Naida CI Q70 Processor

July 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants, My Cochlear Implant choice | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It is 3 years now since I got my AB Harmony Processor switched on! 3 YEARS!  Time has flown.  Those three years have been a real rollercoaster of a ride.  I still wish I had never had the misfortune of losing my hearing suddenly and admittedly those days are tough.  Thank fully those days are lessening and it is thanks to my CI that I have been able to lead a pretty normal life since.

So, whats been going on?  I have made some really cool new friends among the CI world and had the pleasure recently to meet up with some at the BEA Annual Meeting in York last month.  It was at this gathering we were able to have a proper hands on play with the new processor that AB have released.  There has been a lot of talk about it in the CI world and it was really exciting to see it in the flesh and get a proper explanation from the AB pro’s as to what it can actually do!

One of the most pleasing things about it is it’s size! IT’S 40% SMALLER!  I have never had a problem with the current processors size.  My wife tells me I have big ears!  The Naida CI is so small and lightweight that when I tried it on it didn’t feel like I had it on at all.  This is fantastic for all people with smaller ears than me and that includes children.  Any parents looking to get 1 or 2 CI’s for their child should really consider the Naida.

I took some pictures so you can see for yourselves what it(and it’s extras) look like.

The Naida 70                                 Close up of the T-MIC                 MyPilot Remote Control

Naida CI  Naida TMic   My Pilot

 

There is plenty more to shout about this new processor so if you want any more info then just click on the pictures above or follow this LINK :-)

 

Phonak ComPilot

Phonak ComPilot

Now – by using the Phonak ComPilot you will be able to connect to all your gadgets wirelessly!  The Naida processor has 5 programme slot so, if you are like me and want a programme for every eventuality then this is great.

In simple terms, when wearing this ComPilot around your neck (under you clothing if you wish to hide it) you can then connect directly to any Bluetooth connected gadget.  Listen to music on your smartphone and if a call comes in that is sent straight to your CI too.  Connect to computers, tablets, phones, TV’s (with the Phonak TV Link) and even Sat Navs too!

 

So, what’s next on the horizon!!

Well the eagle eyed of you (in the CI world) may have noticed that the headpiece on the Naida is the same headpiece as you get with the Neptune CI. (See previous posts).  Well, there is a very good reason for this.  As I have said before…….the Neptune is the only 100% waterproof CI on the market.  The clever bods at AB have linked the two CI’s (Naida and Neptune) and used the same headpiece for both.  The reason for this is that it wont be long before an AQUA PACK accessory will be released to use with the Naida.  This will not be some disposable bag that some other designs have but a fully water proof plastic case to fit the Nadia and protect it from the water.  As the headpiece has a microphone itself and is water proof it can then be used to play in the water too!!  Amazing!!  I can’t say any more on this as I haven’t seen it but I can tell you its coming!

Well, if you’ve read this far…….well done and thanks!!

I’ll update more info as it comes through.

Exciting Times

July 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants, Speech | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

This time last year I was testing out the new Neptune CI Processor from Advanced Bionics.  It is a very clever device that can be made 100% waterproof.  This is a life changer and I was really lucky to be able to try it out.  Swimming with my kids again and actually being able to hear them and for them to be able to interact with me was amazing.

The local paper did an article about it and you can read it here if you are interested!!

Gray and girls in pool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly I have had to give the Neptune back to the hospital.  But as with everything Advanced Bionics the future is not far away and I have some great news about their latest processor and the amazing gadgets that will come with it!!

More to follow!!

Singing in the rain!

June 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants, Language, Speech | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

Well, it’s been one hell of a journey to get to where I am now on the hearing front.  I haven’t blogged for a long time as I have been busy living.  Progress in the last 12 months has not been that noticeable but then I achieved so much in my first 2 years that I’m not sure I can get any better.

I don’t need any maps as I’ve found my sweet spots and when I went back for my annual testing last week they didn’t bother testing me as I’d scored 100% on all the test bar hearing in sound without lips which was 80%.

