I have been wearing a cochlear implant on my left ear for a little over two months. Up to this point I’d been bi-modal. That is two modes of hearing, a CI on one side and a hearing aid on the other. My hearing aid provided my primary hearing and I had been learning to hear with the implant as an auxiliary.
I knew that one day the CI would become my primary hearing. I did not think it would be so fast. Maybe this is just temporary. What ever the case, this changes my rehab strategy.
During the first month (and mapping), I couldn’t hear anything with it, except rain on the roof and a barking dog. Neither sounded anything close to normal and both were as quiet as a whisper. Everything was set low, due to my sensitivity to the stimulation.
During the second month (and mapping), I could hear lots of noise, but nothing “real.” The blanging clanging whistling sounds enveloped everything. I could, on occasion and using a direct connection between the processor and cell phone, recognize a song and follow it. Words still escaped me.
Now, I have lost my hearing in my aided ear. I am dependent on my CI for all sound input. It is still mostly unclear garble with some recognizable sounds coming out.
Here is what I can identify. I will add an asterisk* to things that sound almost “right.”
- Knocking on wood or glass*
- Clapping hands*
- Pretty much any impact sound
- My son’s toy train
- Running water
- The toilet flushing
- That someone is talking
- Bird’s chirping (Though I am having lots of jungle-sound tinnitus, so I never know if it is real or imagined. Pretty sure the monkeys aren’t.)
- I can identify some songs
- I can follow some speech for short periods of time when the corresponding text is in front of me.
I get about 30% of my wife’s words right when I get her say a word in a category three times. For example, if I give her the category fruit, she might say, “Banana, banana, banana” I understand the word about 3 times in every ten exercises.