Tags: AB, Bionic Ear, CI, clear voice, Cochlear Implants, loop systems, MP3, tinnitus
Well the 2 weeks since my switch on have flown by. I’ve been so busy with work and social stuff with friends and family that I haven’t had too much time to really think about my CI progress.
The initial switch on was a bit of a disappointment as you may have already read. But in hindsight it wasn’t as bad as I thought and to be able to make out some music on my MP3 player after only 4 hours is pretty amazing. After only 2 days though the volume on my CI had dropped so much that I was really struggling with it on its own as everything I was hearing seemed like a robotic whisper. So I kept using my HA in my other ear and that seemed to boost the volume on both sides by giving me a stereo effect. I definitely was enjoying that. First time to hear something out of both sides of my head in over 10 years!! 🙂
The external unit itself is very comfortable on my ear but I was having a problem with the cable sticking out and getting it caught on clothing as well as offering something tempting for my girls to grab hold of!! I have over come this problem by wrapping the cable around my external unit which shortens the cable perfectly to attach the magnet. No more sticking out cable!! Yay!!
I went back for re-tuning and a volume increase after 7 days and boy did I need it. This time my volume was increased a huge amount and my IDR was put up from 60 to 80. (Which apparently after only 7 days is pretty good). I also got them to take off my loop setting and go with normal on setting 1, clearvoice medium and high on settings 2 & 3. The loop setting was pointless as my recognition of speech was still so poor it was a waste of a setting.
After my re-tuning I found the next few days a real struggle. Everything was so much louder and distorted that it was not fun. Gradually though after 2 to 4 days the sound has become much more comfortable and dare I say…….NORMAL!! Yay. I still find speech really tough but people are sounding less robotic and more how I remember them. My little girls however are still like little robots……but sounding like very cute little robots………most of the time anyway!!
I have been using my CI more and more without my HA since my re-tuning and it has been fine most of the time. Sounds are becoming normal. I find when I have my HA on too I get two different sounds entering my head too. Quite amusing I think at the moment. A text message on my phone comes through in two different tones!! It could be confusing I suppose but I’m riding along with it and enjoying it most of the time.
Social situations are still very tough and this is what I miss so much. The world cup is on and we are having BBQ’s round at friends houses for the games and I miss joining in the banter with my mates & slagging off the commentators because they don’t know what they are talking about. Having said that though my mates are being really good with me and not getting bothered when I say pardon or sorry, I didn’t get that!! (Until they get drunk that is and still think it helps to get closer to my ear for me to hear them rather than letting me see their faces!! No names mentioned Stu 🙂 )
I mentioned sounds are becoming more normal now. Well, I have to say they are generally. I still can’t make out the radio or the TV but other than that I reckon it’s nearly all there. I noticed a squeak on one of our doors the other day and asked my wife when that had started. ‘Months ago’ was the reply. That’s nice……..squeaky doors again!! Yay. Other sounds are the birds chirping, the owl in the evening twit twooing, indicators in the car, aeroplanes and helicopters overhead, branches rustling in the wind, cat meowing and purring………the list goes on!! In fact, when I take the CI off now and just wear the HA the sound I hear is so poor it just shows how good the CI is. I’m still frustrated by speech but I have to keep reminding myself it’s only been 2 weeks!!!
A quick mention of my tinnitus. It’s still there 😦 but hardly noticeable when I’m wearing the CI. As soon as I take the CI off it’s there straight away with that lovely washing machine sound!! Ah well, at least it’s gone most of the time. Maybe that will calm down in time too??!!
To sum it up………my hearing is loads better, I’m frustrated by speech and social situations, my girls are still robots although other people are sounding more like themselves again, environmental sounds are pretty normal now, music on my MP3 is about 70% now (compared with zero before!) and I’m going back to the hospital in 2 weeks to get re-tuned and tested again.
I’ve had my doubts about the CI but I’m definitely pleased I got it done!! Roll on the next few weeks of improvement!! 🙂