Any way……enough bragging………lets move on to the interesting stuff.

I have been asked by my hospital to trial the new NEPTUNE from Advanced Bionics!!  Now when it comes to taking the kids swimming or going on holiday my heart has always sunk at the thought of not hearing in the water.  These days could well be over.  The NEPTUNE is the ONLY waterproof cochlear implant device that lets you swim, go under water, shower……….or whatever takes your fancy with water!!  How amazing is that!!

I have it for 3 months to trial.  I’m due in the pool next week so will update on the swimming etc then but for now it is important to review this for an every day use aswell.

It comes in this snazzy little case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Neptune (not water proofed)

  What you do is adjust your setting to what you feel is the best for a noisy pool environment and then replace the top section that has the dials on with a water proof cover.

 

It ends up half its original size and simply clips onto goggles or swim cap or other accessories such as an arm band that the unit sits in when swimming.

 

 

The Neptune (water proofed)

 

 

You then have a water proof headpiece that you use (you can see that in the main picture above).

It sounds a bit fiddly and there is the obvious down side of not being able to adjust the volume or programmes while it’s water proofed but this is all out weighed by the fact that it enables children, parents of children and any one who wants to hear in water the ability do so.

Now, in order to review it properly as to whether it can replace the behind the ear CI I have tried wearing it during a normal day.  There is a simple answer to this for me……..NO WAY.  I would need to clip it to a tie or collar and have a long headpiece cable flapping around getting caught on things.

If I was a lady with long hair then I would be able to clip it up out of the way but even then it would make it more awkward to adjust settings etc.

 

This makes much more sense for children to use full time as they often have body worn CI’s to start with any way and to able to interact at bath time and while swimming would be so useful.

The sound quality is the usual AB quality.  Excellent.  The mic is in the headpiece and I did wonder if that would affect sound quality but I have to say it is as good if not better than my Harmony processor.  It also has this new function which allows you adjust sensitivity. It works similarly to clear voice but you can adjust it manually depending on your environment.  Very useful.

Next stop the swimming pool!!  I will update you all then…….wish me luck………it might sound awful!!

My little wind problem!!

April 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants, My Cochlear Implant choice, Speech | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s almost a year since my switch on and about 7 months since my last post.

I have learnt to adapt to my CI very well but I still have problems in group or noisy situations.  One of the problems I have recently solved seems so simple I wonder if anyone else with a CI has done the same?  The problem is WIND!  It is a problem that all CI users have and it is really annoying if you are outside on a breezy or windy day having a chat and you are constantly interupted by this gush of wind which completely kills off anything you might hear at that point.

More recently I have been doing a lot of cycling to train for a charity bike ride.  I find the wind when cycling really annoying and actually can be a safety problem as traffic noise is harder to hear.

Well, not one to sit back and take it I have been doing some research and it appears there is nothing on the market for AB CI users to stop this wind problem.  I cant quite believe it and I am happy if anyone can correct me on this.  I have therefore found my own solution and I have been testing it out.  Not to be too smug……….but it works brilliantly!!

It’s called a ‘windjammer’ and is a little sponge microphone cover that you see people on TV using on their lapel or tie microphones.  I contacted a local manufacturer and asked for their advice.  After sending the a picture of my CI they were able to recommend their smallest ‘windjammer’ for me to try.  It cost me about £10 for 5 of them and they work brilliantly!!

Now this solution will only work with Advanced Bionics CI’s as they are the only ones with a mic in the ear.  You also have to be 100% in the ear mic or you will still get some wind noise from the aux mic on the top of the unit.

Problem solved!!! :-)

Roll on the summer and BBQ’s and more wind!!!

Has it really been only 5 months??!

November 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Posted in BBC See Hear, Cochlear Implants, My Cochlear Implant choice | 10 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve been telling people recently that I’ve been switched on for about 8 months or so!!  Is it really ony 5 months??!!

