and awareness of what's happening but that didn't stop us from enjoying the pool.

We went blueberry picking whilst my dad went mushroom hunting, I heard the waterfalls. We had a dog staying for the weekend, I took him for a walk through long grassed fields and I heard a lot of noise! It was the crickets and there was A LOT of them leaping out as we walked through the grass.
We took a day trip to Bibione Beach in Italy, My parents fell in love with this beach and vowed that next time we would stay in Bibione for night or two to make most of the sea! It's 2 and half hours drive which is not ideal for daily trips to the beach! And it's not far from Venice.

My parents had made alot of friends in their village and I am so happy to see them enjoying their new life in different country where there is few language barriers. I (and my brother) became the important person in their life as their friends always asks after us and wants to see us when I am in Austria. One lady in particular who speaks half a dozen languages! were so interested to see how I developed spoken language even I was born profoundly deaf. She and I spoke quite a lot last time I visited but this time we didn't have time to visit her. There was another lady who lives opposite to my parents house, she got a nephew who lives in Germany and he has got a CI. She had always asked my mum how I got on with mine. I went to her house with mum but my mum didn't stay long and left me with her. At this point I would have clammed up and tried to escape but I was totally chilled. I was feeling very confident talking to her in her fluent english with soft accent! I loved listening to her! We talked quite a bit. I don't see them often as I wished but I am glad I can understand her well. On my final day my mum and I went to another person's house, I said to mum "why are you coming with me?" realising that I am perfectly capable of speaking to people so she left me and smiled. This person, He has very strange personality but very intellgent, a very nice man but sadly not in the best of health. We spoke for a bit in fluent english with beligan accent then we said our good byes, I walked back to the house.

When we reached the airport, I realise that wearing CI through the metal scanner is harmless so I decided to see what will happen, since this airport is very small it only got one detector and small group of security it's not possible that they would always have female available. Few times they had refused to turn the detector off for the sake of the queues so I had to wait until there were clearance. But with it being very small airport my flight could have gone without me! So this time I went through with CI on my ear, switched on, card in my hand, the detector beeped (yeah the first time I ever heard it beeps!) the lady guard wanded me and I heard the noise from the wand as it got near my ear. With the german card, She was happy to let me go. And I was completely unaffected by the experience and will contiune to so.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A new Hearing aid

Since my last blog, I took the plunge and went to my hearing aid clinic. I have not been there since I was refered to the CI centre, the CI centre provided me with temporary HA for my unimplanted ear to keep me out of the silence for 5 weeks while I was recovering from the operation. That hearing aid was an analouge and did pretty good job of hearing the environmental sounds but with the cochlear implant, I couldn't tell if it was on or off! I went weeks without realising that the battery were dead and thats when I took my CI off to change the battery! Duh Oh...

I had alot of listening practices with the Speech and language therapist, at first I used both ears and realised I found it little easier to listen with both ears not just CI alone. I think it's because I get better low frequency input from the hearing aid. This influences me to get my self in gear and get new hearing aid. I got my mum to call the audiology department at my hospital and were surprised with very quick appt date, usually they put me on the list and sometimes I had to wait 3 months, but not this time, I only waited few days and they already had HA all set up and ready for me to use. I received a Phonak Supero, it's a digital hearing aid. At first I found it hard to use, the sounds were so tinny, and over powering the CI, everyone sounded as if they are on helium... I remembered 2 years back when I was first switch on, it was just like that, so I said, I will try it for few weeks and see how I get on with it. The audiologist was surprised at my response as most people would immediately hate it in the room! I didn't like it at first but I knew if I waited and got used to it then it might be worth it. I am glad I did, after 3 weeks of helium sounds it finally the sounds became more sense! The audiologist had setted the HA to the max which means this hearing aid have no more room if I loose any more hearing or lose the benefit of it.

I am picking more speech sounds without lipreading, today I got a teacher to sign some papers for my course and while I was looking at my papers I heard her saying, "I need a pen, do you have one on you?" then I went to the other room to get the pen without looking back at her and came back with a pen, she looked at me flabbersgated, she had known me when I was at the school as child, she used to work very hard to help me with oral speech since I couldn't hear any speech now with bit of practice, a new hearing aid and wonderful cochlear implant. She smiled and saw the success of the CI.

Today I heard some strange noises and couldn't work it out until I realised it was the battery dying on my hearing aid! I am pretty pleased that I finally could tell if the battery is dying.

The nice thing about the superos is that they are 1/3 rd smaller than my old hearing aid. I asked for brown one to match with my Cochlear implant/and my hair they said no... so I will work on it....

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Long time no see, no hear, no speak, no blogging!

Over the last few months had been very busy with the following...

College:- I have been doing a lot of college work which I am very glad to say is now OVER!!! I have few things to tweak, complete before having professional discussion to sign me off as COMPLETED, I really enjoyed my time at college and will miss the busy life. I am hoping to seek further education once I know what I am doing in September.
While I was at college, I had to do Maths and English exams to see if I am up to scratch, I am pleased I got 85% in Maths and hoping to get similar for English which is on 21st of June.
I am loving the school life! I love the kids, they look up at me with their pleading eyes and asks if I am coming back in September (which I am not sadly!)so, I have got 5 short and quick weeks left with them and will miss them a lot. They have been a great sport with my assignments (I had to do case studies about some of them)

Love life:- I have new (well since January) love in my life that had been keeping me very busy, his name is Tim, he is a lovely guy and it is going very well.

