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.

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