Since my last post I have braved the airports with my CI and managed a great family holiday understanding spanish waiters and african sunglasses and flashing lights salesmen (you know the ones………..sat on every footpath trying to flog you stuff!!)!!  I have discovered a new job though.  All I have to do is buy some crap, print some cards off saying I’m deaf, wander round to restaurants and leave said crap on tables along with deaf card and get people to buy said crap from me!!  :-)

The holiday was great and there were no problems with the airport scanners.  I just said I had a CI and they waved me through and gave me a manual search.  The plane was fine and with the CV medium setting I was able to converse quite well considering the noise.  I am also glad to say that there were no mishaps with dropping any CI’s in the sea this time.  :-)

Phone calls are now much easier amongst friends and family and it’s nice to know my folks can pick up the phone to have a chat rather than text or email

I did have a ‘moment’ last week when we were moving out bedroom around when I came across some note pads.  I opened them up and there were the written half of my conversations with Vicky when I first lost my hearing.  It’s 15 months now since that dreaded day and I must admit those notepads brought it all flooding back.  It’s still hard to believe that only 15 months ago I could hear normally (albeit with one ear).  Thank goodness for the CI though!!  I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like now without it.  No way I could hold conversations via notepad!!!  ‘Moment’ over :-)

Onwards and upwards I say!  What’s new this week??  Oh yeah fireworks!!  Great noise!! They sound normal apart from the high pitched ones which tend to turn the CI off !!  I wanna hear them!!!

I also had a new client in the gym today and was chatting away when I asked her if my assistant had told her that I was deaf.  I got the impression that she didn’t believe me at first…………which is nice………..but I still like to explain that I will need to see faces  to understand fully what is being said.  Especially in the noisy gym.  Still,  she didn’t think I was deaf and we’d been talking for about 10 mins!! :-)

Roll on the next 5 months!!! :-)

PS………if you have read this far then you will be interested to know that my BBC update programme will be on the 1st December, BBC2, See Hear, 1pm.  Should be a laugh…………..I had to do some acting for this one!! :-)

Testing testing 123

October 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants, My Cochlear Implant choice, Speech | 10 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

Life has been incredibly hectic since my last post and I have been testing my CI t0 it’s max………in more ways than one!!

Progress has been more steady over the last month and I am noticing that others are noticing the improvements more than me!  More often than not people are pointing out that I have heard something they have said without me seeing their face.  Bonus!!  The fact I am not noticing the improvements just goes to show how normal life as a Cyborg is becoming.

My hardest place with my CI is work.  Gym equipment, music and chatter all at once is very hard and even in this environment I am being told how well I am hearing people.  Environmental noises have been normal for a while now but the battle is still speech.  Naturally this is the area I want to improve most on and slowly but surely I seem to be winning the battle.

I went on holiday to cornwall a few weeks ago and was really pleased to hear how well I coped on the beach with the ocean, chitter chatter of people, excited screaming kids and those pesky, thieving seagulls!!  Not only are they pinching ice creams they are now running off with people’s shoes!!  I half wondered if they might fly off with my CI if I left it unattended at any point!! :-)

The ocean was as I remembered!  Fantastic!!  The holiday itself was rather a learning curve for me on the CI front!  Advanced Bionics kindly provide us with a little bag for our accessories such as spare batteries and microphones.  I use it for my spare battery and my HA just in case I need a back up if the CI were to fail.  Well one day I managed to lose my little bag along with its contents so suddenly I was one battery down and without my HA backup.  No big loss really but a pain none the less.  I hadn’t bought any spare microphones as I didn’t really think about what would happen if one breaks.

Then disaster!!  I was playing in a stream with my daughter Lucy when a wasp buzzed round my head and as I swatted it away I managed to swat my CI off my head and straight into the water!!  I swiftly fished it out so it had only been there a matter of seconds but still there was real panic of it failing as well as now not having the back up of my HA.  I dried it off and tried it back on and it didn’t work!!!  Holiday now turning into a disaster!!  Luckily I had remembered to bring the dry box provided by AB and after popping it in there for a few hours it started working again!!  RELIEF!! :-)

The AB CI is warranted against water damage so I wasn’t concerned as such about the CI, I was more concerned about ruining the holiday.  I have become so reliant on it that facing even 24 hours without it was not something I wanted to comprehend!  I was even thinking a 250 mile trip to Bristol may be on the cards to get an emergency replacement!!