Cochlear Implant:- I am just 2 months short of 2 year "switch on" anniversary (20.08.2008), the mappings seems to have settled as I haven't had real map since one year anniversary last september, although it's going very well and I seem to have become a calmer person and is less stressed out as I get on with my life much easier. This morning, I had a dutch people asking me for directions to the supermarket, I heard them the first time without asking them to repeat!
Heard what people say in the shops without looking at them. It seems to only happen on really good day, a person that are speaking nice and crystal clear, I am pleased that my wish for less lipreading had started to happen, to keep my expecations low, I know it won't be perfect.
I can almost understand sentences without lipreading but as long I know the context. For my seesions, I am now on one syllabe words such as identifying a word out of list like Pat, Mat, Bat, Cat, Sat, Fat etc...
I am having integrity test to see if there is way to re arrange my map to get the middle freqency (I have one switched off) which is vital for sounds like Bit, Bed, Pit, Pet as I can't hear the I and E sounds very well.

One day I pushed the battery into my controller and it cracked big time! I had always been very cautious about pushing battery cages in after few stories of cracked controller and thought it would never happen to me but it did!! I got brand new replacement very quickly.

Recently, I had fallen ill with ear infection, my first one since I had the implant (Pre implant I used to have ear infections 2/3 times a year), it was strange, as it was only in the implant side, my implanted ear was red, my throat was one sided red and I had temp of 100oF, the nurse weren't sure if I can have antibiotics drops for the ear so she had put me on 5 day course of oral antibiotics which means I cannot have a glass of wine!

I am looking forward to finishing the school year and to have proper break! I do need it, my brain is fried!! LOL... I will be going back to Austria for a weeks holiday straight after the school breaks up.

Hope you all are keeping well and busy.

Take care

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


After reading Rachel's (www.cochlearimplantonline.com) post on Facebook about people's music on their blogs, some of the people had added very good points and I felt it was time to change my blog as I realised that black back ground is quite hard to read for some people so after nearly 2 years I have new background!!..... And a new photo....

I am now also a Cochlear Advocate for UK, they have put up my personal story on http://www.drum-online.com/ci/help--advice.aspx scroll down to the bottom, I am the one on the horse!

Friday, 1 January 2010

2010 and reflection of 2000's

Goodness me the last 10 years had gone so quick,

It wasn't that long after I left 16 years of full time education (12 in school and 4in College)

Exactly 10 years ago last night, In Morzine, France. I was skiing down the mountains at stroke of midnight holding flame torch just wearing my shorts and tee shirt, it was freezing cold but the sky was so clear, we were celebrating the millennium, we could see the fireworks going off in the village from middle of the mountain!

Went on first ever solo holiday in San Francisco and Los Angeles! I just said mum (When I had bad bout of tonsillitis and were completely exhausted) I need a holiday then few weeks later I was on the plane to the unknown. Coming home was bit of nightmare as I missed the flight by alot of hours! Sorry, mum!

Selected to join 16 amateurs and one professional skipper on world's toughest yacht race, raced round the world against 11 other boats. I was the only deaf and one of the youngest in entire fleet of 250 crews and it was emotional, physical but exhilarating trip, we were placed 3rd over all. Whilst racing round the world, I explored 5 wonderful countries, the States, South America, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.

Visited deaf schools in Boston and Wellington telling them about my experiences.

Got job in the sailing industry and loved it.

I took my best friend who never had holiday without her family on memorable trip to New York just 8 short months after 9/11, The scenery and smell were unforgettable. We also went to Niagara falls and Toronto. We had brilliant time, Rosie got the travelling bug after this trip.

2006 I finally flew the nest at age of 28!!

Had horses, I lost both, one was a feisty Anglo Arab called Remy, in 2003 and one a gentle giant ex racehorse, Buck, in 2009, I miss them but don't miss the cold mornings of getting up so early to sort them out before I start my day, don't miss the mud! I won't have another one at the moment, I don't have the time or money for them. I will have another one (more likely another ex racehorse) one day.

In 2006 I gained a new member of my family, Boris, a little white jack Russell, he joined my old cat and I. Yes, the old cat, Misty is still alive and kicking, she is 16 this year she may look bit bedraggled and slightly greyer/whiter but she still got her springs!

Is on third car in 10 years.

I had my cochlear implant switched on 20-08-2008 and it had been roller coaster ride but now as it improves as I gain confidence in listening. It also enabled me to join the blogging world, with this CI I gained so many new friends (cyber or real) worldwide, asked for advice, gave advice and generally became good (I hope) member of the community.

Just recently I had few brief conversations with my mum on the phone which I never did all my life! Had list of firsts but my favourties were the bird singing, my 15 year old cat meow, my beloved Buck wickering at some distance away, I still listen for Boris' collar tags jangling every time we go for walk.

Enrolled into college last September to become learning support assistant - L.S.A, I have been helping out at deaf school and mainstream school with deaf unit helping the children with maths and literacy, I had awesome fun and look forward to going back to school next Monday! I am doing very well with my assignments/college course, my tutor have no doubts at all.

Cooked my first ever xmas dinner for me and my brother, and it came out brilliant.

Here's to another 10 years.... I know it going to be very busy 2010!!