Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Progressing is Cyclical

Cochlear Implant

Every time I get to a new mapping or program, things seem loud.  Certain sounds are too loud and disproportionate. Over time they get softer. Each time I ramp up to too loud and let it settle back down, I realize that I am picking up some new softer sounds and hearing some things a little more clearly. This cycle takes two to three weeks, each time.

I am on the third program of my fourth mapping, so I have one more cycle before my next mapping. This cycle brought the first signs of speech comprehension. I am getting a word here and there from voices I hear, but don't see (by lip reading). This is happening more and more. The voices are scratchy, but identifyable. This is an exciting time.

Residual Hearing

In my non-implanted ear, I can now hear clearly enough to listen to a chapter of the Bible playing on the speaker of my cellphone, when it is pressed tightly up against my ear. I can also hear songs, but the melodies aren't quite there yet. The volume has to be loud enough that the sound pressure is uncomfortable, but my hearing is improving. It still sounds like I have a disposable plastic cup over my ear, though.

My hope is that this continues to the point that with my hearing aid, I can hear the people in the room with me. My hearing recovery seems to be on about the same schedule as last time I went deaf. It is hard to compare, as I am also working on gaining hearing via CI in the other ear. Once my hearing gets stronger and eventually gets to the point where it will no longer improve, I will need to get a new audiogram and reprogram my hearing aid, or get a new one better fitted for my hearing.

Bi-Modal Hearing

I am starting to notice the sounds I hear with the CI and the HA blend together. My implanted hearing is getting clear enough and my residual hearing is getting strong enough that they can start to work together. I am interested to see how this will be as time passes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Program 3, Map 4

Cochlear Implant (Left Ear)

My mappings are progressive. I get one every so often and then I spend a few weeks on each program 1-4 then get a new mapping. Yesterday was the day to switch to program three. I am hearing more, and more far-away things. I am also starting to finally pick up a word or two spoken by a person I am not looking at.

Today when I put gas in the car, I paid with my card. The attendant gave me the little recipt to sign and I was looking down at it when I heard clearly the words "Por favor." (please).

I am sure he was just saying "sign this please." This was the first time I picked up on a word or two that I was not trying to hear. It felt good. It was a little mechanical and donald duck, which made me smile. So, after nearly half a year, I finally made it to donald duck. Hopefully I'll be hearing lots of talking ducks in the coming weeks.

Right Ear (Recently deafened, but returning slowly)

My hearing is faint and even with the hearing aid the cochlear implant hearing overpowers it. This was the case before I went deaf too. When my implant is off, and my hearing aid turned on full. I can understand some words spoken loudly to my ear. There is still some shakiness to the sound. To me my voice sounds just like Barack Obama, deep and full, no matter what I do. My wife said it sounds more like Mike Tyson when I try to hear the difference by speaking higher.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Loud Sounds Now Bearable.

My sensitivity to certain sounds has diminished a bit. Now those loud sounds are still loud, but not quite as loud and not nearly as irritating. For two days I had a terrible headache, probably related to hearing those sounds. My headache is gone and it seems my hearing clarity improved just a little bit. I still struggle to understand more than a word here or there, but I can tell the difference.

I also need to go back to wearing my hearing aid every other day. There is just too much stimulation and change going on for me to adjust daily. My aided hearing is improving as well, but slowly.

Keep me in your prayers. God bless.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Not Quite Right, Loud Sound

In the last couple of days a certain few sounds have become disproportionately loud to me. The clinking sound of dishes hitting together as I wash them is as loud as anything I hear. Dropping a coin on the ground too. Squeaky door creaks sound like trees breaking in half.

My next mapping isnt until late May, so I hope it doesn't get worse. In the mean time, speech recognition continues to improve. Still a ways to go.