Water reistance well and truly tested!!!

Since coming back from holiday I have been practicing more and more on the phone and I’m pleased to say that I am making some great progress.  I can talk to my wife quite easily now and it is so nice just to be able to pick up the phone and chat!  All this practice culminated in me making a phone call to my Dad on his Birthday and we were able to chat away for over 10 minutes talking about his trip to the Eden project.  During the whole conversation I only had to ask him once to repeat something!!  I tell you I was floating on air for the next few days after that!!

The phone calls really got me wanting to make even more progress and during my chats on Facebook with other CI users I came to realise that maybe my settings weren’t helping me as much as I realised.  The AB CI has two microphones to use.  One is the T-mic that sits nicely in the ear and the other is the internal Aux mic which is on top of the unit and more like an HA mic.  I had assumed that I was using 100% T-Mic but when I looked into it further I was actually using a 50% mix of both.  This isn’t a real problem but if I wanted to make the most of my sound and use of the phone and music through headphones I was going to want to be using 100% T-mic.

I contacted my CI centre and requested an appointment to have a twiddle with my settings and at the same time see if I could get a replacement battery.  I was given an appointment the following week which is very quick.  Thankyou Southmead, Bristol!!  To cut a long story short I went along and had my CI re-programmed and left feeling like something wasn’t quite right.  Only when I got home and tried the phone did I realise that I had now been given 100% AUX!!  Not happy!!  I got my wife to phone and request another appointment to sort it out and they saw me the same day!!  Well I flew down the motorway (70mph all the way I promise) and went in to find out what had happened.  It seems that the programme was correct but the upload from PC to my CI was not working properly.  When we changed the setting to actually say 100% AUX it then changed my CI to 100% T-mic!!  Odd but I don’t care.  I’ve got the settings I want and the difference is noticeable straight away!!

Music perception is now much better and my wife sounds much clearer on the phone too.  A lot of practice with the new settings to go but I can really feel that more and more progress is yet to come!!

Roll on the next holiday in 2 weeks when I will be testing the CI abroad for the first time!!  I’m hoping to queue jump the scanners!!  Lets hope they don’t fry my brain!! :-)

New cochlear implant offers all round hearing to deaf at half the cost

September 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants, Speech | 2 Comments
Tags: , ,

A deaf women has become the first in the country to be given “stereo” hearing from just one cochlear implant.

 

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent, DAILY TELEGRAPH
Published: 6:00PM BST 27 Aug 2010

The new electronic device could revolutionise treatment for the very hard of hearing as it costs half as much as previous techniques.

In the past the only way for deaf adults to have all round hearing was to be given two cochlear implants but because they cost £25,000 each the NHS has decided that it is too expensive.

 Usually adults only have one implant fitted in one ear which leads to problems in noisy situations or locating the origins of sound.

Now the new operation carried out at the South of England Cochlear Implant Centre (SOECIC) means that bilateral hearing is possible from just one implant.

The new procedure works because the system connects the implant to both ears and collects sound from two external microphones.

“We are very excited because it is a way of getting the effect of two implants for the price of one, ” said Dr Helen Cullington, a clinical scientist at Southampton University who helped carry out the operation.

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that can help both adults and children who have a severe to profound hearing loss because through disease or genetics their cochlear is damaged.

It has two parts: an internal receiver and wire, technically called as electrode array, and an external microphone combined with a speech processor that together looks like a hearing aid.

The microphone converts sound into electrical pulses, which are then filtered and amplified by the speech processor and transmitted through the skin to the internal receiver which passes them along to the cochlear via the electrode arrays.

In the new system, there are two wires – one to each ear – and two microphones on each side of the head which feed the speech processor.

The new system means that both ears can be stimulated from just one internal receiver.

