Exciting Times

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

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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
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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!! 🙂

‘Ticka ticka ticka ticka ticka’

June 13, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants | 9 Comments
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So it’s been 4 days now since I got switched!  Here is a quick update on what’s been happening on the hearing front!!

The day after my switch on I had to carry on as normal so no real time to get used to the new noises.  In order to cope with that I have been wearing my hearing aid and CI at work and then when I get some time to myself just using the CI.  It seems to be working out quite well as when I wear both I suddenly go into stereo sound.  At first it wasn’t anything I could really make out but over the last few days the CI sounds have been getting just a little bit clearer and I am re-discovering sounds that I haven’t heard since I lost my hearing last year.

So what have I been hearing and knowing what the sounds are?

The list is quite long so I’ll just give you the best bits – footsteps, the kettle, the microwave, the toilet flush, water running from a tap, traffic noise, my mobile phone text alert, the land line dial tone, my cat purring and my Grandmothers carriage clock ticking!!!  That was the odd one.  I struggle to pick up louder sounds and then suddenly I can hear this ‘ticka ticka ticka ticka ticka’ noise coming through my head!!  I didn’t belive it was the clock at first and thought something maybe wrong with my CI so I made sure nothing was on in the house to make any noise and went and stood next to the clock.  Sure enough…….’ticka ticka ticka ticka ticka’!!   That ticking used to annoy the hell out of me when I could hear normally……….I love it now 🙂

What can I hear that I can’t quite understand?  This generally is anything that involves talking…….like the radio, the TV, the telephone etc.  I can hear them all now better than before but it is just noise at the moment.  I managed to ring my wife on the mobile phone and had a basic chat with her for a minute or so.  I could work out most of what she was saying but she was keeping it very simple……….’how are you?’ and  ‘what are you doing?’

I have also been plugging into my MP3 player.  Music is not as I quite remember but to go from nothing to something is great and gives me real hope that in a few months time I may be able to enjoy some tunes again!!

What’s next then?  Well, my volume on the CI has reduced so much everything seems to be a whisper at the moment.  This is normal apparently as you brain gets used to hearing again.  I have a second re-tuning appointment on Wednesday where I will get my volume turned up.  I can’t wait for that as everything should start to sound a bit clearer again.

Ha ha………as I’m sitting here typing this (I can hear me tapping the keys too!) I can hear it again!!!

‘Ticka ticka ticka ticka ticka’  🙂

More news after Wednesday.

Deafness cure breakthrough as scientists create tiny ear hairs from stem cells

May 16, 2010 at 11:30 am | Posted in Cochlear Implants, Possible cure for nerve deafness | 4 Comments
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I found this article in the Daily Mail after I was recovering from my operation.  Rather apt I think on the day I turn Bionic this article is released holding even more hope for the deaf and hard of hearing in the not so distant future!!

‘A cure for deafness could be on the horizon after scientists created specialised ear cells in the lab.

Grown in their thousands, the delicate hairs could one day be transplanted into the inner ear, restoring hearing to millions.

The breakthrough comes after ten years of painstaking research.

It may also allow some balance disorders to be eased and aid the search for drugs to prevent people from becoming hard of hearing.

Age-related hearing loss affects half of Britons aged 60 and over and there is currently no way of holding it at bay.

Hearing aids amplify sounds but nothing can give sufferers back the hearing they once had.

In the latest research at Stanford University, California, scientists perfected turning stem cells – blank cells which can turn into other cell types – into the delicate hairs found in the inner ear. ones.

The linch-pin of hearing and balance, thousands of these hairs help convert sound vibrations into nerve impulses which are decoded by the brain.

Ageing, noise and general wear and tear make them wither away and, until now, there was no way of replacing them.

The hairs made in the lab from mice looked and acted like the real thing, the journal Cell reports.

Researcher Stefan Heller said: ‘We knew it was really working when we saw them in the electron microscope.

‘They looked more or less like they were taken out of the ear.’

If the same technique can be applied to human cells, within ten years it may be possible to transplant-the delicate hairs to restore hearing.

Using slivers of the patient’s skin as a source of the stem cells means that any hairs generated would be a perfect match for their body.

It also raises the tantalising possibility of creating drugs to coax the ear into growing more hair cells of its own accord.

Professor Heller said: ‘We could now test thousands of drugs in a dish. Within a decade or so, we could reap the benefits.’

Lead researcher Dr Kazuo Oshima said: ‘We’ve made hair-like cells in a Petri dish. This is an important step towards the development of future therapies.’

Dr Ralph Holme, of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, said the news was ‘really exciting’.

RNID-funded researchers at Sheffield University have turned human stem cells into hair cells but these were not as much like the real thing as the U.S. ones.’

BBC See Hear programme

February 11, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Posted in BBC See Hear | 7 Comments
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Well tomorrow is my final appointment with the Hospital before I (hopefully) get the go ahead for an operation to turn me in to Lee Majors!!  I think that’s how to spell his name!!  Any way………the Bionic Man to those who don’t know 🙂

Apparently the BBC have been following my Blog on the sly and a few weeks ago contacted me to see if I would be happy for them to feature my hearing loss story on their See Hear programme.  I was a bit shocked initially.  I mean,  my blog isn’t really that good compared to so many others I have come across and I don’t have much time to update it as often as I want to either.  Anyway, I agreed thinking it would just be a small bit about my blog and I wouldn’t have that much input!!  Ha ha, silly me!!

So far we have filmed at my gym, at my house and tomorrow they are coming to the hospital to film me after my appointment.  I am not looking forward to seeing me on the TV but as I have roped my girls in to it too it should be quite amusing!!

On a more serious not, if there had been a programme about 6 months ago that I could have seen that showed someone going through a similar time as me I would have found it very helpful.  So hopefully someone will find it useful and it may help them realise things do get easier and there is light at the end of the tunnel!!

On a less serious note……..I wonder how much I should charge the BBC??

Oh……..if you want a giggle at me and the family then check out the TV programme on BBC 2 10th March.  Dont know what time it will be on but you can check it all out on their own blog nearer the show date here http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/seehear/

Hearing loss update……..

February 3, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Speech | 1 Comment
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Its been over a week now since my hearing dropped further and its amazing how much can happen in so few days!!

Apart from trying to work, I have had a few visits to my specialist (who never turns out to be my specialist) as well as my audiologist for more hearing tests and re-tuning of my hearing aid.
 
It appears that my profound hearing loss is now even more profound than before.
This news along with the news that I don’t meet the criteria for a cochlear implant was a bit of a shock to take.
I can, apparently, hear to well for a CI Sarcastic
 
I have added an example of a profound hearing loss audigram so you can see how low my hearing has got.
Basically……up until August 2009 my hearing was near the top of the graph.  Now as you can see it is pretty much as low as it can go.
This isn’t my exact test result but it is pretty close.  (Ignore the red line………)
 
 
This audiogram shows a profound hearing loss
 
 
I have been called back for a ‘retest and review’ with the CI team in Bristol for the 20th November 2009.
We will see then if I am deaf enough to move forward towards possibly hearing again and getting a bionic ear!!
 
The journey continues!!Smile
 

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