Julie Brinton, joint head of the centre, said: “Some adults and children have already received two implants, with one in each ear.

“The difference with the device being used today is that, although information is delivered to each ear, there is only one implant.”

Although around 40 of these devices have been implanted in patients in Europe, this is the first of its kind in the UK, the centre said.

The four-hour operation was carried out at Southampton General Hospital by Mike Pringle, Consultant Otolaryngologist based at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

Mr Pringle said: “This is different to other types of implant as it is one implant going into both ears.

“It’s not unusual for children to have two implants, one in each ear, but adults usually just have one.

“This type of device has an internal receiver/stimulator with two wires. One will go directly into one inner ear and the other will go over the top of the head, under the scalp, to reach the other inner ear.

“There will be a microphone on each ear collecting sounds from both sides.

“The advantage is that it allows adults to have bilateral hearing. Having two ears working makes it easier to hear in noisy backgrounds and also helps with localisation, or hearing where sounds are coming from.

“Also, because there is only one processor and one internal receiver this makes this device significantly cheaper than two separate implants.”

The recipient of the implant, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been deaf all her life and used hearing aids until now.

Early tests showed the system was working but it will be four weeks before they can be sure.

Dr Cullington said: “Following the surgery she will need to wait for four to six weeks before the device is tuned and she can begin to have auditory rehabilitation to encourage her listening with the new sensation she will experience.”

Is a Cochlear Implant really that good?

August 12, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants | 15 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

Since my ‘switch on’ nearly 10 weeks ago I find myself making great progress in the old sound department but with the improvements continuing on a daily basis I am finding I’m forgetting what it was like when I was just using a hearing aid.  I get asked by friends if the implant is really that good and I find myself saying………’Oh yes……….it’s 500 times better than the hearing aid’!  I should add that I can only comment on my own experiences and remind you that before my CI I was totally deaf (unaidable) in my right ear and profoundly deaf in my left ear.

So………..why is the CI so much better than the HA??  For me it’s easy.  All I have to do is take my CI off and put my HA in.  Voila!!  I can now hear sod all apart from loud tinny sounds that I have to really concentrate on to work out what it is.  If I was to have a conversation now with just the HA I would have to turn my ear towards that person, screw up my eyes and really focus on the mouth of that person…………..then I would have to say………’sorry, I didn’t quite get that………..what did you say’?

I hate the sound of my HA so much now and the quality of sound that I get from it is so poor it actually messes with my CI sound!!  I therefore have ditched the HA………….not quite for good……..as I am going to try to get it re-tuned next month……….but pretty much forever!!!  Yay!!

I think the CI is so good that the only thing I can think of that HA’s are better than CI’s with is the batteries!!  That’s it!!  The CI out ranks, out performs and out thinks the HA on every other level!!

So, what am I able to do now that I couldn’t before??  The list is endless and everything I am about to mention I was not able to do or hear with the HA:-

I can hear simple every day sounds like the Kettle, Microwave, Fridge beeping to tell me I’d left it open, a knock at the door, traffic noise, birds singing, a bumble bee buzzing nearby, the squeak on the kitchen door, my cats meowing and purring…………as I said, the list goes on!!!  Environmental sounds are pretty much normal!!
Now the harder stuff to master!!
I can listen to my MP3 player and enjoy 80% of the music I play!
I can listen to a Harry Potter audio book and make out 99% of the words!
I can hear the TV and use the subtitles (some programmes differ) only as and aid not a requirement!
I can use the mobile phone for simple conversations with familiar voices! (I still have a lot of work to do on this!)
In the last week I have found that I am able ear wig on conversations in the car and join in the chat too, whilst sitting in the front and hearing what was being said in the back seat!!
I have also been able to use the phone to hear and answer security questions about my bank account before having to hand the phone back to a member of the bank staff to finish the conversation for me.  That was tough but satisfying at the same time.
I have been able to attend a social event with loud music and have conversations with people without struggling too much!!  I did have to stop one person and asked if they were from Ireland…………as I was struggling to make out her words!!  At least I could tell where she was from!!
All in all the CI IS 500 times better than the HA if you have profound hearing loss!!  Remember, all mentioned above was impossible to achieve with just the HA!!Other pro’s are it is so much more comfortable to wear!  No more horrible plastic ear pieces and no more horrible feedback and buzzing when laughing or eating!!I have the Advanced Bionics and I’m glad I have chosen this model over the others.  The sound quality at the moment is equal to if not better than the MedEl or Cochlear makes (although this is a contentious subject with users of the other makes).  All implants work well and whichever anyone chooses will do well for them.  I prefer the AB for other reasons.  The AB has a microphone that sits nicely in the ear canal and uses the natural shape of the ear to capture the sound and send it into my brain.  This also means that when using a telephone you can just put it to your ear like a hearing person would rather than hover it over the mic at the top of the ear.  I also like the fact that I have 4 rechargeable batteries, rather than throw aways, that last between 8 and 12 hours a day.  As long as I remember to charge them and carry a spare with me!!!  The AB also has a clever bit of software called ClearVoice which acts to soften harsh sounds and make everyday listening even more comfortable.

A slight word of caution………..the CI is never going to be perfect and I will always need it to help me hear….

BUT……

Is a Cochlear Implant really that good?  You bet your life it is!! 

Funny day at hospital today

July 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Although my CI team are based in Bristol I am still with my Cheltenham/Gloucester team for my HA side.

I received a follow-up appointment in the post a few months ago for my HA side and decided that it must have been a mistake as I had only just been switched on with my CI.  I should have got my wife to call to query it but we have been so busy I just forgot about it.  Any way, I got another letter through a few weeks ago telling me that was a naughty boy for not attending the appointment and I should make sure I get my bum in gear and make the next appointment.  So I went!!

I arrived at Cheltenham hospital not really sure what was going to happen.  I didn’t have to wait very long before I was taken through to a sound booth and asked to sit down.  The audiologist started telling me that they wanted to do another hearing test on me as my hearing ‘hadn’t been very good’ at my last test.  I looked at her and asked ‘have you read my case file?’  ‘Yes of course’ was the answer.  ‘ So you know everything about my hearing history then?’ I asked.  ‘Yes of course’ was the answer again.

This next bit got me chuckling a bit.  I looked at her and calmly turned my head to one side and said, ‘so you know about my Cochlear Implant then?’  Her mouth dropped and said ‘er, no, er, no, I didn’t know about that at all.’  She even came closer to have a real look to make sure I wasn’t lying or something.  She then scuttled off to go and get her boss.  Next thing I know she comes back with, I assume, her boss and without a word walked up to me and both had a real close look at my CI.  I assume they didn’t believe me or something.

‘Well’, the boss said, ‘there doesn’t seem much point in doing the hearing test does there.’  I smiled back and said that as I was here I wanted them to do a little experiment on me.  You see, I have the theory that now I have sound coming into my CI side it has boosted the sound in my HA side.  I have been having to turn the volume down on my HA side since getting the CI and have assumed this is to do with the ‘stereo’ effect of having sound in both sides of my head.

To cut a long story short ( after a very frustrating chat with a so called specialist trying to explain exactly what I meant) I got the hearing test done.  Now with the AB CI that I have it means I can wear headphones like any normal person as the microphone sits nicely in the ear.  So I had the earphones on and the Audiologist ran the usual beeps through and I duly pushed the button every time I heard a beep.  The result was fascinating.  The hearing in my HA side has indeed been boosted by having the CI on the other side.  So much so that they feel that a tune up of my HA side may help to make things sound less harsh.

Now don’t go thinking I can hear well on both sides now.  Although it has been boosted it is still a profound hearing loss and I still can’t hear anything without the hearing aid, but, it has been improved slightly.  I must say I had rather a smug look on my face when the audiologist gave me the results. :-)

So, my next appointment is in Sept for an HA re-tuning and it will be interesting to find out if it helps at all.  I don’t mind if it doesn’t because the CI is 1000 times better than the HA anyway……….but it will be fun finding out!!

I’m going down to…………la la land!!

July 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants, Language, Speech | 9 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday (Wed 7th July 2010) was my 4 week mapping, hearing and speech test appointment.  This is my second visit since being switched on and I was looking forward to finding out how much I had improved since my last tests were done with just a Hearing Aid.

I knew already that I was achieving quite a lot with the CI but it is nice to see for yourself on paper and in numbers what your actual improvements are. 

How do I know that I was already doing well??  For starters I have been practicing with both the HA and without and as soon as I took it out I noticed very little difference in the sound quality I was getting in the CI.  If I did it the other war round and took the CI off just leaving the HA it was a massive difference!!  I can’t actually believe I have been struggling on with just the HA for so long.  No wonder I was alway tired!!  That leads on to the next point.  I no longer feel absolutely knackered all the time from concentrating so hard on what anyone is saying.  The CI is an amazing bit of kit.  It’s never going to be perfect……….but it’s a hell of a lot better than what I had.

What else has improved?  Well, even before my 1 week appointment I was noticing sounds becoming normal.  This has been taken on further now in the respect of sounds no longer sound robotic.  As close as to what I can remember sounds are pretty much spot on.  Some are still just noise (like road traffic), but not many.  Also everyone I know or meet sound like themselves again and not like the robots off the smash adverts (from the 80’s!! for you younger readers!!).  My girls are sounding like themselves too and not high-pitched cartoon characters on helium!!  Yay!!

For the last 2 weeks the TV has started to come through clearer.  If it is quiet I can now watch some programmes and not have to read the subtitles!!  I still need them on just in case I miss something but if it’s coming through now after such a short space of time then hopefully it will just keep on getting better.  The radio however is not as good.  Voices on there sound very tinny and high-pitched.  Music is coming through much clearer now and I am finding that my ‘old school’ dance albums are the easiest to listen to as the beat is so strong.  I recently discovered an old Cream Anthems album and stuck it on in the car and suddenly started hearing the title to this post quite clearly.  “I’m going down to………….la la land”!  Great tune!! :-)  I must have seemed like a right boy racer blasting out the music.  I could feel the speaker vibrating against my leg so it must have been booming!! :-)

My 4 week appointment started off with the mapping session.  This consisted of re-tuning my CI and turning the volume up on each electrode to new levels and playing around with the settings to get my best sound quality.  After these sessions everything sounds more distorted for a few days but I know this will settle down again after the weekend.

It was a bit mean, my audiologist told me, but they were going to do my speech recognition tests after my re-tuning.  I agreed it was a bit mean but got on with it anyway.  This test involves sitting in front of a monitor and watching a rather mundane man talk in sentences about anything from hobbies to the weather.  He sounds very droll and does not enunciate his words well at all!!

The first test (sound and picture) was with my HA & CI………..score……..98%  :-)

The second test (sound and picture) was just with my CI………score…….99%  :-)

The third test (just sound with subject prompts) with just CI………score……..95% :-)

The fourth test (just sound, no subject prompts) with just CI………score……..92% :-)

Just to make it clear the improvement made………..I only scored 7% on that fourth test before I had the CI!!!  :-)

Then I had lip-reading with no sound!!  This shows how bad I am at lip reading…………score…….23% :-(

Next test………all these tests………….. was a hearing test with the CI.  I was amazed at this result! Check out the picture below.  The lowest line is what I measured in my right ear before operation.  The high line is what I measure now with the CI!!  That is not far off normal hearing!!  Wahay!!  Not to get to carried away…………this is measured with just beeps.  It’s a lot different hearing beeps than hearing voices so I still have a long way to go. (Quick reality check there!).

My next appointment now is not for another 5 months although I can book in for any other sessions if I feel I need to.  It’s now just a question of doing my re-hab exercises (listening to music and Harry Potter audio books!) and just getting on with it!!! :-)

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers

%d bloggers like this: